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Press release

The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Host MetFest, a Celebration of the Creative Spirit of New York City, on Saturday, October 21

A cartoon of cityscapes surrounding a rectangular museum with children playing games and instruments

The festival will present live performances, art-making activities, and talks for adults and families

(New York, October 17, 2023)—On Saturday, October 21, MetFest will return to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for a celebration of the creative spirit of New York City. The festival will take place both outside, on The Met’s David H. Koch Plaza, and inside, at the Museum’s Fifth Avenue location, from noon to 6 p.m. All outdoor events are free; indoor events are free with Museum admission and no registration is required. Admission is free for kids under 12 and pay-as-you-wish for all New Yorkers and students from Connecticut and New Jersey. 

MetFest is made possible by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Bonnie J. Sacerdote, the Uris Brothers Foundation Endowment, and Council Member Keith Powers.

Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said: “We are thrilled to welcome everyone to MetFest for a fun and celebratory afternoon of art, performances, and activities. This Museum-wide festival encourages art lovers of all ages to collaborate and connect with the Museum and each other through meaningful programs that honor the diversity and dynamism of New York City.”

Heidi Holder, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education, said: “MetFest is a celebration of New York and the community of creative spirits that make our city vibrant and energetic. The festival engages with the City’s cultures through music, art, food, dance, and much more on this exciting day filled with programs from The Met and our community partners.”

The festival begins on The Met’s iconic steps with an energizing performance by the female-led, New York City–based Brass Queens band and Brooklyn United Music and Arts Program, a community-based youth marching band. The outdoor celebration continues with more local artists, including a live DJ set with DJ Rob Dinero and Shani Kulture of Hot 97, a dance performance by Full Circle Souljahs celebrating the global phenomenon of hip-hop, and a performance by Afrobeats band Antibalas. Family activities outside include collaborative crochet work with community artist Carmen Paulino alongside more art-making activities and games.

Additional activities, talks, and performances will also take place indoors throughout the galleries. Indoor festivities include live performances by teen DJs, bilingual musical performances in English and Spanish from Don Quixote Puppets with Teatro SEA and New York City Children’s Theater, a photo booth, and gallery talks and demonstrations with Met curators and staff members. The program also presents performances and projects honoring community life and diverse cultural narratives from The Met’s 2023–25 Civic Practice Partnership (CPP) Artists in Residence, including Alethea Pace, Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine, and OlaRonke Akinmowo.

A full schedule of events can be found in English, Spanish, and simplified Chinese on the MetFest online hub.

For audiences at home, there will be virtual opportunities to engage with the art and artists through a live stream of all performances on the plaza stage. The live stream will be available on The Met’s website and social media channels.

More about the event, including directions to programming throughout the Museum, will be available at the Welcome Desk in the Great Hall and information table on the plaza. There will also be special Membership offers and MetFest discounts across the Museum’s Bon Appétit eateries.


Stop by the Welcome Table in the Diane W. Burke Hall in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education for an assistive listening device, a Sign Language interpreter, a sighted guide, a large-print or braille schedule of events, or for other questions about accessibility at The Met.

More information on The Met’s comprehensive safety procedures can be found on

The event will be featured on The Met’s website as well as on social media using the hashtag #MetFest.


October 17, 2023

Contact: Stella Kim

Illustration by Janice Chang

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