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

Last night I joined friends and colleagues from the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at the Peace Vigil for Victims of Asian Hate organized by the Asian American Federation at Union Square. In a week of memorials and reflections marking the one-year anniversary since the pandemic hit New York City, our collective grief was compounded by the horrific anti-Asian, anti-woman violence that took place in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

The killings of six Asian women exacerbated the fear and anxiety that has persisted among Asian American communities in the wake of rising anti-Asian racism over the last year. To support New Yorkers in managing the trauma and combating anti-Asian racism, following is a list of City resources available:

Mental Health Support
•    Visit Thrive NYC to see the full suite of no-cost mental health resources for all New Yorkers.
•    If you are employed by the City of New York, we encourage you to check out WorkWell NYC for additional resources for City staff.
Report Harassment
•    Are you or someone you know the victim of harassment? Report discrimination and harassment to NYC Commission on Human Rights at 212-416-0197 or online at
•    If you are the victim of a crime or witness a crime, call 911. NYPD officers are not allowed to ask about your immigration status. Learn more at
•    Do you have a hate incident to report? Help document the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian American elders by going to
Sign up for Bystander Intervention Training
•    The Commission on Gender Equity and Hollaback are co-hosting “Stand Up Against Street Harassment” training. Check out their training calendar here.
•    The Commission on Human Rights is also hosting bystander intervention trainings to address hate crimes affecting multiple communities. These trainings are offered in multiple languages. See the full calendar here.
•    Can’t make one of the trainings? The Asian American Federation has published “Stay Safe from Hate: How to Protect Yourself in Threatening Situations” which includes verbal de-escalation strategies, bystander techniques, non-violent communication strategies, and physical defense techniques. This booklet is available in five Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). Download here.


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:

As of 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. A venue operator hosting an in-person and catered event that exceeds the social gathering limit (currently 50 people) must notify the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health Department) at least five days before the event by submitting this form.

As of March 19, indoor dining will expand to 50% capacity, subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here.

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).

Also on March 22, indoor fitness classes and dance studios can begin reopening statewide at 33% capacity with health screening and contact information required at sign-in. Classes should be scheduled to allow additional time for cleaning and disinfection between sessions. Local health departments shall inspect before or within 2 weeks of the fitness center opening to ensure compliance. See Governor’s announcement for more details.

Starting March 26, indoor family and entertainment centers and places of amusement can reopen at 25% capacity. Centers must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the New York City Health Department. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and customers will be required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry. See Governor’s announcement for more details

Starting April 1, large performing arts and sports venues can reopen. Outdoor venues with 2,500+ capacity are capped at 20%; indoor venues with 1,500+ capacity are capped at 10%. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test or immunization is required for all attendees. See Governor’s announcement for more details.

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.

Starting April 5, the 11 p.m. curfew currently in place for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, billiards halls, gyms and fitness centers will be lifted. The 11 p.m. curfew for food and beverage establishments and the 12 a.m. curfew for catered events will remain in effect. See Governor’s announcement for more details.

Starting April 9, outdoor amusement parks can reopen at 33% capacity. Amusement parks must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the New York City Health Department. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and customers will be required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry. See Governor’s announcement for more details.


On Wednesday, March 31, from 3-4pm Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) and the New York City Health Department will host a COVID-19 Vaccine Town Call for Arts, Entertainment & Nightlife Community. We will share an update on the COVID-19 virus in New York City and share information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Register here.

I’m thrilled to report that I got my shot this week when vaccine eligibility expanded to public-facing public employees. This includes government employees, not-for-profit workers, and essential public-facing building service workers. President Biden has directed all states, Tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine no later than May 1st. 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.

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
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 now 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.

All current COVID-19 yellow zones in NYC will be lifted March 22. Until then, 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.

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. Beginning April 1, domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. 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. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 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


Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) will open Thursday, April 8. This grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. To receive an alert when the application opens, sign up here.  

On Tuesday, March 30, the SBA will offer a webinar on how to apply, what documentation eligible entities will need, and offer insight on what the SVOG application process will look like. Register 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. 

Open Culture performances began on this week. 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.

Commissioner’s Directive 11 is posted on the Film Permit website, which also includes links to New York State issued industry specific guidance for Media Production. 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.


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

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