Share this project


Share this project

Changing Face of Harlem's video poster

A story about the challenging revival of a historic Black community that stood abandoned for decades due to misperceptions and crime. Read more

pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go


This project was successfully funded on June 14, 2011.

A story about the challenging revival of a historic Black community that stood abandoned for decades due to misperceptions and crime.

About this project

Har·lem (härləm)

A district of New York City, on Manhattan Island, originally named Nieuw Haarlem by Dutch settlers in 1658.

You may or may have never visited Harlem, but surely you’ve heard of it, read about it, and have an idea of where it is.

In the year 2000, the film Changing Face of Harlem began.  It started out as small film documenting the changes taking place in my community of Harlem. Harlem was hot in the news then, with redevelopment on the rise, the opening of the first movie theater in over 3 decades, and Bill Clinton announced he was setting up office in the neighborhood. Today, Changing Face of Harlem has grown to an immense project with over 200 hours of footage.

Changing Face of Harlem is a film told from the voices of longtime residents, business owners, politicians, developers, and clergy about the dreams and struggles of a neighborhood. This film explains Harlem’s intricate history so you can comprehend the complexity and height of emotions that Harlem citizens express today. If you weren’t aware, Harlem is undergoing a huge rebirth and revival just like many other urban communities of color. Identified as The Black Mecca, the birthplace of the renaissance, and also depicted as a crime-infested ghetto, Changing Face of Harlem takes a critical look at how Harlem has undergone its present transformation.

The film begins during the height of the New York real-estate boom when Harlem was experiencing an immense influx of real estate and capital investment. The film commences with the crash of the real estate market and how it has played a role in the backdrop of Harlem. The film dives deeper into to the rebuilding of Harlem through the role of UMEZ, The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone while showing the flipside, the demise of Mart 125, an indoor market for local street vendors. The fight for affordable housing for low and middle-income families is another highly dynamic topic witnessed through the film. The film tackles the pressing issues of class and cultural preservation while also revealing how redlining practices blocked Harlem residents from purchasing properties. This film is a unique contemporary historical piece looking at Harlem as you’ve never seen it before.

Learn more about the project by checking out the trailer and supporting its cause.

Why Give and Where will my money go to?

We have a 80-minute rough cut of the film and need to raise funds to hire an editor to work towards a fine cut of the film that will be 60 minutes in length. Any surplus on top of the financial goal will be put towards additional post-production costs which include expenses for archival photos and archival footage.

This project has been an 11-year journey. A talented crew includes an amazing DP, Kira Kelly ( and world renowned musician Jay Rodriguez who will score the film. (

How Kickstarter works:

Your credit card is only charged only if we reach our fundraising goal of $5,000 within our deadline. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged. So, please help us reach our goal!

Thank you.

Watch our trailer, checkout our website, donate, and spread the word through your own social networking networks.

Project Goal:

It is my hope that this film inspires others to become proactive in their communities.

This film can be used as a tool for dialogue in schools as well as in urban community settings to discuss issues of cultural preservation, economic empowerment, and urban renewal.

The film can also be utilized as means in increasing dialogue between community leaders, community boards, and local politicians to reach out to youth, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.



Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question


  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    22 backers

    Everyone who has a contribution of $15 or more will have an on-screen thank you in the film's credits.

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    9 backers

    A thank you credit + a note card by Harlem based artist, Lyne Lieberman whose cards represent iconic Harlem Landmarks. (website:

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    30 backers

    A thank you credit + note card + your own personal dvd copy of the film, upon the film's release.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    13 backers

    A thank you credit + note card + DVD + the film's official tote bag made of recycled cotton showing the film's title.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers

    A thank you credit + note card + DVD + tote bag +
    a limited edition print of "Apollo Girl, Harlem" by New York artist PJ Cobbs.
    You'll own a ready to hang print on 10x10 canvas.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    Thank you credit + note card + DVD + tote bag +
    a limited edition print of “Apollo Girl, Harlem” artwork +
    a private wine tasting held in the heart of Harlem at Ristorante Settipani hosted
    by Divino Enterprises, LLC. (website:

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    125th STREET ANGEL
    A thank you credit + note card + DVD + tote bag +
    a limited edition print of “Apollo Girl, Harlem” artwork +
    dinner for 2 with the filmmaker at her favorite Harlem hotspot restaurant

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER You'll have this title in the film's credits.
    Please Contact Us!!

Funding period

- (40 days)