free things to do in New York City
Free events for Monday, 05/01/23
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Free Events, Free Things to Do in New York City!  Read More

Are you looking for free things to do in New York City (NYC) on May 1, 2023?

28 free events take place on Monday, May 1 in New York City. Don't miss the opportunities that only New York provides! Exciting, high quality, unique and off the beaten path free events and free things to do take place in New York today, tonight, tomorrow and each day of the year, any time of the day: whether it's a weekday or a weekend, day or night, morning or evening or afternoon, December or July, April or November! These events will take your breath away!

New York City (NYC) never ceases to amaze you with quantity and quality of its free culture and free entertainment. Check out May 1 and see for yourself. Summer or Winter, Spring or Fall! Just click on any day of the calendar above and you'll find most inspiring and entertaining free events to go to and free things to do on each day of May . Don't miss the opportunities that only New York provides!

Some events take place all year long: same day of the week, same time there are there for you to take advantage of. One of the oldest free weekly events in Manhattan is Dixieland Jazz with the Gotham Jazzmen, which happen at noon every Tuesday. Another example of an event that you can attend all year round on weekdays is Federal Reserve Bank Tour, which takes place every week day at 1 pm (but advanced reservations are required). You can take at least 13 free tours every day of the year, except the New Year Day, July 4th, and the Christmas Day. If you are classical music afficionado, you can spend whole day in New York going from one free classical concert to another. If you love theater, then New York gives you an option to attend plays and musicals free of charge, or at deep discount. You just need to have information about it. And we are here to make that information available to you.
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The quality and quantity of
free events,
free things to do
that happen in New York City
every day of the year
is truly amazing.

So don't miss the opportunities
that only New York provides:
stop wondering what to do;
start taking advantage of
free events to go to,
free things to do in NYC
today!

28 free things to do in New York City (NYC) on Monday, May 1, 2023

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Editor's Picks

free events nyc Tour of Gracie Mansion, Home of New York's Mayors
free events nyc An Eclectic Afternoon of Jazz (In Person and Online)
free events nyc Copland House and Its Musical Journeys Across America
free events nyc Art Blakey/Jazz Messenger Ensemble
More Editor's Picks for 05/01/23
        

Tour | 13 Tours, All City Neighborhoods, Any Time Of The Day, Choose One Tour Or Many


These free tours take place at various times during the day, all day long. You can make reservations for as many tours as your schedule allows. SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights + DUMBO 3 Hour Lower Manhattan Harlem Chelsea and the High Line 6 Hour Downtown Combined Greenwich Village Central Park Lower Manhattan Midtown Manhattan Grand Central Terminal Graffiti and Street Art Tours World Trade Center
   New York City, NY; NYC
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10:00 am
Free

Concert | May Morning Madrigals and More


Madrigals sung from the rooftop welcome in the month of May. Champagne buffet breakfast in the Courtyard.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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10:30 am
Free

Tour | Tour of Gracie Mansion, Home of New York's Mayors


In 1799, a prosperous New York merchant named Archibald Gracie built a country house overlooking a bend in the East River, five miles north of the then-New York City limits. Little did he know that, more than 200 years later, his home would be serving as the official residence of the First Family of New York City - a place where history is made, not merely recorded. As a historic house museum run by the Parks Department, sitting on 11 acres of grounds now known as Carl Schurz Park, Gracie Mansion has served as the home of 11 mayors, beginning first with Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia in 1942. Start times: 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm
   New York City, NY; NYC
10:30 am
Free

Workshop | Juggling in the Park


Jugglers use the park throughout the year to provide free classes to the public. Stop by for a quick lesson, stay for the whole time, or just enjoy watching them put their skills to the test. They're a friendly group and open to drop-ins, even if you catch them outside of the regular juggling lessons. All skill levels welcome. Equipment is provided.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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12:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Embodied: A Graphic Novel on Research Literacy (online)


Authors Wendy and Tyler Chin-Tanner discuss research literacy through the lens of their graphic novel.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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12:30 pm
Free

Concert | Piano in the Park


Come on by and tap your toes to The Big Apple's finest ragtime, stride, and jazz pianists around! Featuring special events and performances by distinguished musicians. Today's pianist: Todd Robbins.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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12:30 pm
Free

Discussion | War in Ukraine: Past, Present, and Future (in-person and online)


This panel will discuss the effects of the Russian invasion on Ukrainian society from political, historical, cultural, and economic perspectives. Panelists will review the findings of their pre-war research on Ukraine and will assess how the previously observed regularities and relationships might have changed as a result of the large scale invasion. The discussion will focus on the response within the Ukrainian society and international community to the ongoing challenges and the specifics of the current situation in Ukraine. The panel will also consider the wider political and socio-economic implications for Ukraine and Russia. Finally, the panel will suggest potential post-war scenarios, including but not limited to recovery and reconstruction, as well as long-term demographic, economic, and political changes. With:: -- Oleksandra Keudel, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy and Governance, Kyiv School of Economics -- Emma Mateo, Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Ukrainian Studies, Harriman Institute, Columbia University -- Arturas Rozenas, Assistant Professor of Politics -- Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Associate Professor of Sociology, National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy -- Anastasiia Vlasenko, Postdoctoral Fellow  
   New York City, NY; NYC
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12:30 pm
Free

Jazz | An Eclectic Afternoon of Jazz (In Person and Online)


Jazz concert at an intimate venue featuring Wilson/Rosnes/Washington Trio.
   New York City, NY; NYC
1:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Level Up: Live Performance and Creative Process in Grime Music (online)


With author Alex De Lacey. Grime music has been central to British youth culture since the beginning of the 21st century. Performed by MCs and DJs, it is an Afrodiasporic form that developed on street corners, on pirate radio and at raves. Level Up: Live Performance and Creative Process in Grime Music offers the first long-form ethnographic study of grime practice; it questions how and why artists do what they do; and it asks what this can tell us about creative process and improvisation more widely. Based on research conducted in London’s grime scene—facilitated by the author’s long-standing role as a DJ and broadcaster—this book explores the form’s emergence before taking a magnifying glass to the contemporary scene and its performance protocol, exploring the practice of key artists and their crews living and working in the city. The resultant model of creative interaction provides a comprehensive mapping of collective social learning in London’s informal cityscape, offering new ways to conceptualise improvisatory practice within ensembles.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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5:00 pm
Free

Opening Reception | Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration


Acclaimed exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood.  Marking Time explores the impact of the US prison system on contemporary visual art. This exhibition, presented across three galleries, highlights artists who are or have been incarcerated, alongside artists who have not been incarcerated but whose practices expose aspects of the carceral state. Seen together, their works reveal how punitive governance, predatory policing, surveillance, and mass imprisonment impact millions of people. More than 30 artists appear in Marking Time, including Jared Owens, George Anthony Morton, Gwendolyn Garth, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Russell Craig, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, Sable Elyse Smith, and Larry Cook. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media at NYU, 2021 MacArthur Fellow, NYPL Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center Fellow and 2007 Schomburg Center Scholar in Residence, with support by exhibition coordinator Steven G Fullwood, and the assistance of graduate researchers Eva Cilman and Xavier Hadley. Schedule: 5 PM - 9 PM Public Opening of Marking Time 5:30 PM Book Signing with Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood 7:00 PM Curator Introduction and Artist Talk featuring artists Gwendolyn Garth, Ndume Olatushani, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith, moderated by Marking Time Exhibition Coordinator, Steven G. Fullwood and ECHOES | GESTURES | ABOLITION, a live performance featuring composer, musician and scholar Kwami Coleman and percussionist Shakoor Hakeem.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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5:00 pm
Free

Jazz | Jazz Sextet


The Jazz WaHi Composers Sextet: Julie Maniscalco, trumpet; Berta Moreno, tenor sax; Michael Rorby, trombone; Mark Kross, piano; Eddy Khaimovich, bass; Joseph Chidiebere Emmanuel, drums.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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5:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Building the Empire State: Classic Text on a Classic Building (online)


