On Saturday, October 2, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host MetFest, an afternoon filled with special programs, performances, art-making activities, behind-the-scenes tours, food experiences, and more, with artists and community partners from across the five boroughs. Taking place both outside—on The Met’s David H. Koch Plaza—and inside—at the Museum’s Fifth Avenue location—from noon to 6 p.m., MetFest will celebrate the resilience of New York City and its people and be a moment to reflect on the meaning and inspiration that art can bring to our lives. Programming will be both in person and online and offered in multiple languages. MetFest will be free on the plaza and free with Museum admission inside the building for audiences of all ages and abilities.
“New York is renowned for its strength and spirit, and for the many artists who infuse this incredible city with vibrancy, innovation, and creative expression,” said Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “MetFest is an important moment for the Museum—in collaboration with a stellar roster of artists and performers—to invite everyone to celebrate together the joy, inspiration, and sense of community that art and music can bring to our lives.”
The party begins on The Met’s iconic steps with the all-women’s samba reggae percussion band, Batalá New York; it continues with stilt walkers and steel pannists connecting audiences to Trinidad’s traditional carnival, and includes some of New York City’s top Double Dutch teams—Double Dutch Dreamz, Dutch Squad, and Dutchess of Ropes—featuring multigenerational jumpers from all five boroughs. Throughout the afternoon, dynamic performances honoring community and diverse cultural narratives will be presented by artists including the Civic Practice Partnership (CPP) Artists in Residence alumni Rashida Bumbray—with costumes created in collaboration with artist Simone Leigh—and Miguel Luciano, and current CPP artists Mei Lum of the W.O.W. Project, and Toshi Reagon. Another CPP artist, Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro, will offer signature dishes at his Gastronomical Kiosk, including his new pancake waffles from a Wavy Waffle Station. Family activities outside include interactive, artist-led chalk art on the plaza, art-making activities, and games. The celebration continues inside the Museum with a welcome desk featuring special guest puppets from the bilingual theater company Teatro SEA and the Loisaida Center, as well as gallery talks with Met curators and staff members, live performances, and art-making activities for all ages. The full MetFest schedule is available on The Met’s website.
Special behind-the-scenes tours of conservation studios, study rooms, and rarely seen spaces will be offered; advanced registration is required (space is limited). For audiences at home, there will be virtual opportunities to engage with the art and artists, including a pre-recorded video performance of Puerto Rican musical artist Fabiola Mendez playing a cuatro from the Department of Musical Instruments collection. Virtual programming and a live stream of all performances on the plaza stage will be available on The Met’s website and social media channels.
Heidi Holder, The Met’s Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education, added: “This afternoon MetFest channels the energy and excitement of a neighborhood block party, bringing together different generations, interests, cultures, and talents. We welcome New Yorkers and visitors to engage with all their senses, whether it’s enjoying a music performance, dancing in a procession, or making art together. This festival brings art and cultural experiences to people in a meaningful and memorable way. It’s The Met’s love letter to New Yorkers and to visitors from far and wide—The Met loves you!”
More about the event, including directions to programming throughout the Museum, will be available at the Welcome Desk in the Great Hall and information table on the plaza. The Met Store will be offering complimentary tools to embark on a special self-guided Museum scavenger hunt. There will also be special Membership offers and MetFestdiscounts across the Museum’s Bon Appétit eateries.
Stop by the Welcome Desk in the Great Hall or the information table on the plaza for an assistive listening device, a Sign Language interpreter, an audio describer, a sighted guide, a large-print or braille schedule of events, or for other information or to ask a question about accessibility in The Met.
MetFest will also be featured on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MetFest.
Additionally, in-person programming for adults, teens, and families will resume at The Met Fifth Avenue this fall with: “Drop-in Drawing,” an artist-led creative drawing workshop; “MetSpeaks,” a discussion series featuring timely issues that connect to The Met’s exhibitions and permanent collection; interactive family tours and the weekly “Storytime at The Met;” teen workshops and events; Access programming, including “Discoveries” for youth and adults with learning and developmental disabilities and those on the autism spectrum; and more. They will take place both on the plaza and inside the Museum. “Highlights” tours, which are free with Museum admission at The Met Fifth and The Met Cloisters, and guided tours for adults and schools will be held in person at The Met Fifth Avenue will also begin in October. For more information and a schedule of both in-person and virtual programming, please visit The Met’s website.
More information on The Met’s comprehensive safety procedures can be found on metmuseum.org.
For families who wish to engage from home, #MetKids recently launched a new six-episode series titled #MetKids Microscope that explores the science behind the art. Each episode features true stories about real discoveries from scientists and conservators at the Museum and a related experiment that kids can do at home. All episodes of #MetKids Microscope are currently available to watch on The Met’s YouTube channel and website.