Dancers Performing Live (200)

Performing Arts

The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events presents its own events and also provides technical assistance to many events citywide. The office also administers The Strand Theatre in Dorchester and programs events for the building. Popular annual productions produced by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events include:


The Strand Theatre

A 1,400 seat house in Dorchester, the Strand hosts a wide variety of entertainment from Gospel to Shakespeare.
Learn More about the Strand Theatre »

July & August

Arts on the Arcade

Running every Friday, July 12th - August 30th, 2013 from 12- 7pm. A free lunchtime performance program runs from 12 - 2pm. Arts on the Arcade has a new location and will take place on the plaza between City Hall and Faneuil Hall.


One of New England's most popular Gospel celebrations, this free gospel showcase features local and national talent.  Past performers include Dottie Peoples, Kirk Franklin and Karen Clark Sheard. Gospelfest is in its 13th year and will be returning to City Hall Plaza Sunday, August 4th, 2013 from 5pm-8pm. The 2013 headliner is Fred Hammond.
Gospelfest 2013 Flyer

Caliente: A Celebration of Latin Music

This free event celebrates the Latin arts in Boston. The 2013 concert will be Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 7-9pm at City Hall Plaza. The 2013 headliner is Jerry Rivera.   

Past headliners include Willie Colon (2012), Milly Quezada (2011),  and Jerry Rivera (2010).
Watch Milly Quezada's 2011 Performance »

Waterfront Performing Arts Series

Featuring a blend of the emerging and established performing artists from the Boston arts community. This free series in the past has included Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Riverside Theatre Works and the Boston Pops Ensemble. The concerts take place at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park on select Tuesday evenings from 6-9:30pm in August.
Series Event Schedule

The 2013 Series takes place on August 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th. In addition there will be a film screening immediately following each performance.

Boston Urban Music Festival

Expanding on the Peace Hip Hop Concert, with its message of "peace," local and national performers will gather together to celebrate this new show that will showcase the very best in urban music. This free event takes place on City Hall Plaza on a Saturday evening in August. Past performers include Slick Rick, CL Smooth and Rakim. The 2010 concert featured the music of Wiz Khalifa, Ryan Leslie, M-Dot and Bad Rabbits & the Riot, which also drew over 25,000 people to City Hall Plaza. The 2012 headliner was Outasight.The 4th annual Boston Urban Music Festival will be Saturday, August 10th, 2013 from 5pm-8pm.
BUMF Poster


(ahts): The Boston Arts Festival

The Boston Arts Festival takes place at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park right by Boston's scenic waterfront. This free arts extravaganza features a specially built artists' village housing over 50 juried visual artists exhibiting and selling their works of art.  There is a stage that provides entertainment from Boston's many arts organizations. Past performances include Boston Ballet, Boston Children's Museum, Opera Boston, Jazz Hip Hop Orchestra, Maeve Gilchrist and OrigiNation. There are also many interactive family friendly activities throughout the park.

2013 Festival Hours: Saturday, August 30st to Sunday, August 31, from 12 - 6pm daily.  
More Information about ahts: The Boston Arts Festival »


A Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events, the Museum of African American History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) presented a free tribute concert in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 1pm at Faneuil Hall. The program featured a moving selection of classical music, spirituals and freedom songs performed by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Intensive Community Program, conducted by Marta Zurad. Ernest G. Green, (member of the Little Rock Nine and is a Consultant) delivered the keynote speech. In addition to the keynote speaker, a distinguished roster of leaders read from Dr. King's most memorable writings and speeches.
View Photos from the 2012 Celebration »

Past keynote speakers include Nikki Giovanni and past performances include Jennifer Holliday and Patte LaBelle.
Watch Patti LaBelle's MLK Jr. Tribute »


  • BosTix: Half-Price Tickets to the Performing Arts

    Want to see a great show? Not crazy about paying for the tickets? BosTix is your solution! Visit the booths in Faneuil Hall Marketplace or Copley Square or check out the online site for half-priced tickets on a multitude of amazing shows!