Bryant Park Unveils Its Free Summer 'Picnic Performances' Lineup

Carnegie Hall, the New York City Opera, and Joe's Pub are just a few of the organizations involved.

Photo by Ryan Miur, courtesy of Bryant Park

Summer is the perfect time to catch some outdoor arts, and Bryant Park just made it easier by unveiling its full Picnic Performances lineup for the 2022 season.

Presented by Bank of America, the Picnic Performances includes a wide array of music, dance, and theater events in partnership with a diverse variety of arts organizations like New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Joe's Pub, the Asian American Arts Alliance, the Classical Theater of Harlem, Ballet Hispánico, and more. All events are free to attend and begin at 7 pm. Guests can bring their own food and drinks or stop by one of the on-site vendors, and there are even free picnic blankets.

The New York City Opera will present three fully staged, costumed, and orchestrated operas throughout the summer, with The Barber of Seville playing on May 27, La Traviata on August 12, and Lucia di Lammermoor on September 2.

Carnegie Hall is offering five nights of music in July, featuring the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (July 1), The Baylor Project (July 8), Squirrel Nut Zippers (July 15), The Broadway Sinfonietta (July 22), and a fifth performance on July 29 to be announced.

Photo by Chris Lee, courtesy of Bryant Park

Other seasonal highlights include Latin Jazz legend Bobby Sanabria and his 21-piece Multiverse Big Band performing on July 23, a Contemporary Dance series in June, and the Middle East and North African music showcase Habibi Festival in partnership with Joe's Pub on August 26. The American Symphony Orchestra will close the season on September 17 to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

"Our hope is to showcase the best of New York City music, theater, and dance in Bryant Park," said Dan Fishman, the director of public events at Bryant Park, in an interview with Thrillist. "During the pandemic, we really started some new partnerships with cultural institutions like Joe's Pub, and continued our longstanding partnerships with Carnegie Hall and New York City Opera. This year continues what we did even more during the pandemic which is support arts institutions across the city... A huge part of our mission is to do free public programing. It brings people to the park. We want to show New York arts in the best light in this great environment."

You can check out the full schedule and learn more about the performers on the Bryant Park website.

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Chris Mench is an editor focusing on NYC News at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.