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Queens Economic Development Corp. celebrates boro talent

Over its centuries-long history, Queens has been a home of music greats, a center for sports and the set of many movies, but many people who pass through LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy International airports do not realize that.

The Queens Hall of Fame hopes to change that with its months-long celebration of Queens.

“We’re not just the melting pot,” said Seth Bornstein, director of the Queens Economic Development Corp. “We’re a lot of talented people.”

The Queens Hall of Fame is an initiative within the QEDC’s Discover Queens program aimed at showcasing the musicians, athletes and filmmakers who came out of the borough. From May to September, the corporation will fill the visitor’s center with weekly exhibits on famous people from Queens in the Queens Center Mall, at 90-15 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, and will hold concerts and other events at various locations throughout the borough. At the end of the event, the QEDC will announce nominees for the Queens Hall of Fame and inductees will be voted upon at the corporation’s gala in 2012, the time and place of which is to be announced.

“It’s a really good project and we’re delighted to be here,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who attended the initiative’s kick-off at the Queens Center Mall last Thursday.

This initiative is envisioned as an annual event. said Pearline Horne, spokeswoman for the Queens Hall of Fame.

“We want you to know what’s going on in Queens, what’s happening in Queens,” Horne said.

From May 19 to June 19, the Queens Hall of Fame will be holding “All That Jazz: Celebrating the Rich Legacy of Jazz in Queens.” The first week of this event celebrated the music of Louie Armstrong and Milt Hinton, and this week’s exhibit is about the St. Albans neighborhood of Addisleigh Park and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

After the jazz exhibits are complete, the Queens Hall of Fame will hold “The Sporting Life: Historic Sports Moments in Queens” from June 20 to July 20, “Lights, Camera, Action: The History of Film in Queens” from July 21 to Aug. 21 and “Rock, Pop and Hip Hop: Popular Music in Queens” from Aug. 22 to Sept. 22.

“It’ll just create the awareness of what Queens has to offer,” Bornstein said.

The visitor’s center at Queens Center Mall is near the mall’s 57th Avenue entrance near Applebee’s and has a sign reading “Discover Queens: Arts, Culture, Entertainment.” More information can also be found at Queens Hall of Fame’s website at queenshalloffame.com.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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