New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled an extensive program of pop-up performances across the state starting next month with 150 performers from Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Renée Fleming, Wynton Marsalis and Hugh Jackman to orchestras , ballets and theater companies.
Cuomo called it a New York Arts Revival Program to help a state devastated by Covid-19 recall its “unique cultural assets” in New York and beyond – from the Ballet Hispanic, Ars Nova, Albany Symphony Orchestra and National Black Theater at the Pendragon Theater in Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. Many are supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, which helps fund over 2,000 arts organizations across the state.
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“Broadway, museums, movies, comedy, dance and music – are fundamental to both the economy and the spirit of New York City,” Cuomo said in his 11e State of the State, a multi-part speech devoted largely to talking about New York’s economic recovery. “What is a city without social, cultural and creative synergies? New York is not New York without Broadway. “
The program will explore how performances could be held safely without fixed seats and with social distancing in flexible venues.
Before the pandemic, the $ 120 billion The cultural sector accounted for nearly 8% of the state’s economy and half a million jobs, he said. In less than a year, tens of thousands of those jobs have been lost, along with more than two million creative arts jobs nationwide.
He said the state will also partner with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch a creative rebuilding initiative. Developed in partnership with the Reimagine New York Commission, the initiative “will put back to work 1,000 artists who have been affected by the crisis and invest in dozens of small arts organizations that make our cities so vibrant.” The arts have a multiplier effect on the economy. Creatives Rebuild will provide support to New York artists so that they can help create more vibrant communities through New York.“
New York was the epicenter of the global pandemic last spring, but its Covid positivity rate is currently among the lowest in the country. The state has a sizable $ 15 billion deficit largely due to Covid, and much of what Cuomo attributes to President Trump’s late and botched response to the coronavirus. He is hoping that a new Congress led by Joe Biden will approve aid to states and cities that the last Congress would not accept.
“Do you remember last spring? Do you remember what New Yorkers did in their darkest hour? I will never forget him. When COVID ambushed New York and we went from one case to hundreds of cases within days. When sirens filled the night, calm and mass graves were dug on Hart Island. When fear gripped New Yorkers like a vice. When world experts told us there was no way to slow the spread. But New Yorkers said yes we could and yes we would. New Yorkers united and seized the opportunity. ThThis is New York at its best – this is New York’s miracle.“
“Next year we will see economies realign and reset around the world and New York will lead the way,” he added.
Dr Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that live venues will likely reopen in fall 2021. Speaking at a virtual conference hosted by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, the world’s leading specialist in disease infectious diseases said, “You can make people feel safe. on stage as well as the spectators ”from early to mid-autumn.
His comments were consistent with statements he made last month, when he told NBC that a vaccine rollout could allow Broadway to reopen its stages by the end of summer or early in autumn.
Cuomo doesn’t want to wait that long for live performances.
He noted that the state had experimented with letting up to 6,772 fans watch a Buffalo Bills playoff game at the 72,000-seat Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. “We just tested the concept with the Buffalo Bills playoff game, and the first indications are that it was an early success. He receives the OK for another match.
If the state waits to reopen until the virus is completely defeated, “there will be nothing left to open,” he said.
Cuomo is perhaps the most prominent Covid governor, whose frequent and outspoken press briefings have earned him a special Emmy nod.