Free This Week


by staff, 09/10/2013

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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for more free events.

September 11–17
Wednesday, September 11
The September Concert
Where: Citywide
When: Various times
Whether you're a New Yorker or out-of-towner, visiting the 9/11 Memorial is a poignant, meaningful experience; however, the site will be closed to the public on the anniversary itself. You can still commemorate the day at locations throughout the City thanks to The September Concert, a foundation dedicated to bringing free music to public spaces around the world on September 11. Last year's lineup included The Heart of Jazz, an event at Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar that featured performances from more than 30 artists, and a dance tribute in Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. This year's acts will be posted on as the event approaches.

Thursday, September 12
Thursdays@DTH Open Studio Rehearsals
Where: Dance Theatre of Harlem 
When: 6:30–7:30pm
On Thursday evenings, uptown company Dance Theatre of Harlem invites the general public to stop by and watch the troupe prepare for its 2013–2014 season. Each weekly installment lasts one hour and features choreography for an upcoming performance. Audiences will also have the opportunity to meet dancers and other neighborhood artists, who discuss their creative process during a question-and-answer session. 

Friday, September 13
Feast of San Gennaro 
Where: Little Italy
When: 11:30am–midnight
Now in its 87th year, Little Italy's Feast of San Gennaro salutes the patron saint of Naples with celebrations during the festival's 11-day run. One highlight of the traditional Italian-American street fair is the food located along Mulberry Street: cannoli, fried dough, torrone (a honey nougat candy usually flecked with almonds) and, of course, sausage-and-pepper sandwiches. (There are even pizza- and cannoli-eating contests.) Aside from the edibles—for which you'll want to bring some cash—guests can enjoy free activities, book signings and musical performances that take place on a stage located at Grand and Mott Streets. 

Saturday, September 14
Sculpture Garden Mornings
Where: Museum of Modern Art
When: 9–10:15am
Start your day with free art, thanks to the Museum of Modern Art's new Sculpture Garden Mornings program, located in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. While they’re still groggy, visitors can take in The Modern Monument, an installation featuring work from artists including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Mark di Suvero and Tony Smith. The outdoor space is also home to Claes Oldenburg's Geometric Mouse, Scale A, whose aluminum-and-steel form was inspired by film cameras and Mickey Mouse. Those looking for an extra jolt can purchase coffee and other drinks inside the garden. The garden's entrance is located on West 54th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. 

Sunday, September 15
Governors Island Art Fair
Where: Governors Island
When: 11am–6pm
Each fall the 4Heads collective, a New York City arts group dedicated to beautifying abandoned spaces, invites more than 100 artists to transform the rooms of Governors Island’s military barracks into site-specific installations. The resulting projects encompass genres from sculpture and photography to videos and performances; each artist is given an entire room in which to create the work. Along with the indoor exhibitions and independent gallery displays, the fair features musical performances, refreshments and some larger open-air sculptures.

Monday, September 16
powerHouse Arena + Penguin Classics Present: E.L. Doctorow, Lorin Stein and Chip McGrath on John O'Hara
Where: powerHouse Arena
When: 7–9pm
The Brooklyn Book Festival arrives in the borough today, bringing a packed lineup of literary events and celebrations of writing. The fest also includes less formal "Bookend Events" at outdoor spaces, cafes, libraries and bookstores. DUMBO's powerHouse arena hosts one such star-studded session. Literary celebrities including E.L. Doctorow, Lorin Stein of The Paris Review and Chip McGrath of The New York Times will gather to honor the work of the late John O'Hara, known for being the most published writer in The New Yorker's history. Those interested in attending should RSVP to or complete a booking form at

Tuesday, September 17
Jordan Matter's Joyful New York
Where: Arts Brookfield
When: 8am–7pm
Jordan Matter, creator of The New York Times photography bestseller Dancers Among Us, brings his work to One New York Plaza for a monthlong exhibition showcasing his three years spent photographing dancers in New York City and across the country. Matter's images present his subjects in remarkable poses against a backdrop of everyday settings: among them, a subway platform, iconic NYC stores and Central Park. His work has drawn the attention of ABC World News, The Washington Post, Redbook and other big-name publications. Joyful New York will be on display in Lower Manhattan through October 4 inside the windows of the Arts Brookfield property One New York Plaza.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Dance Theatre of Harlem
    Everett Center for the Performing Arts, 466 W. 152nd St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10031
  2. 2
    Little Italy
    Mulberry St
  3. 3
    Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden
    11 W 53rd St
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  1. 4
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  2. 5
    powerHouse Arena
    37 Main St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  3. 6
    arts>Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281

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