free things to do in New York City
Free events for Thursday, 05/18/23
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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 18, 2023?

34 free events take place on Thursday, May 18 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 18 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!

34 free things to do in New York City (NYC) on Thursday, May 18, 2023

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Editor's Picks

free events nyc 13 Tours, All City Neighborhoods, Any Time Of The Day, Choose One Tour Or Many
free events nyc An Exploration of French and French-Inspired Works from the Early to Mid-18C (In Person AND Online)
free events nyc Dance Party: Greatest Salsa Hits of All-Time
free events nyc Broadway en Spanglish: A Multilingual Cabaret
More Editor's Picks for 05/18/23
        

Workshop | Forest Fitness


This regular fitness class incorporates climbing multiple staircases, stretches and strengthening exercises, notable tree identification, and forest bathing. Led by instructor, Nancy Bruning\.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:30 am
Free

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
10:00 am
Free

Workshop | Ribbon Dancing


Combine cardio with artistry as you wave long ribbons in the air to create rainbows, waterfalls, dragons and ocean waves. Ribbon Dancing is as visually stunning as it is fun and easy to learn. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Ribbons will be available to borrow, but participants may also bring their own.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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10:00 am
Free

Fair | Street Fair


Free fun for the whole family, including arts, crafts, antiques, plants, entertainment, games, and more.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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10:00 am
Free

Tour | Tour of New York City Hall


One of the oldest continuously used City Halls in the nation that still houses its original governmental functions, New York's City Hall is considered one of the finest architectural achievements of its period. Constructed from 1803 to 1812, the building was an early expression of the City's cosmopolitanism. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark, and its rotunda is a designated interior landmark as well.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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10:00 am
Free

Tour | Tour the Tall Ship Capitan Miranda


The 1930 Capitan Miranda, a sail training tall ship of the Uruguayan Navy, arrives in New York. Throughout her visit she will be docked and will offer several opportunities for the public to come aboard and tour the historic three-masted full-rigged vessel and learn more about the relationship between the US and Uruguay.
   New York City, NY; NYC
10:00 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

Discussion | A Chat with New York Times Reporter Joseph Berger (online)


Julie Salamon (Wall Street Journal and New York Times) sits down with New York Times reporter and author Joseph Berger. Joseph was a reporter, columnist, and editor for thirty years. He is the author of four books: Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust, which was a New York Times Notable Book; The World in a City: Traveling the Globe Through the Neighborhoods of the New New York; and The Young Scientists: America’s Future and the Winning of the Westinghouse. His biography of Elie Wiesel is scheduled for publication in February 2023.
   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: Pete Malinverni.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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12:30 pm
Free

Gallery Talk | Museum Closer Look Tour


A public tour of current exhibitions, led by museum Gallery Guides.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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1:00 pm
Free

Classical Music | An Exploration of French and French-Inspired Works from the Early to Mid-18C (In Person AND Online)


Bethanne Walker, traverso; Daniel Lee, violin; Martha McGaughey, viola da gamba; and Arthur Haas, harpsichord. An exploration of French and French-inspired works from the early to mid-18th century with works by Leclair, Telemann, and Quantz. Leclair married Italian virtuosity with French taste and so brought to fruition Couperin's goal of Gouts-reunis as well as the gemischter Geschmack of Telemann and Quantz. The program rounds out with a Paris Quartet of Telemann and a highly ornamented Quantz Adagio. This was a very exciting time musically to be in Paris as the Querelle de Bouffons raged on. Leclair was a great innovator in putting elements of both Italian and French styles together, and Gold and Glitter explores ways these styles interact, pointing to the future of music in Europe.
   New York City, NY; NYC
1:15 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Out of the Sugar Factory: The Sour Side of Sweet (online)


Celebrated Swiss author Dorothee Elmiger and American writer Kate Zambreno in a conversation about Megan Ewing’s new English translation of Elmiger’s Out of the Sugar Factory. In an era of greed and lust, power and excess, the book plumbs the impact of the sugar manufacturing industry through a kaleidoscope of memories, dreams, literary references, narrative threads, and historical fragments.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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1:30 pm
Free

Film | Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022): superhero action-adventure


Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia and Everett Ross and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Director: Ryan Coogler Cast: Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Winston Duke.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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2:00 pm
Free

Tour | Tour the Tall Ship Capitán Miranda


The 1930 Capitán Miranda, a sail training tall ship of the Uruguayan Navy, arrives in New York. Throughout her visit she will be docked and will offer several opportunities for the public to come aboard and tour the historic three-masted full-rigged vessel and learn more about the relationship between the US and Uruguay.
   New York City, NY; NYC
2:30 pm
Free

Staged Reading | ReWombed: Replicating Faith


Nikki Brake-Sillá's new play asks, in a world where nothing is believed until it can be replicated, when did science lose its faith?
   New York City, NY; NYC
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3:00 pm
Free

Concert | The New York Pops Piano Trio


The New York Pops Piano Trio: Lee Musiker, piano; Jeffrey Carney, bass; James F. Saporito, drums; with Kimberlee Wertz, vocals, perform Academy Award songs from the 1930s and 1940s, including selections like The Way You Look Tonight, They Can't Take That Away from Me, and When You Wish Upon a Star. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with host Steven Reineke and the musicians. This event is intended to provide individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia an opportunity to connect with their strongest memories associated with classic movies and their iconic soundtracks. While priority access will be given to individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers, any additional seats will be open to the public. Registration required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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3:00 pm
Free

Opening Reception | That '70s Show: Group Exhibition


The exhibition is a joint project in which approximately 20 New York galleries will present one or two artists who made work during the 1970s. Several New York galleries are invested in scholarship, re-examining artists who were active during the 1970s. We are a community that pays attention to one another.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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4:00 pm
Free

Book Club | Mythos by Stephen Fry


Mythos by Stephen Fry is a retelling of a number of ancient Greek myths selected by Fry. Fry states at the beginning of the book that no background knowledge is necessary to appreciate the stories and that "there is absolutely nothing academic or intellectual about Greek mythology; it is addictive, entertaining, approachable and astonishingly human". The stories are mostly retellings of myths derived from Hesiod's Theogony, Ovid's Metamorphoses and Apuleius's The Golden Ass/Donkey.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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4:30 pm
Free

Musical | The Comedy of Errors: A Musical Adaptation of Shakespeare's Play


Conceived by director Rebecca Martínez and composer Julián Mesri, a member of The Public Theater’s 2022-23 Emerging Writers Group, this new adaptation rigorously embraces music from all over Latin America in this tale of separation and joyous reunion. With songs in English and Spanish, this new musical adaptation brings an energetic vibe to this age-old tale of two sets of twins separated by stormy seas as they overcome a baffling case of mistaken identity—and the mayhem and hilarious confusion that follows.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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4:30 pm
Free

Birdwatching | Spring Birding Tour


Discover the surprising diversity of birds that call Bryant Park home during migratory season with guided tours by NYC Audubon, led by environmental educator and urban naturalist Gabriel Willow. Located in the heart of Midtown, the park is a hotspot for avian visitors and birders alike. Past sightings include warblers, tanagers, vireos, thrushes, and even a Chuck-will’s-widow.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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5:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies with Author Lara Gabrielle


From her humble days in Brooklyn to her rise to fame alongside press baron William Randolph Hearst, the public life story of Marion Davies plays like a modern fairy tale shaped by gossip columnists, fan magazines, and biopics. In Captain of Her Soul, author Lara Gabrielle pulls back layers of myth to show a complex and fiercely independent woman, ahead of her time, who carved her own path. Through unprecedented access to archives around the world, Captain of Her Soul counters the public story. This book reveals a woman who navigated disability and social stigma to rise to the top of a young Hollywood dominated by powerful men. Davies took charge of her own career, negotiating with studio heads and establishing herself as a top-tier comedienne, but her own proudest achievement was her philanthropy and advocacy for children. Captain of Her Soul brings Davies out of the shadows cast by the Hearst legacy, shedding light on a dynamic woman who lived life on her terms, declaring that she was “the captain of her soul.” Discussion and audience Q and A to follow lecture. Lara Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher, whose work on Marion Davies has been featured in Alta, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Missouri Review, The Wall Street Journal, and on PBS’s American Experience. Gabrielle has spoken at film festivals and retrospectives worldwide, and is acknowledged as the leading authority on Davies’s life and legacy, serving as a consultant on Marion Davies for books, dissertations, and film projects. Gabrielle’s biography, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, has been included on many top book lists for 2022.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Dance Performance | John Bernd Variations: An Open Dance Rehearsal


