The Outdoor Film Festival Launches July 6 In Harlem




What Does Purple Sound Like
What does PURPLE sound like Credit: Shocphoto

Hi-ARTS is launching the Outdoor Film Festival on July 6th. The urban arts incubator is presenting the three-day event in partnership with George Washington houses’ 1809 Resident Watch. It is part of the Festival Of New York with support from Maysles Documentary Center. The festival consists of interactive workshops and film screenings in open spaces and nature in East Harlem. The event is based around the theme of intergenerational healing for Black and BIPOC communities in New York City. There are two locations; the outdoor gardens of George Washington Houses which is a public housing development and the Hi-ARTS home at El Barrios Artspace. 

The festival starts Wednesday, July 6th with Taking Root ‘n’ Talking Roots and two interactive workshops led by Hakim Pitts, artist and Associate Producer of the BlackStar Film Festival award-winning documentary In Our Mothers’ Gardens featuring Tarana Burke. Pitts will guide participants through meditation and group discussion about family histories with the goal of providing tools to create intergenerational healing. The workshops run from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM ET and require registration at with priority given to residents of the George Washington Houses. 

On Thursday, July 7th the festival will continue with The Gardens We Tend. Two works-in-progress films:  GODSPEED: A Story from the Black Future by Celia C. Peters and I DIGRESS: The Intimate Insights of a Childhood Weirdo by Sauda Aziza Jackson and April Sweeney. There will also be two films from Hi-ARTs alumni, (construct)Clearing by Tanika I. Williams and What does PURPLE sound like? by Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances). GODSPEED is a sci-fi film set in the future and it’s about a tech editor who refuses to believe that she is not human and must go to another planet to find her humanity. 

 I DIGRESS: The Intimate Insights of a Childhood Weirdo is a performance memoir consisting of four episodes that explores memory, and inheritance through 15 stories from Jackson’s childhood. 

(construct)Clearing opens up conversations about movement, labor, intention and care. The dialogue seeks to understand how individuals repeat family patterns of silence and separation. 

What does PURPLE sound like? celebrates the joy found in a place specifically public housing communities in New York City.  Longtime residents share their stories to reveal strategies of survival and lasting cultural traditions to change public discourse and policy. 

The festival concludes on Friday, July 8th with a screening of In Our Mothers’Gardens on the front lawn of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. The evening will start at 7 PM with a community circle and discussion about themes in the film before the actual screening. The critically acclaimed documentary showcases Black women and the stories about their mothers and how those experiences contribute to self-healing. 

For more information about the festival go to: