Five things to do this weekend: May 8-10
First-Ever Street Performer Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Jill Brown-Rhone Park, near Central Square. Free.
The saga of Keytar Bear – snuggly avatar of questionable musical choices and one of our best-known buskers – goes on. After the performer was beaten last year, Workbar employee Abby Taylor organized a benefit concert and was on hand at The Middle East as Cambridge issued a formal declaration that May 8 was “Keytar Bear Day.” Now that’s “Keytar Bear and Abby Taylor Day” on the Facebook event page, and it’s morphing into a free Street Performer Festival and block party with Keytar Bear headlining from 7 to 8 p.m. after openers that include Alex Navarro from 5 to 5:30 p.m.; Ilana Katz Katz from 5:30 to 6 p.m.; and Amy Kucharik from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
The first 30 people are promised a free T-shirt, CD or poster (first-come, first-served) by the We Love Keytar Bear group, and dancers are urged to bring a crew for a cypher.
“I want to create an event to celebrate the awesomeness of Keytar Bear and the other street performers in the Boston area. I like to think of this day as reason to bring people together to support the artists and performers that make us smile every day,” Taylor told Vanyaland.
Spring Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Newtowne Cooperative Preschool, 11 Garden St., across from the Cambridge Common near Harvard Square. Free.
This all-ages event includes live music, a food and bake sale, “gigantic” rummage sale (including items such as child and baby clothes and gear), and a prize raffle for adults as well as a live animal show, craft activities, face painting, balloons, a bouncy castle, games such as a bean bag toss and a firetruck on hand for the kids. Proceeds from the food, raffles and rummage sale benefit the Newtowne Cooperative Preschool. Information – including more about the Great Rummage Sale, is here.
Seventh Annual Citywide Cambridge Arts Open Studios from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free.
More than 100 visual and performing artists are spending Mothers Day weekend by opening their studios to browsers and buyers. There is a staggering array of talent set to be displayed across every medium imaginable, from the classic woodwork of Michael O’Shea to the provocative sculpture of Mahmood Rezaei-Kamalabad, eccentric printmaking of Shin Happens Art, cheery paintings of Yuri Hayano and stunning nature photography of Irina Medvedev, whose latest works are called – for reasons that will be obvious while visiting her Harvey Street studios in North Cambridge – “Astounding Alaska.”
“Free Verse” public writing event from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday in Union Square, Somerville. Free.
Free Verse sets up four beautiful typewriters – including a “Mad Men”-esque 1960s Avona, action-oriented 1920s Remington Portable and retro-futuristic Hermes 3000 from the early ’60s – and opens them to whoever is drawn to sit and compose. The results get posted on the giant “Type.Tack.Take.” board, where passers-by can go shopping for works that inspire them. On the eve of this second of three weekend events (the next is May 17), organizer Julie Ann Otis asks, “What will you type or take with you from Free Verse? A haiku? A love letter? A confession? Write a poem, tell a story, or just get something off your chest, [then] post your unexpected ode.” Information is here.
In “Weird, Fantastic, and Sublime,” New England writers of speculative fiction get together to turn “the cloistered world of books … into intimate theater as authors perform their dreams and nightmares in a showcase of vibrant local, independent and small press storytelling.” (Costumes encouraged.) Organizers Ascii Flower note the possibility of hearing from a poetry chapbook about Desi superheroes, a punk zine about transgender time travelers or a sprawling epic of richly woven tales about A.I. in love – and stress that there may well be mature content, making the event not for everyone. Participants include Kythryne Aisling, Mary Bichner, Imogen Binnie, Athena Giles, Amy Macabre, Khadeja Merenkov and Gaia Weise, and the host is K. Tempest Bradford. Post-show music is by DJ DayGlow. Information is here.