Free arts and culture this week in New York City

Think you have to be a swell to soak up cultural life in the big city? Our weekly rundown of free arts events in NYC proves otherwise.

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1

Magnus Hastings, "Why Drag?"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Photographer Magnus Hastings has been lovingly documenting drag queens for more than a decade. Check out his colorful, staged portraits of Bianca Del Rio, Willam, Pusse Couture and other beloved performers, on view in the OUT's lobby all summer.

  1. The OUT NYC 510 W 42nd St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, 10036
  2. Wed Aug 20 - Tue Aug 26
More info
2

Queer Book Diorama Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History and Lambda Literary Foundation bring you this unique exhibition in which artists created dioramas inspired by notable LGBT books, including Chelsea Girls, by Eileen Myles; Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel; and Dancer from the Dance, by Andrew Holleran.

  1. New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Library 425 Sixth Ave, between Christopher and W 10th Sts
  2. Wed Aug 20 - Wed Sep 24
More info
3

"Permanency"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Leslie-Lohman exhibits more than 70 pieces recently added to its vast permanent collection of queer art. Artists whose work is on view include James Bidgood, Nan Goldin, Red Grooms, Robert Indiana, Deborah Kass, Annie Sprinkle and Arthur Tress.

  1. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, between Canal and Grand Sts
  2. Wed Aug 20 - Sun Sep 28
More info
4

"Tom, Dick and Harry: The Everyday Man Series"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

If you ran into G.I. Joe on Scruff, would you "woof" at him? Artist Robert Figueroa's installation of Polaroid-like images of dolls, on view in Leslie-Lohman's Wooster Street Window Gallery, explores how we're quick to judge people based solely on their social-media and dating-app photos.

  1. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, between Canal and Grand Sts
  2. Wed Aug 20 - Sun Sep 28
More info
5

Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Neighborhood teens who have been part of this summer's New York Writers Coalition workshop read alongside lit stars as part of the tenth annual fest. The well-known adult authors helping to encourage the kids include Vanessa Gabb, Sapphire, Danny Simmons, Angel Nafis and Willie Perdomo.

  1. Fort Greene Park Washington Park, between DeKalb and Myrtle Aves
  2. Sat Aug 23
More info
6

The Renegade Reading Series

  • Critics choice
  • Free

To celebrate its third birthday, the reading series has invited an amazing collection of writers to revisit the past and read their own high-school breakup poetry. Don't miss the angsty heartache of Elissa Schappell, Scott Cheshire, Leah Umansky, Hubert Vigilla and John Bob Proctor.

  1. Cool Pony 733 Franklin Ave, between Park and Sterling Pls, 11238
  2. Wed Aug 20
More info
8

Taste Talks with April Bloomfield

  • Free

Renowned chef and Spotted Pig founder Bloomfield is joined by media leader Daniel Stedman for a lunchtime discussion about new food and drink trends and her cookbook, A Girl and Her Pig.

  1. Bryant Park Reading Room W 42nd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Wed Aug 20
More info
9

Vanessa Manko with Salman Rushdie

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Moving gracefully between Connecticut, Russia and Mexico, The Invention of Exile ruminates on the flux of home and family as one man fights to be reunited with his loved ones. Award-winning writer Rushdie joins debut novelist Manko in conversation.

  1. The powerHouse Arena 37 Main St, at Water St
  2. Mon Aug 25
More info
10

Poets After Pride

  • Free

Five immensely talented LGBT poets gather to read their recent work. Even poetry newbies won't want to miss hearing Stephen Boyer, Saeed Jones, Timothy Liu, Lonely Christopher and Robert Siek.

  1. McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
  2. Thu Aug 21
More info
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