Opening Our Doors
A Celebration of the Fenway Cultural District
The Opening Our Doors festival — Boston’s largest day of free cultural experiences — was conceived of and founded by the Fenway Alliance in 2001 with this central mission: to “open the doors” of Boston’s most iconic & historic institutions for a free day of music, art, creativity, performances, and cultural experiences.
The very first Opening Our Doors was a recognition and celebration of the literal opening of the doors of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. What started in 2001 with 12 locations and 16 programs grew in 2021 to a festival that spanned the entire Fenway Cultural District with 18 locations, including a temporary stage at Evans Way Park, 88 cultural experiences, 31 participating community partners, and 12,000 attendees.
Each year the Fenway Alliance works with our member institutions and many community partners on this day of free programs and performances in some of Boston’s most historic and iconic spaces: Huntington Theatre, Boston Symphony Hall, the Christian Science Plaza, Jordan Hall, Massachusetts Historical Society, and many others up and down Huntington Avenue/Avenue of the Arts.
Since 2003, the Opening Our Doors opening ceremonies have found a wonderful collaborator and generous home on the historic grounds of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. We are grateful to all of our Alliance members for their ongoing support of this festival. Opening Our Doors has cultivated many long-standing relationships and collaborations with a diverse representation of Boston artists from all neighborhoods, backgrounds, and disciplines.
We look forward to continuing in this work, with renewed focus on elevating the voices and creativity of BIPOC Artists working in Boston.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed OOD 2020. On October 9th, 2021, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the festival with a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual programs. We are already in talks with our collaborators, institutions, performers, and members to create a joyous celebration of the Fenway Cultural District in Fall 2022.
Please enjoy the highlights below from Opening Our Doors 2021.