Press Release

October 29, 2019

Lincoln Center Marks Decade of Free Performances from Around the World

David Rubenstein Atrium

Lincoln Center Commissions Video Work by Kambui Olujimi

Marking Decade of Free Performances From Around the World


Lincoln Center Has Supported 45 Artistic Commissions and Welcomed Artists From Nearly 100 Countries at the David Rubenstein Atrium Since 2009


Artistic Legacy of Space Continues with Free Events Every Week


NEW YORK, NY (October 29, 2019) — Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium is marking a decade as home to free, eclectic performances and public gathering space. To mark the milestone, Lincoln Center has commissioned interdisciplinary and highly imaginative Brooklyn-born visual artist Kambui Olujimi to create an original video work that will premiere November 19 at 8pm ET on Lincoln Center’s Facebook and Instagram account, @LincolnCenter.


The Atrium, a successful public-private partnership, is one of over 500 Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in New York City. Managed by Lincoln Center, the location is home to programming featuring artistic voices from a range of cultures, viewpoints, and disciplines. Always free, the Atrium hosts at least one performance each week, all year round.


Over the past 10 years, the Atrium has hosted performances by artists from 98 countries; commissioned 45 pieces of original work from beloved creatives like Taylor Mac, Burnt Sugar, Martha Redbone, and Eddie Palmieri; hosted artists such as Meredith Monk, Rubén Blades, Viggo Mortensen, and Audra McDonald; partnered with local and international organizations, including HBO, VICE Media, Rockwood, Joe’s Pub, Celebrate Mexico Now, India Center Foundation, Korean Cultural Center, Brasil Summerfest, and France Rocks; and welcomed over 3 and a half million New Yorkers and visitors, bringing the best of established and emerging artists to New York City.


“Whether people are gathering for their morning coffee, engaging in a panel discussion, or dancing the night away at our popular ¡VAYA! 63 series, the many communities that come together at the Atrium are truly what make it special,” said Jordana Leigh, Director of the David Rubenstein Atrium. “We strive to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our international city in our programming and have presented artists from more than half the countries on the planet in our first decade—many for the first time here at Lincoln Center. I am truly grateful to the artists who share their work with us and the audiences who join us each week.”


“For many who visit Lincoln Center, the David Rubenstein Atrium is their first hello on campus. Warm, joyful, and kinetic, it’s the starting point of our tours and a gathering space available to all,” said Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center. “For New Yorkers from across the five boroughs, it is also where we come together for free music, films, kids’ bands, dance parties, and fun nights with community partners from around the city. I hope that everyone will join us and find something that speaks to them here. You are most welcome.” 


The newly commissioned short video is inspired by voguing in ballroom battle culture and traditional rhythmic steps of the Filipino folk dance Singkil. “Melding these two very rich yet, in many ways, very different forms of movement has been a fascinating way to explore the ways in which New York’s cultural traditions overlap, remix, and mash up.” said artist Kambui Olujimi. “Lincoln Center is, and aspires to be, a home for all types of cultural exchange. I hope this spirit is captured in “To Catch the Rain.” [Working title] The piece will premiere November 19 on Lincoln Center’s Instagram account, @LincolnCenter, marking the exact day ten years ago when Lincoln Center first presented a performance at the Atrium.



Synonymous with New York’s penchant for reinvention, the Atrium space has had a broad history. Originally opened as the music and vaudeville venue Colonial Music Hall in 1905, the Victorian style hall featured performances by icons Fred and Adele Astaire and introduced Charlie Chaplin to U.S. audiences for the first time. Next, the building transformed into the New Colonial Broadway Theater in the 1920s, and brought the dance craze The Charleston to America in the show Runnin’ Wild.


The space spent the 1930s’ and ‘40s’ as a movie house, and by 1953 it was converted to the first ever full color television studio for NBC. ABC took over the studio and filmed the hit show The Price Is Right at the Colonial (the balcony is seen HERE in a 1960s’ promo video) and The Jimmy Dean Show. After ABC left the studio in 1971, philanthropist Rebekah Harness bought the Colonial, renamed it Harkness Theater, and renovated the space for use by her acclaimed ballet company and school.


Less than ten years later, the entire space was torn down, replaced by condominiums and a forgotten public plaza, remaining underutilized before becoming a destination for the best in performing arts.


