Tag Archives: Queens Museum

Queens Museum lit orange for gun violence awareness following vigil


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The “World’s Borough” came together Monday night to honor the nine lives lost in last week’s South Carolina church shooting, and show the rest of the nation that a diverse community can unite as one.

Elected officials, local community and religious leaders, and families of victims of gun violence gathered in front of the Queens Museum during a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of gun violence throughout the borough, and paying tribute to the nine people shot and killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.

“We are the borough of Queens, we are 130 languages spoken in our school system, we hail from over 120 countries and you know what? We take the greatest pride in that diversity. We are proud and we stand together to say that gun violence, especially racist terrorist gun violence, will not be tolerated and we will stand together to send that message,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said.

Monday night also marked the first of nine nights that the front exterior of the Queens Museum will be illuminated in orange, the official color of Gun Violence Awareness Month. Through June 30, an average of about 168,000 motorists per day will be able to see the museum as they drive by on the Grand Central Parkway.

DSC_2031

“I hope the orange glow of the museum’s façade this evening will remember each of the passing motorists of our collective responsibilities,” said Laura Raicovich, executive director of the Queens Museum.

Those present during the interfaith vigil included local religious leaders who each voiced the importance of coming together to fight for the end of gun violence. Pastor Richard Hogan of the Divine Deliverance Ministry in Jamaica and father of Laseam Hogan, who was killed in 2010 at the age of 27, also led the group in a prayer.

“We come here to launch a movement. We’ve been moving but we need a movement, a movement against gun violence. This is not a movement of just some folk but it has to be a movement of all folk,” said Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt of the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral of New York in Jamaica. “We are all impacted. Bullets do not respect age, [do] not respect denomination, faith, tradition, socio-economic background. We have to come together.”


At the end of the night, family members of victims of gun violence read out names of their lost friends, husbands, sons, daughters and other loved ones.

“We commit to continue to be the trailblazers in the borough of Queens and make sure that as the Queens division of the crisis management system, we will show the world how people from different races, people from different ideologies, people from different nationalities, people from different beliefs, and walks and everything that you can think of can come together and change the culture of violence and stop the epidemic of violence from spreading and killing our children and destroying our families,” said Erica Ford, CEO and founder of LIFE Camp Inc., a group founded in 2002 with the mission of teaching violence prevention in schools.

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Queens Courier reporter challenges Queens 10K


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy NYRR

A challenge of speed this was not.

I quickly realized the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Queens 10K would have talented, serious marathoners when about 9,000 runners gathered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday despite a night of rain and threatening gray skies above.

Thankfully the forecasted showers held off, but my finish time of 48:52 shouldn’t be considered fast when the male first-place finisher Ayele Megersa Feisa clocked in at 30:14 minutes and female winner Etaferahu Temesgen finished at 33:16.

I ran in part to see if the NYRR met its self-regulated goal to produce a race that promotes and represents the borough. And kudos to NYRR for keeping the 6.2-mile race in Flushing Meadows for more than two decades as it highlights many of Queens’ jewels on the course.

“The park has so many beautiful iconic structures,” said Peter Ciaccia, NYRR’s president, events and TCS New York City Marathon race director. “To go through the whole course and see the museum, see the Unisphere, run past Citi Field, it’s pretty cool.”


Running around this landmark-filled green space is like a trip to a museum, and this year competitors raced through a transforming park.

We passed the expanding Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and enormous cranes roofing Arthur Ashe Stadium. We saw the New York State Pavilion, which is being rehabilitated, and curved around Meadow Lake, which is being restored.

Then there’s Citi Field, where the New York Mets have been rebuilding for some time, and towards the end, we wrapped around the revitalized Queens Museum, and passed by the Unisphere — the “World’s Borough’s” symbol — before coming to the finish line.

It is undoubtedly a fun race that showcases much of what the borough has to offer, but the truth is the Queens 10K can still do more to accentuate Queens.

