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Harlem School of the Arts Supports Next Generation of Artists and Performers with AVN | SYS


Leading A/V design and integration firm brings versatile sound reinforcement to historic arts space

For more than fifty years, the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) has been a crucial community hub of arts education and activity within the historic neighborhood. In 2020, the school received a generous donation from the Herb Alpert foundation and undertook an ambitious renovation dubbed “The Renaissance Project” as a way to revitalize the facility’s main  performance spaces, and key infrastructure. To ensure that the space would continue to inspire and serve Harlem’s next generation of artists and performers, the HSA design team retained the services of leading A/V design and integration firm AVN|SYS to implement the crucial sound reinforcement and lighting upgrades.

A rich history poised to enter the future
Key to the redesign of HSA was the transformation of its signature lobby into a multi-faceted performance space in order to accommodate the wide range of musical, dance, and performing arts disciplines that the school champions. Doing so would increase the school’s capacity of supporting these programs as well as ensure its long-term usefulness as a community gathering place within the community. “Having a space that can speak to multiple implementations is what will allow us to continue to evolve alongside the needs of our community and be at the forefront of arts and music education in the city,” said an HSA spokesperson. “We needed maximum flexibility in how we could use the performance space and how we could ‘dial’ the sound in.”

Acoustic architectural consulting and design firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG) led the acoustic overhaul of the space with a bold vision that emphasized versatility and ease of use. In order bring this vision to life, WSDG turned to regular partners AVN|SYS for the design and install of the spaces’ A/V and lighting technology. “We put a lot of thought into different use scenarios when designing the space to provide HSA with the flexibility to present an extremely wide range of performances without requiring a large production support team,” said WSDG Partner/COO Joshua Morris. “AVN | SYS has been a frequent collaborator of ours in systems design and we were thrilled to bring their expertise to this project.”

“HSA has a rich history of supporting up-and-coming performers in the Harlem community and tristate area for half a century, and with this upgrade they can continue to serve that community indefinitely,” said AVN | SYS Founder PK Pandey. “We were very proud to be included in this project and bring our integration expertise to the elegant system designs that WSDG created.”