Kicks Off with Free Week-Long Series Engaging Artists, Educators, Students, and Designers to Inspire New Ways of Belonging

Lincoln Center Activate July 12-16, 2021

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announces an expansion of its Lincoln Center Activate initiative, offering arts professionals in the education and community engagement fields intensive, creative, and free professional development and explorations to spark change across the arts industry and beyond.

For the first time, Activate will focus its programming around a single topic: How do we achieve radical welcoming that will help us rebuild and reconnect? How do we create spaces that foster belonging?

A global network of thousands of arts professionals from more than 30 countries, Activate was established in 2020 as a way of connecting and building community amongst educators, artists, teaching artists, and arts leaders during the ever-changing challenges of the pandemic. Now, Activate is expanding into robust year-round explorations and convenings, beginning with a week-long series of virtual and in-person events, July 12-16, 2021. All events are free and registration is available at

“We often turn to artists and educators in times of crisis, to help guide, comfort, and inspire,” said Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “As we work to chart a new and more equitable way forward, the arts must play a central role. We’re so proud of the network we’re building and the learnings we can share with one another and the world as we work to come back better and more inclusively.”

“The practice of putting extraordinary effort and emphasis on making people feel welcome, on being open to new ideas and fresh collaborations, is our focus for Activate this year,” said Jean E. Taylor, Assistant Director of Education at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “For the arts, in particular, we know that there can be many barriers to participation. Some of these are practical, but some may be less clear. We must hold this consciousness in our commitment, find the roots that will allow us to truly achieve belonging, and do so in concert with our extraordinary network of teachers and learners.”

Building upon a spring program in which Anna Deavere Smith and Dr. Chris Emdin explored a reimagining of education and the arts in shaping futures, this summer’s Activate series offers five days of workshops led by Dr. Emdin, the New York PhilharmonicNew York City BalletNew York Library for the Performing Arts, artist Andrea Miller, among others. Activate’s first in-person artistic offering will be part of Restart Stages, Lincoln Center’s outdoor performing arts center championing the city’s cultural and economic revival. Make a Joyful Noize, a multimedia universe created by Soul Science Lab that blends music, film, interviews, spoken word, and dance to capture the visceral, contagious, and unapologetic energy of black joy, will have its world premiere performance July 15 at 8:00pm.

In addition, Dr. Emdin will collaborate with a team of technical experts on the realization of a new classroom design that integrates tenets of radical welcoming into the learning setting. Utilizing Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theatre, the team will build a prototype classroom environment that extends Dr. Emdin’s extensive research in this field into the physical space—modeling, testing, and shaping how various elements can help teachers and learners connect more meaningfully post-pandemic. The prototype will be realized throughout the summer, and is an outgrowth of Dr. Emdin’s work with Lincoln Center’s new R&D Lab for the arts, The Collider.

As Activate progresses beyond the July series, its explorations of radical welcoming will be woven throughout additional initiatives across the Lincoln Center campus and beyond—including a fall edition of Lincoln Center’s groundbreaking Big Umbrella FestivalMiddle School Arts Audition Bootcamp, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education; as the U.S. hub for the International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC); and multi-disciplinary programming across the Lincoln Center campus.

Since the pandemic began, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has driven efforts to bring the power of the arts to New Yorkers outdoors and digitally—from Love From Lincoln Center concerts for individual essential workers to works of art that elevate the voices and lived experiences of people of color in America, such as Carrie Mae Weems’ installation Resist COVID/Take 6!, Davóne Tines’ Vigil, and digital commissions like The Baptism by Carl Hancock Rux. International collaborations with the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens (SNFCC) will bring new approaches to cultural engagement in both cities. These are just the beginning of a reorientation towards prioritizing openness, access, and inclusive excellence—elevating talent from every corner of the globe and fostering a sense of radical welcome on the campus. Currently, Lincoln Center is spearheading Restart Stages, a sweeping initiative that creates an outdoor performing arts center to help kickstart the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City.

