Exhibit in New York celebrates life of Muppets creator Jim Henson

By Alicia Powell NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new exhibit featuring the work of Muppets creator Jim Henson will go on permanent display in New York City on Saturday to celebrate the career of the American puppeteer who brought to life such characters as Miss Piggy and Big Bird. "The Jim Henson Exhibition," housed in a new gallery space funded by the City of New York at the Museum of the Moving Image, features more than 300 artifacts related to Henson's career, including 47 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, iconic costumes and more. Film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage are presented on more than 27 monitors and projections throughout the gallery. Interactive experiences allow visitors to try their hand at puppeteering on screen and designing a puppet character. Barbara Miller, curator of the collections and exhibitions at the museum, says the exhibit explores Henson's work for film and television and his transformative impact on popular culture. It also includes material from some of the puppeteer's lesser known film projects. "Of course there's familiar favorites like Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog and Big Bird and all the things you would expect to see at an exhibition about Jim Henson and the Muppets," said Miller. "But there's also a picture that emerges of Jim Henson as an experimental film maker, as someone who was always creatively restless and looking to do the next thing," she said, adding that museum staff wanted to "permanently tell this story." Henson's characters helmed "The Muppet Show" on TV between 1976 and 1981, before appearing in numerous films including 1992's "The Muppet Christmas Carol," and 2011's "The Muppets."Henson, who died in 1990 at the age of 53, was also the creative mind behind the long-running children's show "Sesame Street."The exhibit was organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, located in New York's borough of Queens, in collaboration with the Henson family, who donated Continue Reading

CARIBBEAT: New York celebrates Guyana’s 50th anniversary with commemoration kick off in Queens

There's a big New York celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the birth of Guyana and the commemoration kicks off Saturday with a launch event at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens, presented by Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration Committee. Guyana President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government officials are invited to the New York commemoration being held June 4 through 12, in conjunction with the Guyana Consulate in New York and Guyana's Mission to the United Nations. The scheduled June activities include an interfaith prayer service, a UN reception, a flag-raising ceremony, a unity concert, a symposium, an art exhibition, a day of volunteerism, an investment conference, the President’s Soccer Tournament, a state dinner and the Mashramani festival and parade as a grand finale. For information on events and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.celebrateguyana50hinnyc.com, send email to [email protected] or call (212) 947-5113. LAS VEGAS FEST IN FEBRUARY Don’t let the location fool you! The Las Vegas Taste of The Caribbean is not a gamble, but a sure thing — a free event highlighting cuisine and culture from Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Colombia and other locations. Organized by the Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Festival founded by Cindy Leonie Blackshire, the event will be held on Feb. 27 in downtown Las Vegas featuring a wide range of music from the region, Caribbean and Latin cuisine and dance performances. The festival will be streamed live online by HCF Radio (http://hcfradio.com) of Houston, Texas. Later this year, the group will also host the Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Festival from Oct. 27 to 30. For vendors and sponsors looking to participate and others seeking general information about the February event or the October festival, send an email to [email protected] Continue Reading

New York celebrates legacy of Polo Grounds with rededication ceremony for iconic Brush Stairway

Michael W. Mitchell still remembers the old days fondly. From his childhood home on 162nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, he and his family would walk two blocks to the John T. Brush Stairway, down the steps and onto a grassy knoll, then across the street to what was then the upper level of the Polo Grounds. There were no busy highways, no guardrails — just the welcoming sights and sounds of baseball. Decades later, Mitchell stood in the same spot he had many times as a kid, with the Brush stairwell looming at his back, gazing at what used to be his haven. Now all that stands on that hallowed ground are stained reddish-brown public housing buildings, the stadium that once housed five major New York sports teams left to linger in the memories of aging fans. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK: CLICK HERE TO “LIKE” But on Thursday, the city took a step toward remembering. At a rededication ceremony at the bottom of the Brush Stairway, the New York Department of Parks and Recreation officially unveiled renovations — which were completed last year — on the 102nd anniversary of the stairwell’s opening. The project was the culmination of an effort that started in the pages of Daily News editorials seven years ago, urging that the stairs be rebuilt with financial contributions from the five pro teams that played their home games at the Polo Grounds. In all, $500,000 was raised, along with $50,000 from MLB. The unveiling signified a commitment to the rich history of New York baseball, and more specifically the Giants organization that departed for San Francisco in 1958. “There’s one thing that New Yorkers do not have, and that’s a lack of pride. We care about our place,” said former Met and Yankee Lee Mazzilli, who grew up in Brooklyn. “We talk about Yankee Stadium being the cathedral of baseball. We know how iconic the Stadium is. But Continue Reading

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2015 : New York celebrates African-American culture and heritage with an abundance of events

