Lincoln Center is reviving the NYC performing arts scene beginning April 7.

Is anybody missing live shows and performing arts as much as we are? Yeah, that’s what we thought. We’ve got some good (well, great) news coming out of the Big Apple. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has created an all-new way to bring a bit of music, dance, and culture back to the solitary and socially distanced world we’ve become.

Designed to kickstart the performing arts scene and revitalize NYC, Lincoln Center’s initiative is known as Restart Stages. The performing arts venue has created 10 outdoor stages and spaces for performance and rehearsal as well as an outdoor performing arts center and other outdoor civic venues.

Lincoln Center, located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan, is one of NYC’s leading arts institutions and developed this project as a symbol of its commitment to the city. It will help artists get back to work and support institutions around the city.

Restart Stages was developed in coordination with NY State PopsUp, which is part of Governor Cuomo’s New York Arts Revival. The partnership will help extend the initiative’s reach beyond Lincoln Center to venues such as the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, and the Korean Cultural Center New York.

Designed with advice from medical and public health professionals, Restart Stages will offer a safe and welcoming environment for arts and community organizations. All events and performances will occur outside with plenty of safety and sanitation protocols for performers, audience, and staff. Masks will be required. Safety protocols include hand sanitizer stations, physical distancing markers, limited restroom capacity, contactless ticketing, and more.  

Restart Stages Venues

  • Cabaret-style stage on Hearst Plaza
  • Family and kids' areas with art activities
  • Venues for rehearsals, which will open the artistic process to visitors
  • Space for public school graduations
  • Outdoor reading room in partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, said,

"The cultural community has an urgent role to play in the revitalization of New York, to showcase that our city is not just back economically, but spiritually and socially. Which is why we knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that as the city reopened it was our absolute obligation and privilege to be first in line to support our constituents, New Yorkers, and the cultural community. We are building this outdoor campus to be ready, so that when the time comes, we do not miss a single day. We will fling our metaphorical doors wide open on day one in celebration of New York and the resolute, remarkable people who make it the best city on earth."

Just a few examples of programs you can expect include the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s annual Summer Evenings concerts, film screenings from Film at Lincoln Center, a concert and cabaret series by Lincoln Center Theater, and dance workshops from New York City Ballet.

Restart Stages venues will also offer blood drives, food distribution, and serve as primary election polling sites. Select events will be available via livestream from Lincoln Center and partner organizations’ digital platforms as well. Visit for more information and updates on this exciting initiative.

Restart Stages begins on World Health Day (April 7) with a special performance for healthcare workers.

Have you been to any of Lincoln Center’s programs? What was your favorite? Let us know in the comments.