Photo courtesy of Street Beat Brass Band
The Sunnyside-based Street Beat Brass Band will be the first group to perform during the new series "Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza."

A Sunnyside pedestrian plaza will become a new venue for the arts starting this month as two local groups launch a series bringing free performances to the surrounding community.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and the coalition ReCreate Queens have come together to kick off a new series called “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza,” expected to bring entertainment from Queens-based musicians and performers.

In March, the groups launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $5,000, in hopes of bringing the new series to Bliss Plaza, which opened last October under the 7 train at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street.

The series received initial funding from the Queens Council on the Arts and the rest came from the successful campaign.

Bliss Plaza (Photo by Angy Altamirano)

Bliss Plaza (Photo by Angy Altamirano)

“We are really looking forward to programming this great new public space,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines.  “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

The series, which kicks off on June 18 with a performance by the Sunnyside-based Street Beat Brass Band, will bring a new act to the plaza on the third Thursday of each month through October. Each performance will go from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

According to organizers, “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” will not only delight commuters but also serve to highlight the vital role artists play in the community.

“As a coalition of neighbors and creative professionals who want to ensure that the arts thrive in the area, it’s critical to us to showcase local artists and make their work accessible for everyone,” said Nancy Kleaver, founding member of ReCreate Queens. “With support from the community we are able to pay our artists what they deserve and establish an annual series that will grow over time. We can’t wait to launch this new tradition.”

The performances include the following:

July 16 – Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band
Aug. 20 – Dilemastronauta
Sept. 17 – McManus Irish Dance
Oct. 15 – Afro Latineers

For a detailed schedule, click here.

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