Starting in 2009, the space has presented year-round free performances – as one of NYC’s Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) – including a Thursday night concert series Atrium 360°, the lively monthly Latin dance party ¡VAYA! 63, and Saturday morning family programs with LC Kids. Its curation includes collaborations with Lincoln Center constituents like the New York Philharmonic, presenting the in-depth panel series Insights at the Atrium, featuring classical composers, major artists, and cultural leaders.


The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center is named in honor of the philanthropist, financier and Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of a generous $10 million gift.  The design, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, reflects a respect for materials used throughout Lincoln Center and achieves an open, accessible, and inviting environment that was an essential goal of the redevelopment of the 16-acre campus. The Atrium is also the first LEED certified, “green” building at Lincoln Center.




All events at the David Rubenstein Atrium take place on the Frieda and Roy Furman Stage (Broadway bet. 62nd & 63rd St.). Admission is FREE; Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the Atrium and its free events, including program updates, visit




David Rubenstein Atrium Fall/Winter Season


Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°

Carol Lipnik and Tareke Ortiz: A Coney Island Mexican Halloween 

Coney Island–native and cabaret chanteuse Carol Lipnik and Mexico City–based composer-performer Tareke Ortiz bring to life a Spooktacular Halloween concert of traditional and original songs.  


Saturday, November 2 at 11:00 am 

LC Kids Artists at the Atrium 

Gustafer Yellowgold 

Live music, animation, and storytelling bring the imaginative adventures of Morgan Taylor’s beloved character to life. 


Thursday, November 7 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°

The Tune: Wandering Melodic Road 

Presented in partnership with the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 

International tour support provided by the Korea Arts Management Service’s Center Stage Korea program 

All-female Korean band The Tune combines shamanistic traditional music with a contemporary sound.  

Friday, November 8 – FREE- at 7:00pm


What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump 

Presented in association with Northwestern University Press 

This evening of poetry, hosted by Rich Villar, co-curator of La Casita at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, will feature an extraordinary diversity of voices speaking out in empathy and outrage.  


Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°

Attacca Quartet with Caroline Shaw 

Presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series and the White Light Festival 

Caroline Shaw joins the dynamic Attacca Quartet for an enchanting free concert of her works, including Entr’acteValencia, and Plan and Elevation


Friday, November 15 at 7:30 pm 

¡VAYA! 63

Edwin Bonilla: INFINITO 

Opening Set by Josè Calderon

Presented in collaboration with the NYU Music and Social Change Lab 

A Grammy-nominated, Puerto Rican percussionist brings powerful horns, crisp vocals, and deep rhythms to our signature salsa party series in celebration of his new album, INFINITO


Thursday, November 21 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°?

The Mighty Sparrow 

The Calypso King of the World plays an intimate acoustic set that explores his artistry and personal history. 


Tuesday, November 26 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°?

Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé 

Cuban jazz pianist and composer Dayramir Gonzalez blends the traditional music of Havana with the vanguard sounds of New York.  


Monday, December 2 at 7:00 pm 

Atrium 360°

Strings N Skins: Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square Celebration 

Founded in Brooklyn by Haitian vocalist and percussionist Okai Musik and Colombian vocalist, dancer, and Latin Grammy Award–winning violinist Luisa Bastidas, the band’s explosive drums, electrifying violin, guitar duels, and a bass will have you dancing the night away at this Winter’s Eve celebration. 


Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 pm

Atrium 360° & HBO Documentary Films

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements 

A deeply personal memoir about a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Ludwig van Beethoven the year he was blindsided by deafness and wrote his iconic sonata. 


Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°

Jokes and Jazz with Sheila Anderson & Wali Collins 

Enjoy hilarious stand-up comedy in between sets by the talented Willerm Delisfort Trio. 


Saturday, December 7 11:00 am

LC Kids Artists at the Atrium

Paige Hernandez: Havana Hop

Dance along at this dynamic participation play while celebrating the joys of a multicultural heritage.  


Thursday, December 12 at 7:30

Atrium 360°?

Karuna Trio featuring Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph, and Alexis Marcelo 

Presented in collaboration with Continuum Culture & Arts 

Witness the musical project of Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph—two master percussionists revolutionizing the world music scene—and pianist Alexis Marcelo, who lends his soulful New York City sound to the trio. 


