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Mar 30, 2021 | NYC Attractions and Events

What’s Open: Your Guide to the NYC Arts Community

The arts are back and better than ever! Following the announcement of loosened restrictions for NYC venues, the future of live art and entertainment in the city looks promising. Venues are able to reopen at low capacity beginning April 2. Wondering what the local arts community will look like when this happens? Here’s what’s open in NYC now and what to expect moving forward.

Although we strive to provide the most current information, due to COVID-19, venues and events mentioned may be closed or cancelled without notice. We recommend checking individual websites for updates and social distancing measures before visiting. Please remain vigilant, travel responsibly, and follow mask requirements and social distancing procedures.

Given the uncertainty surrounding 2020-2021, one can hardly blame the city’s postponement of the live arts. The roadmap to reopening NYC’s largest institutions like the Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, NYC Ballet, Beacon Theatre, and Gershwin Theatre still depends on the continued efforts of venues to provide a safe environment for patrons.

While NYC’s most popular venues begin to launch reopening plans and shows, smaller indie theaters, nightclubs, and music venues continue to struggle under the financial pressure. Beloved venues like The Well, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Copacabana, and Peoples Improv Theater have closed their doors for good, while the Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, and the historic Birdland Jazz Club in Hell’s Kitchen have all started a GoFundMe campaign in order to stay open and support their staff.

With most live performances still in limbo, here are a few recent additions to the NYC arts community we have our eye on.

NY PopsUp

The launch of NY PopsUp has been one of the most exciting editions to the art scene. Now through Labor Day, outdoor performances will be popping up at subway platforms, local parks, museums, storefronts, and other public spaces. In hopes of revitalizing the arts community while still providing a safe environment, NY PopsUp shows won’t be announced ahead of time and will last for around 20 minutes. Even if you don’t stumble upon one of these productions, the events are able to be streamed online. Celebrity guests include the likes of High Jackman, Mandy Patinkin, Patti Smith, and Kenan Thompson.

Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced its latest edition, Restart Stages. The massive outdoor performing arts center will include 10 different performance and rehearsal spaces, including an outdoor reading room created in partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, a cabaret-style stage on Hearst Plaza, and dedicated family areas with arts activities. Upcoming free and low-cost programming includes a concert and cabaret series by the Lincoln Center Theater, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's annual summer evening concerts, dance workshops led by the New York City Ballet, film screenings by Film at Lincoln Center, and so much more. Restart Stages official kicks off on World Health Day, April 7.


Although still indefinitely postponed, the future of Broadway is without a doubt much brighter. Just last month, the first new show, “Thoughts of a Colored Man”, debuted its marquee at the Golden Theatre. Although the roll out is expected to be slow in order to gauge the logistics of operating in the ‘new normal’, expect the return of adored favorites like Hadestown, Hamilton, and Six, and the opening of brand new shows like 1776, Birthday Candles, and American Buffalo, starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockewell, and Darren Criss. Want to stream now? Check out Broadway plays and musicals you can watch from home, here.

We recommend reserving your ticket as far in advance as possible. Space to view live performances is limited, as venues are restricted to allowing up to 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors (if venues require proof of negative COVID-19 tests, then they can permit up to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors).

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