Uzeeum 2016 Guest Contributor: Ramon Hervey II

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WHO: Ramon Hervey II, CEO, Hervey & Company.

BIO: Ramon Hervey II is a seasoned veteran and entrepreneur of the entertainment business who has founded several internationally and highly-regarded entities under the umbrella of  Hervey & Company, including boutique public relations and management companies, and a live event production company (R & B LIVE). Over the past three decades, he has represented a bevy of superstar clientele as a manager or publicist including; Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, the late artists’ Luther Vandross, Natalie Cole, Michael Jackson (with the Jacksons) and Rick James, pus George Benson, Herb Alpert, The Bee Gees, Little Richard, Vanessa Williams, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and the late contemporary gospel legend, Andrae Crouch, to name just a few.  Hervey has also delved in the television and film arenas. He served as Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning documentary, “Chisholm 72’, Unbought & Unbossed,” (based on Shirley Chisholm’s historical run for President in 1972). He also served as Music Supervisor for the NAACP Image Award-winning documentary film, “Free Angela,” (about pop culture icon and activist Angela Davis) and “Hot Flash Havoc,” an award-winning documentary about menopause  that was broadcast nationally on PBS-TV earlier this year.  Hervey is proud father to three children and currently resides in Harlem, New York. He will be featured in article entitled, “Epic Dad’s” in a special limited edition of Dapper Dad Magazine that will be published this summer.

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“It is very important to me that our Guest Contributor series reflect a diversity of perspectives, from museum lovers who represent every corner and walk of life, both across our city and across the world.  So without further ado, I am thrilled to present the second installation in our Guest Contributor series featuring world renown entertainment industry icon, Ramon Hervey II” – Chrissy

C: Let’s just jump right in, what’s your favorite NYC museum?

R: I don’t have a favorite, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum are very high on my list.  The Met is one of the oldest museums in New York and their exhibits represent a  global perspective of art that dates back to the origins of mankind. It’s such a magnificent structure. I’m always awestruck and feel like I’m traveling back in time. The Brooklyn Museum is a bit more progressive. They seem to  understand the importance of attracting and engaging an audience who may feel museums do not adequately serve and represent them. I really like the way they fuse classic art with contemporary art created by emerging and avant-garde artists. They also curate and program events and music series in the evening, which makes it easier for the working community to enjoy.

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Ramon recommends: Agitprop! On exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum until 8/7/2016.*“In my role as a manager, I’ve always encouraged artists and entertainers to define and use their voice to support social justice issues they are passionate about, and this exhibit looks like a really interesting deep dive into that topic.”

C: Do you have a favorite museum memory?

R: Definitely, the first time I went to the Louvre. I was totally overwhelmed and stunned. The Louvre is such a spectacular architectural structure and the scope and magnitude of the artwork is breath-taking. Once you’re inside, it feels endless. Just when you think you’ve reached the end, there’s another amazing exhibit or gallery to explore.  There’s also something very special about finally being able to view and have a first-hand experience with some of the most famous artwork ever created – Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, etc.

C: What was the last museum you visited? What was the occasion?

R: Earlier this year the Met presented a wide range of guest speakers to celebrate the opening of the Met Breuer, (which is a 9 minute walk from the Fifth Avenue location). My friend’s Gina Belafonte, was one of the featured 9-minute guest speakers.  Gina’s comments regarding her emotional connection to art were particularly relevant to me and I was just happy to be there to show my support. She is the Co-Director of Sankofa.org, which is an entertainment artist driven, social justice non-profit organization founded by her iconic father, Harry Belafonte. I served as a management consultant to the organization for about a year and half. I helped them to develop and launch their brand identity and enlist some of the  artist’s who committed to support their core mission and fundraising efforts.

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Ramon recommends: ‘The Louis Armstrong House Collection’ part of the permanent collection of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens.** “I may be wrong, but I think Louis Armstrong was probably the first African-American jazz musician to cross-over and achieve a level of fame as a bonafide “superstar” that was previously unheard for anyone of his ilk. And yet he maintained this rather modest home with his wife Lucille Armstrong in this sleepy neighborhood in Queens. I’m looking forward to exploring this time capsule.”

C: I understand that you have arrived in NYC by way of Chicago, California and Chappaqua, what is your favorite NYC experience?

