New York will be full of outdoor gigs this spring and summer
It all went away last spring – the ballet, the philharmonic orchestra, stand-up comedy, concerts, our beloved Broadway.
Thanks to the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine and warmer weather on the horizon, New Yorkers will be indulged in the art they love in 2021.
In fact, we’ll dive into it. Violin popups in the street. Broadway is on the Upper West Side. Musical performances, a huge outdoor reading room with regular author readings, an outdoor cabaret stage on Hearst Plaza with shows that run day and night.
This is only part of Lincoln Center’s “Restart Stages,” a program aimed at stimulating the arts and revitalizing New York City. Performances will begin on World Health Day, April 7th, and initially, health care workers will be offered tickets to events in 10 specially created outdoor venues. Most shows are free, based on availability. The project is funded by the support of the Lincoln Center Board of Directors and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNSF).
Henry Timms, President and CEO of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, told CNN that the staff had quickly found ways to use the centre’s 16-acre outdoor space and worked with various institutions across the city, to help wherever they can.
“We really wanted to use the outside area. So that was the genesis of the restart phase project. And Lincoln Center, we’re a very proud New York institution, and we really wanted to do our part to bring New York back, ”said Timms. “There are many people who are very much in the future and in New York.
“We all have the feeling that we want to make our contribution to this recovery. So that was our general thinking. There is so much focus on economic recovery, which is of course essential, but with that there has to be this human recovery. So we all start out as human beings, in this time that we are in, we have been kept apart, we have been separated. “
Timms said a revival of the arts will “help bring people together, connect people with themselves and with one another”.
Groups that Lincoln Center has worked with include the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), The African Diaspora Institute at the Caribbean Cultural Center, Harlem Week and the Harlem Arts Alliance, the Korean Cultural Center New York, and the Weeksville Heritage Center.
Starting next month there will be screenings of film at Lincoln Center, evening concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a concert and cabaret series from the Lincoln Center Theater, and dance workshops from the New York City Ballet. There will also be open rehearsals with artists from many shows.
The shows take place days and evenings, and all take place outdoors with safety protocols for artists, audiences, and staff.
“There will be a lot of things going on at once,” said Timms, adding that “the phone is ringing” and the center is still opening more shows. They are currently in talks with Broadway producers to see how they can support the outdoors for plays and musicals.
“The phone is ringing now in the sense that people are realizing that we are doing this and that we want to become partners in interesting ways,” said Timms. “We’re really trying to do this in a very open way.”
New York has also launched an “Open Culture” program that began March 1st and runs through October 31st. It enables musicians, comedians, and dancers to apply for permission to perform outdoors and “share their gifts with a desperate city must be entertained. “
Jimmy Van Bramer, a member of the New York City Council, tweeted about the program: “After a unanimous vote in the city council, the new Open Culture program will bring song, dance, comedy and performances to our streets.”
In the next few weeks, the performance schedule and details of free ticket distribution will be available for the Delacorte Theater, which will reopen this summer, a public theater spokesman told CNN.
A free production of “Merry Wives” will be shown on the Shakespeare in the Park stage starting July 5th and will run for 8 weeks. The updated version is adapted from The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Saheem Ali, is set in Harlem and focuses on immigrants from West Africa.
In true New York fashion, there is also a festival that doesn’t require tickets – you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
NY PopsUp features hundreds of pop-up performances that intersect with New Yorkers’ daily life. The series of events aims to “reinvigorate the spirit and emotional wellbeing of New York citizens with the energy of live performance while fueling New York’s difficult live entertainment sector.”
The shows will run until Labor Day and will total more than 1,000 performances. The performances are set to celebrate both the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival (June 9-20) and the opening of Little Island at Pier 55 in June.
You can watch some of the performances here.