Fenway neighborhood notes

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This robin is a sign that spring is coming soon.

Boston University's IDEA Conference

Boston University Innovate@BU’s annual IDEA Conference is coming virtually from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 with everything students, recent grads and budding entrepreneurs need to create impact through tech, social impact, the arts and more.

Be inspired by world-class innovators, engage with strategies and useful tools for developing new ideas, and connect with resources and people from Boston and beyond.

Featuring keynote speaker Malia Lazu, founder of The Urban Labs, a Boston-based agency that helps corporations increase effectiveness in their diversity and inclusion efforts.

Visit sites.bu.edu/ideacon for more information and registration.

The Connection: Chains and Change

The NEC Black Student Union two-part “Docuseries, The Connection: Chains and Change” creates a channel of conversation and understanding with the Black community of NEC’s past, educates the community of the New England Conservatory on its inspiring Black alumni, and highlights said alumni who are transforming their fields. The series will look at ways inequities and prejudice appeared in the conservatory over the last few decades and ways it can be a more just and inclusive future.

The first episode will feature Ashleigh Gordon ‘08, violist and Artistic & Executive Director of the Boston-based organization, Castle of Our Skins at noon on Sunday, Feb. 28.

This episode will trace Gordon’s story from the very first time she touched a viola, to the New England Conservatory and beyond.

The second episode will feature Bill Banfield ’83, composer, historian, writer, guitarist, and so much more at noon on Thursday, March 11. In this episode, they’re placing themselves in 1980’s Boston and looking at how this generation of musicians responded to adversity.

Mozart, CPE Bach and Friends

Join H+H Orchestra for gems from a unique time when the new rules of music were invented by young upstarts such as Mozart and CPE Bach, but also by a pair of Brits you will thoroughly enjoy – Charles Avison and William Boyce.

The concert will stream online as follows:

Early Access | Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. for subscribers and donors of $100 or more, featuring a post-concert Q+A with musicians

Public Premiere | Tuesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. for registrants, with a suggested donation of $10 to defray costs of production and help compensate the musicians

Visit cart.handelandhaydn.org/968/1103 for more information (including the Program) and registration.

First Monday at Jordan Hall: March (Not April) in Paris

Now in its 36th season, the spring edition of First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new work, performed in and streamed live from NEC’s Jordan Hall.

The March (Not April) in Paris performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 1.

Visit necmusic.edu/events/first-monday-jordan-hall-march-not-april-paris for more information, including the program and First Monday video archives and the link to enjoy this concert (free – donations welcome).

Canada Night (Video Rewind)

In this video rewind from 2017, Canada Night - an annual Berklee event showcasing the music of some of Berklee's Canadian artists - had a lineup including Piao Huang, Nate Daviau, Kayla, Phé, Madz and Luke, and Jessie Leith Munro.

Go to www.berklee.edu/events/canada-night-video-rewind for the link to watch online at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2.

BPT Talks About Design Series

BPT Talks About Design series, moderated by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre Technical Director Jeffrey Petersen, focuses on the contributions of designers and the roles of design (e.g. scenes, lighting, costume, sound) in new play developments.

Audiences will be treated to conversations with each play’s workshop team – a look “behind the curtain” at new plays in various stages of the development process. Each conversation will include the virtual audience as well, with an online Q&A at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays as follows:

-          March 2: BPT Talks About Design: RX Machina by Caity-Shea Violette

-          March 9: BPT Talks About Design: LORENA: a Tabloid Epic by Eliana Pipes

-          March 16: BPT Talks About Design: Gone Nowhere by Daniel C. Blanda

-          March 23: BPT Talks About Design: Incels and Other Myths by Ally Sass

Visit bu.edu/bpt/our-season for more information (including play synopsis) and Zoom registration.

Aristotle Jones (Virtual Concert)

Aristotle Jones is an energetic rapper, singer and producer based in Boston. Combining the intellect and wit of his namesake with distinctive and often self-produced beats, he aims to create idiosyncratic music that pushes the envelope of traditional hip-hop.

Tune in at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2 on Berklee's Facebook or IGTV pages.

Archived performances can be found on their Facebook Videos page or IGTV channel.

Visit www.berklee.edu/events/aristotle-jones-virtual-concert for the quick links and other information.

Luminary Lens                                                                                                              Luminary Lens, a digital series led by Rhea Vedro and Luana Morales, will feature Neighborhood Salon Luminary artists bringing fresh perspectives to the Gardner Museum’s historic collection through commissioned new works as follows:

Thursday, March 4 - Keith Mascoll

Thursday, April 8 - James Pierre

Thursday, June 10 - Veronica Robles

Visit gardnermuseum.org for more information.

Liederabend LII: African-American Composers

NEC faculty members Tanya Blaich and Cameron Stowe present NEC graduate students from the departments of collaborative piano and voice in an evening of song at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 5.

Video stream will be posted at necmusic.edu/events/liederabend-lii-african-american-composers prior to concert start. There you will also find more information about the history of Liederbend.

BSYO Tutti! Gala 2021 All together At Home

The annual celebration of the 550 young musicians of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 6.

Join them and special guests for an evening of music and community - all together at home.

Go to www.bysoweb.org/event/byso-virtual-gala for more information and the link to the event (donations appreciated).

Gardner Museum: In the Studio workshop                                                                

In the Studio is a digital series curated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in connection with the special exhibition Shen Wei: Painting in Motion. A new program is offered on the first Saturday of each month through June as follows:

March 6: Rayna Lo - A Lotus Emerges

As we approach the first day of spring, we begin to emerge from the winter darkness and welcome much needed sunshine! To mark this seasonal transition, we look for inspiration in the lotus flower, a plant that emerges from dark, murky depths to reveal stunning blossoms later in the summer.

April 3: Rayna Lo - Studio H2O

From something as small as a raindrop to as big as a wave, water is a driving force in our world. April showers also bring new life and spring blossoms. This month, experiment with the unique qualities of Chinese watercolors as you create a botanical sketch of your own.

May 1: Rayna Lo - TBD

Description TBD

June 5: Rayna Lo - Dancing on Paper

Show off your artistic skills learned In the Studio! Allow your brush to dance and experiment with different layering techniques. Create a composition that highlights your creative journey In the Studio with Rayna Lo.

Follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @gardnermuseum or visit their website at www.gardnermuseum.org.

Boston Baked Books                                                                        

The Boston Baked Books group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the Monday, March 8 to discuss Caucasia by Danzy Senna. All are welcome to join.

Email Camille at camille.platt@outlook.com for the Zoom link.

Visit FCC.org for other information.

Boston Pops in Love!                                                           

This uniquely Boston Pops program celebrating the theme of love conducted by Keith Lockhart, available for viewing on demand through Sunday, March 14, includes spirited classics such as Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy along with selections from Broadway and John Williams’ film music. Plus, special guest dancers from Boston dance companies perform alongside the orchestra in three selections from a variety of styles ranging from opera to jazz.

Visit bso.org/brands/pops/features/boston-pops-in-love.aspx for more information ($14).

BSO NOW: ‘Music in Changing Times’               

The Boston Symphony Orchestra video performances under the title Music in Changing Times are being recorded at Symphony Hall and released throughout the season through April 29.

Each video will include magazine-style segment with musicians, composers, and conductors shedding light on the musical selections and themes associated with each program. The videos will launch at noon on select Thursdays and will be available for viewing for 30 days after each initial release date.

Music in Changing Times: The Spirit of Beethoven will include Hannah Kendall, Beethoven and Caroline Shaw (through March 10); Iman Habibi, Beethoven And Debussy (through March 17) and Beethoven, Carlos Simon and Schoenberg (through March 24).

Also available as an add-on is Boston Pops in Love! - Streaming on demand through March 14.

Access the complete series of BSO videos for a donation of $100 or more.

Visit www.bso.org/brands/bso/features/bso-now.aspx for more information.

Donate blood and save a child’s life

Donating blood is the easiest way to save a child's life.

Donate blood or platelets at their Blood Donor Center at 333 Longwood Ave. 

The Children's Blood Donor Center is an independent collection facility serving the needs of the pediatric patients in the Longwood Medical Area.

Appointments preferred, but walk-ins are welcome (subject to staffing and availability) during hours of operation (every day except Mondays).

To schedule an appointment, go to www.halfpints.childrenshospital.org or phone 617-355-6677.

East/West Fens food distribution

Fenway Cares will hold a bi-weekly fresh food distribution from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on select Wednesdays in West Fenway at the Fenway Community Center (1282 Boylston St.) and East Fenway at Symphony Community Park (39 Edgerly Rd.). 

If you are immunocompromised or physically unable to pick up a box at either location, you can request a produce box be dropped off at your building by a Fenway Cares volunteer.

Sign up at bit.ly//FenwayCaresFood. The same form can also be used to sign up to volunteer.

Critical shortage at Kraft Family Blood Donor Center

The Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St. is approaching a critical shortage of Type-O positive and negative whole blood.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit the Kraft Center website or phone 617-632-3206.

You can also schedule a blood drive in your community or business by emailing blooddonor@partners.org or calling 888-LETS-GIV (538-7448).

When you donate blood or donate platelets at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, or give blood on board the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Blood Mobile, you are making a life-saving difference for patients in need.

Visit brighamandwomens.org/patients-and-families/blood-donation/blood-donation-center and/or dana-farber.org/how-you-can-help/get-involved/donate-blood-and-platelets for more information.

MAAM Art & Stories

Art & Stories will be held from 10 to 10:20 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

MAAM Educator Julia Einstein will guide participants through 20 minutes of artmaking and storytelling, designed especially for 3- to 5-year-olds. It’s big fun for little art lovers.

Visit maam.massart.edu for more information and registration.

Village Parent’s Happy Hour                                                         

Village Parent’s Happy Hour will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Struggling to manage the new normal? Exhausted from full days juggling the needs of your little ones and your professional life while stuck at home?

Make yourself your favorite cocktail or mocktail and connect with parents who are in the same boat. Though we can’t gather in person, we can find strength in community.

Join Zoom at: https://zoom/us/j/7282752816 or visit tisrael.org for more details.


The new English Language Learners Group which meets at 11 a.m. on Mondays invites participants to practice their American English with friendly neighbors – both those who are native speakers and those learning the language.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and the Zoom link.

Seventh-Inning Stretch                                                                    

After completing 120 consecutive daily live shows on July 23, Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor has moved his “Seventh-Inning Stretch” show to 3 p.m. on Mondays.

Tune in live at www.facebook.com/7thinningstretch2020 and continue to take a stretch, sing along and enjoy some favorite traditional and contemporary songs.

Although the show is still fun and free, he suggests that viewers make a donation to their local food bank.

Book and Movie Club

The book and movie club will hold its monthly gathering at 6 p.m. on select Mondays.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and the Zoom link.

Voice and Justice                                                                                                     

The Voice and Justice program series at the Fenway Community Center addressing race and equality and the role people can play as allies to BIPOC neighbors meets at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month to share their voices and work toward racial justice one step at a time.

They offer a weekly list of resources via a variety of media to explore, including an estimated time for each resource and a weekly action to take to combat racism.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and registration.

Morning meditation with Cantor Alicia Stillman

Begin the day grounded and grateful at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This 45-minute morning meditation is a screens-optional experience where the participants will engage in musical morning blessings, gentle chant, mindfulness and sitting together in both silence and guided meditation. The participants will awaken their breath and imagination toward a grateful, grounded and energized day.  

Go to www.tisrael.org/togetherwithti for more information and the Zoom link.

FCC Preschool Prep

The Fenway Community Center will host Preschool Prep at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help the little ones learn letters, numbers, colors and more to help prepare them for preschool or kindergarten in the fall.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and the Zoom links.

Mussar: Becoming your finest self with Rabbi Jen Gubitz

Do you sometimes feel you could better direct your reactions and impulses? Do you seek stronger, healthier relationships with others in your life, work and community? To explore being your best self through a Jewish framework, join Rabbi Gubitz to study Mussar, a centuries-old framework for Jewish spiritual learning and practice that can guide you to develop inner awareness in order to become the finest version of yourself.

Through six weekly online group learning sessions and personal practice, the participants will delve into Mussar, Jewish spiritual practice, using methods drawn from the Mussar Institute and Everyday Holiness by Alan Morini.

The group will meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through March 2.

Go to www.tisrael.org/adult-education/mussar-online for more information and Zoom registration.


The Fenway Community Center will host the Navigator program, a progressive scout group which teaches city kids about nature and outdoor adventure. Navigators will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Homeschool Navigators, which incorporates some academic activities into the Navigator program, will meet at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays.

These programs are open to all youth, ages 5 and older. All genders, all abilities, all beliefs are welcome. All participants can earn badges to display on their free uniforms.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and registration.

Guided meditation                                                   

Interested in reducing stress, bettering your emotional health or practicing self-compassion? Join the Fenway Community Center’s free guided meditation class, led by Fenway residents and licensed instructors, Pallavi and Vaibhav from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for the Zoom link.

FCC Game Nights

Fenway Community Center will host a fun, casual, noncompetitive game night at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All ages are welcome to join in the fun.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information, including a quick link to Zoom.

Draw, paint, collage online

Pursue individual interests and explore visual language with a variety of 2D techniques and approaches in this five-session online class from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays through March 25.

Be inspired by artworks from the Museum of Fine Arts collection through live demonstrations, hands-on art-making activities and group critiques. Get an introduction to the three principles of drawing and gradually incorporate other media including water-based painting, pen and ink, collage, stencil and mixed media.

Students are responsible for providing their own materials. View the supply list.

Visit mfa.org/event/studio-art-classes/draw-paint-collage-online-4?event=67581for more information and Zoom registration (Members - $158 | Nonmembers - $190).

FCC Arts and Crafts Club

An intergenerational Arts and Crafts Club at the Fenway Community Center will meet on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Free craft materials which can be picked up at FCC or delivered within the Fenway neighborhood will include everything the crafters will need for these projects to those who register in advance. 

Go to fenwaycommunitycenter.org for more information and Zoom link.

FCC Senior Trivia

Seniors are invited to stay sharp and have fun while socializing with trivia focused on pop culture and general knowledge from the 50s through the 90s at 11 a.m. on Fridays hosted by the Fenway Community Center. Each week's highest scorer will win a $20 grocery store gift card.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information, including a quick link to Zoom or phone/meeting number.

Tot Rock Shabbat: Home Edition                          

Celebrate Shabbat with your TI community. Light candles, say blessings over juice and challah, sing favorite Shabbat songs and bring the joy of Shabbat into your homes from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Visit tisrael.org for more information, including the Zoom link.

Movement Matters

Boston Conservatory faculty and students will host an hour-long dance class that will incorporate gentle, but challenging movement from 5 to 6 p.m. on Fridays, hosted by the Fenway Community Center.

Dance alongside the class leaders to new fun songs & some oldies, but goodies. All you need is a stable chair and yourself.

Visit fenwaycommunitycenter.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Virtual 5K wellness program                                              

Take little steps to improve your wellness with the support of a Capstone Senior from Northeastern's Health Science Program at 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and the Zoom link.

FCC Paint Nights

The Fenway Community Center will host a monthly Paint Night at 7 p.m. on select Fridays that encourage creativity and relaxation. Supplies are typically available free while supplies last to those who register in advance.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information, including the monthly offering and the Zoom link.

TGIS at Home

A special live service with Wayne Potash and a member of the Temple Israel clergy will present “Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat!” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

If you are between the ages of 6 days to 6 years and you love to dance, sing, play and pray – this is for you.

Visit tisrael.org for more information, including the Zoom link.

Virtual YMCA                                                                     

Go anytime, anywhere with your all-access pass to health and fitness from the YMCA of Greater Boston which includes access to all YMCAs across the Commonwealth. 

Get the full YMCA GO experience for free!

Go to ymcago.org for more information and registration.

BPL launches reading challenge                                                      

As the pandemic drags on and Boston residents remain cooped up in their homes, the Boston Public Library invites readers throughout the city to participate in “Reading Together.”

In the challenge, each month has a distinct theme, and participants are asked to read a book tied to the theme.

The library offers recommended book lists for the monthly themes for adults, teens and children at bpl.org/yearlong. Participant patrons can track their progress as well.

Visit bpl.org for more information.

Ghost Light Series

All previously recorded episodes of the Ghost Light Series, a live half-hour music program filmed to an empty Wang Theatre illuminated only by the Ghost Light, are available to enjoy, including the latest performance (Jan. 22) featuring Jay Psaros, Alice Howe and The Restless Age.

Visit bochcenter.org for more information.

Shen Wei exhibition and films at the Gardner                             

As part of Shen Wei: Painting in Motion, a single exhibition in three parts which unfolds across the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Calderwood Hall and the Fenway Gallery will serve as screening rooms for Shen Wei’s films (collectively: The Moving Image).

These films include April (1998), Inner Shadow of Movement (2016), and a new commission for the Gardner Museum, Passion Spirit (2020).

The Hostetter Gallery contains Shen Wei’s recent paintings, including two works he created at the Gardner Museum as an Artist-in-Residence, alongside his notebooks, sketches and documentation of his choreography.

These works of art, film and movement will be on view virtually and on site (25 Evans Way) through June.

Visit www.gardnermuseum.org for more information.

Boston Baroque Live 2020-2021 season lineup

Join Boston Baroque for a season of livestreamed concerts, virtual interactive events, full-length concerts and operas new-from-the-archives, and more on Boston Baroque Live, their first-ever live recorded performance streaming platform, on Amazon Prime or Boston Baroque Radio. 

The 2020-2021 virtual season schedule includes:

Handel’s Guilio Cesare (November); Handel’s Messiah (December); New Year’s Celebration (January); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (February); Highlights from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione Di Poppea (March); Handel’s Water Music Suite (April); Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (May); and Handel’s Jephtha (June).

Tickets for the pop-up concerts will be available three weeks before each performance. The first pop-up program will include Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.   

Visit baroque.boston for more information, including Virtual Season Subscriptions.


The New England Conservatory of Music musicians are sending messages of hope and connection from all parts of the globe – follow the series at #NECMusic Hub.

Visit necmusic.edu for more details.

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 younger. 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.

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.

Lifeboat Food Pantry                                                                        

The Lifeboat Food Pantry will be at Boston Temple, 105 Jersey St. from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Food distribution will be held outside, providing 1 to 2 bags of a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable pre-bagged food in a door-dash format following health and safety guidelines. All community residents experiencing food insecurity are welcome. New clients can register at bit.ly/lifeboatbostonregistration.

Email LifeboatBoston@gmail.com, phone 617-383-9864 or visit Facebook.com/lifeboatboston for more information.

BSO and Pops at home        

The BSO offers a wide variety of audio and video options of some of their greatest performances in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood.

There will also be video tutorials with BSO musicians created to support students and at-home learning along with some behind the scenes videos from BSO musicians and conductors (sharing life off-stage) featuring anecdotes, personal reflections and insights, and short informal performances.

These offerings are available at www.bso.org/athome and the BSO YouTube and Social Media Channels.

Museum of Fine Arts at home fun                                     

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world with a collection that exemplifies the breadth, richness and diversity of artistic expression, prehistoric times to modern day.

Follow #MuseumFromHome hashtag for videos of gallery tours, lectures and artists interviews.

And for fun facts check out twitter.com/Victoria_S_Reed courtesy of MFA’s curator.

Visit mfa.org for more details.

Gardner at Home

To explore the Gardner Museum while staying cozy at home, check out their virtual museum tours, collections and courtyard along with a suite of free digital programs.

Visit gardnermuseum.org and follow them on their social media platforms.

Support the parks – give the gift of membership                                                  

Give the gift of membership to ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at friendsofthepublicgarden.org.

Fenway Cares                                                                       

Fenway Cares is a joint effort by local organizations (Fenway Alliance, Fenway CDC, Fenway Civic Association, Fenway Community Center, Operation P.E.A.C.E. / Peterborough Senior Center) that gathers and shares information with the Fenway neighborhood as well as pairs volunteers and services with those in need.

To learn more, visit fenwaycommunitycenter.org, email FenwayCares@fenwaycommunitycenter.org or phone 617-446-3949.

Visit bit.ly/FenwayCaresIntake to offer support, request assistance or share information.