July 4, 2021—The first inkling of life recently returned to Broadway with the opening of “Springsteen on Broadway” at the St. James Theater on June 26, 2021. The remaining 40 stages are not scheduled to reopen until August and September. However, it is my hope that the post-COVID-19 theatrical landscape will be vastly different than the world described by artists of color in an open letter in June of 2020.
In my role as adjunct faculty at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with Dr. Jack Caravanos of NYU’s School Global Public Health, and Laurence Maslon of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts about the far-reaching economic, artistic, social, and public health implications of restarting Broadway following the longest theater shutdown in New York City’s history—471 days. We discussed the historical precedent for the shutdown, the major public health challenges the industry still faces, and strategies for attracting multicultural audiences, which I believe is integral to Broadway’s rebound.
Here is the link to an article written about the panel discussion. I hope the readers of Arts & Culture Connections can utilize it as a gateway for follow-up discussions as you plan to reopen the doors of your arts organizations and cultural institutions, or as you prepare for performances and exhibitions.