Brush up on beach reads with online panels

The Newburyport Literary Festival is teaming up with A Mighty Blaze to present a "Beach Read Bash" this Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The free online festival will feature discussion panels with authors whose recent releases celebrate seaside locales and all things summer.

The schedule features "Changing Tides" at 10 a.m., with Sarah Blake, Brooke Lea Foster and Susie Orman Schnall exploring the ways we do or do not change with the seasons; "Summer Lovin'" at 11:15 a.m., with Aimee Agresti, Emily Henry and Nancy Thayer talking about romance, renewals and starting over; "First Mates: The Crew We Choose" at 12:30 p.m., with Jamie Brenner, Jane Green, Kerry Kletter and Meg Mitchell Moore discussing the complex and complicated bonds of family, friendship and community; and "Beach Reads Bingo" at 2 p.m., with Nicola Harrison, Sarah McCoy, Renee Rosen, Katherine St. John and Karen White joining the fun, which includes prizes.

All sessions are free. To register, visit newburyportliteraryfestival.org.

41st annual Garden Tour blooms online

In lieu of its traditional garden tour held each summer, the Museum of Old Newbury is putting together virtual tours featuring four local gardens.

Each segment features a combination of video and photographs of the gardens in peak bloom, with narration by Bill Hallett and images by Bob Watts and Dan Fionte. 

The first installment, available on June 30, will feature a lush garden in Rowley with a particular appreciation for composting. That will be followed by two segments highlighting backyard retreats in Newburyport, on July 30 and Aug. 30. A final installment on Sept. 15 will take the viewer from garden to table.

The free presentations will be available on the Museum of Old Newbury's website, as well as on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Popular car show motors on in a new format

The Misselwood Concours d'Elegance will be back this year with a new look — or several new looks.

While the main event, typically presented each July on the grounds of Endicott College in Beverly, cannot be held due to COVID-19 public health concerns, there will be alternative live and virtual events presented instead.

The Misselwood Concours Virtual Show will judge cars in 12 classes, with participants allowed to include three photographs of each competing car. Applications are being accepted through July 6 at misselwood.com/concours-delegance/participants or by emailing concours@endicott.edu.

The virtual show will start on Sunday, July 19, with winners revealed on Facebook and Instagram each day leading up to the grand finale on Sunday, July 26.

For those wanting to see the cars in person, the new Misselwood Rally Series will take place on Saturdays, July 18, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19. It is open to any pre-1990 classic car or motorcycle, with registration required and space limited to 60 vehicles. The 60-mile routes will be different for each part of the series.

"This is something we'll plan on doing each summer from now on," said Darren Stewart, chairman of the Misselwood Concours d'Elegance. "Not only are we able to involve more car owners, but the Endicott students will be on campus for the final tour in the series as we finish by driving through main campus."

All money raised from events will support the Endicott College Concours Scholarship, which assists current students and has raised close to $200,000 in the last 10 years.

The familiar in-person gathering will return next summer, scheduled for July 16-18, 2021.

For more information, visit misselwoodconcours.com.

Check in on an osprey family

Essex County Greenbelt Association's osprey pair, Annie and Squam, have once again returned to their nest on the salt marsh near Lobsta Land Restaurant in Gloucester and have produced three chicks this season.

Greenbelt's live-streaming osprey cam is trained on the nest where the pair has been present since 2017. Annie and Squam, as they were named last year, laid eggs for the first time in 2019, fledging one chick named River. The pair has been attracting renewed attention since returning to the nest in early April.

Already in 2020, 25-30 dedicated volunteer citizen scientists have been busy, rain or shine, watching close to 50 nesting pairs and have submitted over 400 online nesting activity reports.

To watch the live osprey cam and view a virtual history of Greenbelt’s Osprey Program, visit https://ecga.org/Osprey-Program. To report osprey activity or learn more about the program, contact Rimmer at dwr@ecga.org or 978-768-7241, ext. 14.

For the love of birds and bird-watching

Celebrate the region's wealth of birds with "Birding in our Backyard: Singing the Praises of Cape Ann's Winged Aerialists," a virtual event being hosted by Literary Cape Ann on Friday, June 19, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Authors and naturalists John Nelson, Martin Ray and Kim Smith have spent years documenting the lives of birds and will look at their distinctive calls, their brilliant aesthetics, their charming idiosyncrasies and their habitats. They will also talk about ways that all of us can more deeply experience birds using observation, cameras, sketchpads, journals and checklists. Wildlife biologist Eric Hutchins will moderate.

Nelson will explain bird-watching basics and share key points from his new book, “Flight Calls: Exploring Massachusetts Through Birds.” Ray will talk about his popular blog, Notes From Halibut Point, and share experiences blogging about birds in that magical place. Smith will share her own adventures chronicling Cape Ann’s vibrant bird life, including shorebirds like the piping plover, the snowy owl and the Baltimore oriole.

The free presentation, held via Zoom, will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For the link and more information, visit facebook.com/literarycapeann

Regional Juried Show colors the web

The Newburyport Art Association's newest exhibit, the 23rd annual Regional Juried Show, is available to view online through June 30.

Juror Ruth Greene-McNally, curator and collections manager at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine, selected 149 pieces — including oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors, drawings, photographs, sculptures, prints, digital art, fine crafts and mixed media works — from 512 submissions. 

"Art in the time of coronavirus commands more committed levels of attention in addition to new kinds of 'performance' in the realities of online exhibitions," Greene-McNally wrote in her show statement. "Nevertheless, the experience of viewing art, regardless of our access, is valuable now more than ever."

All works are for sale, with pickup to be arranged at a later date.

To see the show and for more information, visit newburyportart.org

Puppet fun with Little Red Hen and Scaredy Cat

Lappin Foundation of Salem and puppeteer Anna Sobel invite families with young children for two free educational puppet shows — "The Little Red Hen" and "Scaredy Cat" — on Wednesday, June 24, at 10 a.m. on Zoom.

The Little Red Hen needs help to plant her grain. Who will help her? Not Bowser the dog, not Mittens the cat, not Sniffles the mouse. They all have unusually silly things they’d rather be doing. This interactive show includes a singalong, perfect for the preschool set.

They call Scaredy Cat Fraidy Freddy, and that's because he's scared of just about everything. But when his owners are out for the evening, Freddy meets the Boogie Monster, who turns out to be friendly and sings like Elvis. Through audience participation, kids help Freddy realize there's nothing to be afraid of. This show has been well received at hospitals and preschools throughout New England and New York.

The program is approximately 30 minutes, and kids will learn a few Hebrew words, too. Access the show via Zoom (meeting ID: 739 2951 0655, password: 001531). More information is also available at lappinfoundation.org

Rocky Neck Art Colony debuts online show

Rocky Neck Art Colony has launched its inaugural online exhibition, titled "Beyond Likeness," a juried show exploring the portrait. The works on display examine the genre of portraiture with an array of mediums and compositions, including traditional and dramatic portraits in oil, watercolor, colored pencil, charcoal and Polaroid emulsion, among others. 

The virtual exhibit runs through July 19 and showcases more than 30 well-known artists, including Cynthia August, Darien Bird, Linda Bourke, Lizbeth Cabral, Matt Cegelis, Michele Champion, Marija Djakovic, Leon Doucette, Larry Elardo, Phyllis Feld, Nina Fletcher, Erin Garrett-Metz, Moriah Gilbert, Dina Gomery, Hamilton Hayes, Tamara Krendel, Otto Laske, Christopher Lovely, Raymond Magnan, Karen Matthews, Elizabet Menges, Vanessa Michalak, Ruth Mordecai, Rebecca Nagle, Sara Oseasohn, Ruthie Schneider, Kathleen Somers, Helen Tory, Juni Van Dyke, Karen Watson, Christine Whalen-Waller and Heidi Caswell Zander. 

For view the show and for more information, visit rnacexhibitions.com.  

Cape Ann Museum puts offerings online

Cape Ann Museum seeks to continue its mission to tell the stories of the community and its contributions to American art and industry even though its doors are temporarily closed.

The Gloucester museum has launched the CAM Video Vault, which features 60 lectures, programs and archival material dating back to 1992. These include exhibit and program lectures by curators, artists, community leaders, educators and others, featuring discussions of past art shows, well-known artists with Cape Ann roots, natural environments and habitats in the region, and local maritime history.

