Sunnyside Shines Logo

Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza Kicks off in June

June 2, 2015

Two local organizations, the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and ReCreate Queens are kicking off a new performance series in Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza this month. The performance series, “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” brings free performances to this new public space in the neighborhood with a diverse lineup of performers.

"Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza" will bring a new performance to Bliss Plaza on the third Thursday of each month, from June – October, 2015. Each performance will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

The event series was planned to bring free, family activities into the community and enliven the neighborhood’s newest public space: Bliss Plaza, located under the elevated 7 train at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The new series will provide a public venue for professional Queens-based musicians and performers, delighting commuters with free concerts and inaugurating the plaza as a new venue for culture and performance, while also highlighting the vital role artists play in the community. ReCreate Queens curated the series, first by launching a public call for performing artists in March which received over 50 submissions.

The final performance lineup will consist of:

June 18: Street Beat Brass Band (Sunnyside-based Street Beat Brass Band will present a multicultural program of brass-based and street-based music from various parts of the world.)

July 16: Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band (Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band presents Latin jazz fusion invigorated by many different Afro-Caribbean musical styles.)

August 20: Dilemastronauta (Dilemastronauta will perform original music inspired by the rhythms of Colombia as well as compositions of the Latin American song book with a modern twist.)

September 17: McManus Irish Dance (Sunnyside-based McManus Irish Dance will present traditional Irish music and dance, featuring its young students and local artists, many hailing from Ireland.)

October 15: Afro Latineers (Innovative fusion of Afrobeat, Latin Jazz, Jazz Standards & Salsa)

The new performance series received initial funding from Queens Council on the Arts and a crowdfunding campaign which raised money from community members. Sponsorships have been provided by Tito Rad's Grill and White Cake Bakery.

“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.”

Nancy Kleaver, founding member of ReCreate Queens says, "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. 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."

About Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District

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. Sunnyside Shines provides support services tailored to meet the specific needs of the district including supplemental sanitation, holiday lighting, neighborhood beautification, district marketing, government advocacy and the promotion of Sunnyside.

About ReCreate Queens

Re-Create QNS is a coalition of community-based organizations and individuals committed to building more spaces for creativity in Sunnyside and Woodside. We promote the work of our members and the importance of the arts in our lives, produce fun events, and are working together to develop a community arts and learning center in the neighborhood.

Learn more, check out our members, and join our cause at