Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

‘Dear Old New England’

“Dear Old New England” features 44 paintings by Guild artist Frederick Kubitz. Each of these pieces communicate the unique character of New England and its people.

This exclusive artsy exhibition will be on view through Saturday, Dec. 5 on the Guild of Boston Artists website at www.guildofbostonartists.org.

Family Book Club

Book lovers entering Grades K through 3 and their families are invited to discover new chapter books, chat and tackle book-inspired games and crafts from 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Email librarians Patty and Rebecca (rfox@bpl.org) to register and receive the link to the Boston Public Library’s Zoom room.

A Baroque Holiday

Celebrate the holidays with Boston Baroque. This pop-up livestream concert features seasonal works by Bach, Charpentier, Corelli, and Vivaldi with soloists Christina Day Martinson and Aldo Abreu.

The program will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 from WGBH’s Fraser Studio in Boston.

Go to baroque.boston/20-21-season for more information and tickets ($10).

BSRA

The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) typically meets on the first Saturday of the month at 7:30 p.m. with a short business meeting followed by an entertainment program. Everyone is welcome to attend this online meeting.

Dec. 5: Jim Schantz’s Seashore Trolley Museum Update

Seashore Trolley Museum President and CEO Jim Schantz will provide an update on recent progress at Seashore, including restoration efforts on a wide variety of cars. He will also give a preview of Seashore’s new five-year strategic plan.

He will also report on the museum’s participation in the streetcar activities of the American Public Transit Association and the Community Streetcar Coalition, and their involvement with new streetcar projects across North America, with bonus photos of some European transit systems from a half century ago.

The BSRA 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 how to join the meeting.

Stop Motion Animation (on Zoom)

Kids, ages 7-12 years and their families, are invited to join Librarians Maggie and Rebecca on Zoom from 1 to 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6 for a hands-on intro to Stop Motion animation.

Download the Stop Motion Studio app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cateater.stopmotionstudio&hl=en_US&gl=US) and they'll show you how to use it to tell your own tales. No experience necessary.

Email Librarian Maggie (mlevine@bpl.org) by Dec. 5 with your child's name and age to receive the Zoom link for this program.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information.

Peace First Labs for Teen Changemakers

For young people who are ready to make change, Peace First Labs is a powerful way to start their journey. Guided by a young leader from the Peace First team, working alongside (and learning from) a group of their peers, young people will use Peace First’s tools from 3 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7 to develop projects that can solve an injustice in their community.

By the end of the session, young people will have a finished product - a project concept or a compassionate insight - that they can submit to the Peace First Challenge.

At the end of the session, the facilitator will show participants how they can join the Peace First community and access support to turn their ideas into action.

This event will be virtual and conducted via Zoom through the Boston Public Library. Go to bpl.org/events to register for the Zoom link.

‘The Rage for Paper Money in the Early Republic’

Before Civil War greenbacks and a national bank network established a uniform federal currency in the United States, loosely regulated banks saturated the early American republic with upwards of 10,000 unique and legal bank notes.

Joshua R. Greenberg will show how ordinary Americans accumulated and wielded the financial knowledge required to navigate interpersonal bank note transactions and argues that the shift from state-regulated banks and private shinplaster producers to federally authorized paper money in the Civil War era led to the erasure of the skill, knowledge, and lived experience with banking that informed debates over economic policy from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

Go to masshist.org/calendar for more information and Zoom registration.

Author Nicholas Basbanes with ‘Cross of Snow’

Enjoy a lively dialogue about the life and work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) and his multi-talented second wife, Fanny Appleton Longfellow (1817-1861), featuring Nicholas A. Basbanes, author of Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Diana Korzenik, complier of the Appleton Family Archives from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

Presented in partnership with the State Library of Massachusetts and GBH Forum Network

Go to www.americanancestors.org for more information and registration.

New Parent Group (on Zoom)

Looking for a way to meet other parents with infants? Need support from experts while navigating new challenges? Have questions about childhood development, parenting and early literacy?

Join the Boston Public Library’s New Parent group on Zoom. The group will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. on (most) Tuesdays for an informal – and informative – program for families with infants, birth to 12 months. The group will meet on Dec. 8, Dec. 15, and Dec. 22.

There will be guest speakers visiting each week to speak about a variety of topics, including diapering, napping, feeding, early communication and general wellness for parents and infants. There will also be time before the guest speaker arrives so people can connect with other new parents and get early literacy recommendations from the librarians.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including a weekly speaker/topic and registration.

Black Women’s Worlds in Antebellum America panel discussion

Free and enslaved Black women have been rendered nearly invisible in the historical and popular imagination of the antebellum steamboat world.

