Here are the latest Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes:

African American Festival

The seventh annual African American Festival of Boston will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 at the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Park, Atlantic Avenue.

The multi-cultural celebration will feature the best of the African arts and culture. Featured artists will include Leonard Tshitenge, Laura Onyeneho, Benin, Georgette Adjie and more.

There will also be a drum call parade, African-style face painting, health and wellness information, children and family pavilion and an Afro-fashion show. Vendors will sell jewelry, pottery, artworks, clothing, handbags, traditional crafts, cosmetics, food and more. Admission is free.

Further information can be found at

Tango in the park

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy will host free Summer Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 at High Street and Atlantic Avenue.

At 6:45 p.m. dance professionals Hernan Brizuela and Anita Flejter will perform the tango, followed by the lesson with Boston masters at 7 p.m. DJ Berk Usta will spin a mix of traditional and alternative tango music all evening.

For more information, visit or call 617-292-0020.

Shakespeare showcase

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s apprentice program will present William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV Part I” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 and “The Tempest” at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre, 525 Washington St.

The first production is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. It depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur’s battle at Northumberland in 1402 and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403.

In “The Tempest,” the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using manipulation and illusion. He conjures up a storm to cause his usurping brother Antonio to believe he is shipwrecked and marooned on the island.

Admission is free.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-426-0863.

Poet to visit

Author and poet Bao Phi will be the guest at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Pao Arts Center at One Greenway Building, 99 Kneeland St., at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 31.

Phi is a multiple Minnesota Grand Slam poetry champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist. He will read from his second collection of poetry “Thousand Star Hotel,” which confronts the silence around racism, police brutality and the invisibility of the Asian American urban poor.

To register for this free event, visit or call 617-635-5129.

Concerts in the park

The Norman B. Leventhal Park summer acoustic music series will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, Aug. 1 and 3 at the park on Franklin, Pearl and Milk streets.

Guitarist Joe Weinberg will return to the park on Tuesday and the Peter Bloom Trio will entertain on Thursday.

Admission is free. Visit for more information.

Mandolinist to perform

Berklee College of Music will welcome mandolinist Gordon Neidinger in a free concert at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3 at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St.

Admission is free

Visit for more information.

Open day

The Old State House, 206 Washington St., will host a free open house from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4.

The museum will be open as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s “Free Fun Fridays.” Visitors can explore Revolutionary Boston with self-guided tours, visit the Boston Massacre site and have a chance to meet 18th century characters sharing what it was like to live in Boston during the days leading up to the Revolution.

Children ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Further information is available at or by calling 617-720-1713.

Carousel rides

The Highland Street Foundation will sponsor a Free Fun Friday at the Greenway Carousel with free carousel rides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, at the Rose Kennedy Geeenway, Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove.

This one-of-a-kind carousel features animals native to Boston such as lobster, cod, fox, squirrel, grasshopper, peregrine falcon, turtle, oarfish, whale, rabbit, harbor seal and more. It was designed to be accessible to individuals with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities.

Visit or call 617-969-8900 for further information.

1960s transportation

The Boston Street Railway Association will present a talk “Electric Transit in the 1960s” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Midtown Hotel, 220 Huntington Ave.

Leonard Bachelder will present a slide show on electric transit in the 1960s and early 1970s, featuring many systems in North America that have since undergone great changes or disappeared entirely.

The program is free and open to the public.

Visit or call 508-673-3047 for more details.

Art at City Hall

Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, is hosting three new art exhibits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 18.

The Scollay Square Gallery is hosting the work of eight Boston and Cambridge based artists who have created pieces using various mediums including film, sound, video, ceramic and painting. Inspiration for their work came from the architectural design of the building, constructed in 1968. The show is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions featuring guest curators from Greater Boston’s leading cultural organizations.

“Saturn’s Transit” features cut paper organized into imagery as a result of the artist’s process of mindfulness. The work is excerpted from a larger series of journal pieces based on current events and the artist's personal experiences The exhibit is curated by Jeremy Hetherington, a Boston-based industrial designer and artist, and is on display in the Mayor’s Gallery.

In “Sail Boston,” photographer Kevin Davis showcases images from Sail Boston 2000, 2009 and 2012, Sail Philadelphia 2015, the Gloucester Schooner Festival, the Camden Windjammer Festival and the Boothbay Windjammer Festival, in the Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery until Aug. 20.

For more information, visit

New play

The Bostonian Society is presenting “Blood on the Snow” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to Sundays, now through Aug. 20 at the Old State House, 206 Washington St.

The story of the Boston Massacre is well known, but few know of the events that took place the day after, on March 6, 1770. This new play by Patrick Gabridge, set and staged in the Council Chamber of the Old State House, tells how the leaders of Boston struggled to heal their town and unwittingly placed Massachusetts on the road to revolution.

Playgoers will experience an intimate face-to-face encounter with one of the formative events of the American Revolution in the very room where it happened.

Tickets are $35. Call 617-720-1713 or visit for tickets and further information.

Reinventing Boston

Boston By Foot is offering a guided walking tour “Reinventing Boston: A City Engineered” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays during August.

From the first subway to Long Wharf through the Big Dig, Boston has led the nation in transforming its cityscape. Tour-goers will discover all the layers of the city and look at how and why it changed – to accommodate a growing population, the needs of industry, public and private transportation and public health and safety.

Tickets purchased online are $13 for adults and $8 for children or $15 for adults and $10 for children if purchased on the day. Members are free.

To purchase tickets, call 617-367-2345 or visit

Boston’s literary scene

Boston by Foot will offer tours featuring Boston’s literary scene from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays during August. Participants will meet at the plaza at School and Washington Streets.

By the 19th century, Boston had earned the nickname “The Athens of America” as an important center for literature and as home to many of the country’s greatest writers. It was the launch pad of American Romanticism, Transcendentalism, the Fireside Poets and American Realism.

This literary tour will highlight the homes and haunts of such prominent writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Charles Dickens and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. These great minds gave rise to philosophical discussions that greatly influenced not only their own literary work but also 19th century society at large and our culture today.

Tickets are $15 or $5 for members and can be purchased online in advance or from the guide.

Visit or call 617-367-2345 for more details.

Chinese art

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Pao Arts Center, One Greenway Building, 99 Kneeland St., is displaying works by Wen-Ti Tsen and Mei Ching now through Saturday, Aug. 26.

Tsen’s work is “Inside/Outside: Portrait of Vivian Lee.” Since the mid-1970s, he had been engaged in making art the explores cultural connections, with paintings and mixed media installation and large-scale works in public spaces, as well as community arts projects working with grassroots organizations.

“Fantasies of Spring” are Ching’s traditional Chinese brush paintings featuring birds and flowers. Born in Guandong, China, he moved to Boston in 1980.

Visit or call 617-635-5129 to register and for more details.

Inflatable exhibition

The Boston Society of Architects is displaying “The New Inflatable Moment,” a new exhibition exploring inflatable installations and their role in utopian visions, now through Sept. 3 at the BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Suite 200.

The exhibition will explore inflatable structures used in architecture, art and engineering since the emergence of the hot air balloon, focusing on the role some of these revolutionary works of imagination have had in envisioning utopia.

Visit or call 617-391-4039 for further details.

Art market

Summer Street Art Markets is being held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays along the pedestrian zone on Summer Street.

Selected artists will sell their original artwork, including paintings, handcrafted clay, blown glass, stained glass, furniture, photography, clothing, toys, jewelry and locally produced food. Live musical performances will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

Visit for additional information.

Made in Fort Point

The Made in Fort Point store at 315 A St. is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The store sells and exhibits art, craft and design of more than 75 Fort Point Arts Community members and hosts special events and community meetings. Visitors can find paintings, jewelry, prints, photography, ceramics, furniture, lighting, artists’ books, wearables, greeting cards and more, all made by local artists.

Call 617-423-1100 or visit for more information.