Festivals, art exhibits, and panel discussions: September 2014 calendar of events

Written by Arielle Kandel


Several landmark festivals are happening this month in New York City, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about immigrant heritage and culture at what promise to be fascinating panel discussions and art exhibits. Put these events in your calendar, and bring your friends!


September 1, 11am-6pm: West Indian Labor Day Parade & Carnival, Eastern Parkway & Schenectady Avenue to Flatbush Avenue (Crown Heights, Brooklyn), free – the largest parade of its kind in North America, closing a week-long of festivities to celebrate Caribbean culture in New York.

September 5, 5:30pm-8:30pmFirst Friday! Music + Bronx Trolley, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (Pelham Bay, Bronx), $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors – an evening of kora and storytelling with two musicians and griots from Gambia, Malang Jobarteh and Salieu Suso.

September 11-21: 88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro, Mulberry Street (Little Italy, Manhattan), free – this festival is a joyful celebration in the heart of Little Italy of the heritage and culture of the thousands of Italian immigrants who made this neighborhood their home in the early 20th century. It began in the 1920s as a one-day religious celebration in honor of San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. Today, this 11-day festival features several religious processions and parades, Italian delicacies, concerts, and other forms of entertainment, including a world-famous cannoli-eating competition!

September 11, 7pm-9pm: “MOCACITIZEN: Crossing Canal: Revisiting Post-9/11 Chinatown,” Museum of Chinese in America (Chinatown, Manhattan), free – a panel discussion gathering Chinese American community leaders to reflect on the impact of 9/11 on the Chinatown neighborhood and its residents.

September 17, starting at 7:30pm: “Eric Liu with David Henry Hwang: A Chinaman’s Chance,” 92nd Street Y (Upper East Side, Manhattan) $30 – join what promises to be an interesting discussion on what it means to be Chinese American today, with award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and author and former White House speechwriter Eric Liu.

September 19, 7pm: Salif Keita performance as part of the Mali Now festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Upper East Side, Manhattan), tickets from $50 – a longtime ambassador of Malian music and culture, Salif Keita will perform with a small ensemble of Malian musicians playing traditional instruments. The Mali Now festival will open with this performance and run through October 30.

September 21: Mexican Day Parade, Madison Avenue between 26th and 39th Street (Midtown South, Manhattan), free – annual parade commemorating Mexican independence and celebrating the heritage and culture of NYC’s third largest immigrant group.

September 21, 11am-6pm: Latin Cultural Festival, Junction Boulevard between Roosevelt and 37th Avenue (Corona/Jackson Heights, Queens), free – a day of fun for the whole family, with Latin American food, music, dance, arts and craft, and children entertainment.

September 25: “Waves of identity: 35 years of archiving,” Museum of Chinese in America (Chinatown, Manhattan),  $10 general admission, free on Thursdays – groundbreaking art exhibit examining Chinese American identity through the stories of the successive generations of Chinese immigrants in the United States. The exhibition will run through March 2015.

September 28, 7:30pm: “Born in the USSR: Gary Shteyngart & Anya Von Bremzen,” 92nd Street Y (Upper East Side, Manhattan), $30 – two writers, Anya Von Bremzen and Gary Shteyngart, both originally from the former Soviet Union, share childhood memories and stories about their immigrant experience, while reflecting on how their Russian heritage continues to shape who they are today.

September 29, 9:15am-3pm: day symposium on undocumented immigrants, Center for Migration Studies (Lenox Hill, Manhattan), free – a day of panel discussions with leading academics, researchers, policy-makers, and service providers on several topics related to undocumented immigrants.


Ongoing exhibition: “Hoboken, Ellis Island, and the Immigrant Experience, 1892-1924,” Hoboken Historical Museum (Hoboken, New Jersey), $2 – don’t miss this fascinating exhibit that will take you on a journey through US immigration from the late 19th century, when the Ellis Island immigration station first opened, through the 1920s. The exhibit will run through December 23.


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