Bronx dedicates plaque to memorialize Covid-19 victims

Jamaica Progressive League President, Sadie Campbell.
Photo courtesy Sadie Campbell

It was not lost on Bronx residents that the borough suffered the highest casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the positivity rate in the borough contributed a whopping 40 percent in 2020 with 40,000 weekly cases reported in 2022.
Eight hundred deaths were reported in 2020 and more than 400 hospital admissions in 2022.
To that end, following announcement of a vaccine and successful response to immunizations, community organizations rallied politicians to memorialize victims of the dreaded virus — some even petitioned to act swiftly to dedicate a visible tribute.

Sadie Campbell, president of the Jamaica Progressive League recalled that during the worst years “We couldn’t attend funerals, visit loved ones in hospitals or even gather to grieve.”
Now that the positivity rate is controllable at zero percent, State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey who represents the 36th District partnered with the JPL, Bissel Garden, and the Jamaica Benevolent Arm Cultural Center for a Remembrance ceremony to “commemorate those loved ones we lost during the pandemic.”

Along with Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council Members Eric Dinowitz and Kevin Riley a tree planting ceremony galvanized concerned groups and individuals last Saturday at Baychester Ave. and 241st St.
Guests were invited to bring photos of their beloved departed in order to add closure to the unfortunate and devastating conditions which existed.

The tribute was marked by installation of a plaque in honor of the casualties who succumbed during the shut-in period of isolation.
Campbell had placed the project at the centerpiece of her organization’s must-do list.

“There are a number of issues the League must accomplish — a Hopeful Village among them ¯ but remembering our lost souls was a priority,” she added.
Committed to ensuring a dedication to the tradegies she relentlessly campaigned for a proper tribute.

Jose Richards, a member of the JPL said “although I am fully booked for the day I will go from one borough to the northern-most borough to witness what has been a long and hard-fought wish for our people.”
Richards was front and center when Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined constituents for a reception and dedication ceremony.
The legislator represents the 16th CD, which incorporates the Bronx and sections of Westchester County.

DTH Premieres Ballet Collaboration at Apollo Theater

A virtual garden of dreams bloomed inside the Apollo Theater recently when parents and relatives of students from the Dance Theatre of Harlem collaborated with the renowned company for a revision of Aesop’s fable “Town House and Country Mouse.”

Friends and family members carried bouquets of flowers to gift future divas and prima ballerinas who thrilled audiences during a matinee where miniature and seasoned stars pirouted on tippy toes to execute “Harlem Mouse/Country Mouse.”

During a two-act program conceived and directed by Robert Garland and Tai Jimenez, the revised version featured mice in dual homesteads of contentment willing to understand different environments.
Needless to say, an uptown rodent portrayed by Jacqueline Urena presented all the style and swag of a Harlem sophisticate.

Cheered on by a theater-ful of flower-laden patrons she seemed a lovable alternative to the pesty invaders who often breed infestations in the city.
One would imagine her nemesis to be an insufferable country cousin.

But Katy Freeman’s costumed Valentina Fernandez offered endearing presence narrated by Darryl Quinton.

Music by Bela Fleck, the Foo Fighters, First Choice and others added to the alluring choreography which journeys up from Newport News and the Carolinas.
By the time the pair arrives to the subway in Harlem, Eartha Cat (Lindsey Donnell) Fairy Godmother (Amanda Smith) Dapper Dude (Micah Bullard) Doctor Love (Kouadio Davis) and nurses David Atilley, Keenan English and Ariana Dickerson scoot past the Studio Museum, City College, and Harlem Hospital to arrive at the world-famous showplace.

Magnolia Dance, Kite Dance, Picnic Dance and an eye-catching Fireflies sequence tease adventures from the DTH collaborators before Soul Brother number one delivers “Superbad” enticements.
Bravo! To musical arrangers, lighting specialist Alexandra Tennenbaum and the future galaxy that dazzled Harlem for one matinee.
Summer minis dance camp begins on July 8, fall/spring auditions for the 2024-2025 season will be announced and on Aug. 24 DTH will present a full recital at their Everett Center for the Performing Arts location in the Village.

Catch You On The Inside!