North of Boston arts and leisure roundup | Way of life


Newburyport artist shows work at Wenham Museum

A Newburyport artist is currently displaying her new exhibit, “My Essentials,” at Wenham Museum.

Tina Rawson paints dynamic acrylic, oil and watercolor pieces inspired by colorful flowers, beaches, travel, nature, horses and even coffee. She said that the show is a product of a surge of creativity that many are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Moved by the beauty of local forests, Rawson found great solace in painting regional trees and flowers. She also dove into her “bucket list” of places to go once the pandemic is over, while other pieces are inspired by her homesickness for Sweden and her contemplation of how the virus is being handled there.

The museum is located at 132 Main St., Wenham, and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets to the galleries must be purchased in advance and cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children ages 1-16. There is also currently a COVID-19 fee of $5 per group.

For reservations or more information, visit 

Grant Maloy Smith to give online concert

The Byfield-based Whole Music is presenting a live virtual concert on Monday, Aug. 24.

American roots singer-songwriter Grant Maloy Smith will perform “Tell It in a Song” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The show is a continuation of the Whole Music Virtual Academy course on songwriting, studies and techniques that Smith taught over Zoom for six weeks this summer.

Tickets are $10. For reservations or more information, visit

Log on for a book club discussion

The Rowley Book Club is currently reading “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai and will have a virtual discussion on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m.

In the book, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, Yale works for an art gallery in 1980s Chicago on the verge of great professional success as the AIDS epidemic wreaks havoc around him, trailing horrific deaths and tragic losses through his personal life. Thirty years later, as Yale’s friend Fiona searches for her estranged daughter, the lasting effects on those left behind become clearly visible.

The library has copies of the book available, so call 978-948-2850 to arrange to pick one up. To sign up for the Zoom discussion, email 

The book club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., and future titles are listed on the website,

Revisit the past to help the future

The show will go on online for “Walk Back in Time,” the annual fundraising concert for the Music for Music Foundation.

The Reunion Band and John “Shorty” Hill of The Shadows will perform live on Facebook on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.

The foundation is in its 10th year of raising money for music programs in Newburyport schools. It has helped fund a part-time music teacher at the middle school and paid for lessons for fifth-grade students, equipment at the high and middle schools, and the jazz class at the high school. It also awards scholarships annually to seniors at Newburyport High and Triton Regional High schools. 

To make a donation, visit For more information, see the event page at

Author to discuss work in virtual event

Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill is presenting the Summer 2020 Author Mini-Series, featuring best-selling author Colum McCann virtually via Zoom.

McCann will talk about his newest novel, “Apeirogon,” on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The book weaves together fiction and nonfiction to tell the stories of Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, who lost their daughters, Smadar and Abir, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Register at 

Live music returns to Amesbury’s Millyard

Every Thursday night in August, live bands are playing in the Al Capp Ampitheater at Amesbury’s Millyard from 6 to 8 p.m.

Presented by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce with members Jay and Laurie Knapp and Zach Field Drums & Music, the free concerts continue Aug. 20 with the Rum Runners String Band, followed by Adam Mendonca and The Donket on Aug. 27.

The amphitheater will be marked so that guests can enjoy the show while still maintaining an appropriate 6-foot distance from each other.

For more information, visit

Drive in to a performance of ‘Godspell’

The Firehouse Center for the Arts is bringing audience members the enjoyment of live theater from the comfort of their own vehicles with drive-in performances of “Godspell” this weekend.

The show continues Aug. 21-23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury.

Tickets are $35 per vehicle. Space is limited, and reservations must be made in advance.

“Godspell,” presented by the Institution for Savings in partnership with The Wandering Stage, is a musical written by Stephen Schwartz that sees Jesus Christ and a small group of people tell various stories and parables through an eclectic selection of songs.

“We started seeing the drive-in movies pop up, and we thought, ‘Why not drive-in theater?’” said John Moynihan, Firehouse executive director. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and virtual programming is difficult in the summer because people want to be outside.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Outdoor fun and learning at Joppa Flats

The Joppa Flats Education Center is bringing back family-friendly outdoor programs starting this week, adapted with pandemic-era safe practices in mind.

