By Dave Carlin

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lincoln Center is transforming its plaza to make space for outdoor performances this summer.

CBS2’s Dave Carlin got a sneak peek Thursday at the giant set designed by Mimi Lien.

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“The curved design was really a signature element of what she had in mind,” Lincoln Center’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Clive Chang told Carlin.

The famed Lincoln Center fountain has been redone with a blanket of synthetic lawn, part of what’s called The Green.

“It feels like grass. So this is actually an artificial turf called Synlawn and it’s actually a soy-based product,” said Chang.


Kids were wowed as they cut through the center to get to school.

“I like the colors and the shapes,” Miriam Handler said.

“I like it a lot,” another kid added.

There are 10 outdoor spaces for live performances.

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“We are using every inch of our space to bring art back,” said Lincoln Center Senior Director of Artistic Programming Jordana Leigh.

The big shows begin May 10 with a free concert from Broadway star Norm Lewis.

“I promise there will be over 150 events that happen this summer,” Leigh said.

“We’ve introduced filtration in the backstage areas and figured out reduced capacities for dressing rooms, and generally have done everything we can to create as safe a venue as we can,” added Lincoln Center Vice President of Performance and Campus Operations Darren Robertson.


Returning audiences will be also greeted by an installation by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.

“I think Amanda’s piece perfectly illustrates how meaningful the healing power of art is to us right now,” Chang said.

“We’re running our outdoor programming through September. We are using this as a foundation for what happens when we go back inside,” said Leigh.

Most tickets will be available through a lottery. If you get in, there will be temperature checks and a health questionnaire when you arrive.

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They hope to be back inside their big theaters in September.

Dave Carlin