Hundreds of pop-up performances slated for NY

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYPops-UP logo. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYPops-UP logo. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

More than 300 pop-up performances are will be seen across New York State starting Feb. 20 as part of NY PopsUP. 

The public-private initiative was announced earlier this week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and is meant to serve as a model for bringing back live performances. 

“Cities have taken a real blow during COVID, and the economy will not come back fast enough on its own – we must bring it back,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts.” 

It will run for 100 days and kick off with a performance at the Javits Center featuring Jon Batiste, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Ayodele Casel and others. The rest of the schedule has yet to be announced, though it’s slated to include performances in upstate New York. All performances will be free. As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, performances may be held in “flex venues” around the state, including The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater. 

NY PopsUp, which is being overseen by Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development, will include everything from theater to dance, poetry to comedy and pop music to opera. The programming will be curated by interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur. 

“Having artists call on other artists as a means to build this festival’s giant creative community will spur opportunities for wild, bold, and intimate collaborations that would never otherwise have been possible. As a result, the work presented will represent a near limitless range, colliding disparate styles, disciplines, and points-of-view to infiltrate the daily lives of New Yorkers in genuinely surprising and unprecedented ways,” Winokur said in a statement. “Ultimately, this Festival is about using art as a means of re-establishing human connection. With NY PopsUp, there is no mediating force between artist and artist, or artist and audience. It’s humans in direct contact with each other, and the context of this particular moment will make that connection all the more profound.” 

Among the confirmed artists are Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patti Smith, Mandy Patinkin, Raja Feather Kelly, J’Nai Bridges, Kenan Thompson, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Mearns, George Saunders and others. 

For schedule updates, visit or follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter.

Categories: Entertainment

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