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WNYC opening the Greene Space in NYC with a 10-day festival

by Andrew Frisicano

Greene SpaceOn Tuesday, April 28th, NYC public radio station WNYC will open the Greene Space, a new street-level venue on the corner of Varick and Charlton Streets in lower Manhattan. The space’s inaugural 10-day festival kicks off the same day.”Information about ticketing is forthcoming.”

As Variety points out, the ground-floor venue will be “something of a downtown version of Rockefeller Center’s “Today” show setup (minus the Al Roker groupies).”

“The Greene Space perfectly expresses WNYC’s impulse to continue to innovate public radio and inspire people in new ways,” said Laura Walker, WNYC President and CEO. “As we produce live events and audio and video programming streetside on Varick Street, we love the fact New Yorkers will be able to see our hosts in action, participate in political dialogues, and enjoy cultural performances. We become a part of the New York City and Hudson Square community in a tangible, visible way. WNYC has tremendous assets: its people, its ethos, its technology, its listeners and the city itself. Finally we have a way to combine them all.”

Scheduled programs for the opening week and a half include Lou Reed, Santigold, and string quartet ETHEL appearing on the station’s Soundcheck program on Wednesday, April 29 (2-3pm).

The same day, WNYC will host an “audio theater” presentation of H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man from 7-9pm. In the production, “Michael Riesman, Director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, will give a rare live musical performance on piano, blending music from multiple Philip Glass compositions and live improvisation into a never-before-heard piece.”

One regular program to be held in the space will be “Evening Music LIVE with Terrance McKnight and David Garland,” whose scheduled guests include “Simone Dinnerstein, Renè Pape, Gabriella Montero, John Zorn, Nico Muhly, Elliott Sharp, Jason Moran, Don Byron and Ute Lemper, among others.”

For the space’s “First ‘First Friday'” on Friday, May 1st, WNYC is partnering with neighbor Sounds of Brazil (SOBs) for a “Cinco de Mayo on El Primero de Mayo” fest with food, music and dancing.

More info on the Greene Space’s plans below…

Greene Space

A multipurpose, multiplatform street-level studio and performance venue, THE GREENE SPACE represents a new dimension for WNYC, transforming the public radio station from an on-air and online destination into a cultural destination as well.

THE GREENE SPACE invites audiences to experience a range of presentations and productions – from live radio shows with WNYC hosts to exclusive commissioned works by emerging and established visual artists, writers and composers; from innovative audio theater to intimate musical performances; from conversations about the top political and social issues of the day to newsmaker interviews.

With the capacity to present works on multiple platforms – live and in person, on terrestrial radio, through webcasting and podcasting, via telecasting – THE GREENE SPACE will challenge radio hosts, commissioned artists and producers to break down barriers and create experimental and innovative works that blend audio, visual and digital programming.

“The Greene Space perfectly expresses WNYC’s impulse to continue to innovate public radio and inspire people in new ways,” said Laura Walker, WNYC President and CEO. “As we produce live events and audio and video programming streetside on Varick Street, we love the fact New Yorkers will be able to see our hosts in action, participate in political dialogues, and enjoy cultural performances. We become a part of the New York City and Hudson Square community in a tangible, visible way. WNYC has tremendous assets: its people, its ethos, its technology, its listeners and the city itself. Finally we have a way to combine them all.”

“It is perhaps not a coincidence that ‘The Greene Space’ sounds like a place of growth,” said Indira Etwaroo, Executive Producer for The Greene Space, “because that’s just what it will be: a kind of hothouse for artists, thinkers, and newsmakers to reimagine and cultivate new ways to relay information, report news, and tell stories. Politics, culture, ideas–everything listeners associate with WNYC’s radio programming – will benefit from an environment designed to reflect the exquisite diversity of New York City and to reach through and amplify the collision of terrestrial radio, digital technology and live content.”

The Green Space will feature a number of signature initiatives, including

• Live Radio Shows – Audiences will experience live radio in the making when they join beloved WNYC hosts including Brian Lehrer, Leonard Lopate, John Schaefer, Jonathan Schwartz, Terrance McKnight, and David Garland.

• GreeneWorks Commissioning Series – The Greene Space invites the city’s poets, writers, musicians, and performing and visual artists to use the space as a unique multimedia laboratory, inspiring works that create an innovative mix of sounds, sights, and experiences.
GreeneWorks is supported, in part, by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

• A New Theater of Sound – The Greene Space welcomes theater groups to use the multiplatform space to provoke a reimagining of audio theater for the 21st century. The initiative also includes “The Sound,” a high school residency that introduces teenagers to this century-old storytelling form and invites them to create their own audio plays.
New Theater of Sound is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

• The NEXT New York Conversation – A conversation series with key tastemakers, newsmakers, and changemakers.

• Partnerships with Cultural Institutions – The Greene Space will serve as a “home away from home” for curators, artists and visionaries from all five boroughs, inviting new audiences to experience WNYC.[thegreenspace.org]

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