NEW YORK, NY – (August 16, 2021) – Thrillist, the #1 food, drink, and travel brand for consumers ages 18-34 [source: Comscore Media Matrix & Plan Metrix, Q3 2020], today announced a multi-platform creative partnership with Harlem’s Queen of Hospitality, Tren’ness Woods-Black – granddaughter of Sylvia Woods, founder of the iconic Harlem Soul Food Restaurant, Sylvia’s. The partnership marks Thrillist’s return to in-person events since the start of the pandemic and commitment to celebrating local culture and commerce, while giving back to the communities that made them vibrant. Thrillist’s newest experiential franchise, “Thrillist Block Party," kicks off in Harlem on Sunday, September 12th from 11a to 5p ET at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building plaza on 126th Street. Woods-Black will serve as the Executive Producer and ambassador of the event while shepherding the editorial storytelling alongside Thrillist's written, video and creative teams. Additionally, Thrillist and Woods-Black will develop “Cornbread & Conversations,” a new, unscripted TV series starring Tren’ness as the host, curator, and mistress of ceremonies for legendary dinner parties that embrace the relationship of cuisine and conversation.
"As we emerge from isolation due to the pandemic, we believe it’s more important than ever to reignite and support incredible local neighborhoods while bringing people together for a joyful celebration that we've all been missing out on for so long,” said Meghan Kirsch, Thrillist’s Chief Content Officer. “There is no neighborhood more vibrant, full of culture and built on community than Harlem, and no individual more emblematic of Harlem than Tren'ness. We are so excited to collaborate with her to bring the beauty of Harlem and celebrate its finest through her authentic point-of-view."
Thrillist’s multi-platform Block Party franchise kicks off in Harlem and will later tour U.S. cities including New Orleans, Atlanta and Los Angeles, each with their own unique editorial coverage spotlighting key neighborhoods with a collection of written profiles and features, local guides, a mid-form video series hosted by Tren’ness, and a pro-social local business accelerator program – all culminating in an IRL block party event featuring the best of local cuisine, performances and marquee programming.
On Sunday, September 12th, Thrillist Block Party in Harlem is presented by DoorDash and sponsored by Coca-Cola®, Corona Refresca, and Clorox. Attendees can expect an unforgettable neighborhood experience including a Black Greek Fraternity & Sorority Unity Stroll, Gospel open mic, Sundae Sermon DJ Set, Harlem Parade Vogue/Ballroom Exhibition with House of Miyake Mugler, roller-skating, pop-up performances, food trucks from Thrillist’s favorite Harlem restaurants, and a marketplace featuring local Black businesses.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all guests to enter the Block Party. If necessary, Thrillist will implement further COVID-19 safety measures that are in compliance with State and County requirements in order to protect its guests and staff.
Thrillist will also launch a variety of pro-social programs to help local businesses in Block Party cities recover from the pandemic’s economic impacts. In Harlem, four local Black businesses will be hand-picked by Tren’ness Woods-Black, Harlem Park to Park and the Harlem Business Alliance, to receive Thrillist resources including pro-bono creative marketing services, and millions of donated ad impressions on Thrillist’s website. Additionally, there will be a marketplace, “Shop Harlem Made,” powered by DoorDash and Harlem Park to Park’s Harlem Local Vendor Program, which will be an open air shopping venue with an array of vendors representing all corners of Harlem’s small business community. Four of these marketplace vendors will also receive monetary donations coupled with video and written profile pieces created by Thrillist as part of DoorDash's sponsorship.
“Our communities are the unbreakable thread that stitches neighborhoods together,” said Tren’ness Woods-Black, President and Chief Strategist of TWB LLC. “Block parties were created to celebrate that unique cultural essence, while giving a platform for local businesses and residents alike to thrive. As we kick off Sylvia’s road to 60 years, ‘Thrillist Block Party’ in Harlem will do just that, as the inaugural stop for this ultimate community party with a purpose.”
Thrillist and Woods-Black will also partner to creatively bring her ode to the Harlem Renaissance IP, “Cornbread & Conversations,” to life through a new, original TV series. The series is inspired by the epic dinner parties she has thrown throughout the years at Sylvia’s and features an eclectic assortment of celebrities, politicians, and influencers from the worlds of art, literature, entertainment, fashion and activism. Each episode will be driven by an overarching theme: from an unexpected venue choice, to the carefully selected guest list and special musical acts and surprise performances after dinner.
Thrillist is the #1 food, drink and travel brand for Gen Z and Millennials [source: Comscore Media Matrix & Plan Metrix, Q3 2020.] Thrillist serves as a guidebook for those that want new experiences and long to turn a good time into a great time. Our nonstop coverage of local culture inspires audiences to discover their world and celebrate every moment. In a serious world, we take fun seriously. In December 2016, Thrillist joined forces with NowThis, The Dodo, POPSUGAR and Seeker to form Group Nine Media -- a global top 10 publisher.
About Tren’ness Woods-Black:
Tren’ness Woods-Black is a sought-after advisor, personality and speaker in the culinary, lifestyle, philanthropic and business corridors. She is President and Chief Strategist of her eponymous corporation,Tren'ness Woods-Black, led by CPG & brand Creative Director, Delanie West, and Chief Curator of cultural salon series Cornbread and Conversations. Culinary royalty Tren’ness is the granddaughter of the Soul Food icon, Sylvia Woods - founder of Sylvia’s Restaurant and Food Products, where she serves as the Vice President of Communications and Strategic Partnerships. A celebrated hospitality industry champion with over twenty-five years of experience, The Queen of Hospitality has curated magical moments for A-listers such as Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, Whoopi Goldberg, Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Chris Rock and more. Woods-Black’s marketing talents have been shared with a diverse roster of corporations inclusive of BMG and J. Walter Thompson. TWB successful corporate partnerships include: Diageo, Target, Group Nine Media, and McNeil Nutritionals. Business / Hospitality Advisement Positions: Co-Chair of NYC and Company Culinary Board, Board Co-Chair at Harlem Park to Park, Executive Board of Directors of NYC Hospitality Alliance, Executive Board Member of the SHE CAN Foundation, Executive Board Member of Harlem Parade and Board Member of Governor Andrew Cuomo New York Forward Advisory Board. Currently, Woods-Black can be seen in the Netflix Series Worn Stories and Doordash’s Doordash Film Soul of the City.