Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:
One World (online)
It’s time for the Mary Baker Eddy Library’s 15th annual One World program – a series of free art and cultural events targeted for children, ages 4 to12.
This online program series happens weekly over six Tuesday mornings. Together, people will learn about a different corner of the globe with cultural activities from Italy, Mali, Peru, Lebanon, Haiti and Wampanoag Nation.
Events include live performances, sing-alongs, arts and crafts and story time.
The schedule includes:
Daily introduction: “Big Blue Earth” Sing-along.
Tune in at 10 a.m. each Tuesday and help open the day’s program by participating in an interactive sing-along. People will sing the children’s song “Big Blue Earth,” which is usually featured in the Mapparium exhibit.
In fact, “Big Blue Earth” originally inspired One World – the name comes from this line in the song: “I see you, you see me, all one world, one family.” This song teaches people about peace and how to care for our global family.
Aug. 11: WAMPANOAG NATION
10:10 a.m.: Art activities, in collaboration with guest wampum artist and educator Elizabeth Perry
10:45 a.m.: Social dances and songs, by the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers
11:30 a.m.: Storytime: When the Shadbush Blooms, by Carla Messinger and Susan Katz, presented by Leah Hopkins
Visit marybakereddylibrary.org and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com for more information, including registration and the Zoom link.
French theater games and activities
Looking to gain confidence in your French-speaking skills? Try a theater workshop to help find that extra ounce of stage presence.
The French Cultural Center is offering an online workshop practicing theater games and activities in French from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12 for their members.
Divided into three parts - a physical warm-up, voice articulation and improvisation - this workshop will help people lose their inhibitions and speak French with more confidence.
This workshop is perfect for intermediate/advanced learners (at least B1 level).
Please register ($20) in advance at frenchculturalcenter.org/events/educational-workshop-for-members-august-2020 to receive the Zoom event link.
‘Making Home: Wabanaki and English Claims to Place, 1600-1830’
Joseph Hall, Bates College will present “Making Home: Wabanaki and English Claims to Place, 1600-1830” from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Wabanakis defined their claims to territory in terms of networks among places. English colonists redefined the region with property defined as polygons on the landscape.
Understanding how both groups constructed ideas of property and homeland can help explain how colonists erased Indigenous residents in what became western Maine. It also shows how Wabanakis retained ties to the region.
Register for the Zoom link at www.masshist.org/calendar.
Reading the Rainbow
Reading the Rainbow – a Boston Public Library online-exclusive book group geared towards members of the LGBTQ+ community – will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. on second Thursday of the month.
Join the group on Aug. 13 for a lively discussion of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson.
Witty, acute, fierce and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded search for belonging – for love, identity, home and a mother.
All communication will take place on the messaging platform Slack: no webcam or microphone needed. All book club titles are available on hoopladigital.com.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including required registration.
The ABC's of Using School Records in Family History Research
Go back to school with Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 in a webinar hosted by American Ancestors.
School records offer family historians insight into an ancestor's daily life, help fill in a timeline and can be a useful tool in cluster research. This presentation will discuss how to find yearbooks, registers, teacher lists and other school records – in manuscript, published and digitized format – from elementary school through college.
Visit www.americanancestors.org/education/online-classes for registration.
Virtual Vinyassa Yoga
Join the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for a virtual vinyassa yoga class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13.
Visit emeraldnecklace.org for more information, including required pre-registration to access the Zoom link.
Kanopy Club: ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’
The Boston Public Library invites people to watch the film “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” on Kanopy.com/video/girl-walks-home-alone-night and then join the discussion on Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13.
About “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night:” Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire stalking the town’s most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom…blood red.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including registration. A Zoom invite will be emailed to those who register.
Late night at Emmanuel: Summer sessions
Emmanuel Music will present five virtual concerts of newly recorded and/or newly contextualized performances of music spanning nearly three centuries as follows:
Aug. 13: Night Game
In a live-streamed candlelit performance from the Lindsey Chapel at Emmanuel Church, violist Sarah Darling presents a program of meditative night-themed pieces by composers Alan Hovhaness, Caroline Shaw, Anthony Green and others. Darling also will share spoken word pieces that explore the themes and context of each work in our present lives.
Aug. 20: Colton Sings Marx
Kendra Colton revisits a never released recording made with pianist Laura Ward of stunning art songs by Austrian composer Joseph Marx, a composer and philosopher whose style can be compared to that of Wolf and Strauss. Made in the renowned acoustic gem of Mechanics Hall in Worcester in 1999. In conversation with Artistic Director Ryan Turner, Colton will share insights into these unique pieces, the life of Marx, and the experience of returning to these recordings two decades after they were made.
