Image courtesy of TNC.

Free admission (all visitors, all hours)


For the 25th year, a handful of stars and over 100 performing arts organizations, independent artists, poets, puppeteers and filmmakers join forces May 22 to 24 in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, available virtually on the website ( of its presenting organization, Theater for the New City (TNC).  The event started in 1996 as a three-day, indoor and outdoor multi-arts festival intended to demonstrate the creative explosion of the Lower East Side and the area’s importance to culture and tourism for New York City. It employed two theater spaces at TNC plus the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.  For the past 24 years, it has been organized by TNC and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders and presented free to an average attendance of 4,000.  This year, with obligatory separation caused by Coronavirus, it is being mounted entirely on TNC’s website, with the possibility of sharing it with the world for the first time. The 2020 festival, themed “Renaissance: Arts Alive 25,” is dedicated to essential workers: the frontline professionals who preserve our daily lives. There will be three days of theater and theater-related events, from Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 24.