Suggested Events for March 31st – April 6, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

April 7

All ages are welcome to the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Community Day, inspired by the current exhibition 体 Modern Images of the Body from East Asia, Saturday, April 7 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. The day’s events include: Storytime with Forbes Library (afterwards sign up for a library card!); Taiko drum performance; Art+Story comics workshop (space limited, sign up at the Welcome Table); Photobooth flipbook—Create your own keepsake flipbook by stepping into the mobile photo booth and getting your body in motion; Traditional Korean Dance Workshop; Tai Chi Workshop; and more! Also, visit Sun Kim Bop’s food truck outside the museum!

April 7

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Little Mermaid, live on stage for two performances on April 7, 2018 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Don’t miss this extravagant production based on the fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. Set to Camille Saint Saens’ musical score. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

April 7

On Saturday, April 7 from 10:30am-12:30pm, Nonotuck Community School will be throwing its annual Family Dance Party Fundraiser, this year featuring “Little Roots.” The event will take place at the Florence Community Center. Entrance fee will be $5 per person or $12 per family. Little Roots is a popular Valley kids band and hands-on interactive music program for children featuring professional musicians Annie Stevenson and Maggie Shar. We will also be joined by DJ Cookie Face. Community sponsors include Northampton Area Pediatrics, Finck & Perra’s Insurance Agency, Florence Savings Bank, and Craig Della Penna & Ilene Berezin from The Murphy’s Realtors.

April 7

Passover Seder Community Experience: Talking About Freedom, intergenerational, interactive celebration. Bring a personal object that represents freedom to you. Taste tantalizing haroset dishes from around the world, experience the magic of a 19th century restored barn. Saturday, April 7, 5 – 7:30 pm. Valley View Farm, Haydenville, Ma. Bring yourself, bring others, childcare available. Vegetarian Pot Luck + $10/adult, $25/family. RSVP Necessary by April 3. Circles for Jewish Living is an independent educational organization based in Northampton offering an after school program, bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies, life cycle events and community programs. For more information, email cjl.alisonmorse@gmail.com or visit www.circlesforjewishliving.com.

Open House

The Montessori School of Northampton will host an evening open house on Wednesday, April 11, from 6-7:30. Now in its 41st year, the school educates students from the ages of 18 months through 14 years at its Bates Street, Northampton, campus. The open house will provide opportunities for parents to tour the school and meet the teachers, Head of School, and Director of Admission. Whether your child is just starting a regular program or transitioning into middle school, come find out why Montessori makes the difference! For more information, visit www.northamptonmontessori.org or call (413) 586-4538.

Jul 1 – Jul 28

Marlboro College’s Pre-College Summer Programs offer young adults (ages 15-19) the opportunity to study with Marlboro professors and build relationships with a group of other students passionate about learning. Participants spend all day with a faculty member and get an introduction to Marlboro’s interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to college-level academic work. One-week programs ranging from Do-It-Yourself Chemistry to Explorations in Clay to Awakening in the Wild take place on or near Marlboro’s beautiful southern Vermont campus and run between July 1 and July 28. Students can earn one college credit per week of study for a small fee. For more information, email summer@marlboro.edu or visit marlboro.edu/summer.

Jul 9 – Aug 29

Riotous Youth’s fun and inspiring 2-week summer theatre programs introduce students ages 7 to 17 to Shakespeare’s language, his stories, characters, and themes using imaginative and playful methods. Each session ends with a performance piece based on the kids’ experience of the play, which they share with family, friends, and Shakespeare & Company members on the final day of the session. For more information about Riotous Youth, located in Lenox, MA, call 413-637-1199 or email Jenniejadow@shakespeare.org.

Jul 16 – 27

Hampshire College Summer Academic Programs is accepting applications for summer 2018. Students who will be high school juniors and seniors in fall 2018 are encouraged to apply and experience Hampshire College, located in Amherst. Get a sense of Hampshire’s innovative approach to learning and what life is like on Hampshire’s campus and in the classroom during the following two-week precollege programs, July 16-27: Blacksmithing, Jewelry Design, and Metal Fabrication; Design for a Better World; Immersion Spanish; Inside the Cell; Making Music for Film, Games, & Other Media; Social Media Literacy; The Craft of Documentary; The Science of Food; and Young Feminist Collaborative. Apply by Friday, April 13, 2018 to receive a 10% tuition discount. For more info: 413-559-6843; summer@hampshire.edu; precollege.hampshire.edu.

Jul 16 – Aug 10

Journey Camp returns to Conway and Deerfield this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace-building are hallmarks of this camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Farm Week for All ages 6-12 at Open View Farm, Conway, June 25-29; Starseed for All ages 6-12 at Woolman Hill, Deerfield, July 2-6; Moonseed Leadership Camp ages 12-18 at Woolman Hill, July 16-19; Girls Weeks ages 6-12 at Woolman Hill, July 30-August 3 and August 6-10.

Community Action’s Head Start & Early Learning Programs (formerly The Parent-Child Development Center/PCDC) offer a variety of program options for pregnant women and families with children ages birth-5 throughout Hampshire, Franklin, & Western Hampden Counties. Community Action’s Head Start provides early education and care and quality comprehensive services to children in Head Start/Early Head Start programs and offers full-day and part-day center-based classrooms, family childcare, and home visiting. Centers are located in Orange, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton, Ware, Westfield, & Agawam. Call 413-387- 1250 or visit www.communityaction.us to apply.

A preschool experience that savors childhood. Nature walks by woods and stream, days of music and song, stomping in puddles, nourishing, shared meals: these are parts of the young child’s daily rhythm at The Hartsbrook School. Led by experienced, nurturing teachers, the early childhood program supports imagination and joyful play. Give your child the foundation for future learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. The Hartsbrook School has limited openings for children 2.9 to 5 years old for the 2018-19 school year. Come take a tour of the school and experience our early childhood program for yourself. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908. For more information: www.hartsbrook.org

Add your class

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Add your school

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 sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 31 – April 6, 2018

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week, enjoy the sounds of classical music masterpieces, brought to you by Guest DJs Stephen and Bonnie Ward Simon. 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, March 31, 10am-5pm
ART EXHIBIT/CONTEMPORARY ART
China has a long and rich tradition of visual arts. Beginning in the 5th century, the ‘shan shui,’ literally “mountain water,” movement made an enormous impact on the history of landscape painting. Shan shui paintings are done with brush and ink and generally feature images of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. The goal of shan shui painting is not realism or to depict a particular place, but rather to conform to a set of philosophical, mystical principles, which reflect the philosophy of daoism, among others. The emphasis on vast natural phenomena is meant to represent how small humanity in the scope of the cosmos. This exhibit at Mass MoCA will focus on works by four contemporary Chinese artists. While more and more Chinese are moving to the massive cities along the coast, the character of Chinese visual art has been shifting to reflect these demographic changes. These artists are exploring the contemporary realities of Chinese society, while drawing on thousands of years worth of Chinese art and tradition. Mass MoCA. 1315 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, March 31, 10am-12pm
FILM SCREENING/EASTER EGG HUNT
Nick Park, the creator of iconic British animated characters Wallace and Gromit, made his first stop motion film at the age of 13, with assistance from his mother. Park’s father, an amateur inventor also played a major role in inspiring the character of Wallace. Over the years, Park’s work has made him one of the most celebrated stop motion animators in the world and his beloved characters have charmed an entire generation of young people and adults. His hometown of Preston, UK now features a life-sized bronze sculpture of the eccentric inventor Wallace and his stalwart companion Gromit. In 2006, Park won an Academy Award for Best Animated Film for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This film, considered to be Park’s masterpiece was won universal acclaim for its hilarious characters and exciting story. Park has called the film: “the first vegetarian horror film.” Come enjoy an easter egg hunt followed by a screening of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Whately Public Library. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 31, 12pm
COMMUNITY SERVICE/ECOLOGY
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment was founded in 1962 to promote awareness and knowledge of the natural world and ecology. The Center is dedicated to providing programs and opportunities designed to increase the emotional connection between human beings and their environment as a way to address some of the pressing challenges that are currently threatening the natural world. By placing an emphasis on teaching children and young people, the Hitchcock Center aims to promote a deeper understanding of how ecosystems function, emphasize the importance of place, foster resilience, and model sustainability. To that end, in 2016, the Center opened the doors of its one-of-a-kind living building, which is one of the only net zero energy buildings on earth. The Hitchcock Center has given so much to the community, now is our chance to give something back at this special work day! Bring your tools and gloves and come help out with construction of a new nature play area. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 31, 1-4pm
OPERA/SCREENING
The title of Mozart’s 1790 comic opera “Cosi fan tutte” is most commonly translated into English as “Women Are Like That.” Legend has it that Mozart had a strong dislike for the lead actress and wrote the part of Fiordiligi in such a way that required the actress to bob her head up and down like a chicken to make a fool out of her. While the play was very popular in 18th century Vienna, 19th and 20th century audiences found the plot to be risque and even immoral and as such was either not performed at all or was heavily edited. After World War II, however, the opera regained its popularity and is currently one of the most widely performed operas in the world. Come watch this high-definition screening of Cosi fan tutte, performed by the Metropolitan Opera. In this innovative production, the setting is changed to 1950s Coney Island! Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA ($)

