Here is a sampling of the week’s events and how to tune in (all times are Eastern). Note that events are subject to change after publication.
Calling all aspiring pandemic novelists: Live out your literary fantasies through Zadie Smith, whose latest book, “Intimations: Six Essays,” was written during lockdown. In its pages, the author of novels like “White Teeth” and “Swing Time” tugs at many threads related to the current situation. Ms. Smith talks to Vinson Cunningham, a staff writer and theater critic at The New Yorker, for a (virtual) evening hosted by Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. Tickets are $19.50, and include a copy of “Intimations.”
When 6 p.m.
Picture yourself in post-Stonewall New York, hanging out at the Christopher Street Pier or hobnobbing with Susan Sontag, as you browse “Peter Hujar: Cruising Utopia,” an online exhibition from Pace Gallery comprising some of the photographer’s unshrinking images. Or ponder the commonalities of works by Alexander Calder and Harry Callahan — two very different artists — with “Calder, Callahan, and the Intensified Image,” also from Pace.
When Through Aug. 3
Reunite with Michelle Obama through her new namesake podcast. The former first lady explores the relationships that define us, speaking to guests like her mother, Marian Robinson; Valerie Jarrett, an former senior White House adviser; the journalist Michele Norris; the television host Conan O’Brien; and, for the debut episode, dropping today, President Barack Obama.
What if, in 2010, a Buddhist scroll was found amid the ruins of the old Yankee Stadium? Donald S. Lopez, a Buddhism scholar and baseball superfan, imagines it in his recently published book, “Buddha Takes the Mound: Enlightenment in 9 Innings,” equal parts primer on the ancient belief system and a love letter to the modern pastime. At an event at Politics and Prose, a bookstore in Washington, D.C., see Dr. Lopez argue that the Buddha actually invented the sport.
When 5 p.m.
Watch — but, more importantly, listen — as Kyle Marshall and Okwui Okpokwasili grace the screen for Black Dance Stories. The series provides a space for Black artists to come together, with new dancers and choreographers every week. A New York Times dance critic once described Mr. Marshall as having “a choreographic voice like no one else’s,” and another critic called Ms. Okpokwasili’s work “intense and enigmatic, and often loaded with tests of endurance.”
When 6 p.m.
Where Black Dance Stories YouTube
Test your knowledge of minutiae and connect with brainiacs from around the world at Atlas Obscura’s trivia night. You can play solo or with up to four other people. (Note that your team members don’t have to be in the same room; just decide on a team name beforehand and put it in next to your name in Zoom.) $7 per ticket.
When 7 p.m.
Celebrate the blues singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples with the Mavis 80 concert presented by Newport Folk and Anti Records. Also set to perform this evening are Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Ben Harper and Phoebe Bridgers, among other folk music stars. Tickets start at $12.
When 8:30 p.m.
For those in the market for summer reading assignments, the National Museum of African American History and Culture offers the final installment of its summer reading challenge, called “Reading Through the Galleries.” If you finish at least three books on the museum’s list by the end of the month, you can receive a certificate to celebrate the accomplishment.
Got some time, an old T-shirt and a bunch of uneaten beets on your hands? Hillary Taymour, the creative director of the clothing brand Collina Strada, gives step-by-step instructions on how to make a tie-dyed plaid top as part of the Style section’s Designer D.I.Y. column. You can also check out other installments, like how to make a fancy tote bag from a dish towel with the founders of Rodarte, Laura and Kate Mulleavy.