Press Releases

NYC's Annual January Celebration of Performing Arts Is Safe, Virtual and Global in 2021

JanArtsNYC 2021 moves online and expands audience

Innovative "HubSpace" will bring artists, audiences and professionals together virtually


NEW YORK - The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and its partners are proud to announce that the 8th-annual edition of JanArtsNYC will be held entirely online, adapting to the pandemic while bringing artists, industry professionals and the public together to reach an even larger, more diverse, and more global audience. The vast array of new work (much of it tailored for the pandemic age) and critical conversations on the future of the performing arts will take place from January 6 to January 30, with a rich offering of festival performances, conferences and networking events.

woman in black outfit dancing with JanArts text written on it

To add to the experience, audiences and professionals will be invited to join discussions and enjoy networking while exploring the elements unique to the online "6th Boro" HubSpace, an innovative, NYC-themed, three-dimensional environment created within the nowhere virtual platform with the support of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. JanArtsNYC is one of the largest and most influential gatherings of its kind. It celebrates the newest in performing arts, including theatre, dance, opera and music. It is held in cooperation with the annual APAP|NYC+ Conference, the largest international performing arts marketplace in the world.

"In the face of all the creative community has suffered this year, we knew it was more important than ever that JanArtsNYC must go on and we're thrilled that the festival will be reaching a larger, more diverse audience than ever online," said the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. "It's a testament to the resilience of everyone involved that they've been able to reinvent their work for this unprecedented situation and bring the industry and audience together to connect, celebrate and share ideas."

JanArtsNYC 2021 is presented by a group of eight partner organizations that are offering virtual programming throughout January. To see a complete listing of all events throughout the month, please visit JanArtsNYC and each individual partner's website. Partners' web addresses are included in the event highlights below:

  • The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, January 6-17
    Over the last 17 years, The Public's Under the Radar Festival has grown into a landmark of the New York City theatre season and is a vital part of The Public's mission, providing a high-visibility platform to support artists from diverse backgrounds who are redefining the act of making theatre.

  • National Sawdust's Ferus Festival, January 7-9
    FERUS is National Sawdust's annual festival of cutting-edge music, multimedia work, and provocative creativity. The 2021 line-up includes composer Ash Koosha, performing with virtual artist Yona (Auxiliary Human), producer Jlin and choreographer Kyle Abraham, as well as the premiere of Active Hope, a conversation series about art, justice, action and inspiration led by The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center and National Sawdust, and represented by the artists and leaders Kamilah Forbes, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Paola Prestini.

  • APAP|NYC+ Conference presented by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, January 8-12
    APAP|NYC+ is the world's premier gathering of the performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry and the annual members conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. APAP|NYC+ 2021 will shine a spotlight on performing artists from all disciplines and fuel the collaborations that make art happen through a virtual EXPO Hall, pitch sessions, networking and showcases. APAP|NYC+ will take on the issues of our time: public health, the climate crisis, the racial reckoning, mental health and their impacts on the performing arts, as well as how to best restart the arts. Dr. Anthony Fauci will join us for a conversation on "Public Health and Reopening the Arts" on Saturday, Jan. 9. The pre-conference is open to the public, January 6-8, 2021. For more information, please visit

  • PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now, January 8-16
    PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now goes global for its reimagined ninth season with three world premieres: one large-scale, digital, self-guided exploration featuring 13 composers and their collaborators; one sonic experience on the past, present, and imagined future of Times Square; and one in-person installation at HERE Arts Center exploring the dynamics of friendship in the midst of an uprising. Additionally, there will be three international works from around the globe that portray the capability of the human voice.

  • Chamber Music America National Conference, January 11-15:
    CMA's virtual conference, Power and Privilege: Equity in the Arts, will encourage a conversation about the ways systemic racism and social injustice connect to the arts and entertainment community. The award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, social activist, MacArthur Fellow, and artistic director of "Silkroad," Rhiannon Giddens, will deliver the Keynote Address. Skill-building sessions and workshops, world-class performances, digital networking opportunities and virtual exhibits will also be available.

  • International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Presents "Virtual Edition: 2021 Imagine the Arts Congress," January 11-15
    The Imagine the Arts Virtual Edition: 2021 ISPA Congress has been expanded to five days with scheduled programming across time zones that includes a combination of live-streamed and on-demand content, exploring the opportunities for the arts following a year of crisis, isolation, inequity, and realization. Access to "Imagine the Arts" is included in the membership fee of those who become members at the Organization or Star Organization membership level.

  • globalFEST's "Tiny Desk meets globalFEST", January 11-14 The flagship festival at the core of globalFEST's work gives audiences the opportunity to experience extraordinary artists from all over the world - and around the corner - in normal times, all in one night. This year's event will be streamed over four nights, from January 11-14 in collaboration with NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concerts. globalFEST promotes global and American regional music traditions, creates opportunities for artists, inspires discovery for arts professionals to present artists from diverse cultures and introduces new music to the public. globalFEST believes that music can be a driving force toward a society that values cultural diversity as a source of unity rather than division.

  • The Drama League's TA(L)KING DIRECTION: A Podcast, January 13-27
    The Drama League will bring together some of our industry's most critically-acclaimed directors Saheem Ali, David Cromer, Jacob Padrón, Leigh Silverman, and Gabriel Stelian-Shanks for a three-part conversation about the economics of theatre, pulling back the curtain on the class divisions built into commercial and non-profit theatre while reimagining a more equitable future for the industry. The episodes will air on January 13, 20, and 27 and will mark the premiere of Ta(l)king Direction: A Podcast of The Drama League Season 2.

"The APAP Conference is synonymous with New York City. For decades, APAP has been a magnet, bringing together performing arts professionals from around the world every January to engage with one another and experience the wealth of performance from across the globe, and especially New York-based work," said Lisa Richards Toney, President and CEO, Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). "This unmatched gathering has been the catalyst and inspiration for the multitude of events that have grown up around it, collectively known as JanArtsNYC, cumulatively representing and celebrating a broad array of accomplished, diverse artistic voices and fresh perspectives in theatre, dance, opera, music, and performance. While we cannot gather physically in New York this year, we look forward to coming together online as we forge a path for the future of our field."

"In a year of terrible events, it has been especially hard on the arts dedicated to gathering people together," said The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival Director, Mark Russell. "We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking collaboration with the Mayor's Office and all of our JanArtsNYC partners. It's a hopeful sign of how we need to work together in the future to support artists and their work."

"It wouldn't be January in NYC without an embarrassment of riches in the form of performances to enjoy, and even though this year we'll miss seeing artists and audiences in person, we at National Sawdust are thrilled to continue to support artists creating new works, this time reimagined for the digital stage," said Nicole Merrit, Programming Director & Senior Curator at National Sawdust. "For smaller venues such as ourselves, the silver lining is an opportunity for our artists' big ideas to reach even more audiences in an accessible digital format, which is why from January to June 2021 we'll be sharing bold new cutting edge performance created specifically for the digital medium in direct response to our times. This 'pause' from live performances in 2020 has provided incredible opportunities to work together with our arts colleagues, which is why we're particularly thrilled to present our 6th Annual FERUS Festival and remain a part of critical groups like JanArtsNYC who support and encourage our resilience, collaboration, and indeed help maintain NYC's status as a thriving city for the arts."

"When we presented globalFEST's 1st edition in 2004, most of the talent coming to NY for the APAP conference performed almost exclusively for arts professionals," said globalFEST co-directors Bill Bragin, Isabel Soffer, and Shanta Thake in a joint statement. "Over the following years, more and more of our colleagues followed suit, and introduced beautifully curated satellite festivals which connected their work with the public. APAP later brought us all together under the JanArtsNYC name, recognizing that collectively, we had transformed NYC into a major mid-winter performing arts festival. globalFEST is grateful to the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for embracing this collective vision, and helping us bring the online version to the public of NYC and beyond in ever new innovative ways."

"Every January we look forward to seeing our audiences and colleagues in New York at PROTOTYPE", said HERE Founding Artistic Director and Founding Co-Director of PROTOTYPE Kristin Marting. "We love sharing the breadth of work we've curated, from operas by emerging composers to genre-bending performance art. In a year when we can't huddle together in the cold of an NYC winter, we remain excited to be presenting the work (and the artists) to you, wherever you may be. We can't wait to join our fellow January festivals and conferences to create this opportunity for global conversation."

"The difficulties and challenges of 2020 have only reinforced the indomitable spirit of artists. Our community of ensemble music professionals gathers together each year to learn from one another and to tackle the most pressing issues affecting our field," commented Margaret M. Lioi, CEO of Chamber Music America. "Although we normally do this with the backdrop of New York City—filled with jazz, classical, contemporary, and so many other musical genres—we will meet virtually in 2021 and gain strength and resilience for the months ahead. We thank our wonderful friends in the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for their vision and help in sustaining JanArtsNYC this year and look forward to being all together in New York City again soon."

"The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) has been holding its annual congress in New York City since 1948," said ISPA Chief Executive Officer, David Baile. "Almost 75 years later, New York remains the undisputed cultural capital of the world. It is with great pride that we work with our colleague organizations in JanArtsNYC along with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment as we collectively welcome thousands of delegates and members of the public from around the globe."

"We're thrilled to be ringing in the new year with a new season of TA(L)KING DIRECTION, with our January episodes (Direconomics Part 1, 2 & 3) focused on the financial realities that come with directing for stage," said The Drama League's Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks and Associate Artistic Director Nilan Johnson in a joint statement. "Transparency is a key component for creating a fair and equitable landscape; and as our industry poises for reopening while reckoning with injustice and inequity, we're hoping these conversations can illuminate facets of theatre commonly overlooked and inspire dialogue among theatremakers and theatregoers. We're so thankful for JanArts and its partner organizations for continuing to push the envelope by creating innovative art at a time when the world needs it most.