Outdoor Arts Events to Check out in Boston This Summer

Greater Boston’s arts and cultural organizations are excited to welcome you back to live, in-person performances and events many of which will be held at some of Boston’s most beloved green spaces and venues. These events range from ticketed performances, self-guided experiences, free events, classes, and installations. Keep in mind, while all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in Massachusetts on May 29, many arts organizations are still hard at work getting ready for what’s in store in their upcoming seasons and schedules. We plan to keep you updated here in this blog post, as well as on our social media when we hear about more outings and performances that you should know about. 

For more events, check out what’s new on the ArtsBoston Calendar.

Freedom: Standing on Legacy

June 18: Travel to Downtown Crossing for a Juneteenth experience with fashion company, Kréyol, featuring live music by Miranda Rae, poetry, sounds, and dance curated by the one and only DJ Slick Vick, and a fashion installation.

One Night in Boston 

June 18: Celebrate the inaugural launch of an annual Juneteenth collaboration featuring musical performances, a film premiere, and more from BAMS Fest, Boston Children’s Chorus, Boston Ujima Project, Boston While Black, Jazz Urbane, Project Step, and Roxbury Cultural District.

The Eliot Schoolyard Concert Series

June 6 – September 26: Enjoy 15 free outdoor concerts in the schoolyard of Jamaica Plain’s Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts, (excluding holiday weekends). Come hear a rich selection of Boston’s incredible musicians, from jazz to hip hop, harp to steel drum, presented by three local music curators: Hoopla ProductionsOompa/The Record Co., and Brian Friedland

Music in Bloom

June 13 – 27: Juventas New Music Ensemble is thrilled to welcome you back to live music with their first in-person event of the year at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens. During the stunning golden hour period, enjoy showcases of luminous music by emerging composers, performed by some of Boston’s foremost chamber musicians.

Reflecting on our Pandemic Experience

June 17-20: Meet the Town of Arlington’s spring Artist-in-Residence Nilou Moochhala on-site at her outdoors public art installation in Menotomy Rocks Park that explores the impact of the pandemic through the creation of 100 meditation flags created with abstract drawings from the artist’s daily pandemic practice, some of which were made in response to interviews with Arlingtonians!

Revels Summer Solstice Celebration: A Cruise to Boston Light!

Sunday, June 20: Join Revels on a private cruise of Boston Harbor on the Provincetown II, complete with food & drink, a steel drum band, harbor narration, and lots of Reveling!

Ouvèti – Outdoor Dance Performance

June 26: Jean Appolon Expressions presents a site-specific production in Somerville’s Seven Hills Park that portrays feelings of isolation, fear, and ultimately hope and connection that resonate with experiences of trauma, followed by a discussion and Q&A with the artists.

Plein Air Painting Workshop

July 6-20: Enjoy some Plein Air Painting (a French term meaning painting the outdoor landscape) on the grounds of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum! Work independently, get constructive feedback along the way, and bring home a bucolic landscape created by you.

Free Shakespeare on the Common

July 21 – August 8: Boston Common will be alive with the magic of Shakespeare once again, with the 25th-anniversary production of Free Shakespeare on the Common, this time in “The Tempest,” starring John Douglas Thompson as Prospero. The streamlined, intermission-less performance will be open for registration during the week of June 21.

The Arboretum Experience 

Starting August 21: American Repertory Theater and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University are collaborating this summer on a self-guided experience that centers on resilience, healing, wellness, and joy. Artists including playwright Kirsten Greenidge, musician Tim Hall, choreographer Jill Johnson, and director Summer L. Williams are spearheading a collection of audio plays, music, dance, and interactive performance pieces, that will be surrounded by the sprawling green acres of the Arboretum.

Concerts and More at Gore Place 

Ongoing: Waltham’s Gore Place is offering a series of outdoor concerts this summer including High Strung Strummers, folk musician Bill Staines, The Moody Street String Band, guitarist John Muratore, and even a Jane Austen-themed garden party!

Gloucester Stage Company

Ongoing: Gloucester Stage is heading into the outdoors at the Windhover Performing Arts Center! First up is this week with “Tiny Beautiful Things” (June 11-27),  followed by “Baskerville” (July 2-25), “Seared” (August 6-22), “Reparations” (September 3 – 19), and “Think of Me Tuesday” (October 1-17).

Starlight Square

Ongoing: Going on now and through this summer, Starlight Square brings together small businesses, performing arts companies, individual artists, and entrepreneurs for a series of performances, markets, and community events. All this, plus food (served every weekend 12-6pm, by Comfort Kitchen)! For the full schedule of performances under the stars, unique shopping opportunities, workshops, and community events, visit starlightsquare.org.

The Hanover Theatre

Ongoing: Worcester’s Hanover Theatre has a full lineup of outdoor and in-person performances scheduled through 2021 and into 2022! August 4-22, catch an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceasar” at the Worcester Common Oval.

Windhover Center for Performing Arts 

Ongoing: In addition to serving as the home for Gloucester Stage Company’s outdoor season, the dance lineup at Windhover is not to be missed! BoSoma Dance’s Youth Company performs Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16, NYC’s Continuum Contemporary Ballet Company takes the stage July 26 and 27, the award-winning team of dancers from Valentango is up July 11 and 13, and Michael Trusnovec and Co. will perform a solo work by Paul Taylor and more at the end of August.

This list will be updated periodically with information about new events in your area. Have an event you want us to know about? Upload your event to the ArtsBoston Calendar here, or contact us for more information.

Header photo: Windhover Performing Arts Center, Gloucester MA

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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