Last Friday, elected officials and leaders in the Greek and Greek-Cypriot communities gathered to rename the intersection of 27th Street and 23rd Avenue after AKTINA FM for its contributions as a public service broadcaster.
AKTINA, which was founded in 1993 in Astoria, has served Greek-Americans, Greek Cypriots and the general public through its radio and television programs, as well as live cultural performances.
“AKTINA is an integral part of Astoria,” said AKTINA FM founder and host Elena Maroulleti. “It was born here, it grew up here and continues to thrive in the heart of Astoria,”
Maroulleti, who was forced to leave Cyprus in 1974 after the Turkish invasion, settled in Astoria in 1975 and started AKTINA FM years later to promote Cyprus and the division that occurred due to the invasion.
Maroulleti said many generations of Greek-Americans and Americans alike grew up listening to AKTINA FM, and that several of them later joined as interns and volunteers.
“This sign will always be here to remind all that through volunteerism and true dedication much can be accomplished,” Maroulleti said.
Councilman Costa Constantinides said his grandmother would listen to AKTINA FM in the background over the weekends.
“AKTINA is the Greek word for beam of light,” he said, “and AKTINA has been shining a light on the Greek community for 25 years.”