Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Book festival

The 10th annual Boston Book Festival will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Copley Square at the Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.; the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St; the Old South Church sanctuary, 645 Boylston St.; the Church of the Covenant, 93 Newbury St.; John Hancock Hall, the French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., and at outdoor areas.

Events will include presentations, panels, author talks, family and children’s programs, writing workshops, competitions, antique books and live performances.

More than 45 authors will be participating, including Justine Bateman, Kendra Taira Field, poet laureate Danielle Legros Georges, Regie Gibson, Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ben Bradlee Jr., Christopher Lydon and former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Entertainment by Tyson Jackson, Autumn Jones, the Shakespeare Time-Traveling Speakeasy, Paddington Bear, Rainbow Fish and more will take place at the Festival Stage at Copley Square from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information and a complete listing of events, visit

School fair

The annual John Winthrop School Street Fair will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 on Marlborough Street between Berkeley and Clarendon streets.

Festivities will include moon bounces, live music, face painting, photo booth, a trackless train ride, animal visitors, dance party, pony rides, trucks and much more. Food from local businesses and restaurants and a bake sale with homemade goodies will be available.

This is a scholarship fundraiser with the proceeds directly benefiting families in need of tuition assistance.

For more information, call 617-267-7159 or visit

David Hogg visits the library

David Hogg, the co-founder of March for Our Lives, will joins BPL President David Leonard to discuss civic activism, gun control and the impact of the March for Our Lives movement on communities across the country from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

As a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Hogg survived the largest school shooting in American history. He and fellow classmates decided to take action, so no other young person would have to experience what they went through on that fateful day.

Hogg uses his platform to raise the voices of others who have stood up against violence to create an alliance through their shared loss to end gun violence everywhere. With his younger sister, Lauren, also a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he co-wrote “#NeverAgain,” a New York Times bestseller.

Admission is free. Visit or call 617-536-5400 for further details.

Hamilton’s American Revolution

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome historian Margaret Newell in a free talk on Alexander Hamilton from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Newell will explore the life of Hamilton as portrayed in the musical “Hamilton” and in the historical record: his life as an orphan immigrant from a slave colony, student radical, revolutionary soldier, political fighter and architect of the modern financial system.

Newell is vice chair of the History Department at Ohio State University. Her book “Brethren by Nature” was awarded the 2016 James A. Rawley Prize for best book on the history of race relations in the U.S. as well as the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

1918 flu epidemic

Lori Lyn Price will be the guest speaker in a free program, “Impact of the 1918 Flu Epidemic: A Personal Stories-Based Approach” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed up to 100 million people worldwide in less than a year, disproportionately taking healthy young adults. The personal impact was devastating and wide reaching. This talk draws on stories and newspaper articles to explore the multi-faceted ways the 1918 flu impacted families, sometimes for generations.

Price recently completed a master's degree in history with an emphasis on history of medicine. She loves sharing her passion for social history, genealogy and bringing ancestors to life by placing them in historical and social context.

Registration is suggested for this free program, online or by calling 888-296-3447.

Road to Civil War

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “Violence in Congress: The Road to Civil War” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. A pre-talk reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Historian Joanne B. Freeman of Yale University will recount the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress.

Drawing on a range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War, when mortal threats, canings, flipped desks and all-out slugfests punctuated legislative sessions. Pistols were drawn and knives brandished in an attempt to intimidate fellow Congressmen into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-536-1608.

Haunted burial grounds

Paranormal researcher and ‘Ghosts of Salem” author Sam Baltrusis will be the guest speaker from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Baltrusis will share his search for the Bay State’s 13 most haunted cemeteries. From the ghostly cries of the murdered Naramore children in Barre to the lingering legacy of the Salem witch trials at the Howard Street Cemetery, he breathes new life into the long departed. His 10th book, “Wicked Salem: Exploring Lingering Lore and Legends” will be published in April.

Baltrusis has been featured on several national TV shows including Destination America’s “Haunted Towns,” the Travel Channel’s “Haunted USA” on Salem and served as Boston’s paranormal expert on the Biography Channel’s “Haunted Encounters.”

For more information, call 617-536-5400.

Tours of historic homes

The House Museum Alliance of Downtown Boston will present its fall 2018 tour series, “Picture of Health: Untold Medical Histories in Boston’s House Museums,” with 30-minute tours of participating properties from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The museums will draw on their stories and collections to illuminate stories of Boston’s medical past over three centuries.

The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St., Back Bay, is taking part in this event. The others are on Beacon Hill – the Otis House Museum, 141 Cambridge St., the William Hickling Prescott House, 55 Beacon St. and the Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St., and at the Paul Revere House, 19 North Square in the North End.

Full day tickets (four tours, 25-30 minutes each) are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Half-day tickets (two tours, 25-30 minutes each) are $12 members and $15 non-members. Member rates apply to those with current memberships to any of the participating institutions.

Call 617-267-6338 or visit for more details.

Chamber music

The Chamber Orchestra of Boston will open its 2018-2019 season with “Vision” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St.

The program will feature J.S. Bach’s “Concerto in D minor” with acclaimed pianist Ling-Ju Lai; “Visions and Miracles,” an exuberant piece for strings by Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis; and closing the evening with “We Exist” by Oliver Caplan, a moving response to the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, set to a poem by award-winning author and journalist Naseem Rakha, performed with the New Hampshire Master Chorale.

Visit or call 617-266-1626.

Solo exhibition

The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St., is hosting a solo exhibition by artist Michelle Jung now to Oct. 27 in the President’s Gallery.

An artist’s demonstration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Admission is free.

Visit or call 617-536-7660 for more details.

Art inspired by Walt Kuhn

A new exhibition, “Le Masque and Kuhn’s Metaphors,” an original exhibition and experiment in perception from local artist Alastair Dacey, is being displayed now through Nov. 10 at the French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St.

Inspired by Walt Kuhn’s response to European Modernism in the early 19th century, Dacey spent two years exploring Kuhn’s unique vision and style, seeking to interpret select portraits and use them as guides and catalysts to create wholly new works of art. Recreating the look and feel of each piece posed questions of design, color and form as well as the overarching question of exactness and how literal to be in the details—right down to the feathered caps and embroidery.

The exhibit is free, but reservations are recommended.

Visit or call 617-912-0400 for more information and to RSVP.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 12.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Victorian Back Bay

Boston by Foot is offering 90-minute guided, walking tours of the Back Bay at 2:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays, now through October. Walkers will meet the guide on the steps of Trinity Church at Copley Square.

Visitors will discover how the Back Bay, once a body of water, was filled in and how the neighborhood was developed in the mid-19th century to become one of the nation’s richest collections of art and architecture. The treasures of the Back Bay tour include Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, Old South Church and the grand Back Bay townhouses.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $8 for children from ages 6 to 12 and free for members if purchased in advance or an additional $2 if purchased from the guide.

For more information, visit or call 617-237-2345.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.