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The 41st Annual Museum Mile Festival: NY’s Biggest Block Party

Photo courtesy of the Museum Mile Festival

Now celebrating its 41st year, the annual Museum Mile Festival takes place rain or shine on  June 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Over 1.5 million people have taken part in this annual celebration since its inception. Festival attendees can walk the Mile on Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 110th Street while visiting eight of New York City’s finest cultural institutions, which are open free to the public throughout the evening. The Museum Mile Festival’s opening ceremony takes place at 5:45 p.m. at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue at 105th Street. Traditionally, the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and other city and state dignitaries open the Festival.

The Africa Center, located at 1280 Fifth Avenue at 110th Street, Museum Mile’s newest member, is participating in the event for the very first time. The seven other institutions participating in this highly successful collaboration are 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; and El Museo del Barrio.

Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic and becomes New York City’s biggest block party. There is something for everyone at each of the venues. Special exhibitions and works from permanent collections are on view inside the museums’ galleries, with live music and art-making workshops on Fifth Avenue at selected museums.

Participating museums offer programs and services for visitors with disabilities. Visitors needing assistance should contact the museums they plan to visit to arrange access accommodations and for further information.

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is a Cultural Partner for the Museum Mile Festival. LMCC empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Manhattan and beyond, and presents the 18th Annual River To River Festival of free arts and culture on June 18-29, 2019. The Museum Mile Festival is also pleased to welcome The New York Academy of Medicine, the Church of Heavenly Rest, and The Asia Society as Cultural Partners.

EXHIBITIONS on view at each museum include:

The Africa Center: All Power to All People by Hank Willis Thomas, a larger than life outdoor steel sculpture celebrating cultural identities in the African diaspora, is presented on the Center’s public plaza in partnership with Kindred Arts Cultural Equity Initiative. I had a dream, an exhibition produced in partnership with Moleskine Foundation, features 100 hand decorated notebooks made by young creatives who attended workshops in Rome, N’Djamena, Kampala and Harare.

El Museo del Barrio: In celebration of its 50th anniversary, El Museo del Barrio presents Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019, a two-part exhibition featuring selections from the Permanent Collection (on view now) and a historic timeline of the institution (opening June 11). Featuring over 80 artists, the exhibition will reflect on the institution’s activist origins and pioneering role as an organization dedicated to presenting and preserving Puerto Rican, Latinx, and Latin American art and culture.

Museum of the City of New York: In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a watershed moment in the modern LGBTQ rights movement, the Museum of the City of New York presents Pride = Power! This series of exhibitions and events, including PRIDE: Photographs of Stonewall and Beyond by Fred W. McDarrah, invites New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to discover and celebrate LGBTQ history and culture. Also on view are The Voice of the Village: Fred W. McDarrah Photographs; City of Workers, City of Struggle: How Labor Movements Changed New York;Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend; Cycling in the City: A 200-Year History; A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York; New York at Its Core, Activist New York; and Timescapes.

The Jewish Museum: Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, the first exhibition devoted to the imagination and legacy of the influential singer/songwriter, poet, and global icon from Montreal, features large-scale, immersive contemporary artworks inspired by Leonard Cohen’s life, work, and legacy. The exhibition also includes a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings, and an innovative multimedia gallery where visitors can hear covers of Cohen’s songs by various musicians. Scenes from the Collection, featuring nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, is also on view.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Nature —  Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial features over 60 innovative projects that highlight the ways designers are collaborating with scientists, engineers, farmers, environmentalists, and nature itself to design a more harmonious and regenerative future.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: On view during the 60th anniversary of the Guggenheim’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building, Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection celebrates the institution’s extensive 20th-century holdings through the intervention of six contemporary artists: Paul Chan, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, and Carrie Mae Weems. Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now honors the legacy of the critically acclaimed yet controversial American artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The Hugo Boss Prize 2018: Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat presents new sculptures and a sound installation by Leigh exploring narratives of resilience and resistance.

Neue Galerie New York: The Self-Portrait, from Schiele to Beckmann examines works primarily from Austria and Germany made between 1900 and 1945. Approximately 70 self-portraits by more than 30 artists—both well-known figures and others who deserve greater recognition—are united in the presentation, which is comprised of loans from public and private collections worldwide. Also on view are Austrian Masterworks from Neue Galerie New York and Eclipse of the Sun: Art of the Weimar Republic.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Camp: Notes on Fashion explores the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic and how the sensibility evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture. The exhibition includes some 250 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings, and drawings from the 17th century to the present. Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll presents one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th century through more than 130 instruments that made the music possible. Also on view are The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East and The Roof Garden Commission: Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot (weather permitting).

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