You are reading

Queens Rising: A Celebration of Arts and Culture in the Borough, Officially Launched Tuesday

(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Attendees at the launch of Queens Rising Tuesday (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

April 20, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A new initiative that aims to showcase the best of Queens arts and culture was officially launched at an in-person event at the Queens Museum Tuesday.

The initiative, called Queens Rising, will be a month long celebration in June and will consist of dozens of musical and dance performances as well as other creator-inspired events and cultural programs.

The events will take place at various locations throughout the borough and will be promoted under the Queens Rising name as a means of increasing the visibility of artists, arts organizations and arts institutions.

The Queens Rising website, for instance, has a dedicated page where events are listed. With all these events cataloged at one site, the backers of Queens Rising will be promoting them all under the one umbrella.

The initiative, organizers say, makes it easier to reach potential audiences. It also helps to connect artists with venue operators and other businesses.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas were among those in attendance along with other officials from various institutions involved in organizing the initiative. For instance, there were representatives from Northwell Health, which is a lead sponsor, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Queens Library.

The Queens Post is also a sponsor of Queens Rising.

Richards said that the borough is steeped in culture and that the Queens Rising initiative will help showcase it.

“Queens rising will shine a spotlight on the many cultural groups that pull up from organizations that helped define who we are as a borough and enrich the lives of millions of families right here in the worlds borrowed from performances to art and beyond,” Richards said.

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and all of it will help them tell the story of Queens, the most unique and diverse place on the planet.”

Queensboro President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Organizers say that the initiative stemmed from a need to promote the diversity of Queens through art.

The pandemic also prompted organizers to come up with a way to highlight the resiliency of the borough through art — given Queens was the epicenter of the epicenter of COVID-19, when the pandemic first broke out.

Leaders from various Queens-based arts and culture organizations came together and formed a planning committee and came up with the Queens Rising initiative. They formed several working groups to put the plans in place.

Karesia Batan, who founded the Queensboro Dance Festival nearly 10 years ago, said the initiative will be important to find lesser-known artists in the borough. Batan is also a member of the planning committee.

She said Queens Rising aims to use established cultural institutions to support those artists.

“We are so committed to being able to find all of those independent artists… and bring them up with all of the funding that institutions get.”

Batan appealed to the public to get the word out about Queens Rising.

“Help us find all of the other artists in all of the different disciplines — not just dance, but visual arts, music, theater,” Batan said.

“Please [tell them] to join Queens Rising because it was really about amplifying those smaller voices that we don’t know yet.”

QDF2021WindmullerParkJPINLAC60 (Photo: Josef Pinlac)

Queensboro Dance Festival 2021 at Windmuller Park (Photo: Josef Pinlac)

Established events such as Batan’s Queensboro Dance Festival, will be listed under the Queens Rising initiative.

For instance, the Queensboro Dance Festival will take place at Windmuller Park in Woodside on June 11 and 12, at Leavitts Park in Flushing on June 19 and in Far Rockaway on June 25 and 26.

Sonia De Los Santos, a Latin Grammy-nominated artist, will perform at Flushing Town Hall on June 24, while B3W Performance Group, a storytelling and dance group, will perform in Long Island City on June 3 with a show tackling systemic racism.

Organizers also made an appeal for artists to submit their events to the website to be included on the calendar.

“We know that they’re all out there,” Batan said. “We want to represent as many of the different cultures and languages that are here… and then put it on the map.

Queens Rising organizers hope that the initiative will replicate a community-driven plan to promote the borough as a tourist destination.

“We really are a thing, Queens is happening despite the last two years and so much is going to happen,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

“It’s a great day, it’s a great beginning.”

Among the other speakers at the launch were Queens Museum Director Sally Tallant,  Executive Director of Kupferberg Center for the Arts Jeff Rosenstock, Brooklyn Council Member Chi Ossé, who is also Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations,
Chief of Cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills (Northwell Health) Dr. Michael Goyfman, and
President and CEO of Queens Public LibraryDennis Walcott.

(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Karesia Batan Queensboro Dance Festival (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Jeff Rosenstock eff Rosenstock – Executive Director of Kupferberg Center for the Arts (and Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Governmental Relations)(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Brooklyn Council Member Chi Ossé - Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations

Brooklyn Council Member Chi Ossé – Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Dr. Michael Goyfman, Chief of Cardiology, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills (Northwell Health)
Seth Bornstein(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Seth Bornstein Executive Director Queens Economic Development Corporation (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Seth Bornstein Executive Director Queens Economic Development Corporation (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Dennis Walcott, President and CEO of Queens Public Library (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Dennis Walcott, President and CEO of Queens Public Library (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Queens Museum President Sally Tallant (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

Creep sought for performing ‘lewd act’ in front on M train rider in Ridgewood last month: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct and Transit District 33 are looking for a suspect in a public lewdness investigation for an incident on an M train at the Seneca Avenue station last month.

A 31-year-old woman was on board a Queens-bound M train on Sunday, Jan. 22, at around 9:20 p.m., when she was approached by the unknown man who proceeded to perform a lewd act in front of her, according to an NYPD spokesman, who could not provide any details about what the lewd act was.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.