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MassQ Ball 2022 | Event Series

Presented by The Arnold Arboretum, Castle of our Skins, and Daniel Callahan at Arnold Arboretum, Boston MA

MassQ Ball 2022 | Event Series

Communities of Color Unite to Celebrate Nature and Arts with MassQ Ball

Co-producers Castle of our Skins, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and visual artist Daniel Callahan of Create & Record, team up to present MassQ Ball 2022: Origin, a large-scale celebration grounded in ritual, performance, and cross-cultural arts.

The MassQ Ball 2022: Origin will be preceded by a six-part series of lectures, panels, and interactive workshops designed to deepen attendee’s collective understanding. All events will be either in-person at The Arnold Arboretum or ... view more »


The MassQ Ball 2022: Origin is supported, in part, by a Transformative Public Art grant from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Celebrity Series of Boston, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and Create & Record.


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Exact event times are below

The precursor events will begin with a live-streamed panel on identity, culture, and the arts on Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. The panel will feature visual activist L'Merchie Frazier, dancer Jenny Oliver, and restauranteur Biplaw Rai. Identity | Culture | Arts will explore the deeply intertwined relationship between identity, artistic expression, and how both can be leveraged for cross-cultural connectivity.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Soul: An Ancestor Workshop will be led by poet and Castle of our Skins' Shirley Graham Du Bois Creative in Residence Marlanda Dekine. The participatory workshop will use writing and meditation to consider how our individual origin stories and ancestries influence our being.

Dr. Liseli A. Fitzpatrick, a Trinidadian-scholar in the field of African Diasporic cosmologies and sacred ontologies, will lead an engaging lecture and discussion exploring African mythologies and folkloric cultures on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Castle of our Skins' Director of Education, Taylor Lena McTootle, will lead the Making a Mythos workshop focused on the creative power of storytelling. Young participants, ages 8-12, will experience firsthand how fictional tales can reflect our cultural values and create them.

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, Daniel Callahan will lead a MassQing Workshop from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Participants will learn the origin, technique, and meaning behind Daniel's artistic practice of MassQing, which uses the human face as a can- vas to reveal one's inner state to create their own MassQ.

On Saturday, June 25, 2022, Bengali culture worker Pampi will lead a Making of Ceremonial Vessels Workshop. Attendees will weave love letters to their loved ones into hand-crafted ceremonial vessels. The vessels will be fashioned out of natural materials sourced from the grounds of the Arboretum and displayed in the MassQ Ball July 9th event.


Arnold Arboretum

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130
(Neighborhood: Jamaica Plain)

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You can get to the Arboretum by subway, bus, or car. Get directions to our main entrance at Arborway Gate, Peters Hill, Weld Hill Building, or Dana Greenhouses. Free parking is available along the Arborway, Bussey Street, and Walter Street. There is no visitor parking inside the Arboretum. The Arnold Arboretum also offers resources for improved accessibility.

The Arboretum is easily reached by public transportation. Take the Orange Line to Forest Hills, cross Washington Street, and take Blackwell Footpath through Bussey Brook Meadow to the South Street Gate.

COVID-19 Phased Reopening Details

Face Masks Required: No
Limited Capacity: Yes