What (Else) To Do When You’re in Town For NYU’s 2023 Commencement


NYC is in peak bloom (and as fresh smelling as it ever is?) in the spring, and it’s prime strolling and people-watching season around Washington Square Park and Brooklyn’s MetroTech Commons. You could take a gander at the shiny John A. Paulson Center—NYU’s new academic, arts, athletics, and residential hub—or hop on a CitiBike and see how many sight-seeing destinations you can cross off of NYU Faculty Housing’s Bike Week bingo card.

Further afield, there’s Broadway and Museum Mile and all the rest, but with so many performances and exhibitions at NYU in a given week, you don’t even need a Metrocard to get your culture fix. Heck, sometimes you don’t even have to go inside—thanks to the abundance of window displays and other street-level public art! More offerings are being added to our calendar every day, but below are some of NYU News’ current picks for low-stress, easily accessible entertainment to be found between valedictory events around campus in mid-May.


On view at the Kimmel Windows (outdoors at LaGuardia Place and West Third), Fighting Fascism: Visual Culture of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) examines the use of posters, postcards, advertisements, and other visual materials to influence public opinion and rally support for the conflict. It also spotlights the stories of some of the 2,800 U.S. volunteers, including 22 NYU students, who served.

370 Jay Street in Brooklyn—home to programs from Tisch, Steinhardt, Tandon—is where technology and arts meet. Get a sampling of work by faculty, staff, and students currently on view in its windows.

Also at 370 Jay, students in NYU’s ITP, IMA, and Low Res programs present a spring show of their creative interactive projects on May 14 and 15. 

re:tratos urbanos (urban portraits)—on view at NYU Wagner (Puck Building, 295 Lafayette) features work informed by Nuyorican painter and collage artist Rodríguez Calero’s heritage and the diverse communities of NYC’s Lower East Side. This two-decade survey exhibit showcases techniques that fuse painting, printmaking, photography, and collage to create surrealist portraits that combine religious iconography, classical and Byzantine patterns, and elements of hip hop and street art.

In the Tisch building at 721 Broadway, SHOW TWO (on view through May 19) features works in photography, digital imaging, and multimedia by 19 Department of Photography & Imaging students who graduate this year. 

Or catch it all through a self-guided walking tour of NYU’s many galleries and other public art spaces!


NYU Skirball (566 LaGuardia Place) hosts a live screening of the National Theatre’s production of Othello on May 11. 

Also at Skirball, on May 22: the 2023 Chita Rivera Awards recognize dance and choreographic excellence on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in film. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the ​​NYC Dance Alliance Foundation College Scholarship Program.

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