Two summers ago, Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library launched Culture Pass, a program that provided free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions for library card holders. With all of these locations closed or operating at limited capacity during the pandemic, the three libraries have teamed up to take Culture Pass digital this summer, launching a new series of more than 70 original online programs, which will be free for children and adults through August 20.
Today, Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City is on track to enter phase three on Monday, July 6. And though many public spaces and venues won’t be able to reopen until the fourth phase, we’re starting to see some plans surfacing. In some cases, it’s positive news–the Met will reopen on August 29th, the Yankees and the Mets will start training at their home fields. In other cases, reopening is further off–Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Met Opera have all cancelled their fall seasons. We’re also seeing events, like the Macy’s July 4th Fireworks, taking on a new life, while others, like the NYC Marathon, will have to wait until next year. But whatever the case, 6sqft has put together a list of reopenings, postponements, and cancellations for New York City’s many museums, performance venues, outdoor spaces, and events.
A statue of Theodore Roosevelt that depicts the former president on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man will be removed from the steps of the American Museum of Natural History, officials announced on Sunday. The decision to take down the statue, which local activists have requested for years, comes as a renewed discourse about racism and racist symbols continues to grow across the country following the death of George Floyd last month.
Although cultural institutions in New York City remain closed to the public because of the coronavirus, some are opening their lobbies to provide Black Lives Matter protestors a safe space, a restroom, snacks and water, WiFi, face masks, or just a place to recharge. The social media account “Open Your Lobby” launched last week on Twitter and Instagram to track the museums and theaters that are repurposing their space in support of protesters. According to the organizers, there are more than 70 organizations participating nationwide, with more than two dozen in New York City alone.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to reopen to the public sometime in August, museum officials announced earlier this week. In March, the museum closed all three of its locations, the Met Fifth Avenue, the Met Breuer, and the Cloisters, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The reopening in mid-August, or “perhaps a few weeks later,” would follow New York State’s phased reopening plan.
Rendering of proposed exhibition space by Culturespaces/ Woods Bagot, courtesy of LPC
An art center with immersive art exhibitions has been proposed for a landmarked former banking hall in Lower Manhattan. Culturespaces, a French museum operator, presented its plan to adapt the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank into a center of digital art to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The design proposal from Woods Bagot Architects includes alterations to the landmarked interior to accommodate a ticketing area and necessary audiovisual equipment for the art center, as well as modifications to the exterior of the building.
Business sign 3.20.20, photo by Stephen Harmon, courtesy of New-York Historical
The New-York Historical Society is asking New Yorkers to donate any materials related to the coronavirus pandemic as a way to preserve this moment in the city’s history. First created during September 11, the museum’s History Responds initiative has collected objects related to movements like Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, marriage equality, and others.
Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Although the coronavirus has shuttered most of the city, many museums, performance venues, theaters, and famous New Yorkers are offering free (or low-cost) online resources to entertain New Yorkers throughout this difficult period. From virtual storytime with Brooklyn Public Library librarians to live-streamed performances by the Metropolitan Opera to baking classes with Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to dance lessons from the Radio City Rockettes, support local organizations safely from your home. This list was lasted updated at 10:00 a.m. on April 3, 2020.
With city and state government closing schools until at least the end of April and shutting down restaurants and bars aside from takeout and delivery, NYC is in unprecedented times. 6sqft has begun compiling a list of closures, cancellations, and postponements, as well as information on how the subway, ride-share companies, and public entities like libraries are handling the outbreak and how refunds or credits are being issued. As the situation develops, we’ll be updating this list to the best of our knowledge. This list was last updated at 2:30 pm on Thursday, March 26.
Two Brooklyn institutions are joining forces to broaden their impact and create “the premiere collection” of archival materials related to the history of the borough. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) have announced a plan to unify their resources, which was approved by the boards of both organizations this week. The library will serve as the parent institution and the partnership is expected to bring greater financial stability to both while expanding the historical society’s reach through the library’s 59 branches.