The Culture Lover’s June Guide

Here’s how you can get your streaming and socially distanced culture fix this month.

From Pride to Juneteenth, there’s lots to celebrate and commemorate this month. What better way to do so than through the arts and other cultural programming? The Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center will both debut powerful productions involving theater and music dedicated to honoring Black lives lost, while virtual Pride programming will include a DJ set filmed around New York City. The Obama Portraits Tour will kick off in Chicago, marking the first of its five stops, while a virtual African dance festival, in-person art shows, and a free week of Quincy Jones’s concert video streaming-hub, Qwest TV, are also on the lineup. Summer fun has officially returned.

DANCEAFRICA FESTIVAL
ALL MONTH

For its 44th anniversary, DanceAfrica, the nation’s largest African and African Diasporic dance festival, is celebrating the ancestral energy of Haiti. Artistic directed by choreographer Abdel R. Salaam, the jubilee features virtual performances by Haitian dance companies including HaitiDansco (Cap-Haïtien, Haiti), Rara Tou Limen (Oakland), Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective (Brooklyn), and The Fritzation Experience (Brooklyn). Program highlights include the demonstration of traditional dances including Yanvalou Maskawon, Banda, Nago, Petro, and Parigol. Hosted entirely online, the performances can be streamed free.

danceafrica festival 2021

Spirit WalkersPAUL BARTLETT

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THE SHED’S “OPEN CALL”
OPENING JUNE 3

On view at Manhattan arts center The Shed located in Hudson Yards, “Open Call” showcases the works of 27 early-career New York–based creatives from across all mediums. Visual and multidisciplinary works will be presented in a group exhibition, while performances incorporating dance, music, and theater will take place throughout June and July. Free of charge, the show will feature works by artists including scholar, filmmaker, and performance artist Ayanna Dozier; performer and choreographer Leslie Cuyjet; and filmmaker Simon Liu.

open call the shed

Ayanna Dozier’s Spoken Softly, 2019Performed at Evening Hours Gallery, NYCJORDAN BERNIER

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QWEST TV CELEBRATES BLACK MUSIC MONTH
JUNE 7-13

To fete Black Music Month, Comcast Xfinity is giving free access from June 7 to 13 to Quincy Jones’s Qwest TV, the music video-streaming hub featuring high-quality, archival and contemporary jazz, classical music, indie and hip-hop concert videos. It’s the only place you can watch Aretha Franklin live in Paris or the Miles Davis Quartet playing the Antibes Jazz Festival—all from the comfort of your own home. Qwest TV will also livestream the Juneteenth Unityfest on June 19 at 5 p.m. free to Comcast, Vizio, and Plex users. Hosted by Amanda Seales and JB Smoove, the concert will feature performances by Earth, Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers and Chic, and more.

quincy jones qwest tv

Quincy JonesCOURTESY OF QWEST TV

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THE OBAMA PORTRAITS TOUR
OPENING JUNE 18

Now’s your chance to see the former president and First Lady up close. The Obama Portraits Tour kicks off at the Art Institute of Chicago, marking the first of five stops it’ll make in cities across America. Showcasing the groundbreaking paintings of President Barack Obama (by Kehinde Wiley) and First Lady Michelle Obama (by Amy Sherald) commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, the tour will head to Brooklyn next, followed by Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston.

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Kehinde Wiley’s Barack Obama, 2018© KEHINDE WILEY, COURTESY OF NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

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I DREAM A DREAM THAT DREAMS BACK AT ME: A JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION
JUNE 19

