Solo performances in parks | Songs and stories on boulevards | Rooftop and garden performances | “Aquarium” shows in the lobby of Enav Cultural Center | Digital art lectures and workshops | Art festivals in the public sphere and online | Poetry festival on bus stops | Cultural activities for seniors | Cultural events for disabled residents |
At the same time, the municipality is continuing to advance solutions in the public sphere: free city tours, placing hundreds of chairs and benches in outdoor locations, offering lifeguard towers for romantic dates, loaning fishing rods free of charge, beach yoga classes and gyms on wheels.
November 18, 2020 – Faced with the shutdown of the art and culture sector due to COVID-19, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is launching a season of performances and initiatives that will include hundreds of events every week across the city.
The municipality intends to continue organizing cultural events throughout the winter months, forecasting that the arts sector – including major performance venues, museums and theaters – will remain shut beyond the government’s initial reopening plan (December 2020).
At the same time, the municipality is continuing its efforts to reopen cultural venues in a creative manner. Last week, Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai proposed a plan for the reopening of open-air venues to the health and culture ministers, including performances in stadiums and amphitheaters until the city’s traditional venues reopen their doors.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: “Culture has been the lifeblood of the first Hebrew city since its establishment, and also provides a livelihood for 150,000 citizens who have been left behind since the outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, we will hold hundreds of events every week to provide a livelihood for thousands of people, medicine for the souls of tens of thousands of residents, and hope for an entire sector that feels abandoned and neglected.”
Municipal initiatives:
• Solo performances in parks: The “Monologues from the Garden” festival will include 22 plays starring Tel Avivian actors – including Rami Baruch, Evelin Hagoel, Yishai Golan, Shira Farber, Eyal Shechter and Hadar Galron.
• Songs and stories on boulevards: Dozens of actors and musicians will perform across the city’s boulevards, squares and parks, including in new parks inaugurated in recent weeks – Park Hamesila and the Histadrut Garden.
• “Capsule performances” in yards and on rooftops: Performances for adults, families and building residents, including singers, actors and comedians. Performances can be booked via the DigiTel platform.
• “Aquarium” performances at the Enav Cultural Center: The glass-walled lobby of the Enav Cultural Center, which faces the spacious roof of the Gan Ha’ir Mall, will host four weekends of music and dance performances. Performers will perform inside the transparent lobby and spectators can watch from outside.
• Online workshops and lectures by artists: A wide range of workshops and lectures.
• Cultural activities for seniors: Artist and actor performances in the open air, with suitable content and times for senior citizens.
• Activities for disabled residents: Content in the public sphere that is suitable for residents with disabilities.
• Tel Avivian art on bus stops across the city: Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is continuing to support independent artists who have been harmed by the COVID-19 crisis. The municipality will pay for and showcase the artwork of 20 Tel Avivian artists on 100 bus stops across the city.
Art festivals in public spaces and online:
In addition to hundreds of events for small crowds in compliance with Health Ministry guidelines, the municipality will also contribute to the funding and production of several large art festivals – the majority will take place in the public sphere and will be free of charge.
The festivals follow the success of last weekend when 50,000 people enjoyed two free, large art events: “Loving Art. Making Art” and “PHOTO IS:RAEL”.
“Lifting the Switch” on Basel Street: 50 artists residing on Basel Street and neighboring streets will be hosted by local businesses. The event will combine performances, art and music in retail stores and windows of small businesses. (26.11 – 18:00-23:00; 27.11 – 10:00-14:00).
“Tarbut O’Namut”: A hybrid festival that will take place simultaneously at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and online. The festival will include four unique musical performances at the museum and will be streamed live to the public. Performances will combine a variety of arts, ranging from video art to dance, belly dancing, paintings, photography and more. (1.12-2.12).
Illustration Festival: The Illustration Festival will take place for the seventh time across the city, spanning two months and including 50 solo and group exhibitions by hundreds of illustrators. The exhibitions will be hosted in cultural venues, shared galleries, museums and attractions – including the alleyways of ancient Jaffa, galleries in Kiryat Hamelacha, Abraham Hostel, School of the Arts, and Edmond de Rothschild Center. (Starts 26.11 for two months).
Piano Festival: The annual Piano Festival will take place in a unique format – details to follow.
Jaffa Fest 2020 at Gesher Theater: The international theater festival in Jaffa, Jaffa Fest 2020 Online, will take place this year online. The festival will contain specially-produced content for digital broadcasts. (3.12-8.12).
Tel Aviv Poetry Festival: The Tel Aviv Poetry Festival will take include a different, COVID-19 appropriate meeting place between the public and the written word. Poems by 20 artists will appear on 100 bus stops across the city (10.12-14.12).
Jaffa Lights Festival: As part of the Chanukah and Christmas celebrations in Tel Aviv-Yafo, a variety of activities will be available in Jaffa – Christmas tree at Clock Square (6.12.20-19.1.21), a chanukiah at Clock Square and spectacular art installations (8.12.20 – 31.12.20).
“Local Testimony”: The annual exhibition of Israeli press photography, which takes place alongside the World Press Photo exhibition, will take place in the latter half of December 2020 in outdoor spaces at Midtown Tel Aviv – free of charge.
In addition, the municipality continues to support street businesses and the use of public spaces:
• Hundreds of chairs and benches: As part of supporting activity and meetings in public spaces, and in compliance with Health Ministry guidelines, the municipality will roll out hundreds of chairs and benches for the comfort of residents.
• Dating in a lifeguard tower: Lifeguard towers at Bograshov, Hilton and Metzizim Beaches will be available for romantic dates. The move follows the closure of bars and clubs, and the need for romantic spaces in public that are sheltered from the rain and cold. Registration for couples is reserved to DigiTel Resident Card holders.
• “Someone to Run With”: Every Friday at 10 a.m., for single residents, a meeting point will be set to find a running partner – a free glass of beer will be included for finishers.
• Free fishing rods: From November 29 – December 3, the municipality will enable residents to borrow professional fishing rods and other fishing equipment free of charge at the entrance to Jaffa Port. The initiative is limited to DigiTel Resident Card holders.
• Yoga on the beach: Ahead of the winter, beach parasols will be covered with water-resistant material, enabling residents to practice yoga on the beach – even in wet weather.
• Tours in public spaces: Dozens of tours for all ages will take place in open spaces. Tours will include a guided visit to the renovated Rabin Memorial, and dozens of free tours for DigiTel Resident Card holders.
• Gyms on wheels: Exercise and sports trucks will travel between neighborhoods in the city.
Some of the cultural events will take place in partnership with the Culture & Sport Ministry – we are grateful for their support.
More details can be found at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Tourism website:

Photo: Guy Yechiely