The Oasis dance floor, designed by Clint Ramos. Rendering courtesy of Ali Kashfi
A three-month-long festival that aims to bring New Yorkers together through art will take place at Lincoln Center this summer. The first-ever “Summer for the City” will feature 300 events with more than 1,000 artists across 10 outdoor stages. Running between May and August, the festival includes the city’s largest outdoor dance floor, film screenings, and a “speakeasy,” a pop-up bar and performance space in the center’s underground driveway.
“One of the most basic jobs of the arts is to help heal. This summer we will do exactly that, with moments to rejoice, reclaim, and remember within a city transformed,” Shanta Thake, the chief artistic director at Lincoln Center, said.
“This season is rooted in our fundamental programming values: offering artistic and civic programs reflective of the City of New York, a majority of them free; prioritizing collaboration and first asking artists and their communities 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 outdoor festival will utilize every corner of Lincoln Center’s campus across 10 stages as well as some of the art center’s indoor venues. The festival has three themes: rejoice, reclaim, and remember.
“Rejoice” focuses on bringing people together to enjoy the arts after a long period of crisis. The event will kick off with a large-scale singalong at the center’s Josie Robertson Plaza, where thousands of guests will be led by the Young People’s Chorus of New York, Artistic Director and Founder Francisco J. Núñez, and Elizabeth Núñez.
Dance classes will be held at “The Oasis,” an outdoor dance floor (the largest in the city, according to the center) designed by Clint Ramos that will host a wide variety of events over the course of the festival. Equipped with a 10-foot disco ball, the dance floor will host silent discos, dance lessons, dance parties, and much more. It will be open to the public for free during the day.
Other events include a dance festival, a celebration of Pride Month through dance and theater, and tributes to New York City icons, including Notorious B.I.G., Larry Levan, and the nightclub Paradise Garage.
As part of the “reclaim” theme, events will focus on featuring traditions and rituals that were taken away due to the pandemic. A series of interactive sculptural installations, GATHER: A series of monuments and rituals was created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya to connect with viewers by invoking feelings of grief, joy, hope, and catharsis.
Other events include Celebrate LOVE: A (Re)Wedding, a collection of weddings for couples whose original wedding dates were postponed due to the pandemic. The weddings will be accompanied by live musical performances and dance reception.
QUINCE en la Plaza will celebrate a Quinceañera, the Latin American rite of passage. Juneteenth, the national holiday commemorating the freeing of slaves at the end of the Civil War, will be celebrated while getting light shed on the myths behind the Emancipation Proclamation and modern-day slavery.
“Remember” events will focus on recognizing losses and providing a space for healing. The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform two versions of “Mozart’s Requiem,” with the first rendition led by Music Director Louis Langrée.
Composer Jlin will perform a transformed version of the iconic piece that can be best described as an “electric opus.” This part of the festival will also celebrate the lives of famous individuals across the arts, including James Baldwin and Greg Tate. Finally, Jazz at Lincoln Center will perform a “second line” processional, a New Orleans tradition held to celebrate and mourn those we have lost.
Summer in the City comes after Lincoln Center’s “Restart Stages” initiative, which opened last summer with pop-up outdoor stages and experiences across the iconic campus. At the center was “The Green,” a Mimi Lien-designed public green space that took over the Josie Robertson Plaza. According to the center, Restart Stages brought more than 250,000 people to Lincoln Center, a quarter of whom had never visited the institution before.
“The season Shanta and the team have curated captures the moment and so much more—incorporating beloved programming of Lincoln Center summers past into something fresh, new, and thoroughly New York,” Henry Timms, president and CEO of LCPA, said. “We all seek a remedy for the upheaval and pain of the past two years. Art can help provide it: from group singalongs to celebrations of important milestones missed or truncated. We must empower ourselves to let joy back in, together.”
Entry to all Summer for the City performances and events at Damrosch Park, The Oasis on Josie Robertson Plaza, the David Rubenstein Atrium, The Deck, Hearst Plaza, and The Speakeasy on Jaffe Drive will be available for free first-come, first served. Select events will offer advanced reservations which give guests priority access. Tickets for performances in Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Theater will be available on a “choose-what-you-pay” basis.
Summer for the City kicks off on May 14 and runs through August 14. Learn more here.
- See the massive public lawn that has taken over Lincoln Center’s famous plaza
- Lincoln Center campus will be transformed into 10 outdoor performance venues this spring
Tags : Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Neighborhoods : Upper West Side