LC Kids Celebrates Exploration and Hope
Echoing off the walls of Lincoln Center are the oft-recited words of its founder John D. Rockefeller III. “The arts are not for the privileged few, but for the many. Their place is not on the periphery of daily life, but at its center.” Looking ahead to its 60th year, Lincoln Center still believes that access to the arts is a fundamental right of every person, from the very oldest to the very youngest among us.
LC Kids features first-rate performances for children of all ages, from babies to teens. “We seek work through which young audiences can see the world as it was, as it is, and as it could be,” says LC Kids director of programming Peg Schuler-Armstrong. Themes of creative expression, inclusion, empathy, and hope permeate this season, featuring an international slate of artists, one world premiere, five U.S. premieres, and two New York premieres.
LC Kids opened its season in the Clark Studio Theater this October with its first show specially designed to welcome newborns to the world. The sold-out run of Rain, a multisensory immersive experience for pre-walking babies and their caregivers, set a new generation of arts-goers on a path to lifelong arts engagement. Bookending the season this spring, arts engagement for babies continues with Pulsar (June 4–9), utilizing modern dance, performance art, games, and simple materials to invite children 3–36 months into a participatory exploration of the space around them and the connections between them.
For little ones two to five, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company is back with the world premiere of Scurry (April 6, 7, 13, 14), a brand-new play that explores themes of loss, change, empathy, and inclusion when a group of squirrels meets a newcomer who wants to join their party. In Shh...Bang! (May 4–5), the interplay between silence and noise is explored through music, sound effects, and movement. This playful dance-theater piece, grounded in scientific research on acoustics and vibrations, demonstrates the power of nonverbal storytelling, culminating in a boisterous participatory finale.
Older kids six and up can stretch their imaginations with two shows that shine the spotlight on a child’s unique capacity for invention. In Mouth Open, Story Jump Out (January 26–27), an interactive theater piece for children eight to 11 years old, master storyteller Polarbear invites the audience to shape the work through their own writing, drawing, and verbal response. The work honors the creative impulse to “make things up” while examining the nuances between stories and lies. You and Me and the Space Between (March 16–17) captivates audiences with the heroic tale of a resourceful child who saves the day, brought to life in a spectacular performance that combines storytelling, choreographed projections, and animations drawn on the spot by a talented local illustrator.
New this season, LC Kids expands to include work for families with teenagers that tackles grown-up subjects in engrossing, accessible performances. Soul Science Lab returns with their celebrated live music and multimedia program Soundtrack ’63 (February 23). Featuring a big band, DJ, griot, and video projection, this ever-evolving and affecting work weaves together musical traditions across generations to connect historical events of the African- American experience with current issues of social justice. The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer (March 30–31) blends mime, puppetry, music, and animation to tell a postapocalyptic tale of epic proportions. Delving into themes of love, loss, and humanity in the age of climate change, this moving performance promises to enchant teens and adults alike.
On select Saturdays, LC Kids presents free concerts in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (recommended for ages 2–5). This spring, Mali-born singer-songwriter Awa Sangho (March 2) and Austin-based bilingual pop singer Gina Chavez (April 6) make their family-concert debuts, and vocalist Falguni Shah returns to take young audiences on a colorful journey through India with “Falu’s Bazaar” (May 4). Grammy-nominated children’s music superstars The Pop Ups (June 1) close out the season with a pop-tinged performance that celebrates making, building, and learning.
Think your family may become regulars? Consider becoming an LC Kids member. Annual family memberships start at $125 with benefits including ticket discounts on every show, reserved seating at LC Kids in the Atrium events, and early access to tickets when we announce the new season. Annual members at the $500 level and higher receive additional benefits and invitations to exclusive members-only performances and events, including receptions, discussions, backstage tours, and other enriching experiences. December events include special outings to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® at New York City Ballet and a screening of the holiday favorite Home Alone, with John Williams’s beloved score performed live by the New York Philharmonic. Spring features a private performance of LC Kids’ Mouth Open, Story Jump Out and more exclusive invitations across Lincoln Center.
You don’t want to miss all the spring has in store, so join us for this exciting LC Kids season, filled with fun, fearless programming for children of all ages.
Rebecca Popp is associate director of institutional marketing and outreach at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
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 and Joseph M. Cohen.