Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced the official public opening of Restart Stages.
A new outdoor performing arts center constructed on the Lincoln Center campus.
Welcoming audiences to reimagined community spaces and new outdoor venues, with dozens of free events and surprise Pop-Up performances in music, dance, drama, and more.
As New York begins to emerge from this pandemic, Lincoln Center is making 10 outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces available to artists and arts organizations across its campus and the five boroughs. Reimagined outdoor performance and civic venues will help kickstart the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City.
“We’re heading into the heart of the First Act, so-to-speak, in our efforts to harness the energy and creativity that make New York one of the most exciting places to live and be,” said Henry Timms, President & CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s heartening to be able to offer space for artists from across the five boroughs to create and perform, and space for New Yorkers to connect with the arts and one another after so many months of isolation.”
Restart Stages at Lincoln Center is made possible through the generous support of the Lincoln Center Board of Directors and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of the SNF-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative, a collaboration that reimagines and reactivates public space for a new era.
Restart Stages begins its months-long activation of Lincoln Center’s outdoor spaces with the opening of “The GREEN” on May 10, an accessible, physical reimagining of Josie Robertson Plaza into an open space by celebrated set designer and MacArthur Genius grantee Mimi Lien.
A land blessing ceremony—conducted by Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapough Lunaape and facilitated by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council— will open the evening’s free performances.
Singer/songwriter Martha Redbone will follow, using a fusion of gospel, folk, and blues to celebrate her Native and African-American heritage and address pressing issues, both political and personal, head-on.
Closing the evening is groundbreaking, Tony-nominated Broadway performer, actor, and powerful baritone Norm Lewis.
Free tickets to opening day and all upcoming May events will be made available through the TodayTix Lottery, the Official Ticketing Partner of Restart Stages.
- Opening night concerts by singer/songwriter Martha Redbone and SAG and Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis
- Premiere of Our Time is Now – violinist Jennifer Koh’s exploration of the AAPI and Black experiences with composer-pianist Courtney Bryan, a Lincoln Center commission
- NEA Jazz Master and ten-time GRAMMY winner Eddie Palmieri, presented in collaboration with NYU Music and Social Change Lab
- Chamber Music Society’s Summer Evenings Outdoors, with world premiere of new song cycle by Bruce Adolphe, composed for soprano Angel Blue
- Juilliard NOW performance series featuring a new generation of artists in music, dance, and drama
- Storytelling performances, curated by The Moth
- Contemporary jazz inspired by Haitian rhythms with vocalist Pauline Jean and saxophonist Godwin Louis, presented in collaboration with Haiti Cultural Exchange in honor of Haitian Heritage Month
- First in-person Concerts For Kids performance by Brooklyn band Red Baraat
- Broadway star Jose Llana’s special performance for the Philippine Nurses Association
- Outdoor reading room, created by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, opens May 24
- Campus to host additional Pop-Up performances of music, dance, and art, school graduations, children’s recitals, and more
- Free tickets to all events can be reserved through the TodayTix Lottery, Official Ticketing Partner of Restart Stages
- Restart Stages is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative
The TodayTix Lottery will open for entries two weeks before each performance and close one week prior to the performance at 12:59 p.m. EDT.
Attendees who secure tickets will be required to fill out a health survey, among other safety protocols.
For more information visit TodayTix.com or download the TodayTix app.*
Throughout the month of May, audiences can access free tickets to multi-genre musical performances, dance, spoken word, drama, family programming, and more, created by Lincoln Center, its world-class resident organizations, cultural and community arts partners, and guest curators from across the five boroughs.
Passersby may also come across surprise Pop-Up performances on campus including Cliff Matias and the Redhawk Dancers, puppeteer Basil Twist, and a centennial tribute to activist Yuri Kochiyama, among many others, in addition to school graduations, family workshops, children’s recitals, and more.
Select Restart Stages events will be live-streamed on Lincoln Center and partner organization digital platforms, increasing access nationally and internationally, well beyond those able to travel to the physical campus.
Lincoln Center will also bring its commitment to civic and community service to Restart Stages, supporting communities that have been hardest hit by the virus and resulting economic catastrophe. Alongside arts programming, Lincoln Center will host its third food distribution in partnership with Food Bank For New York City on May 26. Additional food distributions, and blood drives with the New York Blood Center, will take place throughout the coming months. Lincoln Center will also serve as a designated primary election polling place this June, in partnership with the Board of Elections.
All offerings will occur outdoors with safety protocols in place for artists, audiences, and staff. Designed with expert advice from medical and public health professionals, a variety of safety protocols will be in place, following recommended guidelines as the public health situation evolves—including, but not limited to, testing of artists and production staff, required face coverings, social distancing, and regular cleaning of the spaces.
Restart Stages launched on World Health Day, April 7, with a special performance for healthcare workers. It has continued with a New York Blood Center blood drive and several pop-up performances by ensembles from The Juilliard School, Passion Fruit Dance Company/Tatiana Desardouin in collaboration with Works & Process, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and puppeteer Basil Twist.
Beginning April 20 is a new installation, titled “We Belong Here” by Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. Building upon the “I Still Believe in Our City” art campaign she created as artist-in-residence with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the installations offer Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders a respite from grief, a moment of peace, and a sense of pride and hope amidst the brutal attacks and harassment their community has endured.
The transatlantic exhibition, Faces of the Hero, a partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) will be on view beginning in July.
Restart Stages at Lincoln Center is being developed in coordination with NY PopsUp, part of Governor Cuomo’s New York Arts Revival, in a partnership to help extend reach of the initiative far beyond Lincoln Center’s campus.
Since the pandemic began, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has driven efforts to bring the power of the arts to New Yorkers outdoors and digitally—from Love From Lincoln Center concerts for individual essential workers to works of art that elevate the voices and lived experiences of people of color in America, such as Carrie Mae Weems’ installation Resist COVID/Take 6!, Davóne Tines’ Vigil, and digital commissions like The Baptism by Carl Hancock Rux.
Future international collaborations with the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens (SNFCC) will bring new approaches to cultural engagement in both cities.
These are just the beginning of a reorientation towards prioritizing openness, access, and inclusive excellence – elevating talent from every corner of the globe and fostering a sense of radical welcome on the campus.
Additional programmatic details, including upcoming events for June, will be announced in the coming weeks. All seating for Restart Stages is located on accessible routes and can be removed to make space for mobility devices. Captioning via personal phones and tables will be available for opening day events on May 10 and American Sign Language interpretation will be available for Our Time is Now on May 25.
*No purchase is necessary to enter the TodayTix Lottery and reserve free tickets for these May performances. The prize value of tickets is $0. The odds of winning tickets depend on the number of eligible entries received. The TodayTix Lottery is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18 or over. Complete official rules, prize description, and giveaway entry information will be available on the TodayTix and Lincoln Center websites.
Visit RestartStages.org for updates.
Photo credit: Harlem’s Lincoln Center