Sunday, June 23, 2024

Friday, Sept. 8

Greek Festival from noon to 11 p.m. at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 29 Central St., Somerville (and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 10). Free. Philosophize with friends over Greek food, pastries, beer and wine or follow the choreography to live muse-ic under a tent. Information is here.

The 98th Annual Italian Feast of Saints Cosmas & Damian from 1 to 10 p.m. on Warren Street, Porter Street and Maccarelli Way in East Cambridge (and continuing through Sept. 10). Free. It’s a miracle how this weekend street festival – featuring food vendors, amusement rides, carnival games, beer garden, parades, outdoor Mass, arts and crafts and many, many people – fits into a few streets of this humble neighborhood. Even more how Warren Street turns into Vegas, with a throwback-music headliner each evening (Stevie B, Wayne Newton and The Coasters). Information is here.

Where We Belong: Tree Chuangs art exhibit opening from 4 to 4:30 p.m on the front lawn of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., in the Baldwin neighborhood near Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. For this tree-hung exhibit on view through October, dozens of community members created fabric collages, blue sun prints and vinyl word-art projects answering “What gives you a sense of belonging? What advice would you give someone wanting to learn? Represent something you have loved to learn in your life.” Artist Xinan Ran stitched them in the form of zippered traditional Chinese chuangs – cylindrical textiles used in Buddhism – that viewers can walk around and step into. Information is here.

Movie night: “Wall-E” from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kendall/MIT Open Space at 292 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. Free, but registration is recommended. A movie under the stars with free popcorn with Pixar’s animated 2008 charmer about a small waste-collecting robot that inadvertently embarks on a journey to decide the fate of humankind. Reviewer Tom Meek called it “original and engaging.” Enjoy the weather while you can! Information is here.

Dancing on the Row from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the green space near Smoke Shop BBQ at 325 Assembly Row, Assembly Square, Somerville. Free, but register. MetaMovements’ artist collective members from Cuba, Dominican Republic and the United States created “animaciones” (choreographed group dances/follow-alongs) for this year’s dance series. The evening begins with a lesson followed by live DJs spinning Latin music. Information is here.

Roger Reeves reads from “Dark Days: Fugitive Essays” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. This debut work of nonfiction by Reeves was described as “soaring reflections on joy, ecstasy and stillness as profound practices that fuel Black freedom and resistance” by poet and professor Cathy Park Hong, though during this event Reeves discusses his new collection with the Pulitzer-winning Tracy K. Smith. Information is here.

The Asian American Playwright Collective Playfest from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square, Cambridge. Free. Nine new plays explore the theme of code switching and feature the works of member playwrights with direction and performances by AA, API and Asian-adjacent member of the local theater community. Information is here.

“The Half-God of Rainfall” at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $50 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Straight from New York City and running only two weeks, this play by the award-winning Inua Ellams (“Barber Shop Chronicles”) depicts Demi, a half Greek god, half Nigerian mortal, whose meteoric rise from his small village to the NBA playoffs sparks jealousy and confrontations among the men, women, gods and goddesses about the imbalances of power. Ellams has said he features basketball because “there’s a natural melancholy about it” that matches the human spirit. Information is here.

Union Comedy Weekend Show at 7:30 p.m. at Union Comedy, 593 Somerville Ave., Somerville (repeating Fridays and Saturdays). $15. This character-driven, narrative-style of improv features rotating teams of local performers. Tonight’s teams: Milkshake and $h!tty Fu€k!ng Neighbors. Information is here.

Speedy Ortiz is coming to town. (Photo: Speedy Ortiz via Facebook)

Speedy Ortiz at 8 p.m. at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. $24. This Philly-by-way-of-Northampton band has been recording solid indie rock since 2011. Its new LP, “Rabbit Rabbit,” is the first to feature longtime tour members as full contributors. Washer and Tiffy open. Information is here.


