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The Shed, NYC’s Newest $500M Performing Arts Center, Announces Pre-Opening Concert Series

The Shed, NYC’s Newest $500M Performing Arts Center, Announces Pre-Opening Concert Series

A Prelude to The Shed includes special concerts by ABRA, Arca and Azealia Banks.

One year before opening, NYC’s new multi-medium arts and concerts venue The Shed will present a free, 12-day multi-discipline event on an undeveloped lot at Tenth Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan, one block away from its permanent home on the West Side.

Dubbed Prelude, the temporary event space is set to preview the venue that’s on track to raise $500 million for construction and operation and was designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of NLE Works, who collaborated with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space while the Shed is constructed.

“We are just under a year away from opening, and rather than us talk about what our ambitions, we thought it would be good to demonstrate what we’re about,” explains Alex Poots, founding artistic director and CEO. 

“The Shed will probably be the first center for all arts, and it really straddles performing arts and visual arts, but doesn’t try to place one of those groups any higher than the other,” he tells Billboard of the permanent space, which is being designed to be flexible and adaptable to each artist’s needs

“I can either go from being fully transparent to full blackout. It can go from being a space where you could exhibit huge sculptural works to a gig space where you could do a Chance the Rapper Show in complete darkness,” he says. “The aim of the Shed is for the building to be as flexible as possible, so that we can adapt to what our artists are developing,”

Events during the preview period include  a new work by William Forsythe commissioned for Prelude, as well as a dance commission called FlexNYC, described as a free city-wide dance activism program for New York City youth under the direction of pioneering director and choreographer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and his D.R.E.A.M Ring dancers. Prelude will also feature live solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA, Venezuelan electronic music producer/DJ/songwriter Arca and New York-based rapper/singer Azealia Banks.

There will also be panels on alternate evenings to focus on topics that outline Prelude’s programming ambitions, including discussions on new institutional models for the 21st century, the politics of ritualized gatherings, and the role of art and culture in social connectivity. Scholar, writer and curator Dorothea von Hantelmann organized the talks in collaboration with The Shed’s artistic advisor, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Chief Science and Technology Officer, Kevin Slavin.

Artist Asad Raza will lead an experimental school each morning, based on his ongoing work “Schema for a School.” Students will be led through a series of exercises, activities and assignments as a way of examining different modes of radical pedagogy, some aspects of which will be open to audience members.

Admission to A Prelude to The Shed is free, via advance reservations at theshed.org beginning in April, or by walk-up at the Prelude site in May. Attendees will be able to dine at an onsite café. For more information about Prelude and The Shed, visit theshed.org.

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