Saturday, March 31, 2-4pm
SOCIAL ISSUES/TEENS
The world can be a confusing place. There is so much going on and it’s difficult to know how to make sense of things. This can be especially true for teens and young people. We know that teenagers can make a huge impact on society and even become leaders for social change, as we are currently seeing with the courageous #NeverAgain movement. When teenagers are empowered and encouraged to believe in themselves and the ways they can influence the world around them, they can become a major force in society. This Teen Town Hall will give teenagers the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions directly to some of the people who represent them, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and other representatives. Ride shares and carpools available. Holyoke Community College. 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 31, 2-4pm
EASTER EGG HUNT
Have you ever wondered how the holiday of Easter got all mixed up with eggs and bunnies? Eggs have been used as a symbol of spring by pagan and indigenous communities all over the world and when Northern Europe was converted, the egg became a metaphor for the tomb of Christ. According to theologian Lizette Larson-Miller, the practice of the Easter egg hunt began with Protestant reformer Martin Luther. Larson-Miller writes: “We know that Martin Luther had Easter egg hunts where the men hid the eggs for the women and children, and it probably has this connection back to this idea of eggs being the tomb.” How the bunny fits in is a bit more complicated. Apparently, medieval Northern European Christians believed that rabbits were hermaphroditic and could reproduce without the loss of virginity, leading to associations with the Virgin Mary. Furthermore, among German Lutherans, the rabbit was a Santa-like figure during the Easter holiday, who judged whether children were good or naughty and whether or not they deserved to have treats. In any case, it is clear that rabbits have been associated with Easter since the 17th century. Pine Hill Orchards will be setting out over 4000 eggs this year for their Easter Egg Hunt, so come and see how many you can find! Pine Hill Orchards. 248 Greenfield Road, Colrain, MA (FREE)

