Experience Art at the Gardner Museum’s Neighborhood Nights

Make art, listen to live music, and watch stilt dancing while enjoying free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard / Photo by Olga Khvan

For three Thursday nights at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum this summer, don’t just observe art—experience it. The museum will get to know its neighbors a bit better by inviting community members in for free admission and family-friendly activities during their annual Neighborhood Nights. Guests will be able to explore the galleries for free while also seeing free performances and crafting some of their own art. These family-friendly events take place in July and August, and don’t worry: Food trucks will be on-site to keep you fed. Here’s what you can expect.

July 13
Sounds of Summer

Aiming to inspire feelings of liberation and joy, this first night features a storytelling performance from Valerie Stephens and music from bassist Jeff Jones. In Calderwood Hall, families can get moving and stretch out with yoga led by Marlene Boyette. Community members can also create custom-made seed packets, complete with their own haiku (dust off those poetry skills) to bring home to plant. Food will be available from Jamaica Mi Hungry food truck.

July 27
Local Worldwide

On the second Neighborhood Night, participants can try their hand at making their own art in the Gardner Museum Studio. And there’s no shortage of music; the Greg Groover Jr. Quartet will perform jazz in Calderwood Hall, and participants can also hear the work of DJs Real P and Bad Lieutenant. On this night, food will come from Fresh Food Generation.

August 10
Block Party!

The final Neighborhood Night will bring festivities out to Evan’s Way Park, where participants can watch Artist-in-Residence Laura Anderson Barbata perform with the Brooklyn Jumbies, a dance troupe that performs cultural elements of the African Diaspora, including stilt dancing. For this final night, the food truck in attendance will be Tenoch Mexican.

The night will also incorporate a range of guest artists and performances: Hyde Square Task Force’s MIC, Grooversity, Kadence Arts, YouthBuild Boston’s Designery, and multimedia artist Elisa Hamilton.

Free, July 13, July 27, and August 10, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, gardnermuseum.org.