Gov launches NY PopsUp for arts


The arts are back.
In a press conference Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched NY PopsUp, an informal festival that will feature hundreds of pop-up performances, many free and all open to the public as the state loosens COVID restrictions on the arts.
NY PopsUp will serve as a “pilot program,” creating the state's first large-scale model for how to bring live performance back safely after a year-long COVID-related shutdown.
The festival will be curated by the interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur in partnership with a council of artistic advisors.
It will launch on Saturday, February 20 and run through Labor Day with more than 1,000 performances.
All events will follow COVID-19 guidelines and many will be held outside.
“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," Governor Cuomo said. “…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.’
The hundreds of free, pop-up events that constitute NY PopsUp will make stages out of New York’s existing landscapes; instead of an audience of thousands, they’ll be held before small groups and broadcast online afterwards.
As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, the model that NY PopsUp builds for holding safe live events will pave the way for the reopening of multidisciplinary flexible indoor venues—“Flex Venues”--throughout the state.
The Flex Venues are established performance spaces without fixed seating and so able to be adapted for social distancing. Examples include Glimmerglass Festival's Alice Busch Opera Theater in Cooperstown.
More details about NY PopsUp will follow, but because of their impromptu nature, not all will be announced in advance.