Arts for All, Boston Community, Neighborhood Arts

Celebrity Series Announces Neighborhood Arts 2017-18 Season

Fall is approaching, and so is the 2017-18 Neighborhood Arts season!

Now entering its sixth season, Neighborhood Arts brings the joy of live performance to people of all ages and abilities, drawing deeply on partnerships with Boston area artists and community organizations to activate neighborhoods with a rich and varied array of opportunities. This season, Neighborhood Arts will present 90+ events, including interactive, hands-on workshops for youth, artist residencies with youth ensembles, and free concerts in neighborhood venues in six Boston neighborhoods: Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End.

“This season we are delighted to collaborate with more than 44 community partners and to showcase nine ensembles comprised of 36 artists, including six returning Neighborhood Arts ensembles,” said Robin Baker, Senior Manager of Community Engagement. “With more than 20 concerts that span six continents of global culture—all located at accessible venues around Boston, there’s truly something for everyone this season.”

In 2017-18, Neighborhood Arts embraces the artistry of drumming, dance, choral, and instrumental music, and original compositions with professional artists and students performing side by side in six neighborhoods, led by an exciting roster of artists: Jean Appolon (Haitian dance), Mike Block (bluegrass/jazz cello), Yo-El Cassell (contemporary movement), Castle of Our Skins (celebrating Black artistry through music), Sandeep Das (Indian tabla), Ryan Edwards (composer-percussion), Maria Finkelmeier (percussion), Shaw Pong Liu (composer-erhu-violin), Guy Mendilow Ensemble (Ladino and world music), Brian & Rosi Amador (pan-Latin music), and Voci Angelica (global folk music).


We welcome all to the Neighborhood Arts concerts listed below, which are free and open to the public. RSVP to reserve your spot and receive event reminders as the date approaches.

Events are subject to change. See the full scope of the Arts for All! 2017-18 programming on our Community Calendar.

Voci Angelica Trio
Common Ground: Songs of Home, Love, Loss and Prayer
September 30 at 4pm
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit
525 River Street, Mattapan

Using their own arrangements of global folksongs, Voci Angelica Trio fuses sounds from diverse cultures, surrounding audiences with the beauty of cello, voices and percussion interwoven into a single tapestry of sound.

Learn more & RSVP >>

 Dorchester Stringfest (jazz and bluegrass) with Soul Yatra Trio
(Mike Block, celloSandeep Das, tablaShaw Pong Liu, erhu-violin),
with Bridge Boston Charter & Conservatory Lab Charter Schools

December 2 at 3pm
Salvation Army Kroc Center
650 Dudley Street, Dorchester

Our 2nd annual Dorchester Stringfest will feature student selections, works by Soul Yatra Trio in unique combinations of jazz, bluegrass, Indian, and Chinese music, as well as jazz and bluegrass arrangements featuring the youth ensembles and Soul Yatra performing together.

Learn more & RSVP >>


Roxbury Stringfest with Castle of Our Skins
with Boston City-Wide String Orchestra & City Strings United

Folksongs from Around the World (featuring Black composers)
December 3 at 3:30
Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Our 3rd annual Roxbury Stringfest will open with student performances, works of Black composers performed by Castle of Our Skins (string quartet) and several folksongs arranged specifically for both youth ensembles and COOS.

Learn more & RSVP >>

Guy Mendilow Ensemble & Boston City Singers
Heart of the Holidays: A Global Celebration of Song
December 16 at 3pm
Salvation Army Kroc Center
650 Dudley Street, Dorchester

A global treasure trove of songs about sparking light when it’s darkest, of realizing abundance at the height of scarcity, and of how we triumph in hard times will lighten your holiday mood.  This is an interactive concert featuring family-friendly songs so the entire audience becomes part of the show. Add your voice to the celebration!

Learn more & RSVP >>

Jean Appolon, choreographer
Jean Appolon Expressions (Haitian dance) and BCLA students
Lakou Aviti: Stories of Migration, Immigration, and Home
February date & time to be announced
Boston Community Leadership Academy
655 Metropolitan Avenue, Hyde Park

Haitian dance company Jean Appolon Expressions will present excerpts from their new work Lakou Aviti.  BCLA students will also premiere student choreography from their five week residency with Artistic Director Jean Appolon.

