Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance to honor Elvis Nolasco, Patricia Cruz, Liz Ritter and Maggie Hernández-Knight at the Uptown Arts Stroll opening on May 31st

For immediate release

Contact: Joanna E. Castro, Acting Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, (212) 567-4394, [click to reveal email]

New York, 4 April 2017 — Washington Heights native and award winning actor Elvis Nolasco, the Executive Director of Harlem Stage and Aaron Davis Hall Patricia Cruz, the Chair of Community Board 12’s Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, and uptown artist, dancer and entrepreneur Maggie Hernández-Knight will be honored at the opening reception of the 15th Uptown Arts Stroll on Wednesday, May 31st, from 6:00 to 8:30pm at the United Palace on Broadway and West 175th Street.

The acting career of Elvis Nolasco started in a small theater room at George Washington High School and has included critically acclaimed roles in the hit comedy I LIKE IT LIKE THAT with Rita Moreno and Lauren Valez, and IN SEARCH OF A DREAM the number one grossing independent Latino film. Mr. Nolasco is cast in the ABC hit series AMERICAN CRIME by John Ridley and has appeared in several Spike Lee films.

Patricia Cruz recently completed a $26 million campaign to restore Harlem Stage, a 30-year old arts institution, and has raised millions for arts programming as the Executive Director of Harlem Stage and Aaron Davis Hall since 1998. Ms. Cruz led the campaign to renovate the Gatehouse, a 100-year old landmark, adjacent to Aaron Davis Hall, which was completed in 2006 and serves as a community catalyst.

A community dynamo and 34-year Washington Heights resident, Elizabeth Lorris Ritter is the Chair of Community Board 12’s Parks & Cultural Affairs Committee. Ms. Ritter was an early supporter of funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, which created the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. She currently serves as UP Theater Company’s Board President, and is the founding President of the Hudson Heights Owners Coalition.

Maggie Hernández-Knight developed a passion and her well-known signature skills as an abstract artist at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Born and raised in Washington Heights, the founder of JourneySpace, a studio that offered a wide variety of dance and movement classes, Ms. Hernández-Knight recently opened ButterflyMyst LLC and offers art-making workshops and a unique style of ballet barre.

Joanna E. Castro, Acting Executive Director of NoMAA said, “Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance is proud to announce the honorees for the 2017 Uptown Arts Stroll. The honorees are four outstanding individuals whose home and work are inspired by the cultural richness, diversity and inclusivity of northern Manhattan.” The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to cultivate, support and promote the works of artists and arts organizations in northern Manhattan. NoMAA facilitates the creation of new works by both emerging and established artists, encourages public dialogue, engagement, and collective reflection around issues that affect upper Manhattan’s cultural community.

The Uptown Arts Stroll is a month-long arts festival from May 31 to June 30, 2017 that showcases performances and exhibitions by the rapidly growing Northern Manhattan arts community from West 135th Street to West 220th Street. The Uptown Arts Stroll started in 2003 as a one-day volunteer-organized event and is produced annually by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance since 2008. For more information about the Uptown Arts Stroll, please see