CONCERTS RESORTS WORLD CASINO NEW YORK CITYIn addition its regular entertainment schedule, the Queens casino will be presenting some special shows during February – Black History Month.Concert: Black Spectrum "Marvin Gaye Tribute"Date/Time: Feb. 11, from 8 p.m. to midnightConcert: “Respectfully Yours” Aretha Franklin Tribute"Date/Time: Feb. 25, from 8 p.m. to midnightInfo: Resorts World Casino New York City is at Aqueduct Raceway in Queens, adjacent to JFK International Airport. A shuttle to and from the casino is available for guests arriving from the Jamaica Station. For more information, visit www.rwnewyork.com THE HARLEM CHAMBER PLAYERSThe Harlem Chamber Players will hold its seventh annual Black History Month Celebration with a classical music concert with the George Walker Lyric for Strings, the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Clarinet Quintet, world premiere of the James Lee III Quartet No. 2, he Harry Lawrence Freeman Voodoo Queen Aria from the opera Voodoo, selections from Janinah Burnett's recent recital and the “I Too Sing America: An Artistic Tribute to Victims of Police Brutality” and music by Margaret Bonds and Donnie Hathaway. A part of the proceeds from this concert will go to the Justice League NYC, a juvenile justice project. The concert features Janinah Burnett, soprano; James Davis, Jr., piano; Patmore Lewis, violin; Belinda Whitney, violin; Tia Allen, viola; Lawrence Zoernig, cello; and Liz Player, clarinet. Eric Washington, journalist, historian and author of "Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem," will host the event. Date/Time: Feb. 22, at 3 p.m.Place: St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 521 W. 126th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.) in Manhattan. Info: Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit http://bit.ly/harlemchamber2015. For information, call (212) 866-1492 or send email to CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS Continue Reading

Black History Month: New York celebrates African-American culture and heritage with an abundance of 2014 events

BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES MAYOR’S OFFICE OF VETERANS AFFAIRS  “African American Women and the Military: World War II and Beyond,” an Black History Month exhibit presented by the Mayor’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs in collaboration with the city’s Department of Records and Information Services and the city Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs advises the mayor on issues “impacting the veteran and military community.” Under the leadership of Commissioner Terrance Holliday (retired Air Force colonel), the ageny works with federal, state and city agencies to aid veterans, their dependents and survivors.Place: 31 Chambers St. (between Centre and Elk Sts.) in ManhattanDate/Time: Feb. 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.Info: Call 212-788-8609 to RSVP. Wheelchair accessible entrance is on Reade St., between Centre and Elk Sts. HAYMARKET BOOKS“The Black Power Mixtape: 1967–1975,” a new book by Sweden-born filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson and based on his 2011 documentary, looks at the Black Power Movement in America through archival information, color photographs,  and historical speeches and interviews with Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, Emile de Antonio, and Angela Davis. There is also new commentary in the book from Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Harry Belafonte, Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis, Robin D. G. Kelley, Abiodun Oyewole, Sonia Sanchez, Bobby Seale, John Forte, and Questlove, in addition to a preface by actor/activist Danny Glover. "We have much to learn from these visionary organizers who sought to redefine and re-imagine democracy, whose sense of empowerment derived from the belief that the people could be the architects for change,” wrote Glover in the preface. The documentary was shot by Swedish Continue Reading

Caribbean Week in New York celebrates region’s people, attractions & amenities

For New Yorkers with Caribbean roots and anyone with a fondness for the region’s many offerings, Caribbean Week in New York is a homecoming of sorts. This year’s edition of the anticipated annual event — presented by Caribbean Tourism Organization — showcases the tropical area’s people, tourist attractions and amenities in addition to hosting a forum for Caribbean tourism officials to inform travel industry representatives and potential investors in the region. Quick and easy online registration is needed for purchasing tickets and getting admission to free Caribbean Week events. The popular open-to-the-public attractions are back and include: n The Caribbean Diaspora Forum, “Re-Discovering Home: Defining Our Needs,” on June 5 at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel, 1535 Broadway (between 45th and 46th Sts.), Soho Complex on the seventh floor, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Caribbean tourism officials will give Caribbean nationals an update on the “Rediscover Home” program, discuss strengthening the relationship with travel related businesses and organizations. Registration is required to attend the forum. Download a registration form at Download bit.ly/RegisterDiasporaForum. n A live Caribbean wedding, stilt walkers, singers, music and plenty of information about travel the warm Caribbean are some of the features of the “Travel and Cultural Fair Wedding and Travel Mart” which will be held in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall on June 6, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the Caribbean Wedding, sponsored by MarryCaribbean.com, the couple exchanges vows and receive a honeymoon in a romantic Caribbean destination and special gifts. n “Rum and Rhythm,” Caribbean Week’s gala event, reveals the region’s amazing cuisine through the expertise of chefs and a sampling of the premium Caribbean rums on June 8 at Tribeca 360 — 10 Desbrosses St. , in Manhattan Continue Reading

