Over the years Harlem has truly changed, and at times I find myself barely being able to recognize my neighborhood. However, one thing that has not, and will not change is the rich history, talent, and pride that exists in Harlem. Nothing and no one can ever take that away from us as long as we continue to promote, encourage, and cultivate Harlem arts and culture.
Working on a play like "Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale" means so much to me because my team and I are able to encourage people, especially Harlemites, to not lose sight of all that Harlem was and will continue to be. This idea of a new Harlem Renaissance is key because I have heard many people in my community say things such as, "It's too late! 'They' have taken over!" However, it is not too late. We know that change is occuring, but the question becomes, how can we take advantage of these new happenings and focus them towards a New Harlem Renaissance? Our Harlem culture is still alive and with organizations such as the Harlem Arts Alliance, which brings Harlem artists and arts organizations together, we can truly establish an artistic BOOM in Harlem, in the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance.
I hope you will support this movement to ensure that the gleaming light of Harlem arts and culture does not get overshadowed by the next high rise condominium.
Jaylene (Creator, Co-Producer, Director, Co-Playwright, Actress)