It’s officially summertime—at least from where I’m standing—and that usually means more time with the family. I was honestly torn this weekend about the theme, because there’s not only a host of family-oriented happenings, but there’s also a lot of events highlighting the Capital Region’s diversity. I was debating which to pick when it occurred to me that family is just a microcosm of community. It may sound corny, but it’s true. I could easily cover all of these wonderful events, because a community—a region like this one—is just a vast web of families and relations. In this spirit, the editor’s choice this week is the Puerto Rico on My Mind Community Event at 160 Central Avenue, Albany on Friday, June 1.
It came as a shock to many, but according to a Harvard Study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, the actual death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria was nearly 5,000, not 64 as the official estimate originally concluded back in September 2017. Many of these deaths were from a delay or lack in medical care. More than eight months have passed since the deadly Category 5 hurricane blew through Puerto Rico.
For these reasons, a Capital Region advocacy and outreach group called LATINOS, has created a free, family-friendly event to honor and commemorate those affected by the deadly hurricane. The celebration lasts from 1pm to 7:30pm, and includes a little bit of everything for everyone. For the artsy types, patrons will be able to visit a new exhibition of Puerto Rican artist Juan Maldonado, as well as see the local debut of Ay Maria!, a tragicomedy of five survivors recounting their experiences before, during and after the hurricane. There will also be a prayer service and vigil lighting for Puerto Rico at the Capital District LATINO’s beautiful new headquarters, formerly St. John’s Lutheran Church. And for the hungry and festive, there will be Latin American food provided by Salsa Latina restaurant, not to mention live music from the Rumberos and the closing act of the evening, Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra. If this great lineup doesn’t convince you to come out to Puerto Rico on My Mind, then come out just to show your support. Here are some of the other events going on this weekend:
Friday, June 1
Park and Play Movie Night – free event at St. Mary’s Hospital, 1300 Massachusetts Avenue, Troy.
Polish Fest – three-day event at Mary of Czestochowa Church, 250 Old Maxwell Road, Latham.
St. Basil Greek Festival – St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church, 909 River Street, Troy.
Saturday, June 2
Freihofer’s Run for Women – State Capital, Albany.
24th Annual Kids Studio Art Festival – Outside Schenectady City Hall, Jay & Franklin Streets, Schenectady.
Indigenous African Spirituality – free event at Hamilton Hill Arts Center, 409 Schenectady Street, Schenectady.
Sunday, June 3
The Reluctant Radical – free screening of the award-winning documentary at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 624 North Broadway, Saratoga.
11th Annual Cantina Kids Fun Run – Congress Park, Saratoga.
2018 Annual Saratoga Bottle Show & Sale – Saratoga County Fair Grounds, 62 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa.