Boston Homes
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BACK BAY/MIDTOWN (2)

Community development

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a free talk, “The Dream is the Process: Environmental Racism and Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980” from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9. Michael Brennan of the University of Maine will discuss Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities. To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense. To RSVP, e-mail seminars@masshist.org or call 617- 646-0579.

Brighton and Allston

Author Anthony Sammarco will be the guest speaker at a free talk “Brighton and Allston Through Time” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St. Sammarco will explore Brighton and Allston, a neighborhood of the city of Boston which was once known as Little Cambridge before it became an independent town from Cambridge in 1807. Over the century that followed, the neighborhood saw new places of worship, public and parochial schools, and housing ranging from one-family and two-family houses to triple deckers and the large-scale building of apartment buildings. Today with a population of 75,000 people, Brighton and Allston has a rich and ever evolving history, with demographics that are constantly in flux. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over 70 books on the history and development of Boston. His books “Lost Boston,” “The History of Howard Johnson’s: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon,” “Christmas Traditions in Boston” and “The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History” have been bestsellers. Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Cabaret at the library

Boston Conservatory at Berklee will presents the “Conservatory Cabaret” from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St. A group of 11 musical theater students will present a 45-minute performance packed with show tunes and jazz and pop standards. Come see tomorrow’s Broadway stars today. For more information, visit www.bpl.org or call 617-536-5400.

Theater play

 The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., will present the theater play “A Prince in Sky-Blue Uniform” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 12. The play, written by Jean-Claude Redonnet, pays tribute to Massachusetts-born war hero Norman Prince, portrayed by David Bliss. Norman is one of the many Americans who fought and perished for the freedom of France and the world during World War I. In 1915, Harvard Law School graduate Prince sailed to France and persuaded the French to allow the founding of the American Escadrille (squadron.) He was involved in 122 aerial combat engagements and was awarded the French Legion of Honor, Médaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre. He was severely injured and died on October 15, 1916. The 40-minute play will be introduced by Redonnet. A complimentary wine reception will follow the performance. Tickets are $16 for members and $26 for non-members and must be purchased in advance. For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20. The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner. For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit www.emmanuelmusic.org.

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS. The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS. Further information can be found at www.masshist.org or by calling 617-646- 0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week. Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim. Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at www.bpl.org/central/tours.htm. For tours by appointment, call 617-536- 5400.