Those familiar with Queens know its famous structures well, but for foreigners of the borough, if some signage existed along the course maybe it would help runners develop further interest in them.

And while the Queens 10K serves as the borough’s representative in the Five-Borough Series, I found it weird that Queens — the largest borough by land mass — has the shortest race. I was told for logistical reasons it wouldn’t be a good idea to expand the race in Flushing Meadows. But because it is smaller it is viewed as an easier event for some running clubs.

I had one problem with the actually course road itself: there were crater-size pot holes around the Meadow Lake section that we had to hop and dodge. The Parks Department should take care of that before next year’s event.

Post-race, there was a fun festival with games for children, a raffle and food vendors. It’s a brilliant idea, but while there was an array of food trucks that frequent Manhattan, I was disappointed that Queens’ reputation as being a hot spot for diverse food wasn’t highlighted by the inclusion of more local food businesses.

The 7 train’s reputation for being shoddy was witnessed by many runners though. The Flushing-bound line had delays that prevented some runners from getting to the starting line on time. This isn’t helpful to promote the race or the borough. While the NYRR is not at fault, it did acknowledge the problem and is trying to appease affected runners.

Recognizing that the race could use a tune-up, next year the NYRR will turn to local runners to find ways to add even more Queens spirit to the event.

“There are a couple of running clubs out here in Queens that are interested [in showcasing the borough more],” Ciaccia said, “so I want to work with them over the course of this year and see what tweaks they are interested in.”

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Queens mourns Charleston massacre victims at vigil tonight


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Flushing Meadows Corona Park will play host to an interfaith prayer vigil this evening for the nine victims gunned down Wednesday night at a Charleston, S.C., church.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other elected officials are expected to participate in the ceremony that will take place at 8 p.m. in front of the Queens Museum, located a short distance from the Unisphere.

According to Katz’s office, the vigil will honor the memory of the Charleston massacre victims while also demonstrating support for efforts to stop gun violence. The museum’s exterior, visible to drivers on the Grand Central Parkway, will be illuminated in orange through June 30 as part of Gun Violence Awareness Month.

The massacre occurred Wednesday night during Bible study at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. The alleged gunman — Dylann Roof, 21, who has ties to white supremacist groups — sat in the class for an hour before fatally shooting the church’s pastor— Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a South Carolina state senator — and eight others, all of whom were black.

Roof, who reportedly made racially charged statements and uttered epithets immediately before and during the shooting, was caught the following day in North Carolina.

Among those joining Katz at the vigil include Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown; Assistant Chief David Barrere, commander of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens South; Rabbi Robin Fryer Bodzin of the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism; Dr. Ghassan Elcheikhali of the Razi School in Woodside; and Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in St. Albans.

Greater Allen Cathedral held a similar rally on Saturday in St. Albans attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who condemned the massacre as “an act of domestic … and racist terrorism.” Joining Pastor Floyd Flake and other community leaders, the mayor said the city would continue working toward eradicating racism and building a society based on social and economic fairness and justice.

“The only way change has been made in this country is by those willing to stare fear in the face,” de Blasio said. “Terror cannot break the back of this community. It cannot break the back of the A.M.E. church. It cannot break the back of peace-loving people. We will continue to build the society we believe in.”

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Color, dance and music at Queens Museum’s Festival Andino on Sunday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Ayazamana Cultural Center

The Inti Raymi, or “Festival of the Sun,” was originally a nine-day communal celebration featuring colorful dances, masks, joyous processions, live music and animal sacrifices to ensure a good harvest. The first ones took place hundreds of years ago in what is now Cusco, Peru, in the Andes mountain range during the Inca Empire’s reign in South America.

The ritual was banned in 1573 after the Spanish conquered the Incans and Catholic priests deemed it to be pagan. However, Inti Raymi continued in an underground form and even underwent an open revival in 1944.

