NYC’s ‘Open Culture’ program kicks off this weekend with outdoor performances

March 19, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the opening of the Open Culture Program to allow live performances on designated streets. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

More than 100 streets in New York can become stages under the city’s Open Culture program that launched this month. Modeled after the Open Streets and Open Restaurant initiatives that close some streets to cars and let restaurants set up creative outdoor dining seating, this new permit type allows ticketed, socially distanced performances, rehearsals, classes, and workshops to take place on blocks in every borough. Mayor Bill de Blasio this week said the first three performances under the program would take place on Friday, with events in Mott Haven, Williamsburg, and Harlem.

“These are the kinds of events that are going to excite people, energize people, help us move forward,” de Blasio said. The program’s start comes about a year after all of New York City’s cultural institutions closed because of the pandemic.

In guidelines released last month, the city laid out eligibility requirements for institutions and venues. Organizations that will be considered for the Open Culture program include performance venues, members of the Cultural Institutions Group, recipients of the Cultural Development Fund, recipients of borough arts council funding in 2019 or 2020, or groups eligible for CDF funding but haven’t received it before. Applications opened on March 1 for the program, which will run through October 31.

On Friday, will be poetry, spoken word, and drumming at the ID Studio Theater in Mott Haven at East 140th Street between 3rd Avenue and Alexander Avenue, a performance about loss and resiliency by arts group Leimay in Williamsburg on North 6th Street, and a show from all-women drumming group Fogul Azul with El Museo Del Barrio on 104th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.

According to de Blasio, 156 events have already been approved by the city as of Thursday and more are in the works. Organizations that want to apply can go to

Here is the full list of eligible Open Culture streets:


  • East 140th Street between 3rd Avenue and Alexander Avenue
  • East 140th Street between Alexander Avenue and Dead End
  • East 165th Street between Grand Concourse and Sheridan Avenue
  • East 161st Street between Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue
  • St. Raymond’s Avenue between Benson Street and East Tremont Avenue
  • Ryer Avenue between East 182nd Street and East 181st
  • Benedict Avenue between Pugsley Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue
  • Bronxwood Avenue between Pelham Parkway North and Astor Avenue
  • Fordham Street between City Island Avenue and King Avenue
  • Eames Place between Webb Avenue and University Avenue
  • Cross Bronx Expressway between East Tremont Avenue and Dewey Avenue
  • Haight Avenue between Morris Park Avenue and Van Nest Avenue
  • Boston Road between East 180th Street and Bronx Park South
  • Olinville Avenue between Duncomb Avenue and Magenta Avenue
  • Rockwood Street between Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue
  • Independence Avenue between West 235th Street and West 232 Street
  • West 238th Street between Riverdale Avenue and Johnson Avenue
  • Alexander Avenue between East 132 Street and Bruckner Boulevard


  • Ashland Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue
  • East 18th Street between Church Avenue and Caton Avenue
  • Hanson Place between South Portland Avenue and South Elliott Place
  • Hanson Place between South Oxford Street and South Portland Avenue
  • Main Street between Water Street and Front Street
  • Manhattan Avenue between Grand Street and Maujer Street
  • Moore Street between Graham Avenue and Humboldt Street
  • South Oxford Street between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street
  • South Oxford Street between Atlantic Commons and Hanson Place
  • St. Felix Street between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue
  • St. Felix Street between Hanson Place and Lafayette Avenue
  • Hegeman Avenue between Christopher Avenue and Mother Gaston Boulevard
  • Carlton Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Park Place
  • Fort Greene Place between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place
  • Rockwell Place between Fulton Street and DeKalb Avenue
  • Rockwell Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue
  • South Portland Avenue between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue
  • St. Marks Avenue between 6th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue
  • Bragg Street between Avenue W and Avenue X
  • Whitwell Place between 1st Street and Carroll Street
  • 6th Street between 3rd Avenue and 2nd Avenue
  • 7th Street between 3rd Avenue and 2nd Avenue
  • Beverly Road between Church Avenue and East 2nd Street
  • Degraw Street between Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue
  • Sackett Street between 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue
  • Sackett Street between Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue
  • Douglass Street between Bond Street and Hoyt Street
  • Adams Street between Sands Street and Prospect Street
  • Bond Street between Livingston Street and Fulton Street
  • Division Avenue between Kent Avenue and Dead End
  • Dock Street between Front Street and Water Street
  • Gallatin Place between Livingston Street and Fulton Street
  • Greenpoint Avenue between West Street and Dead End
  • Hoyt Street between Schermerhorn Street and State Street
  • North 6th Street between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue
  • North 6th Street between Kent Avenue and North 6th Place
  • 56th Street between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 59th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • Richards Street between Verona Street and Visitation Place
  • Richards Street between Visitation Place and Pioneer Street
  • Richards Street between Pioneer Street and King Street
  • West 10th Street between Surf Avenue and Riegelmann Boardwalk
  • West 12th Street between Avenue V and 86th Street
  • West 22nd Street between Neptune Avenue and Dead End
  • West 23rd Street between Neptune Avenue and Dead End
  • 4th Street between 5th Avenue and Mid-block
  • Manhattan Avenue between Jackson Street and Withers Street
  • President Street between 4th Avenue and 3rd Avenue
  • Union Street between Hoyt Street and Bond Street
  • Commercial Street between Box Street and Clay Street
  • Garfield Place between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West
  • Lincoln Place between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • Park Place between 7th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue


  • East 103rd Street between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue
  • East 104th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • East 104th Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue
  • East 105 Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • East 108th Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington Avenue
  • 6th Avenue between Spring Street and Broome Street
  • Norfolk Street between Rivington Street and Delancey Street
  • Suffolk Street between Rivington Street and Delancey Street
  • Dominick Street between Varick Street and 6th Avenue
  • West 27th Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue
  • Morningside Avenue between West 114th Street and West 115th Street
  • Morningside Avenue between West 115th Street and West 116th Street
  • East 29th Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • East 47th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue
  • West 51st Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue
  • East 11th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenu
  • East 26th Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • East 3rd Street between Avenue B and Avenue A
  • West 75th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue
  • Bennett Avenue between West 181st Street and West 182nd St
  • Cumming Street between Seaman Avenue and Broadway
  • West 124th Street between St Nicholas Avenue and Morningside Avenue
  • West 75th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue
  • West 105th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue
  • Dyckman Street between Broadway and Seaman Avenue
  • Dyckman Street between Seaman Avenue and Payson Avenue
  • Jumel Terrace between West 160th Street and Sylvan Terrace
  • Jumel Terrace between Sylvan Terrace and West 162nd Street
  • East 101st Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue
  • West 143rd Street between Lenox Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • Hamilton Place between West 142nd Street and West 143rd Street
  • West 52nd Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue
  • West 39th Street between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue
  • Broadway between West 35th Street and West 36th Street


  • 23rd Avenue between 27th Street and 28th Street
  • Newtown Avenue between 31 Street and 33 Street
  • 34th Avenue between 93rd Street and 94th Street
  • 34th Avenue between 69th Street and 70th Street
  • 34th Avenue between 77th Street and 78th Street
  • Forest Park Drive between Forest Parkway and Woodhaven Boulevard
  • 204th Street between 32nd Avenue and 203 Place
  • 235th Street between Douglaston Pkwy and 41st Avenue
  • 12th Street between 43rd Road and 43rd Avenue
  • 24th Street between 36th Avenue and 35th Avenue
  • 29th Street between 40th Avenue and 39th Avenue
  • 34th Avenue between Broadway and 59th Street
  • 34th Avenue between 59th Street and 60th Street
  • 34th Avenue between 60th Street and 61st Street
  • 34th Avenue between 61st Street and 62nd Street
  • 34th Avenue between 62nd Street and 64th Street
  • 34th Avenue between 64th Street and 65th Street
  • 37th Street between Starr Avenue and Bradley Avenue
  • 41St Avenue between 10th Street and 12th Street
  • 42nd Street between 47th Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue
  • 43rd Avenue between 51st Street and Roosevelt Avenue
  • 51st Street slip lane between 43rd Avenue and 51st Street
  • 46th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard
  • 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue
  • 47th Avenue between 31st Street and Van Dam Street
  • 49th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard
  • Newtown Road between 50th Street and 49th Street
  • 35th Street between 35th Avenue and 36th Avenu
  • Woodside Avenue between 39th Avenue and 39th Avenue
  • Skillman Avenue between 41st Street and 42nd Street
  • Skillman Avenue between 42nd Street and 43rd Street
  • Barron Street between 116th Avenue and 116th Road
  • Shore Front Parkway between Beach 94th Street and Cross Bay Parkway
  • 31st Avenue between Steinway Street and 38th Street
  • 39th Avenue between 45th Street and 46th Street
  • 31st Avenue between 37th Street and 38th Street

Staten Island

  • Center Street between Arthur Kill Road and Tysen Court
  • Center Street between Tysen Court and Court Place
  • Center Street between Court Place and St. Patricks Place
  • Nedra Lane between Arden Avenue and Dead End
  • Savoy Street between Clarke Avenue and Riedel Avenue
  • Tysen Court between Center Street and Clark Avenue
  • Hancock Street between Seaview Avenue and Garretson Avenue
  • Minthorne Street between Bay Street and Victory Boulevard
  • Promenade at Lighthouse Point between Bay Street and Victory Boulevard
  • New Dorp Lane between New Dorp Plaza and 8th Street
  • New Dorp Lane between 9th Street and 10th Street
  • New Dorp Lane between 8th Street and 9th Street
  • Annadale Road between Jefferson Boulevard and Belfield Avenue
  • Annadale Road between Lorrain Avenue and Jefferson Blvd
  • Thompson Street between Front Street and Bay Street
  • Port Richmond Avenue between Villa Avenue and Van Riper Street


Editor’s note 3/19/21: The original version of this post was published on March 17, 2021, and has since been updated.

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