By Sebastian Smee
Visit the Hall Art Foundation, a new museum in pastoral Reading, Vermont, for a survey of works by the Danish-Icelandic artist, who puts air quotes around nature even as he makes you wonder at it afresh. Includes works on paper, optical devices, sculptures, photos, and a major new outdoor installation, Waterfall, constructed with scaffolding and pumps.
> May 3-November 30
“Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take”
This survey at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art looks at the 25-year career of the New York-based installation artist, who has said that when he started out he wanted to sit between Yoko Ono and Richard Tuttle on the bus of art history. Hodges makes poetic, fragile works in a variety of media, from colored cloth to pencil, gold leaf and ink. It’s conceptual art with a human face.
> June 4-September 1
A Grand Opening
A long-term, multiphase renovation and building project at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown culminates July 4 with a full-scale relaunch. The Clark’s great, Impressionist-heavy collection will be back on display after a world tour. A new building designed by Tadao Ando will complement a vastly improved campus, with everything from new dining options to longer walking trails.
> 413-458-2303; clarkart.edu
“The Unknown Hopper”
The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge presents a comprehensive survey of the great American realist Edward Hopper’s little-known 20-year career as a producer of cover and story illustrations for periodicals such as Country Gentleman, Scribner’s Magazine, and Hotel Management. Hopper followed the example of painter mentors such as Robert Henri, who also dabbled in commercial work.
> June 7-October 26
“Turner & the Sea”
J.M.W. Turner’s vision of the sea as a stage fit for stirring drama gets extended treatment in this show organized by the National Maritime Museum in London. And what a stage! Streaming skies, indigo cloud banks suffused with orange light, and luminous fog drifts — the great painter gives us the full treatment in what promises to be a memorable show at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum.
>May 31-September 1
By Sarah Rodman
In just its second year, this biannual festival has become a must-attend event for lovers of all things contemporary pop and indie rock. The spring lineup at City Hall Plaza includes well-known names like The Decemberists and Jack Johnson, as well as newer artists such as Bastille and Kurt Vile.
> May 23-25
Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves, and Guests
Three generations of undeniably great country music makers — rising star Musgraves, bluegrass-roots virtuosos Krauss and Union Station, and bona fide legend Nelson — gather at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on June 17 for what should be one serious hootenanny.
> 800-745-3000; livenation.com
Green River Festival
Head west for this annual festival held on the grounds of Greenfield Community College. The list of artists includes New Orleans funkateer Trombone Shorty, infectious indie popsters Lucius, and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band. > July 12-13
Newport Folk Festival
The Folk Festival, like its jazz sibling in August, always offers an embarrassment of riches. The folk fest, held at Fort Adams State Park, boasts a lineup that includes soul great Mavis Staples, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and newly reunited Nickel Creek.
> July 25-27
Boston Summer Arts Weekend
For the third year in a row the Globe, WGBH, and Citizens Bank are hosting a free fiesta in Copley Square. The diverse slate of performers announced thus far includes legendary jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, rockers Los Lobos, flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, and classical music from the Handel and Haydn Society.
> July 26-27
By Don Aucoin
The Granite State
The Peterborough Players in New Hampshire stage the world premiere of a comedy by Charles Morey about a reclusive novelist who wins a lucrative literary prize and is promptly beset by ex-wives and other complications.
> July 23-August 3
Host-pianist Seth Rudetsky has proven adept at coaxing backstage stories out of big-name guests, between songs, in his “Broadway @ the Art House’’ series. Here’s hoping that at the Art House in Provincetown he can get Martin to reveal the secret of how, in her mid-60s, she was able to belt out “No Time at All’’ in Pippin while swinging on a trapeze.
> June 28-29
I am a Camera
A production of a seldom-seen early-1950s drama (later musicalized as Cabaret) is being presented as a tribute to the late Julie Harris by the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, which named its stage after her. Harris won the first of her six Tonys for her Broadway portrayal of the avid young nightclub singer Sally Bowles.
> June 26-July 19
Song-and-dance legend Chita Rivera stars in a Williamstown Theatre Festival production of the John Kander-Fred Ebb-Terrence McNally musical about a wealthy woman who returns to her downtrodden hometown with an offer of financial salvation. But there’s a condition that has dire implications for her ex-lover, played by Roger Rees.
> July 31-August 17
Astro Boy and the God of Comics
Animation, video, puppetry, and rapid-fire sketching will combine for the New England premiere of Natsu Onoda Power’s romp through the life of Osamu Tezuka, the Japanese creator of Astro Boy, a winsome robot who battled the forces of evil. It’s by Company One Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts.
> July 18-August 16
By Kate Tuttle
Summer Book Sale
Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut, hosts the 54th annual mother of all library sales, featuring 140,000 books, along with records and CDs, DVDs, and a variety of refreshments. The sale begins at 9 a.m. July 25 and continues until 2 p.m. July 29, with prices falling each day ($5 per bag of books the final day!).
> 203-259-0346; pequotlibrary.org
Come for three days of peace and reading in the Green Mountain State’s idyllic Woodstock Village. The Bookstock Literary Festival, running July 25 through 27, features free readings and panels and a giant book sale. There will be food, music, and kids’ activities as well.
Nantucket Book Festival
Join local fave Elin Hilderbrand, novelists Ben Fountain and Alice Hoffman, and dozens of other writers for this lively festival between June 20 and 22. Events of note include Saturday’s convivial “Authors in Bars” drop-in meet-ups (drinks are on you) and a ticketed Sunday brunch with mega best-selling author Jodi Picoult.
> 508-919-6230; nantucketbookfestival.org
On May 24, author and illustrator Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillarand many other children’s classics, will be signing books at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst.
> 413-658-1100; carlemuseum.org
Harvard University’s 22d ARTS FIRST Festival, a four-day celebration of student creativity, begins with a literary bang. Versatile, outspoken Canadian author Margaret Atwood will receive the Harvard Arts Medal — an honor previously bestowed upon masters such as John Updike and Yo-Yo Ma — in a ceremony at 4 p.m. on May 1 in Sanders Theatre. Admission is free but tickets are required.
> 617-496-2222; boxoffice.harvard.edu
By Jeremy Eichler
Rockport Chamber Music Festival
Every June, the classical momentum shifts to Cape Ann for this festival, which convenes concerts in the Shalin Liu Performance Center overlooking Sandy Bay. This summer’s program is particularly robust in the string quartet department, with the Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet bringing a meaty Shostakovich-and-Schubert opening-night program on June 6, followed in later weeks by the Shanghai and the Calder quartets among many others.
> Through July 13
Acis and Galatea
The celebrated choreographer and director Mark Morris has now set his sights on Handel’s great pastoral opera, in its 1788 arrangement by Mozart. This new production arrives at Boston’s Shubert Theatre with Nicholas McGegan conducting the Handel and Haydn Society, and Thomas Cooley and Sherezade Panthaki taking up the title roles.
> May 15-18
Tanglewood: Koussevitzky Music Shed
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s season opens in the Berkshires July 5 with soprano Renee Fleming in a genre-hopping program. The BSO’s incoming music director Andris Nelsons leads the first of his four concerts on July 11, and Bramwell Tovey conducts a full concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide on August 16.
> 617-266-1200; bso.org
Tanglewood: Ozawa Hall
While the Shed hosts the BSO’s populist fare, Ozawa Hall is home to the other Tanglewood: chamber music, visiting orchestras, and adventurous student concerts. The BSO celebrates the 20th anniversary of the hall with a diverse slate of promising programs, including medieval music, Baroque and modern opera, new music, and lots more.
> July 1-August 24
Complete Bartok String Quartets
Bela Bartok’s iconic set of six string quartets resides at the dark heart of 20th-century chamber music, but these works, with their combustible mixture of Romanticism and folk-inflected Modernism, can test the endurance of any ensemble. In this rare marathon survey, at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, the Borromeo String Quartet traverses the complete cycle in a single evening, starting at 7 on May 14. It’s free.
By Peter Keough
27th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival
Much credit for recent advances in LGBT rights must go to filmmakers such as those showcased in this longstanding, enlightening, and exhilarating festival, which largely takes place at Cinestudio theater on the Trinity College campus in Hartford.
> May 30-June 7
Provincetown International Film Festival
Few artists have enjoyed gazing into the abyss as much as David Cronenberg, this year’s recipient of PIFF’s Filmmaker on the Edge Award. He’s expected to present his new film Maps to the Stars, which would prove a serendipitous counterpart to the must-see The Fault in Our Stars, featuring rising name Shailene Woodley (Divergent).
> June 18-22
The Boston International Children’s Film Festival
Tear the kids away from their iPads and treat them to the best in children’s films at the Museum of Fine Arts, projected, as they should be, on the big screen. Look for France’s cyborg romance Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart,and who could resist a series of shorts titled “Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky, Bizarre”?
> May 9-25
Maine International Film Festival
This festival screens more than 100 films from around the world and features appearances by 50 or so of the filmmakers. One will be receiving the MIFF Mid-Life Achievement Award, which in the past has been presented to greats such as Thelma Schoonmaker and Terrence Malick.
> July 11-20
Rhode Island School of Design Film/Animation/Video Festival
RISD grads range from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to New Yorker-profiled “video-art visionary” Ryan Trecartin. Chances are that someone who will achieve equal stature is among the 47 seniors whose works are featured in this show. Funny, beautiful, transgressive, and profound, these are the images of the future.
> May 13-18
For tickets, e-mail email@example.com.
By Karen Campbell
Bates Dance Festival
This year’s lively installment, at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, will offer performances by Prometheus Dance (July 11-12), Camille A. Brown & Dancers (July 17 and 19), and David Dorfman Dance (July 25-26). Dorfman’s Come, And Back Again features poetry and live indie, punk, and folk rock.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
The company makes its 44th Boston appearance with three Ailey/Duke Ellington programs and two nights featuring the Boston premiere of a new commission by firebrand Aszure Barton, along with Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Bill T. Jones’s luminous D-Man in the Waters (Part I) at Citi Wang Theatre. May 1-4
> 866-348-9738; celebrityseries.org
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
If you can make only one Berkshire visit this summer, make it in the second half of July. You can catch the mini-festival celebrations for the Mark Morris Dance Group (July 23-27) as well as a world premiere show with live music by innovative tap artist Michelle Dorrance and her company (July 16-27).
> 413-243-0745; jacobspillow.org
Le Grand Continental
The Celebrity Series’ 75th anniversary season finale amasses roughly 150 participants for three performances in Boston’s Copley Square of this lively outdoor dance extravaganza created by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard. It’s line dancing on steroids.
> May 16-18.
The company ends its landmark 50th season at the Boston Opera House with two programs that showcase impressive depth and versatility. Pricked (May 8-18) is highlighted by American premieres by Czech choreographer Petr Zuska and Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman. Jewels (May 22-June 1) revisits Balanchine’s extraordinary three-part ballet evoking traditions from Paris, St. Petersburg, and New York.
> 617-695-6955; bostonballet.org
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.