This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Year of the Monkey

The Met will celebrate the Year of the Monkey with a full slate of programs on February 6

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Saturday, February 6, free with recommended museum admission ($12-$25), 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

It will soon be 4713 on the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Monkey, a positive yang fire year that celebrates the monkey’s clever wit and inventive, playful nature. On February 6, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will host its annual Lunar New Year festival, with special events going on all day long honoring both China and Tibet. There will be live performances by Sesame Street puppeteers, students from the Music from China Youth Orchestra using traditional instruments, and Lotus Music & Dance in addition to a parade led by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe. Art workshops include paper cutting with Master Lu, Monkey King mask making with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, iPad calligraphy with the China Institute, a hand-pulled noodle demonstration by Chef Zheng of Noodle Q, a martial arts demonstration by the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Chinese tea ceremonies with Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Co., a participatory installation by artist Wu Jian’an, a reading by picture book author and illustrator Yangsook Choi, bilingual storytime, drawing stations, and more. There will also be an interactive digital fireworks display in the Great Hall by CHiKA and Calli Higgins. The museum is currently showing several exhibitions related to China and Tibet, including “Monkey Business: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey,” “The Arts of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts,” “Chinese Textiles: Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection,” “Chinese Lacquer: Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th-18th Century,” and “Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection.”


Stanley Nelson will be at the Brooklyn Museum to screen and discuss his 2015 documentary, THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION

Stanley Nelson will be at the Brooklyn Museum to screen and discuss his 2015 documentary, THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION, as part of free Black History Month program

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, February 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum turns its attention to Black History Month for its February edition of its free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by Dasan Ahanu and Tai Allen (“The Originals,” a live mix-tape honoring Gil Scott-Heron and Oscar Brown Jr.), the New Black Fest (“HANDS UP 7: Testaments,” monologues followed by a Q&A), L.A. Lytes (Latasha Alcindor, DJ Afro Panther, and NonVisuals), and Charles Perry; art chats with experts using the ASK app; interactive activities with the Museum of Impact, the Very Black Project, and #TeamMelanin; an art workshop inspired by Romare Bearden’s collage portraits; an art workshop about Black Lives Matter and gender justice led by activist Joshua Allen; book-club discussions of Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin’s Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party and Bob Avakian’s From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, led by Andy Zee; and a screening of Stanley Nelson’s 2015 documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, followed by a conversation with Nelson and Elizabeth Sackler. In addition, the galleries are open late so you can check out such exhibitions as “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008,” “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Forever Coney: Photographs from the Brooklyn Museum Collection,” and “Agitprop!”


Legendary cartoonist Kim Deitch will discuss his current work-in-progress at NYC symposium

Legendary cartoonist Kim Deitch will discuss his current work-in-progress at NYC symposium

Who: Kim Deitch
What: NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium
Where: The New School, the Klein Conference Room (A510), 66 West Twelfth St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
When: Tuesday, January 26, free, 7:00
Why: L.A.-born, New York-based cartoonist Kim Deitch, the Eisner Award-winning author and illustrator of such works as The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, A Shroud for Waldo, Shadowland, and The Amazing, Enlightening, and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, is the special guest at the 141st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium, being held at the New School on January 26 at 7:00. The underground legend, aka Fowlton Means, will present an illustrated lecture on his latest project, a semiautobiographical tale of reincarnation in which virtually nothing is true. The 139th meeting, held December 15, featured a panel on Hugo Pratt, while the 140th meeting, held December 21, consisted of an illustrated talk by Peter Blegvad. The spring season continues through May 10 with such other cartoonists as Monroe Price, Archie Rand, Paula McDowell, Sara Lipton, Sam Gross, and Kristen McKinney. As always, admission is free and open to the public.


dixon place

Who: Libba Bray, Michael Buckley, Annabel Monaghan, Anthony Schneider, David C. Martin, and Emmy Laybourne
What: “Spine Out: Novelists Read Personal Essays”
Where: Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., 212 219-0736
When: Thursday, January 21, $15-$18, 7:30
Why: Dixon Place’s quarterly literary series, “Spine Out,” returns on January 21 with a fab lineup of YA authors and others reading intimate personal essays: Libba Bray (the Gemma Doyle trilogy), Michael Buckley (the Undertow trilogy), Annabel Monaghan (the Digit series), Anthony Schneider (Repercussions), and television news journalist David C. Martin (Best Laid Plans: The Inside Story of America’s War Against Terrorism), hosted by Emmy Laybourne (the Monument 14 series).

MLK DAY 2016

mlk day of service

Multiple venues
Monday, January 18

In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-seven this month, and you can celebrate his legacy on Monday by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project or attending one of numerous special events taking place around the city. BAM’s thirtieth annual free Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a keynote address and book signing by Michael Eric Dyson, live performances by the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir and Kimberly Nichole, the NYCHA Atlantic Terminal Community Center student exhibit “Picture the Dream,” master of ceremonies Eric L. Adams, and a special film screening. The JCC in Manhattan will host “Artists Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.,” with a screening of Aviva Kempner’s documentary Rosenwald at 5:00, followed by a Q&A with the director, and “Idealism and Activism: A Conversation with Bill T. Jones” at 7:30 ($5, benefiting Saturday Morning Community Partners).

The Harlem Gospel Choir will play a special matinee at B.B. King’s on MLK Day

The Harlem Gospel Choir will play special matinees at B.B. King’s and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on MLK Day

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will teach kids about King’s legacy with the “Heroic Heroines: Coretta Scott King” book talk at 10:00 and 2:00 and the World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir at 3:00 and 4:00, while the Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts the special hands-on crafts workshops “The Art of Protest” and “Protest Prints,” a noon screening of Rob Smiley and Vincenzo Trippetti’s 1999 animated film Our Friend, Martin, and the toddlers program “Storytime & Civil Movements.” The Museum at Eldridge Street will be hosting a free reading of Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom’s picture book What Do You Do with an Idea? along with a mural workshop. The Harlem Gospel Choir will also give a special MLK Day matinee at 12:30 ($22-$26) at B.B. King’s in Times Square, while Big Daddy Kane will take the mic with a live band at 9:00 ($15-$30).


charles bukowski three rooms press

Who: Three Rooms Press Presents the Monthly @ Cornelia Street Cafe
What: Ninth Annual Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading
Where: Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319
When: Friday, January 8, $15 (includes one drink), 6:00 pm
Why: “What sort of cultural hangover keeps Charles Bukowski in print and popular more than twenty years after his death?” S. A. Griffin asks in the new Three Rooms Press essay “Charles Bukowski: Dean of Another Academy.” “In light of the fact that a good portion of what has been published since his passing in 1994 may not be the man’s best work, along with some heavy editing at times, why does Charles Bukowski remain relevant well into the 21st century?” The ninth annual Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe will explore what Bukowski would think about today’s society, with tribute readings by Kim Addonizio, Mike Daisey, Richard Vetere, Puma Perl, Michael Puzzo, George Wallace, and anyone else who signs up before 6:00, hosted by Kat Georges and Peter Carlaftes and featuring rare photos and videos, oral history, prizes, and more.


Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich will be back at the Poetry Project for annual New Years Day marathon

Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich will be back at the Poetry Project for annual January 1 marathon benefit

Who: The Poetry Project
What: Forty-second Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading
Where: The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 East Tenth St., 212-674-0910
When: Friday, January 1, $20 in advance, $25 at the door, 2:00 pm - 12 midnight
Why: Some 150 poets will take the podium in this annual Poetry Project benefit, including Penny Arcade, Anselm Berrigan, Edmund Berrigan, Jennifer Blowdryer, Stephen Boyer, Steve Cannon, Yoshiko Chuma, CA Conrad, Maggie Dubris, Douglas Dunn, John Giorno, Philip Glass, John S. Hall, Jonas Mekas, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Monson, Carley Moore, Thurston Moore, Eileen Myles, Elinor Nauen, Dael Orlandersmith, Church of Betty, Reno, Bob Rosenthal, Emily Skillings, Jesse Smith, Edwin Torres with David Brown, Anne Waldman with Fast Speaking Music, Ken Walker, Martha Wilson, Jenny Zhang, and more to be announced.