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River to River Festival: Events not to be missed

The festival returns to lower Manhattan this week for its 17th season.

Catch the LES Citizens Parade at Seward Park

Catch the LES Citizens Parade at Seward Park on June 22 and 24. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Naomi Goldberg Hass and Laura Nova

Kick off your summer with one of the city’s best free multiday events, River to River Festival. Now in its 17th season, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents this annual fest celebrating the rich history and geography of NYC through special performances, art installations and events.

Taking place over 10 days at venues across Lower Manhattan, River to River offers an amazing array of offerings, that often span multiple genres including dance, music, theater and technology and visual arts. Here are just some of the offerings not to miss.

The Supper Club

Acclaimed artist and native New Yorker Elia Alba displays several large-scale photographic portraits from her series “The Supper Club.” The project is comprised of portraits of nearly 60 artists of color from Alba’s inner circle and a book related to conversations they have had over dinner about culture, art, and race. NYC DOT Art’s Art Display Cases and Gouverneur Lane between Water Street and Front Street, June 15-24.

Of Granite and Glass

Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th century novellas “The Decameron” are given a new interpretation by choreographer Catherine Galasso. Dancers use their bodies to create cinematic tableaux and whimsical narratives, while utilizing the architecture and atmosphere of the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, particularly the atrium’s magnificent marble staircase. Winter Garden, Brookfield Place, June 15 & 16 at 7 p.m., June 17 at 5 p.m.

Naamah’s Ark

The story of Noah’s Ark is retold through the perspective of the biblical patriarch’s wife in this new original oratorio composed by Marisa Michelson. Celebrated NYC symphonic choir MasterVoices performs with Broadway legend Victoria Clark in the role of Naamah. Rockefeller Park, June 17 at 7 p.m.

Night at the Museums

Check out Lower Manhattan’s amazing museums, historical sites, and other cultural institutions free of charge. Participants include the African Burial Ground National Monument, Fraunces Tavern Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Museum of the American Indian, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Poets House and The Skyscraper Museum. See website for full list of participants, June 19, 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

LES Citizens Parade

Co-created by choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas and visual artist Laura Nova, this series of moving performances celebrates the community members of the Lower East Side. Senior dancers and neighborhood senior citizens take literal and figurative routes through the neighborhood, performing movements that celebrates the Eastern, Western, and Latin American traditions that live side by side in the historic neighborhood. Seward Park, June 22, 5:30 p.m. and 24, 4 p.m.

The 17th Annual River to River Festival runs Friday through June 24. For program details visit lmcc.net

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