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COVID-19 update: First-ever virtual Brooklyn Book Festival to honor Lynn Nottage

August 3, 2020 Editorial Staff
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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.

The Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council on Thursday announced the initial 150-plus authors from around the world who will gather for the first-ever all-virtual Brooklyn Book Festival, running from September 28 – October 5. The Council also revealed that this year’s recipient of the Best of Brooklyn Award is Lynn Nottage, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and is the first and only woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. “The Brooklyn Book Festival has become an integral part of my fall schedule, as an important forum for writers to share and celebrate each other’s work,” Nottage said.

The OBIE-winning arts organization HERE has announced a return to in-person events with the premiere of “Cairns,” a self-guided soundwalk for The Green-Wood Cemetery written and narrated by HERE resident artist Gelsey Bell. Featuring original music by Bell and composer Joseph White, “Cairns” has been created for social distancing New Yorkers to meditate on the land we inhabit, sink into an arboreal temporality, and unearth the stories of a few historic trailblazers. “In this piece, the birds talk for themselves,” said Bell.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday revealed 15 more locations for expanded weekend outdoor dining options, under an initiative that combines the popular Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs. Friday’s announcement brings the citywide total to 62 participating streets. “With two extra months of outdoor dining now approved, restaurants will have more chances than ever to get back on their feet,” said de Blasio. “We’re excited to build on our popular Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs, and we look forward to expanding this idea even further.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Thursday announced health and safety protocols, including guidance for testing and tracing, for schools for the start of the 2020-21 school year. These protocols will apply to all school communities and will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, de Blasio and Carranza said. “The safety and health of our school communities is always our first priority – before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic – and we will remain vigilant in monitoring health conditions this fall while driving toward academic excellence for every student,” said Carranza. Read more about the schools reopening plan here.

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