Now it is an annual festivity that coincides with the summer solstice and the Catholic feast honoring St. John the Baptist. And due to heavy migration from South America over the past four decades, various versions of Inti Raymi take place in New York City.

This Sunday, more than a dozen dance and music groups from Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru will participate in Festival Andino in front of the Queens Museum.

The five-hour event will start at noon with a ceremony welcoming summer. Then such groups as Ayazamana Cultural Center, Ñukanshick Llakta Wawa Kunas, Pakarina Huambracuna NY and Wayra Pamushkas will wear colorful clothing and perform time-honored dances to celebrate their ancestors. This is not a contest and there are no bragging rights. In fact, the different clubs will cheer on each other and encourage the youth groups to have fun — and there will be no animal sacrifices.

‘We’re preserving a tradition,” said Erika Campoverde, a native of Cuenca, Ecuador, who is a member of Ayazamana. “It’s dance. It’s fun.”

 

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Queens Museum plays host to July art conference


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@queensmuseum

Educators, curators and artists from across the globe will convene at the Queens Museum for a July weekend conference on art and culture in American life.

The USSEA (United States Society for Education through Art) Regional Conference will take place from July 17-19 at the museum, located in the former New York City Pavilion at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Themed “An inclusive world: Bridging communities,” the conference will feature more than 65 sessions involving local, national and international museum educators, art teachers, professors and artists focused on examining how the fine arts and culture and taught in classrooms, museums and local art organizations.

Four keynote speakers will be featured at the conference: Sherry Huss, vice president of Maker Media and co-creator of the Maker Faire; Tom di Maria, director of the Creative Growth Art Center; Tim Rollins, founder of the Art and Knowledge workshop in the Bronx; and Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Registration for the conference includes breakfast and lunch in the museum cafe, an opening reception and a weekend pass to the adjacent New York Hall of Science. Special shuttle buses to and from the Mets-Willets Point station is also part of the package.

Fees range from $45 for college students with current ID to $85 for non-USSEA members. Click here for more information.

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Exhibition shares community ideas for Flushing Meadows Corona Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by William Michael Fredericks/Courtesy of the Design Trust for Public Space

The voices of the people in the communities surrounding Flushing Meadows Corona Park have been heard, and now they will be able to share their ideas through a new exhibition at the Queens Museum.

The exhibition called “You Are Here: Creating a New Approach to Civic Participation in the World’s Park” kicked off on Sunday at the museum and highlights the individuals, process and proposals developing for Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

As the first phase of the community engagement partnership between the Parks Department, Queens Museum and nonprofit Design Trust for Public Space called “The World’s Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighbors,” the exhibition focuses on bringing the community, which has a passion for the future of the park, together through creative processes.

“For people who don’t feel very included in city life, like our newest New Yorkers, this park can be an opportunity for integration and to feel ownership over something,” said Maria Julia Echart, community adviser for the World’s Park project. “It’s not hard to have that feeling of inclusion when the time is taken to provide a meaningful learning experience, like with this project.”

The exhibition, which will run through May 3, features community-driven ideas that aim to enhance the access and circulation around and within the park.

Community advisers, who took the time to volunteer and become advocates, worked with community leaders and residents to deal with challenges surrounding access to the park, cultural resources, and programming for various ages.

“Located within Flushing Meadows Corona Park, we are keenly aware of the powerful symbiotic relationship between the park, community and museum, and while we are proud to partner with the NYC Parks, Design Trust and community advisers to expand the discourse and to pursue community-driven ideas that will bolster the future of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, we are even more excited to see the fruits of this endeavor shared with the community at large,” said Laura Raicovich, executive director of the Queens Museum.

Design concepts on view during the almost monthlong exhibition include items such as information kiosks, art installations for park entrances, wayfinding landmarks, and sensory play areas for children for special needs.

“We’re proud to be able to help Queens residents shape the future of Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” said Susan Chin, executive director for Design Trust for Public Space. “This exhibition is only the beginning of a true collaboration between community members and the city agencies to maximize the community use of this invaluable public resource and renowned destination in NYC.”