Thursday, December 19 at 7:30 pm 

¡VAYA! 63 

Rumberos del Callejón’s 10th?Anniversary Celebration 

Presented in collaboration with the NYU Music and Social Change Lab 

From Caracas to Manhattan, Rumberos del?Callejón has gotten crowds on their feet and dancing to world-class salsa. Now the beloved orchestra celebrates ten years and its latest album. 


Thursday, December 26 at 7:30 pm

Atrium 360°?

Rich Medina

Experience the compelling art and vision of an international DJ, platinum-selling record producer, recording artist, and poet. 


Thursday, January 2 at 7:30 pm

Atrium 360°?

Alicia Olatuja: Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women 

The “singer with a strong, lustrous tone and an amiably regal presence onstage” (New York Times) shares songs from her new album, Intuition. 


Thursday, January 9 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°?

Kaki King 

Hailed by?Rolling Stone?as “a genre unto herself,” the Brooklyn-based composer and guitarist showcases signature performative and multimedia excerpts from her repertoire. 


Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°?


Latin Grammy winners (2013) and Latin Grammy nominees (2019) and C4 Trío is a unique music ensemble of three cuatro players whose passion, dexterity, and virtuosity, combine into a breathtaking and beautiful experience. 


Thursday, January 23 at 7:30 pm 

¡VAYA! 63

Los Cumpleaños 

Opening Set by Zona Libre (Modrums + DJ tres dos)

Presented in collaboration with the NYU Music and Social Change Lab 

Tropical rhythms from Colombia are infused with psychedelic soundscapes at this danceable, one-of-a-kind musical experience. 


Thursday, January 30 at 7:30 pm 

Atrium 360°?

Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber’s “Porgy & Bess The AstroBlack Trapfish Row Variations” 

The “multiracial jam army” (Rolling Stone) returns with their “caramelizations” to renovate Gershwin’s masterpiece for the 21st century. 


Programs and artists subject to change.



Major support for the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center is provided by David Rubenstein.


Additional support is provided by The Centene Charitable Foundation


Generous endowment support is provided by The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Oak Foundation. 


LC Kids is presented by NewYork-Presbyterian


Support for LC Kids programs and events is provided by Disney, with additional endowment support provided by The Walt Disney Company.


Generous support is also provided by Barbara and James Block, Sandra and Tony Tamer, Joseph Bae and Janice Lee, Anna Nikolayevsky, Amanda and John Waldron, Julian Robertson,Joseph M. Cohen, Founding Families and Family Circle. 


Major support for LC Kids Artists at the Atrium is provided by Betty and John Levin. 


Public Support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 


The discount ticket facility is made possible by Donald and Barbara Zucker. 


Free programming is made possible by our NextGen supporters Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer, Hearst, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Hess, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe, Stephen M. Ross, James Dinan and Elizabeth Miller, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, Sandra and Tony Tamer, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Robert and Gillian Steel, Cheryl and Blair Effron, Meg and Bennett Goodman, Cheryl and Philip Milstein, Hon. Stephen C. Robinson. 


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center. 




Kambui Olujimi, Artist

Kambui Olujimi was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn and received his MFA from Columbia University in New York City. Olujimi’s work challenges established modes of thinking that commonly function as "inevitabilities." This pursuit takes shape through interdisciplinary bodies of work spanning sculpture, installation, photography, writing, video and performance. His solo exhibitions include; Zulu Time, at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, A Life in Pictures, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Solastalgia, at Cue Arts Foundation, and Wayward North at Art in General. His works have premiered nationally at The Sundance Film Festival, Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA P.S.1, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Mass MoCA. Internationally his work has been featured at The Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok;  Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in Madrid; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland and Para Site in Hong Kong among others. Olujimi has been awarded residencies from Black Rock Senegal, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and MacDowell Colony. He has received grants and commissions from numerous institutions including The Jerome Foundation, NFYA/ NYSCA Fellowship and MTA Arts & Design.  News media and periodicals such as The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, Brooklyn Rail, CNN, PBS, and  The New York Times and have featured Olujimi’s artwork. Monographs on his past project include Zulu Time (2017), Wayward North (2012), The Lost Rivers Index (2007), Winter in America (in collaboration with Hank Willis Thomas, 2006), and Walk the Plank (2006).


Artist website:


About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts 

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA)?serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of thousands of free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning?Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at? 212.875.5375. 



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Press Contact:

Desiree Naranjo

(212) 875-5078

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