5 things to do this weekend, including a Ukrainian festival and Noble Dust's album release party

You have to make August count. It might be the last month before that “back to school” feeling really sinks in, but it’s still just as much a part of summer as Memorial Day weekend. I plan on filling my days with as much time as possible, either on my bicycle or eyes closed, basking in the sun. If you’re in need of a little art before we reach Labor Day, that other bookend of summer, then take a look at this list of dance, music, museum and puzzle-solving activities.

Escape Room at Gore Place

Thursday, Aug. 24-Friday, Aug. 25

For those who enjoy the spooky, adventurous nature of an escape room, one thing that can enhance the evening is an authentically old-timey setting. It doesn’t get more authentically old-timey than Gore Place. Just a few miles outside of Boston, the historic brick mansion was completed in 1806, and since 1935, the property has served as a museum and working farm. The home has hosted distinguished guests such as James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, and at one point in its long history, it was even sold to Boston Mayor Theodore Lyman Jr. The museum will offer Escape Room experiences on Thursday and Friday nights through September 22, where guests will have thirty minutes to escape the mansion’s Oval Room. At $40 per group (up to six people), it’s cheaper than six movie tickets. This event is for those ages 18 and up.

Alison Cook-Beatty Dance Company’s 'Murmuration'

Thursday, Aug. 24-Friday, Aug. 25

If I’m attending a dance event, it will usually be one with an open dance floor and some good music. But on occasion, I take a seat in the audience and admire the work of real professionals. “Murmuration” is a collection of dances inspired by the movements of graceful, flocking birds. Earlier this week, the company performed in the Halibut Point Quarry in Rockport, and this Thursday and Friday, performances will also be outside at the Windhover Center for the Performing Arts. The choreography is set to music including Soviet-Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s Preludes for Piano, “Song of Thunder” by Ukrainian-born, New York-based contemporary composer Stanislav Fridman and “Grá agus Bás” by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy. The campus is a perfect place for a summer evening, and tickets cost $25.

Boston Annual Ukrainian Festival

Saturday, Aug. 26

If the word “pierogis” doesn’t entice you enough to come to the Boston Annual Ukrainian Festival this Saturday, then consider all the other offerings. Music lovers will have classical as well as folk music performances. Shoppers will have arts and crafts vendors. And who doesn’t appreciate colorfully dressed individuals performing traditional Ukrainian dances? Additionally, the festival will raise money for the people of Ukraine, including aid to children, medical humanitarian aid, transportation and cultural programming. Admission is free, but event organizers invite you to include a donation with your ticket. So by attending the festival and purchasing art, clothing or pierogies, you’re also supporting a community that has had its way of life turned on its head over recent years.

Noble Dust Album Release Party

Saturday, Aug. 26

If you’re looking for something to do any given weekend, you can only benefit by checking the lineup at Club Passim. This weekend, there’s a special event celebrating the release of Noble Dust’s newest album. If that name sounds familiar, you might have heard the progressive folk-pop band’s submission for the All Songs Considered 2022 Tiny Desk Contest, which was featured in a local roundup last fall. Or perhaps you came across the song premiere and interview from last month. The album is based on letters from both sides of World War II, and in it, singer Emily Cunningham takes on the voices of characters from the period. Cunningham’s vocals are backed by a talented crew using cello, trumpet, mellotron and percussion to create their folksy sound. Tickets are GA and cost $20.

'Presence of Plants in Contemporary Art'

Through Sept. 17

The “Presence of Plants in Contemporary Art” at the Isabella Gardner Museum is complementary to the museum’s more traditional features. Where the architecture of the original Gardner estate hearkens back to Venetian luxury and wealth, the glass-enclosed New Wing, where this exhibit is held, has received accolades for its sleek modern design. In this way, the wing is a fitting venue for a contemporary exhibit, but more generally, the museum is also a fitting venue for an exhibit about nature. Gardner built the museum with its plant-filled courtyard as the centerpiece of the structure’s architecture, and the museum regularly hosts events centered around plants and flowers. In this exhibition, you’ll find a variety of multimedia installations that include living plants in the artwork.

Solon Kelleher Arts Reporting Fellow
Solon Kelleher is the arts reporting fellow at WBUR.



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