Artistic Statements

Learn more about the artistic direction of the Apollo  from Apollo Executive Producer, Kamilah Forbes.


September 2022


The Next Movement

Dear Apollo Family,

Over the past several years, our lives have changed in many ways. Faced with a range of challenges, we forged new paths, tried new things, and found new ways to move forward. I am proud to be part of a historic institution that has always met the challenge of advancing our culture forward. The Apollo has built a dynamic platform for the elevation of Black voices and creativity through inspired innovation and a commitment to artistic excellence—forging a powerful legacy of forward movement. This fall we celebrate that ongoing tradition and look to the future with a season titled The Next Movement.  

The Next Movement’s vibrant programming is led by trailblazing Black artists and thought leaders. Camille A. Brown and Dancers continue our commitment to dance culture with ink, part of Brown’s canon-building movement trilogy celebrating self-empowerment and resilience—now presented in full for the first time, in partnership with the Joyce Theater and featuring Brown’s final performances as a dancer in this repertory.

Tomorrow, we launch our Arts & Ideas series, its mission is providing resonant access to groundbreaking thinkers and cultural figures. The series kicks off with fashion industry icon Edward Enninful, who, in advance of his coming memoir A Visible Man, discusses his unprecedented career path and role as a champion of inclusivity with renowned Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.  Later in the season, and in recognition of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, multi-platinum artist, philanthropist, and South Bronx native Fat Joe will share intimate stories from his new memoir, The Book of Jose.

Moving forward in our mission to amplify Africa’s rich influence on worldwide contemporary culture, next month Malian musician Oumou Sangaré, in partnership with World Music Institute, makes her Apollo debut—and a rare U.S. appearance—in a one-night-only performance.

Nothing speaks more meaningfully to forward movement than broadening the experiences of young people. Our School Day Live program this fall looks at the origins and history of the blues, with a live orchestra, and following a two-year hiatus, our teaching artists return to meet NYC students in their schools.  Because learning is a lifelong process, we invite educators and the public to workshops led by Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and as part of the Apollo’s Live Wire series, we’ll take a deep dive into Hip Hop Style with local choreographers and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

We invite you to discover or revisit Apollo favorites including Amateur Night at the Apollo, the incubator of major talent and one of America’s longest-running events; the Kwanzaa:Regeneration Celebration featuring Abdel R. Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre; the Apollo Music Café; Comedy Club; and community events for all ages.

Our three-year Master Artist in Residence program, inaugurated with Ta-Nehisi Coates and now in its second iteration, supports the creation of new artistic and civic works moving us all towards a diverse 21st century American performing arts canon. The program continues with current resident, Grammy and Emmy-nominated musician/producer Kamasi Washington.

Speaking of next movement, The Apollo will soon expand, welcoming audiences to an exciting new space just down the street. The Apollo’s Victoria, a renovated former movie and vaudeville house, will house two new black-box theaters for a range of Apollo programs, add administrative offices, and offer subsidized rental opportunities for community and non-profit arts organizations. Like all New Yorkers, we couldn’t be happier to have more space!

The Apollo is always in motion, offering illuminating and joyful experiences that center and amplify Black voices. We invite you to experience The Next Movement and join us on our amazing journey forward!

Kamilah Forbes
Executive Producer

Artistic Statement Archive

  • September 2021
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