Celebrate Pride At The Whitney Museum With Free Public Programs And Events

Images courtesy Whitney Museum; photography by Summer Surgent-Gough

By Meghan Ferrucci

The Whitney Museum of American Art is celebrating Pride throughout the month of June with a series of free public programs and events for all ages, including artmaking activities, community celebrations, tours, free admission, and more.

Pride at the Whitney is part of the Museum’s ongoing commitment to support LGBTQ+ artists and communities and offer an inclusive space for all to gather and enjoy American art.

Pride at the Whitney kicked off on May 31 with pop-up choral performances by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus echoing through the halls of the Museum. These performances coincided with one of the Whitney’s Free Friday Nights, a new program the Museum launched in January that offers free admission to all visitors from 5–10 pm each Friday! Though admission is free, tickets are required and can be reserved on the Museum’s website, and capacity is limited.

Images courtesy Whitney Museum; photography by Summer Surgent-Gough

Beginning on Friday, June 7 and continuing throughout June, join Whitney education staff on Queer History Walks to learn more about the impact and history of LGBTQ+ communities in the Meatpacking District. From the Hudson River piers to the clubs, visitors are invited to consider their connection to the changing landscape of the neighborhood that the Whitney now occupies, as well as the city’s history.

For visitors that would like to explore the sites on their own, check out the Whitney’s mobile guide while walking in the neighborhood or from the comfort of your home.

Pride festivities at the Whitney will continue on Sunday, June 9, with Free Second Sundays, providing visitors of all ages with free admission to the Museum all day long from 10:30 am–6 pm. For this special Pride edition of Free Second Sunday, all are welcome to participate in helping to create the Whitney Community Pride Mural. The day also includes free storytimes with The New York Public Library at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Additional family-friendly activities, including hands-on artmaking, collaborative coloring projects, and more will occur throughout the day. While general admission to the Museum is free on Sunday, June 9, tickets are still required. Advance booking is strongly recommended. 

Upcoming highlights from Pride at the Whitney include: 

Free Second Sundays: 

On Sunday, June 9, Free Second Sundays continue with free admission for all visitors from 10:30 am–6 pm. From 11 am–3 pm, visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in helping to create the Whitney Community Pride Mural by reflecting on their personal meanings of Pride and creating a work of art to add to the mural. From 11 am–4 pm, get creative and enjoy Imaginary Inventions Inspired By Pippa Garner in the Museum’s Hess Family Theater on the 3rd floor. 2024 Whitney Biennial artist Pippa Garner’s Inventor’s Office is filled with what she describes as “impossible inventions.” Visitors are invited to explore the installation and discover the lives and stories of these playful, imaginative objects and then come up with impossible inventions inspired by the artwork. Free storytimes with NYPL librarians will take place in the Museum’s lobby at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Visitors to the Museum will also have the opportunity to sign up for NYPL library cards in the lobby. At 4 pm, join Whitney education staff on Queer History Walks in the Meatpacking District to learn more about the impact and history of LGBTQ+ communities in the neighborhood around the Whitney. Tours will meet outside the entrance of the Museum and the meeting place will be marked with a sign. View the tour map. 

Images courtesy Whitney Museum; photography by Filip Wolak

Queer Teen Night: 

On Friday, June 14, Queer Teen Night will be led by the Museum’s Youth Insights Leaders and 2024 Biennial artist Nyala Moon. LGBTQ+ teens and allies are invited to celebrate Pride, and participate in an evening of artmaking, performances, dancing, giveaways, and a tour of Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing.

Radical Joy Ball: 

On Monday, June 24, 4–6 pm, the Whitney and community partner ADAPT Community Network will host a Radical Joy Ball in the Museum’s Theater. Museum visitors are welcome to join an evening celebrating inclusivity, access, and the pride of self-expression and recognizing those within our community who are LGBTQ+, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), and living with disabilities. Drawing from New York’s ballroom culture traditions, this event creates a space to celebrate the vibrancy of LGBTQ+ and disability pride through music, dance, and runway performances.

In addition to the robust series of Pride activities, the Whitney galleries are filled with incredible exhibitions this month, including the 2024 Whitney Biennial: Even Better Than the Real Thing. This year’s edition of the Whitney Biennial features seventy-one artists and collectives grappling with many of today’s most pressing issues, including society’s complex relationship to the body and the fluidity of identity.

Images courtesy Whitney Museum; photography by Filip Wolak

Also on view is Wanda Gág’s World, exploring the unique vision of artist, illustrator, and children’s book author Wanda Gág through a selection of prints. Opening later this month on June 29 is Survival Piece #5: Portable Orchard, an installation examining the work of artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison through a fully realized indoor grove of eighteen live citrus trees.

Visitors can also enjoy some of their favorite works from the Whitney’s permanent collection by artists like Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and others.

More information about Pride at the Whitney, digital offerings, and visitor information, including accessibility services, is available on the Museum’s website at whitney.org/pride-2024

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