Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the public/private initiative NY PopsUp, an effort to kickstart New York's pandemic-battered culture sector by producing hundreds of free events across the state in the next 100 days, using existing spaces like subway stations, museums, parks, street corners, venues and more. A few big names were floated as taking part in the project, including the one-and-only Patti Smith, who will perform poetry and music at the Brooklyn Museum this week.
The special event, which is closed to the public but will stream online at the festival’s Instagram page, will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Smith will be honoring the memory of artist Robert Mapplethorpe on the anniversary of his death, March 9th, 1989. The performance is also a personal thank you to the museum’s workers, who will be in attendance.
Jon Batiste helped kick off the series with live music in different parts of the city in late February, with dance performances, chamber groups, and more popping up at various points and places in the last two weeks.
Other big name artists and performers, including Hugh Jackman, Renee Fleming, Chris Rock, Billy Porter, Q-Tip, Kenan Thompson, Amy Schumer, George Saunders, and Mandy Patinkin, were announced to be taking part in the performances, so you should keep an eye out on NY PopsUp's Twitter and Instagram pages for updates on upcoming events. While some of the pop-up events are open to the public, most are not announced much ahead of time, to avoid big crowds from gathering.
Last week, state officials announced that after nearly a year of being shut down due to COVID-19, arts and entertainment venues in NYC can begin reopening at 33% capacity on April 2nd, with an indoor max of 100-150 attendees. But many venue owners told Gothamist they don't feel equipped to reopen yet—and that reopening with such low capacities was financially untenable for them—with some choosing to take a wait-and-see approach for now.
"That said, we remain focused as of right now on fully reopening when we can do shows at 100% capacity. It just doesn’t make sense for us to do anything with limited capacity," said Dennis Dennehy, spokesperson for AEG Presents and Bowery Presents, which manages bookings at Forest Hills Stadium, Terminal 5, Webster Hall, Brooklyn Steel, Music Hall of Williamsburg and more.
Lincoln Center and the Glimmerglass Festival have announced plans to host outdoor shows in the coming months; NY PopsUp producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal told the NY Times that they expect there will be some pop-up programs inside Broadway theaters and non-profit venues like the Apollo Theater, St. Anne's Warehouse, the Shed and more. However, Broadway plays and musicals likely won't resume until the fall at the earliest.