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4 fab events to check out as the month-long Uptown Arts Stroll kicks off

"I don't" by Damien Hoar de Galvan

Celebrating all things art and culture in northern Manhattan, the 16th Annual Uptown Arts Stroll is here–and it's vast, stretching from 135th Street in Harlem all the way to 220th Street in Inwood at the tippy top of the island.

Whether it's a concert–jazz, bachata, opera, Japanese drums, you name it–a dance performance (flamenco!), a literary event, or an art exhibit, there's something to see or do every day in June: more than 300 events in all. Whoa.

Be sure to bookmark the handy Uptown Arts Stroll calendar, which expands to show the activities for each day (some have as many as 14), then check back regularly.

Or just keep tabs on your favorite uptown arts venue–including the United Palace of Cultural Arts, the Morris-Jumel Mansion, and the Sugar Hill Children's Museum–to see what they have in store during the Stroll.

There's also newcomer Culture Hub, a pop-up from Inwood Art Works with a ton of special programming, including a pizza tasting contest, a Pride dance party, and an immersive Jazz Age performance.

In the meantime, here are just a few ways to dip your toes into uptown's arts-and-culture waters as the festival kicks off:

Art Exhibit

Gitler & _

3629 Broadway between 149th and 150th Streets

Opening reception: Thursday, May 31 from 6pm to 9pm

The show is called "everything bagel" because it has a little bit of everything from contemporary artist Damien Hoar de Galvan: ink drawings, pencil drawings, collages, and sculptures, including a cool pixelated-looking piece constructed from found wood (top photo).

Park Walk

A section of the Giraffe Path

The Sunken Playground at Highbridge Park (167th Street and Edgecomb Avenue)

Saturday, June 2 from 11:30am to 3pm

This outdoor event celebrates the Giraffe Path–an urban hiking trail that connects the Cloisters to Central Park via a route through uptown's dramatic escarpment parks. Attendees are encouraged to join the party, which will include food, music and face painting, by walking parts of the path to get there–8 starting locations have been planned.


555 Edgecombe Avenue at West 160th Street

Sunday, June 3 from 3:30pm to 6pm

For 27 years, this Harlem legend has been inviting people into her home every Sunday for free jazz concerts. Why not finally make the leap and see what this special event is all about?

Outdoor Movie & Dance Lesson

Swing Time at Inwood Hill Park

Gaelic Field in Inwood Hill Park

Monday, June 4 at 7:30pm

Bring your blanket and prepare to enjoy this 1936 musical comedy starring dance legends Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers under the stars. But first, pro Samuel Coleman will give a free lesson in swing dancing, a style that was popular in Harlem years before the movie came out.

For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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