NY Governor Cuomo To Test Theatre Reopenings With Statewide Pop-up Events


An expansive statewide festival of Pop-up Events is coming to New York!

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that this NY PopsUp will feature hundreds of pop-up performances, many of which are free of charge and all open to the public, that will intersect with the daily lives of New Yorkers. This unprecedented and expansive festival intends to revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens with the energy of live performance. This marks New York's first large-scale model for how to bring live performance back safely after this prolonged COVID-related shutdown.

NY PopsUp will debut on Saturday, February 20 and run through Labor Day. According to the press release, the Festival will reach its climax 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 more than 1,000. NY PopsUp is being coordinated in lock step with state public health officials and will strictly adhere to Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 protocols.

“Cities have taken a real blow during COVID, and the economy will not come back fast enough on its own – we must bring it back,” Governor Cuomo said“Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts.”

The events will be staged across every neighborhood and district in all five boroughs of New York City, throughout upstate and into Western New York. NY PopsUp will meet New York City and State residents where they are, infusing their daily lives with the surprise and joy of live performance. The hundreds of free, pop-up events that constitute NY PopsUp will make stages out of New York’s existing landscapes, including iconic transit stations, parks, subway platforms, museums, skate parks, street corners, fire escapes, parking lots, storefronts, and upstate venues, transforming everyday commutes, local communities, and locations never used for performances into canvases of awe and exhilaration. Instead of masses of audience members at a handful of events, this Festival is a mass of events, each for a safe and secure ‘handful’ of audience members.

Confirmed artists include Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin,Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Isabel Leonard, Nico Muhly, Joyce DiDonato, John Early and Kate Berlant, Patti Smith, Mandy Patinkin, Raja Feather Kelly, J’Nai Bridges, Kenan Thompson, Gavin Creel, Garth Fagan, Larry Owens, Q-Tip, Billy Porter, Conrad Tao, Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, Tina Landau, Rhiannon Giddens, Aparna Nancherla, Anthony Rodriguez, Jonathan Groff, Savion Glover, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chris Celiz, Christine Goerke, Kelli O’Hara, Dev Hynes, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Mearns, George Saunders, Caleb Teicher, Danielle Brooks,Jeremy Denk, Idina Menzel, Sondra Radvanovsky, Gaby Moreno, Davóne Tines, Jerrod Carmichael, Taylor Mac, Sutton Foster, Jessie Mueller, and Courtney ToPanga Washington, among many others. The events themselves will ignite imaginative collisions of different artforms.

The program is a private / public partnership overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts(NYSCA) and Empire State Development (ESD). Mr. Rudin and Ms. Rosenthal remarked, in a joint statement, “As two lifelong New Yorkers, it has been utterly devastating to see our creative community brought to an absolute standstill for a year. It’s inconceivable. We both spend our lives generating opportunities for artists, so we were both thrilled to be asked by Governor Cuomo to try to ignite a spark to bring art and performance back to life for the State. The passionate enthusiasm of every person we asked to join us in this incentive is going to make this a labor of both love and invention. We’re honored to be spearheading this campaign. Frankly, our most profound hope is that by the time NY PopsUp culminates on Labor Day, New York will be fully on the way to being reopened and revitalized and that this initiative, having served its purpose, will no longer be necessary. It’s the spark, not the fire --- the fire is the complete return of all the arts, in their full glory, standing as they always have for the rich, emotional life of the city and state in which we both live.”

For more information visit the NY PopsUp official website.

Photo: Getty


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