- SummerStage Anywhere Sessions - exclusive digital performances with artists either live streamed or pre-recorded and then premiered on our digital channels.
- Culture Talks - in-depth and intimate conversations with artists focused on their connection to New York and how the city has influenced their work.
- Soundcheck: Curator Conversations - one-on-one interviews with industry curators and leaders on the behind-the-scenes work of the arts industry. Speakers include SummerStage curators, artists and arts professionals.
- Weekly Beat: DJ sessions - sets by DJs and artists playing music that inspires and motivates them and crate digging for their favorite finds.
- SummerStage Studio: Digital - arts engagement programs for kids and families including movement and percussion workshops.
Every Sunday at 2:00 PM EST, #PeopleSpeakSundays will take over SummerStage Instagram channel live with featured guest curators of diverse backgrounds and cultures from various arts organizations and communities who will amplify the SumerStage channel as a social change platform. The series will showcase artists and highlight crowdsourced performers who submit #PeopleSpeakSundays entries on Instagram. SummerStage is inviting audiences to share their own voices.
"We are truly honored to bring the distinctly New York, curated lineup that our live NYC shows are known for to the rest of the world with our new SummerStage Anywhere digital series," shares Erika Elliott, Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage. "Reimagining SummerStage digitally allows us to dive deeper through in-depth discussions with artists, arts engagement for families, and a look behind the scenes with curators and industry leaders, and of course, plenty of performances. We are truly going to be able to share the rich diversity of New York City with the rest of the world in ways we never thought possible."
Kicking off the series, Dwight Rhoden, Founding Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will join SummerStage Dance Curator Danni Gee for our first live episode of Soundcheck: Curator Conversations on Monday, July 6th at 7:00PM EST on the SummerStage Instagram channel. They will discuss Rhoden's artistic vision, making work that reflects the times, and how the company has been staying engaged during the Covid "pause."
Tuesday, July 7th, SummerStage Anywhere will go global with two SummerStage alums for our first episode of SummerStage Anywhere Session:Femi Kuti. Kuti, who played SummerStage in 2018, is a performer and activist who travels the world performing the music of his father, celebrated Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. This exclusive digital performance was filmed at The New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, a venue opened for the community of Lagos where ordinary people could come together and be themselves regardless of class. Fela performed frequently at the venue in the 1970s until it burned down, but the legacy continued when his son Femi rebuilt the Shrine in 2000. This performance marked Femi's return home to the Shrine. Kicking off the evening is SummerStage alum DJ Rich Medina of The Originals with a live DJ set starting at 7:00PM EST, followed by Femi's performance at 7:30PM EST available on both our SummerStage YouTube channel and SummerStage Facebook channel.
On Wednesday, July 8th, SummerStage Anywhere will feature a live performance from electro-pop singer and songwriter Shura at 8:00PM EST on our SummerStage Instagram channel. A self-taught YouTube artist, she has collaborated with the likes of songwriter Joel Pott (of indie band Athlete) and Talib Kweli. Shura's music is often described as "infectious but melancholy electropop" that blurs gender and sexuality.
Salsa dance all-stars Ernesto and Denisse will host the first live SummerStage Studio: Digital dance class, teaching youth and families salsa moves on Thursday, July 9th at 2:00PM EST available on both our SummerStage YouTube channel and SummerStage Facebook channel. With 20 years of experience dancing Salsa all around the world, Ernesto and Denisse became partners after moving to New York to dance for Yamulee Dance Company and compete with the four time salsa team World Champions, The New York Movement.
Two powerhouse hip-hop tastemakers will headline our Hip Hop Fridays on July 10th. Join our first Hip-Hop Culture Talk with Fab 5 Freddy and A$AP Ferg at 8:00PM EST available on both our SummerStage YouTube channel or SummerStage Facebook channel. Old school meets new school when these New York legends discuss their process in creating music that reflects and amplifies racial inequalities. Fab 5 Freddy emerged in the downtown underground scene in the late 1970s and has since been regarded as a pioneer of hip hop. Freddy became the first host of the groundbreaking hip hop music video show Yo! MTV Raps.A$AP Ferg emerged from Harlem with a captivating solo rap career in 2007, and is also a member of the hip hop collective A$AP Mob along with artists A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ant, Playboi Carti and others. Following the talk, join Fab 5 Freddy for a live Q&A as he takes questions from the audience starting at 8:30PM EST on the SummerStage Facebook channel.
Rounding out the week is our Jazz Culture Talk with Sheila Jordan & Christian McBride on Saturday, July 11th at 8:00 PM EST available on both our SummerStage YouTube channel and
A contemporary and friend of Charlie Parker's, Jordan is known for her bebop and scat jazz singing style with only an upright bass as her accompaniment. McBride, a six-time Grammy Award winning jazz bassist, composer and arranger, has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, as well as with pop, hip-hop, soul and classical musicians like Sting, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, The Roots, Queen Latifah, and James Brown. These two established Jazz titans will come together to discuss the long lasting impact of Charlie Parker's work around the celebration of his 100th birthday.
Still to come this season, performances and conversations with salsa star La India, Brazilian drag queen and pop star Pabllo Vittar, global singer and Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo, indie singer/songwriter Patrick Watson, Afro-French Cuban musical duo Ibeyi, Brazilian rapper and MC Emicida, Dominican-Ecuadorian New York DJ Venus X, indie folk singer/songwriter Fenne Lily, Haitian DJ Michael Brun, dance instructor and PHILADANCO! Founder Joan Myers Brown, and much more. For ongoing updates on SummerStage Anywhere, please continue to visit summerstageanywhere.org
As an independent, not-for-profit organization, we rely on our donors to help us make SummerStage possible. Support from donors will help secure the future of SummerStage as New York's largest free outdoor performing arts festival. We believe the arts are for everyone and encourage those who can donate to visit cityparksfoundation.org/give for more information.
Capital One is the Title Sponsor of the 2020 SummerStage festival. Disney is a sponsor of SummerStage family programming, including SummerStage Studio: Digital. Supporting sponsorship is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies and United Airlines.
Generous private support is provided by The Thompson Family Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Shubert Organization, and the New York Community Trust NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund. SummerStage is also supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is generously provided by our dedicated SummerStage Members.
Media partners include Big Room, iHeart Radio featuring Lite FM, Power 105.1, 103.5 KTU, Q104.3, and Z100, Telemundo, WFUV, Relix, WNYC, WBGO, Time Out New York, DoNYC, Futuro Media Group and Big Screen Plaza. Big Room is the exclusive live stream partner of SummerStage Anywhere.
In all of its programming and activities, City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities.