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 28 - 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 28 - Sun Oct 26
More info

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 28 - Sun Jan 4
More info

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 28 - Sun Sep 21
More info

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 28 - Mon Sep 29
More info

"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 28 - 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 29 - 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 29 - 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 29 - 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 30 - 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 30
More info

The Winter's Tale

  • Critics choice

Tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up only on the day of performance after noon at the Delacorte Theater. A limited number of tickets are also distributed via online lottery; see website for details. After an enchanting debut with last year's The Tempest, the Public Theater's huge-scaled Public Works division returns to take on Shakespeare's bittersweet portrait of jealousy, love and repentance. More than 200 performers from all five boroughs are involved, including delegations from New York Theatre Ballet, Rosie's Kids, DanceBrazil and Shinbone Alley Stilt Band. Lear deBessonet directs the massive undertaking, which also features original songs by Todd Almond.

  1. Central Park, enter at Central Park West and 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

Fall for Dance Festival at the Delacorte Theater

  • Critics choice

The 11th annual Fall for Dance Festival opens with two free performances in Central Park. The lineup includes Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Nacho Duato's Gnawa, New York City Ballet in William Forsythe's Herman Schmerman (Pas de Deux), Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in Jones's D-Man in the Waters (Part I), and Lil Buck, Prime Tyme, BalletX, Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Bend in the Road, a new work by Lil Buck and Damian Woetzel, with additional choreography by Matthew Neenan. Tickets (two per person) are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the show, as well as online by lottery.

  1. Delacorte Theater Central Park, enter at Central Park West and 81st St
  2. Fri Sep 12 - 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 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

"Thomas Hart Benton's America Today Mural Rediscovered"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Benton is generally known for being the crusty anti-Modernist teacher of Jackson Pollock, so it's somewhat Ironic that his epic 10-panel mural, titled America Today, was commissioned in 1930 by New York’s New School for Social Research for the boardroom of its International Style building on West 12th Street. Even more ironic is its depiction of life during the country's explosively modern Jazz Age, though the painting itself was created at the onset of the Great Depression. Nevertheless, it is a classic of the mural form, and one of Benton's masterpieces. For years, the work was installed in the lobby of the old Equitable Building on Seventh Avenue, and just recently donated to the Met by the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. It makes its debut here in its new, and presumably permanent, home.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Tue Sep 30 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This historical survey, the first of its type in the U.S., takes the measure of the postwar Zero group, which included artists from Europe, Japan, and North and South America. It was arguably the first truly global art movement, and though each participant had an individual agenda, they all pushed forms originally developed in prewar abstraction into radically new directions, often going beyond painting and sculpture to explore installation, performance and other nontraditional methods. In the bargain, their efforts anticipated Minimalism and Conceptual Art.

  1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St, 10128
  2. Fri Oct 10 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Death Becomes Her, A Century of Mourning Attire"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Widow's weeds from the Victorian and Edwardian period are given the Costume Institute survey treatment, which charts the evolution of funeral fashion from The Napoleonic Wars to World War I.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Tue Oct 21 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Cubism"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

hese 80 paintings, collages, drawings, and sculpture from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection—all promised gifts to the Met—represents the first time they have been shown in public, offering opportunity to revisit the seminal early-20th Century movement through the taste of one patron. The contributing artists comprise a mighty quartet of Braque, Gris, Léger and Picasso.   

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Tue Oct 21 - Wed Dec 31
More info


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