Saturday, Sept. 9

A statue in Fort Washington Park in Cambridgeport, seen Jan. 11. (Photo: Marc Levy)

How should Fort Washington Park evolve? from 10 a.m. to noon at Fort Washington Park at Waverly and Reardon streets, Cambridgeport. Free. At this outdoor drop-in event with refreshments for neighbors (and dogs on leashes), learn about the park’s Revolutionary War history, share how you use the park and bring ideas as to what its future could look like. Information is here.

Mid-Cambridge plant swap from noon to 2 p.m. at Fayette Park near the corner of Broadway and Fayette Street. Free. Come empty-handed or bring labeled plants to share (if you have jumping worms, wash the roots and bring bare-root wrapped in newsprint). Expect perennials, seedlings, seeds, indoor plants, books, pots, tools and lots of “whatever,” including gardening talk with neighbors. Rain date (only if downpour) is noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Gilman Square Arts and Music Festival from noon to 6 p.m. on Pearl Street between Bradley and Marshall streets, Winter Hill, Somerville. Free. The former Gilman Square Block Party has been known to bring in up to 800 people to enjoy live music, food and Winter Hill Brewery beers, art and kids’ games and crafts. Information is here. 

Cambridge Open Studios from noon to 6 p.m. around Cambridge (and continuing Sunday). Free. After three years of being virtual (or postponed), Open Studios returns in person, with some 70 artists opening their doors or joining group exhibitions at dozens of venues throughout Cambridge to show off (and maybe sell) paintings, prints, clothing, ceramics and all sorts of locally made creations. Information is here.

A Tribute to Alice K. Wolf at 2 p.m. in the lecture hall of the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Wolf spent 40 years as a public servant locally and at the State House, working for progressive ideals, equity and fairness in government. Before the tribute, check out the visual description of her career on display in the library’s lobby and second floor. Information is here.

Introduction to plant and wildlife monitoring for conservation from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at The Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave., near Union Square, Somerville. Free, but register. Join Earthwise Aware co-founder Claire O’Neill to learn how to observe and record the plants, insects and animals of the Somerville Growing Center. No expertise required, but prepare for the event by creating a free account on the iNaturalist app. Information is here.

World Arepa Day from 2 to 11 p.m. in the courtyard of Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. Free. The iconic Carolinas from Carolicious and their team serve up sweet and savory arepas. Soundtrack by Juan Carlos Ruiz, DJ Javes, Dani Martell and The Timba Messengers. Information is here. 

Somerville Toy Camera Festival from 3 to 5 p.m. at Brickbottom Gallery, 1 Fitchburg St., Somerville, and 6 to 8 p.m. at Washington Street Art Center Gallery, 321 Washington St., Somerville. Free. These are the first and second of three exhibit opening receptions this weekend of this fascinating and quirky festival in its 10th year. On view are photographs by U.S. and international artists taken with low-tech cameras (e.g. those with plastic lenses and lack of a reliable exposure control). The exhibits run through Oct. 7. Information is here and here.

Pollinator garden planning workshop from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Mass Audubon Nature Center at Magazine Beach, 668 Memorial Drive, Cambridgeport. Free, but register. This workshop led by Jean Devine shows you how to select plants and design a pollinator garden for more biodiversity in a sunny garden, sidewalk strip or shady yard. Information is here.

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $50 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Information is here.

Union Comedy weekend show (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Union Comedy, 593 Somerville Ave., Somerville (repeating Fridays and Saturdays). $15. Tonight’s teams: Big Allowance and Medusa. Information is here.

Jonathan Bree performs at 8 p.m. at Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. $20. New Zealander Bree, with his Bowie-like baritone, has performed his cinematic brand of orchestral pop around the globe, and always by way of a mysteriously masked persona. Also on the ticket: Ryder the Eagle. Information is here.


Sunday, Sept. 10

Cambridge Meet Your Neighbor Day whenever you see them around Cambridge. Free. If your ’hood’s not already throwing a block party (now partially subsidized by the City of Cambridge), make a point today to smile and introduce yourself to neighbors when you see them. (“Saying Hi” isn’t just for nextdoor.com, ya know.) Information is here. 

One of the more elaborate costumes at a recent Cambridge Carnival Festival. (Photo: Cambridge Carnival Festival via Facebook)

Cambridge Carnival Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University Park Commons, in Cambridgeport near Central Square. Free. Thousands of people come to this
Afro-Caribbean-themed carnival celebrating emancipation, freedom and expression. This 29th celebration includes the traditional parade, starting at River and Blackstone streets near the Charles River at 12:30 p.m. and winding up at University Park Commons for music, food and a hands-on KidsFest with face painting, arts and crafts, lawn games and other activities. Masks are asked of unvaccinated guests and recommended in crowds for all. Information is here.

Rock and Roll Yard Sale from noon to 5 p.m. in Union Square Plaza, Somerville. Free. Dealers converge to sell vinyl, CDs, cassettes and eight-tracks as well as audio gear, music magazines, silk-screened posters and other rock-related stuff. Vintage clothing peddlers and DIY crafters will be selling as well. Information is here.

Cambridge Open Studios (continued) from noon to 6 p.m. around Cambridge. Free. Information is here.

Game day at the New England Science Fiction Association from noon to 10 p.m. at the group’s clubhouse at 504 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville. Free, but you must request a seat by email to attend. A variety of games for all tastes and abilities are available for nonmembers twice a month. Or bring your own game and teach others how to play. Masks and proof of Covid vaccination are required. Information is here.

Container gardening for beginners from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Mass Audubon Nature Center at Magazine Beach, 668 Memorial Drive, Cambridgeport. Free, but register. Angela Pillarella from Emmanuel College’s Urban Food Project will discuss best practices and how to make small spaces productive with container gardens. Information is here.

The Solaces of Nature from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge. $12. Author Claire Walker Leslie leads a stroll along the shady paths of this nature-filled cemetery with stops to meditate, share, listen and reflect on “the always-changing nature of Here and our own changing nature toward grief.” Information is here.

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $50 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Information is here.

Somerville Toy Camera Festival (continued) from 3 to 5 p.m. at Nave Gallery, Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, 155 Powder House Blvd., Somerville. Free. The third of three exhibit opening receptions of this 10th annual festival. Information is here.

DJ WhySham presents A Survivor’s Prayer II at 7 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. $15 to $25 and 14-plus. Returning to the Rockwell for a second year, DJ WhySham and a community of performing friends explore harmony, healing and honesty through R&B, Neo-Soul, and being open about love, death, hurt and mental health. Information is here.

The Magician’s Graveyard Shift: Featuring Tony Cabral & Liberty Graves at 9:30 p.m. at Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge. $16 and 16-plus. Host Liberty Graves performs an act she’s used to open for punk rock bands with elements of sideshow and mind reading, then headliner Tony Cabral, Professional Card Cheat (for entertainment purposes only), presents his world-class show of expert card handling and magic. Information is here.


Monday, Sept. 11

A detail from a photo in Kristen Emack’s “Cousins,” which is getting an exhibit at the Cambridge Main Library.

Kristen Emack’s “Cousins” through Oct. 12 on the second floor of the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Emack’s photographs, celebrating Black girlhood, chronicle the connection between the lives of her daughter and cousins as they move with confidence throughout Cambridge. There’s an opening reception, with panel discussion, on Sept. 21. Information is here.

Mona Awad reads from “Rouge” at 6 p.m. in the lecture hall at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free, but registration is required. The acclaimed author of the books “All’s Well” and “Bunny” discusses her latest novel, about a lavish, culty California spa, with Laura Zigman, author of “Separation Anxiety” and “Small World.” Sponsored with Harvard Book Store. Information is here.

A/V Comedy Club at 6:30 to 8 p.m. at The Foundry, 101 Rogers St., East Cambridge. $5. Drop in to watch members of the local comedy community perform projector and musical comedy or other complicated material uncommon at most open-mic spaces around town. Information is here.

