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

March is Women’s History Month when we celebrate women’s contributions to history, culture and society. In this spirit, it is a privilege and honor to be the fifth woman in succession to serve as Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), where women represent over 75% of our executive leadership.

We are proud of MOME’s work to advance the representation of women in the creative industries. Examples of our programs that have increased access and opportunities for women in these industries include:
•    The Made in NY Production Assistant and the Made in NY Post Production Assistant training programs in partnership with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations to connect diverse New Yorkers to opportunities in the film and television industry.
•    Sound Thinking NYC, in partnership with CUNY Creative Arts Team and NY Is Music, to support young women in exploring careers in the music industry.
•    Her Big Idea on NYC Media/NYC Life spotlighting NYC women entrepreneurs.
•    Dreaming Out Loud in partnership with PEN America to support young immigrant writers in pursuing careers in writing and publishing.
•    The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts, to encourage and support the creation of content that reflects the voices and perspectives of female-identified creatives working in digital, film, music, television, and live theatre.
As we honor women’s history this month, we renew our commitment to ensure equitable representation in the creative space.


As New York State has made significant progress in lowering the statewide positivity rate, the State is allowing more venues and non-profits to reopen. We want to keep you informed on some key reopening dates:

Starting today, March 5, movie theaters may reopen at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people per screen subject to state guidelines, and billiard/pool halls may reopen at 35% capacity.

Starting March 15, non-residential events (i.e., gatherings held outside of a household) that involve the gathering of attendees (e.g., wedding receptions, celebrations, and similar private venue events, such as meetings and conferences) may exceed the state’s social gathering limit subject to extra precautions. Such events in New York City are subject to the “In-Person and Catered Events” section of the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, pages 7-10, and the Interim Guidance for New York City Indoor Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Occupancy of in-person and catered events is limited to the lesser of 50% for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, or 150 people, exclusive of employees and event staff. Important notification and safety requirements apply to events exceeding the state’s social gathering limit, so please read the state guidance carefully.

Starting March 22, the social gathering limits change as follows:

         •   Public spaces:
             ○   Indoors: 100 people
             ○   Outdoors: 200 people
         •   Residences:
             ○   Indoors: 10 people (no change)
             ○   Outdoors: 25 people

Until then, social gatherings are limited to 50 people in public spaces (indoors and outdoors) and 10 people at residences (indoors and outdoors).

Starting April 2, event, arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of negative test prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable NYS Department of Health guidance. Additional guidance will be available on the NY Forward website.


Vaccine for All Corps is hiring 2,000 New Yorkers to support vaccination efforts across the five boroughs. Recruitment for Vaccine for All Corps jobs is led by the Workforce1 Career Center System operated by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), targeting candidates from the communities hit hardest by COVID-19. No healthcare experience is required for many of these positions, which include roles in site management, operations, and client services, in addition to clinical roles. More information is available at

To date, New York City has administered over 2.1 million COVID vaccine doses. The following groups have been added to the list of eligible classes for vaccinations:

         •    Regional food bank paid or unpaid workers
         •    Food pantry paid or unpaid workers
         •    Permitted home-delivered meal program paid or unpaid workers
         •    Hotel workers who have direct contact with guests
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). Visit here for information about proof of eligibility.

Other ways to stay connected:

         •     Health Department Community Conversations:
         •     Health Department Vaccine Train the Trainer (regular weekly sessions open to the public):
         •     Health Department Newsletter Sign-up:

New COVID variants serve as an important reminder to 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. 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.

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.

As of this week, domestic travelers to New York State who have been fully vaccinated are exempt from state quarantine requirements for 90 days after receiving their full vaccination. International travelers must continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, which requires passengers traveling to the U.S. to show proof of a negative COVID test or clearance from a public health official or licensed health care provider prior to boarding.

The U.S. Small Business Administration issued an update on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only now through March 9. As a reminder, the program 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 earlier 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 available here:

         •       Town Call on Health Coverage for Workers


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. The federal government updated its webpage today, and we call your attention to the following resources:

         •        Application checklist
         •        Eligibility requirements
         •        Updated FAQ
         •        Training video on SAM registration

Open Culture applications opened on Monday, March 1. The new program, which will run through October 31, allows ticketed, socially distanced, outdoor performances at nearly 200 street locations throughout the five boroughs. For more information, visit Archive video of an informational webinar on the program is available here. The NYS Department of Health will be issuing health and safety guidelines for live performances and we will update you as soon as that guidance is available. In addition, MOME will be posting a best practices guide, along with resource links, to guide planning for Open Culture events. Until the state publishes its guidelines, Open Culture participants must continue to follow all current laws, including requirements for face coverings and social distancing.

The deadline for responses to the COVID-19 Impact on NYC Culture Survey has been extended to March 8. Launched by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) in partnership with the Americans for the Arts, the 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. 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. 

Commissioner’s Directive 11 is posted on the Film Permit website. 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.


Indoor dining is now open in NYC at 35 percent capacity until 11pm. The reopening is subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here. Guidance for Open Restaurants is posted on the DOT website and the Mayor’s Office of Counsel has updated its plain-language guidance for outdoor dining. Participants may submit questions about Open Restaurants to DOT at or call the SBS hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. The Office of Nightlife also has made a suite of operational guidance materials and public informational posters and graphics available for download at

The NYC Hospitality Alliance is asking NYC restaurant and bar operators to complete a brief survey about sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. The more businesses that participate, the more representative the data will be. All submissions will be kept confidential and will be reported publicly in the aggregate.

And don’t forget to support women-owned establishments! In honor of Women’s History Month, our colleagues at NYC & Company are promoting women-owned and operated restaurants, shops and hotels here.

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MOME’s March newsletter features the latest on MOME programs, events and other NYC happenings in media and entertainment. 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