OUR MISSION at Mama Foundation for the Arts is to present, preserve, and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, and R&B music for current and future generations. The Foundation has established a cultural space in Harlem where youth and adults have access to quality training and employment as performing artists at no cost. 

WE BELIEVE gospel music is the bedrock of all popular music birthed out of the American 20th Century landscape. As keepers of this legacy, it is our responsibility to nurture new voices in African-American culture through the development of viable platforms for artists to celebrate our musical heritage. 


Vy Higginsen's name has been associated with gospel, jazz, and R&B music for years. As one of New York City's premiere radio disc jockeys, she has built a solid reputation for identifying good music and developing a sound that resonates with music lovers. This knack led her and her producing partner, Ken Wydro, to create the legendary musical, Mama I Want to Sing in 1983. Mama was an international hit and is one of the longest running musicals in the history of American theater. 

Many consider the success of Mama to be the start of Mama Foundation. However, it wasn't until Vy's own daughter's school cut art programming from the curriculum that she decided to make a change.

Inspired by world tours of Mama I Want to Sing in Europe, the Caribbean, Japan, and the United States, where the music liberated children on the margins; Vy Higginsen created Mama Foundation for the Arts to help re-establish Harlem as an artistic and cultural centerpiece of the world. 

149 West 126th Street Harlem, New York 10027   212.280.1045

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