Lincoln Center transforms to host season of outdoor shows

Lincoln Center is Manhattan’s unrivaled mecca of performing arts, and this spring it is transforming its massive sixteen-acre campus into an open-air venue, complete with ten outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces aimed at jump-starting the city’s cultural comeback.

"Everyone is hopeful. There’s a lot of joy, and it’s been such a pleasure to call people and say, ‘Would you like to perform?’ It’s so positive. Many of them have not performed for fourteen months," Jordana Leigh, Lincoln Center’s Senior Director of Artistic Programming told FOX 5 NY.

The new initiative is aptly named Restart Stages and is funded thanks, in part, to a $2,000,000 grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

As is the case at most of the city’s venues, performers must present a negative COVID-19 test before getting on stage. Event-goers need to get their temperatures checked and complete a health questionnaire.

Lincoln Center’s main outdoor stage in Damrosch Park will be home to the venue’s larger performances. It has a 380-person capacity and visitors will be seated in socially distanced pods.

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For a more intimate setting, visitors can check out the cabaret-style stage in Hearst Plaza or sit back and relax on "The Green," complete with a synthetic lawn and a fountain.

Lincoln Center kicked off its Restart Stages program with an exclusive pop-up performance for healthcare workers on April 7th.

However, Clive Chang, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, says performances aren’t the only events on this summer’s packed calendar.

"We’re just so excited to have everything from performances, to public school graduations, to the food banks, to the blood drives and we really consider this a responsibility to the community and the city," he explains.

The campus officially opens to the public on May 10th.

Visitors can enter a lottery to try and snag a free ticket to one of more than 150 performances.

For more details, visit