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So Harlem Founder, Janet Rodriguez Honored at The Metropolitan Museum's 17th Annual Evening Celebrating Women

Posted March 14, 2024


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thurs , March 14, 2024 at 8:00 AM

 

PRESS RELEASE: SO HARLEM FOUNDER, JANET RODRIGUEZ HONORED AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM’S 17TH ANNUAL EVENING CELEBRATING WOMEN

 

NEW YORK, March 14, 2024 — SoHarlem is proud to announce that it’s founder Janet Rodriguez is being honored at The MET’s 17th Annual Evening Celebrating Women. The MET's 2024 honorees are four remarkable women working across the arts, education, and government who advocate for equity and sustainability in their communities and include Susan Donoghue, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; Jacqueline Patterson, founder and Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project; and Akiko Yamazaki, Advisory Council Member, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and Board Member, Wildlife Conservation Society; and Janet Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of SoHarlem, Inc. The special Honoree reception takes place on Thursday, March 21, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, immediately followed by a public reception in the Temple of Dendur from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

As Founder and CEO of SoHarlem, Janet Rodriguez has more than twenty years of experience in policy and grantmaking positions in public, private, and corporate philanthropy. That, along with a personal understanding of the critical role the arts play in child and community development, led her to serve on boards, manage institutions, initiate change, and become a social entrepreneur. She established SoHarlem in 2011 to ensure creative and local people participate in the economic development in the Manhattanville Factory District. SoHarlem supports racial equity and employment in Harlem by incubating creative enterprises, mentoring emerging designers and providing job training for the local community.

Prior to establishing SoHarlem, she served as Vice President of the JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy Group and was responsible for providing leadership and support to the National Community Relations team charged with developing and implementing philanthropic strategies in their local communities. She was also the proprietor of Straight Out of Harlem, the sole creative outlet among retail stores and bodegas in Sugar Hill section of Harlem which produced public programs, exhibitions, and salons that explored contemporary cultural issues, and promoted and sold the work of more than 250 local and global artists. Other professional experiences include Program Officer with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Managing Director of the Aaron Davis Hall; New York Philharmonic’s Music Assistance Fund and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Program Director for the Kentucky Arts Council; and Co-Founder of Latin American Music in Alternative Spaces. Rodriguez is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, MFA in Arts Administration; Columbia University’s Teachers College, MA in Art Education; and New York University, BS, Art Education. She has served on many boards, among them the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, the World Media Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Grantmakers in the Arts.

ABOUT SOHARLEM

SoHarlem has been an essential force in helping to transform the once desolate and underutilized Manhattanville Factory District into a growing business community employing and training local residents. It’s mission is to create equitable opportunities in Harlem through cultural industries workforce development. Since its founding in 2011, SoHarlem has launched more than 20 successful micro-businesses comprising everything from custom-made, couture garments to fashion accessories. SoHarlem incubates Creative Entrepreneurs who include: Henry Smith, Olivia Smashum, Javier Valencia, Belkola Vasquez, Donna Drew, and Kenny Allen; and Design Apprentices: Noah Joseph, and Walter Dixon. SoHarlem’s Creative Economy Training Institute is open to under and unemployed local residents. Participants receive workforce training on the fundamentals of sewing and are placed to work in the fashion industry. SoHarlem’s Principal Trainer and Creative Entrepreneur, Henry Smith also offers sewing classes to the general public. Participants learn sewing at a technical level to expand their creative knowledge as receive support in developing their designs. SoHarlem offers Tailoring and Made to Measure services to the public and designers year-round. SoHarlem’s Designers’ Studio operates in the Manhattanville Factory District in the historic Mink Building, a 110-year-old industrial site, once home of the Bernheimer and Schwartz Pilsner Brewing Company, and later a storage facility for mink coats. In 2014, the building was renovated and restored beyond its original glory by local developer, the Janus Property Company.

# # #

All press inquiries should go to:

Contact: Vivian Cotes

Phone: 917 297-6189

Email: viv@arteacreative.com

 

 

SoHarlem, Inc., 1361 Amsterdam Avenue, Suite 340, NY, NY 10027, United States

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