Advocates for unbiased venue house owners and performers ripped New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, arguing his plan to host star-studded “pop-up artwork occasions” to revive the state’s reside occasions business wouldn’t assist out-of-work entertainers struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.
Dubbed “NY PopsUp,” Cuomo’s workplace described the competition as a “pilot program” to create “the state’s first large-scale mannequin for the right way to carry reside efficiency again safely after this extended COVID-related shutdown.” The marketing campaign runs from Feb. 20 by means of Labor Day Weekend and can characteristic performances by celebrities corresponding to comic Chris Rock and actor Alec Baldwin.
Cuomo stated the competition was a vital step towards the return of New York’s reside leisure business. However critics identified the plan didn’t present a blueprint for unbiased venues and small companies corresponding to comedy golf equipment to renew operations, nor did it define monetary aid for artists and performers who’ve gone months with out work whereas lockdown measures have been in place.
“Cuomo is producing out of doors comedy exhibits now,” Stand Up NY Proprietor Dani Zoldan wrote on Twitter. “Nothing like sticking it to unbiased venues forcing them to remain closed whereas the town creates their very own leisure programming. That is disgusting + they stole most of our out of doors present concepts.”
Venues corresponding to comedy golf equipment, theaters and music golf equipment have been shut down for months in New York as a result of coronavirus pandemic. Critics of the Cuomo-backed restrictions have argued the measures are crippling small companies, lots of which have closed for good after months with out income.
Whereas comedy golf equipment stay shuttered, NBC’s long-running present “Saturday Evening Reside” has skirted restrictions by paying viewers members to attend its exhibits, successfully making them short-term staff.
New York Metropolis Councilman Joe Borelli panned Cuomo’s “NY PopsUp” marketing campaign as a “plan to take picture ops [with] celebs.”
“Journalist pals, @NYGovCuomo didn’t current a plan to reopen reside performances in NY at present. Please don’t give him this,” Borelli stated. “He offered a plan to take picture ops w celebs. Theaters are simply, look ahead to it, “open” (sure with restrictions) in different states. Simply open them like SNL.”
Cuomo’s announcement of the marketing campaign additionally drew a number of vital responses on Twitter.
“I’m glad to look at millionaire Chris Rock inform jokes, however efficiency artists want assist proper now,” one person wrote in response.
“May you please simply give us cash to reside,” one other person wrote.
Representatives for the governor didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the criticism.
Preliminary “NY PopsUp” occasions can be held all through the state and “make levels out of New York’s current landscapes,” corresponding to subway platforms, storefronts, and parking heaps, in keeping with a press release. The performances will quantity within the lots of and are supposed to entertain a “handful” of viewers members.
Finally, Cuomo’s workplace stated occasions can be held at pre-approved “flex venues” able to internet hosting socially distant crowds, together with The Apollo, Harlem Stage and The Shed. At current, it’s unclear if New York plans to permit unbiased venues to take part.
“Not solely will these indoor occasions be an emblem to all the world that New York is again, they may even be a key step within the lengthy means of getting tens-of-thousands of arts professionals round New York State again to work; and a bridge to getting Broadway and the entire New York cultural world open,” the governor’s workplace stated in a press launch.
The deliberate pop-show competition beforehand drew criticism from a number of teams, together with the Union of Musicians and Allied Employees, the League of Unbiased Theater, and the Music Employees Alliance.
“New York’s performing artists don’t want livestream live shows and comedy exhibits — we’d like you to finish tax breaks for the rich and fund our state so we are able to survive,” the teams wrote final month in a letter to Cuomo obtained by the New York Daily News.