Before the performance a group of attendees mingled and enjoyed drinks and quick bites at the bar outside the Family Circle. Then, at 7:30, everyone went inside to take their seats. The AABANY contingent took up nearly three rows of seats.
For some it was a first-time experience that was greatly enhanced upon the discovery of subtitles that appeared on a thin bar that stretched across the row. Each person could see the subtitles displayed directly in front of them.
The sets were breathtaking and the score by Puccini was classic and timeless. The performances were excellent, and the main cast included two Asian Americans, with Hei-Kyung Hong playing the tragic character Mimi.
By all accounts, this event was a hit among those who attended. Talk is already brewing about another Night at the Opera. Stay tuned!
Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks especially to Membership Director Beatrice Leong for organizing the event.
On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.
After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”