Tag Archives: Queens Council on the Arts

Block party to be held at Kaufman Astoria Studios


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

To start off the summer, the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) will host a block party in the newly formed Kaufman Arts District filled with local artists, food and much more.

The QCA Block Party, which will take place on the first day of summer on Saturday, June 21 from 4 to 10 p.m., will be located at the backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios and feature musicians from Make Music New York, a barbecue throwdown by local restaurants, a poetry slam and an evening film screening.

In March, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District spans from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

This block party, which is expected to be the kickoff of more upcoming Astoria events, is QCA’s fourth Moveable Feast Artist Dinner event, which serves as a fundraiser to support the High School to Art School Portfolio Program.

Admission to the QCA Block Party will be $35. For more information click here.

 

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Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios celebrates successful opening


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

The Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios arrived with a boom this past weekend.

The city’s first-ever backlot market celebrated a successful grand opening on Sunday with thousands of people in attendance.

The Astoria Flea, a partnership between the LIC Flea & Food and Kaufman Astoria Studios, will operate from the studios’ outdoor lot, the first of its kind in the city, every Sunday for the next seven consecutive weeks.

Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 36th Street and 35th Avenue, visitors are welcomed by a brand-new 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

“Kaufman Studios was the perfect setting for Astoria Flea,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “It was exciting to see the community’s response with thousands of people attending and taking advantage of the amazing shopping and food vendors.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM OPENING WEEKEND

Visitors of all ages and from all over the city were able to enjoy the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more.

“We’re excited to be at Kaufman for the next seven Sundays and look forward to being an attraction for the neighborhood and a place for local residents to congregate,” Schneps said.

Photo courtesy of Kaufman Astoria Studios

In March, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

For this upcoming weekend, the LIC Flea & Food and Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will be the perfect locations to celebrate mothers. On Saturday, you can get some Mother’s Day shopping done in Long Island City and on Sunday, treat your mom to a relaxing day in Astoria.

Vendors, from small to big, can apply to sell at the market at www.LICFlea.com. For more information visit Facebook.com/AstoriaFlea or follow @AstoriaFlea on Twitter.

 

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Astoria Flea opens this weekend


| editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0246

The wait is finally over, Astoria!

Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria, a partnership between the LIC Flea and Kaufman Astoria Studios, is opening this Sunday, May 4.

The city’s first-ever backlot market, which was announced two months ago, will bring the community the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more.

The Astoria Flea will be located in the studio’s outdoor lot, the first of its kind in New York City, which opened up in December at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

“It will be a great place to experience in one place all the amazing food offerings, artists, crafts and boutiques that have blossomed all around Astoria and throughout western Queens,” said Tracy Capune, vice president of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “Having it on the back lot will allow people to see the Kaufman Astoria Studios campus, where you’re surrounded by all of this film history and the stages where shows like Orange is the New Black, Sesame Street and Alpha

Men are made. There isn’t another flea market like this in New York, or the country as far as I know.”

The market will operate every Sunday for eight consecutive weekends. Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 35th Avenue, visitors will be welcomed by a brand-new 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

Some vendors from the LIC Flea & Food, just a neighborhood away, will also set up a table at the Astoria Flea to offer the community the best in food, arts, clothing and much more.

Matthew Katakis, owner of Butcher Bar, has been an LIC Flea vendor favorite since it began last year. He will now bring his 14-hour smoked brisket and pulled pork, combination sandwich called The Monster and some other surprise items to the Astoria Flea, located just five blocks away from the Butcher Bar’s Astoria location at 37-08 30th Ave.

“We think the flea market is a good idea for the community in LIC and Astoria,” said Katakis. “It’s a great way to pass the day, meet new people, experience different cultures, types of food and vendors.”

The market, which is within walking distance from the M, R, N and Q train lines, is expected to act as an incubator to help promote and foster businesses along with the surrounding community.

“It will bring in people who have never been here before, but have maybe heard some of the buzz and have been wanting to check it out,” Capune said. “We expect people will roam and visit other stores and restaurants in the vicinity, so it will bring traffic to our neighbors in the Kaufman Arts District as well.”

Last month, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

Vendors can apply to sell at the Astoria Flea at www.LICFlea.com. Updates are available through Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstoriaFlea and Twitter at @AstoriaFlea.

 

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with rain showers at times. High near 45. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Friday night Rain likely. Low 42. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Artists Slam at 3rd Space

Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space presents a Queens Artists Slam. Young emerging Queens artists across a range of disciplines come together to share new work and works-in-progress as diverse as our borough itself. These multidisciplinary performance artists will explore the boundaries of poetry, comedy, sculpture, video art and music. Friday, April 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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City returns 3 white tigers to circus amid investigation

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NYPD search dogs to aid in Washington mudslide search

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Interactive map reveals what Google autocomplete says about New York boroughs

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David Letterman announces he will retire in 2015

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Kaufman Arts District is first of its kind in Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Astoria is ready for the world to know it’s the place to be for the arts.

