What’s coming to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, with development intern Tatum Trysla ’23

News & Spotlights | July 22, 2021
Tatum Trysla ’23
Tatum Trysla ’23 on “The Green,” a participatory art installation, with a Restart Stage and the Metropolitan Opera House in the background.

Among the changes coming to Lincoln Center is extended programming for outdoor performances, free shows late this summer, and a new home for the New York Philharmonic.

That’s according to Tatum Trysla ’23, a development intern at the center this summer (an opportunity she found through Julie McManus Werry ’03, a consultant in nonprofit development and event planning and a current Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund board member).

The nonprofit is undergoing a “period of mass transformation,” the scholar said, partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lincoln Center is turning the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts into an opportunity to reimagine itself and its programming,” said Tatum, a double major in public policy and business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Like virtually all major performing arts organizations, the center closed in March 2020 when New York City became the first epicenter of the crisis in the U.S. Instead of hosting in-person performances by the likes of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and Juilliard School of Music, for which the center is famously known, the organization hosted a series of short online concerts called Memorial For Us All in remembrance of those who had passed away from the virus.

Reimagining green spaces

More than a year later, in May of this year, the center launched Restart Stages, an initiative to bring live performances, family-friendly events, and civic engagement activities outdoors, and to “kick-start the performing arts sector and New York City’s revival,” according to the center’s announcement.

Anyone strolling around Lincoln Square this summer can view free shows throughout the ten performance and rehearsal spaces on the center’s 16 acres. Artists from all five boroughs, many of whom have not been able to work during the pandemic, have come out to safely perform for small crowds and passersby.

“The economic impact of the pandemic quickly became clear, so the center decided to use this ‘pause’ to focus their outlook on community outreach,” said the scholar, who supports the chief development officer at the center with fundraising projects, event management, and communications.

The center also used the series to honor Juneteenth, celebrate PRIDE Month, center disabled identity, and showcase groups who’ve been historically underrepresented on its campus.

“Spending time around New York’s leading philanthropists and artistic professionals while they redirect one of our country’s oldest and most traditional institutions toward openness and inclusivity has been a truly phenomenal experience,” said Tatum, who helped organize a Juneteenth celebration for donors.

The initiative is part of a $100 million global pandemic relief package from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative. The partnership seeks to “reactivate and reimagine cultural engagement in public space in the COVID-19 era and beyond,” according to the foundation’s website.

After the success of its spring and summer seasons, Tatum said the center is planning to extend the series into at least early fall.

Her internship responsibilities so far have included conducting market research and competitor analysis to identify creative benefits for top donors, liaising between writers and content strategists for the organization’s institutional communications efforts, and supporting events for corporate philanthropy partners and board members.

Free shows this August

Also coming this summer is the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, a tradition that’s over 50 years old. The orchestra and its music director, Louis Langrée, have partnered with music students from the New York City area to provide a residency as part of the Restart Stages series.

The weeklong program, slated for August 1 through August 7, will include open rehearsals, pop-up performances, and a concert on August 6.

From August 17 through 21, the center will host the BAAND Together Dance Festival, bringing together five dance companies: Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. All outdoor performances are free and open to the public.

While the center will continue expanding the online programming implemented in 2020, New Yorkers and tourists alike will be able to enjoy indoor performances of music, theater, and dance with several of its resident organizations announcing fall seasons. The Chamber Music Society, Film at Lincoln Center, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater, and the Metropolitan Opera have all announced performances set to begin this September.

Scholars and alumni interested in meeting up for a show can connect via the New York City Alumni group on the Morehead-Cain Network.

A fresh face for the home of the New York Philharmonic

Lastly, the theater formerly known as Avery Fisher Hall is set to reopen in the fall of 2022 after a multi-year renovation. As with many of Lincoln Center’s initiatives, the pandemic, created “opportunities for acceleration” for many projects, including finishing the hall two years ahead of schedule.

The $550 million reconstruction of (the now) David Geffen Hall will support around 6,000 jobs in the city and state upon completion, according to the intern. The hall will be the home of the New York Philharmonic.

While she never imagined herself working in development at one of the largest performing arts centers in the world, doing so has made for a “dream summer,” she said.

“It’s been incredibly energizing to know that the work our team is doing will not only impact future employees, but future audiences of Lincoln Center’s 11 resident art organizations as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” said Tatum, who will complete the internship in August.

Outside of work, the UNC–Chapel Hill Carolina Girls Dance Team member has enjoyed taking dance classes at the Broadway Dance Center and exploring the city.

*Morehead-Cain is not a sponsor of, or affiliated with, Lincoln Center.