Yo-El Cassell, choreographer

Poetry in Motion
Ensemble 360 & students from the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Youth Development Program (movement and poetry)
February 17 at 3pm
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
85 West Newton Street, South End

The IBA Youth Development Program will premiere a movement piece created with choreographer Yo-El Cassell and original student poetry. The Ensemble 360 will present imaginative, movement-based theatrical selections highlighting the visceral, natural, and poetic journey of the human spirit.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this performance has been cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule it for the 2018-19 Season. 

Shaw Pong Liu, erhu-violin
Exploring the Middle Kingdom: China in Song and Story
February 20-22 at 2pm
Mattapan Library, 1350 Blue Hill Avenue (Feb. 20)
Adams Street Library, 60 Adams Street, Dorchester (Feb. 21)
Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue (Feb. 22)

Shaw Pong Liu takes audiences on a dynamic solo musical journey through historical and contemporary China, with a European violin in one hand and a Chinese violin (erhu) in the other.

Learn more >>


Soul Yatra Trio: World Music
(Mike Block, cello, Sandeep Das, tabla, Shaw Pong Liu, erhu-violin)
March 3 at 3pm
Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Don’t miss this unique trio of world-class musicians: their collective experience performing with the Grammy winning Silk Road Ensemble spans diverse musical styles and cultures.  The word “Yatra” means “journey.” This concert will be well worth the trip to historic Hibernian Hall with these three incredibly gifted artists.

Learn more & RSVP >>


Masary Studios
Sound Sculpture featuring drums, marimba, and video projection
March 4 at 3pm
Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Duo percussionists Ryan Edwards and Maria Finkelmeier with video projectionist Sam Okerstrom-Lang combine rhythm compositions with video imagery and an interactive Sound Sculpture, in which changes in color patterns are triggered in interactive light blocks in response to physical and musical stimulus. If you’re looking for something awe-inspiring and intergenerationally friendly for all ages, come join us!

Learn more & RSVP >>


Voci Angelica Trio
Passages: Exploring the Migration of Music
March 17 at 3pm
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
85 West Newton Street, South End

Join Voci Angelica for a highly interactive, family-friendly program featuring world geography, the early history of human immigration and civilization, and the diverse cultures, languages, and music of six continents.

Learn more & RSVP >>



Neighborhood Arts Special Co-Presentation with Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción:
Teatro Sea 
Los Colores de
Frida (puppetry)
April 7 at 1pm & 4pm
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton Street, Boston

Celebrity Series of Boston and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción are thrilled to bring Teatro Sea to Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in this special presentation. Los Colores de Frida tells the stories behind painter Frida Kahlo’s most famous paintings combining bilingual storytelling, music, visual arts, puppets and audience participation. This play teaches children about this world renowned artist and cultural icon and takes audiences through her trials, tribulations and successes, which propelled her to be considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

Learn more & RSVP >>

Sandeep Das and Shaw Pong Liu
Jugalbandi: Music of India and China
April 8 at 12:15pm
St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 419 Shawmut Avenue, South End

Grammy-winning Indian tabla master Sandeep Das and Chinese-American master violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu share a Jugalbandi, a duet in which each musician is on equal footing. Evocative solos and duets from India, China, and other lands will transport you to distant cultures and storytelling for the ages.

Learn more & RSVP >>

Masary Studios
with students from Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, Mattapan Teen Center, and Yawkey Club of Roxbury
Sound Sculpture
April 21 at 2pm
Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, 15 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester

Music ensembles from several Boston Boys & Girls Clubs join Masary Studios (drums, marimba, video projection) and the interactive Sound Sculpture, in which changes in color patterns are triggered in interactive light blocks in response to physical and musical stimulus. Join us for this unparalleled multi-sensory experience!

Learn more >>

Castle of Our Skins
Music of Black Composers
May 12 at 4pm
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, 525 River Street, Mattapan

Castle of our Skins (COOS) is dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. Based in Boston and driven to bringing greater cultural representation to the stage, COOS takes its inventive mix of Black history, culture, and classical music to concert halls and classrooms alike.

Learn more & RSVP >>

Major support for Neighborhood Arts is provided by Tufts Health Plan and the Barr Foundation, with additional support from the Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, Amy & Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes, the Fuller Foundation, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Stifler Family Foundation, and other generous supporters.

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