First-ever International Festival of Jewish Performing Arts to take New York City this summer comprises the largest gathering of Jewish arts organizations to cel-ebrate a global impact of culture. Coinciding with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s 100th Anniversary Season, KulturfestNYC, the first-ever interna-tional Jewish performing arts festival, will bring together hundreds of global acts in Jewish and Yiddish theatre, music, dance, cabaret, and film, from more than two-dozen countries, performing in multiple citywide locations for 8 days, from June 14-21.
“What better way to showcase the international commitment to this culture than by having this week-long festival right here in the capital of the world, New York City,” said Bryna Wasserman, Executive Director of the award-winning Na-tional Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the longest consecutively-producing Jewish Arts organization. “KultufestNYC is about celebrating our culture in all its depth and scope- in all its uniqueness that is thriving across the globe. To produce this type of festival in such magnitude has never been done before, that itself is truly exciting and humbling.”
The week-long, non-stop engagement will span Manhattan’s entirety with part-nering programs reaching into the boroughs. There will be much programming at The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, with which The National Yiddish Theatre has entered a strategic partnership and res-idency. The Museum will be KuturfestNYC’s central hub for activity. It’s there the Festival will present featured acts including Israel’s great dame of the stage Lea Koenig-Stolper’s one-woman show, Yiddishspiel’s critically-acclaimed produc-tion of The Kishka Monologues, honor the memory of beloved Yiddish folklorist and anthologist Chana Mlotek z”l with an all-star concert: Mir Trogn a Gezang (We Carry a Song), host a symposium featuring the top Yiddish scholars from around the world, lead workshops and family programs, premiere the film Theo-dore Bikel: In The Shoes of Sholem Aleichem with a VIP reception following the screening and play live music in the lobby all day and night.
“It’s an historic occasion,” added Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF Artistic Director. “The Festival line-up is comprised of so many talented artists, from up-and-comers to Grammy winners. With dozens of programs spanning Manhattan from the sea-port to uptown, from klezmer concerts to full-scale productions, it’s going to be an incredible week with plenty of activities for New Yorkers and visitors alike. It’s a tribute to life, work, and legacy and an investment for future generations.”
KulturfestNYC, which is presented by NYTF, in collaboration with UJA-Federation and some 20 other major Jewish arts and cultural organizations, will feature acts from South Africa, Canada, Poland, Israel, Romania, France, Aus-tralia, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Belgium, Can-ada, The Netherlands, Spain, and the U.S.; a street and food festival; exhibi-tions; cabaret; films; the world’s first international Jewish playwriting contest, and much more.
“It’s extraordinary to see this all come together,” says NYTF Executive Producer Chris Massimine, “This culture has such a strong heart and a deep soul that continues to captivate audiences of all ages, ethnicities, and religions.”
This extravaganza of global talent all coming together to inspire, educate and entertain kicks off at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place on June 14, when KulturfestNYC partner Arts Brookfield presents the Grand Opening Con-cert, an evening of global pageantry featuring legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka and the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics and special guests.
Since 1915, the award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene [NYTF] has presented a window into the world of Jewish culture by engaging, educat-ing, and igniting the imaginations of generations of theatergoers. It is the long-est consecutively-producing Yiddish theatre company in the world, NYC's long-est consecutively-producing performing arts company, and America's sole-surviving professional Yiddish theatre. NYTF presents plays, musicals, concerts, literary events and workshops in English, Yiddish, Ladino, Hebrew and Rus-sian, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying most performances. Its mission is to celebrate the Jewish experience through the performing arts and to transmit a rich cultural legacy in exciting new ways that bridge social and cultural divides. To learn more visit www.nytf.org or call (212) 213-2120.