Lincoln Center Activate

Summer Series: Radical Welcoming

July 12-16, 2021

Monday, July 12

Radical Welcoming: Exploring with Educators
Dr. Christopher Emdin
Panelists: Meghan Sullivan, Raven Wilhelm, Yang Hu

Dr. Chris Emdin kicks off Lincoln Center Summer Activate. Together with educators from different contexts, they’ll begin to explore the week’s main theme, Radical Welcoming, and what it may mean in our classrooms and to learners and artists, young and old.

Register for webinar here.

Monday, July 12

Educator Workshop Series
Part 1: Orientation – July 12 at 12:00pm–12:30pm
Part 2: Collaborative Workshop – Video available on July 12 at 12:00pm
Part 3: Connect – July 16 at 11:30am–12:15pm
Conclusion: Apply – July 16 at 3:00pm–3:45pm

Facilitators: Dacia Washington and Lynn Ligammari

What does Radical Welcoming mean in a post-pandemic world and across communities?

n experiential workshop centering around Soul Science Lab’s Make a Joyful Noize, which will be presented live at Lincoln Center and livestreamed at home. Facilitated online by Lynn Ligammari, saxophonist and LCE Music Teaching Artist, and Dacia Washington, theater teaching artist and Senior Manager, Instruction Design & Delivery, LCE, this workshop includes synchronous and asynchronous activities, opportunities for collaboration, reflection on the work of art, and connections to the conference theme: Radical Welcoming.

Register for workshops here.

Monday, July 12

Dancing Together with New York City Ballet
Facilitators: Deborah Lohse and Russell Janzen

New York City Ballet welcomes all to the ballet barre in this interactive and participatory workshop. NYCB Principal Dancer, Russell Janzen, and NYCB Teaching Artist, Deborah Lohse, model accessible and inclusive methods of facilitating ballet movement and repertory. Participants are invited to join in and have the opportunity for a live Q&A with the artists.

Register for workshop here.

Tuesday, July 13

Teaching as a Performing Art: Dr. Chris Emdin and Derek Luke in Discussion
Dr. Chris Emdin, Derek Luke

Dr. Chris Emdin speaks with renown actor Derek Luke (Friday Night Lights, Empire, 13 Reasons Why) about teaching as performance and performance as teaching. How does the art of teaching relate to Radical Welcoming?

Register for discussion here.

Tuesday, July 13

New York Philharmonic: Very Young Composers and Facilitators Workshop
Facilitators: Laura Andel, Teaching Artist

How might arts education evolve with the insights, experiences, and creativity of young people at the center? Join for a discussion and exploration around the practices of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Led by young people with support from Teaching Artist Laura Andel, this session will provide adaptive tools and resources for educators interested in student-centered learning.

Register for workshop here.

Wednesday, July 14

Dr. Chris Emdin On The GREEN with Young People
Facilitator: Dr. Chris Emdin
Panelists: Charisma Young, Senior; Diana Hernandez, Junior; Kiara Maymi, Junior; Victoria Richardson, Aspiring Teacher

Lincoln Center’s Josie Roberston Plaza has been reimagined into a participatory art installation, The GREEN, and has become a key destination for New Yorkers emerging from our difficult pandemic year. Dr. Emdin will sit down in The GREEN with three young people to explore the kind of spaces and interactions that feed the curiosity and creativity of young people—straight from the experts themselves. He’ll also share his own latest plans for a new kind of classroom.

Register for discussion here.

Wednesday, July 14

Exploring Unique Teaching Tools with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Kathleen Leary, Emma Rose Brown

Have you ever worked on a lesson plan and were unable to find unique primary source material to fulfill your learning outcomes? The Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts holds manuscript material, photographs, oral histories, and programs, many of which are available to access no matter your location. Join Dance Education Coordinator Kathleen Leary and Dance Oral History Project Assistant Emma Rose Brown, as they ignite your teaching imagination with different ways to use performing arts archival material for discussion or activities in the virtual or in-person learning environment. (We will be using Padlet during the webinar, so if you can, please sign up for an account prior to the session. For more information on how to use Padlet click here.)

Register for webinar here.

