This is gonna be a hell of a weekend.
And if Somerville Open Studios were the only thing happening, that would still be true. This is a city of artists: every switch-box is painted; every coffee shop wall is hung with prints and photographs; even the trees and telephone poles have knit cuffs. So it’s no wonder that SOS has a way of dominating whichever weekend it finds itself in. But, per usual, there is still plenty of other stuff happening as well. From dance to donuts, from composting and coffee to chocolate and beer, the next three days have something for Somervillians of all stripes.
Union Square Donuts Grand Opening! 8 a.m. Free. Union Square Donuts, 16 Bow St. After a brief and tantalizing tenure at Kitchen Inc. (201 Somerville Ave.) – the shared-use culinary space across from Target in (natch) Union Square where it opened pop-up-style on Valentine’s Day – Union Square Donuts is swinging once more into motion on Friday at 8 a.m., this time for good. Its new location at 16 Bow St. is already home to Cafe Tango. But fear not, all you local lovers of Argentine fare: although a mild-mannered donut shop by day, the space will still metamorphose into wild and crime-fighting Cafe Tango each nightfall.
Close the Loop! A Composting and Coffee Workshop Noon – 1:30 p.m. Free Counter Culture Coffee Boston Training Center, 374 Somerville Avenue. Not for nothing does coffee look like dirt – dirt is where it came from and, as you will learn in this workshop with JP’s Bootstrap Compost, dirt is where it ought to return. That’s the loop that all too often goes unclosed. The program will open with presentations from Counter Culture Boston‘s Jake Robinson and Bootstrap’s Everett Smith, and then go hands-on as participants plant nitrogen fixing seeds into coffee bags.
Third Life Choreographer Series 8 p.m. $15 early / $20 at door. Third Life Studio, 33 Union Sq. The brainchild of veteran dancer Kelley Donovan, the Choreographer Series at Third Life Studio is the only regular happening of its kind in the Boston area: a monthly evening in which choreographers from all across the city come together to meet each other and display their work. Featuring such diverse talents as the Billy & Bobby McLain (aka the Wondertwins), classical Indian dancer Aparna Keshaviah and brazen modern-dance oddball Christina Belinsky, along with Donovan herself, this month’s showcase has something for everyone, and should be a blast even for newcomers to the dance world.
Somerville Open Studios! Noon – 6 p.m. Free. Citywide. It’s that magical weekend again, the one where every one of Somerville’s 109 art-places throws open its doors and beckons you in. And it’s all free, even the trolley that will give you a lift from station to station when your legs inevitably give way from SO MUCH ART.
Pretty Things Springtime Partytime! Noon – 6 p.m. Free. Fringe Union, 9 Olive Sq. Somerville’s own Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, a towering figure in the local craft-brewing scene, will be opening their doors to the public for a joyful celebration of spring. With refreshments courtesy of Pretty Things, Union Square Donuts and Fiore de Nonno Handmade Cheeses, along with art on display, tunes from the legendary DJ John Funke, tours of the mysterious Fringe Union and an old-school photobooth, the Pretty Things open house promises to be a real barnburner.
Taza Cinco de Mayo Block Party 1 p.m. Free. Taza Chocolate Factory Store, 561 Windsor St. Between studio stops, take a moment to check out scene at the Taza Chocolate Factory. Chef Erwin Ramos of Inman Square’s Ole Mexican Grill will cook noshes, Brooklyn Brewery and Spindrift soda will offer free samples, and El Buho Mezcal will team up with NY’s RIPE Juice Bar to make some killer margaritas. Sara Skolnick (aka DJ Riobambas) will provide Mexican jams. And two local taco trucks, The Happy Taco and The Taco Truck, will duel. Try not to get overwhelmed.
Dan Blakeslee 8 p.m. Donation. The Burren, 247 Elm St. Right now, Maine-born and Somerville-based artist Dan Blakeslee is probably best known as the creator of the “Hearts for Boston” image, which emerged as an iconic emblem of unity and hope in the wake of the Marathon attacks. And we at Scout Mags like to think he is second-best known as the guy on the cover of the March/April issue of Scout Somerville, although that might be wishful thinking. But did you know that this prodigious fellow is also a musician? Well now you do. Round out your weekend with a night of Blakeslee’s slow-burning folk-rock ballads at the Burren.