R: I’ve lived in Harlem for the last four years, and it’s the first time in my life that I haven’t owned a car. So, during the weekends in the summer, my favorite ritual is riding my bike across Harlem to the West Side Highway to play a pick-up game of basketball. It’s a great way to exercise,  intimately experience the streets, take in the changing scenery, get a view of the Hudson, and experience the multicultural kaleidoscope of people who are out enjoying the natural beauty that New York offers as an urban environment.

C: Favorite brunch location?

R: El Paso Taqueria, which is  an intimate, funky, authentic Mexican spot that’s in my hood in the upper east side. Great margaritas and amazing comfort food.  One of my favorite’s for a lazy weekend meal.

C: Most romantic NYC recommendation?

R: It’s hard to beat a casual picnic at any of the parks in the city, especially Central Park.  It’s a private and public experience all rolled into one. You get to create your own space, chill on your blanket, drink, eat, read, etc. Yet  you’re sharing a natural habitat with as many as 1 million other NY’ers, who are out there to relax, frolic and basically do the same thing. That juxtaposition is uniquely cool and can be very romantic if you’re with the right person.

C: What are you reading right now?

R: Mostly business contracts and documentation, which is pitiful.

C: What music is on your playlist in heavy rotation?

R: Lion Babe, Prince, Sweet Honey in the Rock

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Ramon recommends: ‘Benefit Concert: Beirut’ Concert at BRIC 8/2/2016 @6:30 pm.*** “I love and admire creative expression, and feel museums are vestibules for some of the most revered art and artists in the history of mankind. From what I understand BRIC leads the charge for free cultural programming in Brooklyn and their center is a gallery/recording studio/ cafe. They seem to be really connected to the community in which they operate so I’m interested to see whatever it is they curate.”

C: Who do you stalk on Instagram?

R: I don’t really stalk anyone, but I enjoy following my friends and family pretty closely.  My daughter is a recording artist in a group called Lion Babe, so I try to check out her posts to stay abreast of  all her activities, whether it’s a live concert, photo shoot or media break. And it’s fun to share and view  images of my friends, cool events, funny pics and videos that help keep me informed and in the loop.

C: What NYC street food are you most likely to eat?

R: Hot dog or hot sausage with mustard and relish or a falafel in pita bread.

C: Which museum is on your bucket list?

R: I’d love to check out the Jimi Hendrix Museum (EMP Museum in Seattle Washington).  He’s my all-time favorite artist/musician. I have an extensive catalog of his albums, several images and paintings, books, and other memorabilia that I’ve collected over the years. I’ve read that his museum houses the largest collection of rare artifacts, photographs, hand-written lyrics and other personal memorabilia from his life, so it would be a special treat to visit it one day.

C: What else do you collect?

R: Limited edition and one-off, art-deco poster prints that feature iconic African American stars like Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eartha Kitt  and Harry Belafonte. Most of them are rare movie posters from foreign releases of films they starred in as young stars.

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Ramon recommends: 36th Annual Antique Motorcycle Show on Sunday, 9/18/2016, 11 am – 4 pm at Queens County Farm Museum.*^* “Ever since my son Devin was in his single digits, we had a father/son tradition of attending the annual auto show at the Jacob Javitz Center. I’ve always been fascinated by motorcycles too, this long running show looks like it will be a fun event, and maybe I can convince my son to come too.”

C: Has there ever been an exhibit that you have felt compelled to visit on multiple occasions?

R: The Rise of Sneaker Culture at the Brooklyn Museum, which chronicled the evolution and history of the sneaker from its inception to the present. My son is a burgeoning fashion designer and digital artist, and is hoping launch his own sneaker line in the near future. A close friend of mine  who knows he loves sneakers, turned me on to the exhibit. So, I went to check it out, liked it and told my son next time he was visiting from LA, I’d take him to see it. He brought his best friend from high school, and they really enjoyed it.

C:  It was lovely speaking with you.  Thanks so much for your time.

R: This was fun.  Anytime.

 

For the full list of Guest Contributor profiles visit here and follow the conversation on social media using #MyMuseumMuse

Interested in being a Guest Contributor? Send us an email at info@uzeeum.com

PHOTO CREDITS & DISCLAIMERS

*Dread Scott (American, born 1965). Performance still from On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, 2014. Pigment print, 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x76.2 cm). Project produced by More Art. Collection of the artist, Brooklyn. © Dread Scott. (Photo: Mark Von Holden Photography. © Dread Scott)

** Copyright © 2016 Louis Armstrong House Museum

*** Copyright © 2016 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

*^* Copyright © 2016 Queens County Farm

 

 

 

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