By Brittany Everett, Globe Correspondent
Columbus Day marks the 11th annual 'Opening Our Doors' celebration, a free family event hosted by the Fenway Alliance, a consortium of 22 arts, cultural and academic institutions that throw open their doors for a day of art, cultural, musical, and educational activities.
Offerings include free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, MassArt galleries and the Museum of Fine Arts. There will be all-day glass-blowing demonstrations by Diablo Glass School, walking tours of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and an open house at Fenway Studios. Event-goers can enjoy complimentary cupcakes provided by Happy’s and free hot apple cider and sweets from Eastern Standard -- or try the food trucks, including Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Paris Creperie. Visitors are encouraged to create their own art and to express themselves through music and dance.
The annual event celebrates the work of the Fenway Alliance and its partners, on issues including the environment, sustainability and transportation. Last year, more than 14,000 people took part in Opening Our Doors – an almost 20 percent increase over 2010.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m. at Christian Science Plaza, with an appearance by Mayor Menino, special guest speakers, and performances by Boston Children’s Chorus.
In the event of rain, the kick-off will be moved to the Sunday school building in the Christian Science Plaza, next to Horticultural Hall.
More information and a complete listing of activities is available at the Fenway Alliance website, www.fenwayculture.org.
This article was reported and written by Northeastern University journalism student Brittany Everett, under the supervision of journalism instructor Lisa Chedekel, as part of collaboration between The Boston Globe and Northeastern.