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The Fenway Alliance opens its doors

Banner Staff | 10/13/2010, 5:32 a.m.

The Fenway Alliance, a consortium of 22 nationally and internationally renowned cultural and academic institutions located in the Fenway, celebrated their 9th annual Opening Our Doors.

It is Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural events, and began on Columbus Day with a performance by the Boston Children’s Chorus at the Christian Science Plaza.

The annual event offered a variety of activities for everyone. It included 15 music events (Afro-Brazil, Colleges of the Fenway Jazz Orchestra); 12 explorations (walking tour led by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, tours of the First Church of Christ Scientist including the world-famous and unique Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library); six art events (admission to the Isabella Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts was free); and dance performances by BalletRox; plus theater, film, and hands-on workshops (Opera Scenes at the New England Conservatory, acting workshop by Boston Children’s Theatre).

Kelly Brilliant, executive director and founder of the event, says the reason she created Opening Our Doors was “to give back to the local community.”

“We wanted to engage people so they would come back on other days,” she said. “The Alliance works together as one entity to create and sustain the Fenway Cultural District, and to provide the highest quality intellectual, social and cultural opportunities for individuals and families throughout the region.”

 It was BalletRox’s third year of participating in the annual cultural event and Director Tony Williams said, “It’s all about community.”

“The Fenway Alliance is about improving the quality and experience of people living in the Fenway area,” he said. “It’s a mix of art and community and it’s also what we’re about here [at BalletRox] … It’s a good thing to do.”

Their youth group, BalletRox2, performed “Itsy bitsy Spider,” sung by Little Richard, in an inspired combination of hip hop and ballet.  

In addition to the day-long affair, The Fenway Alliance added its “FunFest After-Hours” party, geared specifically for college students at Lansdowne Pub.