To help at-home educators and parents, the museum has also added educational content, including art-making activities, reading adventures, and virtual tours and experiences. It is also sharing "Stories From the Stacks," based on the collection in the museum's library and archives.

To access the content and for more information, visit capeannmuseum.org

Music Man keeps entertaining children

Wenham musician Brian Doser performs children's music live on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m.

Doser, better known as The Music Man, normally performs a drop-in music program for children three days a week at The Community House in Hamilton.

He is joined by his daughter Hannah, who sings and plays various instruments, for the 45-minute segments.

Doser has also been offering shows geared toward adults on weekends, featuring popular cover songs and some original tunes.

To check out his shows, visit facebook.com/briandosermusic

Rockport Music to present a Virtual Gala 

Rockport Music will stream its Virtual Gala 2020 on Saturday, June 27, at 5 p.m.

Grammy-nominated pianist Marc-André Hamelin will perform Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960.

The gala, made possible by individual sponsors, ticket holders and corporate partners, celebrates the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.

In addition to Hamelin’s performance, the program will bring highlights of the construction of the hall, outreach activities and more.

Viewing will be free via Facebook and YouTube, but any donations will provide critical support for the organization’s mission of presenting the highest-quality music in all genres, as well as numerous educational and community outreach programs.

For more information, visit rockportmusic.org/2020-rockport-music-virtual-gala.    

Keep up with Maritime Gloucester

Maritime Gloucester is now offering weekly virtual features, including Maritime Mondays, Throwback Thursdays and Front Line Fridays.

Mondays will feature a look at the collections and what's happening on the waterfront and harbor. Thursdays will celebrate the organization's 20th anniversary with memories from the past two decades. And Fridays will honor Maritime Gloucester members who are working on the front lines during the pandemic, from nurses and doctors to police and firefighters to teachers and delivery people.

To view the features and for more information, visit maritimegloucester.org, where you can also check out live webcam views of the railway and harbor.  

The 'rhythms of life' as art

A new art exhibition, "Gail Barker — Art as Process," is now available to view on the Jane Deering Gallery's website.

Barker, who grew up under the expansive skies of East Anglia in Great Britain, attended a Quaker primary school and later a farm school. These influences nurtured her love of space and a reverence for the simple rhythms of life.

"The motions and rituals of daily activities all serve as prompts allowing Barker to incorporate walking, journey-taking, solitary contemplative actions — into forms of drawing, sewing, knitting, wrapping, paper manipulation and performance," according to a press release. 

For more information and to view the show, visit janedeeringgallery.com/exhibitions-jdg-gloucester-ma.  

The gallery anticipates opening for limited hours on Saturdays and Sundays as soon as state guidelines allow. 

Solace and inspiration from the sea

In an effort to provide some solace from the sea to those marooned at home, the staff and board of the Schooner Adventure in Gloucester have put together a list of nautical literature to enjoy. The list includes something for everyone, young and old, sailors, history buffs and landlubbers alike. All these books will inspire you with tales of the seven seas. Check out the list at https://bit.ly/3cCg0lE.

The crew of the Adventure has also teamed up to support local, independent bookstores to provide the titles. Partners in the effort include The Bookstore of Gloucester and The Book Shop of Beverly Farms for new books and Dogtown Books in Gloucester and Manchester by the Book for used titles.

The Adventure is compiling a list of the public's favorite nautical books. Email info@schooner-adventure.org to have your pick included on the list and be entered into a drawing for a copy of "Adventure: The Last of the Great Dory-Fishing Schooners" by Joseph Garland.

A wealth of American art to discover at the Addison

The Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover is said to have one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world, including more than 23,000 objects spanning the 18th century to the present.

All of those items can now be viewed at the museum's website by searching for particular works, artists, themes or periods. There are suggestions at the website for art-related projects and activities that families can do together and a link to virtual tours of 10 great museums around the world.

In addition, the exhibits currently on display at the Addison can be viewed in a virtual tour on the website, where visitors can also watch interviews with museum staff.