Constructed in eleven months, the 1250-foot Empire State Building, the world's tallest skyscraper from 1931 to 1971, was a marvel of modern engineering. The frame rose more than a story a day; no comparable building since has matched that rate of ascent. The construction was orchestrated by general contractors Starrett Brothers & Eken, premier "skyline builders" of the 1920s. From their records, the company compiled an in-house notebook. Twenty-five years ago, in 1998, the hardcover edition of Building the Empire State was the first publication from the archives of the newly-founded museum. The book is still in print with WW Norton, now in paperback. The authors of the historical essays that frame the original manuscript notebook of the builders Starrett Brothers & Eken, Carol Willis and Don Friedman, look back at the book and the building. Appropriately, our online program will take place on May 1, 2023 at 6pm ET, the 92nd anniversary of the Empire State's opening day.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Poetry Reading | Tender Machines: An Intersectional Portrait of Womanhood


Set against the backdrop of a changing urban landscape, J. Mae Barizo's poems swing between the domestic and the surreal, charting motherhood, desire and an immigrant family’s haunted inheritance. Mapping the lives of women and the lives they inhabit, poems such as “Small Essays on Disappearance,”—which channel the aftermath of motherhood and 9-11—collide with aubades describing mornings in a ruined city: “buying food at the bodegas…nectarines and skin-tight plums.” The poems live in the space between the public and the private, braiding an intimate narrative. This is an intersectional portrait of womanhood with all its losses, departures and wonders.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Lecture | How VR Technology Is Changing Theatre


Kyueun Kim will discuss her project to document the oral histories of those who performed in the metaverse during the Covid-19 pandemic using the very virtual reality technologies that served as the platform for the original works. Registration required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Discussion | Indigenous Cultural Revitalization: Rematriation and Preservation (online)


This event considers rematriation and the preservation of Indigenous culture, art, and land. With an emphasis on culture as a living process that incorporates both continuity and change, this seminar explores the ways Indigenous people from, and living in, the New York region are working across social and political landscapes to revitalize traditional practices, language usage, and artistic experimentation. Among the confirmed speakers are Indigenous rights activist Sutton King, MPH, Nāēqtaw-Pianakiw (comes first woman), an Afro-Indigenous descendent of the Menominee and Oneida Nations of Wisconsin and Co-Founder of Urban Indigenous Collective, and contemporary mixed media artist Leonard Harmon, a citizen of the Lenape Tribe of New Jersey and the Nanticoke Tribe of Delaware.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Jazz | Jazz Concert with Grammy Winning Musicians


Five-time Grammy winning bassist, composer, and jazz fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke with his 4Ever band; Grammy winning post-bop saxophonist, flutist, and composer Kenny Garrett; Grammy nominated harpist and composer Brandee Younger; DJ Logic. Doors open 5:00 pm.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Poverty, by America by Pulitzer Prize Winner Matthew Desmond (In Person AND Online)


Why does the United States, the richest country on earth, have more poverty than any other advanced democracy? How can one in eight children go without basic necessities, scores of citizens live and die on the streets, and corporations be authorized to pay poverty wages? In his new book, sociologist and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Matthew Desmond shows how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor, exploiting them and driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. It is, Desmond argues, a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. Desmond speaks about his new ways of thinking around this morally urgent, uniquely American problem—and imagines practical, achievable solutions for making poverty disappear. Free tickets required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Book Discussion | The Ferryman: From New York Times Bestselling Author Justin Cronin


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn't what it seems.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Dance Performance | 2 New York Percussive Dance Artists


Featuring two of New York's extraordinary percussive dance artists Josh Johnson is a Harlem native, who tap-danced on the trains of New York City to pay for college at Penn State University. The New York Times and Reader's Digest have covered his amazing story of hard work, persistence and positivity. Since Spring of 2012, Johnson has appeared in many Jazz Clubs of New York City, keeping in the tradition of the African American tap masters such as The Nicholas brothers, The Berry Brothers, the Original Hoofers and The Copasetics; and performing for audiences big and small. A Brooklyn-born Puerto-Rican from New Haven, a Mexican Puerto-Rican Jew from the Lower East Side, and a Bengali Indian from Jersey walked on to the wooden floor & the rest? History. Bonded by their deep love of music, their crafts, and true connection, Soles of Duende is on a lifelong mission to elevate the joy and music of true collaboration across disciplines and the celebration of the forms they practice. Based in the sounds of Tap (Amanda Castro), Flamenco (Arielle Rosales) and Kathak (Brinda Guha) , Soles of Duende's fire is the spirit that lives within each of these women to celebrate their connection given their beautiful differences and to uplift the forms that made them.
   New York City, NY; NYC
7:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | If We Were Villains: Prisoner Tells the Truth


