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Culture in Concord

Concord Center gets a Cultural District designation; check out the different cultural opportunities there.

Culture in Concord

Good morning, all, and welcome to a brand-new week! Did you have a good weekend, do anything fun? I spent a chunk of my weekend in hockey rinks – yes, believe it or not, the uber-long season of kid hockey has begun, with skates needing sharpening weekly from now until, oh, April. With any luck, you did something a little more cultural.

Speaking of culture, did you know that Concord Center has been added to the list of sites designated as Cultural Districts by the Massachusetts Cultural Council? We got the designation a few weeks ago, thanks to the efforts of Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Stillman, as well as supporting letters written by local cultural concerns near the center of town.

Here’s how it came about: Back in April, our state legislature authorized an act to recognize a “specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets.” The deal was that this area needed to be easily identifiable as a center of cultural, artistic and economic activity, and it needed to be compact and walkable. The purpose: to give towns another way to promote themselves to visitors and residents, and maybe even to attract additional cultural organizations to take up residence. Our Cultural District encompasses our museums ( Orchard House, the Concord Museum) performance spaces ( 51 Walden), artist studios ( Emerson Umbrella), even our illustrious library, with its offering of author and poetry readings, movies, etc.

This designation gives our town one more way to let people know we’re much more than the place where the American Revolution began. Not that that’s not impressive, too.

Given all this talk about culture, I thought I would mention a few cool cultural things going on in our “new” district.

Listening live

As much as I love my iPod, there’s nothing quite like listening to music live, right in front of you. And here in Concord, there are several places where you can do just that on a fairly regular basis. Over at the Colonial Inn, in the Valley Forge Tavern, you can catch local bands while noshing on pub food and quaffing ale in a room old enough to have hosted George Washington. There’s no cover charge, and the music happens Wednesday through Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Around the corner at Main Streets Café, you can hear blues, folk, pop, and rock on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 11 p.m, Thursdays from 8 to 11 p.m, and Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 to 11 p.m. They serve full dinners, so you can eat before the show. And if you have a hankering to belt out a few tunes yourself, they’ve got open mic on Tuesday nights starting at 7:30 p.m.

If you’re willing to travel a little further, Serafina Ristorante over on Sudbury Road offers cool contemporary music and jazz, with local musicians, to accompany your fine dining Wednesday through Saturday. And if it’s al fresco music you’re after, the Old Manse on Monument Street is offering music under the tent from 2 to 4 pm on the next two Sundays, Sept. 16 and 23. It’s free, though it might be postponed if the weather is really ugly.

Artsy Stuff

I tend to forget that there are art galleries right on Main Street, what with all the shopping and eating I need to do there. Albright Art Gallery is at 32 Main Street, downstairs, which is why you might miss them. They’re having an Artist Reception on Thursday, September 13 from 6 to 8 pm; stop over and check it out.

Free exhibit

Listen, I’ve mentioned several times that the Concord Museum is hosting the Annie Leibovitz photo exhibit, and that it’s only here through September 23. If you haven’t made it over there yet, or even if you have, you can see it for FREE when they host their free museum day on Saturday, September 15. You can visit the exhibit, then hop over to the Emerson House and Orchard House, to see her photo subjects in person. Bring a picnic, because the Museum will also have music on the lawn at 2:00 by The Colonial Brass, the brass ensemble of the Air Force Band of Liberty. While the museum exhibit is free only to Concord residents, the music is free for all.


Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at stefanieac@comcast.net and I will be happy to help you spread the good news. And follow me on Twitter: @stefanie3131.

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