In April of last year Manhattan’s only cultural district, Fourth Arts Block, which stretches along East 4th Street, launched FAB Fridays, the East Village equivalent of the TKTS booths in Times Square and Downtown Brooklyn, selling discounted tickets to events at affiliated venues every Friday between 5-7pm at 61 East 4th Street. For as little as $5 you can snap up tickets to shows at some of the city’s hot spots for experimental and non-commercial theater, dance and performance, like New York Theatre Workshop, La MaMa Experimental Theater Club and P.S.122.
In a similar vein, but further downtown, three Lower Manhattan performance venues—HERE Arts Center, 3LD Art & Technology Center and Dance New Amsterdam—created the discount punchcard system Downtown 3. It works a little differently from your conventional coffee shop punchcard: here you pay $33 up front, which gets you into any three performances at those venues, so exactly $11 per show, or buy two Downtown 3 punchcards for $60 and see even more great shows at a discount!
And you can see even more free art (and drink free box wine) for the price of printer paper and ink, with Art Cards —also available as an iPhone app. The site not only compiles all the exhibitions that are opening in the city every night, but lets you pick and choose which shows you want to hit up and organizes them into a helpful checklist and Google Map for a quick and free gallery-hopping itinerary that’ll be easy to navigate even after several plastic cups of cheap wine.
(photo credit: Performa, P.S.122, Paula Court)