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Experience Summer Fun with Free Festivals Citywide

A video and performance art festival will take place on Staten Island's waterfront. Photo courtesy of Paul Moakley.

June 5, 2012 - Free movie, music and art festivals make New York City one of the most exciting places to spend the summer for vacationers and staycationers alike. Ranging from the third annual LUMEN Festival, which will bathe the industrial Staten Island waterfront in light installations, to the unstoppable Make Music New York festival, which draws New Yorkers into our City’s extraordinary public spaces for over 1,000 concerts on the first day of summer each year, this June, New York will reward those who don’t mind treating art appreciation as a communal experience.

Bronx Culture Trolley
Bronx Council on the Arts
Wednesday, June 6
Run by the Bronx Council on the Arts, catch the trolley on the first Wednesday evening of each month at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, on the campus of Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse. The trolley departs at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30pm for other venues in the South Bronx Cultural Corridor including the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos College, Pregones Theater and the Bronx Museum of Art. The Bronx Culture Trolley vehicle is wheelchair accessible. 5pm – 8:30pm. Starts at Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx. Free. For additional details, visit

Celebrate Brooklyn!
BRIC Arts|Media|Bklyn
Tuesday, June 5 – Saturday August 11
In 1979, Celebrate Brooklyn! started as an attempt to revitalize Prospect Park. Today it is the longest running festival in New York City and one of the most prominent summer celebrations in the City for people of all ages. This summer, performances taking place at the Prospect Park Bandshell will span theatre, live music and dance with a wide range of artistic styles. Performance times vary. Prospect Park Bandshell. Free. Visit to learn more.

Talib Kweli & Screening: Brooklyn Boheme
Sunday, June 10
A concert featuring Hip Hop artist Talib Kweli will be followed by a screening of the film Brooklyn Boheme - a love letter to the vibrant African American artistic community that resided in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn during the 80s and 90s. This community of artists became a magnet for young blacks and Latinos, where they were bonded by great ambition, good times and jamming parties. Co-directed by award winning film director Diane Paragas, Brooklyn Boheme is a chronicle of that magical time. Come early to catch Brooklyn Family Day, featuring fun performances and workshops starting at 4pm. 7pm - 9:30pm. Herbert Von King Park. Free. For more details, visit

Bang on a Can Marathon
River to River Festival
Sunday, June 17
Each summer, the River to River Festival presents programs in more than 25 indoor and outdoor locations across Lower Manhattan, across the genres of music, dance, theater, visual art, film and participatory experiences. This year’s festival, featuring world-renowned and break-out artists, kicks off with the Bang on a Can Marathon. Bang on a Can celebrates 25 years with its 12-hour super-mix of innovative music from around the corner and around the globe. The 2012 Bang on a Can Marathon will feature rare performances by some of the most pioneering musicians of our time side-by-side with some of today’s newest exciting young artists. 12pm. World Financial Center Winter Garden, Manhattan. Free. Visit for more information.

Make Music New York
Thursday, June 21
Make Music New York, the largest annual day-long music event in the City’s history, returns for the sixth year with a global assortment of nearly 1,000 free concerts in public spaces across the five boroughs. In addition, on Sunday, June 24, Make Music New York will continue its weekend Punk Island tradition, with an all-day punk festival on Governors Island. All day. Citywide. Free. For a full schedule, visit

LUMEN International Video and Performance Art Festival
Saturday, June 23
LUMEN is a video and performance art festival featuring site-specific projections, new media, installations and performance art by an international group of over 50 artists. The third annual festival will take place on Staten Island’s waterfront at the site of Atlantic Salt, a company that supplies road salt to the New York region. LUMEN 2012 will feature video installations, new media projections, animation, performance art, art interventions and sound art, curated by Christopher Eamon. Events will be equipped with cargo containers that have been transformed into video screening rooms, and specially formed salt sculptures that will be used as projection screens and installation pieces. 6pm – 12am. Atlantic Salt Company, Staten Island. Free. Visit to learn more.

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