Friday, May 9, 2014


It's outdoors time! The duckling parade is this weekend at the Garden, the Lilac Picnic for Mother's Day at the Arboretum (now with food trucks), the Swan Boats are floating, the days are right for hiking. But still, you need some AHT!

Screen Free Week
This continues into this weekend with nature sketching, storytelling, science and more free fun. Check out the rest of the line up

The Art of Science: Girls Day @ the MIT Museum
12-4pm at the MIT Museum.
Free with museum admission, it's Girl's Day! Meet MIT scientists and engineers and ask them what it's like to be a scientist, and participate in hands-on demos.

Fort Point Boston Open Studios
Today 4-7pm and Sat and Sun 12-5pm. Tour over 75 artist studios in one of the more vibrant arts areas of the city, free. There is also free parking thanks to Gillette/P&G in the parking lot at A Street and Binford Street (this is a new parking location, across the street from previous years). There are hands on activities and theater performances. Grab a map and get going! 

Oz with Orchestra
Check out the matinee of Oz with Orchestra for kids at the Symphony. The Boston Pops provides the soundtrack while you watch the 1939 version of the movie. 3pm Saturday and Sunday. Kids matinee tickets are half price (12 and under) if you call SymphonyCharge at 868-266-1200.

Dancing in the Street
Come see free dance performances all over Somerville in May and June. 

Music in the Calderwood Courtyard
Tickets for the summer concert series in the courtyard at the MFA are on sale now.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


It's that time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to get out and have some arty fun. I'm in one of these events this week, so I'm keeping this short. There are two main events you should know about this weekend for more arty fun than you can handle:


There are over 100 free events to take advantage of right in Harvard Square this weekend as part of Arts First. Just strolling through the square Saturday will be an event, with tons of performances happening out where your kids can dance and shout. Or, you can plan your Arts First days carefully: there's an app for that!


Somerville is said to have more artists per square foot than anywhere in the country but Brooklyn. And Somerville Open Studios is one of the biggest open studio events in the country as a result. It is done really well, with excellent maps, free trolleys, pedicabs, and hundreds of artists studios open to the public for free, all weekend. You can go on a massive viewing binge, shop for particular gifts or art for your house or collection, fantasize about other people's studios, eat a lot of free snacks, and best of all, hang out with me in the Mad Oyster Studio building. While it is tempting to go to only the biggest of Somerville's many excellent artist buildings, don't miss the smaller ones and individuals as a result. Peruse the website and make a plan. Note that not all studio buildings are stroller-friendly, and you should keep an eye on your kids, but kids are welcome and often mightily inspired.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Hi from The Cambridgeport School Arts Committee. It's that random time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to add some arty fun to your life. Please pass it on. I'm including two weeks this round so you can think about your arty vacation planning.

Family Dance Party

April 12 from 10AM -1PM get your moves on with DJ Frank White at Good Life at 28 Kingston St. in Boston at the Garden Nursery School Family Dance Party fundraiser. $10 adults, $5 kids.

Films…Not Just for Kids

The Brattle has some fantastic children's films coming up that you will also love. Check out their schedule from April 18-23. And really, if you haven't shown your kid My Neighbor Totoro, shame on you. Put that on your calendar.

Because Science is Beautiful

Just because there is a lot of other arty fun, don't miss the artfully engineered Cambridge Science Festival. It is the first of its kind in the country and is filled with stellar activities that make science accessible, interactive, and fun.

Free Venezuelan Trumpet Ensemble

Sunday, the 13th  at Berkelee, and Friday the 18th at the Strand,  experience the passion and intensity of Venezuelan El Sistema's classical, jazz, latin, and pop "musical fireworks." This is their Boston debut, and it is free. See the Boston Philharmonic site.
Colonial Fun

Patriots' Day, Monday morning, April 21st (before the marathon) get thee to Foss Park for a Colonial Day celebration. Volunteers dress in Colonial costumes, make Colonial fare for eating and drinking, and guide children in playing colonial era games. At the end, the children who finish all of the games, gets a prize. And of course, everyone gets to greet Paul Revere on his horse as he rides through Somerville on his way to Lexington and Concord.

To Boston with Love, the MFA

On Saturday, April 19, The Museum of Fine Arts opens its doors for a free day welcoming families, spectators and runners from Boston and beyond to enjoy a day of art and fellowship at the Museum. Sign and decorate a special panel of the America 4 Boston Prayer Canvas, a national art project that will be unveiled at the Red Sox game on April 20.
In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the exhibition "To BostonWith Love" is on view in the Shapiro Family Courtyard through April 30, featuring more than 1,700 hand-sewn flags created and sent to Boston from quilters around the world last spring.

