11 May The 92nd Street Y Announces Major Post-COVID Transformation
Storied NYC Institution Debuts New Brand Identity, Scales Internationally, and Begins Full Campus Renovation Project
92NY Builds on Lessons Learned from COVID to Emerge Stronger and More Impactful
The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) – New York City’s one-of-a-kind center for culture, connection and enrichment – has announced that, building on lessons learned during the pandemic, it is set to relaunch itself for the 21st Century, bringing its timeless values and incomparable programming to more people in more places more effectively than ever before.
For almost 150 years, since its founding by a group of German-Jewish professionals, 92NY has enriched the lives of its patrons with world-class content and community. Whether they be residents of 92NY’s neighborhood or iconic figures of international renown such as Truman Capote, Paul McCartney, Maya Angelou, Martha Graham, Stacey Abrams, Alvin Ailey, Larry David, or Elie Wiesel – all of whom have graced 92NY’s stages – people of all backgrounds and persuasions have been welcomed and embraced by this institution throughout its long and distinguished history.
Now 92NY is transforming itself for our rapidly changing world by:
- Reintroducing itself to a now-global audience with a new name (“The 92nd Street Y, New York”), together with a new logo and nickname (“92NY”);
- Investing substantially in digital with the introduction of Roundtable by The 92nd Street Y, New York, a new online platform for live, interactive courses in the arts, culture, and humanities; and
- Renovating its historic home on the corner of 92nd St. and Lexington Avenue, with the launch of the first major phase of a $200 million campus master redevelopment plan.
“The pandemic challenged 92NY to reimagine how we carry out our mission of enrichment and community building – a mission which is desperately needed today,” said Seth Pinsky, CEO of 92NY. “We came to realize that the only viable option over the long-term is to embrace transformational change. We are now rapidly effectuating this evolution, reimagining our organization from top to bottom – from how we present who we are to a worldwide audience, to how we connect with people, whether it be in-person or online.”
92NY’s pivot grows out of the organization’s experience in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. In response, 92NY quickly moved all of its programming online. Since then, the institution – which previously had welcomed about 300,000 people per year through its doors for all of its programming – has secured nearly 6 million streaming views for over 2,000 original programs created during the pandemic, together with 70.1 million views of its on-demand archives. 92NY’s online viewers have come from all 50 states and more than 200 countries. And now, since 92NY reopened its campus, these online audiences are joining over 3,000 patrons visiting 92NY in-person per weekday, cementing 92NY’s position as New York’s global center for culture, connection and enrichment – where New York meets the world.
This phase of 92NY’s transformation is being driven by three major strategic initiatives:
Brand and Identity Renewal
“The 92nd Street Y” is officially becoming “The 92nd Street Y, New York” – a new identity that is being paired with a new logo and nickname, “92NY.” With this updated identity, 92NY is doubling-down on its deep connection with its home city – a city that has always been a part of 92NY and a city that would not be the place that it is without 92NY.
92NY’s new logo has been designed by a team at Pentagram led by Michael Bierut, who has previously worked with 92NY. Pentagram brought 92NY’s new look to-life with a graphic treatment based on a classic typeface, now proudly and officially known as, “92NY Didi.”
A multi-phase marketing campaign being launched today will introduce 92NY’s new identity, focusing heavily on 92NY’s major U.S. markets, including Boston, Chicago, Houston, LA, New York, and San Francisco, and 92NY’s key international markets, including Berlin, London, Paris, Sydney, and Toronto.
92NY’s new identity will also create a consistent branding convention across the organization’s five operating pillars:
- 92NY Center for Culture & Arts
- 92NY Center for Community
- 92NY Bronfman Center for Jewish Life
- 92NY Center for Children and Family
- 92NY Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact
Roundtable, 92NY’s New Online Learning Vertical
Roundtable is the newly launched and first available of several new online initiatives coming from 92NY. Roundtable grew out of 92NY’s renowned adult education program. Our new, globally accessible destination offers live discussions with experts who are at the top of their fields – from Pulitzer Prize winners, to Michelin-starred chefs, to leaders in poetry, academia and elsewhere – with highly-educated, intellectually-curious individuals seeking opportunities to engage in the fields of the arts, culture, and humanities. The platform will offer on-demand content of our live courses and further develop engaging opportunities between our highly curated experts and artists and our participants. 92NY has designed the platform to be available to other high-caliber cultural and educational institutions around the world, presenting them with the opportunity to benefit from Roundtable’s expanding global user-base.
Setting the vision for the platform is Roundtable CEO Rolando Nuñez Baza. He previously held senior leadership roles at Bloomberg L.P., World Resources Institute, and most recently, at Khan Academy. Roundtable has received funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Digital Accelerator Program, a $30 million initiative launched to help cultural nonprofits such as 92NY to scale their technology innovations in the wake of the pandemic.
A Renovation of 92NY’s Historic NYC home
92NY is also taking a major step towards fulfilling a long-time goal of completely redoing its historic New York City home. Consistent with a $200M, multi-phase master plan for its campus developed during the pandemic, the next phase of work will involve a full renovation of 92NY’s second public performance space, Buttenwieser Hall, together with the creation of a new, state-of-the-art dance center and significantly improved facilities in 92NY’s May Center gym. The upcoming phase of work, which will commence this month and is fully-funded, is to cost $24 million.
1395 Lexington Ave
Photo Credit: Karl Ault/Michael Priest Photography