Ten Free Events to Check Out at HUBweek

See a live body painting depiction of spine surgery, take a boat tour of art in the Fort Point Channel, run a scenic route along the Esplanade, and more.


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Think of it as Boston’s attempt at South by Southwest.

The inaugural edition of HUBweek, a weeklong celebration of ideas bred in Boston, kicks off on Saturday, October 3. Hosted collaboratively by the Boston Globe, MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard, the festival aims to explore intersections in art, science, and technology throughout the city.

More than 100 events will take place throughout the week in both Boston and Cambridge, focusing on five issue areas: climate change and sustainability, future of learning and work, wellness and healthcare delivery, art and engagement, and civic and social innovation.

While attendees have to pay to attend “Fenway Forum,” Harvard professor Michael Sandel’s master class on the meaning of citizenship—featuring panelists Arianna Huffington, Yo-Yo Ma, Alexis Wilkinson, Whitney Cummings, Andrew McAfee, and Sherry Turkle—most of the HUBweek events are free.

Here, we highlight ten free, can’t-miss events that don’t require or are still open for registration:

Let’s Talk About Food

The fourth annual festival returns to Copley Square, this time as a kick-off event for HubWEEK. The lineup features local chefs, including Jody Adams, who will face off with Post 390’s Eric Brennan in a kid-friendly meal competition, and Tiffani Faison, who will participate in a discussion about meat. Marion Nestle, an award-winning expert on food politics, will take a look at the overconsumption of sugar, particularly among children, with Harvest pastry chef Brian Mercury. Other experts, including farmers, fishermen, nutritionists, and public officials, will be on hand for the all-day exploration of the food we eat. A first-ever ‘Let’s Talk About Cheese’ sub-event will also take place, but requires an admission fee.

Saturday, October 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Copley Square.

De-Stress Boston

Take a break from daily life with mind-body medicine pioneer Herbert Benson, who will give an introduction to stress-reduction techniques and lead a group meditation. All-level yoga and tai chi classes will follow, taught by expert instructors from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

Sunday, October 4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Bulfinch Lawn, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St.

Celebrate Boston Party

On Monday evening, WeWork’s South Station location will become a meeting spot for local tech companies, nonprofits, and restaurants, who will all share their vision for the city’s future. The event is 21+, and more than 800 people are expected to attend.

Monday, October 5, 6-9 p.m., WeWork South Station, 745 Atlantic Ave.

Beautiful Brain

Art and science will intersect at this event hosted by Mass General, during which WBUR host Carey Goldberg will host a discussion of state-of-the-art biomedical imaging. Medical illustrator Danny Quirk will be on hand to demonstrate his work through a live body painting depiction of spine surgery.

Thursday, October 8, 3-5 p.m., Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St.

Workshops at Converse Rubber Tracks

In July, Converse unveiled its state-of-the-art recording studio, and during HUBweek, the company is inviting musicians from local music schools and conservatories to record samples. Additionally, Converse is offering free registration for three other events, open to music-savvy members of the public. On Thursday and Friday evenings, producer Sam Obey, also known as Obey City, will be at the studio to teach rising producer musicians about using royalty-free samples from the Rubber Tracks Sample Library. On Saturday, a Hackathon will challenge accepted developers to create new apps, programs, or products that use the sample library content in innovative ways. Meanwhile, a Jamathon will invite accepted musicians to rotate through the studio and create new music. In the evening, Obey City will create an entirely new track using the material created that day and premiere it at a party at 10 p.m.

Producer Workshop: Thursday, October 8, and Friday, October 9, 6-9:30 p.m. Jamathon: Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Hackaton: Saturday, October 10, 9 a.m.-midnight. All events will take place at the Converse Rubber Tracks Studio on Lovejoy Wharf.

New Balance Runs Boston

Coach Mark Coogan, a retired Olympic runner, will host a scenic 3.5-mile run along the Esplanade along with a few of his Team New Balance athletes. There will be several pace groups to accommodate everyone, and all participants will receive a New Balance goodie bag.

Friday, October 9, 12:15-1:15 p.m., New Balance Experience Store, 583 Boylston St.

HUB Slam: A Live Storytelling Competition

If you have a great Boston-centric story and can recount it in five minutes or under, head over to this open-mic storytelling competition and share it on stage. A panel of CEOs and business leaders will serve as a team of judges, and drinks and food will be provided.

Friday, October 9, 4-6 p.m., C Space, 290 Congress St., 7th floor.

Art by Sea

Two large-scale multicolored sheep are being assembled by local artist Hilary Zelson for a temporary floating installation in the Fort Point Channel, and you can get an exclusive closer look on a 30-minute boat tour during HUBweek. Zelson herself will be on the tour to discuss her design.

Friday, October 9, 4:45-5:15 p.m., Atlantic Wharf Dock.

HUBweek Block Party

At this party on the Greenway, a temporary art exhibit by IdeaPaint will be built and then taken down over the course of the evening. Called “Paint the Town,” it will invite guests to fill in “color by number” depictions of signature Boston landmarks with dry erase markers. Attendees can also enjoy beer and wine, bid farewell to the departing Janet Echelman sculpture, and admire the new Greenway Wall mural by Lawrence Weiner.

Friday, October 9, 5-8 p.m., Dewey Square.

Switching locations from SoWa to Fenway, the nighttime arts festival returns for the second year in a row, bringing 30 installations by artists who manipulate light, sound, and projection to take over Lansdowne Street. In a project titled “Waking the Monster,” 15 musicians will scale Fenway Park’s Green Monster wall and “play” it like a giant percussion instrument, activating sound-reactive lighting and visual projections with each strike. Other highlights include “Flux Perception,” which will visually transform airflow into light, and “Requiem for a Rhinoceros,” which will create a procession of robotic puppet effigies above the festival to pay tribute to the four remaining white rhinos in the world.

Saturday, October 10, 6:30-11:30 p.m., Lansdowne Street.