Two Harlem businesses — one new, one resurgent — turned to an NBA champion to help them begin making good on their plans to bring more programming to the community.
Miami Heat hoops star Dwyane Wade signed copies of his new book, “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball” on Wednesday night at the brand new — and not quite finished — My Image Studios (MIST) Harlem.
The kick-off event at MIST Harlem, located at the Kalahari Condominiums on W. 116th St., was co-sponsored by Hue-Man Bookstore, a popular Harlem business that closed in July, ending a 10-year run.
When it’s completed, MIST Harlem will be a nearly 300-seat arts and entertainment space replete with a 130-seat restaurant and bar.
Plans for the venue, which will cater its programming to what its founders called the African and Latino diaspora, were in the works for nearly four years and MIST Harlem CEO Roland Laird said he’s thrilled to have it in Harlem.
“This is a place where culture emanates from,” said Laird, whose partners include developers Carlton Brown and Walter Edwards (both are founders of Full Spectrum; Edwards is also the chairman of the Harlem Business Alliance). “It’s very important to have a place that’s centered in African and Latino culture.”
He said there are plans to host independent film screenings, poetry nights and comedy shows. The $21 million, 20,000-square-foot space appears far from completion, but the partners say it will be finished in time for a Def Poetry Jam showcase on Sept. 27.