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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spotlight: Activist Al Quinones


Al Quinones, Community and Cultural Activist, to be Honored at BCA’s 45th Anniversary Celebration on June 4th


Al Quinones, community and cultural activist who kept 52 Park and Latin Jazz alive in the South Bronx, will be honored at the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) 45th Anniversary Celebration on June 4th at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College. The celebration will coincide with the evening’s Bronx Culture Trolley activities and will include a presentation of the 2008 BRIO Award to 25 Bronx artists.

As BCA celebrates its 45th year as the official cultural agency of Bronx County, it pays tribute to Quinones for his contributions to the arts as a community leader and a cultural activist.

Alberto Quinones was born in the South Bronx. He attended St. Anselm's Grammar School, Rice High School in Harlem, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

1989 was a pivotal time for Quinones as he witnessed his childhood neighborhood burning and suffering neglect, he and three others took action and founded, 52 People for Progress, Inc. Now, 28 years later, 85,000 hours of work and an immeasurable commitment of heart, Quinones and 52 People for Progress. Inc. have created one of the best playgrounds in the South Bronx, a living testament to their philosophy, leadership development, brotherhood, and caring, while providing access to world class music, culture and the arts.

His other accomplishments in this South Bronx neighborhood include the opening of Rainey Garden in 1984, and the development of Demara/Santiago Garden. In 1990 the Miranda Theater, was inaugurated and gave birth to the 52 Latin Jazz Concerts Series. Since then over 152 concerts have been performed there – and have included the talents of Johnny Pacheco, Conjunto Clasico, Manny Oquendo and Libre and 9 time Grammy-award winner Eddie Palmieri, among others.

The success of 52 People for Progress, Inc., has to do with the many partners involved in realizing the dream. It has taken the effort of city-wide agencies, the community at large and the city as a whole with the leadership and passion of the indefatigable Alberto Quinones.

Other activities taking place during that evening’s Bronx Culture Trolley includes the opening of the OTHER, OTHER… exhibition at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Longwood, The Artisans Boutique, Artist in the Marketplace 28 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, a performance at Pregones Theater, a walking cluster of gallery exhibitions, a walking tour of the Alexander Avenue Art & Antiques District, and Jazz at Maxson’s Bar & Grill.

The Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is located on the campus of Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse and 149th Street. For more information on BCA’s 45th Anniversary Celebration at June 4th’s Bronx Culture Trolley, contact Phil Cardone at 718-931-9500 x33 or phil@bronxarts.org or visit www.bronxarts.org.

source: press release/photo courtesy of BCA

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