Patriots Weekend: Concord250 Events & More!

April 13, Saturday 

A Fight for Freedom: Patriots of Color Walking Tour 


 In this 90 minute walking tour we will examine the known history and stories of these Patriots of Color who fought for freedom locally both during the American Revolution and beyond. Minuteman National Park, Robbins House and Concord Visitors Center staff will lead this tour examining the incredible stories of individuals who risked everything during their struggle for liberty, equality, and freedom for all.
Tour meets at the North Bridge Lower Lot.  All ages are welcome.
This walking tour  is  co-sponsored by Minuteman National Park, The Robbins House,  and The Concord Visitors Center as a Concord250 Event
Donations in support of Black History Month in Concord may be made to The Robbins House here:
Learn More about Patriots of Color :

From Pasadena to Concord: Telling The Whole Story

2:00—3:30 PM


For 129 years, Black educator and activist Ellen Garrison lay unsung and forgotten in an unmarked grave in Altadena, California’s Mountain View Cemetery.

Ellen Garrison, native daughter of Concord, was the granddaughter of a freedman who fought in the Revolutionary War and spent years traveling alone through the South to teach formerly enslaved people how to read and write, protected only by a paper “passport” to show she was a free person.

The residents of Altadena knew little of this hidden history, but they were willing to learn, listen, and honor this heroine in their midst. Veronica Jones, Vice Chair of the Town Council, decided to act. Ms. Jones has a deep passion for uncovering hidden histories. Through her work with the Altadena Historical Society, she spearheaded the placement of headstones on the graves of Ellen Garrison, her husband, and her sister. Additionally, two scholarships are awarded to local Altadena students in memory of Ellen Garrison. Thanks to the Altadena Historical Society and Veronica Jones, Ellen Garrison is celebrated every year on Juneteenth, honoring the hidden histories of Altadena.

This process her community has gone through creates lasting change and deeper inclusion for all segments of her community. Veronica will share their journey and lessons learned and discuss how this work can impact us all, no matter where we live.

Veronica Jones is a retired life-long resident of Altadena, California with vast experience in community development. She has worked extensively on public safety, infrastructure improvements, community-police relations, economic development, diversity and inclusion, and re-establishing relationships with local, state, and federal government. She is highly regarded in her community as a change agent, promoting integrity and economic growth.


Please visit The Robbins House and the Altadena Historical Society to learn more.

This event is co-sponsored by Robbins House, Concord250, and The Concord Free Public Library’s William Munroe Special Collections.



Concord Band performs its annual Spring Pops

51 Walden presents the Concord Band performing its annual Spring Pops concert as a fundraiser for 51 Walden building renovations. The concert will be held on Saturday April 13, 2024, at 7:00 pm on the music stage of the 51 Walden Performing Arts Center in Concord.

The program will feature a guest artist, Ukrainian soprano Olga Lisovska, singing opera and popular solos including The Kyiv Waltz and George Gershwin’s Somebody Loves Me.



3:00- 5:00pm

Ellen Garrison Day in Concord 



Come join us and celebrate and afternoon of words, music, art and song as we Stand up for Ellen on the anniversary of her birth at the Concord Armory!



Patriots’ Day Pancake Breakfast at First Parish


8:30-11:00 Patriots Day Parade and North Bridge Ceremony



Patriots Day at the Wright Tavern




Patriots’ Day at the Concord Museum

Enjoy free admission to the Museum and visit the immersive April 19, 1775 gallery to see the “One if by land, two if by sea” lantern hung in the North Church to signal Paul Revere on his midnight ride. During your visit, participate in drop-in activities to learn about life and craft in the colonies. Sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation.

Witness the brave Acton Minutemen company in an encampment outside the Museum as they drill with muskets to prepare for battle, cook over a firepit, and demonstrate colonial
spinning and sewing. Supported by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.

Beware of a Red Coat from the British Army roaming the galleries looking for Provincial rebels. Talk with him about the experiences of the Red Coats on April 19, 1775. Supported by
the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.


