Background image of Brooklyn Bridge. Text reads the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Supporting New York City's Creative Economy
Dear Friends, 

Following last week’s announcement about Open Culture, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), together with the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, will host a Town Call on Open Culture next Tuesday, February 23 at 3:30pm EST. The program will feature a panel and Q&A about the new program, which allows ticketed, socially distanced, outdoor performances at more than 100 street locations throughout the five boroughs. Applications open on March 1 at 12pm and the program will run through October 31, 2021. For more information on the program, visit and register for the Town Call here.

On Wednesday, February 24 at 1pm EST, MOME will host a Town Call on Health Coverage for Media and Entertainment Professionals. Marielle Kress, Executive Director of NYC Care at NYC Health + Hospitals, and Renata Marinaro, National Director of Health Services at The Actors Fund, will discuss health coverage options for media and entertainment industry professionals. Register for the Town Call here.

Curtains Up NYC continues to offer free webinars three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) to review the guidelines and application process for the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), also known as Save Our Stages. Trained counselors are also available for virtual, one-on-one sessions. A program partnership of MOME and NYC Department of Small Business Services, Curtains Up NYC provides free technical assistance to live-performance venues, businesses, and non-profit organizations applying for federal assistance to help them put forward the strongest application, and, importantly, be first in line as soon as the grant applications go live. Information is available on the Curtains Up NYC webpage or 888-SBS-4NYC. In addition, yesterday the federal government posted a training video on SAM registration. SAM registration is necessary to apply for the federal grant, and processing can take two weeks—so don’t wait.

In addition, our colleagues at DCLA are working with the Americans for the Arts to conduct a new survey of NYC’s cultural community: COVID-19 Impact on NYC Culture. While the survey is national in reach, there are questions for New York City specifically. This survey builds on one conducted last year, which captured the impact of the earliest days of the pandemic on NYC’s arts and cultural organizations. DCLA wants to follow up on key findings from their report on last year’s survey and to dig deeper into how groups have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement and last summer’s calls for racial justice, as well as develop a greater understanding of impacts on organizations led by and serving BIPOC residents and other communities hard hit by COVID-19. They are looking for responses from “New York’s non-profit cultural community broadly defined,” so please share this with anyone you think should be included. Please complete the survey by Monday, March 1.

As a member of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity, I’m pleased to share that we are hosting two sessions of the Vaccine Train the Trainer for partner and stakeholder organizations:

       •    February 19, 2021, 3pm: Zoom RSVP link
       •    February 24, 2021, 4pm: Zoom RSVP link

These sessions will help organizations and their staffs learn how to help New Yorkers schedule vaccination appointments and answer questions about the vaccine and eligibility. These special sessions will also include a presentation on the City's vaccine equity strategy, presented by the Taskforce's Vaccine Equity Subcommittee.

Other ways to spread the word and stay connected:

       •    Health Department Community Conversations |
       •    Health Department Vaccine Train the Trainer (regular weekly sessions open to the public) |  
       •    Health Department Newsletter Sign-up|
       •    Health Department Vaccine Speaker Request |
       •    Request to Host a Vaccine Town Hall|

For information about who is currently eligible and where to get the vaccine, please visit the NYC Vaccine Command Center website.  Eligible New Yorkers can find vaccination sites and make an appointment online at or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692).

People who are eligible based on their employment must attest that their job requires them to have in-person contact with members of the public or with co-workers, or that they are unable to work remotely. They must also have proof of employment in New York, such as:

       •    Employee ID card
       •    Recent pay stub (depending on specific priority status)
       •    Proof of work via an application (e.g., Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc.)
       •    Signed letter from employer or affiliated organization.

Please note: These documents will not be used as legal proof of employment status, and they will not be collected. Their only purpose is to confirm eligibility for vaccination. Visit here for information about proof of eligibility.

A reminder to remain vigilant and keep doing what we know works: wear a mask, socially distance, avoid nonessential travel, and get tested. You can find testing locations near you and check a list of wait times here.

This week the Health Department issued updated guidance on face coverings, one of the most critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidance recommends people over the age of two-years-old wear snug fitting masks with two or three layers of material to better prevent unfiltered air from passing through. Alternatively, New Yorkers may wear two masks, with a cloth face covering over a disposable mask.

Effective Monday, February 22, the MTA will extend late-night subway service by two hours, moving to a 2 a.m. - 4 a.m. closure daily. The changes will lengthen the subway's operations by two hours while enabling the MTA to continue the deep cleaning and disinfecting regimen in effect since May 6 of last year.