On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it. With author M.L. Rio.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Killing Moon: From New York Times Bestselling Author Jo Nesbo


In the thirteenth novel in the New York Times best-selling series, brilliant rogue police investigator Harry Hole is back, this time as an outsider assembling his own team to help find a serial killer.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Son of the City: Behind the Scenes at Hip-Hop's Birth


This book goes behind the scenes of the golden age of hip-hop with esteemed producer and music industry veteran Dante Ross. Ross pulls no punches as he details his time growing up on the pre-gentrification Lower East Side as the child of political activists, his devotion to punk rock, and his eventual discovery of a brand-new art form, which landed him at Tommy Boy Records, where he signed and handled the careers of such artists as De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and Digital Underground. Ross would go on on to work for Elektra records, where he signed Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Pete Rock & C.L Smooth, KMD, Busta Rhymes, and Ol' Dirty Bastard. He is currently an SVP of A&R at Warner Music Group, where he recently helped unearth Macklemore to the world.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Witch King: Fantasy Novel


Kai-Enna is the Witch King, though he hasn't always been, and he hasn't even always been Kai-Enna. After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai's magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well. But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence? With author Martha Wells.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Classical Music | An Evening of Music and Poetry


An evening of music and poetry readings in celebration of the poet Constantine P. Cavafy. A diverse program of compositions by Sofía Avramidou, Marcos Balter, Zosha di Castri, Stylianos Dimou, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Lena Platonos, and Georgios Poniridis will be performed by the National Sawdust Ensemble under the music direction of Jeffrey Zeigler, with Greek guest musicians Yiannis Palamidas (voice) and Stergios Tsirliagos (synths). Cavafy poems will be recited in Greek and/or Arabic, as well as new writing prepared for the occasion by some of the most exciting living poets.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Classical Music | Early Music Through 20th Century Choral Works by Women


Collegium Musicum presents a program of a cappella works from spanning 800 AD to 1989, highlighting composers Kassia (810-865), Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179), Lucretia Vizzana (1590-1662), Raffaella Alleoti (1575-1620), Clara Schumann (1819-1896), Amy Beach (1867-1944), and Undine Moore (1904-1989). 
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Workshop | Trial German Glass (online)


Always dreamed of learning German? Don't wait! See how much fun it is to learn German with the Goethe-Institut New York.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Classical Music | Copland House and Its Musical Journeys Across America


Five brilliant composers on real or imagined journeys across America's vast, variegated landscape. The California desert's arid, rocky terrain of sand, howling wind, and hidden life and history. The energy, fragility, and spiritual symbolism of the Chicago River, with water transformed into a musical instrument. The impossible beauty of an immense Hawaiian volcano, ringed with exotic birds and plants, gauzy clouds at the crater's rim, meteor-like rock, and hardened lava. The mystical allure of the Western flatlands, prairies, native wildlife, and spectacular nightly displays of the stars and heavens in a sky free of city lights. Plus the many sounds encountered on a freewheeling drive across the U.S. Juhi Bansal: Thirteen Moons (NY Premiere) Shawn Okpebholo: Fractured Water (NY Premiere) Kevin Puts: Arcana Stacy Garrop: Postcards from Wyoming Dan Visconti: Lonesome Roads Brandon Patrick George, flute; Siwoo Kim and and Stephanie Zyzak, violins; Colin Brookes and Danielle Farina, violas; Alexis Pia Gerlach and James Wilson, cellos; Ayano Kataoka, percussion; Michael Boriskin, piano.
   New York City, NY; NYC
7:30 pm
Free

Jazz | Art Blakey/Jazz Messenger Ensemble


An hour of music directed by Valery Ponomarev. This ensemble focuses on the repertory and performance traditions of Art Blakey (1919-1990).
   New York City, NY; NYC
8:00 pm
Free
Complimentary Tickets

to shows, concerts ... (CFT Deals!)

Classical Music | Sacred Choral Works at a Landmark Venue

Regular Price: $49
CFT Member Price: $0.00

Theater | Storytelling at its Best from Far Away

Regular Price: $51
CFT Member Price: $0.00
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