Check out the line up of events at Minute Man National Historical Park

Photo: Amanda Pollock, Minuteman National Historical Park



 6 to 7:30 pm Concord, There Is More To Our Story 




A Fight for Freedom: Patriots of Color Walking Tour 


 In this 90 minute walking tour we will examine the known history and stories of these Patriots of Color who fought for freedom locally both during the American Revolution and beyond. Minuteman National Park, Robbins House and Concord Visitors Center staff will lead this tour examining the incredible stories of individuals who risked everything during their struggle for liberty, equality, and freedom for all.
Tour meets at the North Bridge Lower Lot
All ages are welcome.
This walking tour  is  co-sponsored by Minuteman National Park, The Robbins House,  and The Concord Visitors Center as a Concord250 Event
Donations in support of Black History Month in Concord may be made to The Robbins House here:
Learn More about Patriots of Color :



Umbrella Spring Arts Classes Registering Now

The Umbrella Arts Center has announced open registration for its Spring arts classes, workshops and independent studio times.

This Spring class session will be held in The Umbrella’s recently constructed education facilities at 40 Stow Street, including new classrooms, dance studio, makerspace, and a newly redesigned and expanded ceramics wing.

Among the many class offerings this session are popular favorites including oil and acrylic painting, watercolors, pencil illustration, sewing, glass fusing, woodworking, photographic design, creative mindfulness, Latin and Club dance, and ceramics for all ages and skill levels — from pre-schoolers to adult independent professionals.

In addition, The Umbrella will resume its School Vacation Week program this April for kids Grades K-8. “Artistic Solutions Stop Pollution” will get the creative sparks going with hands-on projects in Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, 2D & 3D Mixed Media, Performing Arts, Workshop and more.

To view all available classes and workshops, visit

“The Minutes” @ The Umbrella

photo credit: Jim Sabitus

Intensely compelling…one of the best shows this season. [I]ngeniously staged by Edmiston…THE MINUTES is an allegorical masterpiece by Letts and one which would have probably made Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling proud…or jealous that he did not write it himself.” – Kevin T. Baldwin, METRMAG

The Umbrella Arts Center is proud to present the Greater Boston premiere of The Minutes by award-winning playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), called one of the most thrilling on Broadway in recent years. Nominated as Best New Play by the Tony Awards and Outer Critics Circle in 2022, and for the Pulitzer Prize in drama, The Minutes is part biting comedy, part Hitchcockian mystery, and at its dark heart an unflinching allegory about small-town politics and real-world power.

This new production is helmed by Scott Edmiston, three-time Norton-winning director, hailed as “one of Boston’s finest directors” by the Boston Globe, who calls Letts’ play “completely original and outrageous…both funny and dark, located somewhere between The Office and The Twilight Zone. It’s brilliant in the way that it uses comedy to dramatize some serious issues facing our country today. It takes a hard look at the growing movement to deny or rewrite some of the unpleasant truths about America’s past. What are some of the myths about ourselves and our nation that we find hard to admit — and why?”


  • Thursday, March 14, 2024 Performance Only – Use this Living Concord Link to save 10% on tickets with special code “LIV01742”. This performance will also feature a special post-show talkback with members of the Concord DEI and Concord 250 committees discussing local topics surrounding historical interpretation and how it relates to themes in the play.


  • Sunday, March 10, 2024 3:00PM – Kid-Care Performance* – The Umbrella is pleased to offer a Kid-Care Show Program, giving parents and caregivers an opportunity to attend select performances while their child(ren) engage in art activities inspired by the production. This program aims to provide better access to arts and culture events and create a shared experience opportunity for families. Spaces are limited and can be reserved alongside ticket purchases.
  • #DinnerAndAShow Thursday Night Out Packages! Thursdays in Concord are now a fun and easy entertainment Date Night thanks to optional pre-show dinners here at The Umbrella provided by Nosh restaurant and the Concord Market! Coming straight from work? Park free at The Umbrella, then take a load off and enjoy a delicious catered dinner, pick up beverage at concessions, and explore our free art galleries at your ease until it’s time for curtain! Details on our chef-planned menus for The Minutes coming soon!


