Learning Ahead: October12th-16th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 14 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.

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Berkshire County

Friday, October 16, 2:30pm & 7:30pm
MASS MoCA presents the Wind-Up Fest, formerly the Williamstown Film Festival. The festival is focused on documentary film and creative nonfiction, and socially engaged participatory art. At 2:30pm, attend an interactive variety show, “The Wide, Wonderful World of Wind-Up,” and at 3:30pm see a screening of Abandoned Goods and other shorts, followed by a screening of Very Semi-Serious, which is about New Yorker cartoonists, at 7:30pm. Older students interested in documentary film and art would enjoy the festival. Cost is per each event. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

The New York Times is hosting their first Editorial Cartoon contest for students, allowing them the opportunity to integrate their thoughts on current affairs into images. Students having something to say about Donald Trump, the Islamic State, police brutality, the New England Patriots, the state of pop music, stress in school or anything else the NYT covers, can make an editorial cartoon to let the NYT know what they think! Deadline to enter is Oct 20.

Friday, October 16, 7:30pm
October 16th is the 6th annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Fest! Come to Berkshire Community College’s Boland Theater for an evening of rhythm and dance by many musicians and dancers. The Fest is focused on celebratory music from around the world. Some of the featured artists include the Iroko/Nuevo Cuban/Puerto Rican Drum and Dance Troupe, Berkshire Rhythm Keepers, Gaia Roots, Mountain River Taiko, Youth Alive, and many others. There will also be a silent auction and craft marketplace at 7pm. The Fest is a fundraiser for the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Raise the Roof project. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $-$$)

Franklin County

Friday, October 16, 10am-4pm – COLONIAL HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS
Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about traditional fall harvest foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn. These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Read more about seasonal learning activities at Historic Deerfield in this month’s edition of “Museum Adventures: Highlights from Western MA Museum Educators.”

Hampshire County

Monday, October 12, 9am-12noon
Help the Hilltown Land Trust spruce up the Stevens Property this Columbus Day! This is HLT’s largest property, and it needs a lot of work – you can help install a new trail kiosk, re-blaze trail markers, clean and maintain the trail, and more. This is a great service-based learning opportunity for older students interested in nature, conservation, hiking, and the work done by HLT and other similar organizations. Email hltlandsteward@thetrustees.org or call to RSVP. 413-628-4485 x4. Pisgah Road. Huntington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Monday, October 12, 7pm
Studies of animals have had a profound influence on our understanding of human behavior, health, and more. Can we flip this around and apply some of what we know about humans to better understand animals? This will be the first question explored at Nerd Nite‘s first event of the season. The second set of questions addressed at the event will be: What are the developmental origins of human prejudice? Do we begin life immune to stereotypes and biases? UMass professors Luke Remage-Healey and Erik Cheries will lead the event and share what they have learned about these issues through their research endeavors. This event is for people age 21+. Eastworks, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 160, Easthampton, MA. (< $)

Wednesday, October 14, 9am-11am
Seniors can join naturalist John Green and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for a Morning Nature Walk for Seniors. This is a great chance for grandparents to get outdoors and learn about nature! Registration is required; location given upon registration. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 14, 12:30pm-1pm
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. Takes place at Sweeney Concert Hall. 413-585-3222. 122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 14, 5pm-7pm
The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce presents Chamber After 5 Jazz Fest in the Hampshire Mall’s Center Court. Enjoy this fun jazz concert as a mid-week treat or as an introduction to the genre. 413-253-0700. 367 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. ($)

Wednesday, October 14, 7pm
Guitarist Peter Biedermann will perform original jazz and improvisation on 6- and 12-string guitars at the Forbes Library on October 14th. Students with audience skills who are interested in music, especially guitar, will enjoy this performance that showcases Biedermann’s skill and unique style. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 15,10am-2pm
Looking for service-based learning? RSVP of Hampshire & Franklin Counties is sponsoring a community volunteer fair ideal for older youth and adults looking for opportunities to serve in Hampshire and Franklin counties. The local organizations exhibiting at the fair have volunteer opportunities in education, nutrition, fundraising, non-profit consulting, exercise & activity programs, senior services, and more. Come find the perfect way for you and your family to give back to your community! 67 Conz Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, October 15, 4:30pm-6pm
The UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center presents a screening of Thursday, October 15, 4:30pm-6pm – (2007), a documentary directed by Marion Cajori, in Herter Hall Room 227. The last film made by Cajori, the documentary focuses on artist Chuck Close’s singular use of portraiture. The screening is held in conjunction with the University Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition, Chuck Close Photographs, on view through December 6, 2015. The screening would appeal to older students interested in contemporary art, art history, film studies, and photography. 413-545-3670. 161 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Read more about the exhibit, Chuck Clsoe Photographs, at UMCA in last month’s edition of “Museum Adventures: Highlights from Western MA Museum Educators.”

Friday, October 16, 8:30pm
The UMass Black Student Union is hosting a poetry jam at the Campus Center Auditorium on October 16. Come hear poetry read by students in the Black Student Union that celebrate the spoken word and self-expression. There will be refreshments and music in addition to the poetry readings. 1 Campus Center Way. Amherst, MA.

Hampden County

Thursday, October 15, 3:30pm-5pm
The Springfield Museums are holding an Educator Open House on October 15. Learn about field trips and Museums on the Go! outreach programs, upcoming events, and more. Educators, PTO/PTA members, and administrators are invited to attend to learn about the Museums’ programs and how students can benefit. Register in advance. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


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