Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 03/12/2014

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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.

March 12–18

Wednesday, March 12
Voices of Freedom: Celebrating Marian McPartland
Where: Arts > Brookfield Place  
When: 12:30pm
March is Women's History Month, and Brookfield Place celebrates with an afternoon performance series. Today’s jazz showcase honors the late Marian McPartland, a celebrated improvisational-jazz pianist who also hosted NPR's Piano Jazz series. The lunchtime set will feature Joanne Brackeen, an accomplished local pianist.

Thursday, March 13
Amanda Nahu & Jeremy Thal: Sounding Walls/Soando Paredes
Where: BRIC House
When: 7:30pm
In a pairing that mixes cultures and art forms, Ananda Nahu, a Brazilian muralist and painter, teams up with Jeremy Thal, a local French horn player and trained ethnomusicologist, for a New York City residency. The two have spent weeks exploring Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and other Brooklyn neighborhoods, collecting stories from the City's diverse populations. Tonight, the resultant project—an art-and-sound installation—will be displayed at BRIC House. Nahu and Thal will be on hand to discuss how the collaborative work came to be.

Friday, March 14 
Common Thread Featuring Gabrielle Walter-Clay
Where: BAMcafé 
When: 9pm
The members of the funk-pop female group Common Thread hail from all over the globe, but they met at the Berklee College of Music. Tonight they take over the café at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, joined on vocals by Gabrielle Walter-Clay. Expect soulful fireworks. The evening will also feature a set from resident record spinner DJ Idlemind, "The Appropriate Agent." Though entry is free, make sure to bring some cash for drinks or bites from the late-night menu. 

Saturday, March 15
Family Art Project: The Early Bird Gets into the Mobile
Where: Wave Hill
When: 10am–1pm
Considering the tough winter the City has been through, it's no wonder that some New Yorkers are anxious for the season to change. Wave Hill starts its celebration of spring a little early with this Saturday morning family event. Spend some time wandering the Bronx garden's picturesque grounds, keeping an eye out for birds returning north for the promise of warmer days to come. After that avian inspiration, children can head inside to build and decorate their own winged mobiles. Though the event runs until 1pm, admission is only free until noon. 

Sunday, March 16 
Where: Kentler International Drawing Space
When: noon–5pm
Holly Shen Chaves and Rachel Nackman took an unorthodox approach to curating this Red Hook art exhibition. Drawing inspiration from the I Ching as well as John Cage’s method of composing music (itself derived from the Chinese text), the two curators chose 32 artists by coin tosses—literally. Leaving things to chance resulted in an eclectic array of art and diverse mix of mediums: cardboard panels, linoleum, wood, paper tags and more.

Monday, March 17
Fact of the Matter
Where: 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery 
When: 8am–6pm
For its first Manhattan show in more than 20 years, Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park brings work by nine sculptors across the East River. Curator John Hatfield selected both well-established industry names and ones new to NYC's art scene. What they share, however, is a strong link to a single material, be it rubber, steel, plastic or feathers. With pieces by Mark di Suvero, Tony Feher and seven others, Fact of the Matter explores the connection between artists and their chosen medium.

Tuesday, March 18
Invisible Migrations
Where: Alice Austen House Museum
When: 10am–5pm
Consider it achievable time travel: Staten Island's late 17th-century Victorian cottage houses the work of Alice Austen, a photographer who chronicled the early 20th century. Austen's historical images are part of an exhibition that also features 11 international photographers concerned with contemporary migration and immigration. The artists include Alejandro Cartagena, an award-winning landscape and portrait photographer based in Mexico; documentary photographer Glenna Gordon, who has worked in West Africa; and Beijing-based Katharina Hesse, who is chronicling China's social upheavals.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    arts>Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281
  2. 2
    BRIC House
    647 Fulton St.
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217
  3. 3
    30 Lafayette Ave
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
  1. 4
    Wave Hill
    675 W. 252nd St.
    Bronx – Riverdale
    NY 10471
  2. 5
    Kentler International Drawing Space
    353 Van Brunt St.
    Brooklyn – Red Hook
    NY 11231
  3. 6
    Alice Austen House Museum
    2 Hylan Blvd.
    Staten Island
    NY 10305

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