May 23, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A new month-long initiative that aims to showcase the best of arts and culture in Queens will kick off in two weeks’ time.
The initiative, called Queens Rising, will launch with its first event on June 4 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The festivities will run from 5 p.m. to midnight and a number of local music and dance performers are scheduled to perform. The event coincides with the Queens Night Market, a weekly food festival that is also taking place at the venue.
The June 4 event, which is free to attend, will mark the start of a month-long celebration consisting of dozens of musical and dance performances taking place throughout the borough. It will also feature a wide range of creator-inspired events and cultural programs.
The events will be promoted under the Queens Rising name as a means of increasing the visibility of artists, arts organizations and arts institutions. The initiative is being organized by various public and private organizations including the Queens Economic Development Corporation, the Queens Library, as well as the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. Northwell Health is a lead sponsor while the Queens Post is also a sponsor.
The Queens Rising initiative, organizers say, aims to bring greater attention to local artists and performers as they all promote themselves under the one banner. By being united, it also helps each artist connect with one another as well as with venue operators and other businesses.
The June 4 event will take place alongside the Queens Night Market, with organizers looking to tap into the market’s high attendance numbers as a means of promoting the performers. Last year the market attracted more than 15,000 attendees each Saturday.
Julia del Palacio, who is co-organizing the Queens Rising events, said the Queens Night Market is the perfect venue to launch the new initiative.
“The Queens Night Market draws thousands of people from all over Queens and the metro area,” Palacio said.
“We hope by showing them [our] wonderful roster of Queens talent… we can pique their interest in our borough’s other phenomenal cultural venues, events, and artists.”
The June 4 event will feature music by Balinese Art Ensemble Gamelan Yowana Sari, hula dancing by Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka, and African dancing by the troupe FANIKE!
A band called La Flor De Lis will play Latin music while Fogo Azul, a 50-member all-women Brazilian Samba Reggae drum line band, will add some South American spice to the festivities.
DJ Rekha, known for Brazilian hip hop and Bhangra music, will close out the evening. Bhangra originates from the Punjab region of India and mixes the area’s traditional folk-dance music with upbeat popular music.
Attendees will also get a chance to savor the culinary diversity of the borough at the Queens Night Market, which is known for its $5 and $6 price cap per food item. It hosts around 50 food vendors offering items from a range of nations such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, Indonesia, Portugal, the Philippines, Romania, Vietnam, Haiti, Cambodia, Colombia, Venezuela, Japan, Mexico, Peru and India.
A full list of Queens Rising events can be viewed by clicking here.
Queens Rising June 4 Event Lineup:
5 p.m. – Welcome DJ
6:30 p.m. – Gamelan Yowana Sari
7:15 p.m. – Welcoming Remarks
7:30 p.m. – Dance Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka and FANIKE! African Dance Troupe
8:00 p.m. – La Flor De Lis
8:45 p.m. – Dance Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka and FANIKE! African Dance Troupe
9:15 p.m. – Fogo Azul
10 p.m. – DJ Rekha