The essay, To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats: Gender, Labor and Freedom in the Western Steamboat World, examines how enslaved and free Black women negotiated power and place in this environment that was fraught with danger, but also brimming with opportunity. Hines argues that Black women who were unmoored from plantation landscapes by way of the western rivers trouble prevailing tropes of gendered mobility and immobility that pervade scholarship on slavery in the United States.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites everyone to join the conversation from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8 with Alisha Hines, Wake Forest University and Tiya Miles, Harvard University.

Go to masshist.org/calendar for more information and Zoom registration.

Coat Boston

City Mission is collecting new, unused coats in all children’s sizes and all teen sizes (including adult men’s and women’s) that will be given directly to Boston schools and organizations that serve low-income families.

Coats can be donated in one of the following ways:

– Buy a coat and deliver it to your organization’s coat drive then dropped off at the Coat Collection Center

– Order online and send directly to the Coat Collection Center (See Wish Lists)

The address is: Coat Collection Center, First Parish Westwood, Attn: City Mission, 252 Nahatan St. Westwood, MA 02090.

Go to citymissionboston.org/coat-boston for more information.

2020 Christmas Shop

Christmas Shop needs support to help bring hope and joy to those most in need during the holiday season.

– People can provide new gifts and clothing (no food items) to individuals and families in need in Boston - View Wish List online

– People can volunteer to help with sorting items and packing them for recipients (adults only).

Go to citymissionboston.org/christmas-shop for more information.

Music & Art for the Soul

Music improves mood, reduces stress, lessen anxiety and helps people eat less. Through art, people open their hearts and minds to possibilities.

Those who would like to share their musical talent - i.e. singing, sing-a-longs, playing an instrument and dancing – are invited to join the Good Vibes three-part series from 11 to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 on Zoom.

Facilitated by Boston Public Library staff members, this series offers collaborations of creativity voluntarily shared by the participants.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

Jackbox party gaming for teens on Twitch

A small team of the friendly local Boston Public Library teen librarians will be using their newly-minted Twitch stream to host a series of wacky, irreverent online party games from the Jackbox suite - all of which are designed to be played by large audiences.

Kids in 6th through 12th grade can visit TWITCH.TV/BPLts from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 and use their phone or internet-enabled device to join the game, joke around in chat and even recommend the next game.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

LRC: Coronavirus: Life in the Time of Corona

COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment.

During this facilitated living room conversation slated from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, the participants will share their personal experiences and discuss the potential outcomes of this challenging pandemic.

MHS holiday celebration

Lights and gatherings are an especially meaningful symbol of hope, celebration, warmth and remembrance for many at this time of year. In this historic presidential election year, be inspired through an exploration of how the holidays come alive at the White House from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, will discuss the tradition of Hanukkah celebrations at the White House.

Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, will discuss the 2020 White House Christmas ornament commemorating President John F. Kennedy, Jr.

As an added bonus, the 2020 White House ornament will be available to purchase at a discount through Dec. 10. Details will be sent with event registration confirmation.

Go to masshist.org/calendar for more information and Zoom registration.

Author Neal Gabler with ‘Catching the Wind’

Join the Boston Public Library and the GBH Forum Network for an online talk with Neal Gabler, author of Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975 at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9. BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, which is part of the Arc of History: Contested Perspectives series.

The epic, definitive biography of Ted Kennedy—an immersive journey through the life of a complicated man and a sweeping history of the fall of liberalism and the collapse of political morality.

Erie Excitement

Cassy Jane Werking (University of Kentucky) will talk about the plots planned and carried out by the Confederacy to release prisoners on the Great Lake and use them as the force needed to attack the Union from the opposite direction - the North from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Go to masshist.org/calendar for more information and Zoom registration on this Massachusetts Historical Society’s brown bag online event.

Film discussion: Barry Marshall on Stanley Baker's 'Zulu' (1964)

Join the Boston Public Library and Barry Marshall, Senior Affiliated Faculty member in the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson College, from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 for an interactive online film discussion about Zulu (1964) via Zoom.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the opportunity to view the film prior to discussion.

Tween Time

Kids, ages 8-12 years old, are invited to join librarians for puzzles, games and different projects from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.

This program is a great way to spend an hour and virtually hang out with kids around Boston.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

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:

- Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, 19 Arlington St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 15.

- Lilly Pulitzer, 133 Newbury St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Wednesday, Dec. 23; and

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.

LRC: What is essential?

