Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 02/26/2014

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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 deals section for more free events.

February 26–March 4

Wednesday, February 26
Animation Celebration: Stories from the Seventh Fire
Where: National Museum of the American Indian 
When: 10:30am, 11:45am, 1pm and 3pm
During this annual tribute to Native American short films, families are invited to stop by the Lower Manhattan institution for screenings that celebrate the Anishinaabe tribe and the craft of noted artist Norval Morrisseau. The three movies, ranging from 13 to 24 minutes in length, tell stories about a friendly character named Wesakechak whose adventures embody lessons that are passed down to children of the tribe. Why the Rabbit Turns White drives home the importance of valuing animals and nature, while How Wesakechak Got His Name teaches the meaning behind animal names. And the documentary Shared Visions: The Art of Storytelling introduces audiences to the team behind the series, including Morrisseau as well as the writers and animators. 

Thursday, February 27
Opening Reception: Global Awareness
Where: powerHouse Arena
When: 6:30pm–9pm
The mission statement of the website is to use "the power of photography to promote global awareness." For this special exhibition, the site has teamed up with powerHouse Arena to showcase the photographic work of its Global Awareness contest winners, an international selection of talent from France, India, Italy, England and the United States. Photographers featured in the show created projects on love and aging, warriors from Kenya's Turkana tribe and the garment industry disaster at the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. The images provide provocative and moving glimpses into life around the world. The opening reception will feature a discussion; among the panelists are 2012 photo fellow Todd Shapera, who will present his work about villages in Rwanda, and 2013 fellow and global health photographer Mark Tuschman, whose recent work portrays women's empowerment throughout the world. An RSVP is recommended for this event: email or fill out a booking form on the event page. 

Friday, February 28
Express: New York City Apps
Where: Apple Store, Grand Central Terminal
When: 8:30–8:45am  
New York City’s Apple Stores are more than spots to peruse the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs; they're also overlooked event venues. Case in point: it isn't uncommon for the SoHo location to welcome filmmakers and actors (Wes Anderson and Ralph Fiennes were there earlier in the week). This morning at Grand Central, fuel your NYC exploring with a short session on the top apps for dining, sightseeing and navigating that occasionally tricky subway system (we also keep our own running list). There’s a session on photography apps at 12:30pm, which could come in handy for Instagramming that great new dinner spot you just discovered, and other workshops and demos throughout the day. Reservations are required by signing up on Apple’s website

Saturday, March 1
Bargemusic Family Concert
Where: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fulton Ferry Landing
When: 3pm
Leave it to NYC to have a converted coffee barge overlooking Lower Manhattan as a concert venue. This chamber music series got its start back in the 1970s and today hosts 220 performances a year from both well-known and newer artists. Admission to shows at the floating space is free on Saturday afternoons during the Neighborhood Family Concert series. Specific acts aren't announced ahead of time, so each 60-minute performance is a musical surprise and is followed by a question-and-answer session with performers. Since seating is first-come, first-served, it's best to arrive before doors open at 2:30pm. 

Sunday, March 2 
Classical Interludes: Akiko Kobayashi and Eric Siepkes
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library
When: 4pm
The Brooklyn Public Library's Classical Interludes series presents artists Akiko Kobayashi and Eric Siepkes for this free Sunday afternoon showcase. Kobayashi, a violinist, was born in New York and has performed at Carnegie Hall and on the classical music festival circuit. Siepkes is a Pittsburgh-born pianist who has performed throughout the NYC area and has received several honors and awards for his work. The two artists will play a range of works, including one of Beethoven's violin sonatas from the beginning of the composer's career. Parents should note that children younger than 6 will not be allowed into the venue. 

Monday, March 3
Film Screening: Narraciones
Where: Museum at FIT
When: 7pm
Journey through the history of fashion filmmaking in Spain during a screening of director Charo Mora's Narraciones, or "Narratives." Presented in conjunction with the Hispanic-American Fashion Culture series with help from NYC-based language school Instituto Cervantes, the film begins in the 1960s and highlights news excerpts, documentary selections and short film projects from notable Spanish visual artists like Eugenio Recuenco and Daniel Riera. Mora herself will speak before the screening and tell the story of Spain's fashion and filmmaking worlds from her own perspective. The screening will take place at the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre. Registration is required.

Tuesday, March 4
Mad. Sq. Art Presents Iván Navarro: This Land Is Your Land
Where: Madison Square Park
When: 6am–midnight
The latest sculptures to decorate the lawn of Madison Square Park are the work of Chilean artist Iván Navarro, known for projects that play with light and comment on social and political status. Navarro's past endeavors have appeared in exhibitions in Miami, New Orleans, Madrid, Jerusalem, Paris and elsewhere. In This Land Is Your Land, named for the classic folk song written by Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, his work plays with language and is inspired by Navarro's own experience with immigration and growing up in Chile. To explore these ideas, Navarro has built three facsimiles of the ubiquitous water towers found on top of NYC buildings. Visitors can walk underneath the towers, all of which render imagery and words through neon-light installations on their insides; strategically placed mirrors give the installations an appearance of stretching up to great heights. The three structures, standing at 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide, represent water's crucial role in survival as well as being a repository for a kind of elemental knowledge. This Land Is Your Land will be on display through April 13 during park hours.  

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    National Museum of the American Indian—NY
    1 Bowling Green
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  2. 2
    powerHouse Arena
    37 Main St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    515 Malcolm X Blvd.
    New York – Harlem
    NY 10037
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 5
    Brooklyn Public Library
    Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11238
  3. 6
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001

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