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The new and redesigned stages, rehearsal areas and “citizen activation rooms”, which include a new 14,000 square meter green space installation by Mimi Lien, will welcome performances, blood donations, school graduations and food bank distributions in the coming months.
“There are currently over 150 events planned for the summer,” said Clive Chang, Lincoln Center’s chief strategy and innovation officer. “Most of them will be offering free and inexpensive tickets and that is very important to us to ensure that we welcome the community again in a truly accessible way.”
Henry Timms, president and executive director of Lincoln Center, said the initiative – a collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation – aims to connect the arts with civic engagement through these redesigned public spaces.
“Lincoln Center became a polling station for the first time,” said Timms. “So you can vote at Lincoln Center. You can donate blood at Lincoln Center. We’re very focused on the idea of civic responsibility to be a great New York institution – what that means and how we’re expanding it. “
New outdoor areas include rehearsal rooms for local schools, an outdoor reading room set up by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and smaller cabaret-style stages dotted around campus. Although the movie will be open at Lincoln Center with limited capacity, all other interiors will be closed until further notice.
The largest open-air stage in Damrosch Park now offers space for 380 people, while a distance of two meters is maintained between each two-person pod. Hopefully, said Mr Timms, as the social distancing rules relax, the audience’s capacities can grow.
“It’s like an accordion, isn’t it?” Mr. Timms said. “We keep it tight at first, but when things relax we should be able to expand and expand.”