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Art and Film Festivals Galore Make Up May’s Events

Art and Film Festivals Galore Make Up May’s Events

May brings art, theatre, music, film festivals and free entertainment into full swing. Here are T2C’s picks for May.

5/5 Visit 100 bicycle and accessory exhibitors, and attend biking presentations and classes at Bike Expo New York at Pier 12 in Red Hook. Free. [Do not confuse with NYC Bike Expo, May 18 & 19.]

5/5 – 6, Cat lovers are invited to Cat Camp to shop from vendors, meet adoptable cats, learn about cats, and “discuss some of the most important and challenging problems facing cats today” at Penn Plaza Pavilion.

5/ 5 – 6 See a diverse collection of boundary-pushing nonfiction films at Art of the Real at Lincoln Center.

5/ 5 – 6 Dusty Film & Animation Festival screens 50 films made by students at SVA Theatre. Free.

5/ 5 – 6 Superfine promises 75 “galleries and artists at the cutting edge of emerging contemporary art, with an array of price points friendly to even the most novice collector” at 459 W. 14th Street. Tours & parties too.

5/ 5 – 6 New York Polish Film Festival screens feature films, shorts, and documentaries, which all have English subtitles at Anthology Film Archives. At Directors Guild Of America Theatre.

5/ 5 – 6 Harlem International Film Festival screens 75 features, documentaries, shorts, youth projects, and animated works from 25 different countries, and it includes panel discussions and awards.

5/ 5 – 6 Based in London, The Other Art Fair “leads the way in uncovering and nurturing new and innovative creative talent” exhibiting works by 120 emerging artists at the Brooklyn Expo Center.

5/5 – 6 Shop for art from 190 galleries, attend talks, and mingle with art-world celebrities at Frieze New York in tents at Randall’s Island Park.

5/ 5 – 8 See exceptional modern and contemporary art from international galleries at TEFAF New York Spring at Park Avenue Armory.

5/5 – 12 Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF) showcases urban artists and promotes diversity, featuring music (April 7), creative plays (April 13-28), poetry (May 5), and films (May 8-12).

5/ 5 – Sept. 9 Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

5/ 7 – 13 NYC Independent Film Festival celebrates the independent filmmaker with screenings, panels, and parties at the Producers Club.

5/ 9 – 20 FuerzaFest includes films, short plays, dance, panel discussions, networking events, and art exhibitions.

5/ 10 TechDay is a giant science fair with 400 exhibitors, including innovative startups at Pier 94. Free.

5/ 11 – 13 Columbia University Film Festival premieres short films, feature screenplays, and teleplays created by graduate MFA students of Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program at Lincoln Center.

5/12 Throw brightly colored powder, dance to live music, and buy Indian food to celebrate spring at Holi Hai festival at Governors Island. Buy non-toxic color online or onsite, don’t bring your own. Free entry.

5/ 13 Japan Day @ Central Park includes dance performances, music, calligraphy, origami, and food tents at Central Park Bandshell. Free.

5/14, 2018 (7 to 9 p.m.) Taste eight different plant-based burgers and vote for your favorite at the $25 The Burger Supremacy, which includes chips, salsa, and drink specials at Vspot Organic, 12 Saint Mark’s Place.

5/ 16 Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so arrive early.

5/ 16 – 22 New York African Film Festival screens both new and classic African cinema, with a special focus on intergenerational discourse, featuring works by women and younger generations.

5/ 18 – 19 New York Guitar Festival features familiar and influential guitarists plus new talent and new sounds. In 2018, it focuses on The Sounds of Spain.

5/ 18 – 19 Join 10,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at Penn Plaza Pavilion. Free admission and secure bike check. [Do not confuse with Bike Expo New York, May 4 & 5.]

5/ 18 – 19 Sample restaurant food, and taste wine, beer, and cocktails under a tent at Taste of the Upper West Side at Columbus Avenue & West 77th Street.

5/ 19 Watch colorful dancers perform ballet, break dance, disco, hula, and samba in the 1 p.m. Dance Parade beginning at Broadway & 21st Street and ending at DanceFest in Tompkins Park from 3 to 7 p.m. Free.

5/ 19 (1 to 6 p.m.) Texas Chili Cook-off serves chili, beer, and a band, rain or shine at Boat Basin Cafe.

5/ 19, 2018 (12 to 5 p.m.) Essex Street Market – Block Party has 15 food vendors, pushcarts, live music, and kids’ activities on Essex Street (from Delancey to Rivington). Free.

World block party

5/ 19, 2018 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) East Harlem’s Ethnic Festival has music, dance, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and children’s activities on E. 104th Street (from 2nd to 3rd Avenue). Free.

5/ 19, 2018 (12 to 6 p.m.)New York City Multicultural Festival [sound] promises diverse cultural music, dance, food, fashion, and a kids’ area on St. Nicholas Avenue (from 141st to 145th). Free.

Beer festival

5/ 19 – 20 Ninth Avenue International Food Festival features food from around the world, international music and dance, artists and vendors, and children’s rides and games on 9th Avenue (42nd to 57th). Free entry.

5/ 19 – 20 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival features food samples and meals from vegetarian restaurants, health and wellness vendors, vegetarian and animal-welfare groups, and talks and shows at Metropolitan Pavilion.

5/ 19 – 20 Attend screenings, discussions, and jams with movie, TV, and music icons at the Vulture Festival [sound], mostly at Milk Studios and run by Vulture, the culture and entertainment brand of New York Magazine.

5/ 20 (12:30 to 5:30 p.m.) A ticket to Ultimate Grand Tasting (highlight of Harlem EatUp!) gets you unlimited food tastes and samples of wine, beer, and cocktails, plus entertainment and a marketplace at Morningside Park for age 21+.

5/ 23 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is a showcase for 800 exhibitors from May 20 – 23, 2018, and the public can buy tickets to attend on the last day in Jacob Javits Convention Center.

5/ 23 – 29 Tour ships, hear concerts, watch demonstrations, and see military displays during Fleet Week, which begins with a parade of ships on May 23. Tours require ID if you are age 18+. Free.

5/ 25 – 27 Lower East Side Festival of the Arts features dance, film, music, poetry, theater, and visual art at the Theater for the New City. Free.

5/ 25 – 28 DanceAfrica celebrates the dance, music, and culture of Africa at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The 2018 performances promise “a taste of the rhythm and spirit of South Africa.”

5/ 25 – Aug. 24 See free movies outdoors at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Arrive early.

5/ 26 152nd Street Cultural Festival celebrates Puerto Rican culture with live music, dancing, comedy, art and food vendors, celebrity appearances, and a children’s pavilion with storytelling, face painting, and crafts on 152nd Street (Jackson Ave. to Union Ave.). Free.

5/ 26 – 28 and June 2 – 3 Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit features 120 artists on the sidewalks of University Place. Repeats in Sept. Free.

5/ 27 Mamapalooza offers music, art, kids’ activities, food vendors, and crafts for mothers and the people who love them at Riverside Park South. Free.

5/ 27 (12 to 5 p.m.) Passport to Taiwan Festival features “small eats,” stage performances, craft demonstrations, exhibitors, and family activities in Union Square Park North. Free.

5/ 27 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) The Loisaida Festival is a family friendly event with music, shows, and vendors on Losaida Avenue. It begins with a community parade at 11 a.m. Free.

5/ 29 – June 3 Attend dozens of world-class lectures, films, and events on science and innovation during World Science Festival.

5/ 29 – Aug. 19 Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, get free tickets by joining a lottery or waiting in line.

May 29 to June 24 – Othello

July 17 to Aug. 19 – Twelfth Night

5/ 30 – June 1 Book Expo America includes hundreds of exhibitors, author lectures and breakfasts, autographing events, and publishing-industry sessions at Javits Center.

5/ 30 – June 30 See hundreds of art exhibitions, open studios (June 9 & 16), concerts, dance and literary events at Uptown Arts Stroll in Northern Manhattan. Free.

5/ 31 – June 6 See Italian life and culture as presented by a new generation of Italian filmmakers at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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