Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:
‘Out Here 2: Homelessness and Transition Stories’
Join the Black Seed Writers Group, including founder and editor James Parker, and the Boston Public Library for an online morning of poetry, protest, prayer, witness and visionary reportage from the streets and shelters of the city from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Since 2011, the Black Seed Writers Group, which meets every Tuesday morning at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in downtown Boston, has been providing a creative space for homeless, transitional and recently housed writers.
Under the guidance of founder/editor James Parker, a staff writer for the Atlantic, the group’s weekly sessions have become the hub of an extraordinary and prophetic literary community.
Visit https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5f2dc839ffa16c24009bfc17 for information and registration.
Let’s Cheer Together: Apéro spécial rentrée
Join the French Cultural Center Online via Zoom to learn more about what the French concept of La rentrée means. They will have questions ready to test your knowledge about La rentrée.
During this online festive moment, slated from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, people will learn how to prepare a rosé wine cocktail and how to make their own kind of tapenade from scratch (recipes can be found on their website).
L’Apéritif is a staple in daily French life. The rules are really simple: share a drink, eat some snacks and chat.
Visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org for more information and registration (Members - $5 |
Non-members - $10).
Activist Kids Book Club with Innosanto Nagara
Calling all kids interested in working to make the world a better place. The Boston Public Library is kicking off a new Kid Activist Book Club with a special visit from activist and author Innosanto Nagara from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Sept. 5.
The group will read A is for Activist and talk about what it means to be an activist.
Through the 26-week Activist Kids Book Club, the group will focus on a different page in A is for Activist, read other picture books about the issues and movements discussed in the book, learn about kid activists throughout history and today, and talk about what everyone can do to make the world a little more just.
This group is best for kids, ages 6 and up.
Questions can be directed to the Roslindale Branch Children's Librarian Miss Celeste at
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.
Seniors’ Chair Yoga
Join Boston Public Library and Yoga Hub for Seniors’ Chair Yoga from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3 via Zoom.
Seniors’ Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced while sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. You will learn calming postures and breathing techniques to open energy channels, release tension, and alleviate pain. This type of yoga is great for you to improve physical comfort, cultivate balance, and move easily through daily activities. You will need an upright chair and your computer or phone for the session.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and (early) registration.
Dream Boston: Playwright Q&A
Welcome to Dream Boston, a future vision of this city that is somewhere between dream and reality, powered by the Huntington and available to enjoy on your favorite podcast platforms.
Through short audio plays, “Dream Boston” asks local playwrights to imagine their favorite locations, landmarks and friends in a future Boston, when everyone can once again meet and thrive in this city:
'The 54th in '22' by Kirsten Greenidge
Set at the Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial on the edge of the Boston Common, May 31, 2022.
Directed by Rosalind Bevan, featuring Brandon G. Green and Lyndsay Allyn Cox
Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite Boston date spot?
'McKim' by Brenda Withers
Set in Bates Hall of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building on Jan. 16, 2023
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, featuring actors Krystal Hernandez and Nael Nacer
Playwright Q&A: What was the last book you checked out of the library or what book would you like to check out?
'Overture' by Kate Snodgrass
Set at the MIT Great Dome on July 4, 2024
Directed by Caley Chase, featuring Elle Borders and Richard Snee
Sound design and engineering by Valentin Frank
Special thanks to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops for the use of their recording of the "1812 Overture."
Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite 4th of July tradition?
'By the Rude Bridge' by Melinda Lopez
Set at the North Bridge at the Minuteman National Historical Park on Patriots' Day, April 19, 2025
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, featuring Lonnie Farmer
Sound design and engineering by Valentin Frank
Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite Boston landmark or fun fact?
Visit www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/upcoming/dream-boston for more information and links to listen on your favorite podcast platforms.
Big Sister mentoring
Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.
The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide award-winning (virtual) support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little sister’s family.
To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit www.bigsister.org.
Boston Project Podcast
The Boston Project is SpeakEasy’s new works initiative that supports the creation of new plays set in Boston. In an effort to reach a wider audience and engage with new work even while in quarantine, SpeakEasy has launched a new wing of this program – the Boston Project Podcast.
The SpeakEasy will bring people the first series of the podcast – a fully adapted, episodic version of The Usual Unusual by MJ Halberstadt, recorded by local artists, with one episode released a week.
The podcasts will be available at speakeasystage.com as well as on all your favorite podcast streaming platforms.
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.
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 Oct. 27 at www.facebook.com/BPLchildren.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information.
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.
Just Writing: A poetry workshop
When the world gets delayed and your truth sits silent inside, just write!
Join the Boston Public Library for Just Writing, an online poetry writing workshop hosted by Toni Bee – storyteller, community advocate and Poet Populist emeritus, of Cambridge from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 16.
Topics will include nature, free writes, Prince and “the things you miss.”
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.
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.
Community Boating program
The 2020 Community Boating program (21 David G. Mugar Way) has been adjusted to account for safety regulations put in place by state and federal government. CBI is currently operating their Adult Program and paddling rentals on an appointment basis.
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.
‘The Struggle for Freedom: Patriots of Color at Bunker Hill’
The Shirley-Eustis House Association, Boston National Historical Park and the Gibson House Museum will host an online presentation followed by a Q&A at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 highlighting the lives of four Black men – some enslaved, some free – who fought against the British at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775.
Barzillai Lew, Cuff Blanchard-Chambers, Cuff Whittemore and Jude Hall were among the thousands of men of color who chose to fight with the Patriots in a war that seemed to hold no explicit promise of liberty for Black people.
Boston National Historical Park staff members Merrill Kohlhofer and Gabriella Hornbeck have combed through archival records and recent research to piece together the stories of these four men and their reasons for supporting the Patriot cause. The presentation offers a sample of the growing efforts among historians to revisit and revise the conventional stories we tell about the American Revolution.
This event is free of charge and open to the public.
For more information and registration, visit www.shirleyeustishouse.org or
Boston Athenæum open for members
Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. offers many activities online free of charge, serving their members, the Boston community, and beyond.
At the same time, their building has re-opened for members to use the reading rooms (by appointment) and take advantage of book pick-up and drop-off in the lobby following COVID-19 protocols. Please phone (617) 720-7604 with questions and to reserve time in the building.
Library hours: Mondays through Thursdays - 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/visit/covid-19-response 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.
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 (online) meeting.
BPL To Go and more
The Boston Public Library has launched the new “BPL to Go” program at 22 of the 26 locations.
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.
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.