Society HAE Brings Art and Music to Harlem

Ngozi Odita, 35, is Nigerian and lives in Brooklyn. She is the founder of Society HAE (Harriet’s Alter Ego) – a nod to abolitionist Harriet Tubman. After her clothing store, by the same name, closed down in Brooklyn last year, she began opening pop-up shops.

Most recently, she held a “Shop ‘n Mingle” event at her Harlem PoP store, which is housed in a hidden gem-like space owned by the National Black Theater, which is also on the same block.

While she says she doesn’t paint on a canvas and can’t sew to save her life, she considers herself an artist. “I transform spaces, that’s my art.”

Through her organization she hopes to bring art and music to communities of color in New York City and beyond. And, in turn, she hopes to give artists a venue to exhibit and sell their work.

“Galleries are fine and museums are fine, but in my opinion I feel like art belongs to the people,” said Odita. “You shouldn’t have to pay a price to experience it.”

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About Amy Stretten 4 Articles
I have wanted to be a broadcast journalist since I was in the 4th grade. The year was 1994 and I was 9 years old when I wrote an article about the 6.6 Northridge, California earthquake for a class assignment. I was selected to film a field report for a children’s news show that aired on a local public access channel in Los Angeles, California. I attended a public bi-lingual Spanish immersion elementary school. Though much of my schoolwork was done in Spanish, I wrote and read this news story in English. I felt so powerful holding a microphone, standing in front of a video camera, knowing others wanted to hear my story. My tribe, the Chickahominy tribe of Virginia has many stories to tell and I want to be one of our storytellers. I come from a very unique and multi-cultural background and have lived in a variety of places (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Madrid and Seville, Spain, a little town called South Hadley in Massachusetts, and now New York City), so I feel I can identify with a wide range of people. I have traveled throughout Europe and North America and look forward to traveling to other countries I have yet to explore. I am currently a student at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. I expect to graduate with a Master's degree in Journalism in December 2011. After earning my degree, I hope to work as a correspondent for a cable news network. To read some of my most recent work, check out my blog:

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