Free Things to Do in Boston, February 2018
Including free ice skating at the Frog Pond, a free day at the MFA, and more.
Your Name Screening
Start off your month with a free screening of the critically acclaimed animated Japanese film, Your Name. The screening is a celebration of the opening night of the Boston Festival of Films from Japan. Teeming with free offers, the culturally immersive night includes live music, art-making activities, and free admission to the highly renowned “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics” exhibition.
February 1, 7:30 p.m.-9:35 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, mfa.org.
Giorgian MicroJamZ Clinic and Performance
Pianist and composer Giorgi Mikadze is heating up Berklee’s Oliver Colvin Recital Hall with a clinic, which integrates traditional Georgian folk music with jazz, African music, funk, and more. Following the event, Mikadze will hit the stage at 7 p.m. for a concert with Berklee Professor David Fiuczynski, Sean “Chopz” Wright, and Panagiotis Andreou.
February 1, 1 p.m., Oliver Colvin Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston St., Boston, berklee.edu.
“Some Like it Hot” Chili Cook-Off at Harvard Square
Jump start your Super Bowl festivities at Harvard Square’s 10th Annual “Some Like it Hot” Chili Cook-Off. The outdoor event features chili samples from a handful of top-notch Boston restaurants. Once you reach your chili limit, vote for the restaurant most worthy of the illustrious “Harvard Square Chili Pot” title.
February 3, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Harvard Square, in front of 27 Brattle St., Boston, harvardsquare.com.
Swing Dance at Faneuil Hall
If you consider yourself a swing dance aficionado, skip on over to Faneuil Hall to enhance your skills. Inside the Quincy Market Rotunda, the event is set to strip away your winter gloom one step at a time. After the free lesson, visitors will put their skills to the test at a social dance where they’ll boogie along to live music.
February 6 and 13, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Quincy Market, 4 S Market St., Boston, faneuilhallmarketplace.com.
“Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995” Opening Reception
Join MIT List Visual Art Center in celebrating the opening of the new exhibition, “Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995.” Linking the present moment with the time when video-art entered the gallery space, the exhibition re-thinks monitor-based sculptures. “As part of the city-wide collaboration on Art & Tech, the List Center’s Before Projection looks at the relationship between the availability of historical video display technology and the ingenious ways in which artists have used it to formal and thematic ends,” says Henriette Huldisch, Director of Exhibitions and Curator at MIT List Visual Arts Center. “Highlighting this underappreciated moment in video art history, the show presents twelve works using television monitors, many of which have rarely been seen since their inception, made from the mid-1970s to the mid ’90s, before the arrival of cinematic projection in the gallery.” To ensure you have the chance to view the work of artists Dara Birnbaum, Ernst Caramelle, Maria Vedder, and more, RSVP while space is still available.
February 7, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, listart.mit.edu.
All the Things I Lost in the Flood Screening and Discussion
Celebrating the release of her new book, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, artist Laurie Anderson is heading to Boston University for a presentation of her work—she is set to read and perform using text and visual images. Her book is a sequence of essays, which delves into the nature of stories and language across an expanse of disciplines. “She is the ultimate renaissance women—she has mastered many things, invented many things, created many things, and continues to astonish and perform at the highest level,” says Lynne Allen, professor in the School of Visual Arts at Boston University. “In her recent book, All The Things I Lost In The Flood, she brings together a collection of her work to date, and looking with fresh eyes, tells us the story of what she sees.”
February 7, 7 p.m., Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, bu.edu.
“Inventur – Art in Germany, 1943-55” Opening and Discussion
If you’re a history buff and an art connoisseur, then the new exhibition at Harvard Art Museums has you covered. “Inventur – Art in Germany, 1943-55,” explores the historical, political, and artistic scene during and after World War II in Germany. One featured artist, Konrad Klapheck, will lead a discussion on his pieces, while exhibition curator Lynette Roth will later join in the conversation. Centered on modern art, the exhibition includes nearly 50 artists who each contribute various eye-opening pieces.
February 8, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, harvardartmuseums.org.
Feature Tour: “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today”
In the current digital age, have you ever wondered how radically the Internet converges with art? The ICA’s new exhibition, “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today,” explores just that, featuring a myriad of paintings, sculptures, and performances that all portray an aspect of contemporary culture. Eva Respini, the ICA’s Barbara Lee Chief Curator, says “the exhibition also establishes important historical links between ideas pioneered by artists before the Internet age and artists working today.” Join the free interactive tour to learn about emergent ideas of the body and human enhancement, as well as how the Internet is a place of both surveillance and resistance.
February 8, February 15, and February 22, 7 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston, icaboston.org.
MFA Lunar New Year Celebration
Ring in the Lunar New Year at the MFA with free admission all day. “The event offers the community an opportunity to learn about and experience Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions while exploring how the holiday is celebrated around the world,” says Linda Apple, director of volunteer and community engagement at the MFA. The fun-filled day is one not to be missed: Festivities for the Year of the Dog include dance performances, family art-making activities, and gallery talks in the Art of Asia galleries.
February 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., mfa.org.
Tavi Gevinson Signing and Discussion
If you were a 21st century teenage girl, or you know one, then it is likely you’ve visited the quirky, relatable online shelves of Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Magazine. Founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie, Gevinson has written an extension of the magazine—her latest book, called Rookie on Love. The book is a unique blend of essays, comics, and interviews with contributors including Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Jenny Zhang. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to arrive early to snag a spot.
February 12, 6:30 p.m., Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, harvard.com.
The Book of Negroes Screening
In honor of Black History Month, head to The Loring-Greenough House for a two-day screening of The Book of Negroes. The six-part miniseries, based on author Lawrence Hill’s novel, stars Aunjanue Ellis and Cuba Gooding Jr., and portrays the stories of Black Loyalists in the American Revolution. Be sure to RSVP online before seats fill up.
February 17, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 and February 18, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., the Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St., Jamaica Plain, loring-greenough.org.
Davis Museum Black History Month Tour
Enjoy free admission at the Davis Museum during the Black History Month Tour. Led by student guides, the tours will bring visitors to marvel at artworks from Africa and the African Diaspora. Pieces on view include both permanent collections and the temporary exhibition, “Soulful Stitching: Patchwork Quilts by Africans (Siddis) in India.”
February 17 and 24, 2 p.m., the Davis Museum, 106 Central St., Wellesley, wellesley.edu.
Perfect Strangers Book Signing
Looking for an afternoon of inspiration and empowerment? Head to the Prudential Center for Roseann Sdoia’s book signing. Her book, Perfect Strangers focuses on recovery and discovering joy after “Boston’s Worst Day.” Sdoia shares a heartwarming tale of how she met her current husband, firefighter Mike Materia, the day she lost her leg in the Boston Marathon Bombing. This February, pick up the book and meet Sdoia—someone who embodies the meaning of “Boston Strong.”
February 18, 12 p.m., Prudential Center Barnes and Noble, 800 Boylston St., Boston, barnesandnoble.com.
ICA Presidents’ Day Free Admission
This Presidents’ Day, enjoy free admission and soak up everything contemporary at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Drop in to visit the museum’s newest exhibitions, including “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today,” “Nicholas Nixon: Persistence of Vision,” and more.
February 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston, icaboston.org.
Free Ice Skating at the Frog Pond
If you’re searching for an activity for the kids, take them to the Boston Common Frog Pond for some classic winter fun. The Highland Street Foundation created Winter Camp 2018 to sponsor free outings for children and families during public school vacation week. “Based on feedback from many of our community partners, we understand that February break is one of the most challenging weeks to keep children active and engaged,” says Executive Director of Highland Street Foundation Blake Jordan. “The goal with free ice skating at the Frog Pond is to get them outside, participating in a fun activity with friends, family and other members of the community.” This program sponsors free ice skating at the Frog Pond, including free skate rentals, skating aids, and lockers.
February 19-23, 10 a.m., Boston Common, bostonfrogpond.com.
Movie Night at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace has a fun-filled week planned out during public school February vacation. The historic Lower Rotunda in Quincy Market takes the role of a movie theater for one week, playing Iron Giant, Moana, Despicable Me 3, and Beauty and the Beast. Bring the kids to any one of these PG-rated movies for a night of relaxation and family fun.
February 19-23, 6:30 p.m., Quincy Market, 4 S Market St., Boston, faneuilhallmarketplace.com.
Fifty Years Since MLK Discussion
Join the Harvard Book Store, Boston Review, Mass Humanities, and the Cambridge Public Library in their panel discussion on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.. With panelists Elizabeth Hinton, Cornel West, Brandon M. Terry, and Tommie Shelby, the evening features the latest issue of Boston Review, Fifty Years Since MLK, edited by Terry, as well as To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Shelby and Terry. According to Terry, the panelists “aim, with this discussion, to rescue King’s brilliant mind and most challenging and enduring ideas from myth, and make them come alive in the hope that they can provide some light in these dark times for American democracy and the ideal of equality.”
February 26, 6:30 p.m., Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, harvard.com.