Five things to do this weekend: Aug. 10-11
Go through your best weekend List ever. The mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s List Visual Arts Center is “to explore challenging, intellectually inquisitive, contemporary art-making in all media,” and a free day of exploration at the center lets families find out exactly what that means. That means a look at the center’s newest exhibition, “List Projects: Ken Okiishi,” and creating sound-inspired art in the List’s atrium, where visitors can create a multimedia soundscape to take home. There are also tours starting at 2 p.m. in the galleries. Activities are open to all; no registration is required. For information, send e-mail to [email protected].
The event runs noon to 4 p.m. at the List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St. The gallery is also open noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Have some hot fun at the Ignite! festival. Another unique festival arrives in Somerville’s Union Square, this one combining food and fire. At Ignite! visitors can enjoy everything from samosas from India, char-grilled barbecue from Brazil, Salvadoran pupusas and even homemade popsicles with such unique flavors as watermelon and mint, while being entertained by fire spinners and belly dancers. Interactive food demonstrations are scheduled, and local artisans will be on hand selling their wares. (Also for sale: “Nibble,” the Somerville Arts Council’s book on food and culture in Union Square.)
Ignite! A Fire and Steet Food Festival After Dark starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at 90 Union Square, Somerville.
Have a free, ocean-themed family movie night in Harvard Square. The Harvard Square Business Association, Cambridge Arts Council and Ocean River Institute have two dusk, outdoor showings of films celebrating hope for ocean wildlife and the planet. (The second event is Aug. 24.) Saturday brings “Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship,” about communities coming together to save right whales from the boat traffic in Boston Harbor and saving reef fish in the Florida Keys. Immediately afterward comes what organizers can legally only coyly describe as a “beloved film about the bond between a boy and an orca whale.” Admission is free, and so is the popcorn, and there will be snacks and other refreshments available to buy.
Bring a blanket and lawn chairs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to Palmer Street, Harvard Square.
See a music legend at Passim. You may know Steve Wynn from his work with The Dream Syndicate, a band credited – along with R.E.M. and The Replacements – with practically inventing the indie rock scene of the 1980s. But in a quarter-century of playing Wynn has released at least 25 albums, recorded more than 300 songs and played more than 2,000 shows in more than 25 countries. For the devoted fans he has made, say bookers at Passim, his extensive discography of music reflects the consensus that Wynn is one of the most adventurous, accomplished and exciting songwriters of the last few decades.
His show is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $20, or $18 for Passim members.
Try some dance. Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre is hosting a school open house, which means an afternoon of free trial classes for children ages 3-9 and adult beginners, as well as refreshments and a chance to win tickets to the José Mateo the Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.” The open house runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, starting with a sample class Level 1 class for ages 7 to 9; at 2:30 p.m. comes a Creative Dance class for ages 3 and 4 and an Adult Introduction to Ballet sampler. The final sample class is a 3 p.m. Pre-ballet for ages 5 and 6.
This Sunday event is at Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, 400 Harvard St., HarvardSquare. For information, call|(617) 354-7467.