June 16, 2014

KBMA's drums up support for the "Unity In the Community Festival" during press conference.

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
The Kingsbridge Road Merchants' Association (KBMA) held a press conference today at Montezuma's Restaurant, located on West Kingsbridge Road, to promote their third annual "Unity in the Community" festival this coming Saturday. The purpose of the press conference was to drum up support among English and Spanish language media for this event.

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
"We need to make this event 'bigger and better' then last year," said KBMA's president Nancy Fernandez. "We're glad to see that there is more planning to promote this year's event." 

This year, at the direction of KBMA, the festival incorporated two promotion companies, MAS, Inc., and Promecin, and increased the number of performers and activities planned for Saturday. Additionally, both companies are taking advantage of newer media outlets and strategies to increase participation for the event. One such strategy is an opportunity to network with and meet the performers live the night before at Trio Lounge in University Heights (2347 Jerome Ave.).

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
While everyone is expecting a great turnout and cooperation with the weather, one of the expressed concerns by some of the organizers is the withdraw of financial support by the Kingsbridge National Ice Center group. A recent spat between its members has led to a freeze of financial support for the event and potentially setting back the association thousands of dollars. As one of the panelist during the press conference, I took the time to urge the members of KNIC to set aside their differences and "do the right thing by the community and honor your agreement with the community and the merchants."

Photo: Miriam Quin Photography
Other members of the panel took the time to explain how important it was to promote this community event and that funds raised during the festival go on to support other initiatives throughout the year. "We use these funds to help provide other services for the merchants, such as advertising, reimbursing costs, and providing holiday lights on Kingsbridge Road," said vice-president Christian Ramos. Christian concluded by saying he, "...wants people to see how we are growing and doing more for the community and the residents in the area."

The Unity in the Community festival takes place on Saturday in front of the Kingsbridge Armory from 12 to 6 PM. For more information, visit the KBMA Facebook Page. For additional pictures from today's press conference, visit the Miriam Quin Photography Facebook page.

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