What’s News Breaking: Friday, August 6, 2021
CASH INCENTIVE FOR VACCINE REFERRALS: A new City of New York partnership will incentivize local businesses to refer patrons and community members for vaccination, through $100 payments to participating businesses. The announcement was made Thursday during a joint press conference Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, joining his counterpart in Queens along with health officials. The partnership, which builds on the “NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus” program that the city launched in June, will advance the twin goals of boosting vaccination rates and supporting struggling small businesses in economically underserved areas.
Businesses will be awarded $100 for each referral that leads to an individual’s receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a City-run site. Each organization is eligible for up to $20,000 in incentives, representing 200 referrals in total.
OPEN SCHOOLS SAFELY THIS FALL: New York’s schools and school districts should plan to open this fall as safely as possible, directs New York State Department Of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. He said that, “…with the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, 2021, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and I recommend following guidance from the CDC and local health departments.” Zucker’s statement comes amid a rising rate of positive COVID-19 TEST results in NYC and Brooklyn, according to Gov. Cuomo’s daily COVID updates.
On Wednesday, the most recent day for which data is available, 3,644 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in New York State, bringing the total to2,147,977. The percent in Kings County rose from 2.49 percent to 2.52 percent in the first three days of the current week, and hospitalizations and intubations have also risen. Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days: 319,163.
CENSUS BUREAU SURVEY ON PANDEMIC’S IMPACT: Questions about sexual identity and orientation will now be included in the newest phase of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The new version (3.2) of the questionnaire, which entered the field on July 21, and is anticipated to continue through October 11, marks the first time a Census Bureau sponsored survey includes questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. One of many annual surveys of the Census Bureau, the Household Pulse Survey is designed to deploy quickly and efficiently, collecting data on a range of ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s lives.
Other new questions that capture topical events include the Child Tax Credit payments and COVID-19 vaccinations now available for everyone ages 12 and older.
BAM ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE: The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) welcomes a broad spectrum of artists across a range of disciplines and backgrounds who have been selected for BAM’s 2022 Jack Nusbaum Artist Residencies. Five selected artists: Rena Anakwe, The Brooklyn Nomads, Fana Fraser, Smriti Keshari, and Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez span multiple genres and disciplines, will receive space and unrestricted honorariums to use in the development of their work. The artists-in-residence, who are encouraged to create freely with no obligation to present the work at BAM, will have use of BAM’s rehearsal rooms and theaters including the Hillman Studio/the Fishman Space, and The BAM Hamm Archives Center.
The program, which began in 2020-21 in memory of Jack Nusbaum, a devoted BAM patron who believed deeply in the principles of mentorship and nurturing the artistic process, represents BAM’s largest artist residency initiative to date. This year’s residencies are supported by Cowen Inc.
FUNDING FOR NEW HIGH SCHOOL ART STUDIO: Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies will receive $1.35 million in City Council capital funding for a brand new 21st-century art studio, thanks to the persistent advocacy of City Councilmember Mark Treyger, who represents Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate. Treyger joined Rachel Carson High School Principal Stephen McNally on Thursday, to announce the funding that will enable the high school to reimagine its fine arts programming and transform an underutilized room into a professional-level art studio, expand the school’s art curriculum to include digital and technology-based courses.
The upgrades to the current room will include arts education and instruction in the fine arts, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, and photography. Rachel Carson High School will also integrate the art program into an interdisciplinary program with their vast science and STEAM education curriculum, with the addition of microscopic photography and videography.
NEW CONSERVATORY BOARD MEMBERS: The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) has welcomed five new members to its Board of Trustees: Nicholas Doering-Dorival, Naomi Nwosu-Stewart, Konrad Payne, Sailaja Sastry and James Weiss. Their careers span industries from law to business to academia, and their unique talents and experiences are certain to be assets as BKCM works to fortify and grow as an institution. At least four reside in Brooklyn; one (Konrad Payne) is a former jazz student, and James Weiss holds degree certificates in conducting and vocal coaching.
The new BKCM board members will play a crucial role in helping the Conservatory actualize its five-year strategic plan, which focuses on greater investment in its people, programs and community, with emphasis on creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution.
ARTISTRY OF THE CARIBBEAN DIASPORA: Artist John Edmonds hosts this month’s First Saturday Lite at the Brooklyn Museum on August 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. First Saturday Lite is a low-key, free outdoor afternoon amplifying culture and community in our borough. This weekend features a dynamic lineup celebrating the exuberance and artistry of the Caribbean diaspora.
For more than 21 years, the Brooklyn Museum has hosted First Saturdays—monthly evenings of free programming welcoming visitors from central Brooklyn and beyond. First Saturday Lite was conceived in the spirit of the Museum’s beloved flagship program.
COWPARADE AND NYC CHARITY SHARE BOND: God’s Love We Deliver, a major non-profit that makes and delivers meals to seriously ill persons, will be the exclusive charity partner staging the 100th global edition of the iconic CowParade, which returns to New York City from August 18 through September 30. This year’s CowParade event commemorates a full-circle moment for God’s Love We Deliver, which benefited from the first such NYC event in 2000. Starting August 18, cows will be on display across the five boroughs of New York City in various “pasture” locations, including Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park/waterfront neighborhood, which was set to host a special kickoff event last night to thank artists and God’s Love volunteers and supporters.
CowParade events have been staged in 80+ cities worldwide, including 34 countries, with more than 6,000 life size fiberglass cows painted and imaginatively transformed by many thousands of global artists, sculptors, and celebrities. God’s Love We Deliver and CowParade were connected by Janeen Saltman, a principal of JKS Events, which had been working with Jerry Elbaum on the return of CowParade to New York.
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