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Get ready for some mujeres extraordinarias. Over six upcoming days, the Queens Theatre is going to present the 2014 Latino Culture Festival: Extraordinary Women, Illuminated, 11 diverse acts celebrating Spanish-speaking countries and the female portrayers of their cultures. This means tango, bolero, salsa, and mariachis, but it also means drama, a play reading and a Spanish version of Little Red Riding Hood.

The schedule with descriptions of each show and more photos are on the jump page.

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07/25/14 1:00pm

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On one hand, the Catholic Church receives criticism for its handling of the Holocaust. Various priests, nuns and laity were members of the Nazi Party and many historians charge that Pope Pius XII was complicit in Adolf Hitler’s regime. But on the other hand, many Catholics fought the Nazis and helped Jews escape persecution… and many Catholics were persecuted themselves. Millions of Catholic soldiers died fighting the Third Reich, while others were sent to forced labor camps, and countless cathedrals, churches, convents, monasteries, monuments, and schools were destroyed during World War II.

On Monday, Linna McDonald, a retired teacher of religion, language arts and social studies at Maspeth’s St. Stanislaus Kosta School, will present The Catholic Church and the Jews, as part of an ongoing lecture series at the Central Queens Y. McDonald, who currently mentors and trains Brooklyn-Queens Diocese teachers in Holocaust education, will address everything from the Pope Pius controversy to the priests and nuns who risked their lives helping Jews.  She will also address the revolution in Catholic teaching since the 1960s and anti-Semitism in today’s church.

Event details after the jump.

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It’s time to modernize a Queens spot where youngsters play a sport whose history dates back to before the 14th century. The Shannon Gaels Gaelic Athletic Association’s home field, Frank Golden Park in College Point, recently received $580,000 in public funds for an upgrade. The money — an $80,000 allocation from City Council Member Paul Vallone and a $500,000 allocation from Borough President Melinda Katz — will go to resurfacing the playing and scrimmage fields as well as installing an eight-foot fence around the park and a 30-foot retractable fence behind each goal post. With several hundred members who trace their heritage to all 32 counties on the Emerald Isle, the Shannon Gaels fields boys, girls and co-ed teams in various age groups that compete throughout the world. The association, which also organizes competitions involving other Irish sports such as hurling, was founded in 2002 with no home. Members practiced on sections of Forest, Juniper Valley, and Sunnyside Gardens parks until 2009, when they signed a 15-year lease with the NYC Parks Department for rights to seven acres of Golden Park, just south of 14th Avenue.

Information on the sport and more photos on jump page.

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07/24/14 1:00pm

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It is the original world music. Klezmer is a genre of mostly celebratory dance tunes of the Ashkenazi Jews that spread from Eastern Europe to the rest of the planet in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its name comes from the Hebrew words “kli” (tool or utensil) and “zemer” (to make music). Currently, Alicia Svigals (above) is without a doubt the world’s most accomplished klezmer fiddler. In addition to founding and leading the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, she has played with — or composed for — violinist Itzhak Perlman, playwright Eve Ensler of the Vagina Monologues, the late Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsburg, and even Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. This Sunday, she brings her talent and some friends (Brian Glassman on bass and Christina Crowder on accordian) to the Queens Botanical Garden, where she will make beautiful music in the Oak Allée alongside the bee, ornamental grass, perennial, rose, and woodland gardens.

More information and two more photos on jump page.

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07/23/14 1:00pm

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Kiefer Sutherland, Andre the Giant, Molly Ringwald, and a great white shark are coming to Queens this summer. So are some surfing penguins, college-educated monsters, and an evil hairless Sphinx cat. With support from local businesses and the NYC & Co. Foundation, the Rockaway Civic Association is hosting Beach Flix 2014, a series of free movies screened at different spots along the Rockaway peninsula. The flicks start around dusk, and the venues run from Beach 73rd Street to Beach 126th Street.

A Beach Flix 2014 schedule is on the jump page.

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07/22/14 1:00pm

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The borough’s official tourism slogan is “It’s in Queens,” but over the summer, it could also be “It’s Outside in Queens,” as countless parks, cultural venues, and boulevards host countless plein air movies, concerts, plays, food festivals, and parades. Among the most popular is Live at the Gantries, a series of free performances in Gantry Plaza State Park featuring a diverse collection of musicians doing everything from Prog Rock to Reggae to Arab sounds with bellydancing. Tonight, Dahka Band, which infuses traditional music from Algeria, Nigeria, and Turkey and sings in Arabic, Berber, Yoruba, and English, will take the stage, which boasts the East River and the Midtown Manhattan skyline as its backdrop.

Information on the remaining performers and a photo of the venue are on the jump page.

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07/21/14 1:00pm

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Brooklyn has hipsters. Queens has Hip-to-Hip. This theater company, which specializes in family-friendly productions, performs Shakespeare classics for free in various public spaces throughout the borough each summer. This year, Hip-to-Hip will put on the Bard of Avon’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, an early slapstick comedy about love, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness…and a dog, and Cymbeline, a late romance/fairy tale about a king, his only daughter, an evil stepmother, and a forbidden love. The professional actors will perform in repertory, and 30 minutes before each performance, they will host “Kids & The Classics,” an interactive workshop for children of all ages.

Details after the jump. (more…)

07/18/14 1:00pm

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Some will sit on folding chairs. Others will lie on blankets. Still more will stand or maybe even sit on the curb. But all will certainly enjoy FLIC NIC in the Street in Jackson Heights this Saturday — and again next Saturday. The Queens World Film Festival and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance will offer two evenings of action, family, feature, international, local and short movies at the 78th Street Play Street, which is permanently closed to vehicular traffic.

Descriptions of the scheduled flicks are on the jump page.

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07/17/14 1:00pm

Bugs

He could draw a wisecracking Bugs Bunny, an exasperated Daffy Duck, an enamored Pepé Le Pew, and a sinister Wile E. Coyote. Over a three-decade career, artist Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones (1912–2002) made some of the most popular cartoons of all time while directing more than 300 animated films. This Saturday, the Museum of Moving Image will open What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones, an exhibition that will run through January 19th, 2015. The first stop in a national tour organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the show will feature 23 of Jones’s animated films, interactive experiences, and more than 125 original sketches and drawings, storyboards, production backgrounds, animation cels, and photographs. The films include classic Warner Bros. cartoons such as What’s Opera, Doc? and classic TV specials such as Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

For the duration of the show, the museum will present Chuck Jones Matinees, cartoon screenings every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm The museum will also host Animation Takeover in the Drop-In Moving Image Studio. Working with museum educators and using pencils, crayons, cameras, computers, and tablets, children will make their own media projects inspired by the exhibition.

More details and five additional images are on the jump page.

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07/16/14 1:00pm

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Shoko Kazama has always been fascinated by Chinese characters and poetry. From childhood, the Yokohama native studied calligraphy and passionately orchestrated the brushes, Japanese paper, and Chinese ink. After studying independently and with various mentors for decades, she is now the distinguished official calligrapher of Kencho-ji, a Zen sect with its high temple in Kamakura, Japan. This Friday, Kazama opens her first ever exhibition in New York City, Bokusai, at Resobox, an LIC gallery/cafe that promotes art and cuisine from the Land of the Rising Sun. The show’s theme is Otogizoshi or stories from the Muromachi period (13th century) that have been passed down verbally among children for generations. Kazama mixes black ink with white paper because her art explores expressing the invisible through the visible.

A quote from Kazama, another image, and more exhibition information are on the jump page.

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