Partners & Volunteers

Melody Cao
Melody Cao
Role: Executive Producer for season three of the Queens Memory Podcast

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2021

Queens neighborhood: Flushing

When I worked as a journalist for local media, I covered the news and the stories in Asian communities in Flushing. It was a very fun experience walking on the street and talking to small business owners and community leaders. There are always great foods and lovely restaurants waiting for you!

I am a big fan of oral history. I think it helps us to understand how individuals and communities experienced the forces of history. Queens is such a diverse borough where you can find many interesting stories from people with different backgrounds. I feel honored to contribute a little in collecting these stories. The experience of listening to people share their stories in their own words, with their own voices, through their own understanding of what happened and why, is deeply fulfilling.

Regina Carra
Regina Carra
Role: Interviewer and Contributor, Archivist, Colleague, Collaborator, Cheerleader

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2016

Queens neighborhood: Forest Hills

I have lived in my apartment in Forest Hills ever since I moved to New York City in 2015 to attend graduate school and pursue a career as an archivist. The two things I love most about Forest Hills are the shops and restaurants of Austin Street and the flowering trees in the springtime.

Preserving local history through oral history narrative adds nuance to the past that provides or could provide a more equitable narrative which can inform the present and future and honestly be more interesting in the complexity that is understanding human experience. Social history, changes over time, and preservation of it should strive to be a communal extension of the human activity that is remembering and forgetting. I enjoy being an investigator of memory and co creator of historical record and source especially for an area that I grew up in.

Jacqueline Colson
Role: Interviewer

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2017

Queens neighborhood: Kew Gardens Hills

I have lived here for 18 years. I’m a block from Flushing Meadows Corona Park and that’s my favorite part of living here.

I get to document the stories of everyday people. It’s a window into the past and present that allows me to share in the wisdom and experiences of those who lived it.

Jordan Gass-Pooré
Role: Executive Producer of season two of the Queens Memory Podcast, "The Borough We Became: Queens Residents On Life During COVID-19".

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2020

Queens neighborhood: Long Island City

I’ve lived in Long Island City, off-and-on, for nearly three years.

The Queens Memory Project podcast provides communities with the opportunity to share their story on their own terms and in their own words. This is a period of time that will go down in the history books and this podcast will help people in the future to understand the borough’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peter Gill
Peter Gill
Role: Producer for the Nepali episode for season three of the Queens Memory Podcast

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2022

Queens neighborhood: Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in New York City, and is home to one of the largest concentrations of Nepali businesses in North America. In Jackson Heights, you can find a Thakali-style thali or plate of momos that will rival any in Kathmandu.

The Queens Memory Project aims to build greater cross-cultural understanding and raise the profiles of communities from the margins.

Fran Kipnis
Role: Volunteer Interviewer

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2017

Queens neighborhood: Forest Hills

I lived on Austin Street in Forest Hills as a young child. My family then moved to Plainview, NY on Long Island. I have lived in San Francisco for many years, but now live part-time in Forest Hills to help care for my mom, who is 91. I love the neighborhood!

Queens is such as diverse neighborhood and everyone who lives here has an incredible story. I have been so honored to meet the most interesting and inspiring Queens residents – LGBTQ leaders, artists, community activists, new arrivals, and long term residents!

Naomi Kuo
Naomi Kuo
Role: Artist Collaborator

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2017

Queens neighborhood: Flushing

I love living in Flushing because I learn so much about myself, my heritage, complex transnational dynamics, and community, just through everyday life.

I think it’s important to articulate and highlight the stories of people who are not often documented in historical archives, and to learn from the challenges of bridging language and cultural differences. It’s also exciting to contribute to a centralized and accessible resource for future research.

Obden Mondesir
Obden Mondesir
Role: Oral History Interviewer

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2018

Queens neighborhood: South Jamaica

I lived in this area for 20 years. I love South Jamaica because it holds a lot of memory for me and I have family there. When I think of my neighborhood I’m more fascinated by its historical totality and how it’s going to change. I love the park near me. I love the communities I’m a part of and want learn more about. I’ve left to live in Brooklyn which at this point has more to offer in my current station of in life but South Jamaica is oasis for me.

Preserving local history through oral history narrative adds nuance to the past that provides or could provide a more equitable narrative which can inform the present and future and honestly be more interesting in the complexity that is understanding human experience. Social history, changes over time, and preservation of it should strive to be a communal extension of the human activity that is remembering and forgetting. I enjoy being an investigator of memory and co creator of historical record and source especially for an area that I grew up in.

EunWoo Nam
Role: Artist Collaborator

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2018

Queens neighborhood: Bayside, Queens

Bayside was my very first place when I came to NY as an immigrant. I really did not know about this area before coming to the States but soon after I fell in love with its eco friendly environments. Also layers of different cultures crossing the blocks exposed me to understand how life could be diverse and colorful. This cultural situation gave me new perception to see the world and has been inspiring me to create art since then.