Holidays Under The Umbrella

The Umbrella Arts Center kicks off the holiday season this week with the return of Concord’s traditional Umbrella Winter Market, an annual three-day show and sale of artist, artisan, and hand-crafted work on all three floors of its beautifully renovated space at 40 Stow Street. It features dozens of Umbrella Studio Artists, regional Guest Artists, an annual “Off-the-Wall” show with small works under $350, a Ceramics Program holiday sale, Arts Education Free Drop-In Family Day info table, prizes drawing, and more.
PLUS, view the “Fresh Ink: Contemporary Explorations in Printmaking” Gallery Exhibition, live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and refreshments in the cafe provided by Sudbury Coffee Works. And on Friday Noon – 4PM, stop by J.McLaughlin in Concord, where 15% of your purchases will go to support the work of the non-profit arts center.
AND in Performing Arts news, The Umbrella Stage Company has announced the return of its popular Holiday Pops Concert series, featuring the award-winning Firebird Pops Orchestra and Firebird Vox choir. Performances Friday, December 15 at 7:30pm, Saturday, December 16 at 3:00pm, and December 17 at 3:00pm.

Free Screening & Talk: GLORY


The Umbrella Arts Center is proud to partner with the Town of Concord DEI Commission and Concord Visitor Center to celebrate the sacrifice of Concord’s native son, George Washington Dugan, who served in the Massachusetts 54th during the Civil War.

On Friday, July 14 at 7pm, join us for a free public screening of the Oscar-nominated film Glory, about one of the Union Army’s earliest African-American regiments in the American Civil War. It stars Matthew Broderick as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the regiment’s commanding officer, and Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. The screening will be followed by a talkback guest historian, author and living history interpreter Marvin Alonso Green.

Free and open to the public. The Umbrella is ADA accessible and offers free parking.

This screening is part of “Glory for George,” a townwide, weekend-long celebration of the life and legacy of George Washington Dugan, with events at the Concord Free Public Library, Monument Square, the Old North Bridge at Minute Man National Historical Park, The Robbins House, and Concord Armory.



Points of Return Closing with Final Curator Tour & Film Screening

On June 25, The Umbrella Arts Center will host a final curator-led tour of the expansive “Points of Return” multimedia art exhibition (on view May 1-June 25, 2023), followed by a free companion screening of the documentary film, “Call of the Orcas”.

At 3PM, environmental artists and curators Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero and David Cass (collectively known as A La Luz) will be in Concord for the final weekend to provide a personalized narrative of the exhibition’s journey from an pandemic-era online exhibition to this first-ever large-scale physical exhibition. Comprising indoor and outdoor installations, sculpture, sound, photography and video art, the exhibition has transformed two floors of gallery space, converted lobby space, and the Black Box Theater to create a journey through themed “rooms” from Eclipse to Return, from environmental crisis to optimism. Each room allows visitors to experience the work of diverse international artists who have immersed themselves in a wide range of global environments undergoing different stages of the climate crisis.

Orca photo by Katy Foster for NOAA

The tour will be immediately followed by a free private screening of a new short film, “Call of the Orcas,” about the life quest of Ken Balcomb to save an endangered Pacific species of Orcinus Orca, the southern resident killer whale. The documentary will be introduced by Brian Rosborough, Concord resident and founder of, who conceived the program. The curators and Mr. Rosborough will facilitate discussion after the film. Light refreshments will be served.

Free with RSVP at


(Photos: Umbrella tour by Joseph Donica; Orca photo by Katy Foster for NOAA)

Community Activities Enrich The Color Purple

The Umbrella Stage Company has announced a planned series of community activities to support and enrich theatergoers’ experience of this spring’s production of The Color Purple, the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel, and the 1985 film by Steven Spielberg.

From talkbacks with the cast and moderated discussions on the show’s themes, to childcare and packaged meal options, to informative guided tours exploring the stories of Women and African Americans throughout Concord’s history, audiences will have several opportunities to engage more deeply and comfortably with this “exuberant celebration of community and female empowerment” (The Guardian).

