Press Room

Posts Tagged ‘arts’

Seeds of Freedom: A Vision for America

Posted on November 4th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

Film Screening and Launch of James Phinney Baxter Lecture Series

Boston Public Library is kicking off the James Phinney Baxter Lecture Series on Thursday, November 10, in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square with the premiere of the film Seeds of Freedom: A Vision for America. The film presents a revolutionary look at the synthesis between European colonists and the American Indian in the evolution of American democracy, mind, and spirit. At the event, Mohawk elder Tom Porter and Pilgrim Scholar Gary Marks will present insights into the Iroquois Great Law and the Pilgrim vision for humanity as they apply to today and the future. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a meet and greet with Tom Porter, Gary Marks, and the filmmaker followed by the film screening at 6 p.m. and a discussion led by film director Andrew Cameron Bailey.

Film Synopsis: Eminent philanthropist/historian James Phinney Baxter (1831-1921) believed that America must embody the high ideals of New England’s original settlers if it is to become a global exemplar of liberty, equality, and justice. In 1921 he left a bequest instructing Boston to build a Pantheon to perpetuate the founding ideals and principles. Baxter’s great-great-granddaughter Connie Baxter Marlow adds a missing piece – the role of the American Indian in the evolution of democracy and the American mind and spirit. The film is written, directed, and produced by Andrew Cameron Bailey and Connie Baxter Marlow of Cameron/Baxter Films. View a trailer for the film here.

The Baxter Project Team has produced booksfilmsphotography exhibitions, and talks over the past 25 years to bring the Pilgrim vision and the Native American voice, heart, and spirit forward. (more…)

Boston Public Library Announces Composer-in-Residence Program

Posted on November 4th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

First concert takes place Saturday, November 12, at 2:30 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square

Boston Public Library announces its first Composer-in-Residence, Beau Kenyon, whose debut concert with the BPL takes place on Saturday, November 12, at 2:30 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. Kenyon’s role in this pilot program includes enriching Library spaces and collections through public programs focused on music and performance throughout the library system.

The multi-platform, multidisciplinary event, “The Sound of,” is intended to connect various members of the Boston community in multiple ways all through the action of finding and creating stillness through sound. The concert features performances by Christina English (mezzo-soprano), Vanessa Holroyd (flute), Daniel Doña (viola), Franzisca Huhn (harp), and Beau Kenyon (piano) as they perform a collection of work by Toru Takemitsu, Marti Epstein, and Beau Kenyon.

“The Composer-in-Residence program at the Boston Public Library is one example of how the City of Boston supports local artists and incorporates them into civic life,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture for the City of Boston. “Artists play a critical role in ensuring Boston is a thriving and innovative city. They educate and inspire, helping all of us to realize the power of creativity.”

“Boston Public Library is committed to engaging library users and visitors in a variety of ways, including through performance art; we are confident Beau Kenyon’s programs will thrill community members and further develop their appreciation of the arts,” said Michael Colford, Boston Public Library’s Director of Library Services.

The residency, running through June 2017, includes access to and use of the Boston Public Library’s circulating, research and special collections, creation of public music-related programs, and community outreach efforts to raise awareness of the Boston Public Library’s resources in the broader music community.

From June 3-10, 2017 Kenyon will also hold series of “And All the Men and Women Merely Players“ performances at the Central Library, celebrating the culmination of the Library’s Shakespeare initiative, All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library.

“I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity; this season, I’ll be collaborating with incredible authors, musicians, choreographers, and librarians, and together, we’ll create concert performances, sound and dance installations, and workshops – all free and open to the public,” said Beau Kenyon, Boston Public Library’s Composer-in-Residence. “Not only am I able to work with and celebrate Boston’s creative talent, I am helping to create and pilot a residency for composers in the future,” he said.

An enthusiastic multi-disciplinarian, Beau Kenyon’s work is often inspired by the extra-musical, including dance, literature, visual arts, and even current events. Kenyon strives to collaborate with dancers, authors, artists, and filmmakers, with an aim towards redefining the performance landscape and widening the scope and accessibility of new music.

