Central Park in New York: Concerts and events

Fill your calendar with outdoor activities in Central Park in New York, including SummerStage concerts and Shakespeare in the Park performances.

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Central Park in New York: SummerStage

Central Park in New York: SummerStage Photograph: John Klemm


Come summertime, Central Park is abuzz with a staggering amount of summer events: SummerStage concerts, the free Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, comedy shows, rooftop poetry readings, Shakespeare in the Park, classical concerts, the New York Phil…. We could go on, but instead we've organized every event by date in the list below. So whether you're looking for something to do today, this weekend or next month, you can easily find what you want.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Central Park in New York  


"Now You See It: Photography and Concealment"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Met digs into its collection for this show of vintage and contemporary photos and video with the aim of exploring how the camera can hide as well as reveal subject matter. The roster of contributors includes Vera Lutter, Taryn Simon, Diane Arbus and Weegee, among others.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Mon Sep 1
More info

"The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

An examination of this fascinating moment in 19th-century British art, when a group of young painters, reacting to the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution, turned to medieval and early Renaissance art as the spur for their own work, taking solace in a romanticized past.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Sun Oct 26
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Amie Siegel, Provenance

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

In the early 1950s, a newly independent India commissioned Le Corbusier to design a city, Chandigarh, as a regional administrative center in the northern part of the country. The institutional buildings he created with other modernist architects were outfitted with functional furniture (designed by his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret), that has become collectible in Europe and the United States. Provenance, Amie Siegel’s slow-paced, engrossing HD video, traces this narrative of objects in reverse. Using long takes, ambient sound and no voiceover, she starts with shots of midcentury chairs, tables, stools, desks and sofas ensconced in tony New York apartments and offices, and on a luxury yacht. The images unfold in time through auction houses, photographers’ and restorers’ studios, warehouses and shipping containers, then back to Chandigarh itself, where the furniture lies broken and discarded or stacked in abandoned rooms in aging Brutalist edifices. Siegel’s work, as we might expect, has more in mind than an anecdote in the history of taste; the artist’s reticent recounting of the saga of Jeanneret’s unlovely furnishings reveals itself over time as a contemplation of the trickle-up mechanics of globalism. Lot 248, a second, shorter video, documents the 2013 auction of a copy of Provenance at Christie’s in London. Bidding occurs fitfully; the hammer falls at a respectable 42,000 pounds. Siegel neatly inserts her own work as a conceptual double into the same circuits that govern the

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Wed Dec 31
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Garry Winogrand

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This is the first retrospective in 25 years of Winogrand, a member of the legendary generation of American street photographers who got their start in New York before fanning out across the country to document postwar life. Winogrand, who has a keen eye for the absurd, captured subjects up and down the social ladder, from ordinary pedestrians to celebrities, in a dynamic, vibrant style.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Sun Sep 21
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Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #370

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

In this particular mural, Lewitt (1928–2007) creates an Op-py Pop-y meditation in black-and-white on the basic geometric triad of square, circle and triangle. As always, the piece was executed on-site by a crew following a set of the artist's instructions.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Mon Sep 29
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Barefoot Shakespeare Company presents this rarely produced comedy, in which two best friends find themselves at odds over their chosen loves. Rob Sniffin directs.

  1. midpark, at 69th St
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Sat Aug 23
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12th Annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival

  • Free

Midpark at 69th St, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St. This series camps out in a spot just north of Sheep Meadow for five nights straight, and this year's theme celebrates movies filmed right here in New York City. First, see Big (Aug 18), followed by The Royal Tenenbaums (Aug 19), The Way We Were (Aug 20), Ghostbusters (Aug 21) and Rear Window (Aug 22). All ages.

  1. Central Park 59th St to 110th St, between Fifth and Eighth Aves
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Fri Aug 22
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"The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham with Günther Vogt"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Graham, a pioneer of video and conceptual art, has spent the past 25 years or so creating elegant pavilions of glass and steel (and sometimes mirrors) in rural and urban outdoor settings. Similar to the architectural follies that grace formal gardens—albeit with a phenomenological bent—these structures are meant to explore the relationship between the individual and the public space. Here, in an echo of sprawling Central Park below, Graham collaborates with Swiss landscape artist Günther Vogt to site the latest such project within its own greensward on the Met's roof.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Mon Nov 3
More info

”Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe”

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Painting, sculpture, architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, music, theater and performance—Italian Futurism encompassed all of these and more, as one of the most dynamic, controversial and unpredictable movements in early modern art. More so than their Cubist contemporaries in Paris, the artists of Futurism celebrated the revolutionary furor and breakneck technological pace of life in the nascent 20th century, embracing its contradictions and its frequent descents into violence. This expansive overview is the first undertaking of its kind in the United States, and should prove an eye-opener.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Aug 22 - Mon Sep 1
More info

"Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today"

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The entire notion of lumping together art from more than 20 countries on two continents under the Latin American rubric is problematic to begin with, and in this exhibition of new acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s collection, it mostly serves as a marketing tool. This selection of works by some 40 artists, organized into six nebulous “themes” by Mexican curator Pablo León de la Barra, never really coheres; worse, it provides little artistic excitement or surprise. Too many of the works employ an art-school lingua franca: A simpleminded, toothless conceptual language that gestures vaguely at larger issues. Wall labels spelling out the meanings of, say, Adriano Costa’s gold-painted towels, or Carlos Amorales’s hanging mobile of cymbals that visitors can bang, certainly don’t help. Interestingly, two installations by older, longtime New Yorkers prove the most affecting works here. Juan Downey’s The Circle of Fires (1979), a two-channel video installation arranged in a circle of inward-facing monitors, features footage of the Yanomami Indians in the Venezuelan Amazon shot by the subjects themselves, creating a mesmerizingly lyrical portrait. In Luis Camnitzer’s minimalist light show, Art History Lesson No. 6 (2000), haphazardly placed, empty slide projectors cast illuminated quadrilaterals onto Plexiglas sheets attached to the walls. A glossy presentation of nothing, it embodies a pedagogy of absence, suggesting a piquant, if unintentional, comment on the show.—Joseph R. Wolin

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Aug 22 - Wed Oct 1
More info

"Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Aug 22 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Central Park Skate Circle

  • Free

The Central Park Dance Skater Association’s weekend get-togethers have been a fixture on the park's calendar for decades. Bring your own quads—or rent from the nearby Skate Truck (skatetrucknyc.com)—and bust a move to throwback R&B, house, dance and Top 40 music spun by a rotating roster of local DJs. For those who don’t skate, there’s space to groove on foot without colliding with those on wheels, or just watch the old hands do their thing.

  1. Central Park Skate Circle midpark, enter at Central Park West and W 72nd St or Fifth Ave and E 72nd St
  2. Sat Aug 23 - Sun Oct 12
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Aug 23
More info

SummerStage & Fania Records present: Armada Fania

  • Free

Legendary salsa pioneer and famed Latin-music label Fania wraps up its summer-long 50th-anniversary celebrations with a big ol' dance party in Central Park, featuring Sacred Rhythms' Joe Claussell, Boston DJ/producer duo Whiskey Barons and crate-digger supreme (and all-around scene polymath) Bobbito García.

  1. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield Enter park at Fifth Ave , at 69th St
  2. Sun Aug 24
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"Tomorrow's World: The New York World's Fairs"

  • Free

New York City is celebrating the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World's Fair. Did you get them a card? We kid. There are exhibits all over the city showing vintage images from the Parks Photo Archive as well as many more from various private collections. You'll learn a ton about the way our city grew up. Did you know Central Park was pretty much a disused wasteland until 1939? You do now. And you'll learn a lot more if you go to "Tomorrow's World."

  1. Arsenal Gallery in Central Park 830 Fifth Ave, at 64th St, third floor
  2. Wed Aug 27
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Aug 30
More info
  1. Central Park, at 81st St
  2. Fri Sep 5 - Sun Sep 7
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Sep 6
More info

Spoon

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

During a wildly acclaimed 20-year career, Britt Daniel & Co. have risen far beyond their roots as indie-rock underdogs. "Rent I Pay," the sassy, driving lead single from the new They Want My Soul, finds the Austin institution in a comfortable, unmistakably Spoon-y groove.

  1. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield Enter park at Fifth Ave , at 69th St
  2. Wed Sep 10
More info

Chromeo + Big Freedia

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Canadian duo Chromeo hits the stage for a live set of super fun (and enjoyably cheesy at times) electronic R&B stylings, playing from its recent album, White Women. Starting the show is booty-shaking extroardinaire Big Freedia, NOLA's biggest and best "sissy bounce" performer.

  1. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield Enter park at Fifth Ave , at 69th St
  2. Fri Sep 12
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Sep 13
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Sep 20
More info

Broken Bells + Hamilton Leithauser

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Broken Bells—the band co-led by Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse, and Shins singer James Mercer—takes the stage in the wake of its sophomore effort, After the Disco. The group isn't winning any awards for compelling stage presence, but its lush, dancey pop is so damn enchanting you'll hardly notice. Charismatic Walkmen crooner Hamilton Leithauser opens, performing cuts from his solo debut, Black Hours.

  1. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield Enter park at Fifth Ave , at 69th St
  2. Fri Sep 26
More info

Global Citizen Festival 2014

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Returning for a third year with another big bash in Central Park, Global Citizen allows you to earn your way in to catch a starry bill—Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., the Roots and Tiësto—by performing civic-minded acts, with a goal of eliminating extreme poverty around the globe by 2030. (Or you can, you know, shell out big bucks for VIP tix.) Get started by visiting globalcitizen.org.

  1. Central Park, Great Lawn midpark, from 79th to 85th Sts
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info

Central Park Tango

Practice your Argentine tango in the park every summer Saturday. Hosted by New York Tango, this weekly event—now in its 18th season—features open dancing for all skill levels and includes a beginner lesson at approximately 7:30pm.

  1. Literary Walk (in Central Park) 66th to 72nd Sts,, enter park at 65th St on the East or West Sides
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info


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