Gibson fetes Black business owners


Bronx borough president Vanessa Gibson celebrated the first day of Black history month by honoring seven Black-owned businesses from Kingsbridge/Riverdale.

She met with the owners of the small businesses at the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp. and gave them certificates of merit for their efforts.

“As we celebrate the first day of Black History Month, I am proud to recognize and acknowledge the faces and names behind these small businesses that are making a difference here in the Bronx and beyond,” said Gibson, who is the first African American woman to be elected Bronx borough president.

“It is a difficult time for business owners of color, but despite immense adversity, our Black-owned small businesses continue to persevere and provide quality service to our residents and families throughout the borough.

“It is a testament to our ancestors who paved the way for us to be where we are today.”

Keenan all-in on school read-a-thon

St. Margaret of Cortona School Principal Hugh Keenan was as it again Saturday as he publicly received a clean head shave at the school.

He had Tony the Barber of Tony’s Barber Shop shave his head as part of a promise to students if the school raised more than $20,000 in its annual read-a-thon. As of Feb. 13, the students read for more than 138,419 minutes, had 622 sponsors and raised $27,600.

In 2019, Principal Keenan went bald for the same event after the students passed a similar milestone.

The fundraiser is designed to encourage students to read while raising money to purchase blackout curtains for the gymnasium and the water bottle filling stations.

To the students’ excitement, Keenan raised his hands and shook what was left of his hair from his scalp in a triumphant salute to what they accomplished, according to a News 12 video.

Principal Keenan raises the stakes for the Catholic elementary school’s students each year when it comes to the read-a-thon. This year he offered to be taped to the wall if they raised $5,000, get slimed along with regional superintendent John Riley for raising $10,000, and get to sleep in a tent on the school’s roof if they raised $40,000.

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Musica Viva NY concert March 12

Riverdale’s Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, the artistic director and conductor for Musica Viva NY, will lead the chamber choir as it continues its 2022-23 concert series with “The Sorrow and the Beauty” on March 12.

The concert will take place at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side at 5 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be sharing a pure and dynamic expression of reverence and sacredness through live music,” Hernandez-Valdez said.

“Suffering, especially when shared, can be quite beautiful. Our hope is for audience members to experience the complex contrast of solace and redemption.”

Musica Viva NY will present six meditative works by some of today’s top contemporary living composers, including Arvo Pärt, David Lang, Caleb Burhans, Caroline Shaw and Eric Whitacre.

All Souls Church is at 1157 Lexington Ave. It is accessible by the 6 train to 77th Street or the N/Q/R trains to 86th Street. Tickets are $40 ($30 for students). They are available at

Musica Viva NY, Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, Vanessa Gibson, Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp., St. Margaret of Cortona School, Hugh Keenan, All Souls Church