Anniversary of NYC’s Cultural Shutdown #CultureRemembers #CultureForward

Anniversary of NYC’s Cultural Shutdown and Steps to Reopen Will Be Marked in All Five Boroughs with Public Events, March 18-19 

Local Artists & Cultural Organizations in Each Borough to Host Outdoor, Socially Distanced Press Conferences with Performances — 


(New York, NY) – One year after New York City’s arts and cultural sector suddenly shut down over the period of one week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, events in each borough will mark the somber anniversary. Comprising speeches by local elected/cultural leaders and performances by New York artists, this day of programming memorializes the shut down while looking forward to the needs of a resilient NY artistic community.  The events are united by the dual themes of #CultureRemembers and #CultureForward, and will take place on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19. 


Date: March 19, 2021

Local Contact: 

Location: Williamsburg Brooklyn, North 6th Street BETWEEN Berry Street AND Bedford Avenue, 11249

Timeframe: 1:30pm –3:00pm

Description: LEIMAY, the artist-run entanglement based in Williamsburg since 1996, will gather local artists, arts advocates, community members, and elected officials in an outdoor event commemorating one year of the shutdown of the art and cultural sector to share expressions of loss, resilience, and determination. Arts leaders will advocate for funding and uplift each other while we connect and inspire our communities.  For those unable to attend in person, we want your voice to be heard. Please leave a message in the comments of the event FB page:

The afternoon will include remarks by local arts leaders and elected officials, including Senator The afternoon will include remarks by local arts leaders and elected officials, including

LEIMAY co-founder Ximena Garnica, Senator Julia Salazar, Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Council Member Stephen Levin, Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Theresa Buchheister of The Brick, Noel Allain of the Bushwick Starr, Ann Chiaverini of Dance Artists’ National Collective, Beth Allen of Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance, Michael Aryee and Ransford Jeezy Odoi of Flex Dance Program,  Kristin Marting of HERE, Anya Sapozhnikova of House of Yes, Zev Greenfield of ISSUE Project Room,  Angela Buccinni Butch of The Muse, Nathaniel Marro of the Music Workers Alliance, Christoph Carr  Musician / Poet, Dorian Wallace of the New Music Organizing Caucus, Modesto Flako Jimenez from the Oye Group, Francine Garber-Cohen of Regina Opera, Dorothy Ryan of Theatre for a New Audience, and other local cultural leaders and advocates. The event will feature the following works: 

  • Bodies on the Brink, a performance installation of kinetic sculptures by LEIMAY Artistic Directors Shige Moriya and Ximena Garnica with the LEIMAY Ensemble: Masanori Asahara and Krystel Copper with music by composer Jeremy D. Slater 
  • A lively socially distanced LEIMAY Latin Moves dance class led by local drag artist FreeDa Banana and djembe percussionist Adama Diarra
  • Durational performative actions by LEIMAY guest artists Sophie Holmes, Brandon Perdomo, Thea Little, and Irena Romendik
  • An atmospheric sound installation by Jonah Udall and Andrew Yoon.
  • An Opera performance by Lindell Carter of Regina Opera

Community Partners: The Brick, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, The Bushwick Starr, Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center, Frigid New York, HERE, The Indie Theater Fund, Movement Research, Partners Coffee, Regina Opera, Theatre for a New Audience, Assembly Member Peter J. Abbate, and other partners in formation.

Quote:  “As artists, we often find ourselves at multiple kinds of crossroads. For LEIMAY this event is an act of vulnerability, resistance and joy: we dance on stolen land, we listen to the beat of the drum of our immigrant ancestors, we stand in the tension of gentrification while we bow to the lost souls of this pandemic, we resist through careful gathering,  we turn to legal busking as our Government turns their back to the arts, we open spaces to connect, to be inspired, and we empower ourselves because we refuse to live a life without poetry.” – Ximena Garnica, multidisciplinary artist, Artistic Co-Director LEIMAY.

COVID Prevention Recommendations & Protocols:
If your schedule allows, we recommend a COVID test before the event.
Our most recent go-to is CHAI Urgent care, a nearby site on Kent Ave.
They service free rapid and PCR tests – you can schedule in advance and there is rarely a line for drop-ins.

Chai Urgent Care – 420 Kent Ave.

Due to the pandemic, we are urging that you all exercise caution during the days leading to the event, and by joining us you are acknowledging and assume the risk, however low, posed to us by the COVID-19 pandemic. You understand that mask use is mandatory, and that any shared microphones will be sanitized between speakers.

Upon arrival, your temperature will be taken, and we ask you to fill the attached questionnaires before the event.

**PLEASE read carefully and submit the attached health screening form.

The multiple programs are co-presented and co-produced through mutual efforts among ID Studio Theater; BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance; El Museo del Barrio; LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at LaGuardia Community College; LEIMAY; and The St. George Theatre. Many of these outdoors events utilize permits from the City’s new Open Culture initiative that provides access to designated streets across the city for cultural activities. 

These events are being presented while artists and cultural organizations continue to navigate the immense challenges of strict limits on in-person gatherings and severely reduced incomes. To make this commemoration possible, host organizations in each borough are working together with media, production, and community partners listed below.  The media liaison is New Yorkers for Culture and Arts with cultural leaders throughout New York City who are participants in Culture@3 calls. The production partner is OpenCultureWORKS, a new organization formed to provide production support for cultural groups performing outdoors.

For info about events taking place in the other 4 boroughs, please refer to the full listing in the Brooklyn Arts Council Featured story at

Image Credit: Shige Moriya