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

Poetry as a force for change: A conversation with Marge Piercy

Revolutionary Spaces will host a conversation with poet and novelist Marge Piercy about the role of artists and writers in politically perilous times at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22 on Zoom.

Piercy will reflect on how poetry can both shift people’s thinking and remind us that real change comes from the hard and never-ending work of political advocacy.

Piercy will read from some of her works and talk with Charles Coe, a well-known Boston-based poet, writer, musician and Revolutionary Spaces board member.

Visit revolutionaryspaces.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Friendsgiving cranberry pretzel kits

Add something special to your Thanksgiving menu this year and help neighbors in need.

The Harpoon Brewery will give you everything needed to bake their famous pretzels at home and include a six-pack of Harpoon IPA to go with it – all to help raise funds for the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB).

Cranberry Pretzel Kits are $35 and include: two dough balls, all baking ingredients and instructions, Honey Butter Sauce, plus a six-pack of Harpoon IPA. Each purchase will help the Greater Boston Food Bank provide 36 meals to neighbors in need.

You must be able to pick up the kits at the Boston brewery (306 Northern Ave.) between 3 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 24 or Wednesday, Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving is the 26th).

Go to eventbrite.com/e/friendsgiving-cranberry-pretzel-kits-boston-tickets-127382425263 for more information and registration ($35).

Toys for Tots collection

New, unwrapped toys to benefit the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program can be dropped off at the following places:

- Brookline Bank, 31 State St. through Tuesday, Dec. 15. (See brooklinebank.com for hours);

- Echelon Seaport, 133 Seaport Blvd. (24 hours daily) through Tuesday, Dec. 15;

- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, 600 Washington St. from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 15; and

- Zipcar, 35 Thomson Place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 14.

Donations via check can be sent to: Toys for Tots Coordinator, 21 Drydock Ave., Box 21-810W, Boston, MA 02210. You can also make a donation online.

Go to boston-ma.toysfortots.org for more information, including the link to donate.

Donate blood for chance to win an OLE

Help save a life by donating blood with the American Red Cross. Every blood donation will be complimentary tested for the coronavirus antibody.

Give blood at the Boston Blood Donation Center, 274 Tremont St. through Tuesday, Dec. 15 for a chance to win an outdoor living experience – Details at rcblood.org/comfort.

The Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. – time slots vary by day.

Sign up at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive or phone 1-800¬-RED CROSS (1-800¬-733-2767).

Workplace Innovation Summit 2020

The Design Museum Foundation will present its fifth annual summit, a five-day virtual design expo from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7 through Friday, Dec. 11.

This five-day webinar will consist of thought leadership around the future of how and where we work, including virtual keynote presentations, workshops and networking opportunities.

Let’s disrupt the workplace paradigm. The pandemic has accelerated the disruption – it’s not something to plan for, it’s here. It’s a chance to take advantage of this moment to create something new. A workplace that works for everyone.

You can attend from anywhere in the world and learn from the experts, and become an expert by engaging in meaningful conversations to develop your during-and post-COVID workplace strategy.

All attendees will receive the digital edition of their Design Museum Magazine special workplace innovation issue.

Visit https://designmuseumfoundation.org/event/workplaceinnovationsummit2020 for more information and registration. Early Bird registration goes through Nov. 22; regular registration begins on Nov. 23.

A job fair series for English language learners

BCNC is hosting a virtual job fair series from 2 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23 targeted towards English language learners conducted virtually on Zoom. They are inviting more than 500 ESOL students from their classes and other programs in the Greater Boston area. Immigrants and English language learners bring a wide range of skills and experience to the workforce, including language skills in some of the most commonly spoken languages in Boston: Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese and French.

Diversify your employee pool and help create pathways to brighter futures.

Go to https://bcnc.net/events/2020/10/20/immigrants-opportunity-fair-series-2020-6n4f4 for more information.

Seaport Sweat

Seaport Sweat will offer virtual classes @seaportbos on IG Live from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. through Nov. 25 as follows:

Mondays: Zumba with Calvin Braxton; Tuesdays: That sASS with Alanna Perry; and Wednesdays.

Visit www.bostonseaport.xyz for more information.

Free admission for families

When accompanied by kids, ages 12 and under, up to two adults per family will be admitted free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 25 Harbor Shore Drive. Timed tickets will be available onsite only day-of, and space during each time slot is limited to ensure safe capacity.

Member Mornings will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. (always free for members).

Visit ICAboston.org for more information.

Tea Talk #5: Ships of The Boston Tea Party

Four ships bearing East India Company Tea were sent to Boston in 1773. Three of them arrived in Boston Harbor, sending the town into a frenzy.

Join the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Creative Team from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as they lead a virtual discussion focused on the important role these ships played in the events that would ultimately lead to a revolution.

This one-hour Zoom presentation will explore the types of vessels involved in the Boston Tea Party and the construction methods used to recreate them for the museum as well as share anecdotes and information about the ship owners and crews that sailed them.

Visit www.bostonteapartyship.com/virtual-museum for more information and registration ($15).

BHN scavenger hunts

“Explore Boston Harbor: A Waterfront-Wide Scavenger Hunt,” presented by Boston Harbor Now and their partners, will be running through winter in four locations: Charlestown, Downtown Boston, East Boston and South Boston.

Go to edventurebuilder.com/BHN to start the hunt.

Future-Decker conversation series

Join the Boston Society for Architecture for a virtual conversation series as a part of the upcoming exhibition, Future-Decker. The series will feature discussions with residents, architects, designers, and other practitioners as they share and learn from one other about the past, present, and future of the iconic building type: the three-decker.

Speakers and participants will build upon the architectural, economic and ultimately social value of triple and future deckers in the City of Boston and the region.

The events will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays as follows:

Dec. 2: Sustainable Homes: Energy Retrofits for Small-Middle Scale Housing

Dec. 16: Affordable Futures: Financing for Small-Middle Scale Housing and Exhibition Closing

Programs are free and open to the public.

Visit architects.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Bright Lights film series

The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College will present the Bright Lights Film Series Fall 2020 at 7 p.m. on Thursdays as follows:

Dec. 3 – Bright Lights: The Condor & The Eagle

In the midst of the burning of the Amazon, the mega-fires in Australia, and the global climate strikes, this award-winning documentary documents the ongoing collective climate awakening and the imperative of urgent change.

Dec. 10 – Bright Lights: Queering The Script

In 2016, a record number of queer women died on fictional shows, which broke the hearts of queer fans and launched a successful fight for better, more diverse LGTBQ2S+ representation.

All virtual screenings are free and open to the public. Tickets will become available at noon on the day of the film screening.

Go to https://websites.emerson.edu/brightlights for more information and Zoom registration.

Celebrity Series of Boston at Home

The Fall 2020 Edition of Celebrity Series at Home features a diverse lineup of classical music, modern and classical dance, jazz, folk, world music, family music and multi-media performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays as follows:

Dec. 3: Neighborhood Arts Cello Quartet: "Global Inspirations"

Dec. 10: Devin Ferreira: “Seeds of Greatness”

Dec. 17: Verónica Robles: "A Mexican Christmas: Songs and Stories"

Visit celebrityseries.org for more information and registration including Sunday Performances.

Art (Co)Lab

Do you like making art? Are you currently in sixth, seventh or eighth grade? Do you want to learn more about contemporary art with other creative young people? If so, then join ICA for Art (Co)Lab, a new eight-week virtual program for youth in grades 6 to 8 focused on visual arts, inspired by current installations in the Bank of America Art Lab. The group will meet virtually from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursdays through Dec. 3 (except Nov. 26).

The group will explore the themes and materials present in Threads of Connection by Boston-based artist Merill Comeau. The program will be led by ICA staff and teaching artists with special workshops led by guest artists. Participants will explore various art materials, methods, and ideas to grow as artists and create a creative online community.

Advanced registration required. Free for BPS students / $168 for members / $210 for nonmembers. Materials will be provided and scholarships are available.

Email Jessie Miyu Magyar at jmagyar@icaboston.org for more information.

Visit ICAboston.org for other information.

Canstruction Boston: Virtual design competition (2020)

Canstruction is a unique nonprofit organization that holds annual design-build competitions to construct unique, colossal structures made entirely from canned goods.

Founded in 1992, Canstruction’s mission is to highlight the issue of hunger and food insecurity across communities, collect food for distribution to thousands, and to showcase the creativity of the design industry.

The Boston Chapter of Canstruction was founded in 1995 and has been going strong ever since.

The theme for this year’s virtual design competition is “That’s Entertainment!”

Through the years – in good times and bad – movies, television shows, theater productions and other media have kept audiences enthralled. From pure escapism to works of art that reflect the human condition, we love it all … and they want to see what you can design and build that honors this love. What has kept you entertained?

Interested teams should note that they intend to use the same theme in 2021 so that teams will have an option to refine their 2020 design and actually build it.

A special exhibit will be on view on the BSA website at www.architects.org/search?q=canstruction through Friday, Dec. 4.

Learn more at www.canstruction-Boston.org.

CraftBoston holiday online

In a world of sameness, craft illuminates difference.

CraftBoston Holiday 2020, presented by The Society of Arts + Crafts, is going digital. The online festival will be held through Thursday, Dec. 31.

Meet the artists, visit their virtual booths and shop their work all season long. They will have hundreds of pieces available in their new SA+C online shop, as well as links to artist websites that you can access through the CraftBoston artist profiles.

People will also have the opportunity to learn more about their practice through artist demos and special events. Start your day with Cra(ahhhh)ft: meditative, mesmerizing videos of the making process hosted live by CraftBoston artists. Check out Mix + Mingle, a weekly, informal gathering with a handful of artists, to chat about their work, studios and more.

A weekend event showcasing a selection of fine craft and craft artists, full of online programming is slated for Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.

Visit https://societyofcrafts.org for more information.

Online Homework Assistance Program

The Boston Public Library Homework Assistance Program is available from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Open to K-8, no registration required.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information.

Old State House/Old South Meeting House museums

The Old State House (206 Washington St.) and Old South Meeting House (310 Washington St.) museums have closed for the season for walk-up visits.

Visit revolutionaryspaces.org for more information, including virtual experiences.

Shop AFH

Artists for Humanity has a limited-edition collection – in addition to one of the largest collections of teen-created fine art in Boston and perhaps the nation – that amplifies AFH teen artists' creative expression during these pivotal times, providing them a platform for shaping how society moves forward to create a better, more equitable world.

Visit www.afhboston.org for more information, including links to purchase their collections. Reduced shipping rates are available.

You can also peruse your daily dose of art on Instagram @AFHBoston.

Virtual Revolutionary Spaces

The Old State House and Old South Meeting House have a new website and will offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances.

Reflecting Attucks at the Old State House is a temporary exhibit exploring the life and legacy of Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native descent who was the first to fall in the Boston Massacre, an act of protest widely viewed as a turning point on the road to American Revolution. This exhibit will be on view through March, 2021.

Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.

Visit www.revolutionaryspaces.org for more information.

The Boston Cyclists Union

The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.

Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.

The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.

All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at https://bostoncyclistsunion.org.

YMCA of Greater Boston fall preview

The YMCA of Greater Boston is offering all members and non-members an opportunity to preview their Fall 2020 programs with a free preview week at all 13 YMCA of Greater Boston branches. The fall preview will provide parents and children the opportunity to experience a program with the Y and see how fun and safe it can be.

Fall programing will run through December and will consist of two sessions. Each session will include soccer, basketball, t-ball, sports sampler, swim lessons, semi- private & private swim and physical education. The Jr. Celtics skills and drills program is back and will run for10 weeks through Dec. 20.

All sports clinics and group swim lessons will be included in family memberships through the end of the year. Members of the East Boston YMCA can take advantage of group swim lessons at any other YMCA of Greater Boston locations.

For more information about memberships, visit ymcaboston.org.

Registration for all YMCA fall programs can be booked online at https://ymcaboston.org/active-programs. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information

Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –

18 years of age and under – through Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

‘i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times’

On view at the Institute of Contemporary Art through May 23, 2021, i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times celebrates the power of experiencing art in person. This exhibition, which borrows its title from a Henry Taylor painting in the ICA collection, is conceived as an invitation to visitors to create a personal connection with works of art.

Collaboratively and virtually organized in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, i’m yours is presented within a dramatic, raw architectural space as a series of small galleries, each offering a different artistic perspective to emphasize that the stories museums may tell through art are never fixed but always in process.

Comprising unique encounters with new acquisitions and iconic works from the ICA’s collection, the exhibition’s groupings, or scenes, address a range of topics, including ideas of home and history, social and material transformation and frames of identity in portraiture and sculpture.

Including works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kader Attia, Firelei Báez, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Simone Leigh, Doris Salcedo and many others, i’m yours sparks wonder, encourages questions, challenges assumptions and provides a space for reflection.

‘Love letters to Boston Chinatown’

Help celebrate and strengthen the API (Asian and Pacific Islander) community of Chinatown and Greater Boston by sharing a love letter to Boston Chinatown. Create a poem, story, or illustration inspired and dedicated to Boston Chinatown to help uplift their neighborhood during these difficult times.

Pao Arts Center will translate these letters (in English and Chinese) and post them around the neighborhood as they receive them to empower this community through creativity and kind messages.

This project, inspired by Wing on Wo & Co’s Love Letters to Chinatown, will be ongoing through Thursday, Dec. 31.

Visit https://bcnc.net/events for more information, including the link to submit your creation and to view other people’s submissions.

‘Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns’

The exhibition “Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns” will be on view at the Pao Arts Center through Thursday, Dec. 31.

Walk through this 3D online exhibit and enjoy an audio tour from Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s podcast as part of the Homeward Bound virtual experience. Curated by queer Chinese American scholars, organizers and artists Mei Lum, Diane Wong and Huiying B. Chan, it centers narratives of home, community and intergenerational resistance.

The exhibition contains multimedia content from written text, video, audio, along with the artworks.

The installation uses photographs, oral histories and multimedia archives to highlight stories of migration, displacement and everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world. This exhibition is the first of its kind to honor, preserve and build on the history and present-day issues of Chinatowns through community-led and curated narratives from residents globally.

Visit paoartscenter.org/events to learn more.

Boston Children’s Museum is open

The Boston Children’s Museum has re-opened following health and safety guidelines.

Museum hours: Wednesdays through Sundays with two time slots for visits from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets must be pre-purchased.

Most exhibits will be opened with a few exceptions and limited programming will be offered. The Art Lab will be open with familiar and new programs. The Shop at BCM will be open during Museum hours.

TJX $1 Friday night will be back in the future.

Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org for more information.

Boston Children’s Museum virtual tour and resources

Children can plot their next museum adventure by navigating past fun spots like the three-story New Balance Foundation Climb on the first floor and the Construction Zone on the third floor.

Among the resources are BCM Home Edition with 26 activities that families can do together and 100 Ways to Play – from cooking and crafting (such as origami, beading, paper dolls and accessories), to imagination and observation games, to exploring and movement activities.

The “Big & Little” podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world, explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.

Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org and/or follow their social media accounts for more information.

Visit Boston National Historical Park sites

Boston National Historical Park tells the story of the events that led to the American Revolution and the Navy that kept the nation strong. Many of the historic sites that make up Boston National Historical Park can be found along the Freedom Trail.

In downtown Boston, the Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and Old North Church bring to life the American ideals of freedom of speech, religion, government, and self-determination.

In Charlestown, visit the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Nearby is the Charlestown Navy Yard, one of the nation's first naval shipyards and home to USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

Located in South Boston and separate from the Freedom Trail, Dorchester Heights is significant for its role in the evacuation of the British from Boston during the Revolutionary War.

Visit www.bostonusa.com/listings/boston-national-historical-park/11563 for more information.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum update

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, 306 Congress St. is open Thursdays through Sundays following the safety guidelines:

Tours are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gift shop and Abigail’s Tea Room is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit bostonteapartyship.com for more information.

ICA is open

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at 25 Harbor Shore Drive has reopened following new health and safety protocol and visitor guidelines. Advance time-tickets will be required.

Typical hours – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays: *10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; *Thursdays and *Fridays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

*Free Thursdays Night: 5 to 9 p.m.; *First Friday of every month: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; *Member Mornings from 10 to 11 a.m. on weekends; *Play Dates last Saturday of the month

All on-site programs, activities and events, including group tours, are suspended until further notice.

ICA will continue to host virtual events.

Current exhibitions: Nina Chanel Abney through Jan. 3, 2021; Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama through Feb. 7, 2021; and Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors through Aug. 15, 2021.

Visit icaboston.org for more information.

The Greenway Carousel

The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 1 following COVID guidelines.

You can also download a free PDF sample of the Greenway Carousel Coloring Book to bring your favorite Greenway Carousel creature’s home and explore native New England creatures of land, air and sea with their downloadable PDF.

For more information and updates, visit www.rosekennedygreenway.org and/or follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as well as their latest blog posts.

Bulfinch Crossing projection

From dusk to dawn, the underpass is illuminated by 23 projectors shooting 345,000 lumens out onto the beams of the underpass, mapping out the custom created art produced by highly regarded and Boston based visual artist, Zebbler.

Inspired by a local flower store, Zebbler’s animation titled “City Bloom” grew from a single projection to a building-wide video texture over the course of the last year. With verdant bursts of flowers, vines and branches slowly growing over the concrete underpass of the Government Center Garage, City Bloom is designed to bring an illuminated spark of joy to Boston, with its animation playfully exploring the boundary between a static fine art installation and a VJ performance.

Given the current climate, this installation will be made available as a “drive through” art installation where viewers are encouraged to drive, bike or walk through the underpass to experience this epic art piece in person. You can also view on their website.

Learn more at www.bulfinchcrossingprojections.com.

St. Francis House

St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. continues to welcome 400 guests a day for emergency refuge services. Since they cannot utilize volunteers at this time, and are relying on extra outside paid services, they are spending an extra $10,000 a day to keep the place up and running.

Here are ways you can help support the St. Francis House mission:

- Make a gift to the SFH COVID-19 Emergency Fund

- Donate disposable masks, homemade masks, and materials for staff to make masks.

- Support their basic services by purchasing clothing and toiletries for their guests through their Amazon Wishlist.

Visit stfrancishouse.org to learn more, including links to support their mission.

Support ICA

If you’ve enjoyed ICA’s free Thursday Nights, Holiday Mondays, talks, tours, film screenings and family programs – or would like to see more of them – consider a small donation of $5 or more today. Your support helps keeps programs such as these free and accessible to all.