Kenyon is the director of extracurricular programs at Kingsley Montessori School; his programs include a music school for private study, academic enrichment courses, and an engineering and fine arts summer camp for elementary-aged students. Recent work includes collaboration with Urbanity Dance, Andrew Kelley (Boston Ballet) and Gino Di Marco (Boston Conservatory) through the North Atlantic Dance Theater, as well as a contributing composer role for Illuminus Boston’s project, Waking the Monster.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit


# # #


Boston Public Library Commemorates 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death with Shakespeare Unauthorized Exhibition and Citywide Initiative

Posted on October 14th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases


Free exhibition opens today, presented by Iron Mountain Incorporated

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and Boston Public Library honors the Bard’s lasting legacy with its Shakespeare Unauthorized exhibition, opening today in the McKim Exhibition Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the BPL citywide initiative All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library, connecting audiences to theater and the dramatic arts with programs throughout the library system. Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive publicly-held collections of Shakespeare, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more. Visit to view the complete offerings of the initiative.

“At some point in life, everyone has experienced the work of Shakespeare,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These opportunities at the Boston Public Library give all the chance to learn more about the creative genius of Shakespeare and how his legacy lives on today.”

“Shakespeare Unauthorized is sure to engage and inspire people of all ages, and we hope visitors leave with a better understanding of not only Shakespeare’s works, but an appreciation for the world-class Shakespeare holdings of one of Boston’s finest cultural institutions,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture for the City of Boston. “We applaud the Boston Public Library for ensuring these works are accessible to everyone.” (more…)

Karin Tanabe Discusses “The Gilded Years” at BPL

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by rlavery in General

img_1869The Gilded Years author Karin Tanabe visited the Central Library on Thursday, September 15 to discuss her historical fiction work, which tells the story of Anita Hemmings, the first black woman to attend and graduate Vassar College by passing as a white woman in the late 1890s. Anita has local ties – she grew up in Roxbury and worked at the Boston Public Library as a cataloguer, and likely met her husband at the BPL. Tanabe is a Vassar alumna and first got the idea for the book in 2014, when she flipped through her alumni magazine and saw mention of Anita. She began researching the woman and quickly found that not too much information could be found, but the subject of her next book was quickly brewing in her head.

Tanabe and some of her friends visited Vassar to search through their archives to find correspondence and details about Anita Hemmings. She was active in school, a member of the debate club and choir, and a very intelligent woman. Though no “majors” existed at Vassar at the time, Anita focused on languages and wanted to be a teacher. The year after she graduated, her college roommate of two years leaked the news that she was an African-American woman after her suspicions were raised in their senior year. After college, Anita married and lived with her husband in Tennessee before relocated to New York City. Anita did not pursue a teaching career after marrying and having children.

A question and answer period followed the reading of a passage. Audience members were curious to know if Anita was related to Peter or Sally Hemmings (maybe), and if Tanabe had communicated with any of Anita’s ancestors; Tanabe has been in touch with Anita’s great granddaughter. Listeners also asked if Anita was involved in civil rights issues, and Tanabe said she was not, to her knowledge, but Anita had a best friend who went to Wellesley College who was. One of the most challenging aspects of writing this book, Tanabe said, was tracking down the name of Anita’s roommate; she wrote most of the book without knowing. Tanabe also discussed how the book has relevance today, as racial tensions and acceptance of others is still an issue more than 100 years later.

Tanabe concluded the talk by signing books and showing photographs of Anita and others related to The Gilded Years.

The next Author Talk is Tuesday, September 20, at 6 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, featuring Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Salem, 1692.

Discussion: Public Art and Irish Influence on Art in Boston

Posted on September 15th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

Featuring artists Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile and Michael Dowling at the Central Library in Copley Square

On Sunday, September 18, at 2 p.m. Boston Public Library President David Leonard will welcome Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Ireland) and Michael Dowling (Boston-US/Ireland) to the Central Library in Copley Square for a discussion about public art, the Irish influence on art in Boston, and their work which is featured in the temporary public art project, Tír na nÓg, now on view in the Back Bay Fens.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen incredible energy around public art installations in Boston,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “Projects like Tír na nÓg promote public discourse, bringing people together in conversation and helping us reach the goals of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan. We are thrilled to see it in the Fens and look forward to hearing from the artists.” (more…)