The all-day block party celebrates the anniversary of the groundbreaking for an arts and culture complex that changed the West Side forever and set the stage (pun intended) for modern arts and culture complexes in other cities, including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Lincoln Center was a bold idea at the time of its inception, and has has grown to become home for eleven distinguished cultural organizations and an international leader in arts education, serving more than six million people a year at its live and film theaters, and millions more through broadcast and digital channels.
Lincoln Center Block Party Free Events
Save the date:
The celebration year kicks off with a block party on Saturday, May 4th, from 10am to 2:30 pm, with FREE performances and activities throughout the outdoor plazas, including perfomances by Julliard students and members of the New York City Ballet..
It will be a one-day version of the three-week Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival each summer.
Musical Director Sunny Jain will coordinate the day’s performances, leading a series of concerts on the plaza.
We just wanted you to save the date: May 4th.
This part of Manhattan was seedy and dangerous in the 1950s. You know the story – it was immortalized in West Side Story, with music by native New Yorker Leonard Bernstein.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over Lincoln Center’s groundbreaking on May 14, 1959, In front of a crowd of 12,000 and a TV audience of millions.
He described it as “a great cultural adventure,” saying, in part, “Here will occur a true interchange of the fruits of national cultures. From this will develop a growth that will spread to the corners of the Earth, bringing with it the kind of human message that only individuals—not governments—can transmit.”
The ceremony included a performance of the U.S. national anthem by the New York Philharmonic and Juilliard Chorus, as well as solo performances by singers from The Metropolitan Opera, with Leonard Bernstein as master of ceremonies.
In addition to the FREE celebration on May 4, there’s a Diamond Jubilee Gala on Sunday, May 5, to honor four families who have shown exemplary service to Lincoln Center: The Audrey and Martin Gruss Family, The Rockefeller Family, The Daisy and Paul Soros Family, and The Laurie M. Tisch Family.
Thanks to all the philanthropic families who support Lincoln Center.