Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s popular summer performance series Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt returns to its Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden Thursday evenings from June 8 through Aug. 24. The expanded season, set in one of the largest enclosed museum gardens in New York City, will showcase a wide array of performers from musicians to singers to dancers to DJs, and opens with a musical experience curated by four-time Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding.

“I am very excited about our new season of Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt, one of the museum’s most dynamic and popular programs,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “Dance, music and glorious design will activate our spectacular Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, with return appearances from some of the favorite performers of 2016 and an abundance of fresh new talent.”

Kicking off Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt Thursday, June 8, Spalding will introduce Leo Genovese (performing as Mezcalitos), multi-instrumentalist quartet Rose and the Nightingale and singer-songwriter Nadia Washington. The evening also anticipates the opening of the “Esperanza Spalding Selects” exhibition, on view June 9 through Jan. 7, 2018, for which the celebrated musician and vocalist lent her creative vision to shed new light on 50 objects from Cooper Hewitt’s vast collection.

Other highlights of the Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt season include a trio of evenings presented by Atlantic Records showcasing artists across a wide variety of genres: contemporary urban lyricist Sir the Baptist June 15, bluesy singer-songwriter LOLO July 6 and the soulful, jazz-inspired Niia Aug. 10; three Juilliard School performances from the Apex Brass and Friends June 29, the Juilliard Jazz Trio July 27 and the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble Aug. 17; and a breathtaking, special performance of “The Disappearance Portraits” from acclaimed choreographer Jonah Bokaer to conclude the series Aug. 24.

The full performance schedule follows (subject to change):

Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt will take place Thursday evenings, June 8–Aug. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., in the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden at East 90th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues in New York City. Admission is $13 per evening with online advance purchase at or $15 at the door; Cooper Hewitt members receive free admission to all performances. With admission to Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt, visitors also may enjoy exhibitions on view in the museum’s first- and second-floor galleries until 7 p.m. Specialty cocktails and light fare are available for purchase from Cooper Hewitt’s Tarallucci e Vino Cafe. Performances held rain or shine. For more information, visit

Juilliard School performances are made possible by the generous support of Dinny and Lester Morse.

“Esperanza Spalding Selects” is made possible by The Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund. In-kind support for the site-specific installation is provided by ZGF Architects. Piano provided by Steinway & Sons.

about cooper Hewitt, smithsonian design museum

Founded in 1897, Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Housed in the renovated and restored Carnegie Mansion, Cooper Hewitt showcases one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence. The museum’s restoration, modernization and expansion have won numerous awards and honors, including a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a Gold Pencil Award for Best in Responsive Environments and LEED Silver certification. Cooper Hewitt offers a full range of interactive capabilities and immersive creative experiences, including the Cooper Hewitt Pen that allows visitors to “collect” and “save” objects from around the galleries, the opportunity to explore the collection digitally on ultra-high-definition touch-screen tables and draw and project their own wallpaper designs in the Immersion Room. Hood Design Studio, led by 2009 National Design Award winner Walter Hood, redesigned the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden in collaboration with RAFT Landscape Architecture and 2005 National Design Award winner Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The reopening of the garden in 2015 marked the final phase of Cooper Hewitt’s renovation to the museum campus.

Cooper Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden and Tarallucci e Vino cafe open at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, and are accessible without an admissions ticket through the East 90th Street entrance. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations), the Second Avenue Q subway (96th Street station), and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. Adult admission, $16 in advance via, $18 at door; seniors, $10 in advance via, $12 at door; students, $7 in advance via, $9 at door. Cooper Hewitt members and children younger than age 18 are admitted free. Pay What You Wish every Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is fully accessible.

For further information, call (212) 849-8400, visit Cooper Hewitt’s website at and follow the museum on, and