The western Queens neighborhood gathered Friday to celebrate the announcement of the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The district was created in partnership with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Queens Council on the Arts.

During the announcement, the partners of the arts district received a proclamation from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer on behalf of the City Council.

The mission of the arts district will be “to advance and promote the area as a world class vibrant cultural destination and home for creative industries,” officials said.

“This corner of Queens has quickly become a vibrant community of cultural venues and arts organizations that have attracted some of our generation’s greatest artists,” Van Bramer said.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

“Over the years, Kaufman Astoria and western Queens have blossomed side by side into a citywide landmark and a neighborhood that doubles as a world-class destination for the arts,” Senator Michael Gianaris said.

Within the boundaries of the Kaufman Arts District are the Museums of the Moving Image, The Astor Room, Studio Square NYC, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas, the Astoria Performing Arts Center, and the Theater Development Fund’s Costume Collection.

“The creation of this arts district opens the community to more opportunities to experience the extensive creative activity in our midst,” said Carl Goodman, executive director of Museum of the Moving Image. “We’re going to really work together to bring this neighborhood to the next level.”

For more information on the arts district, visit here.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High near 50. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: A few clouds. Low 39. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts Presents Senses Transport

Queens Council on the Arts mixes up dance and food in the second Moveable Feast Artist Dinner Series which will raise money for a stop gap scholarship fund. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Fog and drizzle early…then rain. High 51. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Friday night: Cloudy with light rain early…then becoming partly cloudy. Low 33. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts presents “A Night with Dancers”

Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space is proud to present an evening with Queens-based dancers and choreographers Monica Hogan, Hazel Lever and Selma Treviño who will be performing works-in-progress. Artists and the culturally curious are invited to participate in an evening of movement and discussion, to help workshop works in progress and gain unique insight into the artistic process. Dancers are especially encouraged to join us for a unique networking and community building opportunity. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving. Read more: The Queens Courier

NY regulators approve Con Edison rate freeze

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NY lawmaker: Parents should take parenting classes

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After brief we warmup, winter to tighten grip with return of polar vortex

A brief warmup to the 50s over the next few days will be followed by another return of the polar vortex to the tri-state area and a chance of snow next week. Read more: NBC New York

CDC: More young people getting the flu than in any other age group

Flu season started early and strong this year, and on Thursday a new report revealed it’s hitting a different group of people especially hard. Read more: CBS New York

 

 

Op-ed: The western Queens renaissance: A burgeoning community on the rise


| oped@queenscourier.com

ASSEMBLYMEMBER ARAVELLA SIMOTAS

At its core, western Queens is a community built by small businesses. From the time the Steinway brothers built their first factory in the U.S. in 1853 to the television and film production and high-tech enterprises we see flourishing today, this part of New York City is firmly grounded in innovation and civic leadership. As a lifelong resident of Astoria and a New York State elected representative, I have been dedicated to ensuring that this wonderful community continues to thrive.

As we continue to recover from the economic downturn, western Queens has been a powerhouse of new ventures and a center for job creation. As the most diverse county in the United States, our borough is uniquely positioned to cultivate a dynamic hub of economic and cultural activity. The area is growing fast, with an influx of new families and workers eager to contribute and establish themselves in the neighborhood.

As the home to three film production studios, western Queens is also a driving force behind the continued strength of the New York City film industry. These studios and the movies and television they produce contribute thousands of jobs and untold indirect revenue and economic activity that benefit community residents. Located adjacent to the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the new home of the Queens Council on the Arts,  this part of the borough has become a veritable epicenter of arts and culture.

In addition to the hundreds of restaurants, boutiques, hardware stores and every imaginable variety of mom-and-pop stores, western Queens is a model for responsible innovation. The hard work of so many ensures that growth benefits all members of our community. Recently, construction began on the $125 million expansion and modernization project at Mt. Sinai Hospital. This new state of the art facility will be much better equipped to serve the growing population of new residents who will now enjoy expanded first-rate medical care in the heart of Astoria.

Our local seniors have also benefited from the construction and opening of the brand-new HANAC/PCA Residence, a 90-unit facility which will make affordable housing more accessible, especially important in a city with scarce land resources and a high demand for real estate.

