Starting Friday, SummerStage Anywhere is launching their June programming with a special performance with contemporary artists and authors.
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere is teaming up with VOICES, a nonprofit arts, education and social justice organization. SummerStage Anywhere and VOICES seek to educate and inspire a new generation working for social justice, and this is especially important right now.
The event, called “The People Speak,” will feature performers, speakers and activists using events, music and words from our nation’s history as inspiration for new discussions. The entire VOICES performance will premiere exclusively on Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m. EST on the SummerStage YouTube channel.
“What is going on in the world is informing what we are doing,” said SummerStage Executive Director Heather Lubov. “Arts have a better way of expressing what is happening. We see the need for social change and hope that this can help bring us to a more just world.”
“For over 30 years, SummerStage has provided a platform to bring communities together. We believe deeply that we cannot change the future if we do not have an understanding of our past,” said Erika Elliott, Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage. “The historical texts within Howards Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States give voice to timely and poignant information that is as important to today’s dialog as it was when the words were first spoken. SummerStage stands in solidarity with our fellow New Yorkers who are pushing for necessary change. We hope this performance will provide some inspiration to help initiate that change and help us rebuild a stronger city and country.”
Following the June 12 show, at 3 p.m. on June 13 Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) will bring its annual showcase digitally to SummerStage Anywhere on the LAMC Twitch channel. The following weekend on June 19, SummerStage will honor the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth with a series of showcases and tribute performances on the SummerStage YouTube channel.
Native New Yorker and pop phenom MAX, who was originally going to open the SummerStage programming, will take the stage at 7 p.m. on June 24. Closing out the June programming will be Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter, actress and activist Angélique Kidjo, which will be streamed on the SummerStage YouTube channel at 7 p.m. on June 26.
While the current SummerStage lineup has been brought online, there are hopes to potentially have an outdoor event later this summer.
“We’re hopeful that depending on health conditions, we might be able to do some live shows in August and September,” said Lubov. “We learned very quickly how to become an online festival. Going forward, we will be livestreaming our shows even when we are back to having outdoor shows.”
After June, there is still plenty of SummerStage programming to keep an eye out for.
“Once the June series ends, it’s not the end of SummerStage,” said Lubov. “We’re launching a really exciting festival in July that will look at the genres that we specifically developed in New York. We want to recognize contributions that parks have made to generate music that was created here in New York – it feels authentic to who were are as an organization.”
For a full schedule of upcoming programming, visit cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage-anywhere.