1 at 66th St.-Lincoln Center; 1, A, B, C, D at 59th St.-Columbus Circle
The New York Society for Ethical Culture is a humanist community that values human dignity and personal responsibility over theological revelation. Their Upper West Side headquarters—which hosts frequent events, many open to the public—is home to five distinct event spaces, most notably an 812-seat auditorium with a wood-paneled balcony, a thrust stage, and top-notch acoustics. (The pew-style seating, though, can feel out of place for events beyond the Society’s Sunday meetings.) Unlike the auditorium, which has an entrance off the lobby, the other spaces are accessed by winding your way through the building's sterile hallways. These smaller spaces include the Ceremonial Hall, which holds up to 150 and boasts stained-glass windows and a small outdoor balcony, and the Social Hall, which can accommodate 285, though its harsh lighting can be unwelcoming. More intimate events (such as discussions and film screenings) can be held in the Adler Study and the Elliott Library, which each hold about 50 people.