Brad Learmonth is an award-winning arts professional whose distinguished career has spanned over three decades. In 2014, he received the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming, from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. For 28 years, Mr. Learmonth called Harlem Stage his professional home. While there, he was at the forefront of developing a multi-program platform of support and presentation for visionary artists of color of all disciplines and at all points in their careers, including WaterWorks, a commissioning and producing initiative giving support to large scale new works developed in long-term residencies. He initiated and oversaw the commissioning of over 150 artists and served as producer on major works since 2001. The artists he worked with created innovative and risk-taking work, unafraid to address the complexities of our humanity and the issues of our world through the transformative lens of arts and engagement with communities. Those artists included: Sekou Sundiata, Carl Hancock Rux, Craig Harris, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Little Jimmy Scott, Nancy Wilson, Bill T. Jones, Kyle Abraham, Nora Chipaumire, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Geri Allen, Nona Hendryx, Ashford and Simpson, Cassandra Wilson, José James, Tania León, Maya Angelou, Roger Guenveur Smith, Randy Wilson, Henry Threadgill and Cecil Taylor. (See list of artists and projects below)
Mr. Learmonth continues to walk that edge in his independent role as Brad@Large and works with artists and arts organizations as a creative advisor, executive producer and project manager. He serves on the New York City Arts Education Roundtable Diversity Task Force. In addition to his work in the arts, Brad is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister and serves on the board of One Spirit Learning Alliance in NYC.
Projects commissioned, developed, produced and presented at Harlem Stage (selected list in order of most recent)
Stew and Heidi Rodewald - Notes of a Native Song. Commissioned and produced by Harlem Stage, Notes was the culminating presentation of a 14-month celebration of James Baldwin, a city-wide program initiated by Harlem Stage, with partners Columbia University, New York Live Arts, The New School, New York University and others. World Premiere, June 2015.
Carl Hancock Rux – Stranger on Earth. A chance encounter between James Baldwin and Dinah Washington, with Rux and Marcelle Davies Lashley. Commissioned and Produced by Harlem Stage for the James Baldwin celebration. World premiere, May 2015.
MAKANDAL – Commissioned and produced by Harlem Stage. A contemporary opera conceived and written by Carl Hancock Rux, Composed by Yosvany Terry, Visual Design by Edouard Duval Carrie, directed by Lars Jan. Work-in-progress showings 2012-2014. On hiatus pending further funding.
Cecil Taylor, a celebration of the Master with Cecil Taylor, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Amina Claudine Myers, Amiri Baraka, Tholem McDonas. May 2012
Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd – Holding It Down: The Veteran’s Dreams Project. Commissioned and co-produced by Harlem Stage. World Premiere September 2012.
Kyle Abraham/Abraham in Motion – Pavement. Lead commissioner. World Premiere, November 2012.
Jason Moran and Meshell Ndegecello – The Fats Waller Dance Party. Commissioned and co-produced by Harlem Stage. World premiere, May 2011.
Nora Chipaumire and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar – visible. A new multi-disciplinary dance work commissioned by Harlem Stage. World premiere October 2013.
Works commissioned and premiered for the opening of the Harlem Stage Gatehouse in 2017:
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company – Chapel Chapter
Sekou Sundiata – the 51st (dream) state
Tania Leon – Reflections
Roger Guenveur Smith – Who Killed Bob Marley?