Summer for the City Returns to Lincoln Center

June 12 - August 10, 2024

Summer for the City 2023, Photo by Lawrence Sumulong
Martin Cid Magazine

NEW YORK, NY (April 17, 2024) – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) today announced the third annual Summer for the City, welcoming New Yorkers to hundreds of free events over three months. 

A highly anticipated staple of New York City summers, this year’s festival features new commissions and a wide variety of programming bringing together thousands of artists from across the world in celebration of the multitude of cultural histories and stories that live within the city.

From June 12 to August 10 Lincoln Center’s campus transforms into a welcoming oasis where neighbors and New Yorkers from across the city can gather, relax, participate in performances, enjoy expanded food offerings at the Lincoln Center Night Market, and even play outdoor games. The outdoor spaces are designed by Visual Director Clint Ramos and inspired by flora and fauna of the American prairie, with greenery and plants by Donyale Werle Design, lighting designs by Andrew Grant, and projection designs by Zachary Borovay.

“Life, Liberty, and Happiness” is this year’s guiding curatorial theme, highlighting how active participation in the arts helps strengthen civic bonds and grow strong community. Throughout the summer, audiences are invited to be creators themselves—whether as songwriters, poets, dancers, or storytellers.

“The ethos that drives all we do for New York is to live up to our founding mission that the arts are for everyone. It is in service of this democratic ideal that we offer a summer with artistry from so many perspectives and lived experiences—all for free or Choose-What-You-Pay,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Thake continued, “Our guiding theme this summer helps reinforce so much of what we all share, but sometimes lose in our busy daily lives. The arts are core to our collective well-being and to helping us realize our hopes and dreams for future generations. We look forward to coming together this summer with artists from across the globe and with neighbors from across New York City.”

This year’s festival includes several new commissions; a series of dynamic concerts with the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center in its first season with Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Jonathon Heyward;a week-long celebration of Indian cultural traditions during India Week; a contemporary concert series curated by Nadia Sirota;the return of the BAAND Together Dance FestivalPride Month celebrations; Juneteenth events; comedy nights; activations at the intersections of the arts and technologywellness events and workshops; and expanded offerings for families.

The summer also shines a light on Deaf and disabled artists, with the return of Deaf Broadway; a Night of Access Magic silent disco curated by Kevin Gotkin;and performances centering disability artistry from guest curator Ryan J. Haddad.A relaxed open rehearsal with the Festival Orchestra, inclusive dance classes with Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program, and the return of Big Umbrella Day are among the many access offerings for audiences. Additional highlights and a full calendar follow.

Summer for the City is presented in collaboration with organizations from across the city and the Lincoln Center campus, including Bushwick StarrCaribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora InstituteFilm at Lincoln CenterJazz at Lincoln CenterThe Juilliard SchoolKorean Cultural Center New YorkLa CasitaPEN AmericaNew York City BalletThe New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, NY Laughs,the School of American Ballet, and many more.

“In reaching people from all five boroughs and beyond with its warm welcome, Summer for the City has established itself as a New York tradition, but—as this year’s lineup shows—it’s a tradition as dynamic and inclusive as the city itself. When public space comes alive, it’s a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, and we can’t wait to experience that anew this summer,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), which is providing lead support for the festival’s community programming.

In recent years, Lincoln Center has expanded its role as an artistic and civic cornerstone, hosting dozens of blood drives, food distributions, naturalization ceremonies, graduations, and serving as a polling place, core to its broader commitment to the city and a statement of confidence in its enduring vitality. 

“There’s no place like New York City in the summer, where people across the five boroughs gather in our public spaces to enjoy the events, programming, and the magic of our city,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams.“For its third consecutive year, Lincoln Center will provide hundreds of free events to New Yorkers through Summer for the City so everyone can enjoy free, world-class art and cultural programming. Art is critical to our imagination and can help expand what we believe is possible for ourselves and our communities. That’s why it is critical that the City invests in our arts and cultural institutions, because all New Yorkers deserve to experience the life-changing power of the arts.”

Summer for the City initially grew from a need to bring together our community after the isolation of lockdown,” said Erika Mallin, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). “Over the past three years, it has affirmed the measurable healing benefits of arts and culture, bringing us together with new technologies and both free and affordable programming. Now a treasured cultural tradition, NYSCA is a proud supporter of Lincoln Center as it welcomes all New Yorkers to transformative and inspiring performances all summer long.”

“Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City is an amazing expression of the unmatched power that culture has to engage and connect New Yorkers with joy, excitement, enlightenment, education, and so much more,” said New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “New Yorkers deserve every opportunity to connect with the cultural activity that makes living here so exciting, so I applaud the hundreds of free programs happening as part of Summer for the City, which are open and accessible to all. We’re proud to continue our work with Lincoln Center to bring the arts to all New Yorkers. I’ll see you this summer!”

The majority of the more than 200 events during Summer for the City are free, with select indoor performances having a Choose-What-You-Pay ticketing model, starting at $5.

Choose-What-You-Pay tickets go on sale to the public Thursday, May 16 at 12pm. Friends of Lincoln Center have pre-sale access to Choose-What-You-Pay tickets beginning Thursday, May 9 at 12pm.

Most free performances offer a free Fast Track line to gain priority access to the event ahead of the general admission line, and these free Fast Track registrations are available every Monday at noon for that week’s performances. Check event webpages on for performance-specific information on Fast Track availability or ticket on-sale dates.

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Martin Cid Magazine (MCM) is a cultural magazine about entertainment, arts and shows.
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