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Fundraising Campaign Launched to Bring Performance Series to Bliss Plaza

Bliss Plaza

Bliss Plaza

March 30, 2015 By Michael Florio

Sunnyside Shines kicked off a fundraising campaign last week to help underwrite the cost of hosting a series of public performances under the 46th Street train station–known as Bliss Plaza– this summer.

The performances will be held monthly and will take place every third Thursday from June through October. The series is being called “Third Thursday in Bliss Plaza.”

Sunnyside Shines has partnered with ReCreate Queens, a local group dedicated to putting on artistic performances, to run the series. The two organizations have started a crowdfunding campaign where residents are encouraged to donate funds to help cover the costs.

“Anyone who supports the plaza and the community can donate,” said Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines.

Sunnyside Shines is in charge of running this neighborhood’s business improvement district.

The fundraising campaign was launched Friday and has already raised more than $1,000. The goal is to raise $5,185 by April 9.

Thieme said the organization plans on getting the word out about its campaign through social media, an email newsletter and, mostly, word of mouth.

Bliss Plaza was completed last summer and this is the first full year that Sunnyside Shines will be able to focus on using it.

“We want to best utilize it and make it a gathering space for the community,” Thieme said.

“This space has been transformed from a dark underpass with no seating to a performance space,” she added. “It just keeps getting better.”

The performers for “Third Thursday at Bliss Plaza” are being selected by ReCreate Queens, which ended the application period Friday.

The group has received about 40 applications and will begin reviewing them this week. ReCreate Queens sought a variety of performers—from dancers to magicians, said Amanda Keil, with Recreate Queens.

Keil did add that while Sunnyside residents will receive preference, quality is the first priority.

Thieme said the plaza is an ideal place for performers since it is located in such a prominent spot.

“It will create a buzz and bring a lot of foot traffic,” Thieme said.

She said that the series will attract No. 7 train riders and draw new people into Sunnyside.

“This could be a welcoming entrance to the community [for visitors],” she said. “It could create a great first impression…to sit and watch some performances in a public plaza.”

She added that if this goes well the organization will look to expand the series next year.

Thieme said there is also programming at the Lowery Plaza, located under the 40th Street Station, in the works for this summer.

A breakdown of the budget for the Bliss Plaza series, which includes paying performers, printing posters and flyers, can be found on the campaign website.

For more on the campaign and to donate go to: https://www.ioby.org/project/third-thursdays-bliss-plaza.

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24 Comments

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Other side

Wow! It seems you don’t see the larger picture. So, we are not talking about the same thing.

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Wow!

It is an article about a business improvement district improving the business district. It’s not about the 7 train, or new condos, or the community board, or JVB. While these are important issues, it’s not what this article is about.

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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

There are already free concerts under the arch in summer – a much more pleasant space to watch a show. The “plaza” doesn’t need anything fancy as far as music. Just find some quality street musicians and give them permits to play.

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Southside Johnny

I am SO glad they got rid of those food trucks. They made a mess and we don’t need them when we already have so many decent food establishments to choose from. The seating areas are nice- the people complaining now were the same negative bunch that was against tis plaza and the benches, both of which have proven to be very popular.

Reply
Manzar

This is a nice endeavor with nice intentions but I have no desire to stand around listening to music while cars zoom past me on both sides and trains rumble overhead.

Reply
Fritz

I’d suggest a Mariachi band so our neighbors on the south side and the others among us will feel more at home…Then perhaps the Sunnyside shines volunteers can clean up the mess afterwards. .You know Sunnyside the town they call Mayberry close to Manhattan! !!!

Reply
life

I like the live music event on 46th st reet near the Arch but that was an all day event with lots of seating. If you can get some real music I’m in.

Reply
Listen to the People

They are trying to build their businesses and boost their incomes, against the wishes of people who for many years have lived here and loved it for its quiet, community feel. We don’t want to be a destination for anyone except our neighbors. Greed is spoiling what was once a homey feel. That is what our problem is. We have stated it many times, but the Greedy don’t like it and don’t listen. So we say it louder and more often.

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El loco

I’ve lived here for 25 years. You have an idealized view of Sunnyside. Not everyone lives in Sunnyside Gardens. You are living in Fantasyland not Sunnyside.

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Wow!

Living here for longer than someone else doesn’t automatically make your opinion more important. You don’t see how opposing the right of business owners to “build their businesses and boost their incomes” because you liked things how they were is entitled and selfish? You, sir, are living in Fantasyland.

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Other side

No one said it did. But it is equally important to any one else’s and I believe grownups listen to everyone’s opinion and give it due consideration. Calling people names makes you seem arrogant and self-righeous. I hope that isn’t true, but just an artifact of your syntax.

And, everyone, business or resident, has the right to do what is within the law to promote their interests. But when real-estate developers buy politicians and public servants, like the community board, the playing field is uneven. That is just what happened here. Resident’s issues are taking a back-back-back seat to business and real estate interests, so people are speaking up in an effort to promote their own interests. That is human nature.

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Wow!

I think this is blown WAY out of proportion. They are just trying to make this space a little nicer. Making lemons out of lemonade. I don’t see what people expect Sunnyside Shines to do about development at Sunnyside Yards or corruption in the community board. And even if you don’t want to “hang out” under the train (I don’t), it’s still feels good to have cleaner, more inviting public space. Listen to the People’s comment was selfish and entitled. Let’s keep things in perspective.

Wow!

They’re trying to improve an otherwise dingy public space that we all traverse at some point or another. And now they want to provide free live music during the summer. What the hell is everyone’s problem??? Don’t go if it’s not your thing.

Reply
Reality

People are just tired of all the bs and distractions interfering into everyday lives with no real progress happening for far more important issues. It just all feels like a game. People don’t want theatrics they want things that will improve their quality of life.

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Wow!

“The mission of Sunnyside Shines is to invigorate and enrich the economic life of the neighborhood by creating a safe, welcoming and dynamic commercial district in Sunnyside, Queens.”

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El loco

That’s the wonderful readers of the Sunnyside Post. Mostly frustrated white peoples who are just bitter.

Reply
Listen to the People

You took away what the people liked in order to bring in people who you hope will spend money in your businesses. You are listening to yourselves rather than the people you purport to serve. Queens does not need to be Re-created, we who come from here like it, warts and all. Go somewhere down in LIC, please. And lose that arrogant name.

Reply
sandrita

You can’t even hire someone to clean thoose filthy tables at the 46th Street Bliss Plaza but you want to hire musician’s .

Reply
Givemeliberty

This plaza is such a joke. Of course, Jimmy supports 46th Street as it leads to his street. If somebody wants to support the arts, bring back flamenco dancing to Claret!

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