After Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced plans in early February to “bring arts and culture back to life” and that the economic revival of New York would be brought forth by the same, a series of pop-up shows called NY PopsUp began on the third weekend of February, reported Julia Jacobs of The New York Times.
With a $5 million grant by the state, and a public-private partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development, and Scott Rudin (Broadway producer) and Jane Rosenthal (Tribeca Film Festival co-founder), the NY PopsUp have scheduled to put on more than 300 concerts and performances through Labor Day, reported Peter Marks of The Washington Post. In order to avoid drawing large crowds, these concerts will be unannounced but will be held in public places like street corners, parking lots, museums, etc.
The first PopsUp concert took place on Manhattan’s West Side at the Javits Center where jazz musician Jon Batiste led his band Stay Human for an audience of about fifty healthcare workers. The convention center which had functioned as a field hospital in the earlier days of the pandemic is now turned into a mass vaccination site. Following Batiste, tap dancer Ayodele Casel danced to a recording of her own voice. The final act of the day was headed by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo who performed Ave Maria. Chosen by a “council of artists”, the performers were asked to find participants within their own networks, reported Jacobs.
As per the official website of NY PopsUp, the programming of the performances will be done by Zack Wintour, an interdisciplinary artist, alongside a “hand-selected council of artistic advisors”. For future NY PopsUp concerts, seasoned talents like Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Hugh Jackman, Kenan Thompson are expected to perform, reported Marks.
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