Also during vacation week at the MFA, Tuesday-Friday from 10-4 (to 8 on Wednesday), you can enjoy A Splash of Color. Stories, music, dance and art activities (mini monet landscapes, foil weavings, stained glass designs…) that are inspired by color. Recommended for ages 4 to 13, check the website for the locations and times of different fun. An adult must accompany children, and the museum is free for kids all week (kids under 6 are always free, and kids 7 to 17 are free during non-school hours).

3D Printing!

There is a 3D Printing workshop at the Maud Morgan Art Center over by the Baldwin School from April 21-24 for grades 5-8. Design your own gidgit-gadget, or even something useful like a keychain or a candlestick! This four-session crash course in 3D printing will kids through the initial phases of sketching and modeling their own creations. $150 for the week, open to kids age 10-13. 

Saturday, April 12 from 1-3, there is a 3D printing workshop using Minecraft to make models at Parts and Crafts in Somerville. Along the way you'll learn how 3D printing works, how objects get sent to the printer, and what the rules are for this way of making things. $10-20 suggested sliding scale

And hey, if you're an adult who wants to join me at the 3D printing for jewelry design program at Danger!Awesome, sign up for May 19. 

Fun at the ICA

Kids are always free at the ICA, and some very special programs await them during vacation week. 2D, 3D, and performance art projects are in the line up.

BPL Concerts in the Courtyard

Are you home with wee ones? One of Boston’s most beautiful spaces is about to be filled with music during free, lunchtime concerts in the McKim courtyard at the Central Library in Copley Square. All concerts begin at 12:30 p.m.
               Monday, April 14 - Amaryllis Chamber Ensemble
               Tuesday, April 15 - Lindsay Straw
               Wednesday, April 16 - Daniel Acsadi
               Thursday, April 17 - Gabrielle Diaz with American Century Music
               Friday, April 18 - New England Conservatory
               Saturday, April 19 - New England Conservatory
In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held in Rabb Lecture Hall. 

[Sense]ation Day, Family Free Afternoon at the Fuller

Thursday, April 24 from 1-4pm come to Fuller Craft Museum for [Sense]ation Day, an afternoon filled with hands-on activities, craft demos, new exhibitions, and fun.
Admission is free all day. Past activities have included weaving, pottery, wood turning demos, storytelling and face painting.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Hi from The Cambridgeport School Arts Committee. It's that random time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to add some arty fun to your life. Please pass it on.

THIS AFTERNOON (PARENTS ONLY): Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan in Conversation with Drew Faust

In 2008, scriptwriter, producer, and director Vince Gilligan introduced TV audiences to the character Walter White – a mild-mannered HS chemistry teacher turned meth-cooking kingpin in the AMC series "Breaking Bad." He will discuss the show's evolution and impact during a conversation moderated by Harvard's President Faust today at 4pm in Farkas Hall (10-12 Holyoke St.). It's free, but get there early. Doors open at 3:30. I can't make it, but tell me how it was, because I watched all five seasons of the show this past week while with the stomach flu.

The Hills are Alive

If you've got a Sound of Music lover in your house, there is a performance at the Footlight Club in JP this weekend, with matinees. The Sound of Music, runs Fridays and Saturdays, March 29, April 5, 11 & 12 @ 8:00pm and March 30, April 5, 6, & 12 @ 2:00pm.

Home Depot is for the Birds

April 5th is the first Saturday of the month, and that means kids can build projects for free at Home Depot. This week it is a simple bird (squirrel?) feeder. Often other projects are also offered. Sign up ahead.


Friday through Sunday, CraftBoston is at the Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts 539 Tremont St., Boston) 
This is perhaps Boston's finest craft show. It is a juried, high end wonderland of jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor. A good place for a Mother's Day, wedding, or graduation present, or a present for yourself for making it through the winter. The CraftBoston website usually offers a couple of dollars off of admission, the code FULLER from the Fuller Craft Museum gives you a few dollars off, and Living Social generally has a deal for two tickets. The best deal is to go in with friends you will pass your ticket along to for a separate day, as CraftBoston tickets are generally good for the entire weekend. I may go Friday. Let me know if you want in on mine. 
Friday, April 4, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 5, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, April 6, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Jazz at The Green Room

Also on Saturday, for your older piano players, at 8pm at the Green Room on Bow St. in Union Square, you can see pianist Harvey Diamond, one of our true local greats. He will be with Jon Dreyer, a bassist and cellist. I don't believe there is an age restriction for the Green Room, but it is a very small space. Advance tickets are encouraged, affordable, and available here.

Free Symphony at the NEC

April 9, at 8pm, you can attend a free concert at the New England Conservatory'sJordan Hall. Paul Biss conducts the NEC Symphony in a program that features the American premiere of a work by composer Jonas Tarm '16 (in photo), a student of John Mallia.
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Opus 62Jonas Tarm:Headline Hues: Concerto for StringsSibelius:Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 43  NEC's FREE concerts do not require a ticket, unless stated in concert listing. 
Unreserved seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Doors open 30 minutes prior to the concert's start time.


