40 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Tulip Mania to Gyoktaku. Purim to Poetry.

“With rapidly rising global temperatures come seasonal changes. As spring comes earlier for some plant species, there are ripple effects throughout the food web. Regina Brinker explains how phenology, or the natural cycles of plants and animals, can be affected by these changes.” – TED-Ed. View full lesson: Phenology and nature’s shifting rhythms – Regina Brinker.

Economics to Engineering. Jazz Music to Japanese Art History. Linguistics to Female Explorers. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Spring comes sooner than you might think, at the Pioneer Valley’s local greenhouses! Spring bulb shows signal the coming end of winter and offer families an opportunity to learn together about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and species identification. A visit to a bulb show can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany, plant and soil science, and possibly even evolutionary biology. You can also discover the beauty of this flower to gain a better understanding in the psychology behind the tulip mania featured in the video above. Charles Darwin, in his study of natural selection, examined the co-evolution of orchids and insect species. Visiting the greenhouse can be an opportunity for you and your children to think about this interrelation of plants and insects. Or you may simply want to see the beautiful sights and smell the fragrant flowers! The Smith College Bulb Show runs from March 4 through March 19. Lyman Conservatory. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Plant Studies ♦  PurimIchthyology ♦  STEMMaple HistoryHistory FairArt HistoryWorld Languages  ♦ Theater StudiesMusic HistoryOrnithologySustainabilityAgricultureIce FishingSeed SavingCommunity Meals ♦  PhotographyReligious StudiesGyoktakuHealth & Wellness ♦  Italian CultureHerbalisimWomen’s HistoryNutritionParentingCulture StudiesPoetryCollaborative Consumption

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Plant Studies

“During the 1600’s, the exotic tulip became a nationwide sensation; some single bulbs even sold for ten times the yearly salary of a skilled craftsman. Suddenly, though, the demand completely plummeted, leaving the tulip market in a depression. What happened? Prateek Singh explains the peak of a business cycle, commonly referred to as a mania.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson:
What causes economic bubbles? – Prateek Singh

Saturday, March 4-Sunday, March 19, 8:30am-4pm
Spring comes sooner than you might think, at the Pioneer Valley’s local greenhouses! Spring bulb shows signal the coming end of winter and offer families an opportunity to learn together about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and species identification. A visit to a bulb show can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany, plant and soil science, and possibly even evolutionary biology. You can also discover the beauty of this flower to gain a better understanding in the psychology behind the tulip mania featured in the video above. Charles Darwin, in his study of natural selection, examined the co-evolution of orchids and insect species. Visiting the greenhouse can be an opportunity for you and your children to think about this interrelation of plants and insects. Or you may simply want to see the beautiful sights and smell the fragrant flowers! The Smith College Bulb Show runs from March 4 through March 19. Lyman Conservatory. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Local flower societies and college conservatories are community resources that can offer opportunities to learn about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and the structural nuances that differentiate one species from another. Three upcoming annual flower shows featuring orchids, flower bulbs and spring flowers are perfect events to support these interests and to inspire a love for flowers! Read more in our post, Orchids & Tulips: Learning About Botany & Habitat.

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“How did fishermen record their trophy catches before the invention of photography? In 19th century Japan, fishing boats were equipped with rice paper, sumi-e ink, and brushes in order to create gyoktaku: elaborate rubbings of freshly caught fish. K. Erica Dodge recounts the story of this competitive fishing culture, plus some tips on how to make your very own etchings.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson:
Gyotaku: The ancient Japanese art of printing fish – K. Erica Dodge

Saturday, March 4, 9am-3pm
Ice fishing is practiced all over the world in areas where bodies of water freeze. Ice fishing has different cultural purposes in different areas. In Finland, for example, ice fishing is typically a solitary sport, with contemplation a signature aspect of the experience. In New England, in contrast, ice fishing is often a social activity, sometimes involving contests. You can attend a fishing derby and educational program open to all Boy Scouts and their families, at Chesterfield Scout Reservation. For more information contact Tim Vogel at tim@tekoamountainoutdoors.com or Jim Lagacy at jim.lagacy@state.ma.us. 22 Sugar Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (<$)

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Saturday, March 5, 9am-4:30pm
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are highly respected and lucrative career areas with lots of exciting, innovative job opportunities. Unfortunately, only twenty-four percent of STEM workers are women (U.S. Department of Commerce). As part of National Engineers Week, Smith College is doing their part to introduce girls to coding in a fun, inclusive environment. Girls in grades six through eight are invited to register for either the morning or afternoon session and learn the basics of a very exciting field. 100 Green Street. Ford Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Saturday, March 4, 9:30am-4pm; Sunday March 5, 9:30am-4pm
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 5:30pm
Living history fairs give young people the chance to learn about an interesting historical figure by portraying them. These events are also intergenerational opportunities for student-run learning. Students from the Full Circle School invite you to their History Fair. Students will be portraying artists and inventors from ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Romantic and modern periods including Titian, Rembrandt, Monet, and Edmonia Lewis among many others. This event is open to the public. 21 Parmenter Road. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

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Art History

Saturday, March 4, 10am
Learning about local history can support placemaking, as you gain an understanding and appreciation for the historic culture of the area in which you live. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Pajama Party at Springfield Museums invites families to learn about Springfield native Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, through interactive gallery activities. Participate in Dr. Seuss trivia, make art, dance, and more! Participants will learn all about how Springfield and the surrounding area influenced Geisel’s life and work. Visit the Springfield Museums website for a full schedule of events, all included with regular museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, MA on March 2, 1904, in his family’s home on Howard Street. The Geisels moved to 74 Fairfield Street in the Forest Park neighborhood when Ted was two years old, and it was there that he grew up. The familiar buildings, people and landscapes from his childhood in Springfield appear again and again in his books. The title of his first published children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, refers to an actual street in Springfield that Ted Geisel would have walked past on his way to high school. The huge old building with four belching smokestacks that was the Springfield Gasworks appears as the Thneeds factory in The Lorax. The crenellated towers of the castle-like Howard Street Armory in Springfield appear in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. The strange-looking vehicle driven by Sylvester McMonkey McBean in The Sneetches looks very much like a huge tractor built in Springfield by the Knox Automobile Company. The winding paths that once weaved their way through Springfield’s Forest Park, where Ted Geisel’s father was park superintendent, appear in Horton Hears a Who!.

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World Languages

“It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like traveling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson:
The benefits of a bilingual brain – Mia Nacamulli

Saturday, March 4, 10am-11:30am
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. For that reason it is a very practical and enriching second language to learn. Non-native speakers who wish to practice their Spanish are invited to a four-week series of conversation sessions at the Jones Library. Saturdays March 4, March 11, March 18 and March 25, meet other community members and improve your Spanish speaking skills in a relaxed environment. To learn more about the advantages of learning a second language, as well as resources for language learning, read our post: Language Learning Resources in Western MA. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Theater Studies

Wednesday, March 8, 7pm
Eugene Onegin is a Russian opera, based on a verse novel written by Alexander Pushkin. This film can teach American theatre lovers about Russian plays and poetry at the same time. Boris Wolfson, Associate Professor and Chair of Russian at Amherst College will be providing an informative introduction to a screening of a filmed production of this play, at Amherst Cinema, adding even more educational value to the experience of seeing this play. The filmed production is performed by Vakhtangov Theatre. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Music Studies

Saturday, March 4, 10am-4:30pm
Jazz is a musical genres with many sub genres. One element which separates jazz from many (but not all) other types of music is that it involves improvisation, challenging jazz performers to come up with solos on the spot. The Five College Jazz Festival will feature a range of performances by student ensembles, vocal groups and big bands. “Big band jazz” refers to an era of jazz which took place primarily during the 1930s and 1940s, though big band style compositions are still written and performed today. Attend the festival for a crash course in jazz studies. Smith College. Carroll Room. Campus Center. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 2pm and 7pm
In conjunction with the Five College Jazz Festival, the Mount Holyoke College Jazz Ensembles presents “The Big Broadcast!” This annual show is a tribute to 1940s radio, directed by Mark Gionfriddo with special guest Channel 22’s Brian Lapis. Tickets are available at the UMASS Fine Arts Center Box Office by phone at 413-545-2511. Mount Holyoke College. Chapin Auditorium. South Hadley, MA. ($; students <$)

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Saturday, March 4, 11am-12:30pm
How many birds can you identify? Father and son team Devin and Aidan Griffiths will be teaching attendees at the Whately Library all about the bay state’s winter birds. Learn about native species and be on the lookout for them as winter winds to a close. New England is home to ducks, geese, gulls, raptors, and many other birds who remain even through the coldest days of winter. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

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Saturday, March 4, 2:30pm and 4:30pm
Do you know where your food comes from? Agriculture is a business which affects all of us, whether we realize it or not, and it is a business currently undergoing drastic changes in conjunction with political and cultural shifts. “Fresh Fest 2017” is a film series at Images Cinema, featuring documentaries about agriculture. On March 4, you can see the 2015 film A Small Good Thing, a story set in the Berkshires. This film analyzes a cultural shift from a “more is better” philosophy toward a more holistic conception of happiness. Then, at 4:30pm, you can view the 2016 film, Peter and The Farm, which depicts the legacy of a Vermont farmer, relaying the agricultural wisdom he has gained through many years as proprietor of the 187 acre Mile Hill Farm. Attend the festival and learn more about agriculture, an important business and cultural staple in Western Massachusetts. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Sunday, March 5, 12:30pm
Do you know where your food comes from? Agriculture is a business which affects all of us, whether we realize it or not, and it is a business currently undergoing drastic changes in conjunction with political and cultural shifts. “Fresh Fest 2017” is a film series at Images Cinema, featuring documentaries about agriculture. On March 5, you can view the 2016 film, Seed: The Untold Story, a depiction of the seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. Over the course of the last century, nearly 100 varieties of seeds have disappeared as a result of large agricultural companies who control the majority of the global seed market. View the film to find out more about this agricultural issue, including what can be done. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Once you’ve reaped the delicious benefits of a summer’s harvest, look further than your plate in order to find a purpose for what you’ve grown. Seed saving is a fantastic way to practice self sufficiency and resilience, and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning – the digging-in-the-dirt kind that leads to some serious discoveries! Read more in our post, Seed Capital Provides Return for Nature-Based Education.

Saturday, March 4, 10am-1pm
The ancient practice of swapping seeds serves many purposes: ensuring food security, building community ties, and increasing biodiversity. Even if you don’t have seeds to share, you can come to a seed swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. In addition to acquiring new seeds and making good use of your excess seeds, you can learn about seed saving and swap farming/gardening techniques. In addition to seed swapping, there will be workshops on topics such as plant breeding and indigenous seed keeping. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Community Meals

Saturday, March 4, 4pm-7pm
Northampton Parents Center gatherings encourage community-building for parents and creative free play for kids! Children ages birth through kindergarten age, and their caregivers, are invited to a playtime, and optional potluck dinner with a performance by Little Roots! Older siblings and alumni are also welcome to join. Older siblings and alumni are welcome to join us! If you can bring a dish to share, please do, if not, you are still welcome to join. Donations are always welcomed. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATION)

Friday, March 10, 6pm
Food is intricately interwoven with culture and habitat. Whether you want to connect with your own Italian heritage, or simply enjoy a delicious Italian meal, you can attend a Lenten fish dinner at the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. Olivia Panetti will be providing musical entertainment as well. Registration and payment is required prior to the dinner. The deadline for reservations is March 3. Call 413-827-9350 to make your reservations. 413-784-1492. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

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Sunday, March 5, 9am-12pm
Did you know that there are specific cameras and techniques for capturing wildlife in photographs and videos? Capturing wildlife on film poses unique challenges: how do you photograph animals without scaring them away? How do you capture motion in a photograph? Nature photography is the perfect artistic hobby for people who like to spend time outdoors and learn about animals and ecology. Expert animal tracker Jess Applin will be teaching participants techniques for tracking wildlife as well as how to capture great images in the wood. Space is limited. Call 413-623-2070 or email volunteer@wildscenicwestfieldriver.org to register and for directions. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 2pm
The Quabbin Visitor Center is a water supply source and the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts. This gorgeous spot for walking or biking is also a resource for learning about nature and local history. In his presentation “Visions from the Past,” Dale Monette will be displaying rarely seen photographs of the Quabbin, taking in the 1920s and 1930s as the reservoir was constructed by the Water Supply Commission. For more information about this program call 413-323-7221. 485 Ware Road. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

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Religious Studies

Sunday, March 5, 10am
Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday which takes place in late winter/early spring. The story of Purim comes from the Bible, and is set in ancient Persia. Haman, an evil and egotistical minister of the King, concocts a plan to destroy all of the Jews in the empire because they refuse to bow down to him. Little does Haman know that the new queen, Esther, is herself a Jew. Esther bravely reveals her true identity to the king. The Jews are spared and Haman is destroyed instead. Purim customs include the telling of Biblical stories, dressing in costumes, and eating hamantashen. (See the video below to learn how to make your very own hamantaschen at home.). Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will be hosting a Purim celebration for three to five-year-olds and their caregivers. Activities will include music, stories, crafts, and delicious treats. Space is limited & pre-registration is required at eventbrite. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, March 7, 5:15pm
Studying the beliefs and practices of various religions can help you gain a better philosophical, anthropological, and historical understanding of cultures across the globe. All are welcome to attend a lecture on Buddhist studies at Smith College, presented by Ven Dr Yifa. Yifa is a lawyer and scholar of philosophy and religious studies as well as an advocate for women’s health and women’s rights. Hear this scholar’s unique take on Buddhist studies and expand your own knowledge by attending this lecture. Seelye 106. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 5pm
Religious studies is one lens through which you can learn about anthropology and history. Religious values vary all over the world and have a strong impact on any given culture’s moral values, philosophical outlook, and even political polities. Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, John J. Collins, will be discussing the relationship between ethnicity and religion in his talk, “The Invention of Judaism.” Smith College. Seelye 201. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Health & Wellness

Sunday, March 5, 4pm
Mindfulness practices encourage people to turn mindful attention to daily activities which otherwise become routine and mindless. Virtually any part of your day can become an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Michele Miller is a Mindful Eating trainer, encouraging people to use mealtimes to cultivate mindfulness through eating. She will be giving a free introductory session on this topic. Participants must have a smartphone or tablet. This session will teach you about Miller’s mindfulness program. If you choose to continue you will be asked to download an app to help you with daily mindfulness exercises. Please register at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library or call 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 4pm-5:30pm
Why are so many kids “picky eaters?” Young children not only have taste receptors on their tongues, but also on the insides of their cheeks and the roofs of their mouths. As you can imagine, this means that kids taste things with great intensity, which can help explain why some are very sensitive to strong flavors – or seem to be able to taste things you can’t. Children also exert their independence by refusing to eat certain foods. People of all ages also acquire tastes for difficult foods through continued exposure to the experience of eating them. There are many reasons behind picky eating, and understanding these reasons can help parents encourage their kids to expand their dietary pallets. Jonathan Schwab, M.D., will be leading this parenting workshop to help parents of picky eaters, at Northampton Area Pediatrics. Register by calling 413-517-2226 . 193 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-12pm
Tinctures are liquid plant extracts used for various medicinal purposes. Learning to create tinctures can connect you with your local habitat as you learn to identify plant species which have positive medicinal uses! You are invited to a workshop, “The Backyard Herbalist,” to learn about beneficial native plants, as well as how to prepare wild edible foods and extract plants for tinctures. Green Fields Market. 144 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (DONATION)


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Women’s History

During the Victorian Age, women were unlikely to become great explorers, but a few intelligent, gritty and brave women made major contributions to the study of previously little-understood territory. Courtney Stephens examines three women — Marianne North, Mary Kingsley and Alexandra David-Néel — who wouldn’t take no for an answer (and shows why we should be grateful that they didn’t).” – TED-Ed

View full lesson:
The contributions of female explorers – Courtney Stephens

Sunday, March 5, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Gay men and women are often overlooked by history textbooks. Georgetown University women’s studies professor Bonnie J. Morris will be helping to remedy this in her talk at Smith College: “Archiving a Movement: Preserving Artifacts of Lesbian History.” Find out what you don’t know about lesbian history. Morris is an award-winning author and three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. In addition to the presentation there will be refreshments, discussion, and opportunities for networking. There is wheelchair accessibility through Neilson Library. Sophia Smith Collection. Alumnae Gym. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 12:15pm-1pm
In addition to her role as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was a human rights political activist and worked as a delegate to the United Nations. Roosevelt transformed the role of First Lady in the United States, taking an active political role during her husband’s four terms in office. The lunchtime lecture, “The Life and Times of Eleanor Roosevelt,” will discuss Eleanor’s personal and political life, her relationship with her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, and her legacy. Springfield Museums 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, March 10, 5pm-8pm
Jodi Colella’s exhibition Unidentified Woman explores several aspects of 18th century women’s history, through artwork. In this exhibition Colella uses sculptures to educate people on the role of headwear in 18th century culture. Headwear was a sign of status and an important element of fashion. Colella’s exhibition also utilizes daguerreotype photographs of anonymous women. You can learn more by attending this exhibition opening talk, which will occur during Northampton’s Arts Night Out. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, March 6, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Expanding your network of parents can help you to build upon your knowledge of parenting solutions by discussing common issues. Parents of children ages birth through five are invited to “Making a Connection,” the first in a series of Positive Solutions parenting workshops in which participants will discuss the power of positive encouragement for children and share tips. A light dinner will be served. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Belchertown Family Center. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 6pm-8pm
Every parent wants their child to be healthy and make smart decisions. How can parents best model and encourage these behaviors? The Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition is sponsoring a workshop for caregivers as well as youth ages ten to fourteen-years-old where both parents and kids can learn about healthy decision making and bond as families. Caregivers will build their knowledge and skills and all participants will have a fun time at this 7-week interactive program lead by certified facilitators. For more information and to register, visit the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition website. Sessions will take place on Wednesdays at White Brook Middle School. 200 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 6pm-7:30pm
Want to feel supported and understood as a parent? Join a parenting discussion! Parents of children ages birth through eight are invited to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to take a break and discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. This group will have three sessions on March 9, 16, and 23. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Granby Library. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 10, 11am-12pm
Have you ever wondered about the Montessori method of education? Bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni, at the Forbes Library. This hour will include time to explore Montessori materials. There will be a circle time and a story. The Montessori School of Northampton offers children the opportunity to build their independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play with a Montessori-trained teacher and small class sizes. All families of children ages 0-6 are invited to attend this informative session. For more information call 413-586-4538 ex 103 or visit the Montessori School of Northampton website. The Forbes library is located at 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 10, 10am-11am
Early childhood is the best time to introduce languages to your child. As part of their Puzzle of Parenting series, the Collaborative for Educational Services is providing a bilingual story, music, and games session for families. Participants will engage their children with both English and Spanish, and learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. This could be a great way to connect your child to their own heritage, or to introduce other cultures for a more global understanding. This program is intended for children ages birth to five years, and their caregivers. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This program will take place at the Easthampton Family Center. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

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Culture Studies

Tuesday, March 7, 5:30pm
The Five College Center for East Asian Studies connects students as well as community members with educational opportunities for learning about East Asian cultures. All are invited to learn about Japanese history at this lecture, “Remembering and Recording Childhood, Education, and Youth in Imperial Japan, 1925-1945,” delivered by L. Halliday Piel of Lasell College, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The constantly evolving concept of “childhood” can be a useful lens through which to study both history and cultural anthropology. Halliday has written, for example, about the prevalence of outdoor play for children in wartime Japan. Herter Hall 301. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 5:30pm
Works of art have always been used to process and express human emotion. Art Jeehee Hong’s presentation, “Framing Affect and Vision in Middle-Period China,” explores the artistic mediums and materials that were used to express emotion during the ninth through fourteenth centuries in China. Images of grieving individuals in funereal contexts are just one example of the types of artwork Hong will be discussing in this lecture at the Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, March 5, 3pm
Jubilat is a literary magazine which has been publishing poetry and artwork since the Spring of 2000. In 2001, Jubilat began conducting annual readings in partnership with the Jones Library Come be a part of a local tradition supporting writers, and hear readings from poets Alan Felsenthal and Rachel B. Glaser. Felsenthal runs a small press called The Song Cave and is author of the poetry collection Lowly, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Glaser is a novelist as well as a poet, and her work has appeared in the anthologies 30 Under 30 and New American Stories. This reading is open to the public. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 6, 7pm
The term “poetry” comes from the Greek term, “poiesis,” which translates to “making.” How do you make poetry? Typically by applying your choice of poetic techniques such as rhythm, rhyme, line breaks, repetition, puns, alliteration, or others, to your writing. Whether you make poetry yourself, or simply enjoy reading it, you can enrich your study of poetry by meeting other community members who enjoy this literary art form. The Forbes Library is hosting an ongoing poetry discussion group, through May 15. On March 7, participants will be reading and discussing poems about climate change. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 7:30pm
Did you know that poetry may actually predate the written word? Today, in a world full of written prose, this can be hard to imagine. In a time of strictly oral communication, however, poetic forms had not only aesthetic but highly practical purposes. Due to the often rhythmic and rhyming nature of poems, poetry can be easier to remember than prose, and poetry can be used as a mnemonic device. Metered (rhythmic) and rhyming phrases were once recited, or sung, in order to remember and convey oral history, genealogy, and even law! Learn more by reading ouR post, Poetry Contest Encourages Local Poets of All Ages. Then, expand your knowledge of this global art form by attending a poetry reading at Smith College by poets Jamaal May and Tarfia Faizullah. Jamaal May is winner of the Alice James Award. Tarfia Faizullah is a Bangladeshi-American poet who grew up in Midland, Texas. Her first book, Seam (2014), won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Neilson Browsing Room. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Zines (short for magazine or fanzine) are self-published books that include different media forms: collage, illustrations, comic strips, and words.  A zine can be a book of poetry or a story, it can be a guide book or a collection of fairy tales – the sky’s the limit!  You don’t need a publisher to get your poetry out to be the public. If you want to share your work with the community, you can always make a zine. Zines are small magazines, made inexpensively and often distributed for free. Since zines don’t usually travel far in their distribution, zine collections can give you an idea about the culture of your community and connect you with local writers. Zine making is also a great way to collaborate with other artists. Come to the Forbes Library Zine Club to talk about and create zines. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Making a zine is a rewarding, creative process and can certainly be a part of your gift giving plans for the holidays. Need some inspiration for your zine-making adventures? Check out the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA.  The Flywheel Arts Collective has a community Zine library and cafe with over 3,000 zines, featuring many from Western Massachusetts!  Flywheel is a collective of art and poetry that allows people to share their work with others in their local community.  It’s a great community resource for those looking to feel inspired through grassroots art and literature that aims to inspire, provoke thought and engage the community. Easthampton, MA

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Collaborative Consumption

Engaging in opportunities for collaborative consumption invites the acquisition of knowledge related to many themes through authentic use of community-based resources. Emphasizing togetherness, opportunities for collaborative consumption are often intergenerational, allowing young community members to work alongside and learn from people of all ages. Additionally, collaborative consumption emphasizes cooperation, allowing families to learn how to work together and with others toward a shared goal of community resilience – the strength and cohesiveness to survive and thrive through challenges big and small. Exploring paths to resilience through collaborative consumption also invites the acquisition of specified skills and knowledge, and allows families to learn about the local resources, organizations, and institutions through which they can pursue collaborative consumption. The skills and knowledge acquired through engagement with and awareness of collaborative consumption can also serve as a means of impacting local culture, as they will allow families to promote specific practices and values through conscious participation.

Wednesday, March 8, 6pm-7pm
Writers are often inspired by nature. Books can take you to beautiful lands you couldn’t otherwise visit, while also educating you on nature studies topics such as plant identification or ornithology. Bring a nature- or land-themed book that you love to Kestrel Land Trust‘s Love the Land Book Share and Swap. Introduce the book to others, then listen as others share their favorites. Refreshments provided. Meet other nature lovers who appreciate a good book! If you wish to swap books, bring a used book to pass on to someone else. Registration is required and space is limited. 413-549-1097. Forbes Library. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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[Photo credit: Phil McIver]

Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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