Going On Now : Outside The Box Boston

Boston Outside the BoxThere are still four great days left of Outside the Box Boston, July 13-21, which is the first annual performing arts festival turning the Boston Common, City Hall Plaza and other public spaces into performance spaces. More than 200 events and performances are going on from the best of Boston and Massachusetts. It’s no wonder that Boston would make the almost revolutionary act of making the entire festival free to the public. Making the festival free ensures that truly everyone can participate in this celebration. Events include a wide range of music, theater, spectacle art, dance, culinary, and family and interactive. As a festival the purpose of Outside the Box is to unify the community and give everyone access to the arts. The other goals of the festival are to excite and inspire audiences, and introduce new artists.

The founder of the festival is philanthropist Ted Cutler who has had a lifelong dream to give a citywide arts festival to Boston. He retired from the profit business world and started working with non-profits in 1995. In 2007 he had an idea that was the beginnings of Outside The Box. Economic troubles in 2008 meant putting the project on hold but it was not forgotten. In 2011 work on the festival began again in earnest. Ted Cutler hopes that along with history and schools, art is what people will think of when they think of Boston. He wants the festival to make Boston to be a leader in the arts and supporting artists and, as he has said, he wants there to be dancing in the streets.

The dance programming spans the range of Nazar Interactive Bollywood, Prometheus Dance, Sayat Nova Dance Company, Boston Ballet School, Angkor Dance Troupe Inc., Paula Josa-Jones, and others.

Boston Outside the Box

Picture courtesy of Strange Fruit

Theater events will span the breadth of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Science Fiction Theater Company, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Vaquero Playground, and Touch Performance Art: GAGA: The Musical.

Family and interactive events include the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars Program, the Museum of Fine Arts’ Artful Adventures, Knucklebones active play, Mystic Paper Beasts dance and humor pieces, puppet shows, and many more activities.

Music is the most expansive category of events with big names like The Mighty Mighty BossTones to independent band, to the symphony.

Here are some of the great many music acts involved in the festival:

Mighty Mighty BossTones | Alejandro Escovedo | Adam Ezra 
Art Decade | Augustana | Bearstronaut | The Blind Boys of Alabama  
Dave Koz  | The David Wax Museum | James Montgomery | Joe Robinson 
Los Lobos | The Dunwells  | The Lemonheads | Los Lonely Boys 
Ricky Skaggs | Taj Mahal Trio | Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra | Tallahassee | The Brew

For the full schedule click here

The Fork Lift Food Festival is in conjunction with the Outside the Box Festival. The Fork Lift Food fest will be four days, July 18-21 11 a.m. to 9p.m. except on Sunday when it will run 11a.m. to 5p.m. There will be cooking demos, book signings, and sampling. The famous chefs gracing the festival will include Ming Tsai, Michael Schlow, Andy Husbands, Kevin Long, Gordon Hamersley, Jeremy Sewall, Jody Adams, Lydia Shire, RogerBerkowitz, Steve Difillippo, and Todd English.

Tasting tickets will be $1 dollar each.

Article by Kate McCrory

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