Kerry Washington – Thicker Than Water, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Photo credit: Shahar Azran/The Apollo

The festival brought out celebrities and cultural movers Kerry Washington, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dr. Yaba Blay, Jordan E. Cooper, Bisa Butler, Tarana Burke, Ghetto Gastro, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Barry Jenkins, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Thelma Golden, Lena Waithe, and more.

Musical performances by Nite Bjuti, Peter Collins, Nia Drummond, Stefon Harris, Candice Hoyes, Justin Hicks, Mimi Jones, Val Jeanty, Kenita R. Miller, Endea Owens, Ami Taf Ra and Kamasi Washington, The HawtPlates

Over the weekend of Oct. 6-8, 2023, celebrities, artists, cultural movers, and festival goers met [at] The Intersection, The Apollo’s inaugural festival of arts & ideas curated by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The festival was a culmination of Coates’ times as The Apollo’s first artist-in-residence. 

In addition to the panels and talks, attendees had the unique opportunity to network with “Between the Talks” programs and enjoy curated performances from emerging and legendary artists. 

Check out our top 20 quotable moments from Saturday & Sunday on our Scene & Heard [at] The Intersection blog:

About Ta-Nehisi Coates  

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer, currently holding the Sterling Brown Chair in the Department of English at Howard University. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful StruggleWe Were Eight Years in Power, The Water Dancer, and Between the World and Me. He is a recipient of a National Magazine Award, a National Book Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

About The Apollo  

The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In 2024, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here: 

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo100The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations. 

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R. D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit

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