NYC Culture

Heads up, folks: New York is a city for English (and Humanities) majors if there ever was one! Take advantage of its offerings, many of them free or cheap (especially to college students)! Look around when you attend a museum or library exhibit—not only at what’s being covered, but at who’s working there, what ages they are, what professions are involved, etc. Your secretary went to a Silk Road exhibit at the Natural History Museum a few years ago and saw evidence of training in history, anthropology, storytelling, art, design, museum education, technical production, online writing and presentation, and endless amounts of “technical” writing that translates great amounts of complex information into easily accessible copytext for viewers. Talk to educators and docents: are there any internships available? summer jobs? what training do they have? (Look on “Human Resources” and “Job Opportunities” pages.) There are lots of places where English majors might find themselves stumped, but NYC is not one of them! Explore! A random sampling of places to check for internships (go for deep pockets): Natural History Museum, New York Historical Society, Tenement Museum, Morgan Library, any library, any museum, Random Penguin ;-), Norton, any foundation. And keep in mind the PR department of any place you look at: these places hire people who can communicate well in writing!!! If you’re interested in specifically business writing possibilities, talk to Professor Cleland, who will help you broaden your horizons! 

Not sure of what to do with all your free time when classes aren’t in session? Use the following Lehman College websites to find something close to home or in the city: 

Lehman Art Gallery and events
Lehman's Theater and Dance Department programs
City and Humanities programs and events
The Meridian
The Bronx Journal
Lehman Stages
Arts & Humanities

Check out Lehman's list of NYC arts & culture, a nifty list of major museums all in one place. Keep in mind that you pay-what- you-want at the Metropolitan Art Museum (i.e., you can pay $1 instead of the “suggested price,”), that you can get student seating for $25 at almost any classical concert at Lincoln Center, and that many museums have “college student nights” and generally late nights on Fridays and Saturdays. (The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has a free Friday night for anyone, so long as you’re willing to wait in line at 5:00.) 

Check the web-pages for New York Public Library. The main library on 5th Avenue and 42nd St. is a treasure with great exhibits. Other favorite places for bookworms to check occasionally include the Morgan Library, the Jewish Museum, the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), the Poets House, the New Museum, and many others!  

For theater and dance performance buffs, remember that Lehman College has a partnership with the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). For as low as $10 for your first year of membership, you have access to hugely discounted Broadway, Off- Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway tickets.

Also, if you ever want to see an opera or ballet at Lincoln Center, show up at a box office on a weekday with your student ID and see what you can get—usually something amazing for incredibly cheap! Many institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera have fabulous student deals (they want to grow their audiences!): click on a site, look for “college student” information, and use your phone to sign up for alerts and free/cheap tickets!

Finally, do not forget Shakespeare in the Park. Every summer, the Public Theater does two plays for FREE—and these performances can be unbelievable. The last two or three summers, free tickets were available after a two-hour wait at the Lehman Performing Arts Box office—a big improvement over sitting out in Central Park all day in 90 degrees waiting for tickets. It’s not clear what the deal will be next summer—we’ll see! For another great Shakespeare-under-the-stars summer venue, check the website of the Classical Theatre of Harlem whose July performances take place at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park

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 Many of you find out about wonderful cultural opportunities and events in your travels around the city. Share them with the EHP via email: someone in the group always takes advantage of such notices!