Theses Master's

Creating a 'Cultural Innovation District' at Lincoln Center

Browdy, Alanna

Lincoln Center and its surrounding area, including the Special Lincoln Square District, Special Clinton District, and Theater Subdistrict, hold one-third of all New York City performing arts spaces, making it the densest collection of performing arts spaces in the world. Despite this high concentration, the area lacks supporting spaces integral to the success of arts and culture activities. Recognizing this need, the Lincoln Center Development Project (LCDP) is producing a technical report on the benefits and feasibility of creating the Amsterdam Corridor Cultural Innovation District (ACCID).

The ACCID will connect the high concentration of existing performing arts spaces with its surrounding neighborhoods. It will produce new support spaces to match this high concentration, as well as incorporate programming into existing spaces that creates value for the community. The primary goal is to provide institutional support for the neighborhood’s local performing and fine arts communities through development and stewardship of physical and social infrastructure. Beyond fostering the arts, the ACCID is also intended to drive innovation.

How can Lincoln Center create new and expand existing cultural spaces in order to activate innovation and arts production?

It is recommended that LCDP encourage production of rehearsal studios, which are essential to the creative process and can be designed to accommodate a variety of disciplines. It is also recommended that LCDP factor affordability and a variety of open hours into operations, develop a comprehensive plan, create a Liaison position for the district, curate programming under three categories (education, collaboration, and incubation), develop a community engagement strategy, and position the ACCID as a force against artist displacement and inequity.

The ACCID will have the potential to make an impact beyond its boundaries and promote the performing and fine arts across all of New York City. The prosperity of this sector is beneficial to the NYC arts community as a whole. Moreover, by establishing the ACCID, Lincoln Center will not just develop spaces, but create long-lasting connections with local organizations and enable the proximity necessary for artists to collaborate and create.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Devlin, Ryan T.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 12, 2020