Write On! from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave., Central Hill (repeating the second Monday of every month). Free. Writers are given the option to discuss their work, then spend an hour writing. Prompts can be provided for those with no current project. Information is here.

Steve Ignorant’s Crass Songs 1977–1984 at 7 p.m. at Sonia, 10 Brookline St., Central Square, Cambridge. $30, all ages. Let British rocker Steve Ignorant fuel your workweek rage as he performs classics from Crass, the anarcho-punk band he co-founded back in the day. Also playing: All Torn Up. Information is here.

Jalen Ngonda at 8 p.m. at The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $20. Ngonda’s album, released this weekend, elegantly blends modern soul and R&B with a vibe rooted in the sounds of revered pioneers. Information is here.


Tuesday, Sept. 12

Somerville rent stabilization listening session from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free. While Somerville’s Anti-Displacement Task Force drafts a rent stabilization law, Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City of Somerville invite community members to provide public comments to share input on what should be included. Information is here.

Askwith Education Forum: College admissions and generational privilege from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, near Harvard Square. Free. Harvard’s Opportunity Insights center publicly discusses for the first time its research raising questions about how colleges can and should work to increase socioeconomic diversity in student populations. Information is here.

A Better Cambridge City Council candidates forum from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Foundry, 101 Rogers St., East Cambridge. Free, but register. Information is here.

Carmen Boullosa. (Photo: Arrowsmith Press)

Carmen Boullosa reads from “The Book of Eve” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. In Boullosa’s novel, Eve retells the Book of Genesis through a feminine perspective. Giuliana Bruno, professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard University, joins the conversation. Information is here.

Supper Club: “Jew-ish” by Jake Cohen from 7 to 9 p.m. at Remnant Brewing, 2 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville (and on the second Tuesday of every month). Free, but registration required. This time the potluck centers around a bestseller with the fun subtitle “Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch.” Information is here. 

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $35 to $150. Information is here.


Wednesday, Sept. 13

Lunchtime organ recital from 12:15 to 1 p.m at the sanctuary of The Memorial Church at Harvard, at 1 Harvard Yard, Harvard Square. Free. Carson Cooman, research associate in music and composer in residence at the Memorial Church, and David von Behren, assistant university organist and choirmaster, perform. Information is here.

“Seeing in Art and Medicine” gallery talk from 12:30 to 1 p.m. at Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., near Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free, but register. Curator Jen Thum gives a gallery walk and talk that shares insights on what can be gleaned through close looking, the focus of the museum’s medical humanities program for radiologists (on which the exhibition, running through December, is based). Information is here.

Trust Center block party from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kendall/MIT Open Space at 292 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. Free. Enjoy ice cream with student entrepreneurs and innovators at this public event sponsored by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Information is here.

Bollywood Night from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square, Cambridge. Free, but register. Presented by the Office of Mayor Siddiqui. Henna and samosas from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Boston Bhangra and special guests perform, with a lesson from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Information is here.

Meet the Loeb Design Fellows of 2024 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Piper Auditorium of Gund Hall, 42 Quincy St., near Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s nine new Loeb Design fellows work across climate justice, cultural infrastructure, post-disaster support, land ownership reform and other fields. Information is here.

J. Mae Barizo (via the author’s website)

Poets Bill Carty, Paul Hlava Ceballos and J. Mae Barizo read from 7 to 8 p.m. at Grolier Poetry Book Shop on 6 Plympton St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $10, but registration is required. With an introduction by Steven Karl. Information is here.

George Scialabba reads from “Only a Voice: Essays” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. In his book analyzing writings from the most influential public intellectuals of our time, Scialabba finds that critical thought remains a necessary precondition for politics. Louis Menand, professor of English at Harvard University, joins the conversation. Information is here.