ARTSBOSTON and MassMutual are offering "Artventurous" half price tickets for a number of April activities and shows.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Hi from The Cambridgeport School Arts Committee. It's that random time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to add some arty fun to your life. Please pass it on.

(Also note: I have a cold, and no editor, so do double check events before arriving...)

Free String Quartet

Saturday March 29, take advantage of living in Cambridge and go see the open rehearsal at 11am of the Juilliard String Quartet in Residence at Harvard University. This will be followed by a master class with Harvard undergrads at 2pm. Both events are at Farkas Hall, 10-12 Holyoke St., Cambridge, open to the public with free admission. (No tickets or RSVPs needed…but go early to queue up.) The JSQ is one of the most widely recorded string quartets of our time. Its credo is to "play new works as if they were established masterpieces, and established masterpieces as if they were new."

Imaginary Maps at Parts & Crafts

You may have seen Emily Garfield's artistic maps at local art shows. She's leading a workshop in fantastical map-making on Saturday 3/29 from 1-3 at Parts and Crafts, where you may find yourself pairing fractals, biology, or the patterns of cells and neurons with worlds of your own devising… Come for open shop, stay for the workshop. $10-20 suggested, all are welcome regardless of ability to pay.

ICA Play Date: Links, Lines, and Knots

It's the last Saturday of the month, and time for the ICA Family Play Date. From 10AM to 4PM unravel the mysteries of Matthew Ritchie's installation on the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg art wall. After sharing ideas about this new work, join visiting artist Justin Gargasz to create a large-scale diagram including stories from your lives (plus lines and knots). ICA Play Dates offer free admission for up to two adults accompanied by children 12 and under. The ICA is also free for all every Thursday from 5-9pm.

Charlie Card Discounts

Did you know your Charlie Card gives you some arts discounts? It only takes a $1 off the ICA, so you're better off with a Playdate, Thurs eve, or library pass there, but note that it offers $5 off a ticket to one production of the Boston Children's Theater. Use the promo code BCT5. (I'm not sure if you can additionally use the BosTix discount, which is a $12.50 ticket.) The upcoming show is "The Homework Machine," at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA April 20-27. In this musical based on the book by Dan Gutman, a group of 5th grade students have a secret, a machine named "Belch" that does their homework. Call them at 617-424-6634 as their website is having issues. 

Your Charlie Card also offers a two for one discount at the Alcott house in Concord, if your child has read Little Women. The discount is not valid on family rates or special events.

Rain Dance

The North Cambridge Family Opera Company is premiering "Rain Dance," this weekend, inspired by the Tish Farrell story, "The Hare Who Would Not Be King." Animals on the South African savannah face a drought, elect a Machiavellian lion to lead them, and are saved by a neurotic rabbit. The Family Opera is a production of incredible work and impressive rehearsals by residents of Cambridge of all ages. It shows at The Peabody School Saturdays March 29 and April 5 at 3pm and 7pm and Sundays March 30 and April 6 at 1pm and 5pm. It is free, with a suggested donation of $5, but to ensure you get in, buy tickets ($5 kids, $10 adults) ahead. 

The Magic Flute

Sunday March 30,  at 12 pm and 3pm there is a special Boston Symphony Orchestra family performance of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." This is a show aimed at ages 6 and older. It runs about an hour and 15 minutes with no intermission. The show is adapted with dialogue, puppetry, and more. It's a comedic opera, and was Mozart's last and perhaps finest work for the stage. It is $20 for adults and $5 for kids 18 and under.

Culture for the Older Set

Adults and older kids, tonight from 6-7:30pm, join an MIT Prof and MIT Researcher at the MIT Museum to discuss how cultural values are created and represented in digital media. Explore how online communities and computer code give rise to shared values, through the interactions between people online, as well as the underlying computation structure of video games, websites, and other online communities. 

And also due to intensity, for the older set: CRLS is in the State Drama Finals! They are held at Boston's John Hancock Center on Saturday the 29th at 4PM.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Hi from The Cambridgeport School Arts Committee. It's that random time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to add some arty fun to your life. Please pass it on.

Saving the Planet by Watching Films

Saturday, March 22, from 11am to 12:30pm, Environment science non-profit “e” inc. (not to be confused with local tech company E Ink) is running Boston KIDSFEST, a free, six-week-long series of fun animations about saving the planet for children 5yo and up accompanied by an adult. The movies are taking place at Boston public libraries and are "designed to spark imaginations and inspire young people to take action in protecting the planet." The hour of short films will be followed by a hands-on activity that each child can take home. This week's showing is in Brighton at 40 Academy Hill Road. Sign up on Event Brite.

