Plans were revealed here this week for an annual four- to six-week international summer arts festival to be held in New York City, not unlike last summer’s Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

“I have been anxious for New York to have something like this for a long time,” said Martin E. Segal, chairman of the board of Lincoln Center, at a press conference Monday. “It seems natural, when you think of the facilities, the artists and the resources that we have here in New York.”

Segal, who has just been reelected to his fifth consecutive term as board chairman, said he would relinquish the position a year from now to devote full time to the project, tentatively called New York/International Festival of the Performing Arts. He is a former chairman of the city’s Commission for Cultural Affairs.

The project has the “considerable support” of at least two corporations and two foundations, Segal said, but he declined to name them. Neither a projected festival start date nor specific details were announced.


Segal said he hoped the festival--which would be built around a theme, such as music of the Renaissance--would draw on local arts institutions as well as foreign companies and artists.

Lincoln Center would sponsor the festival but a nonprofit corporation would be created to organize and run it, Segal said.