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Anthony Harper, Co-Founder of Purposefully Ridiculous



Anthony Harper “Harp”, like James Brown, “was born in New York City on a Monday”, (Brooklyn actually).  Raised in a super, loving, high energy household by a deeply spiritual West Indian Baptist minister mother, Harp was the youngest of 7 siblings.

There was always music in the household; gospel, soca, calypso, reggae, R&B, house music and eventually rap. Dance parties and talent shows at the home were a staple of his childhood, with any combination of 14 nieces, nephews,  and siblings joining together to make up beats, rhymes, poems, dance routines, costumes and art. They were encouraged to be creative and free. “I became comfortable in my own skin and level of creative expression, and began putting portions of myself out into the world.” 

From freshman year of high school, Harp had his own style. With his sister’s help, he designed and made his own clothes and accessorized with his mom’s hats and scarves as belts and headwraps.  For a time he rocked a NUK pacifier as a pendant. 

After proving his academic focus, his mother allowed Harp to delve into the group performance art known as “American Football”. After being initially denied acceptance to the team, Harp went on to be the Captain of his High School and College teams. Harp graduated from Wagner College celebrating victories in 2 of 3 NCAA Division 1AA Championships and receiving multiple academic honors, including being named Dr. Bill Mazzei Student Scholar Athlete in 1994. Harp continued to be a dominant defensive presence, playing for semi-pro teams in Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin. Harp celebrated three undefeated Iron Bowl Championships with the Madison Mustangs from 2009-2011.

Months after graduating from college, Harp joined his brother Jaeson and best friend Audley Wiggan Jr. to create the acoustic R&B group, Intrigue. Intrigue were the first act to sign a record deal with what would become Universal Records. Their album, Acoustic Soul, was released in 1996 and led to an international tour spanning Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan & 40 of the US states including Hawaii. Some of Harp’s favorite Intrigue memories are working with Paul Simon, singing with Stevie Wonder and the filming of the video If You’ve Ever Been In Love in Newfoundland, CA.

Desiring some warmth after the shade of the music industry, Harp returned to his roots and became a teacher at the elementary school of his youth, PS 119. Harp was passionate about working with children and continued teaching Kindergarten and the 1st grade after moving to Baltimore. Harp sought to engage students of any ability, at all readiness levels. He celebrated them for their unique energies and personalities. Mr. Harper’s former students and parents credit him for creating a safe, supportive, loving environment that encouraged growth and successfully challenged students with varied learning styles.  

Harp’s career and impact continue to take innovative turns. For five years he owned and operated, Custom Creations, a construction company providing services across the Mid Atlantic. Over the past twelve years, Harp has been connecting families, friends, and communities by managing telecommunications projects across the United States. 

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