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Lonely Planet names Queens best place to visit in US next year


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

Move over, Manhattan — Queens is the must-see U.S. destination of the coming year, according to a leading travel guidebook company.

The borough has made it to the top of the list of Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2015. Selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors, the list consists of 10 perennial favorites, places with timely reasons to visit and understated destinations that are ready for their time in the spotlight.

“I’ve seen how Queens has transformed from one of the forgotten boroughs to one of the exciting places to visit,” said Regis St. Louis, coordinating author of Lonely Planet’s USA and New York City guidebook.

This year was the first time that Queens made the annual online list, which was released on Wednesday.  The rankings expand on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2015” guidebook, which came out in October, and chose Washington, D.C., and Rocky Mountain National Park as its top city and regional picks among world destinations.

St. Louis, a 14-year New York City resident, who currently lives in Brooklyn, was one of several authors to nominate Queens for the Best in the U.S. 2015 list.

It was clear from our passion and our feedback about Queens that it should be number one on this list,” he said.

Rounding out the top 10 are Western South Dakota,  New Orleans,  the Colorado River region, North Conway, N.H., Indianapolis, Greenville, S.C., Oakland, Calif., Duluth, Minn., and California’s Mount Shasta region.

Queens food truck

What made Queens stand out among those destinations were reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the borough, such as its diversity, Rockaway Beach and its art institutions.

As St. Louis writes on the Lonely Planet website, Queens is  “New York’s meltiest melting pot,” and that is not only reflected in the number of languages that are spoken there, but also in its culinary offerings.

“It’s something that has always been there, but it’s something that people are just beginning to discover,”  he said about the diversity.

He also highlighted Rockaway Beach’s growing trendiness and the borough’s burgeoning arts scene, noting the Queens Museum’s recent makeover and the newly christened Kaufman Arts District in Astoria.

Rockaway(7)

“You don’t have to stay in Manahattan anymore. You can come base yourself in Queens now,” St. Louis said.

That sentiment applies to both residents and tourists, as another advantage Queens has to offer is its boutique hotels, which have been growing in number.

Anyone looking for something that is not in the average guidebook should try Queens’ microbrewery scene, said St. Louis.

Microbreweries have exploded around the country, he said, and it’s surprising that so many of them have made their way to Queens.

These small-batch or nanobreweries, such as Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, are just another example of what stands out in the borough’s food and drink scene, he explained.

Z Hotel in Queens, NY roof top

“People are looking for the next thing and there are some really interesting things happening in Queens,” St. Louis said. “There are so many great secrets … you never run out of things to do and see.”

To mark Queens topping the Best in the U.S. 2015, Lonely Planet is giving away the Queens chapter from its recently released New York City guide as a free e-book until Feb. 1, 2015. To get the free download, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/queens-ebook.

Find out more about this year’s list at www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-the-us-2015.

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Queens Museum, Parks Dept. ask communities to redesign Flushing Meadows


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

What will Flushing Meadows Corona Park look like in the future? The Queens Museum and the Parks Department are asking members of communities around the park to come up with ideas and solutions to make the green space more accessible to local communities.

“This is a bit of an experiment,” said Jose Serrano, the museum’s community organizer. “Instead of having people give us their ideas in some kind of meeting, we asked, why don’t we equip them with the tools to improve the park creatively and practically.”

Serrano and the Parks Department are asking the public to submit ideas on how to improve the parks connection and the way it’s used with the surrounding neighborhoods.

The deadline is Oct. 25 and 20 people will be chosen to create an exhibition project that will be shown next year at the museum. Over the course of a year, the 20 selected people will learn more about the park and its pros and cons through a series of hands-on learning events.

Serrano said that they will be only accepting people from communities like Flushing, Corona and Forest Hills because they are directly connected to the park.

“They’re meant to be community designs,” he said. “And we want to give people the confidence to talk to decision makers.”