Moammar Khadafy dead: Libyans in New York celebrate news ex-dictator was killed

Libyans in New York rejoiced Thursday over the news that ousted dictator Moammar Khadafy was slain. "I am very, very happy," Ammar Elftesi, 61, told the Daily News. "That's the best news I've ever heard. We've been waiting for this news for nine months. ... All of Libya is happy, not only me." Elftesi, who moved to New York in 1979, said he first received word about Khadafy's death in a 5 a.m. phone call from family members in Libya. "They said, 'Khadafy is gone. He's dead,'" said Elftesi, of Woodhaven, Queens. Elftesi said he spent the next several hours watching the TV news. The former gift shop owner said he started celebrating as more and more stations reported Khadafy was dead. "He's a killer. He's massacred so many people," Elftesi said. "How could I not be happy? He's destroyed a whole country." Outside the Libyan Mission to the United Nations on E. 48th St., Libyan diplomats cheered the news. "It's a celebration!" said diplomat Esam Ganbour. "We could never believe this would happen after so many years." Even people who live near the mission were moved by Khadafy's death. "I saw Khadafy coming in and out of the building a few years ago when he was here," said Robin Marscio. "It was inevitable," Marscio added. "They needed to get him out." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Legalization of gay marriage in New York celebrated in star-studded gala at Four Seasons

Veterans advocate and ex-Intrepid President Bill White tied the knot with his longtime partner Sunday night at a star-studded gala where guests celebrated the legalization of gay marriage in New York. White and Bryan Eure, an insurance executive, said "I do" at the posh Four Seasons restaurant before a crowd of close to 700 that included top military brass, politicians and celebrities. "It's the greatest day of my life," White said. White was president of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum until last year. He has raised millions for families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and veterans' rehabilitation. He was considered in 2008 for the post of secretary of the Navy - even as the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy continued to bar gay troops from serving openly in the military. "That's the reason I never went into the military," he said. "I was open for as long as most people knew me." The wedding - the first legal gay marriage held at the Four Seasons - drew luminaries, including singer Aretha Franklin, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Barbara Walters and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Franklin performed several songs, including "I Say A Little Prayer" and "Respect." She ended her set by singing "I Will Always Love You" as the couple kissed. Members of the Navy Junior ROTC held American flags and greeted arriving guests as the New York City Gay Men's Chorus sang Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and other hits. "I am so excited. It's long overdue. When you're going to do it, do it big. Wow! Wow! Wow!" said talk show host Gayle King. "New York is leading the nation about doing the right thing. Finally, people are doing the right thing." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

President Obama hails NAACP’s 100th anniversary: Gov, mayor also to speak at New York celebration

THE NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group, is marking its 100-year anniversary with a celebration in the city and a visit from a special VIP: President Obama. Obama headlines a slew of prominent speakers at the group's centennial convention opening Saturday at the Hilton New York, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and the Rev. Al Sharpton. "New York is the birthplace of the NAACP, and it is only fitting that this great city be the host of our 100th anniversary convention," NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said. "Together we will celebrate our victories from the past 100 years, from Brown vs. Board of Education to the election of Barack Obama." Obama will speak on Thursday, the final day of the convention, when the NAACP presents its chairman, Julian Bond, with its highest honor, the Spingard Medal. "For 100 years the NAACP has pushed us to acknowledge the humanity in each other and ensure that our laws will follow suit," Obama said. "It's humbling to think of the progress made possible by ordinary folks who refused to settle for the world as it was and instead stood up and fought to remake the world as it should be." Jealous will kick off the convention at a news conference later today, focusing on ensuring a fair confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Sharpton is the keynote speaker for tomorrow's prayer breakfast dedicated to deceased NAACP officers and members. Bloomberg, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will address the convention later tomorrow. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will join several icons of the civil rights movement on Wednesday for a panel discussion on "where the NAACP has come and where it should go in its next 100 years," said Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the convention. Over the course of the six-day event, the organization will unveil a sweeping initiative on criminal justice and Continue Reading

Family of Cyclone accident victim is suing New York City

The family of a California musician who snapped his neck and died in a downhill plunge on the Cyclone sued the city Wednesday for failing to keep the Coney Island roller coaster safe.Keith Shirasawa was in New York celebrating his 53rd birthday on July 31, 2007, when he decided to take a ride the 80-year-old New York landmark. Shirasawa was descending the ride's first hill when his neck snapped and he fractured several bones in his neck, a suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court charges. He died five days later. The suit accuses the city of failing to conduct regular inspections of the coaster, including a brake that needed to be replaced. It also claims the coaster uses an "antiquated" single position lap bar to strap in riders. The city Parks Department contracts with a private company to conduct inspections and perform repairs. Both were named as defendants. In the weeks leading up to Shirasawa's injury, three others suffered serious back injuries riding the Cyclone, the suit claims. "This involves a very tragic matter, and we'll review the family's complaint thoroughly," said Kate O'Brien Ahlers, a spokeswoman for the city Law Department.   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading