5 things to do this weekend, including 'Free Ferry Day' and a Thoreau-inspired exhibition

Summer is in the air and flowers are in bloom. It's a great time to be outside and immerse yourself in nature. Speaking of which, you can check out the reimagined research of Henry David Thoreau, Massachusetts' most iconic naturalist, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. After that, stop by the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library for a free concert from the Sheffield Chamber Players. It’s going to be gorgeous this weekend, and we’ve got all kinds of cultural events to keep you busy.

Sheffield Chamber Players' Free Spring Concerts

Thursday, May 19-Sunday, June 26

Starting today, the Sheffield Chamber Players will begin performing their new season, “Mirror of Starlight.” In an effort to make the genre more accessible, the quartet will play in public venues in Jamaica Plain and Winchester. This season will be inventive and upbeat, combining contemporary works from Kenji Bunch, Julia Wolfe and Evan Ziporyn with Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A-major. The music will be a celebration of the diversity in American music, from influences of folk and Southern blues to psychedelic sounds of the 1960s.

'In Search of Thoreau's Flowers: An Exploration of Change and Loss'

Through November 2023

Henry David Thoreau was a poet, philosopher and naturalist. He kept diaries detailing the growing patterns of flowers, trees and animals in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. His research was meticulous, and climate scientists still use Thoreau’s research to track changes in nature today. This exhibition features soundscapes of the naturalist's home at Walden Pond, large-scale plant portraits and digitized specimens. This unique exhibition in the Harvard Museum of Natural History brings art and science together to highlight what we have to lose in the climate crisis.

PEM Prize Festival

Sunday, May 22

A community-wide celebration of PEM Prize recipient artist Carlos Garaicoa will take place in downtown Salem. The festival will feature local musicians that will play across nine stages. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, and art workshops for the whole family. Garaiocoa will make a special appearance, performing a new score that was specially crafted for the PEM Prize.

Boston Harbor Islands' 'Free Ferry Day'

Saturday, May 21

"Free Ferry Day" marks the Boston Harbor Islands’ 25th anniversary as a National Park and 50th anniversary as a State Park. To celebrate, there will be arts and crafts, music and more offered at Long Wharf North throughout the morning and afternoon. You can also catch free ferries to Georges Island and Spectacle Island from downtown Boston. Tickets for the event are also free on a first-come, first-serve basis.

New Murals in Jamaica Plain

Saturday, May 21

This weekend, the exterior walls of an Extra Space Storage facility in Jamaica Plain will be transformed into art. The murals by Boston-based artists Julia Csekö and Sharif Muhammad were selected out of a pool of over 30 applicants. Check out the murals and celebrate the project’s completion with the community. There will be artist talks, live music, and food from Burritos Pizzeria, JP Kitchen and Third Cliff Bakery.

Lauren Williams Arts Editor
Lauren Williams is an editor at WBUR.



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