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – 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, April 1, 10am-11:30am
MEDITATION/HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Shambhala is a global non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the notion that humanity possesses an inherent goodness and that this fundamental quality can help us work through the challenges that occur in our individual lives as well as in society at large. The organization takes its name from the mythical kingdom of Shambhala, which appears in many Buddhist, Vedic, Bon, and indigenous spiritual systems. Legend has it that Shambhala exists to the west of Mount Kailash in Tibet, although the kingdom is said to simultaneously occupy both geographical and spiritual dimensions. It is a place outside of time and space, which radiates joy and peace. According to the Vedas, Shambhala is the location of the birth of the final incarnation of Vishnu, who will bring about a new golden age. The Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center offers weekly open meditation sessions, featuring minimal instruction and gentle mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation is a time-honored and scientifically researched method of reducing stress and depression. Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. 191 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 1, 12pm
HIKE/NATURE STUDIES
Now that the weather is warming up and the snow is starting to melt, it’s a perfect time to shake off the dust of long months of winter and go out and enjoy the natural beauty of our region. Spring is a time of renewal and regeneration and what better way to embody those forces than going out for a hike! Among the wooded hills and knolls of the Metacomet Ridge, the upland plateau known as Mount Toby rises up more than 1,200 feet above the Connecticut River Valley. In the 18th century, a hotel was built at the summit but it burned down and was never rebuilt. Mount Toby avoided deforestation unlike most other parts of the region in the 18th and 19th century and thus is one of the most biodiverse areas in all of New England. Forty five native fern species can be found on the plateau as well as several rare orchids. Perhaps the most spectacular part of Mount Toby is the towering waterfall on the eastern side of the plateau. Roaring Falls, in particular is a truly breathtaking sight. This may quickly become one of your favorite local hikes! For more information about Mount Toby, including directions and trail maps, please visit Mount Toby. Sunderland, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 1, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM EXHIBIT/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
In 1782, English proto-romantic poet William Cowper wrote the comic ballad The Diverting History of John Gilpin Shewing how he went Farther than he intended, and came safe Home again. This silly story of a man riding a runaway horse was so massively popular that pirated copies popped up all over England. Later the poem was re-published with accompanying illustrations by legendary artist Randolph Caldecott. And to this day, the story of John Gilpin and the work of Randolph Caldecott is honored with the annual Caldecott medal for “most distinguished American picture book for children.” If you look closely at the medal you can see the image of the hapless John Gilpin being carried away by his horse. Come celebrate eighty years of Caldecott Medal winning picture books at Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! This exhibit will feature illustrations from award winning books and Caldecott Medal trivia. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Sunday, April 1, 2-4pm
FILM STUDIES/INGMAR BERGMAN
Mid-twentieth century Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman is considered, by all accounts, to be one of, if not the, greatest filmmakers of all time. Throughout his long career, Bergman directed over sixty films as well as more than a hundred plays. Bergman’s work generally focuses on the mysterious and rich landscape of the individual consciousness. This obsession with the inner life of humanity began in Bergman’s childhood. As the son of a Lutheran minister, young Bergman found himself drawn to the vast imaginative world, which the church inspired in him, rather than the content of his father’s sermons. Bergman writes, “I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the coloured sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire—angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans.” While Bergman abandoned Christianity at a young age, these formative experiences heavily influenced his work, focusing on the existential struggles of humanity in the face of an overwhelming vision of eternity that offers no easy answers. Despite the philosophical themes of Bergman’s films, he presents a powerful grounding in the world of emotion and sensuality, arguing that ideas must be viscerally felt in order to convey their meaning. Bergman’s 1957 film Wild Strawberries is considered his greatest accomplishment. The title, which is more literally translated as “a wild strawberry patch,” idiomatically refers to special, unassuming place that is imbued with sentimental power. The film tells the moving story of an old curmudgeonly doctor who takes a road trip, which ultimately becomes a journey through his own past and inner life. Throughout his journey, the doctor is visited by dreams, visions, and nightmares that compel him to confront his own loneliness and alienation. Dreams may guide us but their hidden logic will always be mysterious and leave us with more questions than answers. In the same way, Wild Strawberries is a puzzle that takes us deep within the mind of the individual and ultimately suggests that the concept of identity is one that is constituted by an endless shifting process. You won’t want to miss this screening of Wild Strawberries, one of the most powerful explorations of human consciousness ever created. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, April 2, 12-1pm
YOGA/HEALTH AND WELLNESS
A bento box is a traditional wooden lacquered box that has been used as a lunchbox in Japan for a thousand years. Traditionally, the boxes are made with several small components filled with rice, vegetables, and other delicious treats. Bento Lunch Flow is taking the concept of the bento box and applying it to a lunch time yoga session, made up of an assortment of different yoga techniques and exercises! This sampler will allow participants to try different aspects yoga, including flow sequences, core strengthening exercises, and positions designed to increase balance. Green River Yoga. 158 Main Street, Greenfield, MA ($)

Monday, April 2, 2-6pm
SKILLSHARING/BIKE REPAIR
Do you have an old bicycle sitting around somewhere collecting dust? Do you have secret dreams of someday being able to restore it to its old glory? Dream no more! If you have always wanted to learn how to fix up old bikes, this is the event for you. Why spend money at a bike shop to do repairs that you could easily learn to do yourself? Bike repair is easy and accessible. DIY Bike Repair, hosted by Make-It Springfield, is a great opportunity to learn basic bicycle repair from local experts. Bring your old bike along with you or just come with questions. You can also feel free to donate your old bikes. Make-It Springfield. 168 Worthington Street, Springfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Monday, April 2, 3:30-4:15pm
LITERACY DOGS
Researchers are finding more and more uses for therapy dogs across a wide range of settings. Recently, it has been determined that therapy dogs can be a tremendous benefit to children who want to improve their literacy skills! Tufts University published a study last year concluding that reading aloud to dogs can be a great way to increase motivation for literacy learners. While reading skill scores did not seem to increase during the study, it was clear that the reading attitudes among the students skyrocketed. It’s not surprising, really: how can you not be happy about reading when you’ve got a fuzzy, huggable dog sitting in your lap listening attentively? This Monday, Mason Library will have three friendly, lovable dogs ready to be read to by children who would like to increase their literacy skills. For more information and to register, please visit Reading Dogs. Mason Library. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, April 3, 7pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/CONVERSATION
Sakyong Mipham, head of the global Shambhala network, has dedicated his life to promoting personal and social harmony through meditation and mindfulness. In 2017, he published The Lost Art of Good Conversation, which argues in favor of the special kind of connectedness and engagement that can arise from a genuine conversation with another. In our society, we have the ability to communicate more rapidly and more widely than ever before and yet feelings of loneliness and isolation are greater than ever. This salon will focus on rediscovering what it means to have a good conversation, through a series of practicums and group discussions. Following Sakyong Mipham’s teachings, participants will find that when they engage in conversation with a spirit of openness and compassion, they can listen and respond with joy. Sessions will also include a brief meditation as well as tea and snacks! Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. 191 Main Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Tuesday, April 3, 7:30-9:30pm
HAWAIIAN DANCE
The Polynesian and Hawaiian custom of hula dancing stems from an ancient form of prayer, invoking various gods and deities. Like many indigenous cultures, the ancient Hawaiians had no written language so hula became a way to record myths and stories, as well as maintaining historical records of great kings and other important figures. The type of hula dancing that most Westerners are familiar with is actually called hula ‘auana, a 19th century blend of traditional hula with Christian morality and contemporary Western-influenced music. Hula ‘auana is the product of the repressive impact that American Protestant missionaries had on indigenous Hawaiian culture, when they arrived in 1820. The colonists were scandalized the pagan themes and revealing outfits and forced the Hawaiian ruling classes to ban hula dancing. Today, however, many Hawaiians are returning to their indigenous culture and its teachings. This performance by the Halau Hula Ka No’eau Ensemble will give audiences a sense of traditional hula dance, with its emphasis on telling stories from Hawaiian mythology and honoring the history of indigenous Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. UMass Bowker Auditorium. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA ($$)

