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New York Cultural Calendar 2014 | 10 Best Art And Culture Events
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New York Cultural Calendar 2014 | 10 Best Art And Culture Events

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 25 August 2016
Cultural capital New York City is a bustling, thriving hive of activity with something to offer everybody from the avid theatregoer, to contemporary art fans and film buffs. Visit Frieze Art Fair where Randall’s Island is transformed into an art hub, take in an independent film at the Tribeca Film Festival or catch the world premiere of a Broadway play – here is our curated selection of the best events happening in NYC in 2014.
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Outside Mullingar at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

31 January – 16 March

The Manhattan Theatre Club brings together an all-star cast in the world premiere of award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley’s romantic comedy Outside Mullingar at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Outside Mullingar, which is Shanley’s tenth play at Manhattan Theatre Club, tells the story of Anthony (Brian F. O’Byrne, Frozen) and Rosemary (Debra Messing, Will & Grace) – late 30-something loners living in rural Ireland. Rosemary admires Anthony from afar while a land feud between their families threatens to scupper Rosemary’s romantic designs. O’Byrne and Messing are joined by theatre stalwarts Peter Maloney and Dearbhla Malloy in this funny and poignant play directed by Tony Award nominee Doug Hughes.

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA

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Pawel Althamer: The Neighbours at New Museum

12 February – 20 April

The New Museum’s exhibition Pawel Althamer: The Neighbours is the very first US museum showing of the Polish contemporary sculptor and performance artist’s work. The Neighbours will feature some of Althamer’s most iconic sculptures and video installations including his most recent series, originally created for the 55th Venice Biennale, ‘The Venetians’ (2013) – eerily beautiful sculptures with casts of the faces of people the artist met in Venice – and ‘So-Called Waves and Other Phenomena of the Mind’ (2003-4), a series of videos made with artist Artur Zmijewski that recorded Althamer experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. The exhibition will also feature a collaborative artwork, Draftsmen’s Congress, in which the fourth floor of the New Museum will become a blank canvas gradually transformed by drawings and paintings contributed by exhibition visitors and local community organisations.

New Museum, 235 Bowery, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA

Tribeca Film Festival

16 April – 27 April

Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, film producer Jane Rosenthal and philanthropist Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival supports emerging and established filmmakers while promoting New York City as a filmmaking hub. Now in its 13th year, the festival to date has screened around 1,400 films from over 80 countries, and in 2007 gave filmmaker Alex Gibney’s documentary Taxi to the Dark Side its premiere before it went on to win Best Documentary Feature at the 80th Academy Awards. The festival programme includes documentary, narrative feature and short film screenings, panels with leading industry experts and free open-air screenings. Tribeca Film Festival culminates in an award ceremony through which winners are given specially commissioned artworks that are on display to the public throughout the festival – this year’s commissioned artists include luminist painter Stephen Hannock, multimedia artist Clifford Ross and a painting by screen legend Tony Bennett.

Venues across Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA

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Ai Weiwei: According to What? at Brooklyn Musem

18 April – 10 August

In the final leg of its global tour, Ai Weiwei: According to What? arrives at the Brooklyn Museum. Featuring several major works not included in previous tour exhibitions, this is the first North American survey of Ai Weiwei’s art and is composed of over 30 works by the artist, spanning 20 years of his career as one of China’s most provocative and creative public figures. Perhaps best known for designing the 2008 Beijing Olympic National Stadium in a collaborative project with Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, Ai Weiwei is a passionate political activist who uses a variety of media to comment on political and social issues. The exhibition will include Snake Ceiling (2009), an installation made of hundreds of children’s backpacks, shaped into a serpentine structure that represents the thousands of schoolchildren who died in shoddily constructed buildings during the 2008 Sichuan Province earthquake.

Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA

Ai Weiwei: According to What? at Brooklyn Musem
Ai Weiwei, He Xie, 3200 porcelain crabs, dimensions variable. Installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C, 2010 | Photo by Cathy Carver, Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

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Frieze Art Fair

9 May – 12 May

The third annual Frieze New York Art Fair, which takes place on Randall’s Island in Manhattan overlooking the East River, is a four-day, Deutsche Bank-sponsored event. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, Frieze New York features collections from around 200 of world’s most innovative contemporary art galleries and a series of talks and lectures. As part of Frieze Projects, the fair will include seven new projects commissioned specifically for the event. Themed around the island’s history as a recreation hub, the projects include Israeli artist Naama Tsabar’s mini music festival – a nod to legendary Randall’s Island gigs, such as Jimi Hendrix’s 1970 concert – and Brooklyn-based Marie Lorenz’s alternative ferry service around the island. A collaborative project between Allen Ruppersberg and Californian art space Public Fiction will see a replica built of Ruppersberg’s 1971 artwork/fully operational hotel Al’s Grand Hotel, in which visitors can spend the night.

Frieze Art Fair, Randall’s Island Park, Randall’s Island, Manhattan, NY, USA

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Governors Ball Music Festival

6 June – 8 June

The brainchild of three young entrepreneurs Tom Russell, Jordan Wolowitz and Yoni Reisman, who together form festival promotion and production company Founders Entertainment, the Governors Ball is an annual Randall’s Island music festival. What started out in 2011 as a one-day event with just 12 acts across two stages has grown into a three-day long musical extravaganza featuring four stages of some of the most sought after artists in indie, rock, hip hop and electro. Confirmed headliners at the 2014 festival include Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend and The Strokes, whose music can be enjoyed alongside unique art installations, lawn games like life-size Connect Four and face and body painting. Other billed artists include Skillrex, Damon Albarn and The Kills. Festival-goers are advised to bring sunscreen, their dancing shoes and a good attitude.

Randall’s Island Park, Randall’s Island, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA

Museum Mile Festival

10 June

Each June since 1978, New York’s Fifth Avenue, from 82nd and 105th street, is closed off to traffic and transformed into a massive block party event designed to increase awareness and attendance of the city’s museums, by granting visitors free access. Formed initially by a consortium of New York museums to increase support for the arts during the city’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s, the Museum Mile Festival has grown in popularity to the point of its stretch of Fifth Avenue being officially designated as ‘Museum Mile’ by the City of New York. Featuring ten of the USA’s top museums, including the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art, the festival will also see live music performances and art activities on the streets – a fun-filled, free activity for the whole family.

Museum Mile Festival, Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA

New York Philharmonic’s Inaugural Biennial

28 May – 7 June

The New York Philharmonic, the USA’s oldest symphony orchestra, introduces its first ever biennial in 2014. Taking place over 11 days, the biennial, overseen by music director Alan Gilbert, will feature the music of over 50 contemporary and modern composers from across the globe with events at some of New York City’s most iconic venues such as the Lincoln Centre, the Museum of Modern Art, the Gotham Chamber Opera and the Julliard School. Highlights of the biennial include the US premiere of Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s mono-dramatic interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s epic narrative poem ‘The Raven’ and the world premiere of American composer Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 4. Inspired by visual art biennials, the event promises to be a veritable audio-visual treat for lovers of classical music.

Venues across New York City. For more information, please visit the biennale’s website.

Food Network’s New York City Wine and Food Festival

16 October – 19 October

The Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival, or NYCWFF for short, returns for its seventh run this year, bringing together food lovers with the world’s most celebrated culinary artists and American TV chefs. Festival founder and director Lee Brian Schrager of distribution company Southern Wine & Spirits of America presents a programme packed with cooking demos and tasting sessions with the greatest chefs, winemakers and spirit producers from across the globe, alongside unique opportunities like learning techniques from renowned chefs. All net proceeds from NYCWFF are donated to hunger relief charities Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, which NYCWFF has raised over $7million for since the first festival in 2008.

Venues across New York City, NY, USA

Food Network’s New York City Wine and Food Festival
© New York City Wine and Food Festival

American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe at Whitney Museum of American Art

Until 19 October

Organised by the Whitney Museum’s resident curator and art historian Barbara Haskell, American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe is a showcase of the museum’s collection of masterpieces created during the first half of the 20th century and post-war years. Among the collection of modern art are works by abstract artist Georgia O’Keeffe, dubbed the ‘mother of American Modernism’, including Summer Days (1936), evocative of her beloved New Mexico, and the sensual Flower Abstraction (1924). Vivid imagery of modern America is present in works by photographer William Eggleston, widely considered as legitimating colour photography as a worthy artistic medium, while Italian-born American Futurist Joseph Stella’s paintings evoke New York City’s industrial past. Artworks by pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, modernist painter Stuart Davis and sculptor Elie Nadelman are among the many on display.

Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA