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New York City's Cultural Community Responds to Hurricane Sandy

New York City's Cultural Community Responds to Hurricane Sandy

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York City cultural organizations have provided crucial support for communities in need and continue to offer services and programs to aid and inspire New Yorkers. Artists and arts groups have presented free or discount exhibitions and performances, opened their spaces for people to warm up and charge electronics, developed benefit events, and supported their fellow cultural organizations whose collections and facilities were damaged by the storm. These remarkable relief efforts are helping neighborhoods and New Yorkers in all five boroughs.

“While many cultural groups suffered the storm’s devastation along with their neighbors, the creative community has contributed to recovery by supporting relief efforts and doing what they do best – producing the most exciting works of art anywhere in the world,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “In challenging times our extraordinary artists and arts organizations have demonstrated just how central culture is to life in New York City.”

The following is a sampling of events and services provided by cultural organizations from October 31 and onward.

Arts Groups who Offered Discount or Free Admission following Hurricane Sandy
Brooklyn Academy Of Music offered 50% discount on tickets for Sans Objet Monday, November 5.
• Danspace Project held a free matinee on Saturday, November 3, with lighting provided only by the audience’s flashlights.
• The Metropolitan Museum of Art offered free admission on Wednesday, October 31 and welcomed over 13,000 visitors from noon to 5pm.
• Museum of the Moving Image offered free admission all day Friday, November 2.
• New York Botanical Garden offered half price all-garden pass admission November 1-4.
• Public Art Fund offered walk-up tickets on Thursday, November 1 to audiences for Discovering Columbus and extended the free exhibition through December 2 to accommodate Hurricane Sandy-related cancellations and increased demand.
The Public Theater offered free tickets to “Giant,” “Wild With Happy,” and “Sorry” on Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.
• Roundabout Theater offered $20 hurricane subway special tickets to anyone with a MetroCard for Cyrano de Bergerac, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and If There I is I Haven’t Found It Yet on Wednesday, October 31.

Upcoming Discounted and Free Cultural Events
• Commercial Broadway productions such as An Enemy of the People, The Heiress, Dead Accounts, A Christmas Story, Annie, Scandalous, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Chaplin, and Grace are offering discounted tickets to performances throughout the next month.
• Nonprofit theaters are offering discounted tickets to performances including Lincoln Center Theater’s “War Horse;” and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s “Through the Yellow Hour.”

Cultural Events That Benefited Hurricane Sandy Victims
• Assembly Theater Project: Flashlight only, pay-what-you-wish performance proceeds went to benefit Sandy victims on November 1.
• MoMA organized another relief trip to the Rockaways on November 10. Several such trips, for which volunteers meet at MoMA on W. 54th Street, have been organized since the hurricane.
• New-York Historical Society was open with pay-what-you-wish admission on October 31; all proceeds went to benefit Sandy victims.
• St. Ann’s Warehouse gave away 300 free tickets to their neighbors in Brooklyn’s 11201 zip code for matinee performances of Mies Julie on Saturday, November 10 and 11.
• Staten Island OutLOUD is hosting a Heroes and Veterans’ Day Weekend November 9-10 in honor of veterans and heroes of Hurricane Sandy.
• Trinity Wall Street: On Saturday, November 10 the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra performed a special concert to benefit New York victims of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

Upcoming Cultural Events Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Victims
• Asian American Arts Alliance will host a special Town Hall on Tuesday, November 13 for those in the Asian community affected by Hurricane Sandy.
• The Dumbo BID is hosting an auction on Wednesday, November 14 called “The Help DUMBO Rebuild Fundraiser” to raise money to support DUMBO restaurants, small businesses, and arts spaces.
• The Field is offering several sessions on “How To Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance,” currently scheduled for Monday, November 12, 6-7pm or Friday, November 16, 11am-12pm.
• Irondale Center, the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance, 80 Art Alliance, the Soul of Brooklyn consortium, and Council Member LetiTia James are assembling artists for “Brooklyn Loves Brooklyn" - a benefit for Sandy relief on Tuesday, November 13. All proceeds will go to charities in Gowanus, Red Hook, and Coney Island.
• Queens Museum of Art is hosting a community day on Sunday, November 18 with all admissions going to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.
• St. George Theater is hosting two benefit shows on November 17 by comedian Louis C.K. to benefit the Staten Island Hurricane Relief Fund.
Soho Rep is hosting a special performance on Sunday, November 25 to benefit the recovery of Coney Island USA’s Theater.

Cultural-Led Community Relief Efforts
• ABC No Rio hosted an environmental group on Friday, November 2 to run their bicycle-powered generators, providing power for the community.
• Art Dealers Association of America announced Tuesday, November 6 that it had established a Relief Fund to provide grants and loans for for-profit and nonprofit galleries located in Zone A and across the City that have been unable to conduct business due to hurricane damage.
• Asia Society announced Wednesday, November 7 that it had set up a fund for students and families of the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies affected by Hurricane Sandy.
• Christie’s New York announced that they would offer work space and access to their storage facilities on Wednesday, October 31 to affectEd Gallery owners
• Cultural organizations such as MoMA PS1, The Paley Center for Media, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, El Museo del Barrio, Poets House, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage served as warming, charging, and free wi-fi stations.
• Flushing Town Hall began collecting donations of needed supplies on Friday, November 2 to distribute to storm victims.
• Individual visual and performing artists are hosting auctions, online sales, and benefit shows to raise money for relief efforts.
• MoMA hosted a series of workshops on how to handle flood damage to works of art.
• New Museum offered free admission to visitors who donated gently used winter coats.
• Moved to upcoming Moved to upcoming The Italian Cultural Foundation has organized a supply drive to benefit residents of Staten Island affected by the hurricane.
The Public Theater hosted a donation drive starting Tuesday, November 6.
• The Storefront for Art and Architecture hosted a discussion on November 2 about the connections between Darkness and Architecture from different points of view. The event was also an opportunity for us all to share resources among the downtown community.

Sharing Resources
• Art service organizations and other cultural groups across the city, including Arts Councils in all five boroughs, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fractured Atlas, Dance/NYC, Creative Capital and more have rallied their digital resources to help affected artists and arts groups. These organizations have written and shared guides to navigating federal and state resources, how-to documents for conserving damaged artwork, cross-promoted calls for volunteers and aid, and shared their stories of resilience.

To find a cultural event near you visit For more information about City services or to volunteer, visit

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