Suggested Events for February 24th – March 2nd, 2018
If you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.
Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.
MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, Hilltown Families will be featuring summer camps and programs in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.
Hilltown Families Events
Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are rounding out the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ fundraising series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! Join us on Saturday, March 10th, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall!
As always, we’ll have a community breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit. For this special Saturday only, we’ll be joined by talented young performers from Youthful Expressions Dance Studio, who will wow the audience with creative moves directed by Tylor Thomas of Springfield, MA. At Youthful Expressions, their motto is “Perform hard and stay humble,” so you know this will be a show you don’t want to miss! After the dancers from Youthful Expressions inspire us with their moves, all the kids (and parents!) can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party!These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families. Admission is $6 per person. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Academy of Music Theatre and Academy Youth Productions presents Annie, Jr. on March 8th & 9th at 6:30PM. Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to- nothing start in 1930s New York City. Sponsored by Northampton Cooperative Bank. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main Street in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413.584.9032 x105 or visit www.aomtheatre.com.
Looking for a thoughtful approach to education? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Give your child the foundation for engaged learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 3rd. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All are welcome. Applications accepted for the 2018-19 school year. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org
The New England Air Museum will hold its annual Women Take Flight event on Saturday, March 3 from 10am-4pm in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Families are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, hands-on activities, & lectures from special guest speakers. Discover the history of women in aerospace through the museum’s collection of over 100 historic aircrafts. Meet local women pilots, engineers, & industry professionals. Participate in hands-on STEM activities. Climb-aboard and experience historic aircrafts & flight simulators. For more info & the full schedule of events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. Located in Windsor Locks, CT adjacent to Bradley International Airport.
Connect with nature through the life of a working farm: The Hartsbrook School’s Farm Camp in Hadley, MA lets children slow down and savor the summer! Campers spend time tending the animals, doing agriculturally-based crafts and enjoying carefree days with other “young farmers.” Experienced, thoughtful counselors allow campers to enjoy the freedom and wonder of summer. The practical skills learned on the farm help children to be more confident and grounded in their everyday lives. Dates: Jun 18-Jul 27; Age Range of Campers: 4-12yo For more info: 413-586-1908 x116; email@example.com; www.hartsbrook.org.
Our Place Summer School in Northampton gets kids off the screen and into the green, Jun 18-Aug 31. For 5 days campers ages 5-14 hike, climb, wade, and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Students go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownﬁelds, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! For more info: 413-320-0522; firstname.lastname@example.org; biocitizen.org.
Maximize your creativity and character! The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy is a program for 6th and 7th graders interested in academic adventure. With classes such as Sustainability, Ethics, Urban Planning, and French Culture & Film, the Experimentory is interdisciplinary, project-based, and fun. All classes are taught by Deerfield Academy teachers on the DA campus: It’s a great way to sample the “Deerfield Experience.” Students make close friends from across the country and around the world. Choose between 2 or 4-week sessions. Attend as a boarder or a day student. Rolling admissions until May 1; apply for need-based financial aid by March 15. Dates: 4 Week Session starts: 7/8/18; 2 Week Sessions begin: 7/8/18 and 7/23/18. For more info: 413-774-1436; email@example.com; deerfield.edu/experimentory.
The Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education at Fort Hill offers high quality full- and part-time early education and care in Northampton for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Three-, four-, and five-day schedules are available in all age groups. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, the program emphasizes a strong sense of community, learning through in-depth projects, and the arts. The school includes large classrooms filled with natural light, extensive playgrounds, and dedicated studios for music and visual arts. Exceptional teacher-child ratios allow for individual attention and creative curriculum. For more information, please email CECE@smith.edu or visit the school website.
FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!
Hilltown Families has put together an After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory of classes and programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners and our directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education. — Have a class or program you’d like to include in our directory? Click here to find out how to have it added. New and updated opportunities are added throughout the year.
Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.
ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to email@example.com.
LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 24th – March 2nd, 2018
Saturday, February 24, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Mama Doni celebrates the Jewish holiday of Purim on Hilltown Family Variety Show! Celebrating the universal theme of Purim: standing up to adversity, having a voice, self empowerment, Mama Doni shares classic songs of strength. This unique Radio Show will give listeners a flavor of Purim — from the fun and crazy to the true meaning and message of this cool Jewish holiday. Produced by Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Saturday, February 24, 9am
During the 19th century, Victorian England briefly went through a phase of “orchidelirium.” A veritable obsession with collecting and discovering new species of orchid overwhelmed the nation. Wealthy orchid efficianadoes sent explorers all over the world to find new or rare species of these entrancing flowers. To this day, orchids continue to bewitch fanatics, resulting in the occasional theft of a particularly notable flower, as is evidenced by Susan Orlean’s 1998 book The Orchid Thief . Come see what all the fuss about these strange and mysterious flower is at the Amherst Orchid Society’s annual show. Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 9am-12pm
WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY
Did you know that before the Olympic Games in ancient Greece there was actually special athletic competition for women? The Heraean Games, named for the Queen of the Goddesses, Hera, featured races and other sports for women of all ages. Even in ancient Sparta, known for its fierce, macho warrior culture, women were trained according to the same athletic standards as the men. Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Springfield College with a series of clinics for a number of different sports, including soccer, track and field, and field hockey. Springfield College Athletics. 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 10-11am
NATURE BASED LEARNING/YOUNG CHILDREN
When author Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” in his now classic 2005 work Last Child in the Woods, the concept was not generally accepted among mental health professionals. Now, this idea, that most children and adults in our culture are experiencing mental and physical health problems as a result of being alienated from the natural world, has gained considerable traction. Among other factors, Louv notes that nature deficit disorder is a result of environmentalists and conservationists urging children not to touch what they see in the wild and to “stay on the path.” Louv encourages children to learn that they are not separate from nature by engaging with it. This one hour hike for children from birth to age 5 at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is designed to encourage children to explore nature on their own terms. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 10am-12pm
Self driving cars and trucks are no longer the stuff of science fiction novels! Ever since Tesla’s announcement last year that they had begun production of autonomous, electric semitrucks. The truck can go up to 500 miles on a single charge and carries 80,000 pounds of cargo. Most significantly, the truck is equipped with an autonomous driving program. As yet, this program can only handle merging, braking, and parking. But it is clear that the future will have fully automated vehicles. As 4,000 Americans die every year from vehicular accidents, with a high proportion being due to human error. This technology very well may save lives. Learn all about self driving cars at this workshop for kids ages 9 and above, hosted by Holyoke Codes. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 10:00am-1:00pm
The High Ledges in Shelburne Falls overlooks the Deerfield River Valley and offers a beautiful view of Mount Greylock to the West. This 792 acre wildlife sanctuary is home to a wide range of animals species including moose, black bears, and fishers. And nearby is Wolves’ Den, the alleged site of the killing of the last wolf in our area. This event , hosted by Mass Audubon and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, will focus on looking for animal tracks, burrows, and scat in the High Ledges. High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary. Shelburne Falls, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 10am
Savings seeds is a great way to preserve local, heirloom plant species, save money, and contribute to a local economy. Agricultural communities all around the world have practiced seed saving until the present time, when massive agricultural companies have begun patenting particular seeds. The impact of this practice on small farmers is absolutely catastrophic. Do your part to preserve and maintain our local ecosystems by saving your seeds and sharing them with others! If you are interested in learning more about saving seeds, come down to the 4th Annual Seed Swap, hosted by Grow Food Northampton. Northampton Senior Center. 67 Conz Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, February 24, 10:30-11:30am
Now that the snow is starting to melt, we all know that syrup season is right around the corner! Indigenous people in North America have been processing maple syrup and maple sugar since time immemorial. In fact, it is said that Glooscap, the Wabanaki creator god and cultural hero, first taught the people to make maple syrup. The technique used by indigenous Americans is remarkably similar to those still used today: among the Algonquians, stone tools were used to cut v-shaped incisions in the bark and reeds were inserted to allow the sap to run into buckets below. Canada currently produces around 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup but local producers keep this time-honored tradition alive in Western Massachusetts. Come learn all about the science of maple syrup production with the folks from Red Gate Farm. Arms Library. 60 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 10:30am-12pm
FILM SCREENING/PERSIAN POETRY
The 14th century Persian poet known as Hafez, meaning “The Keeper,” produced some of the most sublime, mystical love poetry ever written. In fact, Hafez is considered by many to be the greatest writer in the Persian literary canon, which is especially significant given the long and rich history of that tradition. To this day, many Persian speakers in Iran and elsewhere memorize and recite Hafez’ works. The ancient tradition of Persian poetry and the works of Hafez play a major role in the film Window Horses, playing this saturday morning at Amherst Cinema. This animated film tells the story of a young Canadian poet who travels to Iran to discover the true meaning of poetry. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 11am
Did you know that the origins of the popular folk tale “Cinderella” date back to the ancient Greek geographer Strabo in 7 BCE? Strabo records the popular story of a young girl named Rhodopis (“Rosy-Cheeks”), whose sandal is stolen by an eagle while she is bathing. The eagle carries the sandal to the king who, compelled by the beautiful shape of the shoe, sends his men throughout the kingdom to find the wearer of the shoe. When she is found, Rhodopis is brought to the king, who promptly marries her. Come see this timeless tale of virtue rewarded with this performance of “Cinderella” by the Berkshire Children’s Theater. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 11-11:45am
PUPPET SHOW/MUSIC STUDIES
Puppetry is a great way for young children to learn important developmental skills. Research shows that, especially for children with disabilities, puppets can be an excellent way to build communication skills. Speaking through a puppet allows many children to break through some of the obstacles to speaking because it doesn’t seem as intimidating. Puppets also provide an opportunity for children to express themselves emotionally in a way they may be hesitant to do so otherwise. Tom Knight has been performing puppet shows since 1987, and currently puts on over 50 shows a year all over the country. Come check out Tom’s puppetry show at the Northampton Community Music Center. 139 South Street, Northampton, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 11am
LIVING HISTORY/QUEEN VICTORIA
Over the course of Queen Victoria’s 63 year reign, Britain became the largest empire in the history of the world, comprising roughly 23 percent of the human population on earth and occupied 24 percent of all it’s landmass. Ascending to the throne at the age of 18, her nine children each married into royal families throughout Europe, earning Victoria the nickname “The Grandmother of Europe.” Come learn all about this fascinating, larger-than-life figure of world history with this living history presentation. All weekend long the Northeast Reenactors Fair will feature lectures and workshops on a variety of historical epochs and figure. For more information visit Northeast Reenactors Fair 2018. West Springfield, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 1-2pm
The geology of our region has a rich and intriguing history. As recently as fifteen thousand years ago, after the end of the last ice age, the entirety of the Connecticut River was a massive lake, known as Lake Hitchcock, which existed for around three thousand years. Before that the Laurentide ice sheet dominated the entire northern United States, including New England. As this massive glacier receded it carved enormous valleys and deposited gargantuan boulders. To this day, we can still see evidence of the glacier’s retreat all around us. Join photographer and boulder enthusiast Christy Butler for a discussion of the natural history of our region, followed by a short hike. For more information call 413-499-4262. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 3pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/HERBALISM
Herbalism is an ancient, sacred art. In addition to teaching us about healing and promoting overall physical health, herbs can connect us to wild nature and bring us back in contact with ancient traditions. Using herbs for health and healing requires a holistic understanding of the body and the ways that its systems are influenced by external factors. This herbalism workshop will focus on strengthening to immune and lymphatic systems and will discuss adaptogenic, immune stimulating, and immunomodulating herbs. This workshop is appropriate for those who are new to herbalism. The Upstairs Studio. 25 Main Street, Northampton, MA ($)