Aug. 27: Schlummert Ein...
Soprano Kristen Watson presents a new arrangement of Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, the touching central aria of Bach’s Cantata BWV 82, Ich habe genug. Supported by the audio production of husband Eric Reustle, Watson presents this aria both as soloist and accompanist, redeveloping and recording the instrumental parts with her voice. Watson and Reustle will present this work alongside another new project they have developed and share insights into their recording and editing process.
Videos of these wide-ranging concerts will be available on: Facebook Live at 9 p.m. and on YouTube and EmmanuelMusic.org the following day.
Concerts in the Courtyard Series (Online)
The Boston Public Library, in the spirit of their annual Concerts in the Courtyard series, will stream the performances on their YouTube page from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays as follows:
Aug. 14: FauxMenco
Aug. 21: Northstar Duo
Aug. 28: Ken Field & Blake Newman
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including a description of each concert.
‘Speed, Style & the English Country House’
During the Interwar Years – between 1919 and 1939 – much of England’s upper-class lifestyle was characterized by fast cars and an abundance of glamour and glitter. To understand the full story, Curt DiCamillo, FRSA, Curator of Special Collections will take people back to the 17th century when the turf ruled the aristocratic taste for racing and horses were de rigueur for the fast set.
Tales of lions, murder and movies mixed with ambition and houses filled with sublime art come together to reveal English stories that have left a residue for people to marvel at today.
This webinar, “Speed, Style & the English Country House: Auto, Horse, and Airplane Racing at England’s Historic Houses” - hosted by American Ancestors, will be held from 4 to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14.
Visit www.americanancestors.org/education/online-classes for registration.
Esplanade Association 2020 Moondance Gala
Based on the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, the Esplanade Association has made the difficult decision to cancel the beloved Moondance Gala in 2020. After many conversations with chairs Carolina Säve-Natale, Bryan Natale, Margo Newman and Fred Newman, the safety of friends and supporters is their top priority. In addition, they determined it was not fiscally responsible to take on the financial risk associated with planning an event that could likely need to be cancelled at a later date.
The group thanks people who have considered making a gift to the Esplanade Association. People’s support of EA is more critical than ever before as this event typically makes up 50 percent of their operating revenue. All donations are fully tax deductible and people can use any means to send their support, including Donor Advised Funds.
Make gifts by using the secure online donation website below, using the Donor Advised Fund, giving appreciated securities or sending a check (payable to Esplanade Association) to Jim Diverio, Director of Development, Esplanade Association, 575 Boylston St., Suite 4R, Boston, MA 02116.
Call Jim Diverio at 617-837-2870 or visit https://esplanade.org/moondance for more information.
Barre en francais
What better way to start the week than by exercising your body and your vocabulary?
Join the French Cultural Center from 9 to 10 a.m. on Mondays for a barre class that will help people to focus on strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing from the comfort of their home via Zoom.
This event is in French. All levels of French and barre welcome.
Visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org to register for the Zoom link. (Members: $7; Nonmembers: $10).
Early literacy playgroup (on Zoom)
Parents and caregivers with children, ages 3 years old and younger (although older siblings are welcome as well), to join Boston Public Library for an interactive program that includes playtime, conversation, and early literacy information from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays through Aug. 31 on Zoom.
Visit www.bpl.org/events for more information, including required registration. Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.
Facebook Live Story Time: Tuesday Tales
Join Librarian Laura for a live-streamed story time for children, ages 2 to 4 years old, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays through Aug. 25 at www.facebook.com/BPLchildren.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information.
Welcome to BOSPUBLIA: A live animal crossing twitch stream
For many across the globe, Nintendo's adorable Animal Crossing island simulation has been a welcome respite from the daily doldrums of lives spent mostly walled-in due to current events. Now, thanks to an elite team of BPL Youth Librarian staff armed with both Switches and Twitches, the library will see new life on its very own Animal Crossing island--known to visitors as BOSPUBLIA, and most importantly, free to all.
Join the group from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Aug. 11 on BPL’s Teen Services Twitch channel (twitch.tv/BPLts) to inspect, inquire, invest, and invent with them as they build new, thriving versions of their own temporarily-closed libraries in this charming, family-friendly online space. You can drop in anytime to chat with them Live using only Twitch, but if you’d like to play alongside them and own the game yourself, drop them a line in their Discord by emailing VirtualTeenRoom@bpl.org and they can set you up with a Dodo Code.
Jackbox Party Gaming for Teens on Twitch
Teens in grades 6 through 12 are invited to join the BPL Teen Librarians for Jackbox Party Gaming on Twitch from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 2 in the Virtual Teen Room.
They’ll host a series of wacky, irreverent online games, all of which are designed to be played by large audiences.
Visit bpl.org/events for more details, including registration.
Facebook Live: Story and a craft
What will people create today? Children, ages 4 to 8, are invited to join the Boston Public Library for a live-streamed story time and craft from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 and Aug. 27 at www/facebook.com/BPLchildren.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information.
Virtual Jazz Coffee House
The Virtual Jazz Coffee House, featuring the Willie Sordillo Ensemble, will be live streamed from the Old South Church in Boston from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at https://livestream.com/oldsouth.
Breakdancing workshop for youth
Teens (Ages 13-18) are invited to join the Boston Public Library from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays through Aug. 28 for breakdancing led by Oliver Arias, a member of the Floorlord - the longest-running hip hop dance troupe in the US.
Each week people will learn new dance moves which will get difficult as the weeks move on. No previous dancing experience required.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including registration. A link to the Zoom meeting and password will be sent via email on the day of the program.
HOH Virtual Game Night Series
Join Havurah on the Hill at the Vilna Shul - Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture - to laugh, engage and connect through social clue-giving games such as Codenames, Just One and Pictionary.
These virtual entertainment experiences are professionally produced by Eureka: On the Spot. Join once or for the entire series to be held on Aug. 10, Aug. 14 and Aug. 29.
Game nights will begin at 7. The Friday night events will include candle lighting, Hamotzi and Kiddish. Saturday night events will include a short Havdalah service.
HOH events are designed specifically for people in their 20s and 30s. For those who were born after the debut of the Rubik Cube, register in order to receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link.
Visit www.vilnashul.org for more information.
Free Bluebikes passes for essential workers
To assist re-opening efforts, the City of Boston is offering free Bluebikes passes to help people get to work at hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, or at restaurants and retail establishments in Boston (and other nearby areas) through Sept. 30.
Visit www.boston.gov/news/free-bluebikes-passes-essential-workers for more information, including pass applications.
Community Boating kayak and SUP rentals
Community Boating (21 David G Mugar Way) is open and offering safe boating opportunities. Two-hour sit-on-top kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals are $30 per person for non-members, available Wednesdays through Sundays with advanced reservations.
At this time, paddling is limited to the basin between the Mass Avenue Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge following face covering and social distancing guidelines. Lockers and bathrooms are not available at this time.
A full year paddling pass may be purchased in the Community Boating Portal for $199 and includes access to sit-on-top Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for 12 consecutive months.
A full year sailing and paddling pass may be purchased in the Community Boating Portal for $359 and includes access to the entire fleet for 12 consecutive months.
Visit www.community-boating.org for more information.
Summer on the Emerald Necklace goes virtual
The Emerald Necklace signature series of summer programs will be offered online as a variety of live and on-demand events – including virtual tours and concerts, contests, online yoga and more.
Make the most of your summer by exploring, connecting with and learning more about one of the many historic parks that make up the Emerald Necklace and the natural world. Whether at home or on a socially-distanced stroll in a favorite park, they have an activity for everyone.
New resources and live virtual events will be released regularly throughout the summer.
Visit emeraldnecklace.org frequently for the latest announcements.
Two new exhibits at Pucker Gallery
Two new exhibitions will be on view at the Pucker Gallery, 240 Newbury St. (third floor) through Sept. 20.
A booklet with colorful illustrations outlining the exhibition of Ongoing Conversation: Birds in the Art of Samuel Bak and a fine collection of art depicted in Fine Choices 2020 are available for perusing online for the gallery viewing.
Visit www.puckergallery.com for more information, including gallery hours.
‘BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception’
From 17th century attempts to woo European settlers to the New World with maps that exaggerated natural resources, to a 2019 Sharpie-enhanced weather map designed to reshape the politics of disaster planning, maps and visual data have always been tools for manipulating reality.
In a wide-ranging, year-long initiative comprising exhibitions, programs and educational activities, “BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception” at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map & Education Center (Copley Square), offers a critical look at how to understand the world as it appears in geographic representations.
The show features historical and contemporary documents and interactive displays designed to show visitors the power of persuasive mapmaking and will be on view through May 2021.
Visit leventhalmap.org/bending-lines for more information.
The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving and promoting the history of public transportation in the Greater Boston area and New England since 1959.
The group typically meets on the first Saturday of the month. Their online store is open.
Rollsign, a bi-monthly publication on New England transit news and history, is also available.
Visit www.thebsra.org for more information, including the status of their Sept. 12 meeting.
