Free Access to Downtown Cultural Institutions at Second Annual Night at the Museums
NEW YORK – The Downtown Culturals Group presents the second annual “Night at the Museums,” bringing visitors and locals of Lower Manhattan unique experiences at 15 of the area’s most diverse and culturally significant institutions. The event is presented as a part of “River To River,” Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s annual summer arts festival. “Night at the Museums” takes place on Tuesday, June 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and many of the sites include special programming and tours.
Visitors of all ages can spend a summer evening immersed in New York City’s history, explore what makes the United States unique, discover new cultures and heritages, take a walking tour of the area, or stop for refreshments, including restaurants offering special “Night at the Museums” discounts. All museums and historical sites are within walking distance from one another. Lower Manhattan offers one of the most diverse and concentrated groups of museums in the world.
The participating institutions will issue a special Night at the Museums Passport for the event, available at each venue that evening. It will provide a map of the area and information about the museums and historical sites to help visitors plan their evening. This handy brochure will entitle visitors to special discounts valid through the summer on museum admission and other services depending upon the location.
All activities are free but some require tickets or advance reservation: The National September 11 Memorial Museum tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the museum starting at 4 p.m. Walking tours offered by the 9/11 Tribute Center and Wall Street Walks require advance reservation and a limited number of tickets will be available for walk-ups. See details below and on the NATM website.
For more information, visit NightAtTheMuseums.org or RiverToRiverNYC.com.
Participating museums and historical sites are:
African Burial Ground National Monument is dedicated to teaching about Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. Visitors will be able to tour the museum, view the film “Our Time At Last,” and speak to National Park Service rangers about the history of the site from its creation through its rediscovery to its designation as a national park.
The Anne Frank Center USA, a partner of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, educates and inspires visitors through the diary, spirit, and legacy of Anne Frank. A permanent exhibition enables visitors to learn about Anne’s world in hiding and her incredible optimism despite the chaos that was around her. Visitors can see the newly designed exhibition, “The Helpers of the Secret Annex.”
Federal Hall National Memorial serves as a museum and memorial to America’s first President and the beginnings of the United States of America. Exhibits present the history of Federal Hall, and artifacts on view include the Bible that George Washington used at his inauguration. National Park Service Ranger-led tours will be offered on the hour from 4 to 7 p.m.
Fraunces Tavern® Museum is the only museum located in Manhattan that focuses on the Colonial period, Revolutionary War, and the Early Republic. Discover just how important New York City was during the birth of our nation. Historical balladeer Linda Russell and The Tricorne Dance Ensemble will provide music and dance presentations throughout the evening.
Museum of American Finance is the nation’s only independent museum dedicated to American finance and financial history. In addition to the permanent exhibits, visitors can see special exhibits including “Legal Tender,” which consists of flag paintings on silk depicting U.S. paper currency from 1862 to the present. Visitors can take part in free tours until 7:30 p.m. on the half hour with a limit of 20 people per hour.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust offers the opportunity to explore modern Jewish history, life, and culture. Special exhibitions on view are: “Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism,” “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945,” and “A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community.” Guided tours will be offered on the hour from 4 to 7 p.m. of the Core Exhibition and “Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism.” Alicia Svigals, the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, will perform in the lobby from 4 to 8 p.m. Two talks will be given by Dr. Erik Jensen of Miami University in conjunction with the special exhibition “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945” at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
National Archives at New York City invites visitors into the Learning Center to discover and uncover the many national treasures of New York. Enjoy an Archival Adventure and pull archival facsimile treasures off the shelves. View famous signatures and other original records or discover family history research/genealogy by exploring immigrant arrivals. See the traveling exhibition of “What’s Cooking Uncle Sam: The Government’s Effect on the American Diet” and participate in family activities.
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution illuminates the diversity of Native peoples and culture from throughout the Americas. Special tours will be offered from 4 to 7 p.m. of the museum’s permanent collection, “Infinity of Nations,” as well as the celebrated exhibitions “Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family” and “Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed.” A screening of the feature film, “The Medicine Game,” about lacrosse playing brothers from the Onondaga Nation will take place at 6 p.m.
National September 11 Memorial Museum is the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events, and exploring 9/11’s continuing significance. Free admission is from 5 to 8 p.m., with the last admission two hours prior to closing. Tickets are not available in advance and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the museum starting at 4 p.m.
9/11 Tribute Center, created by the September 11th Families Association, offers visitors a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community including survivors, family members, rescuers, and first responders. Visitors learn about 9/11 through personal stories told by those who were there. Walking tours will be held every hour on the hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Pre-registration preferred at TRIBUTEWTC.ORG. Limited availability at the door.
NYC Municipal Archives Visitor Center, located in a stunning Beaux Arts building, holds New York City Government’s historical records beginning with documents deeding land to the Lady Deborah Moody in 1645. The remarkable archives include early maps of the City, drawings for the Brooklyn Bridge, designs for Central Park, and other municipal records. “The Unbuilt City” is a special exhibit for one night only. The Downtown Civic Center in Lower Manhattan was a project that was years in the planning yet never built. Artist renderings, building designs, and architectural plans will be on view.
Poets House offers something for everyone in the wide and varied tradition of verse. Visitors can peruse the 60,000-volume poetry library and see an exhibition of Walt Whitman materials. Participate in a poetry scavenger hunt: visitors will be given popular poems with several words missing and will have to find the poems in books in the extensive library. The first person to correctly complete three poems will receive a free one-year membership to Poets House. Everyone who fills in at least one poem correctly will get a special Haiku pencil, curated by poet Robert Hass.
The Skyscraper Museum, located in the world’s first and foremost vertical metropolis, celebrates New York City’s rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. The museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. At 5 p.m., take a curator’s tour with founding director Carol Willis of the museum’s special exhibition “Ten Tops.”
South Street Seaport Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the rise of New York as a port city and its critical role in the development of the United States. The museum uses its historic buildings and ships to provide interactive exhibits, education, and experiences. Explore the ships on Pier 16 and take docent-led walking tours of the historic district and the museum’s galleries. Bowne Printers will offer live demonstrations on several printing presses that date back to the middle of the 19th century.
Wall Street Walks takes visitors through the historic capital of world finance: the one-square-mile of downtown Manhattan known as “Wall Street.” Mini-Walking Tours (half-hour duration) will take place every 30 minutes, from 4 to 7.30 p.m. on June 23. Tours meet in front of 55 & 57 Wall Street and end at one of the museums or historic sites participating in Night at the Museums. Please book in advance at www.WallStreetWalks.com. Tours will fill up quickly. A small number of slots will be held for walk-ups.