Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
David Bowdre entertains shoppers in Downtown Crossing with his outstanding drumming. He has been bringing joy to people with his musical skills for many years. To learn more about him, visit www.daveybeatz.com.

‘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 debut on Friday, Jan. 29 exclusively on operabox.tv.

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

Winter Walk BOSTON to End Homelessness

For the fifth year, a consortium of agencies, including Pine Street Inn, Women’s Lunch Place, St. Francis House, Boston Health Care for the Homeless and Common Cathedral, are sponsoring a two-mile awareness and fundraising walk through the streets of Boston to help end homelessness in Boston.

Participants will to take their own walk (independently or as a family or small team) between Friday, Jan. 29 and Sunday Feb. 7 and then gather at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7 for a special online presentation with stories shared from some of Greater Boston’s homeless community.

Visit www.winterwalkboston.org for more information, walk registration and other ways to volunteer.

Winter Wonder: A virtual winter exploration

Join Boston Harbor Now for a two-day virtual festival featuring guided activities and panel discussions focused on education and the conservation of Boston Harbor's wildlife.

Attend as few or as many programs as desired from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31, presented by Mass Audubon, “Dr. No” and others.

There will also be a special outdoor demonstration from REI staff.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-wonder-a-virtual-winter-exploration-tickets-132833760353 for more information and registration (Suggested donation $15).

Learning Circle: Learning English grammar

The Boston Public Library will present a learning circle series that seeks to help participants learn and/or review English grammar by following VOA everyday grammar: How Americans use English grammar in everyday conversation.

Participants will go through each week's course materials, ask questions, and engage in small group discussions at these weekly Zoom sessions.

The final program will be offered from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.

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

Networking for Change

The Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) and the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) will host Networking for Change from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2. This brings together clean energy advocates and design professionals interested in opportunities to advocate for healthy, affordable housing across the Commonwealth.

This networking session will share how to get involved with existing legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts, and explore other advocacy opportunities within the design fields. Become part of the Affordable Housing is a Climate Solution movement.

Visit www.architects.org for more information and Zoom registration. Free and open to the public.

‘Safe Harbor: Boston's Maritime Underground Railroad’

Boston Public Library and National Park Service will present Safe Harbor: Boston's Maritime Underground Railroad from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

During the years preceding the American Civil War, Boston served as one of the most important stops on the Underground Railroad. Did you know that many of the fugitives escaping from enslavement came to Boston by stowing away on ships from southern ports? This program explores the untold stories of men and women making daring escapes to freedom through Boston Harbor.

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

Wen-hao Tien: ‘Home on Our Backs’ virtual opening

Join Pao Arts Center Artist-in-Residence, Wen-hao Tien and Ben Sloat, multimedia artist, assistant professor and Director of the MFA in Visual Arts at Lesley University for a conversation on Tien’s newest exhibition at Pao Arts Center from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Learn more about some of the works in the show and Tien’s artistic process during her discussion with Sloat.

Go to www.paoartscenter.org for more information.

‘Talk Data to Me: Public Health’

How does data influence public health? What role do data analysts play in the progress of medicine? Find out at this month's iteration of Talk Data to Me from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Join GA and their speakers to discuss how today's wealth of data drives the public health industry and how data can be a powerful tool in understanding the public's needs. They will also share their insights on how public health will be shaped by data in the present and in the future.

Go to generalassemb.ly/education/talk-data-to-me-public-health/boston/180992 for more information and Zoom registration.

Multi-generational Travel: A Black History Month Conversation

Multi-generational travel is a great way to experience new places, share with and learn from others, and strengthen your family connections.

Join blogger and HI USA volunteer Natasha Nicholes of House Full of Nicholes from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 as she shares the benefits of multi-generational travel and tips to help you make the most of this experience.

Go to www.eventbrite.com/o/hi-usa-30268700044 for more information and Zoom registration.

‘That Which Was Will Come Again’ exhibition

Stop by the Gallery at the Atlantic Wharf in partnership with FPAC to view the latest art exhibit That Which Was Will Come Again, on display through Friday, Feb. 5.

In the early months of the pandemic, four visual artists banded together to form Circle Art, a supportive community intended to inspire and encourage each other’s artistic vision. In this exhibit, the four artists share their ties to the natural world and convey a sense of hope and belief that art has healing powers for us all.

For more information visit atlanticwharfboston.com/events-programs/aw-gallery and/or

fortpoints.org.

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.

‘Celebrating What Unites Us!’ virtual cooking series

The “Celebrating What Unites Us!” virtual cooking series will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays as follows:

Feb. 10 – French Cuisine

Feb. 24 – African Heritage Cuisine

March 24 – Seafood

April 21 – Flavorful Flatbreads: Cultural Variations on a theme

During each session a chef will show people how to prepare a delicious meal, celebrating the cultural heritage of many residents of Boston and beyond.

This program is hosted by Oldways in collaboration with Age-Friendly Boston and Friends of Armenian Heritage Park on The Greenway to keep people connected and coming together.

Visit ArmenianHeritagePark.com to register for Zoom link, recipes and more details.

(UN)CONFINED exhibition

The (UN)CONFINED exhibit, a collection of work by 17 printmakers, painters and sculptors, explores feelings caused not only by the pandemic quarantine, but also by figurative and literal boundaries. The exhibition will be on view through Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the FPAC Gallery, 300 Summer St.

Lock down allowing Gallery Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and by appointment.

The artists are members of Shepherd & Maudsleigh Studio, a community of colleagues who have supported each other through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visit www.fortpointarts.org to learn more.

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 cumulates 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.

LRC: Self-Care Series

Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of your mind, body and soul by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances the ability to live fully, vibrantly and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds people that their needs are valid and a priority.

Join this facilitated living room conversations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through Feb. 24.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the weekly topics, and Zoom registration.

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.

SNOWPORT: Curling

Excited to give it a curl?

Curling Lanes on the Seaport Common will be open daily and bookable online or in-person in 30-minute increments for up to two hours. Lanes may have up to 12 people (6 on each side). Check in at the Guest Services Gondola for your reservation and to pick up equipment. All equipment will be fully sanitized between use, and sanitizer wipes are available at both curling lanes. Masks must be worn at all times. Signage will be available on-site with curling rules and tips.

Curling hours: Mondays – Fridays: 4 to 9 p.am.; Saturdays: noon to 9 p.m.; Sundays: noon to 8 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 28.

This activity is free and open to the public.

Go to www.bostonseaport.xyz/event/snowport-curling 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 and 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 NEP (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.

Donate blood

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).

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.

Virtual ICA

While the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at 25 Harbor Shore Drive 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.

Operation ABLE

Operation ABLE, 174 Portland St. (Fifth Floor) 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.

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 will continue to provide 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 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.

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.

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. and Sundays 10 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 have a new website and will offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances.

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

Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.

Visit www.revolutionaryspaces.org for more information.

The Boston Cyclists Union

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

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

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

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

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.

‘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.

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

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

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

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.