5 Free Events: Ailey streams, ‘The Opera House’ screens and more

5 Free Events: Ailey streams, ‘The Opera House’ screens and more
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Robert Battle's "Mass." Photo: Paul Kolnik.

Looking for something to do this week? Here is a selection of free events taking place in New York City and online.


“The Opera House”
When: Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern
Where: Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center; Manhattan

The Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival, slated for Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, makes its return this weekend, kicking off with Susan Froemke’s documentary “The Opera House” — a film that combines present-day interviews and archival footage to show how the Met’s home at Lincoln Center came to be. General admission is first-come, first-served for general admission and opens one hour before showtime.

Following Friday’s film screening, the festival will show a different opera each night through Sept. 2. All operas screen at Damrosch Park at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Some of the productions included in the lineup are Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Philip Glass’ “Satyagraha” and Nico Muhly’s “Marnie.”


Opening Celebration: “The Obama Portraits Tour”
When: Aug. 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern
Where: Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn

The Obamas are in town — in portrait form, that is! To celebrate the opening of “The Obama Portraits Tour,” the Brooklyn Museum is hosting an outdoor event filled with music, art-making and poetry. Musical talent includes Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber and DJ Niara Sterling. In partnership with Cave Canem, poets Kyle Carrero Lopez, Nkosi Nkululeko and celeste doaks will read works. There will also be a community project with Souls In Focus, art-making with Cool Culture and snacks on-hand via the Brooklyn Pop-Up Market.

Admission to the event is free, but RSVP is required. Guests over the age of 12 must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a valid I.D., and masks will be required of all visitors.


Learn Hula at Queensboro Dance Festival’s Summer Sundays
When: Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. Eastern
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park; Queens

Have you always wanted to learn how to hula dance? Teacher Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuiok will be on hand at Socrates Sculpture Park this Sunday for a family-friendly class. The event is presented as part of the Queensboro Dance Festival‘s summer tour of performances and classes.


“NYC FREE” Week Three
When: Through Aug. 29
Where: Little Island; Manhattan

The “NYC FREE” festival from Little Island is now in its third week, and there are still plenty of performances to check out. While most of the slated programming can be enjoyed by anyone who arrives to the park via a free timed-entry ticket, separate reservations for shows held in the amphitheater are required.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: “Ella” and “Mass”
When: Streams until 7 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 7
Where: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater website and YouTube channel

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s virtual program “Ailey All Access” is back with a new lineup of performances for this fall. The series began its programming Aug. 25 with the works “Ella” and “Mass,” presented in celebration of Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle’s 10th anniversary. The stream will be available on-demand until 7 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 7.

Top Image: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Robert Battle's "Mass." Photo: Paul Kolnik.