When the Brooklyn Museum opens a major retrospective of the work of Ai Weiwei on April 17, the only thing missing will be the artist himself, who has not been allowed to leave China since 2011. To protest Beijing’s efforts to silence Ai and other Chinese writers and artists, PEN American Center stages a protest tonight. After hearing the works of Chinese writers read by literary luminaries including Sergio De La Pava, Jennifer Egan, Ha Jin, Chang-Rae Lee, and Victoria Redel in front of the Brooklyn Public Library, attendees will be handcuffed before walking to the Brooklyn Museum to view a brand-new video message from Ai. Everyone will then break out of their handcuffs and leave them at the museum “in the name of freedom and expression for all Chinese artists and writers.”

Thu., April 10, 7 p.m., 2014