The Harlem Stories Project

Capturing the energy of Harlem.

A grid of squares and rectangles with a geometric pattern in various colors, including deep purple, teal, red, and white. The shapes are arranged in a seemingly random yet balanced pattern, with red and teal blocks interspersed among the dominant purple squares.


Harlem is a vibrant multiethnic neighborhood. With thousands of stories to tell, its history is central to the story of America. Despite the changing face of the neighborhood as it experiences rapid gentrification, many of Harlem’s children live in poverty, and many of its public schools operate on tight budgets with limited opportunities for arts and theater.

Storefront with three large windows displaying posters. Each poster has symbols and slogans. The left reads, "Make an impact for Harlem," the middle states, "Interact and create for Harlem," and the right says, "Illuminate the facts for Harlem." A bicycle is parked outside.
A woman with long brown hair is standing sideways, holding a beige tote bag over her shoulder. The bag has colorful text that reads "THE TILE HEALING PROJECT" and is filled with purple and orange flowers. The background is plain and white.
A booklet titled "The Harlem Story Project" with the tagline "Act. Lead. Change." is shown. The cover features a colorful, abstract map design in blue, red, and green geometric shapes. The booklet appears to be lying flat on a white surface.
A collection of circular pins featuring various colorful designs and text. Pins include illustrations and words such as "Leadership," "Collaboration," "Social Change," "Storytelling," and "Harlem Stories Project." The designs are vibrant and abstract.
Two individuals are wearing white T-shirts with colorful designs. The left person wears a T-shirt with an abstract pattern and text "The Healthy Project" in the bottom corner, under a blue denim jacket. The right person wears a T-shirt with graphics and text "Act, Lead, Change.

The opportunity

The Harlem Stories Project was created by two young New York City public school teachers to help Harlem’s youth create original live theatre pieces based on the stories of the neighborhood. Through the process of developing and performing plays, The Harlem Stories Project will enable the young people of Harlem to cultivate their leadership skills, promote and participate in local activism for the betterment of their community, and build a pathway to higher education.

The image shows two large advertisements in an urban setting. The left ad on a building features the text "Make an impact for Harlem" next to a colorful logo. The right ad at a bus stop says "Form your character for Harlem" with a similar colorful logo.

Harlem proud

The branding system we have created is born out of Harlem itself. Inspired by Harlem’s street grid, its murals and its theater marquees, the brand embodies the energy and dynamism of the neighborhood. The staggered, stenciled typography embodies confident urgency and youthful urbanity.

A large building facade displays a colorful billboard for the "Harlem Stories Project" with the tagline "Act. Lead. Change." The billboard features a geometric, multicolored map. Bicycles are parked in front of the building beside large glass windows.

Project Credits

Project Team
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