Friday May 19 – 4PM – Pre-Show African American History of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Saturday, May 20 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, May 21 – Kid-Care Performance*, Community Discussion with Kira Troilo of Art & Soul

Thursday, May 25 Night – Pre-Show Soul Food Dinner Option from Nosh; Post-show Talk Back with the cast

Friday, May 26 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Saturday, May 27 – 4PM – Pre-Show African American History of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, May 28 – Brown Out Performance with Post-show Affinity Space Potluck for BIPOC Artists, Audiences & Allies — All are Welcome!

Thursday, June 1 – Pre-Show Soul Food Dinner Option from Nosh

Friday, June 2 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, June 4 – Post-show Talk Back with the cast

NEW! #DinnerAndAShow Thursday Night Out Packages!

Thursdays in Concord are now a fun and easy entertainment Date Night thanks to optional pre-show dinners at The Umbrella, provided by Nosh by Concord Market!

Coming straight from work? No problem! Park free at The Umbrella, then take a load off in their beautifully renovated space. Sit to enjoy a delicious catered dinner (you can pre-order vegetarian, fish and meat options), pick up a beverage at concessions, and then explore the international art exhibition Points of Return the art galleries at your ease until it’s time for curtain!  Chef-planned themed menus for The Color Purple can be pre-ordered right up until NOON on Wednesday before  the performance; menu options can be selected and added to your online cart at the same as you are making your seat selections! See The Color Purple ticketing options.


  • Cauliflower Pimento Mac and Cheese
  • BBQ Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
  • Seared Mustard Salmon with Apple Celery Slaw and Jalapeno Cornbread


  • Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone


In addition to catered Thursday dinners at The Umbrella, all of our performances are supported by day-of-show special offers from our several wonderful #DinnerAndAShowConcord Hospitality PartnersFind special discounts on meals and overnight stays here in the heart of historic Concord with partners including Adelita, Aloft/Element Hotels, Concord’s Colonial Inn, Fiorella’s, and Nosh by Concord Market!

Concord Middle School Students Find New Skills and Personal Growth in Xanadu

Concord Students Find New Skills and Personal Growth in Xanadu

by Kimber Lynn Z. Drake, Correspondent

When Hannah Vincent agreed to take the helm for the returning Concord Middle School theater program, she knew there would be challenges.  It had been three years since the middle school’s last musical production, and the kids who are now her oldest cast members were still in elementary school back then.

“With that long of a hiatus, we didn’t know how the students were going to handle this kind of a project,” says Vincent, director of Xanadu, Jr and an educator at Concord Middle School.  She was not discouraged, however, because she knew that in addition to being fun for the children, this would be very important work.

Experts both in the arts and in education tell us that delving into areas beyond the standard core subjects at school helps our personal growth in many ways.  Michelle Barnes, Director of the Relevé Ballet Workshop of Wellesley, MA asserts that theater in schools gives us a low-risk environment in which to learn something about who we are.

“Art is all around us, not just in museums,” states Barnes.  “It’s in video games, movies and the logo on your coffee cup.  Whether we eventually become an engineer, an opera singer or a firefighter, we all need to have a chance to explore what we can do artistically at an early age.  Can I draw?  Can I act?  You can’t know unless you try.”

Theater also helps kids to grow in ways that they couldn’t during the pandemic.  Justin Cameron, Principal of Concord Middle School, sees daily the effect that the recent years of social isolation have had on students.  “The middle school years are an incredibly important time for development of social skills,” says Cameron.  “During those months of remote learning, these kids missed out on the practice of those skills that the school environment normally provides every day.  This project gives kids a chance to work closely as a team on a complex task that happens to be really fun:  putting on a show.  In this non-competitive environment, they celebrate each other’s successes and find ways as a team to adapt to their shortcomings.  This is a big boost for their social development.”

Over two months later, Vincent is witnessing firsthand the results of this artistic exploration and teambuilding as the cast and crew put the finishing touches on their production of Xanadu, Jr.  “These kids have really impressed me,” she says.  “They have dug in and taken an active role in the whole process.  They are helping each other remember cues and review dance steps.  Some are sewing their own costumes.  This show has given them the chance to get off their phones and participate in something that requires focus, energy and dedication.”

Barnes agrees, “When you’re in a show, the feeling of team pride is extraordinary.  You come together and work hard as a group to give the gift of entertainment to hundreds of people each night.  And by the time you are done, you’re more than a team.  You’re a family.”

Xanadu, Jr runs March 3rd – 5th, 2023 at the Sanborn building of Concord Middle School.  Friday and Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm. Tickets are $10 and are available starting February 24th at .

Photo caption:

Concord Middle School students in rehearsal for Xanadu, Jr.  Photo by Kimber Lynn Z. Drake.

Spotlight on Ceramics Artist in Residence, Katie Bosley Sabin

The Umbrella is pleased to welcome our new Ceramics Artist in Residence, Katie Bosley Sabin! Katie is a talented ceramicist who earned her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and has previously been a resident at the Archie Bray in Helena, MT, Mudflat Studios in Boston, MA, and Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Sabin specializes in crafting porcelain vessels that combine dynamic forms and dimensional surfaces to create a captivating presence. In her residency, she plans to test mid-range clay and glaze recipes and transition to a lower firing temperature to allow more freedom in the range of objects she can make. Join us for Katie’s artist talk on February 3 at 4pm to learn more about her background and her career as an artist and educator.

Go to Katie Bosley Sabin’s profile to learn more about her work and Ceramics Artist residency!

“Lost & Found” Exhibition Opening Reception and Juror’s Talk at The Umbrella Arts Center

On view in The Umbrella Main Gallery, Lost and Found is a group art exhibition that presents a diverse array of artists transforming found objects into artworks. To celebrate the opening of this exhibition, a Juror Talk and Artists Reception will be held Sunday, December 11, 4PM, FREE and open to the public.

Juror Jessica Straus calls the exhibition “a praise-song to the ordinary. Lifted out of the continuum of daily life these objects have come to represent the complexities and richness of the human condition. Ranging from whimsical to haunting, the 3D artworks in this collection examine our relationships with familiar, unfamiliar and defamiliarized things, and beg the question…might objects have souls?

“The artist’s love affair with found objects may have begun a few hundred years ago with the ‘Wunderkammer’,” Straus posits. “In these Cabinets of Curiosities, beautiful, soulful objects were amassed and lovingly arranged in a way that elevated their status” and gave them new life. Inspired by how fine artists of the early 1900s such as Picasso, Schwitters and Duchamp could incorporate objects physically within works of art, Straus is interested in an artist’s sensation of an object “beckoning to them; asking to be used and even rescued.”

It’s that allure or “pull” that marks the artworks in Lost and Found, and the sense the artists have a deep connection to the object, and are helping it tell its story.

The impressive lineup of artists – many of whom are widely exhibited members of the NE Sculptors Guild – include Christopher Abrams, John Anderson, Lisa Barthelson, David L. Black, Linda Bond, Jessica Burko, Laura White Carpenter, Jeanne Ciravolo, Merill Comeau, Thomas A.D. Cornell, Daniela DesLauriers, Russell Dupont, Yvonne C. Espinoza, Laura Evans, Audrey Goldstein, Nicholas M. Goodhue, Jared Green, Peter Decamp Haines, Joe Hedges, Shira Karman, Cynthia Katz, Lisa Kellner, Michelle Lougee, Billy T. Lyons, Steve Novick, Jeanne Williamson Ostroff, Ponnapa Prakkamakul, Abbie Read, Emily Rose, Robert Rovenolt, Marilu Swett, Caron Tabb, Martha Wakefield, Leslie Wilcox and Carolyn Wirth.

The exhibition is on view through December 30, 2022 at The Umbrella Arts Center at 40 Stow Street in Concord Center.  Gallery hours are 10AM-9PM, 7 days a week.