Tel Aviv to bring back shows, art under coronavirus regulations

"We will hold hundreds of events every week to provide a livelihood for thousands of people, and medicine for the souls of tens of thousands of residents."

Visitors at the PHOTO ISRAEL exhibition in Tel Aviv (photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)
Visitors at the PHOTO ISRAEL exhibition in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: GUY YECHIELY)
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will launch a season of new performances and cultural initiatives including hundreds of events every week, while continuing to follow coronavirus regulations, it announced on Wednesday.
While cultural institutions, including museums and theaters, are expected to remain shut by Health Ministry regulations, Tel Aviv is planning on using open-air venues, including stadiums and amphitheaters, to host cultural events.
"Culture has been the lifeblood of the first Hebrew city since its establishment, and also provides a livelihood for 150,000 citizens who have been left behind since the outbreak of COVID-19," said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai in a press release. "Therefore, we will hold hundreds of events every week to provide a livelihood for thousands of people, medicine for the souls of tens of thousands of residents, and hope for an entire sector that feels abandoned and neglected."
The planned performances include solo performances of plays in parks, songs and stories along the city's boulevards, capsule performances in yards and on rooftops, online art workshops and lectures, and music and dance performances in a glass-walled lobby which audiences can watch from outside.
Activities for seniors and disabled residents will also be organized. The municipality will additionally pay independent artists to showcase their works on bus stops around the city.
A number of large art festivals will also be organized for the public to enjoy free of charge. A number of the festivals will be streamed online.
The planned performances and activities join a number of initiatives already launched for Tel Aviv residents, including drive-in movie theaters.
The municipality is also organizing a number of additional initiatives for residents to help them get out while staying safe amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, including romantic dates in lifeguard towers, free fishing rods, walking tours, mobile outdoor gyms and yoga on the beach.
Cities around Israel have been trying to find creative and safe ways to allow cultural events and activities to return to operation, including drive-in movie theaters, concerts on trucks driving through cities and a large variety of online activities.
The following is a list of the events currently planned: (Some events may only be open to Tel Aviv residents)
- "Monologues from the Garden" Festival: 22 plays starring Tel Avivian actors.
- Song and stories across Tel Aviv: Dozens of actors and musicians will perform on boulevards and in squares and parks around the city.
- Capsule performances: Performances for adults and families by singers, actors and comedians will take place in yards and on rooftops across the city.
- "Aquarium" performances: Music and dance performances will take place within the glass-walled lobby of the Enav Cultural Center over four weekends, with spectators being able to watch from outside.
- Online workshops will be offered by artists.
- Performances by artists and actors will be organized specifically for seniors.
- A number of activities in the public sphere will be organized specifically for residents with disabilities.
- Art by 20 Tel Avivian artists will be placed on 100 bus stops across the city.
- "Lifting the Switch" on Basel Street: 50 artists who live on Basel Street and neighboring streets will be hosted by local businesses with combinations of performances, art and music in retail stores and the windows of small businesses (November 26 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
- "Tarbut O'Namut" is a hybrid festival that will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and online, with four unique musical performances that will be streamed live from the museum. (December 1 and 2)
- The Illustration Festival will take place over two months and include 50 solo and group exhibitions in cultural venues, shared galleries, museums and attractions. (Starting November 26)
- The Piano Festival will take place in a unique format this year, with details to follow.
- The international theater festival, Jaffa Fest 2020, will take place virtually this year. (December 3-8)
- The Tel Aviv Poetry Festival will feature poems by 20 artists on 100 bus stops around the city. (December 10-14)
- The Jaffa Lights Festival will offer a variety of activities for Hanukkah and Christmas in Jaffa by the Christmas Tree and Clock Square, including a hanukkiah and art installations (December 6 to January 19)
- The annual Israeli press photography exhibition, "Local Testimony," will take place outdoors in the latter half of December and will be free of charge.