1. Los Angeles
Something Resembling Truth: Jasper Johns at The Broad
February 10-May 13, 2018
One of the best contemporary art museums in Los Angeles teams up with London’s Royal Academy of Arts to present this special exhibition by iconic American artist Jasper Johns. Works from international and domestic collections will chronicle his oeuvre over six decades, including many never before presented in Los Angeles.
2. New York City
Angels in America on Broadway
Previews begin February 23, 2018; opening on March 21, 2018
What’s a more classic night out than dinner and a show? How about dinner and a show to see the first Broadway revival of an epic, two-part Pulitzer Prize–winning play fresh off its run in London starring Oscar-nominee Andrew Garfield and Tony-winner Nathan Lane? Angels in America returns to the stage after 25 years in a limited 18-week engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre; tickets are for both parts of the play, Millenium and Perestroika, and seats are selling fast.
3. Maribor, Slovenia
Pruning of the Old Vine
March 2, 2018
The world’s oldest fruit-bearing vine grows in Slovenia, a veritable gem of a country, and every year locals ceremonially prune it to ensure its health and the quality of its grapes. Shoots from the vine are sent to different partner communities around the world, and attendees get to keep grafts for planting. Be sure to enjoy some of the wine while you’re there!
March 15-June 11, 2018
Australia’s biggest contemporary art event is in its 45th year in action. This year’s title is “Superposition,” connecting ideas of equilibrium and engagement derived from quantum mechanics. Curator Mami Kataoka hopes this will present artworks that focus on how conflicting viewpoints can still coexist in balance. Opening night will kick off with a conversation between Kataoka and renowned artist Ai Weiwei; nearly three months of art exhibitions and events will follow.
5. Hong Kong
March 29-31, 2018
Five years ago, the seminal Swiss art fair established a presence in Hong Kong, and it has skyrocketed in popularity there ever since. This spring, 32 countries and territories present works in 248 galleries by established and exceptional emerging artists at early stages in their careers. In the spirit of Art Basel’s commitment to the host region, half of the participating galleries are from Asia.
6. New Orleans
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 27-May 6, 2018
If anyplace knows how to throw a party, it’s the Big Easy, and 2018 is a year for celebration: New Orleans is turning 300! What better way to honor the rich culture and enduring resilience of the city than to listen to hot jazz played by some of the world’s best musicians? The lineup always includes lots of artists from jazz and well beyond—last year the likes of Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Patti LaBelle, and Earth, Wind & Fire took to the stage.
April 14, 2018
Nepal is so ethnically and religiously diverse that it celebrates nine different New Years. If you have to choose, pick the national lunar calendar date: See processions with traditional music in Kathmandu, play tug-of-war in Bhaktapur, or get doused in festive red powder in Thimi.
8. Berck-sur-Mer, France
International Kite Festival
April 14-22, 2018
Dragons take flight—as do fish, teddy bears, and a giant squid or two—at the annual International Kite Festival. Team competitions, kite battles, a night flight, and fireworks are highlights of the nine-day event in this coastal town, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Paris.
9. Kinosaki, Japan
April 23-24, 2018
Every 33 years this sleepy coastal town famous for its hot springs completely reveals a shrine with an 11-headed Buddha that stands nearly seven feet high. Ride the aerial tram up the mountain for a glimpse, then take advantage of the free entry to three of the town’s famed bathhouses during the two-day festival.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
April 26-May 6, 2018
The largest documentary film festival in North America takes place annually in Toronto, screening more than 200 films from around the world (with some going on to receive Oscar nominations). Last year, attendance hit a record high, welcoming 215,000 viewers; this year, the festival celebrates its 25th anniversary and will again offer attendees the opportunity to watch many of the world’s best short, mid-length, and feature documentaries.
11. English Harbour, Antigua
Antigua Sailing Week
April 28-May 4, 2018
What began 50 years ago as a regatta run by a group of friends has become a Caribbean tradition. Watch the yachts racing from spectacular vantage points onshore, or the seaworthy can hop onboard a sailboat to spectate from a non-racing vessel. When the boats are back in port, enjoy evening soirees. And for those of you with extra vacation days, arrive a little earlier in the month to catch the vintage yachts on display at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.
Rudolf Nureyev Night at La Scala
May 25-29, 2018
Acclaimed ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev first graced the stage of La Scala in 1968. Now, 25 years after his death, audiences and artists there will pay homage to his artistic legacy. Guest artists include Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov, both principals at The Royal Ballet of London. Tickets go on sale March 23.
Opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum
Few museums have garnered so much anticipation as the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Fingers crossed, visitors will finally get to enter the new museum this spring, located a little more than a mile from the Pyramids of Giza. The big reveal (besides the building itself) will be the full contents of King Tut’s tomb.
A version of this appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of AFAR.