Arts agenda: New York and Toronto turn into art hubs for NY Gallery Week and CONTACT

In May, the world's largest annual photography event will take over the city of Toronto with hundreds of exhibitions and events. Galleries in New York will also join forces in May for New York Gallery Week, an event that embraces the city's great gallery culture and diverse range of exhibitions.

15th CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival
May 1-31
Various locations
Toronto, Canada
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CONTACT is the world's largest annual photography event. It attracts more than 1,500,000 visitors each year. The month-long festival is organized in collaboration with galleries throughout Toronto and comprises exhibitions, public installations, lectures, films and events. The festival aims to help audiences explore how photography informs and transforms our experience of the world. Additional photography events in 2011 include PHotoEspaña, Les Rencontres d'Arles, the New York Photo Festival, Photo London, Paris Photo, FotoFest and the Hereford Photography Festival.
http://www.contactphoto.com
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2nd New York Gallery Week

May 6-8
Various Galleries in New York
New York, USA
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After a successful first edition in 2010, New York Gallery Week (NYGW) will again take to the streets and galleries of Manhattan. Sixty contemporary art galleries and not-for-profits will join forces to "refocus the art world's attention towards the city's long-standing exceptional gallery programming." Sixty solo shows will headline the program of free events, informal talks by artists, guided gallery tours, panel discussions, film screenings, book signings, performances and gallery-produced artistic experiences.
http://www.newyorkgalleryweek.com
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17th FutureEverything

May 11-14
Various venues in Manchester
Manchester, England
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Formerly known as the Futuresonic festival, the FutureEverything festival is a wide-ranging event that includes "world premieres of astonishing artworks, an explosive city-wide music program, and visionary thinkers from around the world." The FutureEverything conference will explore topics like emotional computing and digital culture within urban environments, FutureEverything music will showcase ground-breaking performances and FutureEverything art will celebrate creative new media and digital crafts. A host of satellite events and workshops will also take place around Manchester parallel to the festival. In 2009 the FutureEverything festival attracted 75,000 visitors.
http://www.futureeverything.org/
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Nuit des Musées, International Museum Day

May 14, 18
Worldwide

During the week of May 14, museums and art institutions around the globe will be hosting various events in celebration of both Nuit des Musées (Long Night of Museums) and International Museum Day. Long Night of Museums originated as a trend in Berlin in the 1990s and has since spread throughout Europe, with more than 120 cities now participating. International Museum Day dates back to 1977 and is typically celebrated each year on May 18 to raise awareness about the importance of museums within our society. Generally, museums will open their doors to the public for free on these days and extend their opening hours late into the night.
http://nuitdesmusees.culture.fr/index.php?l=FRA&fl=GBR
http://network.icom.museum/imd2011.html
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3rd Vivid Sydney
May 27 - June 13
Various locations around Sydney
NSW, Australia
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Vivid Sydney, the largest light and music festival in the Southern Hemisphere, will illuminate Sydney with immersive light installations, projections, flashing sculptures, interactive light art, and music and DJ performances from local and international artists. Highlights include 3D lighting projections across the Sydney Opera House, the largest and most ambitious live fire show ever produced in Australia, and colorful architectural lighting on some of Sydney's most prominent buildings. Up to 400,000 people are expected to attend the diverse array of free and ticketed events.
http://vividsydney.com
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14th PHotoEspaña
June 1 - July 24
Various locations
Madrid, Spain
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PHotoEspaña is Europe's answer to Canada's CONTACT photography festival. This major international annual photography and visual arts festival attracted more than 700,000 visitors in 2010 and has become the most popular cultural event in Spain. The 14th edition of PHotoEspaña will be curated by Havana-based independent critic, curator and art historian Gerardo Mosquera.
http://www.phe.es/festival/
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54th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
June 4 - November 27
Various locations
Venice, Italy
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The 54th International Art Exhibition will once again take place in Venice under the guise of the Venice Biennale. Since it was founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale has been synonymous with avant-garde and new artistic trends. For over 100 years it has promoted contemporary art through its organization of international events and has become one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. The International Art Exhibition is second only to Documenta - an exhibition that takes place once every five years. A record 375,700 people visited the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition in 2009.
http://www.labiennale.org/en/art/index.html
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