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


night at the museums

Multiple downtown locations
Tuesday, June 210, free, 4:00 – 8:00

Last Tuesday, the Museum Mile Festival offered free admission to seven institutions along Fifth Ave. between 82nd and 105th Sts. This Tuesday, June 20, fifteen downtown organizations will open their doors for free. As part of the River to River Festival, which includes experimental dance, theater, music, and more through June 25, people are invited inside to see exhibitions and special programs as well as join walking tours. The participating organizations (with current exhibitions and special events) are the African Burial Ground National Monument (ranger presentations and screening of Our Time at Last), Federal Hall National Memorial (ranger tours, George Washington, Early American Music by Linda Russell), Fraunces Tavern Museum (“Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War,” “Lafayette,” live music by Rose Tree), the Museum of American Finance (“For the Love of Money: Blacks on US Currency,” hourly tours), the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (“My Name Is…The Lost Children of Kloster Indersdorf,” “Eyewitness: Photographs by B. A. Van Sise,” 6:30 talk on Jewish communities in China), the China Institute (“Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou,” live music), the National Archives at New York City, the National Museum of the American Indian (“Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait,” “Circle of Dance,” live performances by Martha Redbone), the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the NYC Municipal Archives (building tours with MA photographer Matthew Minor and MA commissioner), the 9/11 Tribute Center, Poets House (“Poetry Since 1912: Books, Issues, & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation,” literary scavenger hunt), the Skyscraper Museum (“Ten and Taller, 1874-1900,” tour with founding director Carol Willis), and the South Street Seaport Museum (“Street of Ships: The Port and Its People,” Waterfront History Walking Tour, Bowne C. Stationers and Printers live demonstration).


Raoul Peck will be at the Schomburg Center on June 8 to discuss his career and his latest film, I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck will be at the Schomburg Center on June 8 to discuss his career and his latest film, I Am Not Your Negro

Who: Raoul Peck, Kevin Young, Paul Holdengräber
What: Conversation and pop-up exhibition
Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd.
When: Thursday, June 8, $10, 7:00
Why: In conjunction with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s acquisition in April of the personal archives of James Baldwin, including published and unpublished letters, manuscripts, drafts, galleys, screenplays, notes, and photographs, the institution will be hosting award-winning Haitian filmmaker and former minister of culture Raoul Peck in a special conversation on June 10. Peck has written and directed such sociopolitical features and documentaries as Lumumba, Moloch Tropical, and Fatal Assistance; his latest is the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro, about the Harlem-born Baldwin. Peck will be joined by Schomburg Center director Kevin Young and LIVE from the NYPL director Paul Holdengräber; the main focus is Peck’s career, but there should be plenty about Baldwin as well. In addition, the pop-up exhibition “Evidence of Things Seen” will display select items from the Baldwin acquisition.


Kevin Hart is one of the featured stars of BookCon2

Kevin Hart is one of the featured stars of BookCon2

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th St. (11th Ave. between 34th & 39th Sts.)
Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4, $10 (children ages six to twelve) - $45 (adults)

The annual trade show BookExpoAmerica at the Javits Center will once again be followed by BookCon, a two-day fair that is open to the public this weekend, celebrating all things literary, from picture books and comics to YA and adult fiction and nonfiction. There will be panel discussions, meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, Q&As, screenings, and much more. The lineup of guests is impressive, including Bill Nye, Charlamagne tha God, Chelsea Clinton, Cory Doctorow, Heather Graham, Jeff Kinney, Jeffrey Tambor, Kevin Hart, Leomony Snicket, Margaret Atwood, Marc Maron, Mayim Bialik, Veronica Roth, and many others. (Scott Kelly and Dan Brown had to cancel.) Below are only some of the myriad special events, some of which require advance registration and ticketing.

Saturday, June 3
Chad Michael Murray — an American Drifter, with Chad Michael Murray and Heather Graham, Room 1E10, 11:15

Carrying On with Rainbow Rowell, with Rainbow Rowell and Emma Straub, Room 1E14, 12:15

Ten-Year Anniversary of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with Jeff Kinney and Kevin Maher, Main Stage, 12:45

WTF?: Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald, Room 1E14, 1:30

Do You Ship This?, with Danielle Paige, Victoria Aveyard, and Veronica Roth, moderated by Claire Fallon, Main Stage, 2:30

Girling Up: Mayim Bialik Spotlight, with Mayim Bialik, Room 1E16, 5:15

Veronica Roth will return for more BookCon fun this year

Veronica Roth will return for more BookCon fun this year

Sunday, June 4
A Picture Tells 1,000 Words: Graphic Novels, with Svetlana Chmakova, Samwise Didier, Matt Phelan, Thi Bui, and Scott Westerfeld, moderated by Abe Riesman, Room 1E16, 11:00 am

Write Here, Write Now, with E. Lockhart, Adam Silvera, Leigh Bardugo, and Jennifer E. Smith, moderated by Andrew Harwell, Room 1E10, 12:30

Kids Book Blockbusters, with Jeff Kinney, Mary Pope Osborne, Kwame Alexander, and Lemony Snicket, moderated by Roger Sutton, Main Stage, 12:45

Life Lessons from the Stage: Tim Federle in Conversation with Ruby Karp, Downtown Stage, 1:00

Sixteen-Year-Old Me, with Lauren Oliver, Kendare Blake, Soman Chainani, and Jeff Giles, moderated by Alessandra Balzer, Room 1E10, 1:45

Kevin Hart Live Q&A, with Kevin Hart and Charlamagne tha God, Main Stage, 4:00


Taja Lindley will give a free preview of Bag Lady Manifesta at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3

Taja Lindley will give a free preview of Bag Lady Manifesta at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, June 3, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum honors LGBTQ Pride Month for the June edition of its free First Saturday program, which continues its 2017 theme, “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism.” There will be live music from the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, SassyBlack, and Tamar-kali; a curator tour of “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” led by Rujeko Hockley; teen apprentice pop-up gallery talks on works by LGBTQ artists; the New York City Legacy Ball, featuring Icons, Legends, Statements, and Stars of the ballroom community, hosted by father Sydney UltraOmni; a Community Resource Fair with the Gender Empowerment Movement Program, Health and Education Alternatives for Teens, Brooklyn Zen Center, Diaspora Community Services, Percent for Green, Well Read Black Girl, Brooklyn Pride, and the Audre Lorde Project; Pop-Up Poetry with Saretta Morgan and Alysia Harris paying tribute to artists in “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85”; a preview performance by Taja Lindley from The Bag Lady Manifesta, which comes to Dixon Place in the fall; a crown-making workshop; the Brooklyn premiere of Mike Mosallam’s Breaking Fast, part of “DisOrient: Queer Arab Film and Discussion,” hosted by Tarab NYC; and the kickoff of the museum’s Black Queer Brooklyn on Film series, with D’hana Perry performing selections from her immersive, multimedia documentary Loose and new works by Frances Bodomo, Dyani Douze, Ja’Tovia Gary, and Chanelle Aponte Pearson of the New Negress Film Society, joined by artists Lindsay Catherine Harris and Isabella Reyes and actor Ash Tai, followed by a Q&A. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85,” and, at a discounted admission price of $12, “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern.”


stay the night

JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave. at West 76th St.
Tuesday, May 30, free, 10:00 pm - 5:00 am

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which means “weeks” or “oaths,” celebrates the harvest and the reacceptance of the gift of the Torah. It is accompanied by all-night study, so the JCC in Manhattan is opening its doors for free from ten o’clock in the evening on May 30 through five o’clock the next morning, hosting seven hours of dozens of special events throughout the building, from the lobby to the roof. “There is no one right way to be Jewish. There is no one right way to celebrate Shavuot,” Rabbi Abigail Treu, the director of the Center for Jewish Living at the JCC, said in a statement. “If it’s a holiday you do and do well, come join us. If it’s a holiday you’ve never heard of, come join us. If it’s a Tuesday night and you’re up for an adventure, come join us.” Below are only some of the workshops, discussions, live performances, culinary tastings, and, yes, study being held in this overnight bonanza; there will also be plenty of cheesecake, coffee, and tea.

Mikvah on the Roof: Transformation Through Water, with Rabbi Sara Luria & ImmerseNYC faculty, 10:00 pm - 2:45 am

Inequality: What Can Be Done? The Biblical Economies of Sufficiency, with Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, Makom, seventh floor, 10:00 pm

Free Minds: Prison Poetry Workshop, with Repair the World Fellows, mezzanine, 10:00 pm

L’chayim! Israeli Wine Tasting, with Micah Halpern, classroom 2, lobby, 10:00 & 11:15 pm

The Decline and Fall of the Cultural Jew, with John Podhoretz, seventh floor reception room, 11:15 pm

Toward a Liberating Jewish Sexual Ethic: Between Openness and Limits, with Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller & Doreen Seidler-Feller, Painting + Drawing room, lobby, 11:15 pm

Immigrants and Refugees from Genesis to 2017, with Congressman Jerry Nadler & Ruth Messinger, North Gym, third floor, 11:15 pm

Revelation Through Meditation, with Sheldon Lewis, Soft Studio, fifth floor, 11:15 pm

On the Development of Moral Courage, with Ruth Messinger, Beit Midrash, seventh floor, 12:30 am

Jewish Millennials Talk Broadway, with Sas Goldberg, Philip Ettinger, and Joshua Harmon, moderated by Ruthie Fierberg, North Gym, third floor, 12:30 am

If We All Stood at Sinai, Where Do We Stand Now? A Conversation About What This Holiday Asks of Us, with Abigail Pogrebin, Rabbi Andy Bachman, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, and Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, South Gym, third floor, 12:30 am

L’chayim! A Taste of Schnapps (Scotch Tasting), with Micah Halpern, classroom 2, lobby, 12:30 am

Would the Rabbis Have Tweeted? Midrashic Teachings for the Social Media Age, with Rachel Rosenthal, Library, seventh floor, 12:30 am

My Body. My Choice? with Adena Berkowitz, Painting + Drawing room, lobby, 12:30 am

Laughter Yoga, with Francine Shore, Dance Studio, fourth floor, 12:30 am

Dance Midrash: Una Velada en Danza i Canto, Guarding Shavuot in Dance and Song, with Rabbi Mira Rivera & Jerome Korman, second floor communal space, 1:45 am

New Israeli TV, lobby auditorium, 1:45 & 3:00 am

Israeli Dance with Tamar Yablonski, North Gym, third floor, 1:45 & 3:00 am

Less Is More: An Intriguing Talmudic Story, with Joe Septimus, Conference Room, seventh floor, 3:00 am

Stand It Up on Its Feet: The Prophetic Voice for Social Activists, with Rabbi Mira Rivera, Reception Room, seventh floor, 3:00 am

Bringing It Home Closing Circle, lobby, 4:15 am


trophy son

Who: Douglas Brunt, Jay McInerney
What: Reading and discussion about Trophy Son (St. Martin’s, May 30, $25.99)
Where: Bryant Park, Fortieth to Forty-Second Sts. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
When: Wednesday, May 31, free, 12:30
Why: “In the end, man shapes the world, but the world gets the first crack at us. We’re not much more than a puddle before we’re two years old, and then more years to develop so we can survive on our own. Until then we take in more impressions than we give.” So begins Philadelphia native Douglas Brunt’s third novel, Trophy Son, about a tennis prodigy. Brunt (Ghosts of Manhattan, The Means) is on a high-powered book tour that will bring him to the Bryant Park Reading Room on May 31 at 12:30 for a reading and discussion with Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City; The Good Life; and Bright, Precious Days, among others. Brunt will also be at the Barnes & Noble at Eighty-Second & Broadway with Harlan Coben on May 30 at 7:00, at Powerhouse in Brooklyn with Amor Towles on June 2 at 7:00, and at Book Revue in Huntington on June 3 at 7:00 with Nelson DeMille (followed by events in DC and Philly with his wife, Megyn Kelly). The free summer reading series in Bryant Park continues on Wednesday afternoons with Robin Kall on June 7, Susan Rieger on June 14, Don Winslow on June 21, and Anthony M. DeStefano on June 28.