EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 23, 2013

EDITOR'S PICKS: Highlights of entertainment and recreation as chosen by Editor Tracey Dee Rauh

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Whittier Birthplace offers free admission for special events

Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill is participating in both the regional 17th Century Saturdays and national Blue Star Museums programs beginning in June. Both offer free admission opportunities.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 1, visitors get in free for the launch of 17th Century Saturdays, part of the Escapes North cultural tourism initiative led by the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In addition, Whittier Birthplace offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Saturday, June 1, through Labor Day. The military program is part of Blue Star Museums, in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.

“It is the mission of Whittier Birthplace to raise awareness of the life and important work of John Greenleaf Whittier. While he was a popular and successful poet during his lifetime, his legacy is as a stalwart supporter of equal rights. He fought slavery and advocated for women’s voting rights, placing his life at risk championing these causes on the national stage,” said Tim Coco, president of the trustees of the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead.

Thomas Whittier built the home in 1688 during America’s First Period of European settlement (1625-1725). Now 325 years old, the Birthplace is one of only 14 sites throughout Essex County open during 17th Century Saturdays.

Whittier Birthplace is one of more than 1,800 museums across the country to offer free admission to military service members and their families. Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston also is participating in the Blue Star Families program, offering free museum admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 27, through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

The complete list of participating venues is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Blue Man Group performs to benefit Marathon bombing fund

Blue Man Group and Broadway In Boston will do a special performance at 7:30 p.m., Monday, June 10, at The Charles Playhouse, from which 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to The One Fund Boston. The fund was established by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to benefit those most affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15.

“For Blue Man Group, every performance is about unifying people through an uplifting shared experience. Blue Man Group is proud to be offering this special performance in honor of those most deeply affected and in support of our beautiful city that we all love,” says Jonathan Screnci, resident general manager of Blue Man Group in Boston.

Special ticket prices have been established for the benefit performance: $55 for full view seats and $35 for slightly obstructed seats. Tickets can be purchased by calling 800.BlueMan, visiting www.blueman.com, or in person at the Charles Playhouse Box Office located at 74 Warrenton St., Boston. Visit www.blueman.com/boston for more information. Visit www.onefundboston.org for more information on the One Fund Boston

Textile artists in new Loading Dock exhibit

The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios presents an exhibition of works by two unique textile artists, Ann Lee and Elaine Perra Renault, in a show entitled “Rhythm & Rhyme Pattern and Texture.”

The exhibit runs May 29 to June 30, with an Artist Reception from 5 to 7 p.m., June 1, at the gallery located at 122 Western Ave., Lowell.

According to the artists, “Rhythm & Rhyme” is a metaphor both for the journey and the destination. In terms of process, there is a rhythm in the ebb and flow of the work, a steady push as one completes a section or idea, backing off to think about where to go next, then another push.

To prepare for this show, Lee has bee creating Japanese Hippari-styled jackets and “free lace” scarves. Her primary inspiration is her impressive fabric collection.

Perra Renault’s canvases are primarily unprimed cotton quilt textiles that feature pre-stitched geometric shapes and abstract op art imagery. The geometric stitched shapes create grids upon which she paints other geometric and organic mosaic and pointillism-like paint layers. When the painting is completed, the canvas is stretched and framed.

Beginning June 1, The Loading Dock Gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.

Phillips Academy Jazz Band and The Steve Hunt Trio

The Phillips Academy Music Department presents the Academy Jazz Band along with 2012-13 Chapin Guest Artist The Steve Hunt Trio on Sunday, May 26, at 2 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public in the Cochran Chapel on the Phillips Academy campus, 180 Main St., Andover.

Hunt, a world-renowned jazz pianist, composer and jazz educator, will perform with his trio. Hunt’s touring and recording credits include jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, guitarist Allan Holdsworth and Stanley Clarke just to name a few.

For further information, contact the Music Department at 978-749-4260 or e-mail to music@andover.edu.