Cuomo announces ‘NY PopsUp’ initiative to bring back arts and culture to NY

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Billy Porter, Amy Schumer, Kenan Thompson and Hugh Jackman are among the performers who are slated to participate at the NY PopsUp festival.

NEW YORK — Hoping to bring New York’s struggling performing arts industry back to life, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the “NY PopsUp” initiative.

“NY PopsUp” is an expansive festival that features hundreds of free, pop-up performances across the state and five boroughs in 100 days.

The festival, which hope to revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New Yorkers with the energy of life entertainment, will serve as a “pilot program” and create a large-scale model for how to bring performances back amid the COVID-19 shutdown.

A range of artists from theater, dance, comedy, pop music and opera will be performing, including Hugh Jackman, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kenan Thompson, Billy Porter and Patti Smith.

“NY PopsUp” will launch Feb. 20 with a special performance at the Javits Center in Manhattan, as a special tribute to health-care workers and run through Labor Day.

Other venues include The Shed, The Apollo, Harlem Stage, La Mama and The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater

“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,” Gov. Cuomo said.

“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.”

The Festival will reach its climax with the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and The Festival at Little Island at Pier 55, bringing the total number of performances to more than 1,000.

Rather than having a large number of audience members at a small number of events, the fiestival is a “mass of events” which will provide a safe and secure handful of audience members.

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