We’re finally into spring — and, more importantly, spring weather — which means we’re finally able to enjoy a good art crawl, some street festivals, and take in the beauty of wandering about the city. Now that we’re in better spirits, share what happiness means to you with complete strangers at “Own Happy,” in Tribeca, watch Selena and learn how to do the “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” at Videology, and meet your favorite writers at the Downtown Literature Festival. So much to do!
Friday, April 11
[Art] Feeling good today? How about happy? Today’s “Own Happy” art installation aims to show you what happiness looks like and hopes you’d like to share that emotion with others. TAPIN creators, led by visionary Anne Koller, have installed life-size visuals that illuminate the holistic experience of happiness through a multi-sensory experience that “fearlessly explores a deeper meaning of happiness.” This installation engages visitors through unique social interactions and activities, turning strangers into collaborators and viewers into artists, allowing them to transform their experience and the art itself. At 7 p.m., Aqua Studio, $10 donation.
[Film] Videology celebrates the life of late Tejano pop star Selena tonight with a free screening of Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez. If you’re not familiar with this incredible singer, whose life tragically ended when the president of her fan club shot her to death at the age of 23, this is your chance to get acquainted. You’ll be on your feet dancing in no time. We doubt Videology will mind. At 8 p.m., Videology, Brooklyn, free.
[Film] After making a porno (under the pseudonym Jimmy Boy L) and The Driller Killer in the ’70s, Abel Ferrara directed Ms. 45, a 1981 female-revenge shocker, which Drafthouse Films recently reissued on DVD and Blu-ray. The movie is about Thana, a mute garment district worker who, after being raped twice in a single day, decides to take revenge on the men of Manhattan with a .45-caliber gun. It’s a testament to both Ferrara (who cameos as one of the rapists) and star Zoë Lund (credited as Zoë Tamerlis) that, as Ms. 45 reaches its Halloween-party climax, it starts to play less like a boilerplate-satisfying tale of vengeance: Lund, who would later co-write and briefly appear in Ferrara’s infamous Bad Lieutenant, makes her Thana not a fully justified punisher but a dangerously ambiguous force of violence. —Danny King. At 11:59 p.m., IFC Center, $9-$14.
Saturday, April 12
[Art] Whether you’re addicted to Facebook or Instagram, it seems like we’re always documenting our lives. Artist Luke Stettner is also on a mission to measure the passing in time through his second exhibition at Kate Werble. titled “time, women, stars, death, sleep, flowers, life, eyes, a river, dreams.” Through journals, photographs, images, planners, and other objects, Stettner explores the commonalities and metaphors that cohesively bring all of these things together. The show ends today. At 11 a.m., Kate Werble Gallery, free.
[Art] Slow Art Day is an annual global event that encourages people to look at art slowly, and thereby experience it in a new way. Host Amy Boyle, education manager at the Noguchi Museum, selects five objects for participants to examine for at least 10 minutes each. A discussion over lunch will follow. At 11 a.m., Noguchi Museum, Queens, $10.
[Dance] Curated by choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones, DraftWork is a series of free Saturday afternoon work-in-progress showings. The showings are followed by lively discussions led by Houston-Jones with a post-discussion reception in the Parish Hall at St. Mark’s Church. At 3 p.m., St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, free.
[Lit] A forward-moving celebration of literary arts, World of Words: Queens is hosted and curated by Audrey Dimola. “Exploratory, emotional, ecstatic — these Queens locals and Queens supporters will share their stories with all the vibrancy and authenticity this borough is known for.” At 3 p.m., LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Little Theatre, Queens, free.
[Music] When we saw this photo pop up on Hunters’ Instagram about a month ago with an announcement that the former Voice cover kids had to cancel a weekend tour we were concerned. What happened to Izzy? We immediately rang up the band’s publicist to see what had happened. It was a stage mishap: Izzy hit her head and got a concussion. Such is the life of a frontwoman who has no concern for her own safety. Sometimes they fall down go owwie. (The Instagram photo is doctored, obviously, though it’s hard to tell on a phone.) The good news is she’s completely fine now, and Hunters will be in fighting shape by the time they take the stage at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which we’re happy to present along with our friends at Seaport Music Festival, on Saturday. Hunters are joined by Canadian punkers PUP (who are treating the show to their record release), and the hometown crunchy guitar acrobatics of Big Ups. More show and venue info in the flyer below. See you there! (Wear pads.) — Brian McManus. At 7 p.m., Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Brooklyn, free.
Sunday, April 13
[Lit] Bar hopper? Bookstore hopper? Today is the perfect time to bounce between both. The Downtown Literary Festival is back for a second year celebrating the longtime writerly culture and bookish sensibilities of Lower Manhattan. Housing Works Bookstore and McNally Jackson host a series of nontraditional reading events like literary cabaret and “The Greatest 3-minute Bad Apartment Stories,” along with archival explorations of New York lit journals BOMB, Guernica, The Paris Review, and more. This year, genre boundaries are pushed further with presentations on the comic book, the importance of music venues to New York scribes, and television’s increasing influence on the whole scene (with Slaughterhouse 90210’s expert mash-up artist Maris Kreizman). Check out author and booze aficionado Rosie Schaap’s custom book-and-cocktail pairings before heading to the afterparty at Von Bar. —Heather Baysa. At 10 a.m., various locations, free.
[Lit] It’s National Poetry Month (in case you’ve been living under a rock), and although you might not consider yourself a master of words, today’s your chance to give it a shot. The Gotham Writers Workshop hosts a special writing session devoted to crafting perfect and witty prose. In this course you’ll learn such poetic techniques as economy of language, precision, rhythm, imagery, and how to examine your work from the unusual and freeing angles that poets savor. Through lectures and in-class exercises, you will discover poetry’s most potent secrets for becoming a better writer. This course isn’t about writing poetry; it’s about using poetic techniques to write better in every form that is not poetry: fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, stand-up comedy, humor writing, songwriting, even social media. At 2 p.m., BookCourt, Brooklyn, free.