Essential workers, essential services, essential travel. The global pandemic has affected all areas of life and has invited a shift in what people believe to be essential. What is essential to our lives, to our community and for our planet? What adjustments are we making in the short term and for the long run for our personal safety or for the welfare of others? Perhaps this is a time to consider what is most important to us, the community and for future generations.

This facilitated living room conversations will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

Winter and Christmas at Castle Howard

Castle Howard is truly one of England’s finest country houses. Nestled in the Howardian Hills of Yorkshire’s idyllic countryside, the estate features more than 200 buildings and monuments, breathtaking architecture, astounding gardens and has been the home of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years.

Join Castle Howard Curator Dr. Christopher Ridgway from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11

for a virtual tour of its extensive gardens, storied interiors, and precious collections as they prepare to “deck the halls” for Christmas. He will discuss previous Christmas installations along with tales of life—indoors and outdoors—during Yorkshire’s winter. Don’t miss experiencing the winter wonderland that awaits you at Castle Howard!

Visit americanancestors.org for more information and registration.

Virtual holiday party for kids and teens

Looking for some festive family fun? The French Cultural Center will be hosting classic holiday workshops to celebrate the season from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12.

All workshops will take place on Zoom and will be animated by their children’s teachers.

Among the family fun with a French twist will be holiday-themed arts and crafts, storytime, music and cooking.

Go to frenchculturalcenter.org/events for more information, including a schedule of activities and a links to register (prices range per activity).

Moving images: An artful afternoon with Black N' Animated

Black N' Animated, both a consortium of Black professionals working in the animation industry as well as a popular podcast, is coming together from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 on the Boston Public Library Teen Services Twitch channel.

This teens-only event will feature an honest discussion with Black animators currently working at Disney and Marvel as well as a live, real-time drawing demo by guest artists Kellye Perdue and Wynton Redmond. Teens can ask questions - and maybe even influence the artists' demos - all in real time.

Whether you're a teen interested in becoming a professional animator or a wicked otaku looking to nerd out for 90 minutes, join the Boston Public Library for this window into a fascinating artistic world.

No registration is necessary; simply visit Twitch.tv/BPLts at the event time or follow on Twitch early to receive notification of upcoming entertaining teen-oriented events.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and (optional) registration.

Build It! (on Zoom)

Children, ages 5 through 12 and their families, are invited to join Librarians Patty and Rebecca from 4 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 to tackle a monthly building challenge. The participants will use supplies found in their homes, principles of engineering and a lot of ingenuity.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Guild of Boston Artists juried exhibition

The Guild of Boston Artists will present its annual members juried exhibition through Saturday, Dec. 12 which can also be previewed online.

The work in this exhibition encourages contemplation of the interplay between movement and stillness. Directed by the artist's hand, the viewer's eye traces lines and arabesques or settles gently on a passage or detail - the spirit soars and beauty hangs in the balance.

Gallery hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment; Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Visit www.guildofbostonartists.org for more information.

Esplanade 2020 Holiday Auction

The 2020 Holiday Auction includes rounds at premier golf courses, a private catered dinner party, roundtrip airline tickets from JetBlue, time in the Top Golf Swing Suite at Lynx Fitness Club, an overnight stay at the Whitney Hotel, a unique garden tour, with new items added throughout the length of the auction, including an exclusive wine package.

Please consider taking part in this holiday auction this year to give back to the beautiful riverside park.

Bidding will run until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Visit https://esplanade.org for more information.

Give the gift of membership – now through January

Give the gift of membership this holiday season. This gift will 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/2020/11/06/give-the-gift-of-membership-now-through-january.

Holiday Small Works: 2020

Featuring work from their membership of more than 300 artists, Holiday Small Works 2020 is one of Copley Society of Art’s most anticipated exhibitions each year. This traditional holiday show offers hundreds of affordably-priced small artworks in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, mixed media and photography.

The artworks will be on view through Friday, Dec. 25 at the Co|So’s Gallery, 158 Newbury St. and virtually at www.copleysociety.org.

Gallery temporary hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.; Mondays by appointment.

Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s virtual gala/auction

For all of the people who watched Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s Virtual Gala/Auction live on Oct.14, the BLO apologizes for the technical difficulties with the stream. BLO has put together a polished recording of the event that can be watched by all on their website at landmarksorchestra.org/2020-gala.

There is still time to donate to their Gala at gofundme.com/f/landmarksorchestra.

‘Girls Who Code’

Girls in Grades 3 through 5, come together weekly to learn simple computer programming, make new friends and learn to change the world with computer science.

“Girls Who Code” is a free eight-week afterschool Zoom club, taught by computer whiz Jennifer Greenberg.

Join for all eight classes being held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Dec. 7.

Those interested in registering should email Librarian Rebecca at rfox@bpl.org.

ESL Singing Group

Do you love music? Do you love to sing? Do you want to learn English and sing with new friends? Join the E.S.L. Singing Group.

Led by Associate Conductor Katherine Chan from the Back Bay Chorale, people will learn basic singing skills and songs in English. At the end of each class, participants will have the opportunity to make new friends and practice English conversation skills. No previous music skills required.

Free classes take place from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on most Tuesdays through Dec. 8 on Zoom.

Please contact Katherine Chan, kchan@bbcboston, or the Boston Public Library Literacy Services Department at 617-859-2446, literacyservices@bpl.org, for more information.

Register at https://bbcboston.org/bridges/esl and come ready to sing.

The Buddhist book discussions and meditations

Buddha's Belly and Arlington Street Meditation Center (feel free to come to one or both) meet via Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

6 p.m. Buddha's Belly: a book discussion group that explores a variety of books from Buddhist teachings. All are welcome.

7 p.m. Arlington Street Meditation Center: these gatherings include seated meditation, a brief reading from Buddhist teachings, and conversation. Beginners and experienced meditators from all traditions (or none!) are warmly welcome.

Visit www.ascboston.org for more information and links to attend.

Pajama Story Time

Grab your coziest PJs and a favorite stuffed animal and join Librarian Rebecca for end-of-day stories, songs and movement from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on Thursdays. Wind down with a cozy craft inspired by the reading. This story time is ideal for toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary kids.

Email Librarian Rebecca (rfox@bpl.org) with your child's name and age to register and receive a link to the Boston Public Library’s Zoom room.

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.

The Bach Cantata Series 2020 - 2021

The Orchestra and Chorus of Emmanuel Music, conducted by Artistic Director Ryan Turner, has returned to Emmanuel Church for the 2020-2021 Bach Cantata Series. As they were originally written for worship services, these cantatas are presented at the culmination of the 10 a.m. Sunday liturgy at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., where Emmanuel Music is the Ensemble-in-Residence. The series will be held through May 9 with a special Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20.

Those aiming to hear just the cantatas are welcome to join at approximately 11 a.m., but both organizations encourage all to join at any time during the service with the motto that “the longer you are here, the more you will hear.”

The services are open to all with strict COVID-19 protocols in place.

The service including the Bach Cantata will be streamed live on Emmanuel Music's and Emmanuel Church's Facebook pages.

For more information, visit www.emmanuelboston.org and/or www.emmanuelmusic.org.

Welcome to BOSPUBLIA: A Live Animal Crossing Twitch Stream

Join the Boston Public Library from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 for the latest adventures on Nintendo's Animal Crossing island, known to visitors as BOSPUBLIA. Drop by to inspect, inquire, invest and invent; chat live; and participate in fishing, diving and bug-catching contests.

The group meets on their Teen Services Twitch channel (twitch.tv/BPLts).

You can also visit them when they are off line.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information.

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them Book Group

The Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them Book Group at the Boston Public Library's Central Library is geared toward young adults in their 20s and 30s will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 (earlier than usual due to the holiday).

The December read will be Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the video chat link.

Beyond the Page: ‘The Talented Miss Farewell’

December is the month for making snow angels and reading about Becky Farewell, the female con artist who is less than angelic.

Beyond the Page book club will meet with author Emily Gray Tedrowe for a relaxed and intimate discussion from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 15.

The Talented Miss Farewell is an electrifying page-turner of greed and obsession, survival and self-invention that is a piercing character study of one unforgettable female con artist. Becky is simultaneously the treasurer of a small, struggling town and a cutthroat New York City art collector.

As they spiral deeper into the novel and her double life, join the book club’s Facebook group where they will host reading goals and conversation leading up to the main event.

BB@YOURHOME 2020-2021 Season Series

Enjoy a night at the ballet wherever you are with BB@YOURHOME, a new virtual series featuring fresh creations, signature works and classical ballet gems captured live in-studio and streamed directly.

Their reimagined season showcases the creativity and innovation that defines Boston Ballet, pushes the boundaries of their artform and continues to provide world-class dance despite the current constraints.

Dec. 17-Dec. 27: The Gift

Bring a joyous sparkle to the holidays with divertissements set to the deliciously bluesy compositions of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Inspired by one of the greatest jazz musicians Boston Ballet dancers will choreograph unique new works culminating in the regal grand pas de deux from Act II of The Nutcracker as a grand finale.

Jan. 21-Jan 31: Look Back, Focus Forward

Take a virtual voyage of Boston Ballet’s history ad artistic achievements, including outstanding international tours, the special relationship with Jiří Kylián’s repertoire, the intimate ballets from Leonid Yakobson, and many more. This reflective collage celebrates our journey together and explores the exciting future ahead getting ready to enter a new year.

Feb. 25-Mar. 7: Celebrating Jorma Elo

Celebrate the boldness and choreographic evolution of Jorma Elo’s work through his 15 years as Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer. Watch as a new cast of dancers takes on his mind-blowing hit Plan to B and be the first to experience his brand-new work for two dancers.

March 25-April 4: The Art of Classical Ballet

Open a treasure chest of pas de deux from classical ballet including a rarely-performed gems. Experience a curated look at the foundations of the artform and the leaps ballet has made since then.

April 15-April 25: Process & Progress

Enjoy innovative, never-before-seen dance by new, international choreographic voices Nanine Linning and Ken Ossola, plus a preview of ChoreograpHER.

Bring the Ballet home to you. With each subscription ($180/series), you support their dancers, fuel new art-making, and invest in Boston Ballet's future.

Go to bostonballet.org/Home/Tickets-Performances/Performances/BB-at-your-home for more information and tickets.

‘The Ghost Light Series’

The Ghost Light Series, a live music program filmed onstage at the Wang Theatre which premiered at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, will air every other week in the same time slot on New England’s Connection Network (NECN).

For centuries, theatres around the world have had what is known as a Ghost Light, a single lamp left shining when everyone has left. The legend is that this light protects actors, patrons and theatres from bad luck and ghosts.

Each half-hour show in the Ghost Light Series will feature artists performing to an empty audience on the Boch Center stage illuminated only by the Ghost Light. There will be no amps and no spotlights – just the artists and their instruments, playing and sharing stories, and revealing what it is like to be a musician at a time when you are cut off from your audience.

Upcoming performance dates:

Dec 18 - Livingston Taylor

Visit www.bochcenter.org/discover/ghost-light-series for more information.

Esplanade explorer activities packet

If you're looking for a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon on the Esplanade, register to receive the Esplanade Explorer Activities Packet filled with a scavenger hunt, Eye Spy Bingo, ice cream and more – available through Thursday, Dec 31.

The packet is filled with outdoor activities that you can do on your own time while being physically distant. Any donation will support the Esplanade Association’s work to revitalize and enhance the Charles River Esplanade, sustain its natural green space, and provide educational, cultural and recreational programs for everyone.

Register at eventbrite.com/e/esplanade-explorer-activities-packet-tickets-126306059825 ($10).

Once registered, you will receive the Esplanade explorer activities packet via email.

Participants will also be registered to win a gift card to either Trident Booksellers and Café or Boston Swan Boats.

Future Readers Book Club

The Boston Public Library will host the Future Readers Club for children, ages five years and younger, and their caregivers, with a goal of reading 1,000 books together before the child begins kindergarten.

Register at bpl.org to keep track of the books you read together and earn badges for your young milestones at bostonpl.beanstack.org.

In addition, the BPL offers an assortment of programs as part of the Future Readers Club to engage children in stories, songs, finger play and crafts.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration to each event.

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.

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.

Support the Esplanade Association

The Esplanade is the stretch of public green space that extends for three miles one way along the Boston shore of the Charles River from the Boston Museum of Science to the Boston University (BU) Bridge.

In addition to providing a beautiful natural landscape, the park is home to the iconic Hatch Memorial Shell, various historical monuments, recreational facilities and more than five miles of pathway for walking, running or biking.

Please consider making a donation to the Esplanade Association to help keep the green space thriving and the activities alive.

People’s support of Esplanade Association is more critical than ever before, especially since the annual Moonlight Gala was canceled and this event typically makes up 50 percent of their operating revenue. All donations are tax deductible and people can use any means to send their support, including Donor Advised Funds.

Visit https://esplanade.org for more information and links to donate.

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.

'Dream Boston:' Five-minute audio plays

Welcome to Dream Boston, a future vision of this city that is somewhere between dream and reality, powered by the Huntington Theatre.

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 the city.

Visit www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/upcoming/dream-boston for more information and links to listen on your favorite podcast platforms.

Boston Ballet

Enjoy a variety of behind-the-scenes videos, virtual choreography, performance clips, and articles on www.bostonballet.org along with exclusive, ballet videos posted Mondays through Fridays at www.facebook.com/bostonballet and/or www.instagram.com/bostonballet.

Support Boston Ballet at www.bostonballet.org/Home/Support/Donate.

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.

‘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.

These are among the Christmas decorations that can be seen on Beacon Street homes in the Back Bay.