Art to Rejuvenate the Spirit During Election Week

With November 3rd just around the corner, we want to make sure that Boston art lovers are ready to make their voices heard by voting, and are also ready to take care of ourselves and each other as ballots are being counted. Afraid of doom-scrolling through social media, or being unable to turn off the news? You won’t be alone.

We’ve gathered virtual and in-person art experiences, performances, and music that can give your spirit the chance to take a deep breath and process whatever feelings come up during election day, and the days and weeks following.

Engage in Artistic Community

If you didn’t know you needed a piece of art specifically designed to welcome a moment of peace and breath on the night before the election, you know now. Boston Center for the Arts is hosting Project Daydream, an experience by Maria Finkelmeier and Timothy Hall that features voice, marimba, saxophone, and electronic music to spark the imagination and embody relaxation. The piece “takes listeners on a journey from a space of personal reflection to collective rejuvenation.”

Visit an Online or In-Person Art Exhibit

Local museums are continuting to fulfill our artistic needs with fantastic exhibits, both online and in the new era of timed-entry tickets for in-person visits. You can lose yourself amongst beauty at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum during their free first Thursday, or screencast a stunningly-curated digital exhibit from Dorchester Art Project. What’s more, some groups like the ICA are taking space for the election and working alongside artists who are expressing their freedom to vote beyond the ballot. This fall, they’ve partnered with, an initiative that encourages the sharing of public artworks that promote the right to vote and the urgency that our civic duties carry in 2020.

Stream or Listen to a New Play

There are so many local creative superstars who are making the online theatrical space one that feels welcome and needed. Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston (AATAB) and Pao Arts Center recently premiered a new work by Quentin Nguyen-duy and Serenity S’rae, written and directed with virtual flair by Jasmine Brooks that encourages “personal reflection” and “collective rejuvenation” in conversations about race — TikTok preshow included. Also, audio plays like the Dream Boston series, the Legion Tapes, and SpeakEasy’s The Usual Unusal are grounding experiences that can be digested on a mind-clearing walk outdoors or for a change of pace around the house.

Art: Fang See Yan Shirley | Emotion Revolution at Dorchester Art Project

Enjoy a Set from a Local Musician or Poet

Eariler this fall, Boston Center for the Arts hosted several local artists in their Lunchtime Listening Sessions, and now the episodes are available for rewatching on YouTube. Ranging from the hip-hop compositions of DJ Why Sham and Cliff Notez to the socially-conscious songwriting of Kadahj Bennett to spoken word poetry by Amanda Shea, this series uplifts in the most necessary way. Curated by BCA Director of Theatre Arts Lyndsay Allyn Cox, each episode was crafted to foster community through joy, healing, and celebration of BIPOC artists.

Kadahj Bennett | Photo: Matt Teuten

Revisit a Favorite Performance

We’re lucky that it’s a stellar month for online and streaming theatre – big-time favorites like Hamilton and David Byrne’s American Utopia (streaming on Disney+ and HBO respectively) are available, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In advance of its run at Huntington Theatre, you can catch What the Constitution Means to Me on Amazon Video. Shakespeare lovers have a lot to turn to as well, including this compliation of his most politically-charged scenes from this recent fundraiser for voting advocacy groups from Newburyport’s Theater in the Open.

American Utopia | Photo: David Lee, HBO

Turn on a Playlist of Classical Music

One easy way to get a bit of relaxation into your day is to pop on some calming music, and Boston orchestras and music groups have plenty of content for you to enjoy. Many organizations have playlists already crafted and curated on their YouTube pages, like the Boston Symphony Orchestra, A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, and Boston Philharmonic. Pro tip — create your own playlist with a mixture of your favorites from each channel that you enjoy that can be on in the background when you need a break from the news or while you’re winding down from the day.

Plan a Relaxing Evening

Many local art museums and galleries have online gift shops that hold all the things you’ll need for a dose of treating yourself — like this set of guided meditations from the ICA Store, and pretty much anything from Hourglass Boston’s Calm + Comfort section. Head over to SoWa Market for all kinds of artistic and holistic goods that can really make a difference in boosting your sprits for the week.

Take a Walk

Finally, make sure to revisit our previous post on outdoor art experiences that you can work into your schedule. Fresh air can make all the difference in easing stress, and the moments of art in these areas can also provide an outlet for self-reflection and contemplation. We also have a list of parks and luscious public spaces that are worth exploring before the weather gets too chilly.

Calming Places | ICA Store

Header photo: Barbara Kasten, PlanYourVote.Org

Elena Pearl, Patron Services ManagerElena Morris (she/her/hers) is ArtsBoston’s Community Outreach and Marketing Manager. She is a dramaturg and arts administrator passionate about forward-thinking in the arts. Elena holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University, focusing her studies on dramatic literature and movement.
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