At the museum’s exhibition, the community members will present their ideas to these “decision makers” and, Serrano hopes, affect change in how the park can be changed.

The park was created for the 1939-40 Worlds Fair and as a fair ground, Serrano said, it is designed to control who enters the area. But now, as a public park, a design for controlling fare-goers no longer makes sense.

“The park will be changed to make it more open to people,” Serrano said. “Can we put the community’s signature on the solutions?”

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Queens Museum announces new president


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Museum

The Queens Museum will continue carving out its plan to become a world-class institution under new leadership come Jan. 1.

The museum’s board of trustees selected experienced art professional Laura Raicovich as its new president and executive director on Thursday, following a national search.

Raicovich has been the director of global initiatives at nonprofit Creative Time, an arts advocacy organization, since 2012 and was chosen to lead the institution in Flushing Meadows Corona Park because of her vision for the future of the museum.

“Laura has spent the past two decades strengthening arts institutions, realizing the visions of artists and engaging diverse constituencies, and we are excited that she will be leading the Queens Museum,” said board chair Peter Meyer. “Our shared philosophy on the future of the museum, belief in the power of the arts to exact positive change, and dedication to making the arts relevant to all audiences made her the right person to move the museum forward.”

Raicovich has a bachelor’s degree in both art and political science from Swarthmore College and a master of arts in liberal studies from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

She also worked at the Dia Art Foundation, advancing to deputy director during her tenure, and as the senior publicist of the Guggenheim Museum. Raicovich was also a curator of public art for the Parks Department.

Oma-3

Former Queens Museum head director Tom Finkelpearl was courted away by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May to be the city’s commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, months after he oversaw the completion of a $68 million makeover of the museum, which reopened in October 2014.

Raicovich said her goal is to propel the museum into the future as an international destination.

“Looking forward, pairing engagement and innovation with exceptional artistic production will allow the Queens Museum to occupy a unique place in the pantheon of cultural offerings in New York City, to become an international model, and to serve all of Queens as a world-class art museum,” she said.
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Queens Museum displays items collected from Jamaica Bay clean-up


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Rohan Narine

Many who practice Hinduism in Queens go to Jamaica Bay to make offerings to their gods, floating fruit and flowers and even statues of the deities into the bay.

But the items offered are sometimes left behind, not only littering the water but also causing distress among those worshipers who practice eco-friendly offering techniques.

“We don’t want our practices to make Jamaica Bay look like the Ganges in 20 years,” said Rohan Narine, a board member at Sadhana, an eco-friendly Hindu group. “We want the community to see that we are also environmentally conscious.”

Sadhana hosts a monthly clean-up effort around Jamaica Bay in which volunteers gather the offerings that have been left behind by other worshipers. To show the public that clean-up efforts are made, some of the items collected are now on display at the Queens Museum, located in Flushing Meadow Corona Park, as part of a new exhibition named “Sacred Waters,” which started on Sept. 4.

The group pitched the idea of this exhibition to the museum in hopes of both giving non-Hindus a better understanding of the religion and making it known that devotees are not people who have no respect for the environment.

“We had about 100 people come out [to our opening ceremony on Sept. 14]. The reception was very promising,” Narine said. “We are a nature-worshiping religion and want people to understand that.”

Diorama at Queens Museum (1)

Educating Hindus of the safest environmental practices that should be taken when worshiping is also a main focus of Sadhana.

“There is a delicate balance between tradition and the environment, and both must be equally respected,” said Aminta Kilawan, a board member at Sadhana.

Along with the exhibition, which displays a “diorama” of the offerings collected, Narine is working with the National Parks Service (NPS) on a pamphlet to be displayed around the bay, the purpose of which is two-fold: to teach people the basics of the Hindu religion and to list NPS rules for clean-up.

“We want to get back to the balance that [our Hindu ancestors] once had,” Narine said.

Narine hopes for the pamphlet to be around the bay by November, and the exhibit will be displayed at the museum until Sept. 24.

