SummerStage, NYC Outdoor Performing Arts Festival, Continues Free Programming This Month
SummerStage, New York’s largest free, open-air performing arts festival, continues its programming through fall.
Tonight he will present the premiere of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening show of Terence Blanchard’s new opera house, Fire shut up in my bones, in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, while tomorrow night The 5 Browns, the acclaimed piano group, will perform a free concert for five people and five pianos in the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.
Concerts later this week at the SummerStage Theater in Central Park include a paid performance on Thursday, September 30 by Southern California punk rockers Joyce Manor with Turnover, Surf Curse and Prince Daddy & the Hyena, as well as a concert. free on Friday, October 1 by Yo La Tengo, and a paid performance on Saturday October 2 by Kenny Beats, the multi-platinum music producer, artist and DJ, who will be joined by Kenny Mason, Teezo Touchdown, Zach Fox and d ‘others. Carlos Jimenez
Founded 35 years ago by the City Parks Foundation and underwritten by Capital One Bank, Summerstage has entertained more than six million people in New York City and around the world since its inception. It presents some 100 performances annually in 15 to 18 parks across New York City’s five boroughs, featuring programs of American, Latin and world pop music, as well as dance and other forms of entertainment.
In response to the global pandemic, last year the Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere was launched, featuring 80 free digital performances spanning all genres; there were no outdoor shows in 2020 / Digital programming continued this year, starting in January with a show commemorating the birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.; subsequent programs, currently available online, celebrated International Dance Day, Nuyorican Poets Café, Women’s History Month, and hip hop, among others.
Erika Elliott, executive artistic director of the City Parks Foundation, said the digital programming launched last year had changed “the whole trajectory of Summerstage – we won’t be going back. Not everyone is comfortable coming back. This programming will continue in the future for people who cannot attend or are uncomfortable attending shows in person.
Digital programming is also creating a global audience for Summerstage, which she said it has traditionally been unable to do with its live and in-person events in New York City.
She said digital programming will continue out of season, periodically and possibly monthly, not only to entertain audiences around the world, but also to give artists a platform.
According to Elliott, Summerstage’s lineup this season was designed to help New Yorkers and others heal and find themselves. “It’s been such a traumatic year of loss,” she said, adding that “the shared experience is what live art is. It is a reminder of the beauty, of the intangible things that art makes you feel.