Medford in October. Presented by CACHE in Medford, the festival provides a month-long snapshot of the wide range of events happening during the year, including musical performances, art exhibits, historic talks, films, and more

This year, all festival events explore the theme “Roots.”


Friday, October 5 | 7:00 PM
Mirabilis: Stories of Wonder and Loss

Mirabilis invites audiences to reflect on the roots of wonder of the natural world, especially those species that have disappeared from our midst. Using live music, story-telling and movement, this intimate performance includes original material inspired by Daniel Hudon’s book, Brief Eulogies for Lost Animals and personal stories from the community. Some stories will even be collected the evening of the performance. (FREE)

Location: West Medford Community Center, 111 Arlington St.
Presented by Two Roads Performance Projects


Saturdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 | 1:00-3:00 PM
Roots and Wings: The Best of All Things!

May we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly! This four-part Play and Learn Group series for children ages 3 to 6 will focus on creating take-home works of art using science, technology, engineering and math.  All events will include circle time, story time, and music and movement activities. Visit www.medfordfestival.org to see the themes of each workshop. (FREE - Registration is required)

Location: Medford Family Network, 489 Winthrop St.
Presented by the Medford Family Network


Wednesday, October 10 | 7:00 PM
Bill Cummings: Starting Small in Medford, and Making it Big

Growing up in Medford Hillside and Haines Square, Bill Cummings learned the value of hard work and kindness from his parents. They also encouraged his entrepreneurship, like selling sodas to workers removing trolley tracks, and hawking Christmas trees in Medford Square. From modest roots, his business career blossomed, from Old Medford Fruit Punch to Cummings Properties and Cummings Foundation. In a conversation with former Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn, Cummings will share insights from his book Starting Small and Making it Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist. Audience questions and a book signing will follow. (FREE)

Location: Chevalier Theatre, 30 Forest St.
Presented by Friends of Chevalier Auditorium and Gene Mack Gym

Wednesday, October 10 | 7:00 PM
A Look at Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child is well known in Medford as having lived in the city and authored “Over the River and Through the Wood.” In the 1830s, she found her voice as a strong champion of abolitionism, women’s rights, and the rights of Native Americans, and her publications at the time planted a seed that led many others to join the cause. In this event, Jane Sciacca, curator of the Wayland Historical Society, will speak about Mrs. Child’s accomplishments and the vital role she played at the foundation of the many important social issues of her time. Following the talk, playwright and actress Laura Duggan will present a film of her one-woman portrayal of Mrs. Child in her show The Ghost of Lydia Maria Child. (FREE)

Location: Grace Episcopal Church, 160 High St.
Presented by Grace Episcopal Church

Saturday, October 13 | 3:00 PM
The Way of the Tea: Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstration for Families

Over the last five centuries in Japan, the most basic practice of serving tea to guests has become a rich tradition of art, design, and spirituality, called chado — the Way of the Tea. This term, also known as “Japanese Tea Ceremony,” emphasizes that studying tea is an ongoing practice, a way of life, and a means of seeing the word anew. Children ages 6 and up are invited to learn about one of the sustaining roots of Japanese culture from a master of the tea ceremony. (FREE)

Location: Medford Public Library, 111 High St.
Presented by Medford Public Library

Wednesday, October 17 | 7:30-9:00 PM
Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land

Harriet Tubman refused to be bound by the chains of slavery, or by the low expectations limiting the lives of women and African Americans. Struggling against amazing odds, and never wavering from her commitment to liberation and civil rights, she fought for what many hold dear: freedom, equality, justice, and self-determination. Historian Kate Clifford Larson’s Bound for the Promised Land, the first adult biography of this remarkable heroine, reveals Tubman as a complex woman — brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. (Free for RH&SQ members, $10 for non-members)

Location: Royall House & Slave Quarters, 15 George St.
Presented by the Royall House & Slave Quarters

Thursday, October 18 | 1:00-2:30 PM
Dancing Through the Decades with Dance Caliente

Travel through time with this interactive Ballroom Dance show that brings the world to your feet.  Eileen Herman-Haase and Raul Nieves of Dance Caliente perform their choreography inspired by a mix of cultures from Africa and Europe.  In between every costumed dance, audience members are engaged in exciting movement activities, so they too can feel energized by the music. Tickets are available starting September 4.  Call 781-396-6010 to reserve a spot. (FREE)

Location: Medford Senior Center, 101 Riverside Ave.
Presented by Medford Council on Aging

Thursday, October 18 | 7:00 PM
Rooted in Our History: Medford’s Fascination with Trees

As he rejoiced in the green canopy shading many Medford streets, Charles Brooks (b. 1795) commented that beautiful trees “grace our eyes wherever we turn.” Historically, single specimens were set out to memorialize events, marriages, and heroes; trees defined neighborhoods, being carefully nurtured by residents until great age, disease, or the unforgiving march of progress brought them down. In this talk, local historian Dee Morris will share the important role trees have played in Medford’s history using specific trees and landscapes as examples. (FREE)

Location: Medford Public Library, 111 High St.
Presented by the Medford Public Library

Friday, October 19 | 1:00 PM
The Boston Italians

Much of Medford is built on a strong foundation of immigrants who settled in the region in the 1800s. In this event, author Stephen Puleo will present his book, The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, from the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day, describing the experience of the ancestors of today’s Medford residents, and telling the story of how they transformed from Italians to Italian-Americans while enduring challenging social and political circumstances. (FREE)

Location: Medford Senior Center, 101 Riverside Ave.
Presented by Friends of the Medford Public Library, Medford Senior Center,  and the Medford Historical Society

Saturday, October 20 | 1:00-4:00 PM
Mystic Makerspace Open House – Spreading Roots

Join Mystic Makerspace at their Fall Open House as they spread their roots from the Medford Public Library across town to the West Medford Community Center. At this event, participants are invited to branch out and explore new creative interests by sampling a new array of Maker activities fit for all ages, including a visit with MARV the ArtMobile. Participants can support free creative programming by shopping the Makerspace jewelry fundraiser featuring earrings and pendants crafted by Mystic Makerspace instructors and workshop participants. (FREE)

Location: West Medford Community Center, 111 Arlington St.
Presented by the Mystic Makerspace and Medford Arts Center, Inc.

Saturday, October 20 | 6:00-9:00 PM
Sizzle and Swivel with Dance Caliente and Borealis Yoga

Enjoy three hours of social dancing with a focus on Salsa and Swing — dances that have grown out of American, African, and Cuban dance styles. Seasoned and new dancers are welcome and short dance lessons with Eileen Herman-Haase and Raul Nieves of Dance Caliente will take place throughout the evening. Come with or without a partner.  ($18 per person in advance; $20 at the door. Register at www.borealisyoga.com/events.html.) Learn some skills in preparation for the event at a swing workshop on Sunday, October 14 from 1:00-3:00PM at Borealis Yoga and Waltz on Wednesday, October 17 from 7:00-8:30PM at the Medford Public Library.

Location: Borealis Yoga, 34 Salem St.
Presented by Dance Caliente and Borealis Yoga

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00-9:30 PM
An Evening of Sanctuary with Philip Hamilton and Friends

Sanctuary UCC proudly welcomes West Medford native and world-renowned singer and percussionist, Philip Hamilton, back to Medford for a concert highlighting his African-American heritage as well as his musical and cultural ties to Medford. Joined by other local musicians, Hamilton and his band will perform original and cover songs, and include anecdotes about his musical journey performing jazz and world music around the globe. (Advance Tickets:  Adults $20; Seniors/Students $10; Age 5 and under free; Family up to five people $50. To purchase tickets Text MUSICFORTHESOUL to 51555 or online at SanctuaryUCC.org/MusicForTheSoul.)

Location: Caron Theatre, Medford High School, 489 Winthrop St.
Presented by Sanctuary UCC and the City of Medford’s Office of Human Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday, October 24 | 7:00 PM
Howe Creative Open Mic Night

Come to the new Howe Creative Studio & Gallery for an open mic, which invites the public to share music, poetry, storytelling, and more - all using the theme “roots” as inspritation. Pre-registration with Chris Howe at chris@howecreative.net is recommended but not required. (FREE)

Location: Howe Creative Studio & Gallery, 392 Main St.
Presented by Howe Creative Studio and Gallery

Friday, October 26 | 6:30-9:30 PM
A Ghost Story: Faith and Film @ Sanctuary

A Ghost Story, from acclaimed director David Lowery, offers an inventive and singular exploration of legacy, loss, and the essential human longing for meaning and connection through an unmoored ghost’s journey of memory and history. An unforgettable meditation on love and loss, A Ghost Story emerges ecstatic and surreal — a wholly-unique experience of ‘homegoing’ that lingers long after the credits roll. Watch Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in this inventive and artful film – and then join in a discussion of the film’s most poignant themes. Space is limited. For reservations text UCCFILM to 51555 or via SanctuaryUCC.org/FaithAndFilm. There will also be a viewing of the film on October 5.

Location: Sanctuary UCC, 458 High St.
Presented by Sanctuary UCC

Saturday, October 27 | 7:30 PM
Cardamom Quartet

Enjoy an evening of music with Cardamom Quartet as they feature classical music by women. Though women composers have roots going back many centuries, their music remains under-programmed in the classical music world. Come hear an evening of music by Florence Price, Gabriela Lena Frank, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and Hildegard von Bingen, and diverse styles emerging from medieval Germany, traditional Peruvian music, and African American hymns. (FREE)

Location: The First Baptist Church of Medford, 29 Oakland St.
Presented by The First Baptist Church of Medford

Monday, October 29 | 7:00 PM
Sea Change Book Reading

Dorothy Emerson, former minister of the Medford Unitarian Universalist Church and long-time resident of West Medford, will read from her new memoir, Sea Change: The unfinished agenda of the 1960s, and explore the roots of today’s culture in that iconic era. She says: “Because of our shared roots in the Sixties — whether or not we were alive at the time — we have untapped resources to help us respond to the challenges we face today.” Discussion will be encouraged; books will be available for purchase. (FREE)

Location: Medford Public Library, 111 High St.
Presented by Medford Public Library and Rainbow Solutions