Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: For youth, by youth: BRIC’s first virtual Youth Media Festival features NYC high school students

May 28, 2020 Editorial Staff

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.

For the first time in its seven-year run, the BRIC Youth Media Festival Concrete Stories will be livestreamed online, with support from AT&T. The event is created for youth, by youth and is planned, promoted, designed, and judged entirely by media-savvy NYC high school students as part of the BRIC Youth Media Fellowship Program. The fellows selected ten films written, produced, and directed by youth media makers under the age of 21 to be highlighted. The films will be considered for Directing, Storytelling, Cinematography, Editing, and Best Overall Short awards.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed seven pieces of legislation providing relief for tenants, commercial establishments, and restaurants. The new laws support struggling small businesses by imposing limits on third-party food delivery services, extending the suspension of sidewalk cafe fee collection, and protecting commercial tenants from harassment and personal liability. “New Yorkers have been fighting every day to flatten the curve and get through this pandemic together. Now, it’s time for us to give back to them,” said de Blasio.

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Over the next month, local DJs are using their talents – and webcams – for the American Cancer Society’s Virtual DJ Dance Party to support the fight against cancer and the Society’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Their sets on Tiltify began Friday and will continue until June 5. “My father is a cancer survivor,” said DJ Julian OK of Manhattan. “I know the toll it can take individually, but also on a family as a whole. If I can help support and bring awareness, I feel like I have to! Not to mention I’m helping by doing what I love.”

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chairperson of the committee on oversight and reform, U.S. Rep. Peter King and U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly introduced the Postal Preservation Act, which seeks to protect the U.S. Postal Service amid the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a national emergency that Congress must address,” said Maloney. “The American people rely on the Postal Service to deliver crucial goods and services every day to every household across America, including more than a billion life-saving medications annually and millions of economic stimulus checks and unemployment benefits.”

The Brooklyn-based Brave New World Repertory Theatre has announced a live, uncut reading of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” that brings together an international cast of 40 professional actors and five directors over five Mondays in June, with one act per week and a different cast for each act. The series will stream live on June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and will be available to stream on the Brave New World Rep website and will be posted to Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook for four days after the initial stream.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer sent a letter to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot calling on the city to publicly release critically important COVID-19 antibody testing data to better understand the scope of the pandemic and its impacts on vulnerable communities and New Yorkers of color. “These disparities are alarming and further demonstrate how the virus has preyed disproportionately on the vulnerable and communities of color,” said Stringer. “Antibody testing information offers a crucial datapoint that must be a foundation of our public health response to this virus.”


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