Check it out at addison.andover.edu.

Whale watches, museum tours with Discover Gloucester

Discover Gloucester is sharing a selection of virtual tours that offer entertainment, art, history and education from the comfort of your own home.

Cape Ann Museum may be toured virtually at facebook.com/camuseum/videos/487062198670695/. The museum's Vimeo page offers access to past lectures, such as “Judith Sargent Murray: A Complicated Woman," available via capeannmuseum.org/video-links/. There is free access to the museum's library and archives, which boasts digital resources available to researchers such as Fitz Henry Lane Online and the Digital Commonwealth, the historical collections from libraries, museums and archives across the state. Go to capeannmuseum.org/research/news-library-archives/digital-resources for more details.

Cape Ann Whale Watch, which offers guaranteed whale sightings for every whale-watching tour out to Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Gloucester, is offering virtual tours at seethewhales.com/index.php?link=virtual, or catch some whales at seethewhales.com/index.php?link=videos. 

Virtual crafting at Haverhill library

The Haverhill Public Library is holding a virtual crafting hour through Zoom on Fridays at 2 p.m. The meetings let crafters working on projects at home connect with others and draw inspiration from their work.

To receive the Zoom invite to access the sessions, visit haverhillpl.org, or contact Brendan Kieran at bkieran@haverhillpl.org to learn more.

Bringing the Beverly library home

Beverly Public Library is connecting with the community through social media. Offerings include Facebook Live sessions of "Tea Time Children's Classics," featuring readings of chapters from classic children's literature, on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and "Musical Mondays," with rhymes, songs and special guests, on Mondays at 10 a.m.

The library has also been using Zoom to host various book and film discussion groups. To check out the events, visit facebook.com/beverlypubliclibrary or beverlypubliclibrary.org.

Additionally, the library, in conjunction with Beverly Public Schools’ librarians, has launched Beverly Keeps Reading, a citywide challenge to read 5,000 books this spring. All ages can take part using the Beanstack app, which rewards readers with badges and keeps track of the collective goal. Participants will have a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses provided by the Friends of the Beverly Public Library. For details, check beverlypubliclibrary.org/remote.

Explore the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem now features a range of digital content at its website that allows visitors to explore its collection remotely.

Podcasts discuss recent exhibits and museum history, while stories reflect on the value and impact of art. There are also suggestions for crafts and activities for the whole family.

Clicking on the “Explore Art” button at pem.org allows viewers to examine highlights from several periods and categories in the museum’s international collection, while postings of art and objects at facebook.com/peabodyessexmuseum respond to each day at hand.

Be heard in Oral History Project

The Lawrence History Center is collecting stories about coming together in crisis.

“Remote Oral History: Physically Distanced. Socially Connected” highlights the lives of community members in a way that reflects the current reality.

File a two-minute story, a full-length interview via Zoom or submit a written story and photos to the center’s Dropbox account.

For more information, visit lawrencehistorycenter.org.

Going backstage with Stage 284

Stage 284, the theater program at The Community House in Hamilton, is presenting a series on Facebook called “Backstage at 284” that looks at what happens behind the scenes and off the stage in a production.

This features live, 30-minute “Lunch and Learn” sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon with directors, performers, choreographers, lighting designers, sound designers and more.

Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, viewers can dance along with performers or do yoga at 1 p.m. in sessions that last between 20 minutes and one hour.

All of the videos stay online at facebook.com/stage284, so they can be accessed any time. 

Lighten up with Memorial Hall Library

For anyone looking to lighten the mood, Memorial Hall Library in Andover is offering links through its website to comic strips, comedies on film and TV, collections of jokes, laughter yoga, and strange stories on NPR.

In addition, the library has contact information for online Dungeons & Dragons games being held for ages 6 through 12, virtual dementia dialogues for caregivers and people with dementia, virtual book chats, and much more. Access varies, with some programs available just to Memorial Hall Library cardholders, others to cardholders from any library in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. Visit mhl.org.

Also, all Massachusetts residents have access to Boston Public Library resources with an e-card available at bpl.org

If you have an event to add to this roundup, please email the details to Sonya Vartabedian, managing editor of features, at svartabedian@northofboston.com

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