5 Things To Do This Weekend, From An Iranian Film Festival To A Lunar 'Zoo' Year Celebration

This weekend won’t be the beautiful, unseasonably warm surprise that last weekend provided, but we’ve got some events that may convince you to get out of the house. You’ve got your choice of a deep, thought-provoking film festival or a light book reading by some local drag queens, making for one colorful and visually stimulating weekend.

The Boston Festival of Films from Iran
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Thursday, Jan. 16 through Jan. 26

This festival comes at a time where Iranian cultural significance is a point of tension between the U.S. and Iran. According to the MFA, contemporary Iranian filmmakers produce some of the most groundbreaking work. That’s why curators from the MFA, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and the MFA Houston put together a film festival showing a range of films from some of Iran’s best talent.

Here's one that will be screening:

Boston Celtic Music Festival
Harvard Square, Cambridge

Thursday, Jan. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 19

In its 17th year, BCMFest is back in Cambridge to celebrate Boston’s Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and Celtic communities through song and dance. The festival is a family-friendly gathering presented by nonprofit organization Passim, a supporter of the vibrant music scene at Club Passim, the Passim School of Music, artists grants and outreach initiatives.

'Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle'
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem

Saturday, Jan. 18 through April 26

Touted as one of the best known black American artists of the 20th century, Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) created the work for this exhibit during the civil rights era. The exhibit opens during the free admission period over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and is the first show in the series of paintings called “Struggle: From the History of the American People” coming to the museum.

A painting by Jacob Lawrence. (Courtesy Bob Packert/PEM)
A painting by Jacob Lawrence. (Courtesy Bob Packert/PEM)

Drag Queen Story Hour
Trident Booksellers & Cafe, Boston

Saturday, Jan. 18

Local drag queens reading stories to children is exactly the kind of energy you want to bring the weekend in with. Fun, fluid and positive, the queens provide a space for imagination and whimsy, just like the books they’ll read.

Lunar New Year
Franklin Park Zoo, Boston

Saturday, Jan. 18

The Tropical Forest at the zoo will host a celebration for the Lunar “Zoo” Year. The kid-friendly event will provide fun facts on the animal of the year, the rat. A craft table, traditional Chinese lanterns and a performance by the Imperial Lion Dance Team are all on the schedule for the day.

Headshot of Christian Burno

Christian Burno Contributor
Christian Burno is a former arts reporting fellow for WBUR’s arts and culture team.



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