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Annual Tour de Queens draws more than 1,200 riders


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Transportation Alternatives


More than 1,200 bicyclists from around the city participated in the 7th Annual Tour de Queens, a 20-mile ride that travels through several neighborhoods in the borough.

The annual ride on Sunday by Transportation Alternatives began in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in the plaza between the Unisphere and the Queens Museum, and took cyclists of all ages through East Flushing, Murrary Hill, Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Beechhurst and Whitestone.

While the event bears a resemblance in name to the rigid Tour de France biking competition, the Tour de Queens is not a race. Participants rode through streets at a leisurely pace with the NYPD and volunteers from Transportation Alternatives acting as safety marshals.

Proceeds from the event will go toward advocacy efforts to enhance public transportation and make the streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

 

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East Elmhurst boy runs again to raise money for autism programs


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Larry Sillen

One East Elmhurst boy is getting his running shoes ready once again to help make a difference.

Max Moore, 10, will be participating in the June 29 Achilles International Hope and Possibility 5 Mile Race in Central Park for a third time.

“We are super thrilled to see Max enjoy running and to see that he is eager to run each year,” said Max’s mother Jacqueline Moore.

This year will be Max’s second time running to raise money and bring awareness for the Queens Museum’s ArtAccess Autism Initiatives. Last year the youth raised $1,279 in funds online, surpassing his goal of $1,000.

“For us it’s a huge honor, it really moves us. It’s inspirational to us. He’s our hero,” said Michelle Lopez, manager of ArtAccess and Autism Initiatives at the Queens Museum. “It feels really good to know that he is doing this, this is his activity of choice. He chose to run again, to run for us.”

The 10-year-old, who is autistic himself, has been part of the ArtAccess Autism Initiatives together with his family. This past year they have been involved in the museum’s new project called emPOWER Parents, a partnership between the Queens Museum and Museo ICO and its cultural partner, Hablarenarte, in Madrid, Spain.

According to Lopez, the funds raised by Max last year helped contribute to the program.

The partnership uses the arts, art therapy and technology to create and put into effect crucial programming for families of children with autism. It also creates an international network and “digital bridge” where the families can share their experiences.

Max’s mother said the program has allowed him to connect with new friends in Spain who share the same interests.

Max has been preparing for Sunday’s race for the past three months with Achilles Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides training and racing opportunities for children with disabilities. He has been with the group for about four years and in the past few months has been training in Central Park and also participating in several other 5K races.

“I think the Achilles Kids Family is quite an exceptional group of kids, parents, staff and volunteers,” Moore said. “One big family that gets larger and larger every year.”

This year Max will again be running alongside Marissa Fong, a guide provided by Achilles, and his dad, John. Although his mom said John will try to keep up with Max, he might not be able to; last year, Max left him at the three mile mark and went on to finish the race in less than one hour.

“What is wonderful is that running can be something he can enjoy in the future,” Moore said. “That is all we can ask for as parents, that we help him to find his joys and passion in life. We hope Max will continue to run further distances when he gets older and maybe one day accomplish a triathlon.”

To make a donation click here.

 

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Queens Museum President Tom Finkelpearl named cultural affairs commissioner


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@BilldeBlasio

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced Queens Museum head Tom Finkelpearl as the next commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Monday.

Finkelpearl, who has been the president of the Queens Museum for 12 years, recently oversaw its $68 million transformation and revitalization. He also simplified its name from the Queens Museum of Art.

“New York City is one of the most eclectic and culturally rich cities in the world, and that’s something that should be shared by all New Yorkers and tourists alike,” Finkelpearl said. “Our work is part of what distinguishes New York City as a cultural epicenter, and I look forward to working to fortify the already diverse offerings of the city’s arts and cultural life.”

Finkelpearl has more than 30 years of experience in museum management and arts education. Before heading the Queens Museum, Finkelpearl was deputy director of the contemporary art center PS1 and assisted with its merger with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2000, as it became MoMA PS1. Finkelpearl graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and received his Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College.

Finkelpearl will be tasked with expanding access to culture and the arts in the city in his new position.

“With Tom at the helm of DCLA, I’m confident that New York City will not only continue to thrive as a global cultural hub, but also make the arts more accessible to New Yorkers in every neighborhood,” de Blasio said.

 

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Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group exhibits in Bayside


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Katelyn Di Salvo

KATELYN DI SALVO

Artists of the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (BSAG) got a special treat after exhibiting their work in Queens.

Arthur Melnick, director of the BSAG, brought some of the group’s talent from Brooklyn to Queens on March 13, during an exhibition in the hallways at the Bayside office of The Queens Courier.

Paintings and photographs from 18 artists in the group were displayed for all to admire. The artists on view were from all ages and levels of achievement, and all were equally excited to showcase their work. BSAG began in 2007 and since then has been creating opportunities for artists and art lovers of all ages.

Victoria Schneps, president, CEO and publisher of The Queens Courier, greeted the artists and also brought them a treat. Schneps told the artists she had invited representatives from the Queens Museum to judge the artwork and determine the first, second and third place winners.

Divine Williams won first place for her three pieces, called “Photos of Women” and Herb Alwais won second place for his “Riverside Sunset” piece. Harriet Piltch placed third for her work, called “Third Avenue L.” Catherine Marra received honorable mention for her “Family Portrait.”

Although first place winner Williams was not there to receive the recognition, many of the artists present during the show said they were sure she would have been thrilled.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this exhibition, and to win a prize, now I can put this on my resumé,” said second place winner Alwais.

The success of various exhibitions led the group to be part of the nonprofit Brooklyn Streetcar Company, and has since maintained an official gallery space at Coney Island Hospital and also continues exhibiting when appropriate space is available.

“I used to work at Coney Island and that’s where I met Arthur,” said Patrick Rosato, another artist on view at the exhibition. “We started talking about art and he told me about his group and I’m really glad I got involved.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy skies. High near 40. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.Friday night: Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 29. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Panorama Challenge Trivia Night

Calling all geographical geeks and New York know-it-alls! Come to the recently reopened Queens Museum on Friday, March 7 from 7-10 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.) to participate in the world’s only geographical trivia-based game night at the world’s largest panorama – The Panorama of the City of New York! The Panorama Challenge involves questions about assorted city landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks and more. Participants will compete in teams of 10 (or so) and will play either as a Panorama Challenger or Panorama Pro team. The suggested admission fee is $15 with all proceeds going to support the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, dedicated to collecting NYC ephemera. A free shuttle will be traveling between the Museum and underneath the Mets-Willets Point No. 7 stop. For more information and instructions to reserve your team contact: matt@levysuniqueny.com. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Subway panhandler arrests triple under new police commissioner: NYPD

The number of people arrested for panhandling and peddling in the city’s subways has more than tripled so far this year compared with 2013, according the NYPD. Read more: NBC New York

Report: 28 Percent of Rikers inmate injuries by correction officers were ‘head shots’

An internal report indicated that nearly a third of Rikers Island inmates who said their visible injuries came at the hands of a correction officer last year had suffered a blow to the head. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Cardinal Dolan supports universal pre-k

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan is pledging the support of the city’s Catholic schools to create universal pre-kindergarten. Read more: AP

State Sen. Brad Hoylman introduces bill to require ‘kill switch’ on all smartphones and tablets sold in New York

A Manhattan state senator wants all smartphones and tablets sold in New York to be equipped with a “kill switch” that makes them permanently inoperable if they are lost or stolen. Read more: New York Daily News

Atheists want ‘miracle cross’ removed from 9/11 Museum

American Atheists on Thursday asked an appeals court in New York to remove the “miracle cross” from the 9/11 Museum, where it was placed two years ago. Read more: Fox New York