BPL To Go expands again
The Boston Public Library has launched the new “BPL to Go” program. The pilot program included Central Library in Copley Square along with Codman Square, East Boston, Jamaica Plain and Mattapan branches.
BPL has since added Brighton, Charlestown, Connolly, Egleston Square, Faneuil, Fields Corner, Grove Hall, Honan-Allston, Lower Mills, Parker Hill, South Boston, South End and West Roxbury branches. The two new branches added to the mix are North End and West End.
Using the library website, phone line or the “BPL to Go” iPhone app, patrons will be able to “order” (place a hold on) items such as books, DVDs, and CDs and pick them up at the library. BPL has “Printing to Go” as well.
All branches will continue to offer a wide range of digital events and online resources.
Visit bpl.org/takeout to learn more.
Copley Square Farmers Market open
The Copley Square Farmers Market – Boston’s biggest and busiest – will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays through Nov. 24.
The Farmers Market will offer a vibrant selection of local and delicious produce and meat from more than two dozen Massachusetts farmers.
Copley Square vendors accept SNAP/EBT/HIP/Nutrition Vouchers for all eligible products.
Visit www.massfarmersmarkets.org/copley for more information - including shopping protocol.
Boston Ballet online
Enjoy a variety of behind-the-scenes videos, performance clips, and articles on www.bostonballet.org along with exclusive, ballet videos at www.facebook.com/bostonballet
Support Boston Ballet at www.bostonballet.org/Home/Support/Donate.
Genealogy for the next generation
Several free, easy-to-do fun activities that will keep kids entertained and get them thinking about their family history are available at www.americanancestors.org/education/learning-resources/read/youth.
These exercises are designed to teach critical skills while encouraging kids to explore their personal connection to the past. Studies show that young people who know facts about their heritage have a stronger sense of self, which can help them perform better in school and life.
Huntington @ Home
Huntington @ Home, a series of new programs to connect with their audiences, includes:
- Special online performances and messages from artists
- One-on-one phone calls with staff – they’ll bring you a short monologue about past productions or a conversation about how the theatre created one of their plays or musicals
- Huntington@HomeSchool for distance learning and short classes, educational resources and virtual performance opportunities for students and other artists
Visit www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/upcoming/huntington-at-home for more information.
Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen
The Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen BBMSK (“Bumsk”) is a group of young adults who minister to the homeless on the streets of Back Bay. They take sandwiches, fruit, socks and Rosaries to distribute, and take time to listen to the stories of the men and women they encounter.
The group meets Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. on the front steps of the St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, 1105 Boylston St.
They are always looking for donations (money/gift cards, toiletries, socks, and supplies) and volunteers to help prepare and package the food.
Contact Eli at 703-638-2019 or visit www.omvusa.org for more information.
Common Cathedral and Boston Warm programs need help
Common Cathedral and Boston Warm programs under the umbrella of Ecclesia Ministries at Emmanuel Church (15 Newbury St.) needs partners to help them serve the increasing number of homeless and underserved during this critical time.
There are three specific ways that you can help make a difference:
1) Donate supplies listed on their Amazon account.
2) Donate individually wrapped homemade or purchased sandwiches, soft fruits and granola bars.
3) Donate your time, your treasures (donations) and your prayers – they are always welcomed and valued.
Visit www.commoncathedral.org for other information, including links to keep this mission alive.
Friday Night Supper Program emergency appeal
The Friday Night Supper program (FNSP) at the Arlington Street Church – the longest running program in Boston – has served more than 13,000 meals a year to more than 130 guests from all over Boston since 1984.
Your donations make a difference in the lives of people in need, whether through philanthropic dollars or individual gifts of money, clothing, toiletries and gift cards. Help fill the gap with their Emergency Appeal so they can continue their mission.
Visit www.Fridaynightsupper.org to make a donation.
Support Women’s Lunch Place
Women’s Lunch Place, 67 Newbury St. continues to serve women while maintaining all three of their core services areas – healthy meals, direct care and advocacy.
WLP is open every day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and provides one take out package that contains a nutritious breakfast and lunch with extra snacks to sustain their guests.
Women’s Lunch Place needs donations – money, gift cards, toiletries, underwear and other basic necessities – to keep their mission going.
Visit www.womenslunchplace.org for more information.
Free summer ‘grab-and-go’ meals for children and adults
The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families and other community organizations, will provide free “grab and go” meals for Boston residents (adults and children) in need. No ID required.
Visit www.boston.gov and/or www.bostonpublicschools.org for a list of meal sites. There will also be a list of food pantries and soup kitchens.
Phone 617-635-3717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns or for other information.
If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.