Photo coverage: Bernadette Peters Opens Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium

Lincoln Center’s new civic space and urban arts facility, the David Rubenstein Atrium, officially opened today, Thursday, November 19.  In celebration of this much anticipated opening, the organization hosted an all day community event with the help of Broadway legend Bernadette Peters that featured free music and dance performances, leading up to the inaugural Target Free Thursday performance, Sexteto Roderiguez and the Cuban-Jewish All Stars at 8:30pm. Broadwayworld was on hand to capture the experience for you!

The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, formerly known as the Harmony Atrium, will be home to an array of programs, services, and amenities designed to welcome, inform and entertain the thousands of people who visit Lincoln Center and its surrounding community every day.  The facility is named in honor of the philanthropist, financier and Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of his $10 million gift to the Bravo Campaign — a massive restructuring effort to update the entire Lincoln Center campus.

Designed by the award-winning architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the Atrium is the first LEED certified “green” building on the Lincoln Center campus. The structure features two 21′ high live vertical gardens, creating an indoor garden sanctuary, and a floor to ceiling fountain.

Serving as a gateway for the entire Lincoln Center campus, the Atrium will offer for the first time in Lincoln Center history, day-of discount tickets to available performances throughout the campus in addition to access to ordering full-prIce Tickets via on site kiosks and telephone service.

The centerpiece of the Atrium’s community friendly offerings is a unique free performance series, Target Free Thursdays, sponsored by Target that will take place every Thursday at 8:30pm.  The sponsorship is a part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities through the arts throughout the country.  Says Heidi Weaver, Director of Community Relations for Target: “Target shares a passion for the arts and a commitment to serving the community.  At Target, we believe that the arts are to be enjoyed by everyone everyday.” Since the enterprise’s inception, Target has given 5% of its income to organizations that support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism, which today translates into more than $3 million dollars a week.

Target Free Thursdays begins tonight with a performance by Roberto Rodriguez’ Sexteto Rodriguez Cuban-Jewish All Stars, in which Cuban and Israeli musicians play rousing dance music that synthesizes Cuban danzon and timba, Jewish klezmer and modern jazz into innovative grooves. Target Free Thursday performances will continue every Thursday evening hereafter, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  Performers slated for the Thursday events include the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Chamber Music Society, and The Juilliard School.  Performances will also be scheduled by performing arts organizations from community partners, as well as by promising young artists and student ensembles.  Among the highlights of the Target Free Thursdays are twice monthly shows presented by Lincoln Center’s Director of public programming, Bill Bragin.  Bragin will be programming artists performing the best in popular music from rock, jazz, Latin, soul, experimental and world music, as well as live music for dancing.

The community preview event was complete with performances by the famed Asphalt Orchestra, the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble, and Kubiak-Pakhomov Duo – the chamber music group presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts – in addition to addresses by Lincoln Center President Reynold Levy, Heidi Weaver, and special guest Ms. Peters.

Addressing the crowd , the Broadway diva gushed: “Lincoln Center has been inspiring me my whole career.  Do you know how many people you are going to inspire who can’t afford to go across the street? You are going to change lives.”

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