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Writing On It All turns anyone into a (totally legal) graffiti artist

Plus Madonna vs. Cher, "E.T." on the big screen and more things to do in NYC.
Writing On It All Photo: Stephanie OrentasBattle of the Divas: Madonna vs. Cher Photo: Getty ImagesWashington Square Art ExhibitAtlas Obscura's Great Forgotten Garden Party Photo: Allison Meier

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but that doesn't mean your NYC event schedule is any less packed.

DANCE 

DanceAfrica

It’s a milestone year for BAM’s oldest festival of culture and history, DanceAfrica, marking its 40th year. This season’s commemorative show, “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond,” pays homage to the past, present and future of this festival and movement, which also includes art, films and an outdoor bazaar. May 26-29, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., $24-$60, bam.org

ARTS

The Meadow

Maybe you hit up the High Line for first dates, when family’s in town or when you need a hearty dose of river, city and skyline views. This summer, you can get a whole new twist on the stroll thanks to a new digital installation, The Meadow, presented by Google and Refinery29. Photos by Google’s #teampixel are displayed on digital lily pads you walk among. Through June 4, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., The High Line at 14th St., Free, thehighline.org

PARTY

Battle of the Divas

Would you “Believe” one fierce night might finally shine a “Ray of Light” on a clash that’s 30 years in the making? Battle of the Divas dares to ask who is the most quintessential pop culture qween: Madonna or Cher? The flames of this debate rage on through musical battles (with “Bitch I’m Madonna” Jack Sharp and “Dark Lady” Aaron Jackson), drag shows (featuring Heidi Haux) and sets by DJ Molly Austin. The culture war is hosted by comedians Christi Chiello and Matteo Lane. May 25, 8 p.m., Union Hall, 702 Union St., Brooklyn, $8-$10, unionhallny.com

FILM

“E.T. the Extraterrestrial”

On Memorial Day 1982, a genre-defying sci-fi movie rocked many of our childhoods: “E.T. the Extraterrestrial.” In honor of its 35th anniversary, Nitehawk Cinema is having a special screening of Steven Spielberg’s classic Saturday. Revisit your early experience of seeing the film in theaters (if you were so lucky) or at least take the chance to appreciate the film as it was meant to be seen. May 27, 11:30 a.m., Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, $12, nitehawkcinema.com

ART FAIR

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

For the next two weekends, take in some fresh air and enjoy art from over 100 new and returning contributors at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, a New York tradition that traces its roots back to Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollack. Judges rate the works on display, and artists sell them directly to passersby on the sidewalks. Mediums include wood, sculpture, paint, photography, glass, jewelry and more; the show takes place each spring and returns in the fall. May 27-June 4, Noon-6 p.m., Washington Square Park, 13th St. from University Place to Waverly Place, free, wsoae.org

INTERACTIVE

Writing On It All

Remember when mom told you to stop drawing on the walls? Get your revenge this summer at Writing On It All, an interactive installation on Governors Island. Pick up paint, chalk, charcoal and more to draw on the inside walls of an unused house, creating a massive piece of public art. Each week is shaped by new topics and guest artists, starting with “Forms of Resistance (Literally!)” led by Olga Rodriguez Ulloa and Alexandra Chasin. May 27-June 25, House 11 at Nolan Park, Governors Island, free, writingonitall.com

CULTURAL

Passport to Taiwan

NYC’s Taiwanese American Heritage Week, part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, brings the country’s largest celebration of Taiwanese culture to Union Square this Sunday. All ages can participate in arts and crafts (like folding cranes or watching master calligraphers), while sampling traditional cuisine (from crispy giant squid to catmint wheel cake) and enjoying live music and dance performances. There are also themed educational exhibits — and it’s all free. May 28, noon-5 p.m., Union Square North, free, p2tw.org

WOMEN

Mamapalooza

It might be called Mamapalooza, but this female-centric festival, a summertime tradition for over 15 years, isn’t just for moms. Families and feminists of all stripes are welcome to visit Riverside Park South with loved ones of all ages this Sunday for a day of arts, activities, live music, food vendors and even yoga classes. Events are also focused on activism that champions women’s rights. It’s all free to explore while you take in Hudson views and indulge in Andy’s Italian Ices. May 28, Noon-5 p.m., Pier 1 at Riverside Park South, free, mamapalooza.wordpress.com

COMEDY

Unitard

Three risque comedians come together in one snappy unit to make you laugh and maybe even blush at Joe’s Pub next week with fresh sketches that lampoon modern culture and get a little more real and a lot naughtier than many weeknight shows dare. Unitard (Mike Albo, Nora Burns and Dave Ilku) continues its residency at Joe’s Pub with three upcoming performances of their new show: “Tard Core: There Are No Safe Words.” Additional dates are June 28 and July 26. May 31, 9:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Ave., $20, joespub.com

HOT TICKET

The Great Forgotten Garden Party

Get lost in a magical world of fantasy as you revel outdoors amid bubbling ponds, statues and 2,000-year-old Roman columns. Atlas Obscura’s annual Great Forgotten Garden Party at Untermyer Park is always a grand affair, with a night of festive dress, elegant performances and endless discovery. June 10, 5-10 p.m., Untermyer Park, 945 N. Broadway, Yonkers, $55-$130, atlasobscura.com

 

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