5 things to do this weekend, including Raising Voices Festival and a screening of ‘Stop Making Sense’

Maybe it’s because of lingering memories from school days, but it feels like September is just as much a marking of the new year as the Times Square ball drop. With that feeling of rejuvenation has come a flurry of events, meetups, new goals and every possible way to fill a calendar.

There’s a tie-dye circle in celebration of Black culture and history; a screening of “Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade History of Popular Music” followed by a discussion with Taylor Mac; and a day of fun and activities at High Street Place’s Fall Fest. There are simply more worthwhile events in and around Boston this weekend than one person can attend. I mean, have you heard about Shrek Rave? We have an embarrassment of riches in Boston. Here’s this weekend’s roundup.

Thursday, Sept. 21

Have you ever danced so hard that you felt charged up and ready to change the world? This event at the MFA is for people who want to go back and forth between energizing cultural performances and thought-provoking conversations about how to better support Latinx artistry. Tickets are $5 for this night of celebration and discussion, which includes salsa performances, the SambaViva dance ensemble, a resource fair in collaboration with Amplify Latinx and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, a spotlight talk on 19th century Puerto Rican landscape artist Francisco Oller, a panel discussion on increasing Latinx representation in museums such as the MFA and more.

The MFA's Latinx Heritage Night. (Courtesy of Caitlin Cunningham Photography)
The MFA’s Latinx Heritage Night. (Courtesy of Caitlin Cunningham Photography)

Thursday, Sept. 21-Thursday, Oct. 19

I first experienced the Talking Heads as a teenager watching old music videos. Even growing up decades after its release, the choreography and visual effects of “Once in a Lifetime” entranced me. Like many other David Byrne fans, this brief introduction sent me down a rabbit hole of his work, and my appreciation for his vision, lyricism and simply enjoyable music has only grown with time. That being said, I’ve never seen “Stop Making Sense” in a theater, and it delights me that I have the opportunity to do so starting this weekend. Starting Thursday evening, several IMAX screens across the Boston area will play the film that is frequently listed in roundups as one of the best concert films of all time.


Saturday, Sept. 23

Here’s another blast from an even further past. Have you ever wondered what it was like to go to a theater in the days of old, pay a few cents for admission and watch a silent movie with the live accompaniment of a magnificent organ? Over a century of inflation has had an effect on admission prices, but this Saturday, the Hanover Theatre in Worcester is bringing back the old style of cinema in a venue that used to be a movie house. Douglas Fairbanks stars in 1920’s “The Mark of Zorro’s” titular role, a young nobleman who dons a mask and picks up a sword to defend the people of Los Angeles back when it was still under Spanish rule. Tickets for this event are $20. It’s a great screening opportunity for those with an interest in filmmaking, scoring and the booming sounds of a 2,495-pipe organ played by the celebrated Clark Wilson.


Saturday, Sept. 23-Sunday, Sept. 24

If you told me a group of people were gathering this weekend in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, I might expect to hear policy on taxation or trade regulation. This event is much, much more fun. The full title of this festival is “Raising Voices Festival: A Celebration of Music, Art, and the Power of Protest.” This festival is a celebration of celebrity as a means of protest and includes music, dance, theatrical performances, poetry, food and libation, street art, sports and more. There are exciting events all weekend, including a screening of Taylor Mac’s immersive theater and discussion and “BLACK in the cradle of liberty,” a musical program at Faneuil Hall featuring an all-star cast of Boston artists: DJ WhySham, Nnenna Loveth, Ryan-Rei Fielder, Crystal Valentine, Cakeswagg, Tim Hall, Ifé Franklin, Danny Rivera, Porsha Olayiwola and more. The festival is free, but you can register online.

(Courtesy of Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music)
A still from “Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music” (Courtesy of Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music)

Saturday, Sept. 23-Sunday, Sept. 24

The Jamaica Plain Open Studios is now in its 30th year, and this weekend it will once again provide a space for artists and fans to connect in person. This is a perfect event for both adults and families who want to learn more about artistic practices such as welding, ceramics, photography and more. It’s also a good event for people who just want to get to know their neighbors. In addition to art within the studios, the Jamaica Plain Arts Council has commissioned public artwork, including bicycle art, “art chairs,” a clothespin sculpture, a tribute to Black West Roxbury Soldiers, an interactive radio station, and (thank goodness) a 12-foot skeleton. There are 82 locations listed on a map of the event, so bring the pedometer and track those steps while you’re at it!

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