Saturday, February 24, 4-6pm
PANEL DISCUSSION/CIVIL RIGHTS
Starting with the Boston Tea Party in 1773, protest has been a vital element in American history. This has been especially true for the ongoing struggles of the African American community, from slavery to the civil rights movement and Black Lives Matter, in our present moment. Following a long history of protest movements for equal rights and social change, this panel discussion featuring local scholars and experts in the field will focus on how the history of protest movements in this country can continue to inform various approaches to social justice. Gateway City Arts. 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 5:30-6:30pm
NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The word ‘cacao’ derives from ‘cacahuatl’ in the Nahualt language, the lingua franca of the ancient Aztec Empire. Long before this bean became the source of our favorite guilty pleasure, cacao beans were used in ritual and spiritual ceremonies in cultures throughout the Yucatan peninsula including the Maya, the Aztec, and even the ancient Olmecs, the latter dating back as far as 1500 BCE. Among the Aztecs, cacao was consumed primarily in the form of a frothy beverage, produced through the fermentation of the pulpy juice of the fruit. Moctezuma II, the last Emperor of the Aztecs was said to drink up to 60 glasses a day! As a matter of fact, it was not until much later that the bean itself was consumed. Come learn all about the healing and sacred properties of cacao at this Sacred Healing Cacao Ceremony. Led by Reiki Master Leah Kent, participants will have the opportunity to sample a traditional liquid preparation, followed by guided meditation. Groundings. 7 Main Street, Florence, MA ($)
Sunday, February 25, 2018
7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Sunday, February 25, 10-11:30am
The Jewish holiday of Purim is celebrated nowadays by dressing up in lavish costumes, eating delicious food, and singing and dancing. It turns out that the masquerade custom only developed in the 15th century by Italian Jews, influenced by the Roman holiday of Carnival. The traditional food associated with Purim is known as hamantaschen, the Yiddish word for “Haman’s Pockets,” and in Hebrew oznei haman, meaning “Haman’s Ears.” Haman, the villain of the Purim story, was advisor to the Persian Emperor Xerxes, in the 5th century BCE, and urged his king to kill the Jews. Come celebrate Purim with the Lander-Grinspoon Academy at the Eric Carle Museum. Listen to Purim stories and make your own costume! Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA ($)
Sunday, February 25, 1-4pm
The chili cook-off is a time-honored American tradition. Currently the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) organizes over 500 chili cook-offs, raising over one million dollars for charity annually. At many of the most prestigious chili cook-offs, the list of acceptable ingredients is very tightly restricted. Beans are not allowed under any circumstances! At Solmar Restaurant 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off beans are permitted but contestants had still better bring their A-game. Cash prizes will be given to the top three chilis. So come on down and witness this quintessentially American culinary experience. Solmar Restaurant. 132 Main Street, Indian Orchard, MA ($)
Sunday, February 25, 1:30-5:30pm
TIBETAN NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
Losar, the Tibetan New Year celebration, actually predates the arrival of Buddhism to the Tibetan plateau and has its roots in the pre-Buddhist Bon religion. Specifically, Losar derives from the winter incense burning rituals of the Bon. In its current manifestation, Losar is celebrated for 15 days overlapping with both the Chinese New Year and the Mongolian New Year. Traditionally, Losar is celebrated with the drinking of chang, a fermented beverage made from barley that is similar to beer. Around the time of Losar, families clean their homes thoroughly, decorate with flowers, and paint auspicious symbols such as the moon and the sun. It is also customary to forgive debts and put aside feuds and quarrels. Come learn all about Losar at this celebration, organized by Umass Amherst Students for a Free Tibet. This event will feature traditional Tibetan music performances, delicious Tibetan food, and art projects! Umass Student Union Ballroom. 280 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA ($)
Sunday, February 25, 2-3pm
The second in Historic Deerfield’s Free Winter Lecture Series, “Soldier, Engraver, Counterfeiter: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic,” will be presented by Deborah Child. Deborah Child is the author of the Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic, the biography of Richard Brunton. Child follows follows Brunton from his arrival with the British army in Boston through the various battles of the American Revolution until his death in Groton, MA in 1832. Brunton’s adventures span six states and various levels of societies. Through his life, we are introduced to the early Republic. Child takes the reader on a journey as Brunton crosses six states and moves through all levels of society and circumstances in the earliest years of our Republic. Once described as a man of great ingenuity and skill, Richard Brunton, as Child notes, lead a “life on the fringe.” Historic Deerfield. Deerfield, MA (FREE)
Sunday, February 25, 3pm
ART STUDIES/FILM SCREENING
David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Hockney was a key figure in the pop art movement of the 1960 and has continued to develop new techniques and styles as the years have gone on. Currently in his 80s, Hockney has been producing hundreds of portraits using the ipad app “Brushes.” For Hockney’s contributions to British art, he was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. This award is restricted to 24 members for their exemplary work in art and science. If you are a fan of Hockney’s work or passionate about contemporary art, you won’t want to miss this screening of the film “David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts.” This film focuses on Hockney’s work on two major installations in 2012 and 2016 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, as well as intimate interviews with the author himself. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($)
Sunday, February 25, 3-5pm
The term ‘sonata’ was originally used to distinguish between music that is played on an instrument, as opposed to a ‘cantata,’ which is sung. In the Classical era, the 18th and 19th centuries, sonata came to mean a particular structure for music. The sonata form organizes a piece of music into three parts. The exposition establishes the major musical themes. This is followed by a development and exploration of these themes. A sonata ends with a recapitulation and resolution of the themes. Beethoven, who produced a significant number of sonatas, along with Hayden played a pivotal role in defining the structure of the sonata. Come listen to Jiayan Sun, award winning pianist, perform a number of sonatas from Beethoven, Ravel, and other masters of the form. Sweeney Concert Hall. 144 Green Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 26, 2018
Monday, February 26, 6-7pm
The human brain is a vastly complex system of electrical impulses that we have only just begun to understand! This event, led by Umass professor of brain sciences Luke Remage-Healey, will focus on the question of how lasers and light beams impact the circuits of the brain. Professor Remage-Healey will describe some of the potential applications of using lasers on the brain, including the treatment of hereditary blindness. Union Station. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 26, 6-8pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/HOME ORGANIZING
Researchers are learning more and more about how clutter and having a messy home can contribute to anxiety, stress, and depression. In many cases, clutter can be a manifestation of clinging to the past or memories. This can lead to regret, bitterness, and becoming preoccupied with the past. In the meantime, our lives threaten to pass us by. Marie Kondo’s revolutionary KonMari approach to home organizing seeks to create both a physical and psychological space that is free of clutter and allows us to surround ourselves with joy. Come learn all about this amazing method with a free presentation. Holyoke Public Library. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 26, 6pm
FILM SCREENING/WWII HISTORY
The Oscar award nominated film Dunkirk tells the incredible story of the successful evacuation of more than three hundred thousand Allied soldiers from the harbor at Dunkirk in northern France. The soldiers had been cut off and surrounded by Nazi forces after the disastrous six week long Battle of France. As Nazi troops came ever closer, the Allied soldiers waded into the water and waited to be rescued by the flotilla of private fishing boats and transport crafts, which had been conscripted into service. The film has been considered one of the greatest war movies of all time and demonstrates the amazing resilience of the human spirit in the face of unfathomable adversity. For more information visit Dunkirk. Westfield Athenaeum. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 26, 7pm
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther made history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church Door in Wittenberg. This single act changed the course of European history and indeed, the history of the world. Five hundred years after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Joseph Molleur, PhD, is offering a four-session mini-course, where he will explore three of the most important figures of the Protestant Reformation, the movements associated with them, and their possible continuing significance for us today and tomorrow. This session will focus on Martin Luther himself. For more information and reserve your spot contact 413-664-9656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All Saints Berkshires. 59 Summer Street, North Adams, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.
Tuesday, February 27, 9:20-10:50am
Shakespeare’s 1595 play A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of his most beloved and mysterious works. Beginning in the 19th century, critics, including seminal romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, identified the importance of gender roles in the play. Contemporary analysts, as well, find that the play presents a subversion of patriarchal domination via the anarchic world of the fairies, although the play’s conclusion demonstrates the ultimate suppression of the ‘wild’ women by their lords and husbands. Shakespeare and Company will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Agawam High School, followed by a question and answer and workshop. Agawam High School. 760 Cooper Street, Agawam, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 27, 5:30pm
BOOK CLUB/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
Elena Ferrante’s staggeringly popular “Neapolitan Quartet” has enthralled readers around the world, been adapted into a miniseries by HBO, and made it’s previously anonymous author into the most famous writer in Italy and one of the greatest novels alive. Come discuss book one in the series, My Brilliant Friend, chronicling the early lives and burgeoning friendship of the narrator Elena and the fierce, intimidating Lila, as they grow up in post-war Naples. My Brilliant Friend paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of Naples and the often explosive friendship of these two young women. For more information visit World Literature Book Club. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 27, 5:30-6:30pm
ART STUDIES/GRAPHIC DESIGN
Are you interested in graphic design or art history? You won’t want to miss this lecture on the history of graphic design! Professor Renzo Baldasso will discuss the origins of graphic design in such early modern texts as the Gutenberg Bible and the works of Nicolas Jenson, creator of one of the early Roman fonts. Professor Baldasso will analyze pages of revisions that illustrate the creative process that went into early graphic design. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Tuesday, February 27, 5:30pm
ICE HARVESTING/LOCAL HISTORY
During the period of one hundred years beginning at the beginning of the 19th century, harvesting ice from lakes and ponds in New England for both national and international export became the 9th largest industry in the United States. During this period tens of thousands of workers were employed in cutting, sawing, hacking, and moving hundreds of thousands of tons worth of ice blocks. At this free presentation, local ice harvesting demonstrator Dennis Picard will discuss the intriguing history of this short lived industry and display some of his antique ice harvesting equipment. Holyoke Public Library. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 27, 6pm
Are you interested in learning about specific ways you can strengthen the connection between the members of your family? This program will focus on exploring strategies that help improve communication, reduce stress, encourage healthy decision making, and address peer pressure. This program will be led by certified facilitators. Families will also have to opportunity to practice family meetings and create fun art projects together! White Brook Middle School. 200 Park Street, Easthampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 27, 7-11pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/PUPPETRY
The legendary Vermont based puppetry group “Bread and Puppet” has been performing since the 1960s! During the anti-war demonstrations of the early 70s, Bread and Puppet became famous for their huge puppets, some up to 15 feet tall, that were regular fixtures of the movement. In the words of poet and journalist Andrei Codrescu: “The Bread & Puppet Theater has been so long a part of America’s conscious struggle for our better selves, that it has become, paradoxically, a fixture of our subconscious.” Come check out this new play by Bread and Puppet, inspired by the apocalyptic woodcuts of German renaissance master Albrecht Durer. Gateway City Arts. 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA ($)
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.
Wednesday, February 28, 12:30pm
Come enjoy a chamber music performance of Poldowski’s music. The composer known as Poldowski, born Regine Wieniawski, was a major figure in late 19th century and early 20th century chamber music and led a dramatic and unconventional life. She married into the British aristocracy and played for many European monarchs over the course of her career. Her compositions were generally considered to be strikingly original and reflective of “a very individual personality.” Poldowski was also known for setting many poems by Paul Verlaine, William Blake, W.B. Yeats, and others to music. Sweeney Concert Hall. 144 Green Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, February 28, 7-9pm
While legendary singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman was living in Boston as a student, she went to every open mic night she could. Since then she has won four Grammy awards and holds a multi-platinum album and has become one of America’s most beloved performers. Open mic nights are an ideal way for young artists and musicians to get some experience performing and who knows, maybe you’ll get discovered! Come on down to this open mic night and share your gifts with the world. Whitney Center for the Arts. 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.
Thursday, March 1, 4:15pm
Zen buddhism, with its emphasis on simplicity and the pursuit of ’emptiness’ has been a major influence in modern American literature for more than fifty years. In 1954 a group of bohemian poets, artists, and philosophers founded Druid Heights, a small community on the misty slopes of Mount Tamalpais on the Pacific Coast of California, near San Francisco. During the next two decades Druid Heights became a meeting place for some of the most important artists and thinkers in the history of the American counterculture, including Pulitzer prize winning poet Gary Snyder and legendary philosopher Alan Watts. These two writers made an enormous impact on American literature and culture for their attempts to bring Eastern philosophy to Western audiences. Watt’s 1957 The Way of Zen was one of the first books on Buddhism to become popular in the United States and Gary Snyder was immortalised in Kerouac’s seminal Dharma Bums, as the zen sage Japhy Ryder. Join Bernie Rhie, Williams College professor of philosophy, to discuss the impact of Zen on American literature. Wege Auditorium. Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Thursday, March 1, 5:30-7pm
Architecture can be a great way to learn about geopolitics and world history. Join MIT professor of History, Theory, and Criticism in the Department of Architecture, Mark Jarzombek, for a lecture on conceptual challenges to establishing a coherent sense of architectural history. Tracing the tensions and mergings of architecture and the shifting landscapes of the modern nation state post-World War II, professor Jarzombek argues that the intersections between architectural history as an academic discipline and the space that it occupies in the popular consciousness accounts for its elusive quality. UMass Department of Architecture. 551 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Thursday, March 1, 5:30-9:30pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/MONOPOLY
Most people are probably familiar with the classic board game Monopoly, but did you know that the game was originally derived from another game, developed in 1903 called “The Landlord Game”? This game was designed to demonstrate that economies function better through wealth creation that through the unfettered growth of few powerful corporations. The game’s creator, Elizabeth Magie was a staunch anti-monopolist and was meant to educate people on the inherent risk of private monopolies. Come play Monopoly like never before at this tournament fundraiser, benefiting the Berkshire County Kids Place. Berkshire Hills Country Club. 500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield, MA ($$)
Thursday, March 1, 7:30-9pm
The term “baroque,” derived from the Portuguese word for a misshapen pearl, refers to a major aesthetic tendency popular throughout Europe for a period of about 150 years, beginning in the early 1600s. The baroque style dominated architecture, visual art and music despise the fact that the original usage of the term was highly derogatory. An anonymous French music critic in 1734 used the term “baroque” to describe a piece of music that he felt “lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.” Nevertheless, it was from within a baroque style that the music of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi first appeared. This performance of the Venice Baroque Orchestra will focus on the music of Antonio Vivaldi, whose music perfectly represents the wild, unrestrained nature of the baroque. Umass Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA ($$)
Friday, March 2, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.
Friday, March 2, 10:15-11:15am
ART STUDIES/NEW PARENTS
Come bring your pre-toddler for a guided gallery tour at the Clark, at this special program designed for new parents and their young children. This program is a great opportunity for new parents to get out of the house and interact with others in a baby-friendly environment. This event can be a way to instil a lifelong love of art and museums in your children. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Friday, March 2, 12pm
The 9th annual Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference is a student-led, two day event that provides a supportive environment for the explorations of a wide range of topics and issues related to queer gender and sexuality. In addition to panel discussions, workshops, and lectures by student leaders and Five College faculty members, there will be performances by nationally-recognized artists and musicians. One of the overarching topics of the conference will be intersectionality, exploring the race, class, and religion through the lens of gender and sexuality. Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 until 6pm. For more information and to register, please visit Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference. 893 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Friday, March 2, 7-8pm
Irish traditional music has persisted to this day in a way that is unique among many indigenous European cultures. The strength of traditional Irish music is likely in part due to the fact that so much of American folk music is derived from Irish roots, as well as the geographical isolation of Ireland and its exemption from the two World Wars in the 20th century. The result of these historical factors is a relatively unbroken sense of continuity that has lasted for many hundreds of years. Come listen to beloved local band “Banish Misfortune,” voted one of the 5 best bands in the Valley, play selections of traditional Irish music. Agawam Senior Center. 954 Main Street, Agawam, MA (FREE)
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.