Free Screenprinting Workshop

Print Club Boston is offering an informal workshop to artists and makers in the Somerville area Sunday, March 23rd from 11am-3pm at The Green Room, 62 Bow St., in Union Sq., Somerville. It will run throughout the afternoon and you can drop in and pick up the basic skills for designing and printing your own tote bag or poster. Instruction on using stencils and mixing water-based printing inks will be shared. Bring a smock or apron. RSVP here

Kids Are Crafty

Michael's, the craft store in Porter Square offers affordable classes on particular subjects from Rainbow Loom meet ups to crochet, as well as 1.5 hr long $2 kids clubs on Saturday. Take the T, parking there is always annoying. 

A Moment of Arty Appreciation for the BPL

The Boston Public Library offers so much, and for free. This weekend you could swing by the exhibition, Public Women, Private Lives at the main branch in Central Square in the Rare Books Lobby (9am-5pm through the end of May). This exhibit gives a sense of some of America's women writer's beyond their published works, by also displaying letters they wrote to friends, publishers, and one another. This exhibition of books and manuscripts from the Boston Public Library’s special collections includes the words of Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Julia Ward Howe, and more.

If you don't speak English as a first language, but want to try your hand at creative writing in English, stop by the free ESL Creation Writing Workshop on Saturday between 10am-12pm in the Mezzanine Conference Room at the Central Library. Bring your favorite writing materials. For more information, please call _617.858.2446 or email

Steve Lechner is doing a really cool workshop for kids to make their own optical illusions. It's for kids ages 6 and up. It's at the main branch children's room from 3-4pm, or you can use it as an excuse to check out the amazing new modern East Boston branch from 11am-12pm (265 Bremen St.)

The BPL also offers free public tours highlighting the celebrated art and architecture of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building (1895), a designated National Historic Landmark. The art and architecture tours begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square. No appointment is necessary, check the website for times that work for you.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Hi from The Cambridgeport School Arts Committee. It's that random time of the week where I attempt to inspire you to add some arty fun to your family life.

Fort Point Art Sale

There is a studio sale this evening from 4-7pm at 369 Congress Street. The artists there are marking down their pottery, knitwear, and graphic designs tonight.

Adults: The Muppets as a Model Creative Business

Somerville resident Liz Steven's Community Benefit project for her Literary Arts Fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council is a lecture tonight on how Jim Henson turned his art into a successful business. This will be a multimedia lecture with beverages available tonight at the Armory Café in Somerville at 191 Highland Ave from 7-9pm.

Holding Hands with the Sun

Olafur Eliasson is the 2014 recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (which includes a $100,000 cash prize, a campus residency and a gala held in the winner's honor. It's one of the most generous cultural honors in the US.) The festivities for Eliasson will be tonight, Thursday, March 13 at 5pm at MIT Building 10, Lecture Hall 250 at 77 Mass Ave. It's free. Reservations are recommended.  He will address the question of where an idea begins and the process of an idea becoming embodied in the world. He believes creativity is the passage by which the choice becomes ethical and political. You may have heard of the Little Sun solar-powered light for use in areas of the world without access to electricity that he developed with engineer Frederik Ottesen, which was launched at the Tate Modern.

You can also catch him at the MIT Museum Friday night with Harald Quintus-Boasz, CTO of Cooper Perkins talking about the beauty, function, and technological potential of solar lights. Delve into research that will improve materials for capturing and storing solar energy for lighting use, and brainstorm ways of creating solar lighting with flexible materials such as textiles and paper:
5:30pm: Product design with Eliasson and Quintus-Boasz
6:15pm: Innovative materials with Evelyn Wang and Jeffrey Grossman
7:00pm: Inspired applications with Sheila Kennedy and Karen Gleason

See the Sound

Tomorrow, Friday the 14th, The Remis Auditorium at the MFA will be bathed in color and light as the innovative Boston String Players perform works from C.P.E. Bach to Stravinsky to Florence and the Machine. 

Go with an MFA Member this Weekend

Check out Member Guest Days this weekend at the MFA
Sun 16th includes a fine art of floral arranging at 11am.
Saturday the Member Family Day includes lots of fun bird related activities including a performance of music as beautiful as birdsong, prints of birds, wearable beak making, and creating cartouche inspired by bird hieroglyphs.

Shades of Yale

While visiting the Fuller Craft Museum to see the exhibits on The Stories We Tell, or Contemporary Kinetic Sculpture, check out one of Yale's premier a cappella groups, Shades, on Saturday the 15th from 1-3pm.

Puccini's TOSCA

At the Kresge Auditorium at MIT (77 Mass Ave) on Sunday the 16th at 4pm see this famous opera with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, with special guests Cambridge Community Chorus and New England Conservatory Children’s Chorus.