On Thursday, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation (SNF) and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announced their collaboration to rework the outdoor public space on the grounds of the cultural center in New York City.
Using funds from the SNF’s $100 million Global Relief Initiative grant, the two cultural giants will bring their knowledge together to create a public space that will host artists and cultural events where people can gather and exchange ideas outside on Lincoln Center’s 16 acre grounds in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Using the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), constructed in Athens in 2017, as inspiration, the “Agora” at Lincoln Center will be free and open to the public, a hub of the arts and community, just like SNFCC.
The “Twin Agoras” will host thinkers and artists from around the world, who will create and present their work to the public. The link between the two sites will also foster an exchange of ideas and support between the great minds at both the SNF and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
“Dialogue, exchange, and collaboration is at the heart of so much of the art that changes ourselves and our world for the better,” Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, stated Thursday. “We are truly grateful to be working so closely with our colleagues at SNF and look forward to bringing this initiative into the public realm.”
The need for outdoor public spaces has been highlighted due to Covid-19, as cultural centers face immense challenges to due anti-virus measures.
While the pandemic has pushed cultural centers to rethink their strategies to best enrich their community with art, literature, and music, it has also facilitated international partnership: “The pandemic has underscored two fundamental realities about public space, how vital public space—especially outdoor public space—is to civic life, and how readily geographic distance can be collapsed through the power of technology and collaboration,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.
From supporting medical care for refugees in Greece, to helping feed those left hungry by the pandemic in New York, SNF has utilized its massive Global Relief Initiative grant to support vulnerable communities struggling in the wake of the pandemic.
SNF has also continued its support of artists and creatives internationally, many of whom have been left with very limited opportunities due to Covid-19.