The Harvard Ed Portal arts program brings Harvard art and artists to audiences in Allston-Brighton and beyond, offers youth programming focused on hands-on arts learning, and supports the ability of neighborhood artists and creatives to make a living through technical assistance and capacity-building.
The Ed Portal introduced me to this phenomenal program in the arts and to a wonderful community that has tremendously enriched my retirement life and made me so happy and so positive, energetic and grateful. It's a space for everyone in the community, the young and the retired.
Yun Thwaits, Ed Portal member
Harvard Public Art Tours: Allston
Named after Washington Allston—a visionary painter and 1800 Harvard graduate—the town of Allston features vibrant, eclectic art that reflects the neighborhood's creativity and diversity. On this self-guided tour, you'll discover "can't-miss" public art installations along Western Avenue (and beyond!) and learn the stories behind them and their artists. Download the tour on the Visit Harvard mobile app and follow along to explore hand-painted murals, sky-high sculptures, 25-cent art prints, and more!
The Harvard Ed Portal features work by Harvard and local artists through exhibitions in the Crossings Gallery and public art installations outside of the Ed Portal. Visitors are welcome to enjoy exhibitions whenever the Ed Portal is open.
On view at Crossings Gallery: Postcards from Allston (Through September 9, 2022)
Dive into the the legend of Wampanoag folklore hero, Moshup, in his whale form with artist Andromeda Lisle's public art mural outside the Harvard Ed Portal! Painted with an array of blues and greens in Lisle's colorful style, this mural of Moshup aims to highlight the importance of preserving the cultural significance of animals in the Americas as well as the Indigenous stories that surround them.
Concerts in the Common
Concerts in the Common is back! Produced by the Harvard Ed Portal and Brighton Main Streets, these outdoor family-friendly concerts are held at the Brighton Farmer's Market. This summer's entertainers include local and regional artists playing Children's music, Gypsy Jazz, Celtic, Blues, Rock, Acapella, Indie Folk, African World Music, and more. All concerts take place twice a month on select Wednesdays, June through October.
View more information, directions, and concert schedules below!
My immense gratitude to everyone at the important resource that is the Harvard Ed Portal, who spearheaded my exhibition and then educated me on the grant opportunity with the City of Boston Arts and Culture Opportunity Fund and guided me through the application process.
Nate Dow, Brighton-based artist
Lost in Boston, 2017 Crossings Gallery exhibition
The Ed Portal’s year-round live performance programming features music, dance, and theater by Harvard faculty, students, and other affiliates. At the heart of the Ed Portal’s facility is a multipurpose room that can seat 120 guests. This space plays host to events including both concerts and experiential offerings that invite audiences to become part of the performance and the process of art-making.
Harvard Ed Portal Mixtape
Music is a vital part of the Harvard Ed Portal’s programming, both because of our physical location in Allston Brighton—long-time home to a thriving music scene—and because of the fantastic guest artists teaching, performing, or studying at Harvard. Over the past decade, we’ve enjoyed working with local musicians and visiting artists in a variety of performances and programs from outdoor parks to farmers' market stages, open rehearsals to feature length concerts.
The Harvard Ed Portal, in collaboration with Zone 3's Mixtape Project, has created a playlist that demonstrates the breadth of music that has entertained our audiences. Spanning mariachi to classical, kids to folk, rock to world music, jazz and more, we’ve featured artists from Allston, Brighton, and all over the globe.
The Ed Portal's teaching arts programs provide Allston-Brighton youth access to hands-on arts learning. Delivered in week- and semester-long formats, programs connect students with talented Allston-Brighton and Harvard artists and educators in small-group settings dedicated to fostering creativity and artistic exploration.
Ceramics Community Scholarship
The Harvard Ed Portal and the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard jointly offers a limited amount of scholarships each spring, summer, and fall for a 10-12 week course at the Ceramics Studio. Any Allston-Brighton resident age 18+ is eligible to apply, and no prior ceramics experience is needed. The scholarship covers the cost of registration and materials for one course.
Creative Economy & Working Artists
In addition to presenting events and programs for a broad audience, the Arts Program supports artists, cultural workers, makers, and creatives living and/or working in Allston-Brighton. Through professional development, exhibition and performance opportunities, and connecting people to financial and other resources, we work to support the local creative economy by connecting working artists to the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to thrive in their careers.
The Allston-Brighton Winter Market is a celebration of local creative entrepreneurship. This annual four-day event features vendors of crafts, artisan goods, gifts, and fine art, plus live music, food and drinks for purchase, a beer garden, and special interactive art opportunities. The Market runs concurrently with the Ceramics Program’s Holiday Show Sale for one festive weekend each December.
Ed Portal Membership Benefits
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) provides community cards for Ed Portal members to purchase discounted tickets to season productions throughout the year. Each card allows members to purchase up to four tickets to A.R.T. shows for $20 per ticket. Limit one card per family (four tickets total) per year. Members can pick up community cards at the Ed Portal’s front desk.
The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) annually provides Ed Portal members two free passes, which can be picked up at the Ed Portal's front desk. Explore the Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard Museum of Natural History, or the Peabody Museum of Archaeology!
The Arts team works with partners across the University to bring exhibitions, performances, learning opportunities, and professional development to the Allston-Brighton community and beyond.
The Arts team regularly collaborates with artists and community-based arts organizations on programming that highlights the rich creative resources of the neighborhood and city.
Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture
Boston Public Schools
A Far Cry
Allston Open Studios
American Modern Opera Company
Ballet Russes Arts Initiative
Boston LGBTQIA Artists Alliance
PRX Podcast Garage
Unbound Visual Arts, Inc.
Harvard Business School
David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies
Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Harvard Peabody Museum
Harvard Art Museums
Harvard University Department of Music
Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Office for the Arts at Harvard
American Repertory Theater
The Silkroad & The Silk Road Ensemble
Harvard Student Art Collaborative
Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard