The Harlem Arts Alliance along with the United States Postal Service and Columbia University School of the Arts presented on Tuesday June 22, 2010, a First-Day-Of-Issue Ceremony honoring the release of the Oscar Micheaux commemorative stamp. The ceremony, which took place in Columbia’s Miller Theatre, was attended by the arts community as well as a host of stamp collectors who were highly energized to collect first day of issue cancellations which they lined up to purchase, in vast multiples, all morning long.
Voza Rivers, Chair of the Harlem Arts Alliance and Executive Producer, New Heritage Films, was the master of ceremonies for an event that included a welcome from Claude M. Steele, Columbia University Provost, Delores J. Killette, Vice President And Consumer Advocate, United States Postal Service, remarks by Geoffrey Fletcher, adjunct Faculty of Film, Columbia University School of the Arts and 2010 Oscar ® winner (Screenplay, Precious), and Melvin Van Peebles, himself a pioneering independent filmmaker and author. The morning’s ceremony included performances by the acapella youth ensemble, IMPACT Repertory Theatre, who began with their version of the traditional Negro national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, upon hearing the first words of which, the entire audience stood up. Jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and his quartet presented a musical tribute to Oscar Micheaux that included music from the film, Body & Soul and the Fats Waller tune, Honeysuckle Rose. Mr. Gordon is composing a new work, commissioned by Jazzmobile Inc, based on the Oscar Micheaux’s film, Within Our Gates, which will premiere at the HarlemStage Gatehouse in the fall.The Ceremony concluded with a movie trailer presentation of Oscar’s Comeback, a work in progress by filmmakers Lisa Collins and Mark Schwarzburt about the Oscar Micheaux Film Festival held annually in his hometown of Gregory, South Dakota. It was a hilarious and telling tale of hometown pride in an unlikely hometown hero. The event concluded with an outdoor reception hosted by the Harlem Arts Alliance.
PHOTOS: (Credit: USPS)
1) Voza Rivers, Mark Schwarzburt, Lisa Collins, Melvin Van Peebles, Delores J. Killette, Geoffrey Fletcher, Jamal Joseph unveil Oscar Micheaux stamp.
2) Wycliffe Gordon Quartet performs at Miller Theatre for Micheaux First Day Ceremony
3) Melvin Van Peebles and Voza Rivers at Micheaux First Day of Issue Ceremony
Flo Wiley, PR & Marketing Consultant
Harlem Arts Alliance
229 West 135 Street, Front 1
New York NY 10030
(347) 735 4475 direct
(347) 735 4280 main
By Jeffrey Akita