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, April 4, 6:30-8pm
NUTRITION/GLUTEN-FREE
For generations, the standard American diet has featured a large amount of wheat products. In the last several years more and more people are questioning the health impact of consuming so much gluten. In the first case, gluten and wheat products are generally considered to have very low nutritional value, despite making up such a huge portion of the food we consume. Secondly, celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance are becoming more widespread. Luckily, avoiding wheat and gluten doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy delicious food and even decadent baked goods! Nutritionally dense and gluten-free grains such as amaranth, teff, corn, quinoa, sorghum, rice, wild rice, buckwheat, oats, and millet can be used in a wide variety of recipes, which would have otherwise been made with wheat. If you are interested in learning more about gluten-free cooking and baking, this Gluten-Free Workshop will be perfect for you. River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, April 4, 5-6pm
ART STUDIES/GENDER
In 1989 the feminist art collective Guerilla Girls made a poster of Ingres’ iconic painting “Le Grande Odalisque,” with a gorilla mask covering up the woman’s face. Underneath the image, the text read: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Metropolitan Museum?” This was a response to the overwhelming number of works of art in the Museum at the time that featured naked women. The struggle for equal rights for women in the world of fine art is no different from society at large. This gallery talk will discuss representations of women and gender in works of art from several historical periods. This talk is presented in conjunction with National Equal Pay Day, bringing awareness to the radical pay gap between men and women in contemporary American society. Mead Art Museum. 41 Quadrangle Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, April 5, 12-4pm
EDIBLE BOOK FESTIVAL
As legendary gastronomer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in 1825: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” In honor of Brillat-Savarin’s incredible wit and contributions to the history of gastronomy, the Edible Book Festival has been held all over the world around the beginning of April since 2000. The rules are simple: all dishes (“books”) must resemble the book they are based on, either through the integration of text or literary inspiration. The books are judged, prizes and awards are given out and then the books are eaten by the attendees! Fans of literature and food will not want to miss this fun, creative event. For more information and to sign up to make a book, visit Edible Book Festival. UMass Amherst Library. 154 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, April 5, 5-8pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The phrase ‘hors d’oeuvres’ literally translates to “outside the work,” and refers to dishes that are outside of the ordinary courses of a meal. Food historians dispute the origins of this custom but it is clear that cultures all over the world enjoy small plates of dainty little snacks before a meal. Come enjoy an evening of beautiful flower arrangements, cocktails, innovative hors d’oeuvres, and art at Springfield Museum’s Festival of Flowers! Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA ($)

