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NEW YORK (WABC) -- The annual SummerStage Jubilee is going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a full lineup of entertainers set to perform via live stream starting Thursday at 8 p.m.

The City Parks Foundation hosts the free benefit concert supporting programs in parks, with the hour-long digital event featuring exclusive musical performances by Sting, Norah Jones, Trey Anastasio, Rufus Wainwright, Leslie Odom Jr.

, Rosanne Cash, Emily King and PJ Morton.

The event highlights the various City Parks Foundation programs and also showcases notable advocates for the foundatoin's work, including sports icon and champion of equality Billie Jean King, television and radio host Ryan Seacrest, musical artist H.E.R., comedian Lewis Black and performer and Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer.

The digital benefit will be available stream across all SummerStage social platforms (SummerStage Instagram, SummerStage YouTube, Facebook page and Twitch), as well as through the following partners: Bowery Presents, Brooklyn Bowl, The Capitol Theatre, FANS.com, iHeart Media's Q104.3, Live Nation, Live for Live Music, Relix, Time Out New York, and WFUV.

New York City and tri-state area residents can watch an encore presentation of the SummerStage Jubilee on Sunday, September 20, at 2 p.m. on WABC-TV Channel 7. We'll also stream on abc7ny.com, our mobile app, and on our CTV apps for Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV.

Through its Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Festival, City Parks Foundation is the largest presenter of free arts and cultural programs in New York City parks and serves 300,000 New Yorkers each year through arts, education, sports and community building initiatives.

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The organization is dedicated to offering diverse programming to encourage residents to use and care for their local parks and green spaces, to bring these public spaces to life and make them accessible for all.

At a time when public programs have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, city parks have remained open as some of the only public assets available to all.

City Parks Foundation's programs have not stopped and have been available both in-person and online during this time.

The 2020 SummerStage Jubilee Benefit Concert will help support these free parks programs and ensure they can continue, from free tennis and golf instruction to experiential, science-based lessons, to buying tools and bulbs for volunteers to beautify local parks and providing training, micro-grants and coaching to facilitate their local advocacy.

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Donations will also help ensure SummerStage, New York City's largest free music festival, and SummerStage Anywhere, its virtual festival, will remain free and available to all New Yorkers.

"Our city's parks are our most democratic spaces, our backyards and our living rooms, places where communities gather and enjoy, and never have they been more essential," City Parks Foundation Executive Director Heather Lubov said. "City Parks Foundation exists to encourage New Yorkers to use their parks, so we are excited to welcome such notable performers and to be part of our benefit concert to help support our work. We are grateful for their commitment to parks and to the New York City community."



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NYCs indoor pools can open at 33 percent capacity on Sept. 30

Grab your goggles and swim cap, the city’s public and private indoor pools can now reopen at 33 percent capacity on Sept. 30, Mayor de Blasio announced Friday.

“As New York City continues its gradual reopening and economic recovery, we’re proud to announce we are ready to reopen indoor pools,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“Swimming pools are a community anchor, an exercise center, and an oasis in their neighborhoods — both literally and figuratively. New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back COVID-19. As transmission rates remain low, we’re proud to offer more ways to slowly return to business as usual,” he said.

City officials will continue standard Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspections to ensure compliance with state regulations. The mayor urged New Yorkers who witness crowding or other unsafe conditions at indoor swimming pools to contact 311.

Ilse Korey, manager if Eastern Athletic Club in Brooklyn Heights, was overjoyed by the news.

“Wow!” she exclaimed. “It means a huge amount because a lot of our members aren’t coming in because the only thing they use in the club is the pool. It’s a very big deal. We can’t wait.” 

Maggy Siegel, executive director of Asphalt Green, a nonprofit fitness organization with pools on the Upper East Side and Battery Park City, said she lobbied officials for the development.

“We are thrilled. This is long overdue. We want to thank the many people, we have friends in the state and city government that all went to bat for us,” she said in an interview.

“We know for a fact we can run a very safe pool,” she said, noting that her organization hosted a summer camp with 200 kids, none of whom got the virus.


An indoor swimming pool at Asphalt Green in Manhattan

J.C. RICE


An indoor swimming pool on W. 28th St. in Manhattan

View Pictures//Universal Images Group via Getty Images


“I would say the pool is the safest place on earth, you’re swimming in a sea of disinfectant,” she added.

Swimming facilities were shuttered at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Gov. Cuomo allowed some indoor pools to reopen statewide with restrictions in early June, but ultimately left the decision up to localities.

The city’s outdoor public pools started welcoming swimmers later than usual this year, starting in late July and gyms reopened on Sept. 2.

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