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The Arboretum Experience

The Arboretum Experience

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We invite you to experience the natural beauty of the Arnold Arboretum on an outdoor, self-guided journey that centers resilience, healing, wellness, and joy. This collaboration between the A.R.T. and the Arboretum features audio plays written and performed by artists from Greater Boston and beyond, movement experiences, and pop-up music and dance performances, all set against the 281-acre backdrop of one of the jewels of Boston’s Emerald Necklace.

For over 7,000 years, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum now sits was inhabited and used by diverse societies/cultures of Indigenous Peoples, including most recently, the Massachusett People.

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These plays all take place in the Arnold Arboretum. You can listen to them anywhere!

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Ramona the Fearless Goes for a Ride

A Fairytale
Disappointed by the grownups in her life, ten-year-old Ramona escapes to the Arboretum and goes on a search for the legendary lilacs.
Written for kids and their grownups.

Your Fingers Will Reach So Your Voice Can Sing

A Proverb
High school senior Ellis is ready to leave the family picture behind when some voices on the wind guide them home.

After and Still

A Ghost Story
A wild night deep in the Arboretum allows friends Grayson, J, and Sara a much needed moment to deal with the year they’ve had.
Contains references to drinking and substance use.

In Bloom

A Myth
Follow the life of Major, a yellowwood tree, from his early days in the Arboretum to one hundred seasons later.
Contains a sexual reference.

You are invited to use your body, breath, and imagination to engage in a series of narrated interactive movement experiences.

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Meditations by Peter Chu

Living, Breathing, Being

An experience that nurtures a tranquil awareness, invites you to take intentional and conscious breaths, and guides you to quiet down. Divided into three parts (Breathing Meditation, Qi Gong Shaking, and Hug a Tree) that can be experienced together or separately.
Location: Anywhere.

Breathing Meditation

Qi Gong Shaking

Hug a Tree

Meditations by Jerron Herman

The Conference of Trees

Here’s a conference call you would enjoy! The Conference of Trees is about experiencing three distinctive plants – in, around, and in between them. Fan. Bloom. Press in with this audio experience. Divided into three parts (Cockspur Hawthorn, Bald Cypress, and Ginkgo) that can be experienced together or separately.
Location: The east side of Peters Hill on Peters Hill Road. Enter from Peters Hill Gate, Poplar Gate or Mendum Street Gate.

Cockspur Hawthorn

Bald Cypress

Ginkgo

Meditations by Jill Johnson

Family of Trees

A meditation dedicated to healthcare workers and caregivers of all kinds. For anyone who wants to commune with the family of trees in the Arboretum’s Conifer Collection and join a metaphorical circle of support.
Location: Conifer Path, beginning from the Walter Street Gate.

Draw Joy to Sorrow

A sitting meditation for healing care.
Location: Anywhere. Suggestion: Meadow Road benches.

Joy Dance Party

An invitation to crank up the volume and dance like no one is watching! Experience solo, as a family, or with colleagues or friends.
Location: Anywhere. Suggestions: Meadow Road benches, Bussey Hill Road, Bradley Rosaceous Collection.

Joy Dance Party 1

Joy Dance Party 2

Joy Dance Party 3

Meditations by Nailah Randall-Bellinger

Meditating on the Katsura Tree

A moving meditation for adults.
Location: Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden, in conversation with the Katsura Tree.

Togetherness

For play and community.
Location: Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden, in conversation with the European Purple Beech trees.

The Creek by the Dawn Redwood Trees

A moving body of water set for joy and play.
Location: Dawn Redwoods at the Arborway Gate, in conversation with the Dawn Redwoods and the creek.

Meditations by Lonnie Anela O’kalani Neff Stanton

Amongst the Pines

Crafted for individuals to slow down and connect to their breath and body, tucked away on Hemlock Hill. Recommended to be experienced alone. This meditation has two chapters which can be experienced together, or one at a time.
Location: Hemlock Hill.

Carry On

A moving meditation offering reflection.
Location: To be experienced alone or with others as you travel through the smaller paths of the Arboretum.

Pups & Pollinators

A short playful poem for young ones or the young at heart to move and dance with, inspired by animals of the Arboretum.
Location: Any open space in the Arboretum. Suggestions: The Bradley Rosaceous Collection or Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden.

Click below to open a PDF map of the Arnold Arboretum.

Map of the Arnold Arboretum