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Arts Watch: What To Do in May

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Chalk LES will help kick off LES History Month with a a three day community-engagement project to celebrate the history of the LES. People can chalk LES sidewalks as a way to share memories, history, and images of the Lower East Side throughout the neighborhood on May 2, 3, and 4th.
Chalk LES will help kick off LES History Month with a a three day community-engagement project to celebrate the history of the LES. People can chalk LES sidewalks as a way to share memories, history, and images of the Lower East Side throughout the neighborhood on May 2, 3, and 4th.

Here’s our list of noteworthy events happening on the Lower East Side this month:

Sat. 3 – First Saturdays For Families: What is a Neighborhood? Bring the family and join New Museum educators for a special event organized in conjunction with Lower East Side History Month. The workshop explores what constitutes a neighborhood through discussions with guests, interactive drawing and collage-making.

235 Bowery // 10 a.m. // free.

Sun. 4 – Lower East Side History Month: More than 50 cultural and community groups are collaborating to launch the first annual Lower East Side History Month, a celebration of the diverse history of the neighborhood. Dozens of public events, exhibits, tours and interactive opportunities will take place at more than 30 sites. The celebration aims to connect the present to the past, exploring how history can inform and inspire the future. Special kickoff activities include a community picnic at Pier 42 with performances and activities for all ages on Sunday, May 4; plus Chalk LES, an interactive project that encourages anyone and everyone to share memories and images of the Lower East Side on the city’s pavements.

Tues. 6 – Claudia Triozzi: Boomerang or The Return to the Self at Abrons Arts Center: Triozzi investigates the idea of the self on stage, focusing primarily on feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown by asking questions about theater in a series of interviews. The event is part of DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas taking place around the city May 1 to May 18 (frenchculture.org/danse).

The Abrons event runs through May 8 // 466 Grand St. // 7:30 p.m., $15.

Thurs. 8 – Cutlog at The Clemente Soto Velez Center: Jumping in to the fray of the NYC art fair season for its second year, this underground French import features more than 50 galleries and curators presenting art, installations, performances, talks and films in a creative, architecturally designed show that takes over much of the winding interior of the center.

Through May 11 // 107 Suffolk St. // Thursday 6:00 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday through Sunday noon – midnight // $15.

Fri. 9 – NADA at Pier 36: The third edition of the New Art Dealers Association’s NYC fair pops up for three days featuring high-end rising talent and exquisite new art from around the globe. This year’s fair includes more than 85 exhibitors, live music, food trucks and cocktails on the waterfront.

Through May 11 // Pier 36, 299 South St. // Friday 2 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. // free.

Sun. 11 – Yiddishe Mamas Mother’s Day Walking Tour at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Start a new family tradition this Mother’s Day and discover your roots. Follow in the footsteps of beloved balabustas, freethinking feminists and turn-of-the-century working girls, then indulge in homemade rugelach, bagels and coffee. All food served is kosher.

12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // RSVP required, $25.

Thurs. 15 – Making Space for Downtown Dreams at University Settlement: The settlement house fundraiser presents a showcase of emerging talent from their local youth organizations, celebrating transformational change ignited by the arts in the LES community. Higher-tiered tickets include an exclusive after-party in a landmarked synagogue, now the studio of artist Hale Gurland.

184 Eldridge St.// 6:30 p.m., //$75 – $175.

Fri. 23 – Rickie Lee Jones at Joe’s Pub: The rock legend and two-time Grammy winner returns for a preview of an upcoming album of new work, her first in over a decade. Known for her amazing, confessional live performances, be prepared to hear a mix of rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul and jazz standards.Jones’ latest album, The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper, is a collection of covers reimagining the music of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Neil Young and more.

425 Lafayette St. // 9:30 p.m. // $60.

Sat. 24 – Governor’s Island Opening Day: For the first time, the car-free island will be open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. Enjoy 30 new acres of park, free bike mornings during the week and a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational programming–not to mention hammocks!

The ferry leaves hourly from the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., // 10 a.m.-7 p.m. // free.


Mon. 2 – The Grand Street Cooperatives – A look at the Past, Present and Future at the new Manny Cantor Center: Join The Lo-Down for a lively panel discussion centered around the Grand Street Co-ops. Moderated by Editor-in-Chief Ed Litvak, special guests will discuss the unique history of the co-ops, how the community has changed and what lies ahead for these diverse residents. Beer, kosher wine and snacks provided.

197 E. Broadway // 7 p.m. // free.

Add your own events and find more local activities, updated daily, on our Calendar here.

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