Celebrating Lennon, An American Hero

John Lennon would have been 70 years old on Saturday October 9th. What better way to celebrate his life – and in particular his life as a New Yorker – than a screening of the WNET American Masters film ”LENNONYC” in Central Park.

DKC has for many years worked on some of the greatest documentaries to air on PBS, includinig all of Ken Burns’s works over the last ten years (and this fall’s ”THE TENTH INNING”), WGBH and Martin Scorsese’s ”THE BLUES,” WETA’s ”AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS,” and many others.

This August, however, when we learned about LENNONYC, a new film directed by Michael Epstein that focused on the nearly ten year period Lennon spent in NYC with Yoko and, during the final five years, their son Sean, we envisioned a free Central Park screening – a real New York City celebration in the city Lennon loved and called home.

The City Parks Department and the Parks Foundation, which operates SummerStage, were quickly on board. Another DKC client, Drew Katz’s Infinite Possibilities Foundation (infinitepossibilitiesfoundation.org), very graciously jumped in to provide the startup money for the event and along with VEVO and of course WNET, sponsored what turned out to be an extraordinary evening.

Two weeks before the screening, Mayor Bloomberg joined Yoko Ono to announce the event at a press conference in Strawberry Fields. The event itself, on a perfect fall evening, attracted nearly 20,000 people according to police and press reports, 5,000 in the SummerStage area and the remaining groups around the outside.

In addition to developing the concept for the screening, DKC handled all press outreach for the event, securing coverage on all major national television networks, all local television and print media including The New York Times, Daily News, NY Post, Wall Street Journal, USA today, Rolling Stone and numerous others. After the annual lighting of the Peace Memorial in Iceland, which Yoko and Sean attended, as they do ever year, the NYC Central Park screening was the most discussed Birthday celebration.

DKC also organized a social media campaign to assist with attendance and handled all social media from the park that evening.

John Lennon found a home in New York City. LENNONYC, which aired nationally on PBS on November 22, 2010 is a love story – Lennon’s love for his new city, his love for wife and young son and ultimately New York’s love for him. DKC was honored to be part of the celebration and proud to partner with WNET and American Masters to say, ”Happy Birthday John.”