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New York City Center, now in its 70th year, has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences.
Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including City Center’s Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs.
The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” In the summer of 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center, a new series featuring seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s most innovative artists.
Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center’s identity. Vital partnerships with arts organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre enhance City Center’s programmatic offerings.
City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People’s Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public.
In 2011, City Center completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater. City Center is proud to continue Mayor LaGuardia's dream of a home for the arts and its audience.