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5 Things To Do This Weekend, From Tall Ships To Feminist Art

Ambreen Butt's mural "I Need A Hero" when it was installed on the Gardner Museum's facade in January. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Ambreen Butt's mural "I Need A Hero" when it was installed on the Gardner Museum's facade in January. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Free music, tall ships, a giant feminist tapestry — this weekend’s art offerings have it all. The weather, being weather, is unpredictable, with showers forecast for early Saturday — but don't let that stop you from enjoying art, indoors or out.


"I Need A Hero" | Through June 26 | Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

This weekend is one of your last chances to check out “I Need A Hero,” a giant, 16-by-36-foot mural by the artist Ambreen Butt that hangs defiantly on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s vast façade. Though rendered in the style of ancient Persian texts illustrating the mythical feats of men, Butt’s mural flips the script, depicting instead a larger-than-life woman brandishing a sword at a dragon — an image that the artist says was inspired by the work of Pakistani activist Mukhtar Mai, whose widely-publicized quest for justice in the wake of her sexual assault made her a feminist hero to many. (Learn more about the artwork from Andrea Shea.)


Daymé Arocena | Friday, June 16 | Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Seaport

Daymé Arocena is one of the great singers of her generation, a standout in a talented crop of inventive millennial musicians out of Cuba. In a concert presented by World Music/CRASHarts, the charismatic performer will present material from her new album, “Cubafonía,” which mixes traditional Cuban rhythms with jazz, pop and the sacred music of Arocena’s Santería faith. (Read my interview with her.)


Fête de la Musique | Saturday, June 17 | Boston’s South End

Now in its fifth year, the Community Music Center of Boston’s Fête de la Musique brings us an afternoon of free, family-friendly concerts and activities at four South End parks. The 2017 lineup includes the high-octane brass funk of Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and the fleet-fingered blues picking of guitarist Bertrand Laurence.


Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival | Starts Saturday, June 17 | Becket, Massachusetts

The longest-running dance festival in the country is back for its 85th go-around. The 10-week-long season features debuts from newcomers to the event, like Montreal’s Compagnie Marie Chouinard, as well as the return of beloved mainstays, like acclaimed modern dance company Pilobolus. Standouts this year include the premiere of “Tireless,” a program curated by MacArthur “genius” Michelle Dorrance that showcases the stunning footwork of tap dancers from around the globe. (Read our feature on the fest's anniversary.)

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance performing at Jacob’s Pillow. (Courtesy Cherylynn Tsushima/Jacob’s Pillow Dance)
Dark Circles Contemporary Dance performing at Jacob’s Pillow. (Courtesy Cherylynn Tsushima/Jacob’s Pillow Dance)

Tall Ships Parade | Friday, June 16 - Thursday, June 22 | Boston Harbor

The majestic Tall Ships Regatta sails into Boston just in time to incorporate into your Father’s Day plans. It's the largest assembly of tall ships in an American port in nearly two decades. The "Grand Parade" glides into the harbor on Saturday and departs Thursday morning. In between, more than 50 ships will be docked and the public can enjoy free tours and live entertainment on the creaky decks of those stately vessels. (Here's a guide to the Tall Ships Parade, and a close listen to one of the sea shantymen who will be there.)

Portugal's Sagres docked at the Fan Pier Marina in Boston on July 10, 2015. (Hadley Green for WBUR)
Portugal's Sagres docked at the Fan Pier Marina in Boston on July 10, 2015. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

Amelia Mason Twitter Music Reporter/Critic, The ARTery
Amelia Mason is a music critic and reporter for WBUR’s The ARTery, where she covers everything from indie rock to avant-garde to the inner workings of the Boston music scene.

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