I was working on a project called Collective Memory Lane about memory of hometown and cultural landscape in the MFA program in Queens College a few years ago. Around that time, I had a studio visit with the Queens Memory Project team and soon after we collaborated to run the Collective Memory Lane during the Broken Heart week. Since then, We have been organizing various public events for community members. In general, many institutions mainly focus on archiving documentations to organize history of specific fields or areas and then share the result of the research in public. However, we offer situational events in which participants can experience each theme of the project in person. In particular, the character of memory is hard to be define by words and its abstract condition cannot be defined by some academic terms too. So the situational experience through the Queens Memory Project helps people to access the condition of memory more closely and the layers of each experience from individuals create a landscape of our community in that condition too.

Elias Ravin
Elias Ravin
Role: Composer for three seasons of the Queens Memory podcast

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2017

Queens neighborhood: Elmhurst & Long Island City

My wife has family in Elmhurst, it’s an incredible place to eat, if it exists on earth, it exists in Elmhurst. As for Long Island City, I lived nearby in Greenpoint for many years and would frequently walk and bike there to hang out on the waterfront or just go out for a drink.

Queens is the most diverse place on the planet and basically functions pretty well, it sort of thwarts any nativist talking points just by existing and functioning. Despite all that it’s also a little bit under-examined in popular culture compared to Manhattan or Brooklyn. It deserves to have a brighter light shone on it.

Rebecca Rushfield
Rebecca Rushfield
Role: Oral History Interviewer focusing on Queens College

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2015

Queens neighborhood: Kew Gardens Hills section of Flushing in the shadow of Queens College

My family moved there when I was a year old and I’ve lived there ever since.

Meeting interesting people who have interesting stories to tell. If captured, the unwritten stories of daily life and work add to our understanding of history and culture.

Briana Stodden
Briana Kay Stodden
Role: Re-Recording Mixer, Producer

Joined the Queens Memory team in April 2020

Queens neighborhood: Astoria

I’ve lived in Queens for 5 years. I moved here from the midwest and fell in love with the diverse community. Astoria has a small-town, family-friendly feeling but is still close to the bustling city. Of all the boroughs I’ve visited, Queens feels like home.

Like many of our Queens neighbors, when the pandemic came to New York I found myself wanting to find a way to help the community. My work experience is largely in the film and television industry so I sought out ways to use those skills. When I saw the Queens Public Library was looking for help on their Queens Memory COVID-19 Podcast I asked if I could contribute. Working to tell the stories of our neighbors and document such a historic time for our community has taught me so much about Queens’ strength and resilience. I feel so lucky to be a part of the Queens Memory Podcast team.

Johnathan Thayer
Johnathan Thayer
Role: I am faculty member of the Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Queens Memory and I have collaborated with graduate students on local public history preservation and presentation work, inside the classroom and out, particularly related to the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground. I am invested in continuing work to connect campus resources to local activists and community groups in preserving local history in Queens from an archival studies and library and information studies perspective.

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2020

Queens neighborhood: Flushing

I love being a faculty member working in preservation of local history at Queens College in such an historic neighborhood. There is so much work to be done!

Queens College students motivate me, and there is nothing more rewarding than connecting them with local activists and champions of local history.

Daniela_Trapani
Daniela Trapani
Role: Interviewer

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2021

Queens neighborhood: Astoria

I currently reside in Woodside, but I’ve also lived in Long Island City and Astoria. My dad grew up in Flushing, so I have a deep connection to Queens!

The Queens Memory Project captures the stories of Queens residents from every part of the borough and reflects the vibrancy, diversity, and sense of community that makes Queens unique.

Anna Williams
Anna Williams
Role: I write, produce, and edit the Queens Memory podcast.

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2020

Queens neighborhood: Astoria

I’ve lived in Astoria since September 2019. My husband and I moved here after I finished my Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa, and we chose it because we love the tree-lined streets, the arts and culture, and the great restaurants.

I think Queens Memory is important because it documents the stories being lived around us at this very moment. Such documentary work is meaningful in the present because it raises awareness of what our neighbors are going through and how we can help better support one another. And it’s also meaningful for posterity because it gives us a unique line of communication with people in the future who will someday listen to and read these stories. I love getting to know my neighborhood in such an intimate way and preserving its stories for future generations!

Jo-Ann Wong
Jo-Ann Wong
Role: Member-At-Large. I had assisted with bringing Queens Memory programs into the local Queens Public Library branches. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked to create virtual programs that could both engage and inform our communities about the Queens Memory Project.

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2019

Queens neighborhood: Jackson Heights

I love Jackson Heights, because of the sense of community that thrives in this neighborhood.

I believe that it is important to work with Queens Memory, as the project gives our communities a platform to have their stories heard and added to the historical record. In doing so, we ensure a more diverse and inclusive historical narrative.

Ying Zhou
Ying Zhou
Role: Volunteer

Joined the Queens Memory team in 2017

Queens neighborhood: Fresh Meadows

I lived in Fresh Meadows for over 14 years. It is a quiet and beautiful neighborhood. It is close to the two airports for traveling. It is convenient and accessible to everything: schools, libraries, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, and parks.

I have been a Queens resident for over 34 years. Queens Memory Project has helped me learn more about its diverse neighborhoods and the people who live and work here. I’d love to connect with more people who care about Queens and contribute to make Queens a better place for many generations to come.

Legal

Privacy

©2019 Queens Public Library. All Rights Reserved. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners. All image and media rights are owned by Queens Public Library unless otherwise indicated. Please consult respective notices for usage rights and permissions.