Over 1,000 artists and over 300 events announced for SUMMER FOR THE CITY at Lincoln Center
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced the first summer for the city. Unveiled by LCPA Artistic Director Shanta Thake, the three-month initiative takes a fresh take on the LCPA summer season that activates the entire campus under one banner.
“One of the most basic jobs of the arts is to help heal. This summer we will do just that, with times to rejoice, reclaim and remember in a transformed city,” said Shanta Thake, Director LCPA’s Ehrenkranz Artistic Program, named August 2021. “This season is rooted in our core programming values: to deliver arts and civic programming that reflects New York City, the majority of which are free; prioritizing collaboration and asking artists and their communities first what they want from Lincoln Center; being a home for experimentation; and inviting New Yorkers to actively participate in what we will create together.”
“The season that Shanta and the team have curated captures the moment and so much more by weaving Lincoln Center’s beloved programming from summers past into something fresh, new and completely New York,” said Henry. Timms, President and CEO of LCPA. “We are all looking for a cure for the upheaval and pain of the past two years. Art can help provide it: from group singing to celebrations of missed or truncated milestones. We must empower ourselves to let the joy come back, together.”
Held over three months and featuring hundreds of free events,
This year’s summer for the city has three central themes:
Rejoice, Recover, Remember
Coming together to rejoice after such a time of challenge and crisis.
- Summer kicks off with Sing New York, a large-scale concert on Josie Robertson Plaza for thousands of New Yorkers alongside the Young People’s Chorus of New York, Artistic Director and Founder Francisco J. Núñez, conducted by Elizabeth Núñez.
- Social dancing and classes at “The Oasis” dance floor facility on Josie Robertson Plaza, featuring salsa, swing, bachata, merengue, soul, and more. Collins, MaxBanda, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Hot Sugar Band, Yanos and Beats, Rachael & Vilray, and others.
- Several events celebrate Pride Month throughout June, including the Mini Kiki Ball presented in collaboration with BAAD! Bronx Academy of Dance, National Queer Theatre, ULTRA PRIDE!! presented in collaboration with Peace Bisquit and The Future Perfect Project.
- Cheerful tributes to iconic New York City artists and institutions, including hip-hop genius Notorious BIG, plus Larry Levan and famed nightclub Paradise Garage.
- BAAND Together Dance Festival returns for a second year bringing together five of the city’s most beloved companies on one stage: Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Dance Theater of Harlem.
At the heart of the summer season is the collective recovery of some of the traditions and rituals that have been taken from us:
- A sequence of participatory, sculptural installations across campus by artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya titled GATHER: A Series of Monuments and Rituals, invokes emotions of grief, hope, catharsis, joy and connection.
- Celebrate LOVE: A (Re)Wedding on July 10 invites couples whose weddings have been canceled or scaled down due to the pandemic to “re”-do this ritual alongside hundreds of other New Yorkers, including performances live music, a “second dance”, desserts, and a reception on the dance floor.
- QUINCE en la Plaza celebrates a Quinceañera, Latin America’s cultural touchstone and rite of passage, in an evening of celebration co-created by Camilo Quiroz-Vázquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos, founders of One Whale’s Tale, in collaboration with The Bushwick Starr.
- A site-specific, all-night performance commemorating the historic June 19 holiday, in conjunction with an event at Harlem Stage, featuring an in-depth discussion of some of the myths of the Emancipation Proclamation and the truth of modern slavery, and an installation at the Park Avenue Armory, all designed and curated by Carl Hancock Rux.
- Toshi Reagon conducts Songs for the Living, a unique event of excerpts from Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower, her opera based on the prescient novel of the same name.
Providing a place to acknowledge our losses and a space for collective healing is an essential part of summer:
- Two versions of Mozart’s Requiem offer moments of memory. Renée and Robert Belfer’s musical director, Louis Langrée, conducts the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in the original with soloists Sunhae Im, Daniela Mack, Matthew Swensen and Dashon Burton, and The Unsung Collective choir (conducted by Tyrone Clinton Jr. ), one of six pairs. Orchestra concerts this summer. Choreographer Kyle Abraham, his company AIM by Kyle Abraham and composer Jlin will transform the seminal work into an electronic opus that commemorates ritual and rebirth for the New York premiere of Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth.