Spelling Bee(r) from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville (and continuing every Wednesday until the championship round Oct. 18). Free and 21-plus. This first-ever spelling bee for the brewery will allow up to 10 teams of up to three members each to cross swords, orthographically speaking. Signup is first come, first served. Information is here.  

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $35 to $99 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Information is here.


Thursday, Sept. 14

The Sustainocene: A Sustainable Planet Cannot Exist Without Providing Renewable Energy to the Poor from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. in the Fainsod Room (L-324) of the Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Harvard Square. Free. The Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, created in the fall of 2022, sponsors this lecture with Daniel Nocera, professor of energy. Information is here. 

Tour of List Projects 27 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. Free, but register. Assistant curator Selby Nimrod leads a walk-through of the joint exhibit of artists Fields Harrington and Nancy Valladares, which runs through October. Harrington’s pieces take on the complicated legacy of Norbert Rillieux (1806–1894), a Black American chemical engineer who invents a system to crystallize sugarcane juice into sugar; Valladares’ unpacks the environmental and economic impacts of the use of silver in analog photography. The exhibit includes a collaborative work they created. Information is here.

Exhibit pluck at an outdoor ukulele jam. (Photo: doseofjasmin via Pixabay)

Ukulele Jam from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Free, but register. Traveling teacher and performer Amy Kucharik, who founded 2019’s ukulele festival called Somerlele, offers instruction to all skill levels at this outdoor jam. Bring a uke or borrow one on site. Information is here.

“Objects of Addiction: Opium, Empire and the Chinese Art Trade” lecture from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall, 32 Quincy St., near Harvard Square, Cambridge (enter at Broadway). Free. Listen to associate curator Sarah Laursen talk about two commodities profoundly influential between the 18th and 20th centuries – opium and Chinese art – and be the first to tour the exhibit upstairs (which runs through Jan. 14). Information is here.

Jaina Cipriano art reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave., on Central Hill. Free. The filmmaker and photographer’s exhibit “The Infinite Mirage of Rapture” launches at the Gallery@SPL, communicating the complex grief of growing up as a woman in a culture dedicated to stifling authentic emotion and communication. Information is here.

After Dark Series: Play On from 6 to 9 p.m. at The MIT Museum, 314 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. $10 to $20 and 21-plus. Learn about MIT’s history of game design with the MIT Game Lab as you sit down with a beverage and a board game, remix some music and simulate a world. Head to the outdoor Glow Show afterward (see below). Information is here.

Kongjian Yu on “Adaptation: Political, Cultural and Ecological Design – My Journey to Heal the Planet” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Piper Auditorium of Gund Hall, 42 Quincy St., near Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. Professor and founding dean of Peking University’s College of Architecture and Landscape, and founder and design principal of the firm Turenscape, Yu draws on his 25 years of teaching and practical experience with projects in more than 200 cities worldwide as he shares his insights into ecological, cultural and political design. Information is here.

Claudia Cravens discusses “Lucky Red” at 6:30 p.m. at All She Wrote Books, 451 Artisan Way, Assembly Square, Somerville. Free to $20 sliding scale, not including book. In Cravens’ adventure novel set in 1877, a scrappy 16-year-old orphan finds work and friendship at a women-run brothel in Dodge City. The author’s joined in conversation about her debut novel by bookstore owner Christina Pascucci-Ciampa. Information is here.

Out of This World Party on the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, on the Cambridge border. $35 and 21-plus. The Innovators Society, a museum group of young professionals, hosts this end-of-summer celebration overlooking the Charles with a theme honoring beloved sci-fi characters and films. (The music, food, drinks and game-playing will be classier than at Oga’s Cantina.) Information is here.

Naomi Klein reads from “Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World” at 7 p.m. at First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, 3 Church St./1446 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $15 to $32. During this Harvard Book Store-sponsored event, the journalist, columnist and author discusses her much-publicized new book – about AI, blurred political identities and finding her own double who has opposing political views – with scholar, educator and activist Timothy Patrick McCarthy. Information is here.

Poly, bi and pan speed-dating from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lamplighter Brewing, 284 Broadway, The Port, Cambridge. $35 and 21-plus. Meet a special someone IRL at this facilitated event using psychology-backed question prompts run by Somerville-founded Skip the Small Talk. Information is here.

“Beyond Walls” film screening from 7 to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square, Cambridge. Free, but register. Five short documentaries that aim to empower communities with concrete tools and actions they can take to help create a world without police and prisons. Co-hosted by Cambridge Heart and Working Films. Information is here.

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $35 to $150 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Information is here.

Tango Society of Boston: Otro Aires from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. $60 (no tickets sold at the door). This concert and milonga has danced in venues around the world and now it lands in Spring Hill. Guest DJ: Guillermo Merlo. Information is here. 

Glow Show with MIT Spinning Arts from 8:30 to 10 p.m. at the Kendall/MIT Open Space at 292 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. Free. Through workshops and informal performances such as this one, the MIT Spinning Arts Club builds community by combining fire, object manipulation and dance. Information is here.


Friday, Sept. 15

Materials Lab Workshop: Annette Lemieux’s “Available Portrait Colors” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., near Harvard Square, Cambridge. $15 materials fee, registration is required. To understand how the representation of skin colors has influenced art and medicine throughout history, second-year med student and portrait artist William Shen will show how artists recapitulate the biological origin of skin color by dissecting complex hues and re-creating them in paint. You’ll paint a miniature replica of Lemieux’s painting and mix your own skin color as the newest available portrait color. Information is here. 

Salsa in the Park from 6 to 9 p.m. at Termeer Square 300 Athenaeum St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. Free. The MetaMovements artist collective begins the evening with small-group lessons for people of different ages and abilities. Stay for the party with performances and dance coaching corners. Information is here.

Baby; Baby: Explores is a Friday performer at the Fuzzstival in Somerville. (Photo: band’s Instagram)

Boston Fuzzstival from 6 to 11:45 p.m. at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville (and continuing Saturday). $35 (two-day pass) and $22 (one day). All ages. For its ninth year, Illegally Blind’s festival relocates to the Armory, continuing its loud and proud mission of showing off local and regional psychedelic, fuzz, garage, hip-hop and surf rock bands. The 22-band lineup includes a few New York bands and one from Los Angeles. Performing Friday are Landowner, “Baby; Baby: Explores,” Jeanines, (New England) Patriots, Editrix, GracieHorse, Rong, Nice Guys, Open Head, Strange Passage and Ski Club. Information is here.

Zadie Smith reads from “The Fraud” at 7 p.m. at First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, 3 Church St./1446 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $38 (includes book). During this Harvard Book Store-sponsored event, bestselling novelist Smith talks about her kaleidoscopic tale, based on a real legal trial that divided Victorian England, with Radcliffe professor of English and Harvard College professor Amanda Claybaugh. Information is here. 

Alejandra Campoverdi reads from “First Gen” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Free. Campoverdi’s memoir details being raised by a single immigrant mother and living a life of contradictory extremes. Information is here.

Phil Aiken and The Gypsy Moths dual album release show at 7 p.m. at The Burren, 247 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. $15 to $20, all ages. A full night of music from two well-known Boston acts, each with a rock vibe you’ll fondly recognize. Information is here.

Mexico films by Elmer Hawkes from 7 to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square, Cambridge. Free, but register. “Central Mexico: A Portrait” and “Southern Mexico: A Portrait” examine histories, cuisines and art through profiles of specific cities. Information is here.

“The Half-God of Rainfall” (continued) at 7:30 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $35 to $150 (with some $5 tickets through A.R.T’s “Take Five” initiative). Information is here.

Amy Speace performs at 8 p.m. at Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. $25. This leading voice of the new generation of contemporary folk and Americana music lauded by mentors Judy Collins, Tom Paxton and Janis Ian, among many others, is also a published poet and essayist. Information is here.