State COVID zone restrictions remain in effect in certain parts of the city. To find out where the zones are, and to see what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, international passengers traveling to the U.S. are required to show proof of a negative COVID test or clearance from a public health official or licensed health care provider prior to boarding. Travelers arriving from outside of the U.S. are also required to quarantine for seven days after arrival. The New York State Travel Advisory continues to apply, requiring a negative COVID-19 test prior to exiting a quarantine shorter than 10 days.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened earlier this year and currently offers:

       •   First Draw PPP Loans for first time program participants, and
       •   Second Draw PPP Loans for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan.

To connect New York City’s small business owners to federal relief funds, the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has launched Fair Share NYC, offering free webinars, technical assistance and access to lenders to help businesses interested in applying for PPP loans. For more information, visit or call 888-SBS-4NYC.

Archive recordings of the Town Calls for NYC Arts, Entertainment, Hospitality and Nightlife businesses and workers presented by MOME and the Office of Nightlife about the latest federal loans and other assistance programs are also available here:

       •    Town Call for Businesses held on 1/21
       •    Town Call for Workers held on 1/22

Yesterday, MOME and the Office of Nightlife joined Mayor de Blasio and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) in celebrating MEND NYC as an exemplary program at the Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, which was formally recognized as a division of OATH by Executive Order. Created by the Office of Nightlife in partnership with OATH, MEND NYC provides free mediation for local establishments to resolve quality of life issues with their neighbors.  MEND NYC has since expanded its services to include mediation for small businesses facing commercial lease disputes with their landlords. For more information, visit the website.

Indoor dining is now open in NYC at 25 percent capacity, with a closing time of 11pm. The reopening is subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here.

NYC Restaurant Week To Go continues through February 28. Each restaurant is offering at least one special $20.21 takeout or delivery meal for lunch and/or dinner. Tax, delivery fees and gratuity are additional to the meal price. Diners can search participating eateries at, where they will then be redirected to the restaurant’s preferred delivery or takeout options. 

Commissioner’s Directive 11 is posted on the Film Permit website. Cast and crew limits on exterior filming on public property remain in effect through February 28, 2021. To assist productions with promoting safety protocols on set, the Film Office has produced a suite of graphics and posters available for download here.

Please be sure to check frequently for updates and review the guidelines and FAQ before submitting permit applications. If you have questions after reading these guidance documents, please call the Film Office at (212) 489-6710. Please keep in mind that the Film Office is still operating remotely so please allow additional time for Film Permit processing.


This weekend marks the launch of NY PopsUp, a statewide festival featuring hundreds of free pop-up performances, staged across every type of neighborhood and district in all five boroughs of New York City, throughout Long Island and Upstate New York, and in all regions of the state. A private/public partnership overseen by producers Jane Rosenthal and Scott Rudin, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development, NY PopsUp will serve as a "pilot program," creating the state's first large-scale model for how to bring live performance back safely.

In addition, MOME continues to support and participate in a wide variety of events by and for our fellow New Yorkers in the creative economy:
•    "Made in NY" Talk: Call My Agent: Launch a Creative Career, Tuesday, February 23 at 6pm EST. Agents from film, television, music, journalism and publishing will share how they discover top talent, take a collaborative approach to serving their clients, and what it takes to jump-start a career in this fast-paced, dynamic field. Panelists include, Kara Baker, Manager, Avalon Management; Regina Brooks, Founder and President, Serendipity Literary Agency; Ben Schildkraut, Agent, Creative Artists Agency; Jaia Thomas, Sports and Entertainment Attorney, Founder, Diverse Representation. The Moderator will be Claire Atkinson, Chief Media Correspondent, Insider. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance on the Center for Communication website. All talks are free and open to the public. Previous “Made in NY” Talks can be viewed on MOME’s website.

•     MOME’s Office of Nightlife will be participating in the OUTSMART: Safer Spaces Committee Meeting, Wednesday February 24 at 2pm EST. OutSmartNYC is a collective of industry staff, patrons, clinic providers, educators, and activists organizing to prevent and end sexual violence in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Their mission is to create a safer space where everyone can have the best possible night out. They are calling on nightlife industry professionals to help them reimagine nightlife post-COVID. More information about this event is available here.
For the latest updates, sign up for MOME’s newsletter, follow our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit our website at

Stay safe and NYC strong,

Anne del Castillo
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment