Through its New Horizons initiative, Erie Arts & Culture has provided funding to The Burleigh Legacy Alliance to launch the inaugural Harry T. Burleigh Week in Erie on December 2, 2019. Throughout the week, Burleigh, an Erie native and internationally renowned African American singer, composer, and music editor, will be formally honored by the City of Erie with a proclamation making December 2nd, Harry T. Burleigh Day in Erie, Pennsylvania on the 153rd anniversary of his birth.
Leading up to the event, the Burleigh Legacy Alliance has worked closely with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission to create an updated historical marker for Harry T. Burleigh, replacing the historical marker located near the Erie Insurance campus. The newly cast marker will include additional information about Burleigh, clearly stating that Burleigh was African American - a fact that was omitted from the original marker.
Burleigh celebration events are scheduled throughout the week, led by an array of community partners. Additionally, the Burleigh Legacy Alliance and Erie Arts & Culture will create a pop-up Burleigh exhibit and bookstore at 423 State Street (former Erie Art Museum Frame Shop), thanks to the Erie Downtown Development Corporation. Visitors to the exhibit will learn, first-hand, about Burleigh’s legacy and will have the opportunity to purchase books that document the life and career of an Erie, hometown hero. Dr. Jean E. Snyder’s book Harry T. Burleigh: from the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance will be one of the books available for purchase. CDs featuring the Episcopal Cathedral of St Paul Choir available for a donation.