As the summer weather starts to creep over Boston, students everywhere have started looking for creative new ways to relax and enjoy themselves, both inside and outside. Here are some local (and one not-quite-so-local) events to keep in mind for the upcoming weeks! NOW: Flash Forward Festival, Boston The Flash Forward Festival comes to Boston to showcase the best contemporary photography from all over the world, including Canada and the UK. The festival lasts for four days (June 2nd to June 5th) and runs from 12pm to 7pm, leaving ample time to explore the other activities going on around the showcase. You have your choice of public art installations, lectures, panel discussions, gallerists, and countless artists from around the city and the world. This four-day festival is free to the public. http://www.flashforwardfestival.com THIS SATURDAY, June 4, 2011: The Cambridge River Festival This one-day celebration brings the Charles River to life with countless musical performances and more than 200,000 attendees flanking the river’s edges. Come on Saturday, June 4th between noon and 6pm to experience the magic and culture of this celebration. The festival is free for everyone! http://www.cambridgema.gov/CAC/ July 4: 38th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Every year on the Fourth of July, the Boston Pops play an amazing free concert at the Hatch Shell on Boston’s Esplanade along the Charles River. There are usually several exciting guest performers, and the fireworks that follow the concert are truly not to be missed. The crowds can get intense, and people camp out for space early in the morning. Tip from the locals: you can see the fireworks just as well, sometimes better, from the Cambridge side of the river, and they usually broadcast the concert to that side as well. Another tip to beat the crowds — see and hear the same concert the night before, July 3, at the dress rehearsal. (No fireworks that night, though.) http://www.july4th.org/ Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid with Live Score by Marc Ribot This event at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday, July 9th at 9:00pm revamps a classic Charlie Chaplin film with modern guitar solos and soundtracks. Marc Ribot’s transformation of the film brings a whole new meaning to the timeless piece. Ticket prices vary, but if you are a student (at NEU or any other college) you get a flat rate ticket for $10. Note: This museum is in North Adams, Massachusetts, about a 2.5-hour drive from Boston. http://www.massmoca.org Around the World in Watercolor, 1860-1920 This exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts from July 16th to March 4th features works by American watercolorists such as John La Farge, Thomas Moran, Henry Roderick Newman, and Joseph Lindon Smith. These painters all travelled the world for inspiration, and their pieces are sure to transport you to the beautiful hills of Greece or the deserts of Egypt. The best part about this showing? Admission to the museum is free when you show your NEU student ID. http://www.mfa.org
In the midst of classes coming to an end, I’ve found myself with a lot of unexpected (but fantastic) free time. At first, I did the usual things- watching T.V., playing addicting games online, and even a weak attempt at playing Xbox, but none seemed to quite capture the awesomeness of the “free-ness” of free time. I took a walk over to the MFA (out of complete desperation) and suddenly found what I was looking for- inspiration. I didn’t realize this, but the MFA is FREE to NU students- at any time! And by the way, the newest exhibition, British Prints, is fantastic, especially if you have an interest in screen-printing. After my MFA visit, I headed over to an art supply store and spent the rest of my weekend painting away. I feel like I’ve tapped into creativity I never knew I had. To top everything off, I checked out a few books on my favorite artists from Snell, so that I have inspiration with me at home. In other words, take a trip out to the MFA the next chance you have some free time, you may learn something about yourself you never knew existed.