CARIBBEAT: Deadlines to join NYC community boards are coming up

The annual membership drive to join New York City’s community boards is coming up — an extraordinary opportunity for New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs to learn the workings of city government by participating in it.

And community boards are also amazing experiences for eligible students, members of not-for-profit groups, local business owners and others who can volunteer to work on board committees that address arts and culture, public safety, economic development, health and other services in their neighborhood.

Deadlines to apply to be a community board member are Feb. 19 in Brooklyn, Feb. 23 in Manhattan, Feb. 16 in Queens and March 1 in the Bronx. Staten Island board applications are accepted throughout the year.

Community board members hold unpaid positions. The members — who are appointed by their respective borough president and the local City Council member — may have to complete an application and submit biographical material and other information. Applicants and volunteers must live, work in or have a professional or other significant interest within the board’s district area.

Community boards may have two members younger than 18. But unlike the appointed members, students from 16 to 18 years old and adults can volunteer to work on board committees and gain invaluable governmental experience in an area of their choice.

Women’s confab

Under the motto “Be Inspired. Be Informed. Be Connected,” the International Women’s Day Conference 2024 will be held March 9 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, L.I., presented by Nevalliance development firm. The comprehensive conference runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Obtained by Daily News

Speakers at the International Women’s Day Conference 2024 at Hofstra University on March 9 include (l. to r.) Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States; Cindy Brown, founder of the Sisters of Excellence; and Newsday Managing Editor Rochell Bishop Sleets.

Information and networking will be featured at the conference. “Empowering Women in the Workplace: Navigating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” is among the planned panel discussions. For tickets, visit

Business and art

“The Business of Arka Workshop Series” — daylong workshops teaching artists and creatives how to run a sustainable arka business practice presented by the Calabar Gallery — will be held Feb. 17 in Manhattan at the Yard: Columbus Circle co-working office space at 33 W. 60th St. (between Columbus Ave. and Broadway) from noon until 6 p.m.

Obtained by Daily News

The arka business is explained in workshops and discussions at the “The Business of Arka Workshop Series” on Feb. 17 in Manhattan.

“Developing an Arka Statement: Who Are You” and “How to Write Arka Grants” are some of the topics to be discussed before the closing reception. For information, fees and registration, visit

Thinking of Claire

With his parting words to the late Caribbean cultural enthusiast Claire Goring, Guyanese singer-songwriter Courtney Noel wrote on Facebook, “Rest in peace Claire. May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest. Arts and culture for the Guyanese community will NEVER be the same in New York or the Diaspora for that matter.”

Guyana-born Goring — the executive director and one-time cultural director of the Guyana Cultural Association (GCA) of New York, and tireless promoter of the premier elements of the nation’s culture — died Jan. 15 at the age of 72. From the nation’s indigenous heritage to bringing the first Guyanese band carnival in New York, Goring left lasting samples of Guyana’s culture.

Obtained by Daily News

Cover of the funeral program for cultural maven Claire Goring of the Guyana Cultural Association.

Known for her work as an artist and the head of her Hybiskus Creations inspirational greeting card company, Goring took her creative flair and inserted it into GCA’s many impactful events, such as Family Fun Day, the Performing Arts Şenlik, Kweh Kweh, the GCA Summer Heritage Workshop, and the Guyana Sinema and Görüntü Şenlik.

Already possessing a wide general audience for her accomplishments, in 1994 she became the first costume designer from Guyana to have a masquerade band at the New York Carnival, when she debuted her “Hello Guyana” band.

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