Past Event: Cocktails & Culture: Pretty BIG Movement

When: Friday, March 18, 2022, 6:00pm

This event has passed.

Pretty BIG Movement

Cocktails & Culture returns in full force this March with a spirited celebration of female artistry and innovation! Check out our MC'NY Poets' Café hosted by poet Shanelle Gabriel and enjoy a performance by Pretty BIG Movement, the pioneering, full-figured dance troupe, as well as an amazing line-up of talented NYC spoken-word artists and poets followed by an open mic. Groove to sets by DJ Misbehaviour and DJ Eli of the Lower Eastside Girls Club Avenue DJ's Program and enjoy delicious bites from La Fonda NYC, and a Pretty BIG Margarita from the MCNY bar. 

Our brand-new photography exhibition, Celebrating the City, will be open for viewing, in addition to our current hit exhibitions New York, New Music: 1980-1986 and Puppets of New York.

Event Timeline:
6:00 pm - Event begins
7:00 pm - Pretty BIG Movement performs
7:30 pm - MCNY Poets' Cafe and open mic
9:00 pm - Museum closes

About Pretty BIG Movement:
Pretty BIG Movement LLC (2008) is the first international full-figured dance company based in New York City. Specializing in various dance genres such as Hip-Hop, Jazz, African and Modern; Pretty BIG Movement has created a space where full figured dancers can be seen as the true artists they are. After years of auditions and performances, Akira continuously found herself surrounded by beautiful, confident, plus-sized women in the entertainment industry. Realizing that there were no stable platforms for voluptuous dancers like herself, Founder and CEO Akira Armstrong used her confidence and experience to build her empire known as Pretty BIG Movement. Within a few years of inception, Pretty BIG Movement had thousands of loyal followers locally and internationally; inspiring women and men across the world to get back onto the dance floor. Pretty BIG offers dance workshops across the world to all, while still creating an intentional space for full-figured people.

About Shanelle Gabriel:
Shanelle Gabriel is a poet, singer, and lupus warrior from Brooklyn, NY who has performed internationally including Africa and Europe. Widely known for featuring on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, she has shared the stage with artists such as Jill Scott, Nas, Nikki Giovanni, and more. She was listed as one of's "Artist Activists You Should Know" and one of "8 Millennial Feminist Poets That Deserve Recognition" by Shanelle is also a health activist who has featured on the Lifetime Network about her continued battle with lupus. Presently, she is working on her third album while serving as the Interim Executive Director at Urban Word NYC, a youth organization that uses poetry & hip-hop to promote literacy and youth voice.

About DJ Misbehaviour:
Born in London now based in NYC, Misbehaviour has been rocking parties across the Globe since 1989 and makes seasonal appearances at Afro Punk Festival, New York Summer Stage, Art Basel Miami and many more. 

About the Lower Eastside Girls Club Avenue DJ Program:
The Avenue DJ's have learned the fundamentals of DJing from using turntables to scratch and manipulate sounds to using professional DJ software like Serato Pro DJ to create blends and mixes of their favorite music. Creating confidence and enhanced motor and musical skills are some of the many benefits of this popular program. From neighborhood block parties to Lincoln Center, the Avenue DJ’s have rocked the party!


Event Logistics (Subject to change based on NYC regulations)

  • Proof of vaccination is required for entry to the event (everyone over the age of 5), so please plan ahead! Excelsior Pass is accepted for those who were vaccinated in NYS. 
  • Masks required.
  • For more information about the Museum’s COVID Guidelines, please check our "Plan Your Visit" page.
  • Please contact with any questions or ticketing issues. 
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