What there is to know
- New York has announced the launch of NY PopsUp, an arts festival featuring hundreds of free pop-up shows throughout the state, including New York, all in an effort to accelerate the return of the arts and culture scene.
- The pop-up-centric festival will serve as a pilot program to create the state’s first full-scale model on how to safely bring back live performances after COVID-related theaters close for nearly a year .
- The NY PopsUp news comes on the same day New York Mayor Bill de Blasi introduced the Curtains Up NYC initiative, which aims to help qualified entertainment companies secure federal grants.
New York stars perform at the Javits Center on Saturday to kick off nearly 200 days of NY PopsUp, an arts festival featuring hundreds of free pop-up shows across the state, including New York City – all in one effort to accelerate the return of the artistic and cultural scene.
This series of events “aims to revitalize the minds and emotional well-being of the citizens of New York with the energy of the performing arts while reviving the struggling live entertainment industry in New York,” said the State.
Jazz musician Jon Batiste, choreographer and tap dancer Ayodele Casel and international opera star Anthony Roth Costanzo perform in tribute to New York’s healthcare workers at the Javits Center on Saturday. The inaugural event will be broadcast live here at 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, a follow-up performance will be conducted by the company of choreographer Garth Fagan at MAGIC Spell Studios at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
NY PopsUp launches on February 20 and takes place during Labor Day. The festival will reach its peak with the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and The Festival at Little Island at Pier 55, bringing the total number of performances to over 1,000 at this point.
The pop-up-centric festival will serve as a pilot program to create the state’s first full-scale model on how to bring back live performances safely after COVID-related theaters close for nearly a year .
According to the state, NY PopsUp is coordinated with public health officials and will strictly adhere to Department of Health COVID-19 protocols.
“Cities have taken a hard hit during COVID, and the economy will not come back fast enough on its own – we have to bring it back,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “Creative synergies are vital for the survival of cities, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down across the country, wreaking havoc on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive in reopening the state and relaunching our economy. track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the wider reopening of our world-class venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this pandemic, and we will once again lead. bringing back the arts. “
Events produced by NY PopsUp will be held in all five New York boroughs, across Long Island and in all regions of the state. Cuomo said more than 300 pop-up performances will take place, with performers including actors Hugh Jackman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kenan Thompson, opera stars Rene Fleming and JNai Bridges, performance artist Taylor Mac. and dancer Savion Glover.
New York City’s existing landscapes, including iconic transit stations, parks, subway platforms, museums, skate parks, street corners, fire escapes, parking lots, storefronts and venues in the upstate will become the stages for hundreds of scheduled pop-up shows.
“Instead of having masses of spectators at a handful of events, this festival is a mass of events, each for a ‘handful’ of safe and secure spectators,” the state said.
As part of the initiative, New York officials said a new Open Culture program will be launched at more than 100 venues across the city. Groups can start applying for permits on March 1 for one-day performances. They can charge for tickets as long as they don’t block passers-by from seeing what they can.
If we really wanted to bring the heart and soul back to New York City, we need our arts and culture, the mayor said at a press conference hosted by a performance by members of Elisa Monte Dance, a modern dance company based in Harlem.
However, as COVID restrictions begin to loosen, the NY PopsUp model will pave the way for the reopening of flexible multidisciplinary venues (known as ‘flex venues’) across the state, which will also participate in the festival, making it the very first performance since the start of the pandemic – ultimately marking a milestone in the state’s recovery efforts. These places are representation spaces established without fixed seats and could be adapted to social distancing. They include: The SHED, The Apollo, Harlem Stage, La MaMa and The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater. All indoor events will strictly follow Ministry of Health guidelines for public health and safety.
The pop-up festival is a private / public partnership overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development.
Cuomo first announced the State’s idea of entertainment pop-ups during his State of the State last month.
“This groundbreaking initiative will help revive the arts while celebrating New York’s resilience and recovery from the COVID pandemic,” Cuomo said at the time.
The NY PopsUp news comes on the same day that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the Curtains Up NYC initiative, which aims to help qualified entertainment companies secure federal grants.
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