John Bernd (1953–1988) was a trans-disciplinarian in downtown New York’s hyperactive art world of the 1980s, combining original movement, music, and text to make performances that merged experimentalism and personal narratives of living with AIDS. In 2016, choreographers Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez collaborated with musician Nick Hallett to adapt excerpts from Bernd’s celebrated works into a striking montage for a new generation of performers. The open rehearsal will feature Raha Benham, Toni Carlson, Alvaro Gonzalez, Charles Gowin, Kris Lee, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, and Alex Rodabaugh.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:00 pm
Free

Dancing | Dance Party: Greatest Salsa Hits of All-Time


Superb bands and expert dance instruction. Instruction by Jorge Riascos Live music by Santiago y la Orquesta Colombian singer, composer, and musical director Santiago "Sachy" Moyano is a third generation musician - his grandfather Luis Moyano, Sr., was an internationally recognized "Great Tenor," and his father, Luis Moyano, Jr., was a pianist and vocalist who worked with some of the great Latin music orchestras, including touring with La Fania All-Stars in 1996. Sachy Moyano's versatility and originality has created a substantial demand for his music, and he has evolved into one of the most creative salsa singers in Colombia or across the Americas. Sachy Moyano is still working to produce new songs with a vision of reaching the souls of the Colombian and American communities. In 2022, he began his salsa band Santiago y la Orquesta, which is quickly becoming one of the most exciting Colombian salsa groups in New York City.
   New York City, NY; NYC
6:00 pm
Free

Discussion | What's Happening in Sudan?


This event will examine the current conflict in Sudan and try to understand the sequence of events that brought us to the current escalation. A panel made up of journalist Isma'il Kushkush, activist Thwiba Eltom and artist and political cartoonist Khalid Albaih will help to break down the pertinent political history and help establish the principal actors, major points of contention, and the prospects for peaceful resolution. The discussion will also examine the human costs of the conflict, emphasizing the implications of prolonged fighting on the civilian population and on the next generation of Sudanese youth. The program will be moderated by Shadin Awad.   
   New York City, NY; NYC
6:00 pm
Free

Book Discussion | Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust (in-person and online)


Jewish and Roma people died side by side in the Holocaust, yet in the years and decades following the war, the Jewish experience of genocide has increasingly occupied the attention of legal experts, scholars, educators, curators, and politicians, while Europe's Roma experiences went largely ignored. Ari Joskowicz's new book tells the untold story of how Roma communities turned to Jewish institutions, funding sources, and professional networks as they sought recognition and reparations. Rain of Ash provides a revelatory account of the unequal but necessary entanglement of Jewish and Romani quests for historical justice and the self-representation that challenges us to radically rethink the way we remember the Holocaust.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Book Discussion | The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution (in-person and online)


On September 21, 1776, five days after the British occupied New York City, a devastating fire burned down about a fifth of the city. This mystery brings together a startling cast of characters from around the Atlantic World: soldiers and officers, but also Loyalists, women, and people of African and Indigenous descent. Author Benjamin L. Carp explores these themes in the context of his new book.  
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Book Club | Zabar's: A Family Story, With Recipes by Lori Zabar


When Louis and Lilly Zabar rented a counter in a dairy store on 80th Street and Broadway in 1934 to sell smoked fish, they could not have imagined that five decades later their store would occupy half a city block and become a beloved, world-renowned mecca for quality food of all kinds. A passion for perfection, a keen business sense, cutthroat competitive instincts, and devotion to their customers led four generations of Zabars to create the Upper West Side shrine to the cheese, fish, meat, produce, baked goods, and prepared products that heralded the 20th-century revolution in food production and consumption. Lori Zabar-Louis's granddaughter-begins with her grandfather's escape from Ukraine in 1921, following a pogrom in which his father, a sister, and an uncle were killed, and his (illegal!) entry into the United States from Canada. She describes Zabar's gradual expansion, Louis's untimely death in 1950, and the passing of the torch to Saul, Stanley, and partner Murray Klein, who raised competitive pricing to an art form and added top-tier houseware and appliances to Zabar's shelves. She paints a delectable portrait of Zabar's as it is today — the intoxicating aromas, the crowds, the devoted staff — and shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes of the long-time employees, family members, eccentric customers, and celebrity fans who have created a uniquely American institution that honors its immigrant roots, revels in its New York history, and is relentless in its devotion to the art and science of selling gourmet food. Registration required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Discussion | Advancing Scholarship: Slavery Archives & Affect (In Person AND Online)


