5 Free Events: Scary stories, Open House New York and outdoor dance

5 Free Events: Scary stories, Open House New York and outdoor dance
PeiJu Chien-Pott in "Amaterasu." Photo by Slobodan Randjelović.

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

SHOCKTOBERFEST: “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and “A Quiet Place Part II
When: Oct. 15 and Oct. 17 at 6:15 p.m. Eastern
Where: Monsignor McGolrick Park and Cooper Park, respectively, in Brooklyn

NYC Parks and New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s “SHOCKTOBERFEST” series of spooky films continues this weekend with not one, but two scary presentations. First up, on Oct. 15 at Brooklyn’s Monsignor McGolrick Park, catch an outdoor screening of the 2019 horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” directed by André Øvredal. Then, on Oct. 17, head over to Cooper Park in Brooklyn for John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place Part II.”

If you’re looking for even more outdoor screenings with a scary tinge, we also recommend the Halloween favorite “Hocus Pocus,” screening at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx Oct. 15 at 6:50 p.m. Eastern.


Performa 2021 Biennial
When: Through Oct. 31
Where: Various locations in New York City

The Performa 2021 Biennial is underway, and this year’s calendar features live performances from by Kevin Beasley, Ericka Beckman, Sara Cwynar, Danielle Dean, Madeline Hollander, Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation), Tschabalala Self and Shikeith. Slated to be performed mostly outdoors, the entire series is free and is centered on “New York City as it re-emerges from the prolonged trauma of the pandemic that has radically altered our way of life, affecting the larger social infrastructure as well as the everyday details of our day-to-day existence,” according to a press release.

This weekend’s programming includes presentations from Kevin Beasley (Oct. 14 through Oct. 16) and Sara Cwynar (Oct. 15 through Oct. 17). A full schedule of performances, including ways to watch virtually, can be found on the Performa website.


Hispanic Heritage Month With Ballet Hispánico
When: Through Oct. 15
Where: Online via the Ballet Hispánico Facebook and YouTube pages

Ballet Hispánico wraps up its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a conversation about the past, present and future of the company. Artistic director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro will join Latinx artists for the Oct. 15 discussion, presented as part of the “Diálogos” series.

The company’s events kicked off Oct. 1 with the virtual block party “A La Calle Block,” which is available to stream through Oct. 15. The program includes excerpts from “Arabesque” by Vicente Nebrada, “Danse Creole” by Geoffrey Holderand and “18+1” by Gustavo Ramírez Sansan, in addition to performances from School of Dance students and Latinx dance companies.


Open House New York
When: Oct. 16 and 17
Where: Various locations in New York City

Open House New York Weekend is back, with cultural institutions across the city opening their doors to visitors. Spanning indoors and outdoors events, along with a slate of virtual offerings, the festival grants free entry to sites such as the Central Park Blockhouse, BookOps Sorting Facility, the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage and many more.


“Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island”
When: Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern
Where: Nolan Park; Governors Island

Catch the final performance of choreographer and MoveOpolis! Artistic Director Richard Move’s “Herstory of the Universe,” staged across Governors Island in six site-specific dances.

“Each performance is inspired by, and in conversation with, its unique site, including the ecosystems, architectures, materials and species that dwell within,” reads a description of the “Herstory.” “From the abstract to the fantastical, the work will embody various biological and natural processes in a kind of biomimicry — telling the stories of Governors Island through a series of kinetic, strikingly costumed dance installations.”

The work is performed by Megumi Eda, Robyn Cascio, Lisa Giobbi with Yoni Kallai, Celeste Hastings, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Natasha M. Diamond-Walker and Gabrielle Willis. Costume design is by Karen Young. The rain date for the event is Oct. 17.

Bonus: While you’re on Governors Island, pop over to the LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council)’s Arts Center for the final installment of the “Take Care Series.” Visitors will be able to check out open studios with Arts Center artists-in-residence, a conversation with poet Asiya Wadud, exhibitions by artists Meg Webster and Onyedika Chuke, and more from 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.

Top Image: PeiJu Chien-Pott in "Amaterasu." Photo by Slobodan Randjelović. ["Herstory of the Universe" at Governors Island]