Education coordinator Lisa Hutchings is inviting children ages 7-11 and their parents to build a nature habitat model, using water, earth and live animals. Each session will include no more than nine participants, all adult-child combinations.

Date-specific focuses are tide pools on Aug. 20, salt marshes on Aug. 25 and 27, and ponds on Sept. 1 and 3. There will be a morning session, at 9:30 a.m., and an afternoon session, at 4 p.m., on each day the program is offered.

Registration is required at Member prices are $6 per adult and $5 per child; nonmember prices are $8 per adult and $7 per child.

For more information, call 978-462-9998.  

Amesbury historian to share ‘Family Stories’

How do you capture your family history? What are the important things you remember during your lifetime? How do you document and then share those moments with others?

“Family Stories: Remembering Amesbury” will address those questions and more when it is presented virtually on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 4 p.m. 

Lifelong Amesbury resident and community historian Bob Grodzicki will join the Amesbury Carriage Museum’s executive director, John Mayer, and curator of online programs, Meryl Goldsmith, in a conversation about his memories of Amesbury.

For more than 60 years, Grodzicki has captured the changing landscape of Amesbury with his camera and his paintings.

The program will be broadcast live on Amesbury Community TV channels 12 and 18, as well as online at and

It’s free to watch, though donations will be accepted to support ongoing work in promoting local history.

For more information, visit

Cultural Center presents new virtual show

Although the Cultural Center on Rocky Neck remains closed due to the pandemic, the creativity continues with a new virtual exhibition titled “In the Moment — five artists capture and create,” which runs through Oct. 15.

The online gallery can be viewed at

Curator Cynthia Roth, former co-owner of Gloucester’s Flatrocks Gallery, said that she had been thinking a lot about the elusive nature of time and how a moment is defined. She selected five artists whose work she sought to bring together to help define “the part we play in our own chosen moments and those all around us.”

“Each of these photographers ask the observer to look closely at just how long a moment can last. It might be a mother and child sharing a conversation in the street or a rock that teeters forever on the beach. Small wonders are revealed in buttons, the bright blue geometry of an industrial wall, and in paint holding the past in its peels — before it flakes away forever,” according to an exhibition statement.

The featured artists are Tsar Fedorsky, Paul Cary Goldberg, Olivia Parker, Dana Salvo and Rebecca Skinner.  

Newburyport gallery presents second show 

The new Pleasant Street Gallery is currently displaying its second exhibit of art, up through the end of August at Vintage Chic Anew and Commune Café at 31R Pleasant St., Newburyport.

Twenty-six local award-winning painters, photographers, pastelists and printmakers have come together to show and sell their work in partnership with Kimberley Wilson, owner of Vintage Chic Anew, and Bruce Vogel, owner of Commune.

The artists have also created a virtual gallery on social media at and 

Connecting with ‘Song of the Fisher’s Wife’

Cape Ann Museum has launched an online series called “Cape Ann Connects” that explores music in the region and “how this universal and timeless art form is deeply ingrained in every corner of our community.”

The series boasts the talents of museum docents in one virtual program, with pianist Frances Fitch playing “Song of the Fisher’s Wife” while Sarah Wetzel sings along.

“‘Song of the Fisher’s Wife’ was a sentimental composition, a genre popular with American audiences during the years Fitz Henry Lane was most intimately involved in lithography,” according to a press release.

The music was composed by Boston’s George O. Farmer (1809-1875), and the work was dedicated to Phebe L. Lithgow (1826-1911).

The Cape Ann Museum collection includes the sheet music for this song, which features a lithograph drawn by Lane. The illustration depicts a young woman looking out to sea, waiting for her loved one to return. The composition includes objects related to life at sea, including nets, gaff hooks and oars, among other illustrated maritime vignettes.