Together with other local leaders, I have worked to ensure that our community welcomes these new waves of growth. I have made it a priority to keep our streets free of trash and our centers of commerce clean and welcoming for consumers. Working with concerned residents, I have also striven to preserve the family-oriented character of local neighborhoods so that our children can always feel safe and our small businesses can thrive.

I will always pledge to work both in the community and through my role in Albany to encourage and promote an environment conducive to the continued growth of western Queens. Working together with businesses, residents, and local institutions, we can ensure that our world-class neighborhood remains a beacon of economic and cultural development for decades to come.

Aravella Simotas represents parts of western Queens, including Astoria and parts of Long Island City in the New York State Assembly.

 

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Queens helps with de Blasio transition


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the Long Island City Partnership

Queens is taking part in Transition NYC.

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of 60 leaders and experts to his transition committee on Wednesday, November 20.

“My charge to the transition team is to identify women and men from every part of our city and walk of life that share a commitment to progressive and competent city government,” said de Blasio. “They will be advising me based on their wealth of experience and knowledge of specific issue areas and government agencies.”

The Transition NYC team members, who will be volunteering their time during the transition, include several leaders from Queens organizations and institutions.

They are Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director, Queens Council on the Arts; Udai Tambar, executive director, South Asian Youth Action; Elsie Saint Louis, executive director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress, Inc.; Dr. Marcia Keizs, president, York College, The City University of New York; and Jukay Hsu, founder, Coalition for Queens.

“I am honored to be contributing to the creation of a new administration, a team New Yorkers can be proud of,” said Krakauer in a post on the Queens Council on the Arts website. “And to do that I will look to you, the creative citizens of this amazing borough, for your ideas and thoughts to bring back to the big table.”

Queens also took part in the new administration’s transition through two panel discussions that were held at the de Blasio Talking Transition Tent in downtown Manhattan on Friday, November 22.

“Thrive in Queens,” hosted by The Noguchi Museum, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Long Island City Partnership, focused on the creative sector of the borough.

According to The Noguchi Museum Director Jenny Dixon, who moderated the first panel, they also spoke about “the need for greater marketing dollars and better public transportation,” and requested that the de Blasio administration “affirm the borough of Queens through an inclusive agenda weighted equally for all of the five boroughs.”

“A great gathering of Queens folks were in the audience and similarly a great group of Queens’ economic drivers were represented on the panel,” said Dixon.

“We hope what we have to say will be heard.”

 

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Play ‘keepingabreast’ to run in LIC during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BRADLEY HAWKS

You can’t miss her.  Cameran Hebb is one of those charismatic, effortless beauties who kind of immediately captures your eye in any crowd.  And not just because she is wearing a T-shirt with the words “boobie trapped” printed in neon pink.

When you enter The Queens Kickshaw, where she is a barista and bartender, her warm smile is apt to melt your heart.  And her charisma can instantly become passion, conviction and authority.

When Hebb first auditioned for “keepingabreast,” a new play written by Jackie Rosenfeld, she instantly knew this piece of theater was something special.

After playing the lead character, Mina, during the play’s premiere at the Cherry Lane Theater as part of the 2012 Fringe Festival, she also knew that the final curtain should not fall on the show during the festival.

“The audience kept saying things like, ‘this is the way theater should be done,’” she explains, “and it just confirmed what I already knew.”

She immediately envisioned a next life for the play—which opens with a young woman being advised by her doctor to have a mastectomy after failed chemotherapy.  The story is told through a series of vulnerable, sometimes sexy, sometimes hilarious, but always poignant vignettes chronicling the woman’s journey to decide what course of treatment is best.

Hebb reprises her role as the cancer-stricken lead character, with multiple other roles played in rotation by Lyndsey Anderson and Andy Ingalls—who portray family members, strangers, friends, even a drag queen.  The new production is directed by Sharone Halevy.

Upon receiving a startup grant from the Queens Council on the Arts, as well as a sponsorship by Long Island City’s The Secret Theatre, Hebb found herself just a Kickstarter campaign away from breathing new life into the piece—this time with an outreach component (you can still contribute on the kickstarter page). A fundraiser held by The Queens Kickshaw also helped with funding.

The new staging, this time produced by Hebb herself, will run during national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, from October 18 through the 26.  It will be held in the “Little Secret,” a 50-seat black box theater that lends itself perfectly to the intimacy of the piece.

As an outreach, a select number of seats will be reserved for those in the community suffering or impacted by cancer who otherwise might not be able to afford tickets.  Seats for the public sell for just $15.

“I mainly just wanted to open a dialogue,” says Hebb. “In a world where we so easily disconnect, this play pushes past that in way that is so human, alive and authentic.”

To learn more, go to http://keepingabreast.wix.com/keepingabreast ; $15

 

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