The new Whitney and its meatpacking plant neighbor (photo by Benjamin Sutton for Hyperallergic)

This week, an experimental sound artist creates work live, a South African photographer opens her largest museum show to date, there’s a day to celebrate independent bookstores — and don’t forget the opening of the new Whitney Museum!

 Maria Chavez: Sound Bleed

When: Tuesday, April 28 & Wednesday, April 29, 12–6pm; installation will remain on view April 30–May 2, 12–7:30pm
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Sound artist Maria Chavez will be remixing ambient sound bleeding into The Kitchen’s performance space in front of a live audience. Chavez will be curate the sounds of her piece based on what interesting noises ooze into the space, so the element of chance is the real draw. By warping the sounds the room, Chavez will draw attention to the tones we ignore in our day-to-day lives.—Vic Vaiana

 A Real Estate Investment Cooperative for NYC

When: Tuesday, April 28, 6–8:30pm (Free)
Where: Middle Collegiate Church (50 East 7th Street, East Village, Manhattan)

Closely examining a similar model in Minneapolis, this meeting, A Real Estate Investment Cooperative in NYC, centers on real estate investment cooperatives (or REICs) — community-owned cooperatives whose members seek to renovate and lease properties for community-serving purposes. To summarize crudely, community members pool money into cooperative investment groups, which can then buy properties and provide low-interest loans to others. As stated on the event’s Facebook page: “We hope that this kind of participation in co-creating our city will give us control of the kind of place we want it to be, and imagine a city with a multitude of investment groups that reflect and amplify the multitude of our interests.” Organizers include artist Caroline Woolard and curator Risa Shoup.—Tiernan Morgan

 Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence

When: Opens Friday, May 1
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

Zanele Muholi’s vast body of multimedia work will be showcased at the Brooklyn Museum, encompassing photography, video, and installation. Muholi’s work extends beyond art into human rights activism, with her portrait photography functioning as both. The 87 portraits on display span 2007–14, depicting contemporary South Africa’s trans community. Muholi’s photographs are essential viewing if you’d like a look at the overlooked queer community in South Africa. —VV

 Afrofuturism Conference


When: Friday, May 1–Sunday, May 3 (check site for details; free, registration required)
Where: MoCADA (80 Hanson Pl, Fort Greene, Brooklyn) and the New School (63 Fifth Avenue, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

Through the lens of different themes such as “Aesthetic Revolution,” this conference will explore Afrofuturism “as a cultural and aesthetic movement for the radical emancipation of people of color.” The event will be accompanied by a number of film screenings, featuring some overlap with recent Afrofuturism series at BAM, and the conversation will hopefully elucidate Afrofuturism’s current and continued resonance. —VV

 The Whitney Museum Block Party

When: Saturday, May 2, 10:30am–10:00pm (block party is free, but number of free museum tickets is limited)
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)

After closing for seven months to relocate from its former Upper East Side location, the Whitney has settled into its airy new building in the Meatpacking District. Though the museum officially reopens on May 1, the public celebration begins on May 2 with an outdoor block party on Gansevoort Street. After partaking in activities like mapmaking and enjoying performances, visitors can meander through the new museum building to peruse America Is Hard to See, the museum’s largest exhibition of its holdings to date. —Kemy Lin

Erika Verzutti, “Day for Night, Sleeping” (2014) (courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter)

 Three New Shows at the SculptureCenter

When: Open Saturday, May 2, 6–8pm
Where: SculptureCenter (44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Queens)

Instead of seeing just one new exhibition at SculptureCenter, you can see three, the night before they officially open! Emerging artists Erika Verzutti, Magali Reus, and Michael E. Smith will have a joint opening reception to celebrate their first solo exhibitions in New York City. Visitors will be able to preview a wide range of work: Verzutti’s Swan with Stage features a 12-foot-tall abstract swan sculpture in dialogue with black-and-white photographs; Reus’s Spring for a Ground explores the street curb as a piece of urban terrain; and Smith’s  uses video and sculpture to respond to the architecture of SculptureCenter’s galleries. —KL

 Independent Bookstore Day 2015


When: Saturday, May 2
Where: Various bookstores throughout NYC

If you’re anything like me, you don’t really need an excuse or a reason to buy books. But here’s one nonetheless: more than 25 independent bookstores throughout NYC have joined other stores around the country for the first ever Independent Bookstore Day! Not only is this a great excuse to support your local bookstore and meet staff and other patrons, but there will be discounts, giveaways, and activities — from kids book illustrators drawing children’s favorite animals (powerHouse on 8th) to a free shot of absinthe for buying one of six certain books (Spoonbill & Sugartown). It all wraps up with a free afterparty at powerHouse arena, where you can keep shopping and drinking with your fellow book lovers until your tote bag is overflowing.

 Monuments, Monumentality, and Monumentalization

When: Saturday, May 2, 4–5pm ($10/$5 for students; tickets can be purchased online)
Where: Dia Art Foundation (535 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

As part of Dia’s series on Monuments, Monumentality, and Monumentalization, art historian Rosalyn Deutsche and writer/filmmaker Chris Kraus will discuss the issue of monumentality. Not only has it become part of modern and contemporary art production and presentation, with pieces ever increasing in size and grandiosity, but it features prominently in the types of work that the Dia Art Foundation chooses to sponsor and exhibit. Are “monumental” public works engaging, alienating, or both? —KL

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With contributions by Kemy Lin, Tiernan Morgan, and Vic Vaiana

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