Before the heart study, Framingham looked at tuberculosis
“Greengrocer, Siem Reap’’ by Catherine Meeks of Acton will be among the food-themed art in Maynard.
Dr. Alfred DeMaria Jr. will speak on World TB Day.
Storyteller Cheryl Perreault.
A work by Irene Stapleford.
A scene from “Blackberry Winter.’’
By Nancy Shohet West
Globe Correspondent

BEFORE THE HEART STUDY You may have already heard about how a massive-scale public health study based in Framingham profoundly changed the body of research on a deadly and widespread disease.

But before the iconic Framingham Heart Study begin in 1948 and put the Massachusetts town’s focus on public health on the map, there was an earlier iteration: the Framingham Tuberculosis Study, which took place from 1916-1923 and, according to Framingham History Center executive director Anne Murphy, was the first community-based participatory health study in the world.

In honor of World TB Day on Thursday, March 24, the Framingham History Center presents “The Whole World is Watching Framingham,’’ with Dr. Alfred DeMaria Jr., medical director and state epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease, and Kathy Hursen, Framingham’s public health nurse and coordinator of the TB clinic from 1989-1995, discussing the far-reaching but little-known significance of this slice of local history.

“This was the first communitywide public health project ever conducted to prevent a disease,’’ Hursen said. “The entire community got involved. Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death at that time. This was the first study to prove that a major disease could be prevented and reduced in the United States. It was replicated around the world, and researchers used what they learned from this study and its success when they designed the Framingham Heart Study.’’

The talk takes place Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. at Historic Village Hall, 2 Oak St., Framingham. Suggested donation is $5. For more information, go to

FILM FESTIVAL Belmont World Film celebrates its 15th year with screenings of 10 award-winning films from the world’s top international film festivals as well as thought-provoking discussions, cultural performances, and ethnic cuisine, beginning March 21 and running through May 15 at the Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, and the West Newton Cinema, 1296 Washington St., Newton. The festival opens on Monday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Studio Cinema with the New England premiere of “Parisienne,’’ a semiautobiographical film by Lebanese-French director Danielle Arbid. The screening will be preceded by an opening night reception at 6 p.m. Tickets for each film are $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors. The Belmont World Film “Passport’’ includes eight admissions for $75 and can be shared with one other person. Tickets are available online or in person for cash on the day of the show starting 30 minutes prior to each screening. For a complete schedule and more information, call 617-484-3980 or go to

BLACKBERRY WINTER New Repertory Theatre announces the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of “Blackberry Winter,’’ a play by Steve Yockey about the difficult challenge of coping with a family member’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, March 26 to April 17 in the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Additional programming related to the play’s theme includes a “Meet the Playwright’’ event to take place on Sunday, March 27, following the 4 p.m. performance, and a symposium titled “Fading Memories: The Loss of Self and Personal Identity’’ on Sunday, April 3, following the 2 p.m. performance. Tickets are $30 to $59. For tickets and a complete schedule of performances, call 617-923-8487 or go to

TOO GOOD TO EAT Gallery Seven presents “Fest: Images of the Edible,’’ an exhibition of 43 pieces of art on the theme of food assembled by guest juror Kaveh Mojtabai, founder and publisher of Artscope Magazine, now through April 2. The gallery is located at 7 Nason St., Maynard. For hours or more information, call 978-897-9777 or go to

SHADES OF CREATIVITY “Color Sense,’’ a collection of recent paintings by West Concord artist Irene Stapleford, is on exhibit in the Concord Free Public Library Art Gallery now through March 26. Drawing upon creative and sweeping use of color, Stapleford uses techniques including acrylic glazes that are applied and sanded away, and image transfer, a digital printmaking technique in which altered versions of vintage photos or illustrations are embedded in paintings. The library is located at 129 Main St., Concord. For hours or more information, call 978-318-3300 or go to

ESPRESSO YOURSELF AGAIN The second monthly installment of the Espresso Yourself Coffeehouse in Medfield takes place Saturday, March 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. March’s theme is “Coming of Age, at Any Age,’’ featuring Hopkinton poet and storyteller Cheryl Perreault followed by open mike time. Suggested donation is $5; students $3. The Espresso Yourself Coffeehouse is located in the Unitarian Universalist church at 26 North St., Medfield.

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