Thursday, April 5, 6-10pm
FUNDRAISER/MONTESSORI
Dr. Maria Montessori’s revolutionary approach to education has been inspiring students for more than one hundred years! The basis of Montessori education is to allow students to learn through discovery. When children are given the freedom to choose and explore, it instills a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime. Additionally, by being sensitive to the unique personalities and tendencies of each student, a Montessori teacher can find creative ways to encourage and empower students. Come support your local Montessori education at this exciting fundraising party! There will be delicious food, music, and a fun silent auction. The Garden House at Look Park. Florence, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Thursday, April 5, 6:30-8pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/WORKSHOP
Anxiety often manifests in the body. Physical tension expresses itself in a variety of ways and many of them have a mental component. Yoga and reiki are two great ways to unwind and strengthen your body, which in turn helps the stress and anxiety to just melt away. If you are in need of a recharge, check out this free workshop focusing on self-care for women. This session will guide participants through a series of gentle, relaxing yoga postures and discuss meditation and journaling as other ways to decrease stress in your life. River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, April 5, 7-8:30pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/AYURVEDA
The term ‘ayurveda’ literally translates to “life-knowledge” in Sanskrit. This enormous body of wisdom dates back more than three thousand years and has been well-preserved in contemporary Indian practices and has been embraced by the global alternative health movement. It is thought that up to 80 percent of the population of India use some form of traditional, ayurvedic medicine. The central principle of ayurveda is balance. As a holistic health modality, ayurveda explores the ways that the bodies systems function together. Whatever the body experiences is likely to be felt in various ways. For example, ancient ayurvedic texts suggest that suppressing a sneeze may result in shoulder pain. Another central tenet of ayurvedic thinking is the existence of three distinct types of bodily energy or ‘doshas,’ which, when out of balance, can impact the body in negative ways. The fundamental concept that imbalance in the body leads to disease is widely accepted, even in conventional Western medicine. As winter recedes and spring approaches, this is a perfect time to rebalance your body. If you are interested in learning more about how to apply ayurveda in your own life, come check out this free informational session about ayurvedic cleanses! Valley Ayurveda. 46 Norwood Ave, Florence, MA (FREE)

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, April 6, 5-7pm
ART STUDIES/OPENING RECEPTION
Local artist Andrea “Onge” Newland is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and has been creating art in Valley and her hometown Monson for years. Mixing both realism and abstraction, Newland’s art presents the viewer with a burst of color and fine attention to detail that celebrates the beauty in the world around us. Additionally, Newland’s “mini masterpieces,” small scale pen and watercolor drawings, focus on the humor of everyday life. For more information, visit The Art of Onge: Opening Reception. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, April 6, 7:30-10pm
CONCERT/CLASSICAL MUSIC
Come enjoy an evening of rousing and contemplative romantic music for cello and piano. Edvard Grieg, Frederic Chopin, and Beethoven are three of the most quintessential romantic composers, who contributed major innovations to the sonata form. Grieg and Chopin were also noteworthy for blending in influences from Norwegian and Polish folk music, respectively. Perhaps Grieg’s most famous work is “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” part of the incidental music for Ibsen’s 1876 play Peer Gynt. Despite its monumental popularity, however, Grieg himself had mixed feelings on the piece, writing: “I have also written something for the scene in the hall of the mountain King – something that I literally can’t bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-pies, exaggerated Norwegian nationalism, and trollish self-satisfaction! But I have a hunch that the irony will be discernible.” Needless to say, it’s unclear that the irony has translated to modern audiences. This concert, by Duo Deja Vu, will present pieces by Grieg, Chopin, and Beethoven. First Church Amherst. 165 Main Street, Amherst, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Friday, April 6, 7:30pm
FILM SCREENING/EAGLE HUNTING
For thousands of years, the Kazakh and Kyrgyz people of the Central Asian Steppes have trained raptors such as golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and goshawks to assist their hunting. The incredible importance of falconry to the Turkic peoples throughout history is evidenced by the fact that in the court of the Mongolian Khans, the chief falconer, or bird lord, was considered the most respected advisor. The 2016 documentary The Eagle Huntress tells the inspiring story of a 13 year old girl named Aisholpan who sets out to become the first woman hunter to compete in the annual eagle festival. While there have been female eagle hunters, the amount of opposition that Aisholpan faced in the pursuit of this dream was considerable. Come see this incredible story of courage and the staggering beauty of the steppe with a special screening of The Eagle Huntress! Memorial Hall. 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA ($)

Friday, April 6, 8-10pm
ORNITHOLOGY/NATURE STUDIES
The American Woodcock, also known as the timberdoodle, is a short, stubby bird with a long beak. Woodcock’s spend most of their lives on the ground and are heavily camouflaged. In the early spring, however, these awkward, ungainly looking birds, take to the skies and perform an elaborate skydance to attract their mates. As they acrobatically soar through the air, the wind rushing through their outer feathers produces a beautiful mysterious twittering sound. Local birdsong expert Dan Ziomek will be leading this special class, all about Woodcocks! Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA ($)

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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.

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