- The season honors and celebrates the lives of iconic individuals through the arts, including James Baldwin and Greg Tate.
- Jazz at Lincoln Center leads a “second line” procession through Lincoln Center, in New Orleans tradition to mourn and celebrate lost lives.
Presented as part of the New York Festival, Summer for the City builds on the success of Lincoln Center’s 2021 Restart Stages, which created an outdoor performing arts hub so the arts can continue for the pandemic. This initiative drew an audience of more than 250,000 people, nearly a quarter of whom were visiting Lincoln Center for the first time.
Summer for the City will enliven every corner of the outdoor campus across 10 stages, as well as some of the indoor venues, with over 300 arts and civic activations. The steps will include:
- “The Oasis”, the largest outdoor dance floor in town with a mega 10′ disco ball. The creative vision of costume designer and set designer Clint Ramos, the blue mural installation will transform Josie Robertson Plaza and invite New Yorkers to come together through dance among a sea of mirrors that reflect the myriad attendees. Live music, silent discos, adapted dance lessons, dance parties, salsa, swing, soul, etc. will be offered, under the dynamic lighting of Andrew Grant. The dance floor will be free and open to the public during the day.
- “The Outdoor Cinema” will host films screened in front of the David Geffen room currently being renovated. Complete with popcorn and drinks, and transmitted via Quiet Event headphones, the three-week mini festival is in conjunction with Film at Lincoln Center.
- “The Speakeasy,” a pop-up bar and performance space built in the underground alley at the southeast corner of campus will host comedy, spoken word, poetry, jazz, and cabaret performances. Designed by Clint Ramos.
Appointed in August 2021, this will be Shanta Thake’s first full season at Lincoln Center. Its new approach moves toward a seasonal model, unifying activities under a single curatorial idea, and deepens artistic and civic connections to broaden reach. These principles will guide LCPA programming throughout the year in the new David Geffen Hall and across campus. Other programs will be announced in the coming months.
Summer for the City was organized to help deepen Lincoln Center’s service to particular communities, including Latinx/e, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as to expand the offerings for families with concerts, workshops, Story Hours and Family Dance Days. The season also offers a slew of events that celebrate and center Deaf and disabled identity, including Sweeney Todd of Deaf Broadway, ILL-Abilities, Inside/Out presented by Ping Chong and an Access Magic night, complete with silent disco, as well as tailored dance lessons throughout the summer that incorporate live captioning, Music: Not Impossible wearable technology for deaf and hard of hearing audience members at select performances, as well as ASL and sensory elements throughout the season’s offerings. The campus will also host dozens of pop-up shows, wellness events, graduations, voter engagement and polls, blood drives, and more as part of the summer season.
“We are thrilled to welcome many artists making their Lincoln Center debut this summer and we are especially pleased that the season includes great offerings from so many of our resident organizations,” said Shanta Thake. “We will complement their work, and honor and learn from our past without being bound by the way things have always been done. This is just the beginning of a new LCPA that is intentional about collaboration and participation, assures the majority of our programming is free and reflects the many facets of New York’s communities.”
Admission to all Summer for the City shows and events at Damrosch Park, Oasis on Josie Robertson Plaza, David Rubenstein Atrium, The Deck, Hearst Plaza and Speakeasy on Jaffe Drive will be available free through general admission – first come, first served. In addition to general admission, we offer a free advance booking option for select Summer for the City events at Damrosch Park, “The Oasis” and Hearst Plaza. With Advance Booking, customers can enjoy priority access to events by booking in advance. Admission to the event is only guaranteed up to 10 minutes before showtime. Tickets for performances at Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Theater will be available on a Choose What You Pay basis. More at SummerForTheCity.org.