5 Things To Do This Weekend, From A Moon Festival To A Basketball Exhibit

It's officially one week into August and the boiling heat waves seem to have finally broken. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and the sunshine this weekend before that autumn chill really begins to set in. Whether you want to dance, listen to good music, view art or experience cultures other than your own, there's plenty to keep you occupied this weekend.

African Festival of Boston
Boston Common

Saturday, Aug. 10

This multi-cultural celebration is a must for anyone looking to experience exceptional food and music. Now in its ninth year of operation, the African Festival of Boston celebrates the growing and thriving communities of African immigrants who call Boston, and New England, home. Face painting and games provide entertainment for the kids while the long list of vendors, selling everything from drums to clothing to kitchenware, are sure to keep adults busy. The cuisine options alone will have foodies immensely preoccupied. Musicians, both up-and-coming and established, are set to take the stage. The festival is free and open to the public.

50th Annual Chinatown August Moon Fest
Chinatown, Boston

Sunday, Aug. 11

If you've never been to a moon festival, now's your chance. According to Chinese legend, the Moon Festival commemorates Chang'e, who — in order to protect her beloved husband’s immortality elixir — ate it herself and flew to the moon. The festival serves as a time for celebration with family and friends while giving offerings to Change'e and the moon. Two stages will showcase traditional Chinese dance and performance art, along with music and martial arts. Arts and crafts booths provide entertainment for the kids.

Oompa's 'Cleo' Album Release Show
The Sinclair, Cambridge

Saturday, Aug. 10

It's been three years since Oompa's first album, "November 3rd," dropped and now she's back with another project for our listening pleasure. "Cleo" is an exploration into changing the past, confronting memory while writing a new course for the future. Opening the show are local favorites like TiDES, Red Shaydez and Jefe Replay, all boasting their unique artistic styles. The Boston-area rapper has a penchant for delivering explosive yet tender live experiences — don't miss this one. (Read Amelia Mason's profile on Oompa.)

Boston rapper Oompa. (Courtesy Ally Schmaling and OJ Slaughter)
Boston rapper Oompa. (Courtesy Ally Schmaling and OJ Slaughter)

Nozama Dance Collective Presents 'Uplift'
Green Street Studios, Cambridge

August 9 and August 10

This experience presented by the Nozama Dance Collective is comprised of two days of dance workshops and performances. The aim of "Uplift" is to center the female experience while highlighting the female empowerment movement. Free dance workshops take place on Friday and Saturday, led by female-identifying choreographers and company directors from the Boston area. Dancers of all levels are encouraged to attend. Everything culminates in a modern dance concert featuring guest performances from B-A-R Dance, the Boston Community Dance Project and more.

Shaka Dendy's 'Gestures of Incompleteness'
Boston Center for the Arts

Thursday, Aug. 8

What does basketball mean to you? For BCA artist-in-residence Shaka Dendy, basketball inspires conversations that explores race, class and the body as a commodity. In his newest installation, Dendy turns milk crates, often used in lieu of basketball hoops, and basketballs into a sculpture sparking dialogue on socioeconomics. Meet Dendy at the opening reception and see his work up close. It'll be on display as a part of a large scale public sculpture located at BCA’s public plaza through Nov. 10.

Artist Shaka Dendy prepares markers for a group of 8 and 9-year-old boys at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury as they decorate old basketballs, which he will use to create a large scale public sculpture which will be on display at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza on Tremont St. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Artist Shaka Dendy prepares markers for a group of 8 and 9-year-old boys at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury as they decorate old basketballs, which he will use to create a large scale public sculpture. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Arielle Gray Reporter
Arielle Gray is a reporter for WBUR.



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