The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery will host an in-person conversation featuring their 2022 Harriet Tubman Prize winner Dr. Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake. Dr. Miles is a professor of history and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. She will be joined in conversation with Dr. Celia Naylor, professor of Africana Studies and History and Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Barnard College. This in-person program will be live streamed online. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email before the discussion to receive the link. Registration required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Discussion | Libraries in Practice: Tending Toward Liberation


Libraries in Practice: Tending Toward Liberation explores the unequivocal relationship between books, libraries, freedom, and liberation. Hosted within the C& Center of Unfinished Business, this program brings together organizers from local independent artist-run libraries, non-circulating collections, reading rooms, and small presses to consider the role of libraries in making space for freedom-work. At a time when libraries in the United States are under threat by right-wing legislation, the program explores the crucial ways in which these spaces shore up education and literacy and expand personal and collective narratives toward liberation.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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6:30 pm
Free

Dance Performance | History of Waacking with Princess Lockerooo


In the 1970s, a dance form called waacking was born in the Black, gay underground clubs of Los Angeles. Tyrone Proctor and his friend Billy Goodson risked their lives to perform such an effeminate, expressive dance, when being openly gay subjected them to violence and prison. The dance was popularized on Soul Train and picked up by celebrities, then almost died out with the AIDS crisis. Preserving the legacy of waacking, recently Princess Lockerooo sat with Goodson to gather the legend's oral history for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Don't miss this chance to learn more about waacking's history with the Queen of Waacking that also includes a lesson and performance. Registration required.
   New York City, NY; NYC
7:00 pm
Free

Workshop | Sound Healing for Grief (online)


Experience the power of sound healing as we calm our nervous system and ground the body with a sound bath and humming and toning exercises. In this experiential session we will explore the sound of our breath, our voice and the nurturing power of sound healing as we come together in deep relaxation to reconnect with ourselves. Event participants will learn and practice humming and toning exercises which calm the nervous system and ground the body. We will end with a sound bath where Boshko Boskovic of Let’s Heal NYC, will use the sound of his voice and a Shruti Box to support your grieving process. Sound Healing for grief is a group experience centering around the therapeutic abilities of sound based on the understanding that the law of vibration is one of the fundamental forces of the universe. Sound healing is the practice of intentionally creating waves of harmonic sound which envelop and surround the body. Whether actively participating in the creation of the sounds or acting as a passive receiver, sound healing has the soothing ability to repair aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment restoring us to harmony. Benefits include: releasing endorphins, stimulating deep breathing, increasing oxygen in the brain and blood flow. Boshko Boskovic is a Reiki Master and Sound Healing practitioner trained and certified in the Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki lineage and in sound healing from the Sound Healing Center in Sausalito, California. He is the founder of Let’s Heal NYC, a private practice specializing in Reiki and Sound Healing treatments.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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7:00 pm
Free

Cabaret | Broadway en Spanglish: A Multilingual Cabaret


Heralded by no less than Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda as "the next big thing," the Mexican composer-director Jaime Lozano has quickly become recognized as a major force in contemporary musical theater. Broadway en Spanglish is a collaborative, multilingual musical cabaret review performed with his talented wife and creative partner, the singer-actor Florencia Cuenca. With Cuenca on vocals and Lozano conducting, accompanied by the celebrated musicians of Mariachi Real de Mexico de Ramon Ponce, they'll deliver fresh interpretations of some of musical theater's most iconic tunes with new arrangements by Lozano.
   New York City, NY; NYC
7:30 pm
Free

Movie in a Park | Judas and the Black Messiah (2021): Oscar Winner with Daniel Kaluuya, Jesse Plemons


Offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O'Neal infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton. Director: Shaka King Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons 126 min.
   New York City, NY; NYC
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8:00 pm
Free

Comedy Club | Bomb Shelter Comedy Show


Bomb Shelter is a free weekly comedy show in New York City where you'll find some of the best comedians performing. Expect free pizza. With: Nikki MacCallum - Caroline’s on Broadway James Camacho - Mixed Mutt’s Podcast Divya Gunasekaran - If We Did It Show Peter Wong - New York Comedy Festival’s “Comics to Watch”
   New York City, NY; NYC
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8:00 pm
Free
Complimentary Tickets

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

Play | Oscar and Golden Globe Nominee in a Romantic Play

Regular Price: $69
CFT Member Price: $0.00

Play | A Historical Play About Civil Rights

Regular Price: $45
CFT Member Price: $0.00
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