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92nd Street Y Announces Return to In-Person Programming

The spring mini-season, entitled 'Almost Home,' will include classical music performances, readings, theater, and more.

For the first time since March 2020, 92nd Street Y is following the State's lead to welcome audiences back to Kaufmann Concert Hall for a "tasting menu" of some of 92Y's world-class programming - from classical concerts and literary readings to theater for young audiences.

The spring mini-season, entitled 'Almost Home,' will include classical music performances by American operatic soprano Alyson Cambridge, as well as three concerts from 92Y's Marshall Weinberg Spring 2021 Classical Music Season - flautist Brandon Patrick George with pianist Bryan Wagorn; clarinetist Anthony McGill with soprano Susanna Phillips; and pianist Stewart Goodyear. André Holland (Moonlight, Selma) will also give a dramatic reading of Saidiya Hartman's The End of White Supremacy: An American Romance. And 92Y's new Theater for Young Audiences will offer a new, original dance musical geared to children ages 4-11, entitled Adventure to Neverland.

Since COVID-19 first hit New York City last year, 92nd Street Y has been one of the City's most prolific producers of high-quality original arts and cultural programming. Reaching audiences of over 4 million in its first year, 92Y's digital platform has presented online performances by world-class artists ranging from Jonathan Biss to Zadie Smith, Roxanne Gay to Yefim Bronfman and Midori - performances that have attracted audiences from around the world, with over 60% of online ticket sales going to patrons who were new to 92Y and from outside of New York City.

It innovated with 92U, an online learning destination that brings our generations' greatest thinkers into homes across the globe, welcoming people from Gloria Steinem, Ralph Buultjens, Francis Morrone, Mary Frances Berry, Christopher Nolan and Seth Meyers to expound on compelling subjects about which they have always wanted to teach.

"This has been a year full of challenges for performing arts venues, including ours. In the face of these challenges, though, we realized that our work would be more important and meaningful to our patrons than it has ever been in our 147-year history. This realization was borne out by the success of our online programming, which has, since we closed our doors last March, attracted patrons in over 160 countries. We now are so pleased to be able to welcome patrons back into Kaufmann Concert Hall to share once again in the transcendent power of in-person performance," said Seth Pinsky, CEO of 92nd Street Y.

"Going forward, we intend to offer a full-range of the best programming in the world, both online and in-person, allowing us to touch the widest possible audience in a variety of formats and at a variety of price points."

As 92Y welcomes patrons back into its primary performance hall, there will be a strict adherence to protocols consistent to the way in which 92Y has been welcoming patrons into its building since summer of last year. These protocols, which are being followed by the 800 to 900 people per day who are now coming into 92Y's Lexington Avenue facility on an average weekday, will ensure the health and safety of all attendees and staff.

These protocols -which will cover the full patron experience from entry, to seating, to departure-will include a temperature check and responding to a health questionnaire, mandatory hand sanitizing and proof of either a negative test result or vaccination. All patrons will also be required to be fully and properly masked (double masks required) throughout their time at 92Y. There will be a detailed plan for audience flow, which will be closely monitored, to ensure artists, patrons, and staff are socially distanced at all times throughout their visits.

Upgrades to the ventilation and air filtration systems in the theater and throughout 92Y's building have also been made.

In developing its protocols, 92Y worked with real estate management firm CBRE early in the pandemic. These protocols have been supplemented now that patrons will soon be welcomed into the concert hall.

During 92Y's mini-season, the box office will be closed, and there will be no intermissions or concessions to reduce the volume of patrons in theater's common areas, including restrooms.

For extra precaution, in Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92Y will close off multiple rows of seats to ensure at least 20 feet of distance between performers and audience.

For each "Almost Home" performance, 92Y will sell up to 150 in-person tickets in the 905-seat Kaufmann Concert Hall, with additional tickets available online. In-person and online ticket prices will be $20 for each performance, with student tickets available for $10. Children's tickets to Adventure to Neverland will be available for $10.

92Y is one of America's leading cultural and community institutions offering intellectual enrichment and spiritual sustenance for 147 years. When COVID-19 struck in March, like all cultural institutions, it had to shut its doors.

With ticket sales and classes making up nearly 70% of its budget, 92Y was innovative in pivoting to meet the changing cultural landscape. The institution recreated itself overnight as 92Y @ Home, a virtual hub for sharing ideas, experiencing art and keeping engaged during quarantine. Throughout the pandemic, unlike many of its peers, 92Y provided a steady diet of concerts, classes and interactive talks to patrons around the world.

A key element of 92Y's strategy was a decision not simply to repackage old material for virtual consumption, but rather to create new, original content for patrons to experience together. This included significant online offerings that not only allowed 92Y to continue providing programming to its existing patrons, but allowed the institution to reach new audiences in 160 countries.

During the year after COVID forced 92Y to close its doors, 92Y sold over 100,000 tickets to over 1,400 online courses and events. The institution's Youtube channel was viewed 44 million times, an average viewing time of nearly 30 minutes per view, reaching new national and international audiences. 92Y was just recognized by Fast Company's as one of 10 of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2021, appearing as the only cultural organization featured in the magazine's "Live Events" category.

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