Artist talks and live music abound in the first weeks of May in NYC. A literature festival, dance, a cherry blossom festival, and an acrobatic homage to Salvador Dalí round out the list for a very interesting two weeks to come. Read on to discover our top picks for things to do in New York City through May 8, 2016.

1. PEN World Voices Festival

The 12th Annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature will be held from April 25 to May 1, 2016 at various venues across NYC. More than 150 writers from 30 countries will participate in venues from Lower Manhattan and Harlem to The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.

The creative voices currently shaping Mexico's literary culture invite listeners to rethink their preconceived notions of the country, examined in stories dealing with the U.S.-Mexico border, migration, national identity and more, along with a conversation with famed visual artist Gabriel Orozco. 

In addition to the Mexico-themed programming, and an evening of artists and writers offering insights into “the real Cuba,” the festival offers a globally inspired array of conversations, readings, performances, and workshops featuring appearances by leading and emerging authors from around the globe.

To view the full schedule of events or to purchase tickets click herewww.worldvoices.pen.org.

Click here for event details.

2. Kimberly Bartosik/daela Dance

Gibney Dance presents Kimberly Bartosik/daelaÉtroits sont les Vaisseaux from April 27 to 30, 2016. Performances take place at 8 and 9 p.m. nightly in the Agnes Varis Performance Lab. On Friday, April 29, a post-show discussion moderated by Craig Peterson is scheduled after the 9 p.m. performance.

Bartosik’s new duet for Joanna Kotze and Lance Gries is titled Étroits sont les Vaisseaux in homage to Anselm Kiefer’s 82-foot-long, undulating, wave-like sculpture of the same name. The piece features movement, light and sound that creates wave-like effects, creating tides and eddies that pull the audience and performers together through the work. 

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, students and Gibney dance class-card holders. Gibney Dance is located at 890 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. www.gibneydance.org.

Click here for event details.

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Kimberly Bartosik. Photo: Jim Coleman.

Kimberly Bartosik. Photo: Jim Coleman.

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3. Steven McQueen in Conversation at The Whitney

The Whitney Museum of American Art presents “Steve McQueen in Conversation with Donna Del Salvo” on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. The talk takes place on the third floor in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater.

Artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen will speak about his work with Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator at the Whitney, and former Robert Lehman Curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. For the exhibition “Open Plan,” McQueen is creating an expanded version of his work End Credits, which presents documents from the FBI file kept on performer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. “Open Plan: Steve McQueen” will be exhibited from April 29 to May 14, 2016.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for members, students and seniors. The Whitney Museum is located at 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014. www.whitney.org.

Click here for event details. 

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"End Credits" by Steve McQueen, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery.

"End Credits" by Steve McQueen, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery.

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4. Design Lecture and Panel at MoMA

MoMA presents “Structure Lineages: Learning from Japanese Structural Design” on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond, on view through July 4, 2016, seven leading structural engineers will speak on Japanese structural design from 1950 through today. The symposium is organized by MoMA and Guy Nordenson of Princeton University with John Ochsendorf of MIT.

RSVP to adevents@moma.org. Space is limited and RSVP is required. The Museum of Modern art is located at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019. www.moma.org.

Click here for event details. 

5. Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden will present its annual cherry blossom festival on April 30 and May 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The weekend offers more than 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.

Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students; children under 12 and BBG members are free. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is located at 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225.www.bbg.org.

Click here for event details.

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Soh Daiko. Photo by Julie Markes.

Soh Daiko. Photo by Julie Markes.

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6. Talk on Photography with Wendy Ewald and Luc Sante

“These Perspectives: Wendy Ewald and Luc Sante” is the title of a discussion offered on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum. 

Writer Luc Sante and photographer Wendy Ewald will discuss the tradition of vernacular photography, from old postcards to family snapshots, as well Ewald’s process of working with communities to invite them to imagine themselves in pictures. The two speakers will address how the growing democratic nature of photography may challenge notions of “high art” and the role of the artist. Ewald’s work is included in the exhibition “This Place,” on view February 12 through June 5, 2016 at the Brooklyn Museum. 

The event is free with museum admission. Seating is first-come, first-served. The talk can also be watched via Livestream. The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238. www.brooklynmuseum.org

Click here for event details. 

7. La Verità Performance at BAM

BAM presents “La Verità,” an acrobatic homage to Salvador Dalí, May 4 to 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House inside the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Run time is 2 hours and 5 minutes with intermission. 

Contemporary circus maverick Daniele Finzi Pasca’s  “La Verità” is a dreamlike, surreal performance featuring an original hand-painted backdrop by Dalí himself, produced for a 1944 Metropolitan Opera ballet production.

Full price tickets start at $25. BAM is located at 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217. www.bam.org.

Click here for event details.

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La Verità. Photo: Viviana Cangialosi.

La Verità. Photo: Viviana Cangialosi.

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8. Goshka Macuga Conversation at the New Museum

The New Museum presents Goshka Macuga in Conversation with Margot Norton on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Artist Goshka Macuga and Margot Norton, Associate Curator at the New Museum, will discuss “Goshka Macuga: Time as Fabric,” the first New York museum exhibition of work by the London-based artist, which will be presented May 4 through June 26, 2016 at the New Museum. The presentation uses a selection of the artist's recent projects as an opportunity to discuss some of the persistent issues dealt with in her work to date, including how art can be used to voice current concerns, rouse public debate, and inspire social change.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for members. The New Museum is located at 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. www.newmuseum.org.

Click here for event details. 

9. Sarah Sze LIVE from the NYPL

The New York Public Library presents artist Sarah Sze in conversation with Paul Holdengräber on Friday, May 6, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in the Wachenheim Trustees Room.

Sarah Sze will speak as a part of NYPL's LIVE series on the occasion of the publication of her first substantial monograph, “Sarah Sze.” The artist is known for her signature visual language that challenges the static nature of sculpture and questions the value society places on objects.

Tickets are $25. Seniors, students and friends are eligible for discounts. The NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is located at 5th Ave at 42nd St, New York, NY 10018. www.nypl.org.

Click here for event details.

10. Chiara String Quartet at the MET

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the Chiara String Quartet in a program titled  “Death and the Maiden” on Friday, May 6, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

The Chiara String Quartet will perform two musical meditations on death by master composers. The program includes Schubert's String Quartet No. 14, known as “Death and the Maiden,” by Franz Schubert, and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 12.

Tickets to the event start at $50 and include museum admission. The MET is located at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028. www.metmuseum.org.

Click here for event details. 

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