Fenway neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Beyond the Spectrum Kids: Symbols of Power

How are powerful people depicted in art throughout history? What symbols do artists use to denote power in different cultures? Examine artworks and discuss these questions, then create your own powerful symbolic artwork.

The Museum of Fine Arts will host their monthly Beyond the Spectrum program for teens with Autism Spectrum and Aspergers Disorders ages 13 to 18 from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19 via Zoom.

Materials kit can be mailed upon request.

Visit mfa.org/event/beyond-the-spectrum/beyond-the-spectrum-online-teens-0?event=66101 for more information and registration (Members - $9 | Nonmembers - $11).

NEC ‘Holiday Chorus Concert’

The New England Conservancy will present Holiday Chorus Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. The video livestream will be posted on their website prior to concert start.

The program will include:

– Felix Bernard (arr. Paul Ayres) | Winter Wonderland with NEC Chamber Singers & Friends

– Ola Gjeilo | Tundra (2011/2020) with NEC Community Chorus

The lyrics for Tundra, written by Charles Anthony Silvestri specifically for this work, is based on the title and some photos of a ski resort town called Gjeilo, in the Hardangervidda mountain plateau between Oslo and Bergen in Norway. The area is quite barren, and intensely beautiful. It is easy to feel that you are treading on sacred land, which Tony so wonderfully expresses in his text.

– Elaine Hagenberg | The Music of Stillness (2017) with NEC Community Chorus and Da-Yu Liu, piano

This work highlights a poem by Sara Teasdale which, on the surface, depicts a beautiful winter scene. However, the text is an allegory that reflects her reclusiveness and solitude; she committed suicide shortly after completing the poem. 2020 has been difficult for so many, including those within our NEC community, and the holidays can sometimes make many feel overwhelmed and isolated. This program selection is a reminder to any who struggle with mental health issues they are not alone, and they are loved.

– Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard | Believe from "The Polar Express" with Chamber Ensemble

NEC Preparatory School National Youth Chorale Festival Singers

The members of the NEC Preparatory School National Youth Chorale Festival Singers selected this piece. The text is lovely, and apropos for their current life experiences.

Visit necmusic.edu/events/holiday-chorus-concert for more information.

NEC Preparatory School National Youth Chorale Festival

The NEC Preparatory School National Youth Chorale Festival Singers under the direction of Erica J. Washburn, conductor and accompanied by Valerie Becker, piano will present a concert from at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. The video livestream will be posted on their website prior to concert start.

The program will include:

– Lasha Kvetenadze | Rad mitvaltsuneb?

– Tobias Hiller | Seufzer, from "Zwei Mörikelieder" (2004)

– César Alejandro Carrillo | O vos omnes (2013)

– Sarah Quartel | Wide Open Spaces (2014)

Visit https://necmusic.edu/events/nec-preparatory-school-national-youth-chorale-festival-erica-j-washburn for more information.

Last call for Toys for Tots

New, unwrapped toys to benefit the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program can be dropped off at any State Police barracks, fire stations or police departments through Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Donations via check can be mailed 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.

East/West Fens food distribution

Fenway Cares will hold a bi-weekly fresh food distribution from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in West Fenway at the Fenway Community Center (1282 Boylston St.) and East Fenway at Symphony Community Park (39 Edgerly Rd.). There next distribution will be on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

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.

2020 Christmas Shop

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

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

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

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

Gardner Museum: In the Studio

In the Studio is a new digital series that takes you into the studios and workspaces of a few artists who call Boston home curated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Jan. 2: Rayna Lo - Repair, Rebirth, Renewal

The start of a new year invites repair, rebirth, and renewal. Start 2021 off right by letting go of the past as you create a work of art with Rayna Lo that gives you hope for the year ahead.

Feb. 6: Rayna Lo - Letters from the Heart

Write a note to someone special. Follow simple tips and tricks from calligrapher, illustrator and educator Rayna Lo as you create custom stationery and envelope designs that transform an ordinary note into a special letter sent from the heart.

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. And if you’re just joining them, you’ll have fun too!

Go to www.gardnermuseum.org for more information and links to enjoy.

Navigators USA

Navigators USA, a free scouting program hosted by the Fenway Community Center, will begin the new year with its first meeting slated from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The program is open to all youth, ages 3-12. All participants will receive free materials including a t-shirt. The group will begin earning badges right away.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and registration.

Virtual 5K wellness program

As if it wasn't hard enough to stay fit, the pandemic has many people cooped up inside more than ever before. It's easy to seek comfort with foods that are better for our moods than our bodies. Join the Fenway Community Center for a gentle nudge toward better health.

Brianna Considine, a senior from Northeastern's Health Sciences Department, will guide participants through setting personal goals each week and provide information about nutrition and wellness. The next class will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8.

Those who independently complete a 5K walk or run will receive a medal.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information and registration.

Shen Wei exhibition and films

As part of Shen Wei: Painting in Motion, a single exhibition in three parts which unfolds across the 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 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way through June, 2021.

Visit www.gardnermuseum.org for more information.

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 purchased and delivered to and/or ordered online and send directly to the

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

Go to citymissionboston.org/coat-boston 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.

Give the gift of membership

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.

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.

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.

World of Wonder

The Fenway Community Center will host World of Wonder for children, ages 3 through 8, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Mondays via Zoom.

This program delves deep into our connection with nature. It is founded on the premise that direct experience in nature is essential to children's physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development. Time spent experiencing and exploring during childhood begins a practice that can bring lifelong openness to the wonder nature can spark.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org and/or Eventbrite.com for more information and registration.

Seventh-Inning Stretch continues on Mondays

After completing 120 consecutives daily live shows on July 23, and moving to a weekly format during the 2020 Major League Baseball season, Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor continue his “Seventh-Inning Stretch.”

Tune in live at www.facebook.com/7thinningstretch2020 at 3 p.m. on Mondays 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.

Voice and Justice

The Voice and Justice program at the Fenway Community Center seeks to open communication about issues of social and racial justice. They offer a weekly list of resources via a variety of media for you to explore, including an estimated time for each resource and a weekly action for you to take to combat racism.

Join the group at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month to share your voice with your neighbors and work toward racial justice one step at a time.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org and/or Eventbrite.com 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 links and more information.

Trivia Night

All ages are welcome to join the Fenway Community Center for a casual, noncompetitive fun night of trivia – music, Harry Potter, movies and more – from 8 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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

Arts and Crafts Club

An intergenerational Arts and Crafts Club at the Fenway Community Center will meet on Zoom from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Explore the elements of art with paints and markers, bead a backpack buddy or try hand lettering.

Free materials which can be picked up at FCC monthly or delivered within the Fenway neighborhood will include everything the crafters will need for these projects.

Go to fenwaycommunitycenter.org for more information.


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.

Game Night

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

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

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.

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.

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 https://baroque.boston for more information, including Virtual Season Subscriptions.

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.

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 Thursday, 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.

Game Changers exhibit

The group exhibition, Game Changers at MAAM explores artists working at the confluence of contemporary art and video games. Whether highlighting under-explored narratives, pushing technological boundaries, or imagining alternative worlds through game aesthetics, the artists featured in Game Changers are discovering new possibilities for what game-related art can be and do.

Visit https://maam.massart.edu for more information about this exhibition on view through 2020.

Ghost of a Dream: ‘Yesterday is Here’

For the grand opening of the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), artist collective Ghost of a Dream transformed the new lobby with a site-specific installation titled Yesterday is Here, which will be on view through 2020.

Ghost of a Dream's artwork centers on people’s hopes and dreams and is made from the ephemera they create in pursuit of those aspirations. In Yesterday is Here, the collective uses the past to create a new future for the Museum; the duo has cut up, combined, and spliced together images from over 30 years of exhibition catalogs and announcements from the MassArt Bakalar & Paine Galleries to create a kaleidoscopic look through the history of the Galleries and create an experience that speaks to MAAM’s future.

Valkyrie Mumbet exhibition

Renowned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos premiered a new monumental site-specific installation at MAAM, which will be on view through 2020. Known for her unprecedented multimedia works, Vasconcelos, in her first U.S. solo show, will honor Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman whose court battle for her freedom in August 1781 helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The large-scale installation titled Valkyrie Mumbet, is the newest in her Valkyries series, named after Norse female war goddesses, which pays homage to inspiring women.

Visit https://maam.massart.edu/event/mumbets-declaration-independence for more information including a list of activities that honor the life of this courageous woman.

Free Lifeboat Food Pantry

The Lifeboat Food Pantry will be at 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 all available at www.bso.org/athome and the BSO YouTube and Social Media Channels.

MFA – Temporarily Closed

The Museum of Fine Arts will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays following health and safety protocol and utilizing advance-purchase timed tickets.

A limited number of galleries and exhibitions will be open, and temporarily closed galleries will continue to reopen as they reconfigure spaces and traffic routes for safe and socially distant visits. See Gallery Updates for the most up-to-date information.

Members: free | Nonmembers: $25 | Youths, ages 17 and under: free | *Modified admission pricing ($5 minimum) during the 3 to 4 p.m. entry slot every Wednesday.

Visit www.mfa.org for more information.

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.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – Temporarily Closed

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum winter hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays* and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; Closed on Tuesdays; Holiday hours vary with some dates closed.

*First Thursdays of the month hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with free admission from 3 to 9 p.m.

Visitors will be required to pre-purchase, timed tickets (up to 30-minutes before closing) and follow health and safety guidelines

Visit gardnermuseum.org for more information.

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.

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.

This is one of the art pieces that sit above the stage at Jordan Hall.