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What’s happening in the arts world

A  video still image from “Watching the Leaves Age As I Do the Same” by Gabby Sumney, part of Fountain Street Gallery’s "Trans Experimental."
A video still image from “Watching the Leaves Age As I Do the Same” by Gabby Sumney, part of Fountain Street Gallery’s "Trans Experimental."Gabby Sumney


Rock & Pop

FOLK UNLOCKED Folk Alliance International launches a COVID-relief grant initiative, The Village Fund, with a weeklong festival featuring 80-plus hours of music. Headliners include Los Lobos, Keb’ Mo’, Irish singer Karan Casey, and gospel quartet the McCrary Sisters; local acts on the bill include Mark Erelli, Alisa Amador, Twisted Pine, Izzy Heltai, and Windborne. Feb. 22-26. www.folk.org

ACTIVATING ARTIVISM This online festival was launched as Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets last summer; now in its third iteration, artists from Chicago and Boston team up to benefit the New England Innocence Project and Chicago education nonprofit The Simple Good. Performers include rapper-poet Oompa, R&B singer-songwriter Ava Sophia, indie pop artist Amber Ais, and more. Admission requires donation to one or both spotlighted organizations. Feb. 23-24. www.instagram.com/activating.artivism




CASTLE OF OUR SKINS In this free Celebrity Series at Home event, the Castle of Our Skins String Quartet pairs George Walker’s profound, meditative “Lyric for Strings” with Daniel Bernard Roumain’s String Quartet No. 2, “King,” in memory of the civil rights leader. www.celebrityseries.org




SOLITAIRE SUITE Michael Lin, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, and Marty Mason star in the world premiere of Trent England’s thriller, described as “Twilight Zone meets Zoom.” While traveling through the countryside late at night, a mother, father, and their pre-teen son see a mysterious roadside object, setting in motion an “increasingly eerie and unsettling” sequence of events. The play underscores “the place of the unknown in our lives” and “the dangers of not listening to women,” according to press materials. Directed by Daniel Bourque. Presented online by Hub Theatre Company. To be performed live on Feb. 20, 26, and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. All tickets are “Pay-what-you-can.’' Tickets and information at www.hubtheatreboston.org


TIGER STYLE! An audio version of Mike Lew’s sharply observed comedy about a pair of Chinese-American siblings who travel to China as part of an “Asian Freedom Tour” that they hope will enable them to reinvent themselves and essentially start their so-far-disappointing lives over again. Adapted by Lew and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, the audio version of “Tiger Style!” is produced by the Huntington Theatre Company and presented in partnership with GBH. In my review of the Huntington’s 2016 stage production, I noted that “Tiger Style!” lampoons “the stereotypes that surround Chinese-Americans while also illustrating how weighty those stereotypes can feel when you’re the one laboring beneath them,” and explores “the vexing and infinitely complicated business of wrestling with one’s heritage, both familial and ethnic.” The “Tiger Style!” podcast is presented in four weekly installments and is available at www.huntingtontheatre.org and wgbh.org, as well as on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.



MOTION STATE DANCE FILM SERIES The only yearlong, traveling dance short film festival in New England is staying put for the moment, but releasing a series of films online that showcase the diversity of choreographic creativity for the camera. The organization’s upcoming “Playing Favorites,” presented with the School for Contemporary Dance & Thought, features highlights from the series’ first two years, with films by choreographers from Asia, Europe, and the US. Feb. 21, 2 p.m., with Q&A. Free. Livestreamed at hamparts.org via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. www.motionstatearts.org



Visual Arts

ROBERT FRANK: THE AMERICANS In 1954, a recently-arrived Swiss making his way in New York fashion photography landed a Guggenheim Foundation grant for an ambitious project: to drive to every corner of his adopted homeland, photographing the nation as he saw it. The result was Frank’s “The Americans,” an unvarnished, often bleak view of the country from coast to coast at a time when the prevailing rhetoric of sunny postwar boosterism reigned. Through April 11. Addison Gallery of American Art, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4000, addison.andover.edu


TRANS EXPERIMENTAL Trans film and animation artists use non-commercial techniques (digital glitch work, collaged found footage, and more) that might have parallels in exploring trans identity. The show, organized by the Boston LGBTQIA+ Artist Alliance, spotlights a different artist each week. Through Feb. 20, Gabby Sumney contemplates aging; Feb. 21-27, Gina Kamentsky offers a slapstick self-portrait. Through April 10. Fountain Street Gallery’s Sidewalk Video Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. www.fsfaboston.com




TEACHERS COMEDY NIGHT LIVE Maybe it’s the practice time in front of a captive audience, maybe it’s the fact that they need to blow off steam from dealing with helicopter parents, but there are a lot of teachers in stand-up comedy. This show features some of them, including Boston’s Dan Crohn, and Joe “Mr. D” Dombrowski, Cornell Nichols, and Lisa Roddavis. Hosted by Devin Siebold. Feb. 19, 9 p.m. https://teachercomedy.ticketleap.com


WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY? PRESENTS STREAMWEAVERS “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” veterans Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles, Joel Murray, and Jeff B. Davis perform this online improv and chat show featuring a special guest, Monty Python’s Eric Idle, and an improv team they’ll choose from online applicants. Feb. 20, 8 p.m. $15. www.houseseats.live

PATTON OSWALT The sharp-witted stand-up has kept busy writing graphic novels (“Black Hammer: Visions”), narrating audiobooks (“The Chowderhead Crusades”), and writing a brand-new hour of material for this online special. A portion of the proceeds go to Alice’s Kids, an organization that provides financial assistance to children. Feb. 20, 9 p.m. $20-$75. www.rushtix.com



POMPOM PARTY Looking for the perfect decoration for your child’s bedroom wall? Tower Hill Botanic Garden is hosting a pompom-making event, complete with step-by-step instructions, and a pompom-maker set. Children can turn their pompoms into a garland or wall hanging. This indoor event will have each child working in a socially distanced station and all participants are required to wear a mask. Feb. 20, 1:30 p.m., $25-$30. www.towerhillbg.org

ART & ALES TOUR AT DECORDOVA deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is offering one-hour park tours this winter. Participants can expect a discussion about artists, materials, and the history of deCordova. Each ticket also comes with one drink (beer for adults, soda for kids), meal, and park admission. All participants must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Feb. 21, 2 p.m., $40. https://thetrustees.org/event/59510/