New York, NY (July 20, 2023) – Back by popular demand and named as one of New York’s Best Things To Do! by Timeout New York, National Black Theatre (NBT) announces the second annual Learn to Love Yourself: Silent Disco & Portrait Series. A community-centric experience, this annual event is inspired by a quote from NBT’s founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, fundamentally encouraging people to, “Learn to Love [themselves].” Join NBT on three consecutive Saturdays from August 19 through September 2 for this no-cost celebration that expands the access to art across New York City. This event will take place in partnership with Uptown Grand Central (UGC), Design Trust and Situ. This announcement additionally comes as a precursor to the full 56th season that will be shared in early August 2023.

Headphones will be provided for the outdoor dance party in tandem with a portrait photography series that will take place at the Metro North Harlem–125th Street underpass at 125th Street & Park Avenue station. The three-hour event will feature DJs and photographers that are all/femme-identifying artists. The line up of DJ’s that will take attendees on a sonic journey include DJs Crystal Simone, Duneska Saunnette, Dent, Robin Mark (aka DJ Poison Ivy), and Rimarkable. To provide community members the opportunity to have free portraits, NBT is also excited to have notable photographers such as Ayesha Kazim, Floradis Espinal and Maria J Hacket. To round out the creative offerings, NBT will be releasing never-before-heard archival assets (from the 1970s), recorded by some of the leading powerhouse voices from original ensemble members of NBT, The Liberators, entitled _“Chants of Liberation.”_ Curated and creatively driven by Nabii Faison, these chants will allow community members to listen to seminal text that has helped to _“Keep The Soul Alive ” at_ NBT for over half a century. These offerings are provided alongside a festive environment with free slushies and bubbles to keep us moving to the groove.

“In 1973 Dr. Teer declared that the path to liberation was entwined in learning to love ourselves. With that, she gave us the blueprint to move forward. This is the perfect way to gather during the summer! In sound we can speak life into the parts of ourselves that need it. It is through our image that we reflect that life as well,” said NBT CEO Sade Lythcott [1]. “This program is meant to be a celebration, a way of speaking LIFE into our community and our individual selves. To allow us to be captured, moved, and seen as the regal vessels we were crafted to be. Join us in polishing our crown, and let the vibrations of love heal

our community and reflect the power within.”

NBT and UGC welcomes all participants – from residents, artists, tourists, and anyone looking for something transformational to do in New York City. Learn to Love Yourself: Silent Disco & Portrait Series is driven by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s commitment to being “…bold and unconventional about her love of Black people,” and in keeping with her radical belief that loving “our Black selves” is the first step toward reclaiming the collective power needed to eliminate oppression.

This event is FREE and open to all.

Date(s): Saturday, August 19, August 26, and September 2

Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm ET

Location: The Park Avenue Underpass (Between 124th and 125th Streets)

Photos from Learn to Love Yourself (2022) by Eric Hart Jr.

About National Black Theatre

NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE (NBT) is a Tony and EMMY Award-nominated

institution founded in 1968 by the late visionary artist Dr. Barbara Ann

Teer. The nation’s first revenue-generating Black arts complex, NBT is

the longest-running Black theatre in New York City, one of the oldest

theatres founded and consistently operated by a woman of color in the

nation. In addition,  it has been included in the permanent collection

of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in

Washington, D.C. NBT’s core mission is to produce transformational

theatre that helps to shift the inaccuracies around African Americans’

cultural identity by telling authentic stories of Black lives. As an

alternative learning environment, NBT uses theatre arts as a means to

educate, enrich, entertain, empower and inform the national conscience

around current social issues impacting our communities. Under the

leadership of Sade Lythcott, CEO, and Jonathan McCrory, Executive

Artistic Director, NBT helps re-shape a more inclusive American theatre

field by providing an artistically rigorous and culturally sensitive

space for artists of color to experiment, develop, and present new work.

Working with trailblazing artists from Nona Hendrix to Jeremy O. Harris;

helping to launch the careers, most recently, of artists such as

Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Mfoniso Udofia, Saheem Ali, Lee Edward

Colston II, and Ebony Noelle Golden; and incubating Obie Award-winning

companies like The Movement Theatre Company and Harlem9’s 48Hours in

Harlem, NBT’s cultural production remains unparalleled.

Located in the heart of Harlem, NBT is embarking on a historic major

capital redevelopment project that will transform the current property

into a 21st-century destination for Black culture and theatre. NBT

welcomes more than 90,000 visitors annually; has produced 300+ original

works; won 2 Obie awards and 58 AUDELCO Awards; received a CEBA Award of

Merit; and has been nominated for multiple Drama Desk awards. NBT is

supported by grants from Booth Ferris Foundation, Open Society

Foundations, Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, Shubert

Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Mellon

Foundation, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation,

City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural

Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the

Arts, and private donations. Visit or follow

NBT on Facebook (@NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram