It’s in Queens
#WeeklyColumn | It’s In Queens!
The Great Outdoors! Well, maybe the Limited Outdoors is more accurate. Virtual events and camps dominate this week’s Queens activities, but in a sign of the times, a few events are IRL (In Real Life).
July 7, Nixtaband, 7 pm. Live at the Gantries is an annual summer series that’s online this year. Nixtaband plays Mexican Folk music with contemporary Jazz and Latin Jazz influences on opening night. The artists participate in a Q&A session after the show.
July 8, Virtual Jazz Jam, 7 pm. Flushing Town Hall’s monthly Jazz session is online with local saxophone legend Carol Sudhalter and the house band. Musicians improvise together. Don’t play? Listen.
July 8, Do You Believe In Magic?, Aug. 12. Queensborough Performing Arts Center offers this virtual camp for children ages eight to 14. World famous illusionist Reza teaches the six-week beginner course on magic using ordinary household items. It’s actually part-workshop and part-competition as the fun culminates in a Facebook showcase on Aug. 19.
July 8, The Moves Forum, 4 pm. This virtual event brings together female leaders from business, commerce, education, industry, technology, and the arts. The panel discussions are “Women as Change Makers,” “Sustainable You,” “Chart Your Own Destiny,” and “Social Media: Gods or Monsters?”
July 9: Code Name Hélène, 4 pm. Queens Public Library’s Literary Thursdays series continues with author Ariel Lawhon discussing her new spy novel about a French Resistance fighter, hero, lover, Nazi nemesis, smuggler, socialite, and spy.
July 9, Native American History, 6 pm. The Queens Historical Society uses documents and archaeological artifacts to teach what life was like for the Native American tribes on Long Island and Queens in this program, which is intended for teens and family.
July 10, Monuments Now, March 2021. In this exhibition’s first phase, three artists — 2019 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grantee Jeffery Gibson; Hunter College Associate Professor Paul Ramírez Jonas; and Agnes Gund Art for Justice Award Winner Xaviera Simmons – unveil commissioned works. More pieces pop up on Oct. 10. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd., LIC.
July 10, Music Makers Workshop, 1 pm. Queens Council on the Arts Honoree Claire Lim, who’s behind dolltr!ck, teaches how to make electronic music during this Lewis Latimer House Museum workshop. Lim, who describes herself as a “technologist,” fuses electronica, hip-hop, future bass, K-pop, and dance music.
July 10, Second Annual Queens Book Fair, July 12. Authors, speakers, and vendors talk and share products online. Get Zoom link upon registration.
July 10, Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre, 4 pm. The virtual Queensboro Dance Festival continues with this multi-faceted, LIC-based troupe.
July 11, Restaurant Crawl, July 12. Queens Tourism Council Official Foodie Joe DiStefano leads a tech-enhanced tour of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights eateries that sell cuisine from China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Thailand. It can be self-guided.
July 11, A Love Song to Paris, 4 pm. Celebrate Bastille Day with a remote concert starring mezzo soprano Mary Kathryn Monday, who sings French Art tunes and Cole Porter love songs with Christopher Berg on piano.
July 13, Summer Dance Intensive, July 17. Long Island City-based Dance Entropy presents its 11th annual camp/intensive, which is geared toward actors, choreographers, dancers, directors, and general movement lovers of every type and skill level.
July 13, Farm Camp, July 31. Queens County Farm Museum and Commonpint Queens offer their first summer camp session for children to explore natural outdoor settings and take part in farm-centered STEM activities. Other planned activities include Nature Walks, Farming, Scavenger Hunts, and Sports. QCFM, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Glen Oaks.
July 13, Live Music with Ashley Keiko, 7 pm. Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning streams a concert by this classic pianist, who is also a virtuoso on alto saxophone.
July 13, Exquisite Chill, 4 pm. The virtual Queensboro Dance Festival continues with an upbeat tap class and mini-performance with a Jamaica-based troupe.
July 13, Animal Habitats, July 17. Alley Pond Environmental Center lets youngsters explore animal homes and learn about the Natural World by looking at the unique characteristics of such habitats as forests, ponds, rainforests, deserts, and mountains. The digital daily sessions run from 9:30 am to 10:30 am.
July 13, Exploring Ecosystems, July 17. Alley Pond Environmental Center Educators zoom campers into ecosystems and study animals that call them “home” via simple experiments, animal encounters, and a daily nature connection challenge. Lesson runs from 11 am to noon, and each one focuses on a different living thing and its unique characteristics and adaptations.
July 13, Immersive Ecosystems, July 17. Alley Pond Environmental Center Animal Ambassadors teach fourth-to-seventh graders about ecosystems such as forests, deserts, and mountains from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm every day. Each online lesson includes “Ecosystem of the Day,” animal demonstrations, experiments, and activities.
July 13, Fairy Tales In Motion, Aug. 24. Queensborough Performing Arts Center offers this unique program that uses dance to retell popular fairy tales. Children (ages eight to 14) create live adaptations of classic stories. Recorded video segments will be used for a culminating theatrical performance on QPAC LIVE!
July 14, Kalunga, The Duo Sessions, 7 pm. This duo blends Afro-Latin and chamber music to create a unique sound as part of Live at the Gantries, an annual summer series that’s online this year. Award-winning percussionist Javier Diaz and world-class oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz jam and then offer a short class on Batá percussion.
July 14, The Fine Art of Songwriting, Aug. 4. Grammy-winner Steve Leslie teaches a songwriting workshop for ages 24 and up. He explores the process of songwriting and the delicate balance between art and craft. Participants have an open invitation to perform their songs on QPAC LIVE!
July 15, Noguchi’s Public Competitions in the 1930s, 1 pm. The Noguchi Museum presents a digital discussion by Alex Ross, Managing Editor of The Isamu Noguchi Catalogue Raisonné, on the public art competitions that Noguchi participated in during the 1930s.
July 15, Scales & Tails: Geckos & Pythons, 2 pm. Reptiles are covered with scales that help them survive. Some lizards regrow their tails. Alley Pond Environmental Center presents this lesson, which is appropriate for all ages.
July 16, Theorizing the Web: Surveillance of Black Lives, 7 pm. Scholar/journalism instructor Allissa Richardson and scholar/AI policy advisor Mutale Nkonde talk about the impact of surveillance during Black Lives Matters and COVID-19. Topics include facial recognition and tracing software. Theorizing the Web Board Member Apryl Williams leads the discussion.
July 16, Only Gossip Prospers, 4 pm. Lorraine Tosiello discusses her latest historical fiction about author Louisa May Alcott’s life in NYC in 1875. Filled with biographical references to her family, her literary works, and New Yorkers of the time, the novel intertwines the real people the protagonist encountered with actual events, aided by a host of fictional characters.
Ongoing Camp Options:
The Garden Lab runs until July 16. The Queens Botanical Garden offers a virtual camp from Monday through Thursday. Participants learn environmental themes such as cooking with plants, animal neighbors, and using the natural world as inspiration to create art. The session for ages 4 through 7 is 9 am to 10:30 am. The one for ages 8 through 12 is from 11 am to 12:30 pm.
Summer Media Camp runs until Aug. 21. The Museum of the Moving Image organizes such activities as stop-motion animation, screenwriting, and digital game design. Participants (ages 8 to 13) work in small groups with specially trained artists and educators.
Top image: Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre