Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes

Wayne Braverman
Link Boston Homes
The Metropolitan Theatre was opened by Publix Theaters Corporation on Oct. 17, 1925. In recent years, it has been renamed the Wang Theatre, and along with the Shubert Theatre, the two theatres, operated by the non-profit Wang Center for the Performing Arts, has been converted into a grandiose performing arts center. To learn more, visit http://cinematreasures.org.

‘Everybody’

Emerson Stage will stream Everybody at 8 p.m. through Saturday, March 13 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14.

In celebrated playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' "very meta and saucy adaptation" (TONY) of Everyman, the 15th century morality play, an unprepared Everybody must make sense of life's greatest mystery, the very meaning of living, before their time runs out.

Visit https://emersontheatres.org/Online for more information and tickets ($12 GA | $8 Emerson).

‘Laundry Rock: Histories of laundries of Boston Chinatown’

Explore the little-known histories of Chinese laundries in the regional Chinatown communities with visual artist Wen-hao Tien, Assistant Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston; Shauna Lo, Associate Professor of History at Boston University; Eugenio Menegon; and community members Richard Chin and Cynthia Yee from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 13.

For first-wave Chinese immigrants in the mid-1800s, laundries became a primary source of income and a significant part of Chinese American labor history. They remain a point of shared connection between many Chinese American families today.

How have these histories impacted Boston Chinatown, and what are the implications for current generations? During the discussion, they will examine Tien’s piece, Laundry Rock, one of the works included in her culminating exhibition as Pao Arts Center’s 2020 Artist-in-Residence.   

Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/laundry-rock-histories-of-laundries-of-boston-chinatown-tickets-138788348687 (0-$10). This event will feature ASL interpretation.

So, you want to start a podcast?

There’s never been a better time to launch a podcast and getting started is easier than you might think.

Successful podcasters sharing their best strategies for launching your first podcast, even if you have no prior digital media experience from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.

Panelists will speak about the pre-work involved in launching a podcast, including coming up with the show's concept, choosing the right equipment, publishing a podcast and more.

This panel is ideal for creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, consultants, coaches or businesses small or large. Podcasts are an optimal tool for establishing a brand, growing and engaging with an audience, making professional connections and verifying your professional expertise.

Register at https://generalassemb.ly/education/so-you-want-to-start-a-podcast/boston/184353.

Boston Sustainability Breakfast

Net Impact Boston will host a virtual informal breakfast meetup of sustainability professionals for networking, discussion and moral support from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17.

It's important to remind ourselves that we are not the only ones out there in the business world trying to do good! 

Go to www.netimpactboston.org/events/2020/9/16/boston-sustainability-breakfast-edceb-shjjc for tickets.

ICA Member Appreciation Days

ICA members are the heart of the ICA community and are vital to the museum. As a thank you, ICA members are invited back to the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19 before it opens to the public to enjoy i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times, William Kentridge: KABOOM, Eva LeWitt, and Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors - plus double discounts in the ICA store.

Go to www.icaboston.org for more information and reservations.

Women's History Month – Talk about girls’ trips

In honor of women's history month, HI USA is celebrating the "Girls' Trip."

Join fellow travelers from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 to share stories about a time you and your besties took a trip together - it can be local, domestic or international.

It’s a great opportunity to bond with other travelers as well as learn about some new group destinations.

Go to www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-history-month-tell-us-about-your-best-girls-trip-registration-141186615969?aff=ebdsoporgprofile for more information and registration.

The Petition: Virtual Performance/Discussion

In Boston in 1774, the Sons of Liberty cry out for the freedom from tyranny. But for the thousands of men, women and children enslaved in Massachusetts, the words “liberty” and “freedom” have a very different meaning.

Abolitionist and free Black man Prince Hall knows that the people are hungry for change, but will the men in power listen? And how much suffering will this country endure if they cannot end this injustice now?

This remote version of the performance originally staged in the Old State House’s Council Chamber will include a talk-back session with the actors, Alex Jacobs and Stephen Sampson

and playwright. Cliff Oldle and author Chernoh Sesay, Jr. at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 19.

Visit https://www.revolutionaryspaces.org/2021/03/02/petition-2 for more information and Zoom registration.

‘CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement’ exhibition

Crossing Cultures is a photo-based art exhibit about family, memory, displacement and identity from the point of view of four visual artists with roots in four continents: Europe (Germany), Asia (India), South America (Peru) and North America and the Caribbean (Mexico and Cuba). Through the use of vintage family photographs and different mediums: photography, mixed media and video, these artists uncover their family stories and create complex, multidimensional narratives to reflect upon what they have left behind while shifting countries and at the same time honoring and remembering family traditions and vanishing ways of life.

The exhibition will be on view at FPAC Gallery, 300 Summer St. and online at www.fortpointarts.org through Thursday, April 15.

Gallery hours: Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.

‘A Brimful of Asha’ live post-show conversation

The premiere of A Brimful of Asha took place on Tuesday, March 9 along with a live conversation and Q&A with Ravi and Asha Jain about the making of the show moderated by David Howse.

This recorded ASL interpreted conversation will be available on demand with the show through Monday, March 22.

About the film: With sold out runs across the world, A Brimful of Asha is a critically acclaimed hit and a favorite with audiences everywhere. Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage and tell this true (and very Canadian) story of generational and cultural clash. When Ravi takes a trip to India, his parents decide it's the perfect time to introduce him to potential brides. Ravi isn't sold on the idea of getting married - at least not yet - but Asha panics that time is running out.

Full of laughs and heartache, this delightful family tale perfectly illustrates how, though both parents and children want the best future possible, they often can’t agree on the way forward. As Asha explains to her son, “You don’t get to choose your family, why should you choose your wife?”

Visit https://emersontheatres.org/Online for more information.

SpeakEasy University

The second semester of SpeakEasy University will be held from 5 to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays through March 30 via Zoom.

They will explore an in-depth analysis of theatre producing and arts administration by walking through the production process of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Each week, a different part of the theatre industry will be covered, illustrated through the lens of Curious Incident. 

People can sign up for any or all of the sessions. All sessions are ‘Pay What You Can.’

Go to speakeasystage.com/speakeasy-university for more information and registration.

Critical Shortage - Donate blood to ARC                                                 

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. 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).

MassHire Career Center

The MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center is currently offering all services remotely, including webinars, coaching, and employment services.

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

ICA Art (Co) Lab

Art (Co) Lab is a weekly virtual program for youth in grades 6-8 focused on contemporary and visual art making. Inspired by installations and projects in the Bank of America Art Lab, participants will explore various art materials, methods, and ideas to grow as artists and create a creative online community. 

Create art and work with ICA staff, teaching artists and assistants, along with special guest artists from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays through May 26 (13 sessions; no class on April 21).

Art Materials Kit will be provided and scholarships are available. 

Visit icaboston.org for more information and registration (Free for BPS students with code BPS2020 | $168 for members | $210 for nonmembers).

Mindful Minis                                                                                                                      

Mindful Minis (for ages 6 through 9) will be held from 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays through April 1 hosted by the Boston Public Library.

The Mindful Mini program is a series of classes designed to introduce children to mindfulness-based tools helpful for stress-reduction, self-management, and emotional awareness.

Classes are centered on relaxation, creativity, imagination, gratitude and awareness, all of which are scientifically proven to aid in children’s success in school, in relationships and developing a connecting with themselves.

Activities include yoga, breathing techniques, drawing, mindful movement, sharing experiences with emotions and other interactive mindfulness games including sensory descriptions.

Visit bpl.org/events for Zoom registration and other relevant information.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum onsite/virtual

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum has opened for the season. It will also continue to hold virtual events year-round.

Visit bostonteapartyship.com for more information.

Chinese brush painting for adults: Four seasons                                     

Learn to paint the four seasons, each distinguished by its own temperature, weather patterns, plants and animals.

Relax, create and meditate with Chinese brush painting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 and April 24.

The online classes will be taught in Mandarin, English-friendly.

Go to www.paoartscenter.org/events/2020/chinese-brush-painting-for-adults-fourseasons for more information and registration ($15 per class without supplies | $35 per class includes supplies picked up at Pao Arts Center or mailed at additional cost).

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 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.

Black Seed Writers Group + ‘The Pilgrim’                                                          

The Black Seed Writers Group meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays in Upper Sproat Hall at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St. to produce a steady stream of poetry, protest, memoire, prayer and reportage.

The Pilgrim literary magazine features the works of hundreds of homeless, transitional and recently-housed writers. 

Visit www.stpaulboston.org and/or www.thepilgrim.org for more information.

Young Adults Cafes Zoom gatherings                                           

The Park Street Church offers Young Adult Cafes from 7 to 9:15 p.m. on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open to all young adults in the Greater Boston area.

The Tuesday café is comprised of young adults in their late 20s and 30s while the Wednesday café is designed for youth in their early 20s.

The Cafes meet virtually to help people stay connected in a healthy and safe way during these challenging times. The participants meet in a large group for worship, bible study and/or and fellowship and then break up into a variety of small groups, including ones for newcomers.

For more information, visit www.parkstreet.org or email cafe@parkstreet.org.

College Worship Communities                                                

Gather with fellow undergraduates at the Park Street Church as they stream church services together and then spend time in fellowship, reflection and prayer. Students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome.

Join the morning community to stream the 11 a.m. (traditional with choir & organ) or the evening community to stream the 4 p.m. (Contemporary with Sunday Night Band). The groups hope to grow together in wisdom as they develop a deeper understanding of who God is on an intellectual and personal level.

Visit parkstreet.org/ministries/college for more information, including other college student-related events and groups.

Operation ABLE                                                                              

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.

All services at Operation ABLE are being conducted remotely, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services. Class enrollments are open for computer skills training and Health Care and Social Services training, among others.

Visit operationable.net for more information and registration.

Lyric Stage To-Go ‘The Walking Plays’                                                                           

The Walking Plays is a new free audio play series of six short plays by Boston-based playwrights which unfold on a continuous route around the Back Bay, Downtown, and Theatre District neighborhoods.

The Walking Plays explore the private moments that we experience in public. Rediscover Boston through new eyes as you walk alongside intricate characters or experience these intimate stories in the comfort of your home.

The first two plays - On Paying Attention by David Valdes and Monster in the Sky - by Ginger Lazarus are now available with four more being released in the spring.

Visit www.lyricstage.com/to-go/walking-plays for more information and access to the plays.

‘The Fall of the House of Usher’                                                    

BLO (Boston Lyric Opera) moves from stage to screen for this brand-new, cinematic version of Philip Glass’ opera, The Fall of the House of Usher, based on the spellbinding, short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

William is summoned by his desperate friend Roderick to visit him and his dying sister Madeline in their mansion. A shroud of murder, deceit and the supernatural covers everything in this disturbing story inspired by a Boston family and their gothic home.

An opera in two acts with libretto by Arthur Yorinks, this reimagined version will be available through Wednesday, June 30 exclusively on operabox.tv.

Go to https://blo.org/usher for more information.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything – or are willing to assist them in outreach – please email office@stjosephboston.org or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email, and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

CraftBoston Mentor Program: Artist conversation

Meet J. Shannon Floyd and Christina Vincent, two remarkable artists who participated in the CraftBoston Mentor Program in 2019, in an artists’ discussion at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLXwXDfc1WQ&feature=youtu.be.

See more of J Shannon Floyd's (glass) work on her website: www.jshannonfloyd.com.

See more of Christina Vincent's (wood) work on her website: www.christinamvincent.com.

Bulfinch Crossing projection ‘Float’         

“Float” is a visual animation (with color, light and sound) that seamlessly integrates onto the beams and ceiling of the underpass of Bulfinch Crossing (Government Center Garage underpass at 1 Congress St.), transforming the underutilized space into an art exhibit.

The art installation can be viewed on foot, bike or from the safety of your car from dusk to dawn through Spring 2021. All visitors should practice city and state recommendations on social distancing. 

Additional information can be found at: www.bulfinchcrossingprojections.com.

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

On view at the Institute of Contemporary Art through May 23, 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. 

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. 

Wen-hao Tien: ‘Home on Our Backs’

Through five works, Pao Arts Center’s Artist-In-Residence Wen-hao Tien explores concepts of nomad and home in-flux through the lens of past, present and future. Do they exist all at once?

Tien’s year-long research, community conversation and reflection cumulate in a body of poetic work that will continue to evolve post residency.

With this exhibition, inspired by local Asian American history, Tien and the Pao Arts Center welcome community conversations during this unprecedented time. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, June 26.

Go to www.paoartscenter.org/events/2020/homeonourbacks for more information.

Liberty Bell Boston A/R artwork                                                               

​Boston was chosen for its role in one of the most complex and formative moments in U.S. history – the Boston Tea Party. Focused on early U.S. history, this location asks people to consider those who were granted rights, those who were excluded and the subsequent legacy of colonization.

Liberty Bell invites viewers to reflect on one of the early struggles for American liberty and independence while questioning how the Boston Tea Party shaped the future of the country and the contested definition of freedom.

On site, the augmented-reality artwork’s ephemerality illuminates the fragile moment the country faces. In this location, accessible to a public audience, Liberty Bell invites viewers the opportunity to consider their own experiences of liberty, freedom, injustice and inequality.

The drawing floats over the water of the Fort Point Channel between the Congress and Seaport bridges on the Harborwalk.

Meet the Instruments series

Join the New England Philharmonic and the Boston Children’s Museum for their annual Meet the Instruments series – virtually!

In this virtual series, kids learn about the different families of musical instruments and how those instruments fit together to make an orchestra. Each segment will introduce to a new family of instruments – strings, brass, and woodwinds – as the talented musicians from NEP share their instruments and their passion for making music.

Visit the Boston Children’s Museum YouTube Page to enjoy the series.

BHN scavenger hunts

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

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

BPL online Homework Assistance Program (HAP)

The Boston Public Library offers online homework help, mentorship and afterschool activities provided by trained high-achieving high school students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through May 14 (except during school holidays and vacations).

Students in grades K-8 are welcome on a drop-in basis, no registration required.

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

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

Boston Eats provides free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under. 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. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens, along with other information 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.

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 weekly 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.

Virtual ICA                                                                          

While the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has temporarily closed its doors to the public, you can continue to connect to art and artists remotely with virtual programs, at-home art activities for kids and families, and by shopping online at the ICA store.

Visit icaboston.org for more information.

Boston Public Market                                                                      

Boston Public Market is an urban, indoor, year-round marketplace at 100 Hanover St. featuring 35 New England artisans and food producers who offer locally-sourced fresh foods, prepared meals, crafts, and specialty items. 

Boston Public Market also has online ordering and same or next day delivery service.

BPM winter hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. following health and safety protocols.

Check Instagram for frequent updates.

Visit bostonpublicmarket.org for more information, including special events.

Virtual Revolutionary Spaces

The Old State House and Old South Meeting House offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances on their new website: www.revolutionaryspaces.org.

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 31.

Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.

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 bostoncyclistsunion.org.

Help Support MANNA Community Program at Cathedral Church of St. Paul          

Although many other programs have closed during this pandemic, the feeding ministry of the MANNA Community at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St. has expanded its ministry to accommodate the growing number of people in need.

In addition to the Monday Lunch Program, they are now serving breakfast and giving out water on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Serving these individually-packaged meals to a larger number of people in need comes at a greater expense to the church. Help keep this program alive by donating money to help purchase food and supplies.

Visit www.stpaulboston.org for more information.

Park Street Church Warming Center open

The Warming Center at Park Street Church is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Neighbors are invited in for a 90-minute chance to get warm, eat a meal, charge their phone and use the restroom. The Warming Center also serves grab-and-go meals and hot drinks at the entrance to the church.

The Warming Center is seeking volunteers to make sandwiches from home and bring them to the church and/or become an in-person volunteer (two-hour shifts available). Financial donations and gift cards are also appreciated.

Visit www.parkstreet.org or email info@parkstreet.org for more information.

Support Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.)    

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday nights and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, the Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.) at Park Street Church prepares hot meals and packages of socks, underwear and toiletries for men and women and then distributes them outside their church to their vulnerable neighbors who live on the streets of Boston.

The group is requesting donations of winter clothing (sizes M, L and larger) such as sweaters, jackets and boots for men and women.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation of money, food, toiletries, gift cards, or clothing or would like additional information on ways to make a difference, contact missions@parkstreet.org, email home@parkstreet.org or visit www.parkstreet.org.

St. Francis House

St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. – the largest day shelter in Massachusetts – continues to welcome more than 500 poor and homeless men and women a day for emergency refuge services.

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.

Your gift has the power to rebuild lives; St. Francis House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible.

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

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 artworks. Reduced shipping rates are available.

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

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.