The 1980s brought us Reaganomics, the AIDS/HIV crisis, feminism, and a change in the art world. The role of artists and the rise of globalism are explored at “This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s,” an exhibit of more than 100 works by 90 artists. The show is divided into four sections: “The End Is Near,” “Democracy,” “Gender Trouble,” and “Desire and Longing.” Pictured (from left): Dotty Attie’s “An Eminent Painter,” Jeff Koons’s “Rabbit,” Lari Pittman’s “The Veneer of Order.”
Wednesday hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (through March 3). $15, $13 seniors, $10 students, free under 18. Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 617-478-3100. www.icaboston.org
Kneedling When you abandon your new year’s resolution to work out and lose weight, get in touch with your creative side at “Take for $10.” Wednesday’s “Learn to Knit” covers the basics, and if you’re hooked, try other one-hour classes including Salsa for Couples (Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; registration required) and Winter Cheese and Wine (Jan. 3 at 6 and 7:30 p.m.). 6 p.m. $10. Boston Center For Adult Education, 122 Arlington St., Boston. 617-267-4430. www.bcae.org
Around the world in 15-20 minutes Architect Chester Lindsay Churchill’s 1935 painted-glass, three-dimensional globe has never been updated, so you get a geographical snapshot of the world when you walk the 30-foot glass bridge along the Mapparium
. The exhibit “The Mapparium: An Inside View” features letters, documents, and artifacts about the construction and history.
Tours start at 10:20 a.m. (last tour at 4 p.m.). $6, $4 seniors, students, and ages 6-17. The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-450-7000. www.marybakereddylibrary.org
McCann can Three-part harmonies, acoustic guitars, and keyboard ease you into the new year in a folk-rock way when the Brothers McCann take the stage. The band has been described as a “toe tappin’, finger snappin’ good time.” 8 p.m. $12. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679. www.passim.org
Sweet jam The first Wednesday of the month is jam time, and after music by the Alexei Tsiganov Trio, it’s your turn to play with the Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble house band. Follow instructions from the Ryles folks and “bring your instruments, your charts, your students and your friends” to World Wednesday’s Latin Brazilian Jazz Jam. 9 p.m. $7 ($5 and one-drink minimum for performing musicians). Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St., Cambridge. 617-876-9330. www.rylesjazz.com
Captivating Denis Côté’s film starts with a bunch of art students trying to sketch an animal and moves into an exploration of the relationship between man and beast. In “Bestiaire,” you’ll enter the world of scurrying zebras and a lion attacking its cage doors.
Jan. 3 at 3:45 p.m. (through Jan. 9). $11, $8 (weekday matinees until 5 p.m.); $9 students and seniors ($7 weekday matinees until 5 p.m.). Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 800-440-6975. www.mfa.org/film
A group effort Melissa Kassel improvises new versions of old standards
. Standards, blues, improvisation, and original songs will be performed by the Melissa Kassel & Tom Zicarelli Group with trumpeter Phil Grenadier, bassist Sean Farias, and drummer Austin McMahon. Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. $12 cover. The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Sq., Cambridge. 617-395-1393. www.lily-pad.net