The Africa Center: Africa’s Embassy to the World
Saturday, September 20, free, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
1280 Fifth Ave. between 109th & 110th Sts.
The former Museum of African Art has gone through a dramatic transformation that will be revealed to the public on September 20 at a free festival celebrating the renamed Africa Center, also known as Africa’s Embassy to the World. As part of “its mission to become the world’s leading civic African institution . . . [the center] aims to transform the international understanding of Africa and promote direct engagement between African artists, business leaders, and civil society and their counterparts from the United States and beyond.” The museum will open permanently in late 2015, but on Saturday visitors can get a taste of what’s to come with the immersive sound-art installation “Lagos State of Mind II” by Emeka Ogboh involving a Danfo bus; the unveiling of Meschac Gaba’s hanging sculpture, “Citoyen du Monde,” in the atrium; live performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, Chop and Quench, Mamadou Dahoue & the Ancestral Messengers Dance Company, Nkumu Isaac Katalay, and DJs Rich Medina, Underdog, and Birane; screenings of The Power of Protest Music; arts and crafts workshops; traditional storytelling; grill tastings from chef Alexander Smalls of the Harlem brasserie the Cecil; and other cultural activities. The revelry will conclude with a private-event Festival-in-Exile concert that focuses on the musical connections between America and Africa, particularly Mali, with performances by Amanar, Amkoullel, Rocky Dawuni, Salif Keïta, and Samba Touré and Vieux Farka Touré.
Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St.
Kaufman Astoria Studios backlot, 36th St. between 34th & 35th Aves.
Sunday, September 21, free, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
On September 21, the Museum of the Moving Image is hosting “New York on Location,” a cinematic street fair and celebration, taking visitors behind the scenes of the filmmaking process in New York City, in conjunction with Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 and Kaufman Astoria Studios. During the all-day free event, people will be invited into more than twenty working movie trailers and trucks, meet film professionals, and find out just what the best boy and key grip are responsible for. You can even eat the same catered food the stars do — and use the same bathrooms as well. (Among the other vendors will be Papaya King, Jiannetto’s, Fun Buns, Brooklyn Popcorn, and Andy’s Italian Ice & Espresso Bar.) In addition, there will be demonstrations of stunts and special effects, including high falls, weather effects, street fighting, and driving, featuring such big-time pros as Frank Alfano Jr., Chris Colombo, Chris Barnes, Tim Gallin, Tony Guida, and Chazz Menendez. As a bonus, the museum will be open for free as well, so be sure to check out such exhibitions as “Behind the Screen,” “What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones,” “Plymptoons: Short Films and Drawings by Bill Plympton,” “In Memory of Astoria,” and “Lights, Camera, Astoria!”
Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza
209 Joralemon St.
Sunday, September 21, free, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Woody Allen, Isaac Asimov, Paul Auster, Margaret Wise Brown, Moss Hart, Joseph Heller, Ezra Jack Keats, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Henry Miller, S. J. Perelman, Maurice Sendak, Wendy Wasserstein, and, of course, Walt Whitman — those are only some of the many writers who were either born and/or raised in Brooklyn or spent important, formative years living in the world’s greatest borough. So it should come as no surprise that the annual Brooklyn Book Festival is a major event, with nearly one hundred talks, signings, discussions, readings, and other presentations with hundreds of authors, taking place in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall, and it’s all free. Below are only some of the many highlights. (For a list of bookend programs scheduled for September 18-22, go here.)
This Changes Everything: A Conversation with Naomi Klein, presented by The Nation, with Naomi Klein and Betsy Reed, Mainstage, 10:00 am
The Hilarity of Death and Deadlines, with Roz Chast and Robert Mankoff, moderated by Hillary Chute, St. Francis College Auditorium, 11:00 am
It’s the Little Things that Count, with Annie Baker, Owen Egerton, Sam Lipsyte, and Rivka Galchen, moderated by Rob Spillman, Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 12 noon
Eat Drink and Prosper, with Steve Hindy, Matt Lewis, and Renato Poliafito, moderated by Carlo Scissura, Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 1:00
Thurston Moore in Conversation with Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 2:00
Storytelling and the Black Experience, with Greg Grandin, Herb Boyd, and Ilyasah Shabazz, moderated by Marlon James, Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 2:00
Influence of the Real, with Francine Prose, Paul Auster, and Joyce Carol Oates, moderated by Hirsh Sawhney, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 3:30
Virtuosos: Comics Creators that Defy Classification, illustrated discussion with Charles Burns, Eleanor Davis, and Paul Pope, moderated by Lisa Lucas, St. Francis College Auditorium, 3:00
Comedians as Authors, with Bob Saget, John Leguizamo, and Susie Essman, moderated by Sara Benincasa, Mainstage, 4:00
Jonathan Lethem and Jules Feiffer in Conversation, moderated by Ken Chen, St. Francis College Auditorium, 4:00
A Sense of Place: Writing from Within and Without, with Joseph O’Neill, Amit Chaudhuri, and Assaf Gavron, moderated by Dave Daley, Borough Hall Media Room, 5:00
The Writer’s Life, with Salman Rushdie, Siri Hustvedt, and Catherine Lacey, moderated by Steph Opitz, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 5:00
Since August 2008, photographer Ari Seth Cohen has run his Advanced Style blog, focusing on the fashion trends of senior citizens in New York City. “I roam the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks,” Cohen, who grew up in San Diego, writes on his blog. “Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.” In May 2012, he released the Advanced Style book, and next up is a documentary that Cohen and Lithuanian-born director Lina Piloplyte financed via Kickstarter. On September 22, City Winery will host a celebration of the many aspects of Advanced Style, hosted by Barneys creative ambassador Simon Doonan, featuring a discussion, a slideshow of Cohen’s photographs, and an exclusive preview of the film, which follows seven fashionably eclectic New York women between the ages of sixty-two and ninety-five, with no topic off limits; the documentary opens in theaters September 26 and will be available on VOD and DVD October 7. Tickets for the City Winery event begin at $15; the $40 VIP seats earn you a gift bag complete with a DVD of the film. “The soul of Advanced Style is not bound to age, or even to style, but rather to the celebration of life,” Maira Kalman writes in the introduction to Cohen’s book. “These photos offer proof that the secret to remaining vital in our later years is to never stop being curious, never stop creating, and never stop having fun.”
TICKET GIVEAWAY: “A Celebration of Advanced Style” takes place at City Winery on September 22, and twi-ny has a pair of VIP seats to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time favorite stylish older woman to email@example.com by Wednesday, September 17, at 5:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; one winner will be selected at random.