Offerings on ArtWeekBoston menu: Cultural, culinary delights, Dot style

ArtWeek Boston (Sept. 26 – Oct. 5) is upon us once again.

Dorchester/Mattapan instrumentalists will be performing in a citywide showcase and two Dot-based cultural organizations will be pairing off with two of Dorchester’s finer eateries to welcome everyone in greater Boston to sample the cultural and culinary delights of our neck of the woods.

The twice-yearly ArtWeek is presented by Highland Street Foundation, produced by Citi Performing Arts Center, and supported by ArtPlace America. Last fall’s initiative involved more than 60 organizations and partnerships that spanned 11 neighborhoods. This fall the ante has been upped to 130 organizations spreading art in 27 communities.

ArtWeek again will bring a full array of artistic and creative experiences designed to involve, invigorate, and ignite imaginations and interaction with audiences. Events will be offered for all audiences, including families, sleek sophisticates, young professionals, and cognoscenti, featuring global cultural experiences from free to $50.  More than half of the events are free, and many of the paid events are very affordably priced at $5 – $20.

ArtWeek Boston incorporates some longer-running autumn traditions like the 14th edition of the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival (BBJF). Billed as “Boston’s biggest block party,” this free outdoor event takes place this Saturday (Sept. 27) from noon to 6 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between Mass. Ave. and Burke Street. BBJF attendance swells to as many as 70,000 enjoying jazz, Latin, blues, and groove acts music on three stages, great eats, and general party atmosphere stretching six blocks in the South End.

Local residents in the Berklee City Music Big Band Ensemble performing at high noon include one from Dorchester (Desmond Hankins) and three from Mattapan (Ashley Villard, Mykhel Scott, and Christoff Glaude). Glaude, a student at Boston Arts Academy and bassist at Wally’s Café, was the 2014 winner of the Natixis Scholarship Award.

Meanwhile, closer to home, fine music and fine dining are on the menu:
• “Tapas and Toe Tapping” will feature students from Conservatory Lab Charter School playing a musical medley, covering a wide range of rhythms and melodies. At the Conservatory Lab every student receives approximately three hours of musical training a day along with a rigorous academic curriculum. The school has recently moved its second through eighth grades to 2120 Dot Ave., just doors away from the new Lower Mills hotspot ester at 2261 Dot Ave. The concert will take place in the large, relaxing outdoor patio at ester. (Sept. 28, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; $15)

• “Unexpected Cabaret” spotlights the professional actors from Fiddlehead Theatre Company who next month will debut in the Elton John/ Tim Rice version of “Aida” at the Strand teamed with talented student and amateur singers.
• The free show and after-party at the Strand ignite with Performer/Firefighter/Dorchester resident Dwaine Devonish-Daye rocking with his father, who is also a fireman.
• Performer Ta’Nika Gibson [Fiddlehead “Aida” Star] and Boston Public School teacher Jason Jordan will sing and dance together
• Performers Gene Dante [Fiddlehead “Aida” Star] and Shana Derik will perform the song “Bosom Buddies” from Mame
• Performers Sarah Flanagan, Becky Bass, Terrell Foster-James, and Boston Public School teacher Deejay Robinson will perform a musical theatre quartet
• An audience sing-along includes “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” with steel drum accompaniment and Boston favorite “Sweet Caroline”
• Dessert reception provided by Chef Chris Douglas of Dorchester’s Tavolo and Ashmont Grill.

The full schedule of Fall ArtWeek offerings is available at