June to bring an abundance of art and music events to Newton

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer in New England, and Newton has a way of packing the early summer season with art, cultural events and enough music to compose a greatest hits series.

As the school year winds down and families start planning their summer fun, Newton’s cultural community offers an array of art and music events to add color and harmony to Gemini season.

Here are just a few of the fun and uplifting cultural experiences you’ll find in Newton next month:

On Saturday, June 1, Newton will start the month off with Porchfest, a citywide interactive musical experience in which free music is performed outside people’s homes.

You can check out the complete map here.


Also On Saturday, June 1, the Newton Theatre Company will present “We’re Gonna Die,” a musical play with some stand-up comedy that mixes music and storytelling to explore life’s big questions.

The play, written by Young Jean Lee, follows Yorick, played by Paige Perkinson, as he sings cheerfully about his struggles to remind us that we’re not alone even when life gets difficult.


On Sunday, June 2, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and Fire Chief Greg Gentile will host a Pancake Breakfast as part of the city’s yearlong 150th Anniversary celebration, from 10 a.m. to noon at Newton Fire Department Headquarters, 1164 Centre St., Newton Centre.

In addition to enjoying some pancakes, kids can climb a fire truck and have selfies taken with Paw Patrol characters.

Also on June 2, Green Newton will host a Sustainable Streets walking tour from 1 to 4 p.m. The tour will begin on Montclair Road across the street from Lincoln Field. Neighbors in the area will share information about their heat pumps. solar panels, electric vehicle chargers and more.


On Wednesday, June 5, from 6 to 10 p.m., the New Art Center will host “Queer Open Studios” featuring local queer community artists and makers, crafts and live entertainment.

Admission is free, and vendors are welcome to sign up.

Rainbow watercolor painting. Google Commons Photo


From June 6 through June 8, the Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Committee will host “Powwow and the People who Bring it to Life,” an exhibit of photography from Scott Strong, Hawk Foster and Rob Adelman showcasing powwows from across America.

The exhibit will be at the New Art Center at TRIO, 245 Walnut St., Newtonville.

Viewing times are Thursday, June 6, from 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday, June 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A reception with the photographers will follow the Saturday viewing.


On Saturday, June 8, Newton Cultural Alliance will host their 10th annual Strawberry Festival from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Allen Center.

Hosted by GBH’s Jim Braude, the evening will feature performances by vocalist Donna McElroy, pianist Maxim Lubarsky and cellist Allison Eldredge as well as a photography exhibit by Lou Jones titled “panAfrica.”

There will also be a light dinner, drinks and a Raise the Paddle fundraiser to support the Allen Center. This year the honoree will be the incredible Susan Paley, Senior vice president for Community Relations at The Village Bank and long-time NCA board member.


On Sunday, June 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Newton Cultural Development will present “Strummin’ Up to Boston,” a festival of ukulele groups passionate about the ukulele, at Newton City Hall.

The event will feature performances by eight ukulele ensembles as well as food trucks, vendor booths and door prizes.

Performers include: A&W Ukulele Players; Betty Machete and the Jumping Fleas; City Hall Strummers; Danno Sullivan with Erin Ash Sullivan; Somerville Ukulele Group; String Jam; Ukulele Magic; and the Unlikely Strummers.

“Strummin’ Up to Boston” will feature performances by several ukulele groups. Google Commons Photo

On Monday, June 10, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., West Newton Cinema will host the Belmont World Film for World Refugee Awareness Month in showing the French film, “Striking the Palace.”

The film is based on a true story about a group of immigrant chambermaids at a Paris luxury hotel who go on strike and organize their own fashion show for Fashion Week.


On Saturday, June 16, the Highland Glee Club will present “Love-In: Make Love, Not War,” a concert of counterculture music from the 1960s and 1970s featuring men’s harmony vocals and a full live band.

Admission is free, and donations are welcome.


On Wednesday, June 19, Cherry Street Music will present a concert, “Forever Free,” at two times, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Allen Center.

Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when the last slaves in America, who were in Texas, were told slavery had ended. The date is seen as the end of slavery in America.

“Forever Free” will include live performances by vocalist Donna McElroy and Cherry Street Music Artistic Director Allison Eldredge accompanied by a live rhythm section. Music will include traditional spirituals as well as songs by Stevie Wonder and Duke Ellington. And there will be a photography exhibit on display by Lou Jones titled “panAFRICA project.”


On Thursday, June 20, Cherry Street Music will present a performance of the Black Feathers from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Allen Center. The Black Feathers is a duo, Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, specializing in a blend of Americana, folk music and acoustic indie rock.

The couple formed the band in 2012 and have built a large following in the United Kingdom and are now bringing their music around America.

The Black Feathers will perform at the Allen Center in June. Courtesy Photo