To inspire residents of Jamaica, South Jamaica and greater Southeast Queens to fill out the 2020 Census, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) will produce six public events, starting Friday, August 21, designed to drive participation in the Census and to prevent a Southeast Queens undercounting that would affect its representation in Congress and funding for federal programs. This initiative is made possible by a grant to JCAL from the New York State Census Equity Fund through New York Community Trust.
With Jamaica’s Census response rate lagging behind that of the city, these events -- on the lawn of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), at 153-10 Jamaica Ave. -- are a call for community action. Featuring laptop stations for residents to fill out the Census online, and in compliance with social distancing and mask requirements, the Census drive will coincide with the finale of Flamenco Latino’s 2020 Más Allá (“Way Beyond”) series, a free concert (also socially distanced) starting at 430pm.
Flamenco Latino’s repertoire includes elements of jazz, blues and salsa, and features 7 dancers and 3 musicians. Choreographer, dancer and singer Aurora Reyes -- who will premiere “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane,” a piece that addresses unjust treatment for women everywhere -- will be joined by the hip and dynamic tap dancer Omar Edwards, the electrifying and eclectic flamenco dancer Jose Moreno, and original music by Basilio Georges. Flamenco Latino's 2020 Más Allá Series is made possible (in part) with support from the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, DANCE/NYC'S CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND, and Queens Public Library.
On Saturday, September 12 at 4PM, JCAL will hold another Census drive while presenting its first annual Southeast Queens Jam Session, also outside of JPAC. Funded by a generous grant from New Music USA, the lineup will feature 6 of the Southeast Queens community’s brightest musicians in mediums ranging from Jazz to African Drums, Hip Hop and much more.
Additional Census drives on the JPAC lawn will be held on these dates and times:
Tuesday, September 1, 3pm
Thursday, September 17, 3pm
Friday, September 25, 3pm
“Everyone who lives in Southeast Queens has a right to full representation in Congress,” said Leonard Jacobs, JCAL’s Interim Executive Director. “This is why participating in the 2020 Census is critical to our community. The strength of New York’s delegation to Congress is at stake -- so is the level of federal funding we’ll receive over the next 10 years. JCAL is grateful to New York Community Trust for awarding us this grant because we believe very strongly that every voice must be heard.”
“As we begin to roll out our ‘digital-first’ season,” added Courtney Ffrench, JCAL’s Interim Artistic Director, “we’re always looking for ways to offer live events again -- safely -- and to really serve the interests of the public. Very little is more vital to Southeast Queens right now than to boost participation in the 2020 Census, and we’re thrilled to mix that effort with some phenomenal music and dance from Flamenco Latino.”