Today, the Boch Center re-introduced the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame (FARHOF), an education initiative located inside the iconic Wang Theatre in Boston. Led by industry experts and Folk, Americana and Roots musicians including Joan Baez, Bob Crawford, Keb’ Mo’, Noel Paul Stookey, and others, FARHOF celebrates the lifeblood of America’s musical and cultural heritage. Boch Center President and CEO Josiah Spaulding announced expanded programming that includes a series of upcoming exhibits and live shows coming to the Wang and Shubert Theatres.
Boston is recognized for being the Folk capital of the United States. FARHOF will become the epicenter, honoring the past, celebrating the present, and nurturing the next generation of Folk, Americana, and Roots music.
“Music connects all of us and keeps us a civilized society,” said Josiah Spaulding, President and CEO of the Boch Center. “These genres of music, in particular, have historically provided an outlet for individuals of all races, classes and locations to express their highest joys and their deepest sorrows, and I am thrilled to provide a new cultural destination that will educate people of all ages about the important influence of these genres on all music today.”
Among the new and expanded programming are five new exhibits curated by Deana McCloud and Bob Santelli of the Museum Collective. Opening today in the Wang Theatre are Boston: A Music Town (3rd Floor) and The Wang Theatre: A Century of Great Music (4th Floor). In addition, Ernie Boch Jr.’s Guitars Exhibit opens October 27, 2022, Daniel Kramer’s Photographs of Bob Dylan (1964-65) opens January 18, 2023, and Arlo Guthrie opens March 29, 2023. These exhibits complement FARHOF’s current exhibits, David Bieber Archives in the Wang Theatre’s Music Hall and Cultural Heroes on loan from Alan LeQuire Galleries in Nashville. The exhibits will be open on show days and on off days during tours of the magnificent building.
“While FARHOF is a celebration of the music that made America and which continues to influence contemporary artists, it is also a celebration of one of America’s greatest music towns, Boston,” said Deana McCloud, curator of FARHOF. “With 100-years of performances, and a beauty unparalleled by buildings today, the Wang Theatre is a fitting backdrop for telling these important stories. As we gather those stories to create an experiential, educational exhibit space, we know guests will leave with an appreciation for the influences the Wang Theatre and Boston have played in the American music scene.”
Folk, Americana, and Roots music has inspired music today in profound ways and FARHOF will showcase its impact through live performances – large and small - at the Wang and Shubert Theatres. The Center partnered with Paste Magazine recently to bring the Dropkick Murphys into the Cultural Heroes exhibit to perform songs from their new acoustic album inspired by Woody Guthrie’s lyrics. The group performed among a collection of seven larger-than-life clay sculptures of artists who shaped the soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, Marian Anderson, and Josh White.
Upcoming shows include Marcus Mumford at the Wang Theatre on November 8, 2022 and the Allman Family Revival at the Shubert Theatre on December 3, 2022. Additional performances include Lyle Lovett’s Big Band and A Conversation with Arlo Guthrie in the spring of 2023.
Don Was, an internationally known musician and record producer, announced the inaugural WAS FEST which will premiere March 3-5, 2023 in the Wang and Shubert Theatres. Don has worked with artists including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop, Ziggy Marley, the B-52s, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Lucinda Williams, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Mayer, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Kris Kristofferson, Aaron Neville and more. WAS FEST will feature an eclectic lineup of artists, many sharing a concert stage for the first time.
“I’m really looking forward to curating and presenting WAS FEST in Boston, and at two of the most incredible theatres I’ve had the privilege to play in,” said Don Was, musician and record producer. “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to curate and present eclectic nights, featuring some of the artists with whom I’ve long collaborated, and others that I’ve always wanted to work with. Our three nights in Boston promise to be really special, and I can’t wait for March.”
For over 30 years, access to the arts for all has been core to the Boch Center’s non-profit mission. FARHOF’s rich offerings are an extension of the Center’s award-winning community and education programs. Recently, FARHOF partnered with New York Times bestselling author Peter H. Reynolds and Grammy nominated Yusuf/Cat Stevens to inspire 100 first graders from inner-city Boston Public Schools. Reynolds read two of his books, The Dot and Peace Train, to the children visiting the Wang Theatre, and Yusuf joined by video to share a message of hope and peace. Yusuf/Cat Steven’s Peace Train song, which is a cry for peace and understanding, was released on the Teaser and the Firecat album in 1971. Together, Reynolds and Yusuf/Cat Stevens encouraged the kids to “create bravely” and “join the Peace Train.” FARHOF will welcome Chelsea, MA public schools on October 24, 2022, and the event will be livestreamed and recorded to share broadly with schools, teachers and community groups.
The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame is located inside the Boch Center’s Wang Theatre at 270 Tremont St. Boston, Massachusetts. Starting September 30, 2022 tours will be available at the Wang Theatre. Guests can find the most up-to-date schedule and book tours at www.bochcenter.org/tours. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children. (Discounted rates are available for youth/student groups.) For updates and to join the mailing list for news, announcements and more visit www.FARHOF.org.