Posted on April 19, 2024

Lincoln Center Cancels Mozart and Goes Woke

James Panero, New York Post, April 17, 2024


Take the case of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which banked its pandemic recovery on a narrative of its own abhorrence.

In 2020, the center began promoting a story that a vibrant black community known as San Juan Hill had been deliberately snuffed out in the 1950s to make way for its creation.

“The displacement of Indigenous, Black, and Latinx families that took place prior to the construction of our campus is abhorrent,” declares the center’s “Message on Our Commitment to Change.”


For Lincoln Center’s leadership, this has meant attacking from within an institution largely dedicated to the culture of the West by developing programming and even a new campus plan based around this original sin of race-based displacement.

In consequence, last summer the center canceled its “Mostly Mozart” festival in favor of more “inclusive” fare — sponsoring rappers, pop groups and an LGBTQ mariachi band while hanging a 10-foot-wide disco ball above its fountain.

This summer’s programming, just announced, will lead off with “the debut duet of two superstar queens from the blockbuster reality competition ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’” followed by “Argentinian queercore,” comedians of “Indian heritage” and “silent disco.”


There indeed was a time when this area was a nexus of black New York.

But its cultural height had come and gone long before Robert Moses turned his attention to redeveloping this outmoded and fire-prone section of the West Side.

By then, the “entire area was in an advanced state of decay,” according to the city.


Most notably, for all the “abhorrent” claims of the “displacement of Indigenous, Black, and Latinx families,” an internal census revealed a population that was, in fact, overwhelmingly white, with a ratio of three to one, while the area’s black population was in the single percentage points.