HARLEM, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Harlem Festival of Culture – the modern-day reimagining of the groundbreaking Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 – today announced that Jordan Brand Chairman and one of the most successful Black businessmen in the country, Larry Miller, has been appointed Strategic Advisor to the organization. In this new role, Miller – who led Nike’s Jordan Brand from a $200 Million sneaker company to a $4 Billion global apparel juggernaut – will advise on every aspect of the business to ensure that it is operating at optimal efficiency and to support HFC’s continued growth trajectory as well as advise on long term brand strategy.
“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Larry as Strategic Advisor to the Harlem Festival of Culture! As we are in the midst of building out the creative vision for the Festival, we recognized the need on the business side to have guidance and support for this next phase of growth and development,” said HFC Co-Founder and Technical & Talent Producer Yvonne McNair. “Larry’s extensive experience and expertise in brand building will be invaluable to HFC in this inaugural year. He also sees the vision of what we are trying to accomplish and the fact that he is willing to help us get there is monumental. We look forward to his strategic insights and guidance and working closely with him as he helps identify key areas of focus for HFC’s strategic plan.”
“I am thrilled to join HFC in the capacity of Strategic Advisor. Throughout my career, I’ve always gravitated toward brands that have the opportunity to make a significant impact on a cultural level and providing a path forward for them to reach their full potential,” said Miller. “With Harlem Festival of Culture, there is so much to unlock from a business perspective as the market has literally not seen anything like this since 1969. I definitely see the vision and the immense opportunity for growth. My goal is to work with them so that they can take this to the next level.”
With over 30 years of global experience in executive leadership, Larry Miller has worked with some of the country’s biggest brands throughout his storied career including Campbell Soup Company, Kraft Foods, Philadelphia Newspapers and Jantzen, Inc. In 1997, he joined Nike Inc. as Vice President and General Manager overseeing Nike Basketball and Converse. Following his successful hotel suite pitch to basketball icon Michael Jordan, Miller served as President of Jordan Brand from 1999 to 2006 and helped to expand the brand, nearly doubling its revenue during his tenure. Subsequently, he went on to become President of the Portland Trail Blazers where he remained for five years before returning to his previous role as President of Jordan Brand for 8 years.
Currently, Miller serves as the Chairman of Jordan Brand. Most recently, he added author to his list of titles with the release of his memoir, Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom. The book tells the remarkable and harrowing story of his journey from the violent streets of West Philly in the 1960s to the highest echelons of American sports and industry. More than a rags-to-riches story, Jump is a passionate appeal for criminal justice reform and expanded educational opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people across the United States as told through Miller’s powerful personal story.
The addition of Larry Miller as Strategic Advisor continues HFC’s expansion of its executive team including the recent announcement of music legend and business mogul Michael L. Bivins as Creative Director.
Launched in April, 2022, the Harlem Festival of Culture was created to recapture and return the heart of the historic Harlem Cultural Festival held in 1969 to the community and to showcase the vibrancy and creative energy of today’s Harlem. The original festival was a pivotal moment in Black history that fell into obscurity for over 50 years and inspired Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s acclaimed Oscar winning concert documentary film Summer of Soul (…Or When the Revolution Could Not be Televised).
With this reimagining, Harlem Festival of Culture will celebrate Black culture through cultural & economic development programming delivered at the nexus of live music and entertainment, a vibrant cultural destination, and innovative social impact. HFC’s first annual celebration will consist of a series of live entertainment event experiences and social and economic development programming, culminating with a multi-day outdoor music festival to be held at Marcus Garvey Park in Summer, 2023 in homage to the original event.
About Harlem Festival of Culture
Harlem Festival of Culture (HFC) is a cultural festival series dedicated to presenting world class live programming that celebrates and preserves the cultural contributions of the black Diaspora in music, media, art, fashion and entertainment. HFC seeks to reclaim Harlem’s legacy as a premier destination for Live Cultural and Music entertainment; while creating an ecosystem to foster health and economic prosperity for Harlem’s diverse communities, artists and entrepreneurs.