The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.
Monday, Oct. 16 — Hops & Harmony at the Hall, 6 p.m. [doors open at 5:30], Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St. Sometimes all it takes is a little liquid courage to let your inner Bruno Mars or Lady Gaga out of the shower and into the eardrums of — gasp! — real, live other people. Disclaimer: the Worcester Sun and its affiliates do not recommend consuming alcohol in the shower (unless you’re in a 1980s baseball movie).
Still in its infancy, the Hops & Harmony series is intended to be “a fun night of live music with audience participation. Enjoy time with friends, meet new ones, and learn popular music in three parts for fun and YouTube stardom. This get-out-of-the-house experience is a great way to unwind and let loose after a long day.” Tickets are $5.
Wednesday, Oct. 18 — The Science of Undead: Zombies and Animated Corpses in Historical Perspective, 4:30-6 p.m., Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons, Clark University, 950 Main St. It’s a dilemma, wrapped in a conundrum, covered in silky smooth milk chocolate! How early can you buy your Halloween candy without eating it all before the kids show up? This has become a scourge of autumn in New England second only to out-of-state leaf-peepers. But we’re givers here at the Worcester Sun, so try on this treat for a sweet solution:
Put down the Snickers, take a break from the Kit-Kats and head to Main South for a night of lively discussion about the undead. Zombies, even before the ubiquitous TV shows and movies, have long been a source of fascination and serious study. Assumption College historian Winston Black and Clark Professor Deborah Robertson team up to get Medieval on your you-know-what. Free and open to the public.
Thursday, Oct. 19 — Rediscovering an American Community of Color: The Photographs of William Bullard, opening reception, 5:30-8 p.m., Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St. The divisive bluster echoing from sea to shining sea — led and inspired by the Bully-in-Chief — surrounding health care, Iran, disaster relief, the fourth estate and a cacophony of other sore subjects, could almost make one forget that race relations in America remain very much a tenuous proposition, some 150 years after the first Civil Rights Act passed.
Which certainly made William Bullard, a turn-of-the-century Worcester photographer, ahead of his time. Through more than 5,000 images and a meticulous log of his subjects, Bullard was able to chronicle the lives and times of blacks and Native Americans, included hundreds of photographs of folks who lived in the Beaver Brook neighborhood.
Eighty never-before-published images are on display in this insightful exhibit, which runs through Feb. 25. Museum admission is $16; $14 for seniors and college students with ID; $6 for ages 4-17; and free for children 3 and under. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays.
Friday, Oct. 20 — Game Changers Business Conference & Expo, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St. It has been noted, not infrequently, in this space that Worcester is a town that enjoys its networking. Business breakfasts, lectures, mixers, conferences, award ceremonies — no wonder the traffic’s miserable and nobody’s ever downtown: Everyone with a white collar and 5mg of ambition is on their way to another event.
Well, talk about a win-win! Venerable Mechanics Hall — smack in the heart of downtown even — will play host to the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Game Changers event, wrangling top business leaders from the area for a half-day of workshops, speakers (U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern and Anthony Consigli of Consigli Construction) and brainstorming on topics such as the city’s startup ecosystem, disruption and innovation, and venture capital.
Registration (recommended), including breakfast and lunch, is $100, $75 for chamber members; $75/$55 for lunch only; $55/$35 for breakfast only; and free for panels only.
Saturday, Oct. 21 — WPI football vs. Merchant Marine, 2:30 p.m., Alumni Stadium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 151 Salisbury St. [parking garage] The Engineers of Salisbury Street have proved they can build a great many things — alas, a football dynasty has never quite been in the cards. Beyond a four-season stretch spanning the 1980s and ’90s in which the team went 32-7-1 (including the undefeated 1990 squad), WPI has largely been a program of tough, smart young men rather than gaudy win totals.
But with two victories in their final four games this season, the 4-2 Engineers would have, well, engineered, three straight seasons of 6-plus wins for the first time in school history. Sophomore running backs Sean McAllen (791 rush yards, 8 TDs) and Connor Field (357 yards, 2 TDs) lead the way. McAllen also has 14 catches for 168 yards and two more touchdowns.
The Mariners recently have proved a formidable foe for WPI, beating them twice and losing by one point twice in the last five seasons.