Virtual Arts + Culture

Virtual LABA Arts + Culture

LABA Arts + Culture Pause

In the recent weeks while our space at the 14th Street Y has been closed, the LABA Arts + Culture Department at the 14th Street Y has worked tirelessly to provide Virtual Arts + Culture content. From a massively successful Season of Jewish Culture to a series of virtual Pride events and weekly Artist Insights, we have connected to viewers both locally and across the globe, while providing an essential outlet and support for artists in these uncertain times.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing closure of our space and several 14Y programs, the LABA Arts + Culture Department of the 14th Street Y will be on a temporary pause until further notice. Please know that our leaders are working diligently to keep this the briefest of pauses and we are excited about many future programs for LABA Fellows and theater alumni that will speak to these times of growth and change. We will resume our newsletter once we know when our theater can safely reopen.

Until then, the ghost light in the theater will be on and waiting for us to return.

Artist Insights

Artist Insight: Queerly Contemporary 
PRIDE 365 Edition
Director of Arts + Culture David Stallings is joined by 14Y’s PRIDE Fest Founder Larry Daniels to chat with John Zullo. For the second time John Zullo’s Queerly Contemporary Dance Festival was to be a highlight of 14Y’s PRIDE programming. John will be joined by multiple artist featured in this year’s online version.
Click here to watch.

BIPOC Voices: Johari Mayfield 
Arts Activism Onstage and Outside: A conversation with Johari Mayfield
Johari Mayfield is a fitness instructor at 14Y, an artist featured in our 2019/2020 Theater Season, and in recovery. Johari joins us to discuss how she has taken the message of her art into her work, how that has changed since NYC went “on pause” due to COVID-19, and how it feels to be Black Female Artist during a time of social unrest.
Click here to watch.

Artist Insight: Nitsan Margaliot  
PRIDE 365 Edition 
Nitsan has spent quarantine in Berlin working on a poetic diary that follows trajectories from his grandfather escaping Europe during the Holocaust, his perspective on diaspora, queer ancestors, romantic relationships, and most boldly the idea of art making as love making especially during this time. Join us for a preview of this work.
Click here to watch.

LABA Launch 
Director of Arts + Culture David Stallings interviews Ronit Muszkatblit (currently on sabbatical, Senior Director of Arts + Culture) and Laura Beatrix Newmark (Director of LABA/Culture Producer) to discuss how we came to LABA, our LABA projects, where LABA is, where we hope to go, and announce the THEME for the new season. Also featuring Mirta Kupferminc, LABA alum and Creator/Artistic Director of our first LABA Hub, LABA BA – aka: LABA Buenos Aires.
Click here to watch. 

Meet The Theater at the 14th Street Y: Part 2
Join our Arts + Culture staff once again for a look into our backgrounds and stories!
Click here to watch.

Other Virtual Arts + Culture Events
Tikkun: Into the Night

The 14th Street Y and Downtown Jewish Life partners are proud to end our Season of Jewish Culture as we celebrate Shavuot on Thursday, May 28 at 6:00 PM via the Virtual 14th Street Y, with our own digital re-interpretation of a Tikkun.

Led by the Downtown Jewish Life Community, the evening will include artistic engagement, performances, and text study in Hebrew and English. Let the mysteries begin and join us on the journey into the night.
Click here to watch. 

Meet the Theater at the 14th Street Y

You might walk into 14Y’s theater and expect to see some small amateur production, but did you know we are actually an AEA approved 125-seat black box?  Did you know that we’ve showcased international dance companies and award-winning playwrights? Join the staff of the Arts+Culture department for a look into our theater backgrounds, what we do when we are not at work, and the unusual ways we all came to be running a theater together.
Cick here to watch.


‘What would you do if you were alone, left to raise five hungry children? What can I tell them? Stop eating?’
Chicago. 1925. Or maybe it’s 1905. Or 1955. Grandma Goldy has a hardware store, five children, no money and a dead husband. She also has a story about getting involved with Prohibition, rum-running and the mob. And a slide show. (Even if her own family doesn’t remember.)

Stills is an excerpt from a developmental preview performance of a one-woman show written by LABA London Fellow Sarah Sigal, directed by Adam Lenson and performed by Debbie Chazen. To be followed by a Q&A with the creative team.
Click here to watch.

Pause/Play: The BEST of the 14th Street Y
Shabbaton Atzmaut Edition

The 14th Street Y is launching a new Virtual Membership starting May 1 and what better way to kick it off than with a digital reinterpretation of Pause/Play!

Join us for a fun-filled day of live-streaming classes, workshops, and entertainment via Facebook Live. this virtual event will feature everything from fitness classes to sing-alongs the whole family can enjoy, and even a cocktail making class! There will truly be something for everyone!

PAUSE/PLAY, which is also part of our Season of Jewish Culture, we will be celebrating Israel’s birthday with special cultural lectures and artistic delights.
Click here to watch. 

Yom Haatzmaut

We will be celebrating this year’s Yom Haatzmaut with an online lecture by award winning Israeli Journalist Amir Tibob on the impact of the coronavirus over Israeli politics, briefing the risks and opportunities it possesses.  Ahead of Israel’s Independence Day, join award-winning Israeli journalist  Amir Tibon for an online briefing on these crucial times in Israel. Amir, currently the Washington Correspondent for Haaretz newspaper, will discuss the recent events and answer questions on the subject.
Click here to watch.