Thursday, July 15

The Visioning Lab: Returning to Each Other Through the Arts
Part 1: 1:30pm–3:00pm
Asynchronous Exploration: 3:00pm–3:30pm
Part 2: 3:30pm–4:30pm

Facilitators: Andrea Miller and Kevin Carillo

Inspired by Andrea Miller’s process for You Are Here at Lincoln Center, The Visioning Lab is an ongoing experiment for investigating pressing questions of our time through art-making. In this lab, guided by Andrea Miller (NYC-based movement company GALLIM and You Are Here, a public sculpture, sound, and live performance installation), participants of all arts practices will engage in a process of inquiry-based art-making. Participants will be able to turn-key their experience and share the lab’s process with their own communities.

Preparation: If you’re a visual artist, have your materials nearby. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument. If you’re a dancer, clear some space to move for our Zoom meeting. There will be opportunity for independent and collaborative art-making and sharing.

The Visioning Lab is in partnership with the International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC).

Register for lab here.

Thursday, July 15

Make a Joyful Noize: In-person and Livestream Performance
The Restart Stage at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center; or Livestream

Commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its 125 Commission Project, Make a Joyful Noize is a multimedia universe that blends music, film, interviews, spoken word, and dance to capture the visceral, contagious energy of Black joy. Soul Science Lab uses their signature brand of audio visual storytelling to explore this compelling phenomenon. Joy gives us a reason to live, even when it seems life has forsaken us. Black joy is entertainment, therapy, self-love and salvation. It is the force that allows us to still laugh and love. Make a Joyful Noize presents the majesty of Black joy through spirit, pain, resistance, and love as a healing force for transformation. The visual and musical curation is unfiltered and unapologetic Black joy—a special kind of healing and magic that sets the world on fire.

All registered Activate attendees will have access to the in-person performance and livestream. To learn more about the event, visit the website, here.

Friday, July 16

Spaces for Learning: Dr. Chris Emdinand Collider Fellows from Lincoln Center’s R&D Lab for the Arts
Dr. Chris Emdin
Panelists: Nora Chipaumire, other special guests (TBA)

Dr. Emdin meets with creative luminaries outside of the field of education to re-imagine what classrooms could look like and feel like in the post-pandemic year. Dr. Emdin will host the conversation in an evolving prototype of just such a classroom.

Register for webinar here.

Friday, July 16

Fall Activate Preview
Madeleine McGirk, Managing Director, ITAC; Miko Lee, Co-Executive Director, TAG; Jean E Taylor, Assistant Director, LCE;John Holyoke, Assistant Director, Instructional Design & Delivery

Lincoln Center Education and The Teaching Artist Guild are partnering with the International Teaching Artist Collaborative to create the first U.S. ITAC Hub; our goal is to partner locally and share globally. Join us to hear more about this initiative and to express your thoughts.

Register for discussion here.


Workshop with Andrea Miller and Adrienne Westwood – You Are Here
July 26 at 2:00pm

Join renowned artist Andrea Miller of NYC-based movement company GALLIM and LCE Teaching Artist Adrienne Westwood for an online workshop based on the installation and live dance event at Lincoln Center, entitled You Are Here.? How can you transform your own story of the past year into powerful, expressive movement? Experience this powerful work more deeply by dancing and inquiring into the choreographer’s process.

Register for workshop here.

About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the steward of the world’s leading performing arts center, an artistic and civic cornerstone for New York City comprised of eleven resident companies on a 16-acre campus. The nonprofit’s strategic priorities include: supporting the arts organizations that call Lincoln Center home to realize their missions and fostering opportunities for collaboration across campus; championing inclusion and increasing the accessibility and reach of Lincoln Center’s work; and reimagining and strengthening the performing arts for the 21st century and beyond, helping ensure their rightful place at the center of civic life.

Programming for Lincoln Center Education is made possible by Sherman Fairchild Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Constans Culver Foundation, The Alice L. Walton Foundation, Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc., Theodore H. Barth Foundation, The Giants Foundation, Lincoln Center’s Education Committee, and Lincoln Center’s generous donors and supporters.



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