Museum Mile Festival is back, offering free admission at NYC’s best museums

June 14, 2024

Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

The Museum Mile Festival, aka “New York City’s biggest block party,” returns to Fifth Avenue for its 46th year. As part of the festival, guests can walk along Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 110th Street and visit eight world-class museums for free. Participating institutions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Jewish Museum, Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, and the Africa Center. The festival takes place on Tuesday, June 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the street closed off to vehicles to allow for live performances, art-making activities, and more.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Photo courtesy of Cooper Hewitt

Each of the participating museums is hosting special events for the festival. The Met will present programs for audiences of all ages, including a chamber music performance inspired by “The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism” exhibition, drop-in gallery chats, art-making activities, photo opportunities, and more. The evening will end with a New Orleans-style jazz performance by The Jon Lampley Band, presented by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Neue Galerie invites guests to view its “Paula Modersohn-Becker: Ich bin Ich / I am Me” and “Austrian Masterworks from the Neue Galerie” exhibitions for free.

The Guggenheim will host family-friendly activities including water painting and a sustainability program presented by the museum’s School, Youth, and Family team and Green Team that upcycles fabric to make a banner in the shape of the Guggenheim building. Visitors will also have access to its current exhibitions, “Jenny Holzer: Light Line” and “By Way Of: Material and Motion in the Guggenheim Collection.”

At Cooper Hewitt, enjoy hands-on design activities and access to exhibitions, including “Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols; Acquired! Shaping the National Design Collection,” and “An Atlas of Es Devlin.”

The Jewish Museum will host three musical performances by Matt Darieu World Klezmer Kapelye at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. and a drop-in artmaking project. Exhibitions include “Overflow, Afterglow: New Work in Chromatic Figuration” and “Frederick Kiesler: Vision Machines.”

The Museum of the City of New York will offer kid’s activities and access to its exhibitions, including “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture,” “Changing the Face of Democracy: Shirley Chisholm at 100,” and “Byzantine Bembé: New York by Manny Vega.”

El Museo del Barrio invites attendees to explore its current exhibitions, including “Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory,” and “Cuerpo: Carlos Martiel.” The celebration will also feature art-making activities inspired by the exhibitions, live music from Osmay Calvo and his band, and gallery tours.

The Africa Center invites guests to view two new exhibitions, “Except this time nothing returns from the ashes,” and “I Hope This Helps.” The center’s Museum Mile programming will also feature live performances by Asamaa Jama, Caleb Giles, and Ladan Osman, and Danaya Band, a West African collective.

Additional events and programs will take place at the Asia Society, the AKC Museum of the Dog, the Church of Heavenly Rest, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

The festival will begin with an opening ceremony at 5:45 p.m. at Cooper Hewitt at 2 East 91st Street.


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