Behind the Scenes with Shtumer Shabes (Silent Sabbath) 

Join us as we go behind the scenes and back in time with the creative team from Shtumer Shabes (Silent Sabbath), the new play by LABA Fellow Rokhl Kafrissen. It’s a show about Yiddish theater, human experimentation, and making art in the most difficult times. In other words, a comedy.

Cast members Caraid O’Brien, Dylan Seders Hoffman and Max Roll will perform short excerpts from the play, set in the early 2000s East Village and 1930s Warsaw. Then Rokhl and director Aaron Beall will join special guests in conversation about the unique people and places which inspired the show.
Click here to watch.

Zabar & Vaynberg: You’ll Say You Heard Us When 

Zabar & Vaynberg: You’ll Say You Heard Us When written by writer and actor Liba Vaynberg and stand-up and character comedian Willie Zabar (both LABA Humor Fellows). Two bored Jews who refuse to show their faces make their voices heard through specious news stories, dated commercials and inaccurate commentary. A good old-fashioned audio collaboration full of telephone calls, jingles and errors in judgment!
Click here to watch.


During Passover, Jews are forbidden to eat all bread and leaven.  In Morocco, Jews open their homes on the last day of Passover to their Muslim neighbors to celebrate the end of those restrictions.  Join us for an online Mimouna musical show, featuring enchanting Moroccan tunes played by the musician Jawad Bouhssina, followed by a Talkback that will shed light on the holiday’s origin and in importance if interfaith initiatives in 2020.
Click here to watch.

Yom Hashoah

The Downtown Jewish Life community will gather in remembrance of the many lives lost in the Holocaust.  Through song, stories and prayer, community leaders will create a space to ensure that future generations never forget the past while paving a future with unity and hope.
Click here to watch.

The Jewnight Show: A Pandemic Passover

When we saw the lamb’s blood on the theater door, we knew we needed a Plan B. Welcome to The Jewnight Show: Pandemic Passover, a live late-night talk show sheltering in place on your personal computer. The show’s guests include biblical Hebrews and feature the 2019-2020 LABA Fellows.

As LABA Fellow and The Jewnight Show creator Mark Katz notes, we are actually “in a Laboratory for Jewish Culture” taking one of our LABA Fest live shows and pivoting to the land beyond, the high-speed internet.
Click here to watch.

Making Matzoh Balls with My Mommy

Laura Beatrix Newmark, Director of LABA and Culture Producer, joins her mother Susan to show viewers how to make matzoh balls using a special recipe handed down from grandmother to mother.
See her cooking demonstration here.
Check out the full recipe here!

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14Y Community Corner

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Partner Programs
WonderSpark Puppets

Founded in 2009 by husband and wife duo Z. Briggs and Chad Williams, WonderSpark Puppets performs for New York City audiences of all ages. Together with Jenny Hann, Christina Stone and Julia Darden, they perform over 400 shows per year and have toured internationally.

​WonderSpark is proud to continue the tradition of non-moving-mouth hand puppets, aka “Mister Rogers style”. From theaters to libraries, NYC shops and school classrooms, WonderSpark’s flexibility allows them to perform in any space.

Live Puppet Shows:
Every Friday at 11:00 am EST
Live DIY Workshops
4:00 pm Monday – Friday, 10:00 am Saturday – Sunday

Archive of DIY Puppet Workshops

Google Calendar: subscribe here

PJ Library

PJ Library sends free Jewish children’s books to families across the world every month. They know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values and traditions that are important to you.

A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. Families with kids ages 6 months through 8 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up. PJ Library welcomes all Jewish families, whatever your background, knowledge, or family make-up, or observance may be.

Free Resources for Quarantined Families
As communities seek to lower the impact of COVID-19, many families are spending a lot of time at home with their kids. One great way to pass time with your little ones is to read PJ Library books! Click below for ideas on ways to stay busy and have fun at home. Learn more here. 

Storyline Online

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Learn more here.


Arts + Culture Blogs

Inspiration from our artists on how to stay connected with Arts + Culture at home

LABA Arts + Culture presents: Clamor in the Desert (Kol Koreh Bamidbar)

Mirta Kupferminc, Argentinean Multidisciplinary Artist and Director of LABA Buenos Aires | FRI, OCT 09, 2020

In 2020, COVID-19 arrived, which locked us all in our homes, in our cities and countries. In Argentina, where I live, even today, since March, it is not possible to…

read more

The Fantastical World of Books

Jacob Waltuck, Marketing Assistant | THU, SEP 03, 2020

Sometimes, life gets complicated and we all need an escape. Each generation has its share of magical tales that help us do exactly that. Part of what makes the fantasy…

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How Mimouna Can Provide an Antidote to Social Distancing

Ophir Tal, Cultural Educator from Israel | Emissary of the Jewish Agency and the UJA Federation of New York at the 14th Street Y | SAT, APR 18, 2020

Mimouna is the traditional North African Jewish celebration of eating chametz to mark the end of Passover. Ophir Tal, Israeli Emissary on behalf of The UJA Federation to The 14th…

read more

Finding New Ways to Connect

Jordan Brackett, Executive Director | THU, APR 16, 2020

During these challenging times, I have tried to find “happy moments” where I can find them. This has often taken the form of reading a book with my son or…

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