Society HAE Brings Art and Music to Harlem

Ngozi Odita, 35, is Nigerian and lives in Brooklyn. She is the founder of Society HAE (Harriet’s Alter Ego) – a nod to abolitionist Harriet Tubman. After her clothing store, by the same name, closed down in Brooklyn last year, she began opening pop-up shops.

Most recently, she held a “Shop ‘n Mingle” event at her Harlem PoP store, which is housed in a hidden gem-like space owned by the National Black Theater, which is also on the same block.

While she says she doesn’t paint on a canvas and can’t sew to save her life, she considers herself an artist. “I transform spaces, that’s my art.”

Through her organization she hopes to bring art and music to communities of color in New York City and beyond. And, in turn, she hopes to give artists a venue to exhibit and sell their work.

“Galleries are fine and museums are fine, but in my opinion I feel like art belongs to the people,” said Odita. “You shouldn’t have to pay a price to experience it.”

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