What have art and architecture bike tours, hojalata workshops and pimped out pumpkins got in common? They are all part of ArtWeek: a 10-day, multicity, multidiscipline (and then some) arts festival, produced by Citi Performing Arts Center, which brings around 180 creative events to cities in eastern Massachusetts this fall.
This season’s lineup is the largest since ArtWeek’s 2013 launch, when it began with 25 events — and those were only in Boston neighborhoods.
“This fall we’re in 54 neighborhoods,” says visual artist Vivian Bauger Holland, who manages ArtWeek as Citi Performing Arts Center’s associate director of special projects. “We’re in our seventh season and we took the opportunity to push the festival’s hands-on creative events and sneak peaks at the artistic process into more cities in eastern Massachusetts.”
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Not only is ArtWeek unique in its accessibility outside the big city, but also it boasts come-one, come-all affordability: “Ninety percent of the events are under $25 or free — and over half of the events are free,” says Holland. That includes the many events that are unique to ArtWeek.
“We always encourage artistic institutions to come up with something different, something outside their usual programming and unique to us.”
The idea isn’t just arts promotion, it’s outreach too, completing the circle that starts with inspiration and ends with appreciation. Plus, even institutions like Citi Center need to “get out of the house” once in a while.
“When we started, the goal for us was to engage with artists and people outside of the four walls of the Citi Center,” laughs Holland. “It’s very important to celebrate the artistic community. I hope people leave the festival feeling a little transformed, and more informed on how art touches us as humans. Art can change us in indelible ways.”
3 fall ArtWeek events not to miss:
1. Public Art Duck Tour
Learn about Boston’s vast public art collection and iconic architecture, and have fun riding a duck boat, too. Tickets: $40. Sun., Oct. 2, 2-3:30 p.m. Prudential Center Duck Stop, 53 Huntington Ave., Boston.
2. SubSpace: Prince
The Charles Hayden Planetarium’s celebration of Prince’s “Purple Rain” includes a behind-the-scenes discussion with planetarium producers and animators for the museum’s SubSpace series. Tickets: $12. Sun., Oct. 2, 6-7:30 p.m. Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, Boston.
3. Studio Portrait Event & Irving Penn Exhibition
In addition to the ongoing Smithsonian curated “Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty,” the selfie-obsessed (or exhausted) can pose for a portrait taken with a large-format camera. Exhibit: Free. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Studio portrait: $50. Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lesley University Lunder Art Center, 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.
ArtWeek Boston runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 9. Check out a full list of events at ArtWeekBoston.org.