August brings bumper crop of art happenings to Boston


August! The beach, ice cream, Italian Renaissance and French Salon gallery openings!

Just because you are enjoying all that summer offers doesn’t mean you can’t get a little culture. This August arts rundown offers up Chinese street festivities, Italian art, French opera, Hollywood classics and born-in-Boston music and visual art.

Artist and musician Cliff Notez. (Photo courtesy artist)
Artist and musician Cliff Notez. (Photo courtesy artist)

Wiild Wonderland, now through Aug. 12, Assemblage Art Space

Artist and musician Cliff Notez helps bring the Wiild Wonderland art exhibition to Fort Point. This show will take a deep dive into the complexities of blackness through music and art. According to the organizers, “The intersection of museum/gallery culture and Hip-Hop culture is a microcosm paralleling the overwhelming experience within Black-American culture and this show is an opportunity for audiences to be immersed in that with the opportunity for exploration, self-love and self-discovery.” Get hip to the experience by visiting

Summer Soul Celebration, Aug. 4, Regent Theatre, Arlington

Feel some soul down to your toes. The Regent and soul/rock group Sunsrain host a few local legends including James Brown Jr., Tony Wilson, Earthbound Children and Nate Stringfield. There will be food trucks from some of Boston’s best restaurants and proceeds from the show will go to Arlington Eats, the ASPCA, Boston Children’s, Mount Auburn Hospital and Vet Tix. Learn more at

August Moon Festival, Aug. 8, Chinatown

You know the party that is Chinese New Years. Dig a little deeper with what is often regarded as the second biggest celebration on the Chinese calendar. This free festival in Boston’s Chinatown features two stages with live performances, arts and crafts, street vendors, and more. Oh, and it’s about 3,000 years old so if you’re looking for some real classic culture, you found it.

Romeo & Juliet, Aug. 11 & 13, Boston Common

The Boston Lyric Opera and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company present this free, public opera adaptation of Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers. Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna Vanessa Becerra plays Juliet; Ricardo Garcia makes his BLO company debut as Romeo. In fair Verona, we lay our scene, but the opera will be sung in English with subtitles. (For buffs up on the score of operatic adaptations of “Romeo & Juliet,” this one is Charles Gounod’s twist on the tale.) Learn more at

Dietrich and Von Sternberg Weekend, Aug. 12 – 14, Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Remember when stars had mystique? When films had a strange subversive power? German cinema queen Marlene Dietrich, Hollywood director Josef von Sternberg and the Brattle all do. The Harvard Square landmark presents a weekend full of Dietrich and Von Sternberg collaborations that run from Morocco to Shanghai, through forbidden love and spy stories. Learn more at

Bust of Cleopatra, Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi (Italian, about 1460 – 1528), about 1519 – 22, Metal; bronze, with traces of gilding, * William Francis Warden Fund ( Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Italian Renaissance and French Salon Galleries, opening in August, Museum of Fine Arts

The MFA brings the class and the classics in newly renovated galleries. Two spaces highlight the art of Italian Renaissance — one looks at the meaning of antiquity and the role of storytelling during the age, the second examines the overlap of religion and art. The French Salon is the result of an in-depth restoration that began in 2018 and shows off nearly a hundred pieces of French silver. Learn more at


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