Learning Ahead: March 9th-14th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 11 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.

Sponsor Learning Ahead

Berkshire County

Monday, March 9, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES: Williams College presents the South Asian Film Series: Highlights of Indian Cinema 1955-2013. Film fans can come see key films from the past six decades at this series. On March 9, see Umrao Jaan (1982), which is based on an Urdu novel from 1899 and features classical Indian music. Older students will enjoy this film series, and can learn about both the history of film and Indian culture through the screenings. Takes place in Paresky Center Auditorium. 413-597-3131. 39 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

FILM/LAW: The Berkshire Athenaeum’s film series, “Cinema of Law,” continues this March for its ninth year. The series focuses on films relating to the law and legal topics, and each film is introduced by a local law professional who can provide commentary on the topic of the film. Each film delves into a different branch of law – free speech guidelines, the jury system, how the truth is viewed through different lenses, and how to handle a large-scale theft. Older students interested in law can learn from the films and law professionals at each screening. The series continues on Tuesday, March 10, the library will screen Runaway Jury (2003; rated PG-13). Call the library at 413-499-9480 for more information. The Berkshire Athenaeum is at 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA.

Wednesday, March 11, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Stockbridge Library’s Museum and Archives is offering a local history program entitled, “Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Stockbridge.” The series focuses on the town’s historic homes, their history, and the people who lived in them. Current Stockbridge homeowners will present this information about their homes and the previous residents. This month’s program is entitled, “Main Street Doctors.” Those interested in local history will enjoy these programs. Takes place at First Congregational Church. 413-298-5501. 4 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, March 13, 2:30pm-3:30pm – ART: Learn the stories behind some of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings at the Norman Rockwell Museum with Curator of Education Tom Daly. Best for older students interested in art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Franklin County

9am-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Get outside while we still have snow at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center! The trails are open most Wednesdays through Sundays during the winter months for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA.

Hampshire County

Through March 22, 10am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES: Escape the chilly New England weather and visit Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny… or stop by the Smith College Botanic Garden to see their Monet-inspired Spring Bulb Show! The show takes design elements, plants, and color schemes from Monet’s famous garden and transforms the Lyman Conservatory into a beautiful, colorful display of flowers inspired by the French impressionist. Warm up in the greenhouse and learn about the different varieties of flowers and get some inspiration for your own garden. The bulb show runs from March 7 through 22, 10am-4pm daily, with extended hours until 8pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Botanic Garden is located at 16 College Lane in Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30-8pm – PLANT STUDIES/SUSTAINABILITY: It may be freezing outside, but it’s time to start thinking about your summer garden. This year, ensure your garden is organic from start to finish by starting your own seeds. This can give plants a head start that leads to earlier harvests and a greater yield. RVM Co-op favorites, Billie and Sandy, will be hosting a workshop on how to start your own seeds and nurture seedlings for your garden this year on Tuesday, March 10 from 6:30pm-8pm. They will offer helpful hints and go over the materials you will need and process to get you started. The best part is you don’t have to wait for warm weather to get your hands dirty and have it feel like summer! If you would like to register to attend the workshop, please call River Valley Market at 413-584-2665 or stop by their customer service. River Valley Market, 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (Free to attend, but pre-registration is required).

Tuesday, March 10, 12:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL MUSIC: Take the opportunity to relax and enjoy live music at Smith College’s Music in the Noon Hour event. Smith faculty artists and friends will perform half-hour recitals of classical music. This week, Edward Klorman and Liza Stepanova will perform on viola and piano. Takes place at Sweeney Concert Hall. 413-585-3222. 122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 12, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/SILENT FILM: “Laughing Through Our Tears” is a Charlie Chaplin film series at Eastworks to raise money for the Cancer Connection. Tito Gambarini will present and discuss each film – a great opportunity to introduce students to Chaplin’s films. On March 12, see City Lights. 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 160. Easthampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Thursday, March 12, 7:30pm – DANCE STUDIES/SOUTH INDIAN CLASSICAL: Ragamala Dance Company will perform Song of the Jasmine at the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on March 12. The group will perform the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, accompanied by the music of Rudresh Mahanthappa. This performance is an excellent opportunity for students interested in dance to learn about and experience Indian dance. Tickets available in advance. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. ($$)


Hampden County

Monday, March 9, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/IMMIGRATION: Are you descended from immigrants? Or do you want to learn more about the immigrant experience in western Massachusetts? The Wistariahurst Museum’s spring lecture series, “Immigrant Communities in the Pioneer Valley,” kicks off on March 9 at 6pm and runs most Monday evenings through May 11. The topic of the first lecture is an “Introduction to Immigrant Communities in Western Massachusetts,” and other topics include Irish laborers, the local Polish community, the earliest African-American families in the region, Jewish immigrants, and Puerto Rican immigrants in Holyoke. These presentations would be of interest to students who are looking to learn more about local immigrant communities or those whose ancestors immigrated to the Pioneer Valley. Call the Wistariahurst at 413-322-5660 for more information. The Wistariahurst Museum is located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke, MA. ($)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: