Celebrate the Harlem Renaissance with Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

The Kansas City, Kansas Public Library will be celebrating the Harlem Renaissance this winter. The Harlem Renaissance was an explosion of African-American art and culture in Harlem that started in 1918 and spanned the 1920s and 1930s.  During January and February, the library will have art exhibits, movies, book clubs, concerts, and more, all celebrating the movement and people of Harlem - including an artist from right here in Kansas.

The inspiration for this event series was Aaron Douglas, a prominent and influential artist during the Harlem Renaissance.  Douglas was born in Topeka, KS, and lived there until graduating from high school.  He moved to Harlem in 1925 and began developing his art and style. He was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance and his works influenced others for years after.  He also helped set the stage for other African-American artists to enter the public realm through his involvement with the Harlem Artists Guild.  Patrons will be able to learn more about Douglas by attending one of three events held in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on January 25 at West Wyandotte Library, February 1 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and February 15 at South Branch Library. The February 1 event will include a viewing of one of Douglas’s artworks. Patrons can register for these events on the library’s online calendar at kckpl.org or by visiting cerkl.com/org/story.php?id=1048337.

A full list of the events that will be held can be found by visiting the links above.  The culminating event is A Night at the Savoy, and 1920s themed concert and dance with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.  Travel back in time to Harlem’s famous Savoy Ballroom!   Patrons are invited to come as they are or dress up in their best 1920s inspired outfits to listen and dance the night away. It will be held on February 17 at 7:00 pm at the Main Library at 625 Minnesota Ave in KCK.

About the Library

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library was formed in 1895.  In 1899, it came under the authority of the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District Board of Education and remains there today.   It serves a population of 159,129.  The mission of Kansas City, Kansas Public Library is to connect members of a dynamic community with information, tools, resources, and welcoming spaces to enrich lives in Wyandotte County.  The library can be found online at kckpl.org