To see the series, go to 

Take in live music from your car

A new series of concerts, drive-in style, has kicked off at the Manchester Athletic Club, 8 Atwater Ave., Manchester-by-the-Sea.

GimmeLIVE’s MAC Drive-In Summer Concert Series features performers on a big stage in the back parking lot, surrounded by trees and rock cliffs. Attendees can bring lawn chairs to set up next to their vehicles, as well as their own prepared food to enjoy. No alcohol is allowed.

The upcoming lineup includes the Paul Nelson Band on Friday, Aug. 21; Popa Chubby on Saturday, Aug. 22; Carbon Leaf on Saturday, Aug. 29; Krewe de Groove Big Band on Sunday, Aug. 30; Lez Zeppelin on Saturday, Sept. 5; and Henri Smith’s New Orleans Revue on Sunday, Sept. 6.

All shows start at 6 p.m., with gates opening at 5:15 p.m. Most tickets are $75 per car, with a limit of six people allowed per vehicle.

For reservations or more information, visit 

Stage 284 launches Virtual Cabaret Series

Stage 284, the theater program at The Community House in Hamilton, has launched a new Virtual Cabaret Series with two upcoming online shows: Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Hosted by artistic director Katie Clarke and Stage 284 performer Cai Radleigh, the series celebrates a decade-plus of local musical theater showcasing crowd favorites from Stage 284’s most popular productions.

Registration or tickets are not required, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per household. All proceeds benefit Stage 284’s Scholarship Fund.

For more information, visit or email To check out the debut show from July 16, visit ‍  

Game show fun at ‘Balderdash Academy’

Newburyport High School’s facade serves as the inspiration for Balderdash Academy, a fictional private boarding school that is the setting for a new online comedy panel game show.

Originally conceived by co-founders Bob LeBlanc of Newburyport and Steve Corning of Maine as a live variety show, “Balderdash Academy” was adapted to an online format in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

New episodes are posted regularly on YouTube and feature a mix of interview, chat, improv and game show with an emphasis on lighthearted comedy. The storyline follows faculty members as they talk to guests and compete for the coveted Balderdash Academy Reigning Champion banner.

To check out the show and for more information, visit

Rockport Art Association opens its doors

The Rockport Art Association & Museum, at 12 Main St. in downtown Rockport, has reopened and is featuring a number of new exhibits.

On display now are “Collector’s Corner Exhibition II,” through Sept. 6; “Collectable,” a show of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Women Artists, through Sept. 7; and a solo show by Lynda Goldberg, through Aug. 20.

The museum’s current hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors need to wear masks, and there is a rigorous schedule for daily cleaning. For those not comfortable attending shows in person, all major exhibits will also be available for online viewing and sales through the website at 

Take in Shalin Liu concerts in your living room

A new virtual music series is now being presented weekly by Rockport Music.

“Concert Window” features performances from the Shalin Liu Performance Center stage, with a couple of special performances from artists in other locations.

The concerts will all be held on Fridays at 7 p.m. The upcoming schedule is as follows:

Aug. 21: Mari Martin & the Lucky Boys

Aug. 28: David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano

The series is free to view, shared via, Facebook and YouTube. 

Pentucket students featured in virtual art show

The Pentucket Regional Middle and High School Art Festival is now available to view online.

The virtual exhibit features more than 280 pieces created by students in grades seven through 12 and includes paintings, digital art, photography and sculptures. 

The projects are grouped by each grade’s art class and can be explored through guided or self-guided tours at 

Additionally, the Virtual Senior Art Exhibit is also available to view online, either as a slideshow at or via YouTube at

Seniors designed their own exhibits and chose meaningful pieces from art classes taken throughout their time at Pentucket Regional High School to display. Artists include Groveland residents Lydia Baldini, Samantha Bellville, Nathan Conway, Brooke Daniels, Molly Forget, Katherine Rosa and Mikayla Tilden; West Newbury residents Alexa Berkley and Madeline Conover; Merrimac residents Samuel Bissitt, Sasha Davis, Kayla King and Maggie Peterson; and Haverhill resident Grace McIntyre. 

