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June 20, 2024

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Art, Culture and History buff’s guide to NYC in 2024

In New York City, there’s always something special in the air, but this year, it’s all about the art and culture scene. From the bright marquees on Broadway to the galleries of iconic museums, 2024 is shaping up to be a standout year for creativity in the city that never sleeps. With Broadway marquees lighting up the night, museums hosting captivating exhibitions, and galleries showcasing groundbreaking works, there is an undeniable energy in the air. Whether you’re a seasoned art lover, curious about the cultural scene, or have been contemplating that trip to NYC for years, now is the time; there’s something for everyone in the Big Apple this year. Read more to know about new art, culture and history related activities and destinations in New York this year.

Broadway and NYC Cultural Programs

NYC Broadway Week + NYC Off-Broadway Week + It’s Time for Culture

For the theatre kids who have spent years watching shaky bootleg clips of their favourite musicals, 2024 is the year you have been waiting for with bated breath. This fall, the Big Apple invites visitors and locals to experience special arts and culture programming, including ‘NYC Broadway Week’ and ‘NYC Off-Broadway Week’. The biannual ‘NYC Broadway Week’ ended its first run of the year in the spring and prepares to return on September 3th to 15th for another go at theatre, music and drama. Together, along with the annual ‘NYC Off-Broadway Week’ to be held later on in the fall, Broadway Week offers 2-for-1 tickets to some of the most popular shows on stage this season. Moreover, ‘It’s Time for Culture’ by New York City Tourism + Conventions returns alongside these two theatrical events from October 8th to 27th in partnership with Bloomberg Connects to showcase the diverse offerings of New York City’s cultural landscape.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism

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The MET, contrary to popular knowledge, brings more than just the famous (and infamous) MET gala each year. The gala in fact, is an event held with the primary purpose to fund the museum all year round, aimed at breathing bigger and better lives into the city’s art scene. Running until July 28th, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting ‘The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism’, an exhibition exploring how Black artists portrayed everyday life in the “new Black cities” in Harlem and across the United States during the 1920s–40s. Featuring 160 works including painting, sculpture, photography, film and ephemera, the exhibit highlights the burst of artistic creativity as a result of the Great Migration of Black people from the South, known as the Harlem Renaissance. Works from artists like Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, Charles Alston and Meta Warrick Fuller who drastically altered the modern Black subject’s representation in art will be displayed at the MET,  juxtaposed with European counterparts such as Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch and Henri Matisse.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Biennial 2024 

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The Whitney Museum of American Art has unveiled its much-anticipated ‘Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing’, marking the 81st iteration of this iconic exhibition series. Featuring 69 artists and two collectives, this edition, already open and running through August 11th, traces its origins to the museum’s early years of displaying thousands of artists over the past century. The Biennial’s subtitle, ‘Even Better Than the Real Thing’, reflects on the complexities of contemporary life, acknowledging the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in shaping our understanding of reality. It confronts the rhetoric surrounding gender and authenticity, striving to amplify the voices of marginalised communities and challenge societal norms. Accompanied by film and performance programs curated by a team of esteemed artists and scholars, the 2024 Whitney Biennial promises a provocative yet intimate experience, inviting viewers to engage with difficult ideas and embrace the transformative power of contemporary art.

New York Botanical Garden

Wonderland: Curious Nature

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Through its imaginative world building and whimsical characters, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ has lent itself wondrously to visual mediums, prompting vibrant portraits of his tale by many in the art space Dali’s 1969 ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ series and Tim Burton’s more recent ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film are two notable testaments to this literary work’s creative confluence with art and design. Now, at the Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden, the ‘Wonderland: Curious Nature’ exhibit welcomes the public to experience the surreal Wonderland journey firsthand.  From May 18th to October 27th, visitors are invited to follow iconic characters through whimsical scenes in the garden and explore immersive installations and horticultural displays around and beyond the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory featuring installations from renowned artists including the likes of Yoko Ono, Alyson Shotz, Abelardo Morell and more. The exhibit extends across the grounds, takes in a range of public programs and includes special culinary treats at the garden’s restaurants, cafes and pop-ups.

The Morgan Library & Museum

Multiple Art Exhibitions: Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature + Franz Kafka & many more

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As the Morgan Library & Museum celebrates its 100th year since its establishment as a public institution by Jack Morgan, the museum located in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighbourhood, has unveiled and plans to showcase a number of exciting exhibitions. From February 23rd to June 9th, the ‘Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature’ exhibit brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artefacts from coveted archives in England, to trace how Beatrix Potter’s innovative blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children’s books. Then, later in the year, from November 22nd to April 13th 2025, the ‘Franz Kafka’ exhibit presents, for the first time in the United States, extraordinary holdings of literary manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, and photographs related to Kafka, including the original manuscript of his novella ‘The Metamorphosis’ among others.

Other exhibits at the Morgan this year are:

  • ‘Seen Together: Acquisitions in Photography’ (January 16th to May 26th)
  • ‘Walton Ford: Birds and Beasts of the Studio’ (April 12th to October 6th)
  • ‘Liberty to the Imagination: Drawings from the Eveillard Gift’ (June 7th to October 6th)
  • ‘Crafting the Ballets Russes: The Robert Owen Lehman Collection’ (June 28th to September 22nd)
  • ‘Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy’ (October 25th to May 4th 2025).

 

Brooklyn Museum

Multiple Art Exhibitions and Events: The Brooklyn Artists Exhibition + Solid Gold & many more

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Since its inception in 1824, the Brooklyn Museum has become a global cultural center, driven by the innovative spirit of its borough. As it celebrates two centuries of groundbreaking initiatives, the museum invites audiences to explore special exhibitions and events showcasing its vibrant artistic community right through 2025. These include the launch of new immersive exhibitions, classic Brooklyn exhibits revamped and ceremonies to honour the recent acquisitions of the museum. From October 4th to January 26th 2025, ‘The Brooklyn Artists Exhibition’ will spotlight Brooklyn artists, reflecting the range of creativity in the borough. Following suit from November 15th to May 4th 2025, the immersive ‘Solid Gold’ will combines showpieces illuminating gold has a symbol of beauty, honour, joy, ritual, spirituality, success, and wealth throughout history. Notably, the museum boasts an in-residence composer, Niles Luther, who scores music for various exhibitions and artwork on-site, making it the only museum in the United States to offer such an immersive experience. Visitors can expect a year of discovery and celebration in honour of its bicentennial—kicking off with a 200th ‘Birthday Bash’ on October 5 of this year.

Other exhibits and events at the Brooklyn Museum are:

  • ‘Reinstallation of American Art Galleries’ (October 4th onwards)
  • ‘Gifts of Art in Honour of the 200th’ (February 28th 2025 onwards)
  • ‘Brooklyn Made’ (February 28th 2025 onwards)
  • ‘Building the Brooklyn Museum and Its Collection’ (February 28th 2025 onwards)
  • ‘Museum on Wheels’ Pilot (July) and Launch (April 2025)

Performance Art and Concerts

Apollo’s Victoria Theatre + Brooklyn Paramount

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New performing arts offerings are revitalising New York City’s cultural landscape with the expansion of iconic venues and the emergence of new stages. The historic Apollo Theatre recently debuted the Victoria Theatre, its first expansion in 90 years, which introduced two new stages promising a diverse lineup including Alex Harsley, Stefon Harris and David Hammons. Thanks to generous support from The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, all tickets to Apollo-presented programming in those spaces will be capped at $20. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the newly restored Brooklyn Paramount, previously a move theatre and then a concert hall hosting legends like Ella Fitzgerald, has been recently renovated to feature various shows and acclaimed acts like Sting, Liam Gallagher, Suki Waterhouse, Norah Jones and many more in its 2024 lineup.

The Stonewall Inn

Multiple Events: Visitor Center + Miss Stonewall 2024 + Annual Tony Party & many more

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New York City stands strong as the birthplace of the Western LGBTQ+ movement where the Martha P. Johnson fought at the front lines of the Stonewall rebellion. The Stonewall Inn, site of the historic 1969 riots, continues to be as a symbol of resilience and is soon to be complemented by a dedicated visitor center opening in June 2024 making it the first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. Though the visitor centre is a new addition to the space, events at Stonewall Inn have long become a hotspot for lively events and parties, transforming a space once marked by violence and hatred, into one of celebration and togetherness. On June 2nd, Stonewall Inn will host a Miss Stonewall 2024, a party to kick off pride month. Then, on June 16th, the Annual Tony Party will include a viewing party of the Tony Awards along with live performances.

Richard Rodgers Theatre

Hamilton the Musical

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The groundbreaking Broadway sensation, Hamilton, created by the Grammy and Tony award winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, celebrates its 10th anniversary at Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2025. The show, which follows the rise of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton as he creates a legacy that would shape the course of New York City as well as the nation, boasts various accolades including 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. Seamlessly blending hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, the musical continues to captivate audiences, offering a fresh perspective on American history.

Zara Flavia Dmello

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