Monday, June 17, 2024
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Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City is back with LGBTQ offerings

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) has announced the second annual Summer for the City, the ultimate New York festival, and there is plenty on for queer folks, including the return of the disco ball!

Over three months, Lincoln Center turns its campus into a summer festival featuring hundreds of free events, thousands of artists, and food from across the city, inviting New Yorkers of all kinds to come together and celebrate the city’s vibrant communities through the arts.

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“We are blessed to be in the heart of the most diverse city in the world, and to have sixteen acres of outdoor space to celebrate the magic of this bustling global city,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of LCPA. “This summer builds on a city reimagining itself—finding hope in community, and planting seeds for the future. Over three months, we welcome all New Yorkers to come dance, love, and celebrate together with long-standing traditions of social dance and classical music, and new traditions like our wedding for hundreds of couples, and a ‘second line’ processional to honor lives lost.”

Artist Clint Ramos has applied his vision to all of the Center’s spaces with playful designs including the return of the 10-foot disco ball—and the installation of 200 flamingos.

In collaboration with partners across Lincoln Center’s campus and the city, Summer for the City honors New York’s multifaceted communities with dynamic new works and reimagined classics—including a week-long celebration of Korean cultural traditions during Korean Arts Week, the New York City premiere of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, the return of the BAAND Together Dance Festival, globalFEST, and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra concerts, and culminating in a week-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop with performances by J. PERIOD, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, a trap choir, and more. The summer also shines a light on accessibility and disability artistry, with Big Umbrella Day, the return of Deaf Broadway, and a series of events curated by disability artistry guest curator Kevin Gotkin.

“Nothing captures the spirit of New York better than our arts, and this summer, thanks to Lincoln Center, thousands of New Yorkers will have access to hundreds of free cultural events,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Summer for the City will include performances by critically acclaimed music artists and curators and be a celebration of our city’s creativity, diversity, and, most importantly, our resilience. New York City isn’t coming back—New York City is back. And we can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the arts the city has to offer.”

Infused with greenery and colorful botanical inspirations, the campus becomes a departure from the busy cityscape with multiple opportunities for visitors to come together, day or night. Spaces include The Garden, a greenhouse-like retreat for gathering and contemplation; Hearst Plaza with outdoor games, a new performance space, and al fresco dining and drink options from Lincoln Ristorante, Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi, and nearby food trucks; and the return of The Underground at Jaffe Drive, a speakeasy-inspired venue newly expanded for greater capacity; The Reading Room, outdoors facing Amsterdam Avenue; and The Dance Floor at Josie Robertson Plaza, the centerpiece of the festival and the city’s largest outdoor dance floor with a, now iconic, mega disco ball for social dance nights, silent discos, and more. Indoor venues will also be activated for events and as spaces to rest and refresh from the summer heat—including the David Rubenstein Atrium, the Clark Studio Theater, and multiple spaces inside the newly reimagined David Geffen Hall.

Programming highlights include:
  • The New York City premiere of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, an opera by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon based on Butler’s prescient novel of the same name. The fully staged congregational opera recreates the sci-fi, Afrofuturist masterpiece, celebrating the novel’s 30th anniversary in collaboration with Brooklyn Public LibraryQueens Public Library, and New York Public Library.
  • The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra performs a series of engaging and dynamic concerts in celebration of Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée’s twenty-first and final year with the Orchestra.
  • Several events celebrate Pride Month throughout June including National Queer Theater’s Criminal Queerness Festival; queer pop duo The Illustrious Blacks’ silent disco; Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, the world’s first LGBTQIA+ mariachi group; and a joyous tribute to Sylvester, one of the first openly gay artists in disco and R&B.
  • Cultivating Access Ecologies, curated by disability artistry guest curator Kevin Gotkin. The hybrid in-person and virtual series includes performances by Deaf and disabled artists including DJ Nico DiMarco, Jerron HermanCrip RaveJJJJJerome EllisUna Osato, and Pato Hebert.
  • Korean Arts Week, a full-campus takeover with a K-Indie Music Night, DJs, a film festival, silent discos, K-pop, wellness events, family programs and more, along with a feature program with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. 
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle, an evening of orchestral performances and readings that highlight the African American struggle to reap the benefits of liberty and justice as part of American citizenry, conceived and curated by singer-songwriter and composer Tamar-kali, and performed with the American Composers Orchestra.
  • An outdoor film festival in Damrosch Park, complete with popcorn and drinks, and transmitted via Quiet Event headphones, in collaboration with Film at Lincoln Center. The series includes a crowd-pleasing three-film showcase in connection with See Me As I Am, the campus-wide celebration of pioneering musician Terence Blanchard, featuring some of the illustrious composer’s most celebrated cinematic collaborations.
  • Big Umbrella Day, a one-day iteration of Lincoln Center’s Big Umbrella Festival, creating relaxed spaces which specifically welcome neurodivergent audiences through multi-sensory experiences, performances, installations, and workshops.
  • The debut of Sydnie L. Mosley Dances’ PURPLE: A Ritual in Nine Spells, an evening-length choreopoem inspired by Ntozake Shange, created in community with senior residents of NYCHA’s neighboring Amsterdam Houses and in association with Gibney Presents. A pre-show multimedia art installation will be on view in the lobby, What Does PURPLE Sound Like?, spotlighting older adults from our local communities. 
  • dance workshop on The Dance Floor with the School of American Ballet and an open-air percussion performance with students from The Juilliard School.
  • Presentation of The Bessie Awards, NYC’s annual celebration of the best in dance and performance.
This summer also sees the return of:
  • Social dance on The Dance Floor at Josie Robertson Plaza, kicking off on June 14th with Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Lucrecia performing Cuban music with salsa group 8 Y Más, and continuing throughout the summer with powerhouse artists including the Stax Academy with special appearance by soul icon Booker T Jones; José Alberto “El Canario”; returning favorites like Joe McGinty & The Loser’s Lounge and Orquesta Broadway; a night of line dancing hosted by Stud Country, and performances and classes across a variety of dance styles including swing, Hip-Hop, merengue, salsa, line dancing, Lindy hop, and more.
  • Silent discos, following social dance nights on The Dance Floor multiple nights per week with a diverse range of dance styles from K-pop, salsa, Hip-Hop, Broadway, and more.
  • The Underground at Jaffe Drive, a speakeasy-inspired space now expanded in size, hosting stand-up comedy nights, jazz nights with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and spoken word and poetry slams curated by Lincoln Center Poet-in-Residence Mahogany L. Browne.
  • BAAND Together Dance Festival with five of NYC’s most iconic dance companies—Ballet HispánicoAlvin Ailey American Dance TheaterAmerican Ballet TheatreNew York City Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem—performing together on one stage for five nights. Made possible by CHANEL.
  • A site-specific, evening-long performance commemorating Juneteenth, conceived and curated by Carl Hancock Rux, and featuring performances by Aaron DiehlAlicia Hall MoranBurnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber with special guests Vernon Reid and DJ Logic, and Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE Dance Theater.
  • Choreographer Kyle Abraham, building off of last year’s two-night dance festival Reunions, curates two more evenings of new site-specific works pairing choreographers with composers.
  • The Las Culturistas Culture Awards, a pop culture celebration hosted by Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers, with special comedian presenters and surprise guests.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “second line” processional to Lincoln Center—the New Orleans tradition to mourn and celebrate lives lost—as well as a series of jazz concerts in The Underground at Jaffe Drive.
  • Deaf Broadway, bringing an exciting new rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, performed entirely by Deaf actors in American Sign Language.
  • Featured musical performances in the Bandshell at Damrosch Park including Trinidadian calypsonian David Rudder; Venezuelan singer-songwriter Danny Ocean; a tribute to Haitian singer, songwriter, and producer Michael “Mikaben” Benjamin curated by Chriss RimpelAimee Mann in conversation with Ann Powers, and more.
  • The Reading Room with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, as well as family Storytimes series.
  • Wedding: New York’s Biggest Day, inspired by the first ever (Re)Wedding in 2022, inviting hundreds of couples to our 16-acre campus and offering New Yorkers the chance to celebrate love. Conceived by Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning Director Scott Wittman, the celebration brings hundreds of couples together for a multicultural ceremony with music, poetry, social dance and more, for a wedding that could only happen at Lincoln Center.
  • The Art of Wellbeing, participatory movement and mindfulness sessions harnessing the power of the arts to engage the mind, body, and spirit, presented in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
  • Collaborations with new and existing partners including the Mahindra Blues FestivalFrance RocksBrasil SummerfestHere Lies LoveHarlem Arts AlliancePEN AmericaKorean Cultural Center New YorkGRAMMY Museum, La CasitaglobalFESTBushwick StarrNYC Laughs, the New York City Department of Education, and community blood drives with the New York Blood Center

Clichere for full calendar of events.

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