COVID-19 update: ‘ChamberQUEERantine’: ChamberQUEER’s digital chamber music series celebrates LGBTQ+ artists
On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.
ChamberQUEER, an LGBTQ+ chamber music series based in Brooklyn, has announced its inaugural digital season. Titled ChamberQUEERantine: A Digital Pride Month Festival!, the season will feature virtual presentations by performers within the LGBTQ+ classical music community, and will highlight the music of queer composers, past and present. Presentations will be aired nightly at 7 p.m. EDT between June 5 and June 20, on ChamberQUEER’s Facebook channel.
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas, to protect consumers’ identity and money, on Thursday warned New Yorkers of scams related to COVID-19. “People are especially vulnerable right now and scammers will use that to their benefit,” said Salas. “I urge everyone to think twice and do their research before giving away any personal or banking information. During difficult times like these, people cannot afford to be scammed out of their hard-earned money, especially when it comes to their vital stimulus checks.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced a new emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence will leverage its network of service providers to distribute funds to directly support survivors in need across the city. “We want any New Yorker experiencing violence at home to know that help is always available,” said de Blasio.
Two teachers at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn have started a fundraiser called Brooklyn Cares to help feed frontline healthcare workers by working with local Brooklyn restaurants. Both Michele Levin and Stephanie Schragger continue to work full time at St. Ann’s while homeschooling their own children. In the past two weeks, the duo has raised over $16,000, delivered nearly 1,000 meals, and worked with local restaurants Bar Toto, Purslane, Kitchen at Cobble Hill, La Vara, Insa, Butler, and Mile End. They plan to deliver over 1,500 meals by the end of May.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams sent a joint letter calling on the city to ramp up and streamline emergency food programs. The letter presents a series of suggestions, including increased food pantry access, outreach to disconnected seniors, and food program expansion. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has a devastating health impact on lower-income communities, communities of more color, and seniors, those same communities are facing the compounded crises of food insecurity,” said Williams. “The city needs to expand and expedite its efforts … as part of a holistic public health response to this crisis.”
The City of New York announced today that it has partnered with the nonprofit GrowNYC on an Emergency Fresh Food Box program, connecting upstate farmers with downstate need. The project is part of the city’s Feeding New York plan, and will provide free boxes of farm fresh food to New Yorkers. “These Emergency Fresh Food Boxes are an important addition to the City’s commitment during this crisis, providing fresh, health options to neighborhoods in need,” said Kathryn Garcia, New York City Department of Sanitation commissioner and the city’s COVID-19 Food Czar.
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