In commemoration of Juneteenth, New York’s Lincoln Center is presenting an evening of music and performance art that will unfold in multiple parts. Conceived and curated by award-winning poet and artist Carl Hancock Rux, the site-specific experience begins on Hearst Plaza, where vocalists will perform original songs written by playwright Lynn Nottage recounting Harriet Tubman’s incredible efforts to rescue and bring enslaved people to freedom. The second act will star multidisciplinary artist and singer Helga Davis, who will perform a deconstructed interpretation of the National Anthem that grapples with the American ideal of freedom—and whether or not we’ve actually reached it. The third portion, set to take place in Damrosch Park, will feature music spanning rock, blues, and R&B by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely, with the event culminating in a grand performance featuring all the night’s artists. Free tickets will be made available through the TodayTix Restart Stages at Lincoln Center lottery two weeks before the show.

i dream a dream juneteenth

WILLIAM L. BURGIN

ENTER THE RAFFLE

“THE DIGITAL DIASPORA”
JUNE 19-20

“The Digital Diaspora” is a digital art exhibition at New York’s Superchief Gallery coupled with an online NFT auction that celebrates Black artists around the world, taking place Juneteenth weekend. It includes work by IX Shells, a queer Panamanian artist who recently sold an NFT for nearly $2 million—the highest-ever recorded NFT sale by a woman and the sixth highest NFT sale of all time. Proceeds will benefit the anti-racist, trans-feminist causes GLITS and herstoryDao.

the digital diaspora ix shells

IX ShellsCOURTESY THE DIGITAL DIASPORA

BID AT THE AUCTION

WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN
OPENING JUNE 20

Presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Playwrights Horizons, in association with The Movement Theatre Company, What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a play and “home-going celebration” that honors the Black lives lost as a result of racist violence, including Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and Trayvon Martin. Written by Aleshea Harris and directed by Whitney White, the production encourages discussion, reflection, and healing, and is part play, part ritual, and part cathartic dance party. It’s housed indoors at BAM Fisher in Brooklyn; tickets go on sale June 15.

what to send up

AHRON R. FOSTER

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“SOCIAL WORKS” CURATED BY ANTWAUN SARGENT
OPENING JUNE 24

Antwaun Sargent, an art writer and critic who recently joined Gagosian as a director and curator, will present his first show for the super gallery this month. Titled “Social Works,” the group exhibition centers on the ways Black artists use space as a community-building tool and a means of empowerment. It features a new sculpture by architect Sir David Adjaye OBE inspired by historic West African masterpieces such as the Tiébélé royal complex in Burkina Faso and the walled city of Agadez in Niger, and also includes works by Carrie Mae Weems, Linda Goode Bryant, Theaster Gates, Titus Kaphar, and Rick Lowe.

antwaun sargent social works

Rick Lowe’s Black Wall Street Journey #5, 2021© RICK LOWE STUDIO, COURTESY GAGOSIAN

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DANIEL GWIRTZMAN DANCE COMPANY’S DANCE WITH US
JUNE 25-27

The New York–based nonprofit performing and teaching organization Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company is celebrating the launch of its new educational digital platform, Dance with Us, by premiering a series of dance films. Hosted virtually, the program will be presented on three consecutive evenings at 7 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Daniel Gwirtzman with special guest Dante Puleio, the artistic director of the Limón Dance Company, on June 25. Along with an exclusive guided tour of the website, those who tune in will be treated to a screening of several short films, the world premieres of the Willow and Dollhouse, performed by Gwirtzman’s company members, and previews of six new dance films that will launch monthly through the end of 2021. The events are free with advance registration.

daniel gwirtzman dance company

COURTESY OF DANIEL GWIRTZMAN DANCE COMPANY

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PRIDE ISLAND
JUNE 27

Double your fun: Pride Island—the annual New York City Pride weekend celebration of music, dancing, and community—will take place in a hybrid IRL-and-digital format this year. You can book tickets for a watch party at The Greens on Pier 17 or tune in from home for the Digital Dance Party Experience. However you choose to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusivity, you’ll enjoy performances from around the city with DJ Lina Bradford followed by DJ set by Joe Gauthreau to a rolling screen of 35 years of Dance on the Pier archival footage.

pride island

Published By : Harpers Bazaar

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