ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Saturday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances that will revitalize the spirits of New Yorkers with the energy of live performances and will jumpstart the state’s live entertainment industry.
The first performance will be Saturday, February 20, at 12:30 p.m. at the Javits Center and will be a tribute to New York’s community of health care workers, featuring performances by three-time Grammy Award-nominated jazz musician Jon Batiste; choreographer and Hoofer Award-winning tap dancer Ayodele Casel and Grammy Award-nominated singer, actor, and international opera star Anthony Roth Costanzo.
“During the darkest days of the pandemic, live performances were shuttered to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Cuomo said. “While it was a necessary step, it also had a devastating impact on the livelihoods of countless performers and on the spirit of this great state. New York is not New York without the performing arts — we are the proud home of world-class performers and an unrivaled arts industry, and NY PopsUp will help us bring this vital sector back online in a safe and unique way. My thanks to the performers who are participating and helping us recognize our health care heroes, who truly are the embodiment of New York Tough.”
During the run of the festival, NY PopsUp will grow in its scale, volume of performances, and geographical footprint. As the experience spreads statewide, NY PopsUp will work in partnership with NYSCA in the planning and execution of activations from Buffalo to Suffolk County to the Hudson Valley, and back up to the Capital.
On Sunday, February 21, legendary choreographer Garth Fagan’s company will lead a special performance at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s MAGIC Spell Studios, as a tribute for the staff who made it possible for RIT to stay open and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Cuomo announced NY PopsUp as part of his 2021 State of the State Address to create the state’s first large-scale model for how to bring live performance back safely after a prolonged COVID-related shutdown. The public-private partnership is being overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, with programming arranged by stage director, choreographer, and dancer Zack Winokur.
NY PopsUp is being planned in accordance with the New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 protocols. Find more information on the latest guidelines here.