41st annual Garden Tour blooms online

In lieu of its traditional garden tour held each summer, the Museum of Old Newbury is putting together virtual tours featuring four local gardens.

Each segment features a combination of video and photographs of the gardens in peak bloom, with narration by Bill Hallett and images by Bob Watts and Dan Fionte. 

The first installment, available now, spotlights a lush garden in Rowley with a particular appreciation for composting. Two segments highlight backyard retreats and are also now available. A final installment on Sept. 15 will take the viewer from garden to table.

The free presentations will be available through, as well as on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Popular car show motors on in a new format

The Misselwood Concours d’Elegance is back this year with a new look — or several new looks.

While the main event, typically presented each July on the grounds of Endicott College in Beverly, was canceled due to COVID-19 public health concerns, alternative live and virtual events were planned instead.

The Misselwood Concours Virtual Show, judging cars in 12 classes, wrapped up Sunday, July 26; check it out at

For those wanting to see the cars in person, the new Misselwood Rally Series will continue on Saturdays, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19. It is open to any pre-1990 classic car or motorcycle, with registration required and space limited to 60 vehicles. The 60-mile routes will be different for each part of the series.

“This is something we’ll plan on doing each summer from now on,” said Darren Stewart, chairman of the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance. “Not only are we able to involve more car owners, but the Endicott students will be on campus for the final tour in the series as we finish by driving through main campus.”

All money raised from events will support the Endicott College Concours Scholarship, which assists current students and has raised close to $200,000 in the last 10 years.

The familiar in-person gathering will return next summer, scheduled for July 16-18, 2021.

For more information, visit

Explore the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem now features a range of digital content at its website that allows visitors to explore its collection remotely.

Podcasts discuss recent exhibits and museum history, while stories reflect on the value and impact of art. There are also suggestions for crafts and activities for the whole family.

Clicking on the “Explore Art” button at allows viewers to examine highlights from several periods and categories in the museum’s international collection, while postings of art and objects at respond to each day at hand.

The museum has reopened to the public and is open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at or 978-542-1511.

Music Man keeps entertaining children

Wenham musician Brian Doser performs children’s music live on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m.

Doser, better known as The Music Man, normally performs a drop-in music program for children three days a week at The Community House in Hamilton.

He is joined by his daughter Hannah, who sings and plays various instruments, for the 45-minute segments.

Doser has also been offering shows geared toward adults on weekends, featuring popular cover songs and some original tunes.

To check out his shows, visit    

Keep up with Maritime Gloucester

Maritime Gloucester is now offering weekly virtual features, including Maritime Mondays, Throwback Thursdays and Front Line Fridays.

Mondays will feature a look at the collections and what’s happening on the waterfront and harbor. Thursdays will celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary with memories from the past two decades. And Fridays will honor Maritime Gloucester members who are working on the front lines during the pandemic, from nurses and doctors to police and firefighters to teachers and delivery people.

To view the features and for more information, visit, where you can also check out live webcam views of the railway and harbor.    

A wealth of American art to discover at the Addison

The Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover is said to have one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world, including more than 23,000 objects spanning the 18th century to the present.

All of those items can now be viewed at the museum’s website by searching for particular works, artists, themes or periods. There are suggestions at the website for art-related projects and activities that families can do together and a link to virtual tours of 10 great museums around the world.

In addition, the exhibits currently on display at the Addison can be viewed in a virtual tour on the website, where visitors can also watch interviews with museum staff.

Check it out at  

Bringing the Beverly library home

Beverly Public Library is continuing to connect with the community through social media.

Offerings include Facebook Live sessions of “Tea Time Children’s Classics,” featuring readings of chapters from classic children’s literature, on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and “Musical Mondays,” with rhymes, songs and special guests, on Mondays at 10 a.m.

The library has also been using Zoom to host various book and film discussion groups. To check out the events, visit or 

If you have an event to add to this roundup, please email the details to Sonya Vartabedian, managing editor of features, at