Visit NYC’s finest museums for free during annual Museum Mile Festival

June 12, 2023

Image courtesy of Brian Lauer on Flickr

This week “New York City’s biggest block party” is returning to a 28-block stretch of Fifth Avenue for the 45th year. During the Museum Mile Festival, attendees can walk along Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 110th Street and visit eight of the city’s finest institutions for free. Participating museums include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, Neue Galerie New York, El Museo del Barrio, the Africa Center, and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The iconic thoroughfare will close to cars during the festival, which takes place on June 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., allowing the museums to host art activities, musical performances, and other attractions outdoors.

Additional events and programs will take place at the Asia Society, the AKC Museum of the Dog, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the People’s Bus. Advanced registration is not required.

Each museum is hosting special events specific to the festival, including special exhibitions within their galleries or fun events outside on Fifth Avenue. The Met will host a silent dance party, art-making, and other activities throughout the night, as well as a live musical performance by Mariachi Real de México to end the evening.

The Nueu Galerie will present an outdoor pop-up featuring activities and information about the museum’s expansive collection of early 20th-century Austrian and German art and design and information about its historic building which is set to reopen in September.

The Guggenheim invites attendees to view its five current exhibitions, “Gego: Measuring Infinity, Sarah Sze: Timelapse, Young Picasso in Paris, A Year with Children 2023,” and the Thannhauser Collection. They will also be hosting outdoor arts and crafts activities using sustainable materials.

Cooper Hewitt will present “Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols,” the museum’s latest exhibition that analyzes the rich histories behind the symbols that “instruct, protect, entertain, empower and connect people.” The exhibition “Designing Peace” will also be on view, which explores the important role design plays in the pursuit of peace.

The Jewish Museum will host an outdoor musical performance by the Dingonek Street Band and an arts and crafts activity, as well as the exhibitions “The Sassoons” and “After ‘The Wild’: Contemporary Art from The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Collection.”

The Museum of the City of New York will give attendees a first look at its new exhibition “This is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture.”

El Museo Del Barrio will present “Something Beautiful: Reframing La Colección,” an ambitious presentation of the museum’s vast collection of Latin American art and artifacts. The celebration will also include a performance by Afro Dominicano and music by DJ Jomero.

The Africa Center will host a live performance by the West African band Kakande, along with art workshops led by illustrators from the diaspora. Attendees will get a first look at the “Black Future Newsstand,” an interactive installation created by the Black Thought Project and Media 2070.

The festival will kick off with an opening ceremony and special performance from the Tony-nominated Broadway show “New York, New York” at the Museum of the City of New York at 5:30 p.m.

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