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Culture

SNF-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative’s Transatlantic Collaboration Grows

NEW YORK – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center (SNF-LC) Agora Initiative is a collaboration between the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to reactivate and reimagine public space in the COVID-19 era and beyond.

A centerpiece of the initiative, which included the highly successful Restart Stages programming last summer, is the ties of coordination and exchange it fostered between Lincoln Center in New York City and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens. The first product of this creative conduit was a joint exhibition shown in outdoor spaces at both cultural institutions, Faces of the Hero.

As part of this collaborative framework, Lincoln Center President and CEO Henry Timms and a leadership team from the New York cultural institution are traveling to the SNFCC to connect with their counterparts there, exchange expertise and best practices, and share their experience creating spaces for people to gather and enjoy art in urban settings. During three days of consultation, the leaders will share learnings with each other on every aspect of operating a large-scale cultural organization, from programming and community outreach to business operations and venue management.

At the close of this visit, on Thursday, March 17, Henry Timms will participate in an open, public discussion at the SNFCC exploring the current role of cultural institutions in society. Stay tuned for details of the event, entitled New Power & Cultural Leadership.
The visit and public event represent a milestone in the SNF-LC Agora Initiative, which began in late 2020 with a grant from SNF. Through the grant, Lincoln Center’s iconic 16-acre Manhattan campus serves as an Agora, a public gathering place at the center of civic life, through artistic and community activations. A desire to give Athens a similar space, one that truly belongs to the public, guided SNF in creating the SNFCC through its largest grant to date. In 2022, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of delivering the SNFCC to the Greek state and people of Greece.

SNF is dedicated to fostering the vibrancy of civic life, from widely shared access to stellar arts programming, to open dialogue across divides, to informed democratic engagement. Public space is the physical infrastructure for all of this to be effective. Bringing Lincoln Center and the SNFCC’s deep and varied expertise together around a shared vision allows benefits of the collaboration to flow in both directions across the Atlantic, creating “Twin Agoras.” SNF recently renewed its support for the SNFCC’s ongoing operations and open programming, and the Foundation plans to share more soon about a significant expansion of the collaboration with Lincoln Center through the SNF-LC Agora Initiative.

Learn more about SNF’s commitment to helping create vibrant public space.

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