Broadway cast members bursting into song behind the New York Public Library in midtown. Dancing in the streets uptown in an East Harlem celebration of the city’s Puerto Rican culture. In Queens, a festival of indigenous music and dance that brings Mexican heritage to the shores of the East River. And Brooklyn flexes its multicultural muscle with a celebration of traditions from China, Russia, Georgia, Pakistan, Haiti, Ukraine, Nepal, Uzbekistan, and more.
As always, New York City offers a world of entertainment and activity in the coming weeks. Here are some of our favorite upcoming free events.
Could your Thursdays use a shot of Broadway musical magic? Then clear your midday calendar for Broadway in Bryant Park, a series of free performances from Broadway shows. Today’s lineup includes numbers from Beetlejuice, Chicago, Come from Away, Jersey Boys, and Waitress, and July 25 is the Disney on Broadway Takeover, featuring performances from Aladdin, Frozen, and The Lion King. The open-air show tunes continue to delight next month, when featured musicals include Broadway Bounty Hunter, Rock of Ages, The Cher Show, and The Prom (August 1); A Musical About Star Wars, Beautiful, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA!, and Pretty Woman (August 8), and Mean Girls, Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, and Tootsie (August 15). The event runs from 12:30–1:30, but if you arrive early, you can catch the performers rehearsing. Click here for additional details.
Get into the groove of the Summer of 1969 at Uptown Bounce, a block party being co-hosted by El Museo del Barrio and the Museum of the City of New York from 6–9 p.m. July 24 and 31 and again August 7 and 14. The event celebrates Puerto Ricans’ contributions to the life and culture of El Barrio (East Harlem). Activities include art-making workshops, a spoken word piece performed by poets from the Nuyorican Poets Café, and a High Water Music All Stars concert of “danceable house music” in which “1969 meets 2019 with remixed jams from the Fania and Motown era.” The festivities are also a birthday party as El Museo turns 50, a milestone that inspired the exhibit Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969–2019, which “reflects on the institution’s activist origins and role as a cultural and educational organization dedicated to Puerto Rican, Latinx and Latin American art and culture.”
Each July in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Guelaguetza celebrates indigenous peoples’ dance and music traditions. That experience is just a subway ride away on July 28, when the Ballet Folklórico de Nueva York presents La Guelaguetza New York City in partnership with Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders. Admission to the event, which takes place from 2–5 p.m. in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park, is free. Vendors will be on site selling Mexican food and handicrafts.
Also on July 28: the Brooklyn Roots Festival 2019, held from 12–7 pm at Lefferts Historic House and Prospect Park Children’s Corner, a folk arts festival that “celebrates Brooklyn’s traditional artists and immigrant communities.” Performers on the main stage will include Dancing Crane Company, Diwas Gurung, and groups representing Russian, Chinese, Pakistani, and Haitian communities. There will also be a workshop station with activities led by tai chi group Qi Tao, Ukrainian Village Voices, and others. And the Kid’s Caboose children’s area will present “family-oriented performances and activities from Marvarid Uzbek Dance Group, Folk Dance Club Kaleidoscope, and more.” The event is free, and food trucks will be on site selling refreshments. Click here for more information.
Header photo credit: Filip Wolak