Sept. 17, 2015 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will announce at Hunters Point Park South Friday that he has allocated $24,000 in city funds to four local arts/events groups.
The four groups are the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which organizes events and helps maintain LIC’s waterfront parks; Hip to Hip Theatre, which puts on Shakespeare in the Park throughout Queens each summer; the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, which runs a community garden on Skillman Avenue; and the Central Astoria Local Development Corp., a large organization that puts on many events in Astoria Park each summer.
Each group will receive $6,000.
“This dedicated funding will open access to our spectacular parks and expand cultural programming in the neighborhoods throughout the 26th District,” Van Bramer said in a statement.
Van Bramer will be making the announcement at 6:30 pm at LIC Landing, just before a concert takes place. The concert is part of a music series that has been organized by HPPC.
HPPC, a group that was formed less than 18 months ago, came into being when the Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park joined forces with advocates for Hunters Point South Park.
The organization has held five movies in Hunters Point South Park this year (a sixth is scheduled for Saturday) with each screening drawing about 600 people. HPPC brought in Puerto Havana, a Long Island City dance center, which has been coming to the park on Wednesday nights with an 11-piece salsa orchestra and dance instructors.
The group also kicked off LIC Landing Live, a music concert series that takes place every Friday in September.
“This funding [grant] indicates that what we are doing is resonating with people,” said Rob Basch, president of the HPPC during the group’s monthly meeting at the Irish Center Tuesday. “What we are doing is getting more exposure and that leads to funding.”
The group has thrown two LIC Henge parties, which celebrates the way the sun aligns with the Avenues in Manhattan, and has also worked closely with Citi Bike on its launch in Long Island City
The group has brought in an outside operator to put on silent disco, has organized yoga in the park and is involved in beach volleyball
Furthermore, members—such as Mark Christie—can be found pulling out weeds at Gantry Plaza State Park as the group aims to keep the parks pristine.