Suggested Events for June 2nd – 8th, 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.
Go where no circus performer has gone before…to the stars and beyond! Blast off with Show Circus Studio‘s intrepid acrobats as they journey throughout the galaxy to discover brave new worlds, fantastic creatures, and feats beyond your imagination! The voyage will take you upside down, inside out, and to the edge of the known universe and back! Come join them for the debut of their family-friendly, out of this world circus experience. You will never forget it! Featuring the “SHOW OFFS” Circus Youth Troupe, SHOW Adult Troupe, and professional SHOW circus performers. Sunday, June 3. Doors at 3:30pm, show at 4pm. Tickets available online at aomtheatre.ticketfly.com Adult: $18, Youth: $13.
Led by dedicated instructors, Museum School Youth Summer Programs are limited to 12 or fewer participants and will take place in the Springfield Museums educational studios, classrooms, planetarium, galleries, and special exhibits. Visits to the Art, Science, History, and The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum will enhance the experience. Morning students bring a snack and a brown bag lunch. Afternoon students bring a snack. Dress for mess! Dates: Jul 16-Aug 3; Age Range of Campers: 6-15yo. For more info: 413-314-6477; firstname.lastname@example.org; springfieldmuseums.org.
USA Waste and Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. They are also currently offering $25 off dumpsters for spring cleaning! Dumpsters must be delivered by August 1, 2018. For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email email@example.com, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!
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.
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
June 2nd – 8th, 2018
Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week on the HFVS, Greg McIlvaine, singer and guitar player with The Hollow Trees guest DJs this week with History of Folk Music for Families Episode. He plays fun and fascinating family songs ranging from the earliest recorded music up to the present. The songs reflect a short history of family music with an emphasis on the songs and artists that have influenced him the most. 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, June 2, 8:30-11am
Get to know your neighbors and community members while enjoying a delicious pancake breakfast and supporting a great local cause! The Friends of Puffer’s Pond is holding their 27th Annual Pancake Breakfast to raise funds to supporting their continuing efforts to preserve and maintain Puffer’s Pond. This Amherst treasure is the largest open body of water in the town and is a favorite spot for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Additionally, Puffer’s Pond gives us a look into Amherst’s industrial past. In fact, the pond was originally known as Factory Hollow Pond. By the mid-18th century there were 6 mills surrounding the pond, mostly textile mills. By the mid-19th century, the textile industry had collapsed and the mills were replaced by paper mills. According to a town survey, by 1865 there were 5 paper mills that were producing 85,000 dollars in paper. Mill River Recreation Park. Montague Road, Amherst, MA ($)
Saturday, June 2, 10am-3:30pm
LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. This Saturday, the museum will be hosting a free community day for residents of Northampton and Hatfield. For more information visit Community Days at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 130 River Drive, Hadley, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 10am-5:30pm
If you’ve got someone at home who loves yoyos, this is the event for you! The Northeast Regional YoYo Contest is coming to the Academy of Music in Northampton. This is a great opportunity to see what competitive yoyoing looks like and maybe learn some amazing new tricks. You might be surprised to know that competitive yoyo events have been held since 1932. Competitive yoyoing has historically been dominated by Japan, with 71 world titles going to the Japanese over the last 22 years alone. Academy of Music Theatre. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 10:30am-12pm
MUSIC STUDIES/LITERARY STUDIES
Due to its vibrant cultural heritage and diversity, Cuban musical traditions are considered among the richest in the world. Perhaps the best known Cuban contribution to world music is the tradition of Afro-Cuban drumming. Come learn all about this wonderful tradition with a reading from the book Drum Dream Girl, which tells the true story of the first female Cuban drummer. The reading will be followed by a live drumming performance. Kids will even have the opportunity to make their own drums and play along! Whately Public Library. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 12-3pm
In the Pioneer Valley, late spring is always associated with the harvesting of asparagus or ‘Hadley Grass.’ Hadley, once known as the ‘Asparagus Capital of the World,’ was famous for its asparagus from the 1930s to the 1970s. During this period, in May and June, the whole Hadley community would come together and harvest up to 50 tons of asparagus a day, by hand. While Hadley and the surrounding towns once had several hundred small asparagus farms, in the mid 1970s, a fungus called Fusarium was introduced to the area and decimated the asparagus industry. Local asparagus production may only be a tenth of what it once was, but the asparagus harvest is still an important cultural event for many in the region. Celebrate asparagus and our rich local culture at the annual Hadley Asparagus Festival, featuring music, crafts, and food! Hadley Common. Hadley, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 2pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/PARENTING
It’s well known that meditation has tremendous health benefits for adults, but it can also be extremely beneficial for children. Several studies have demonstrated that regular meditation can be used to treat behavioral issues such as ADHD, and meditation can also help in dealing with strong emotions. Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center is offering an ongoing program for parents and children, focusing on the ways that meditation can enrich relationships between parents and their children. During this workshop, children will be introduced to meditation through games, singing, and stories. Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. 191 Main Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, June 2, 2-3:30pm
William Cullen Bryant once wrote: “Even the green trees / Partake the deep contentment; as they bend / To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky / Looks in and sheds a blessing on the scene. / Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy / Existence.” Bryant’s poetry often expresses the serene beauty of the natural world and what better place to appreciate his poetry and the scenic landscape than on his own veranda, with a hot cup of tea and a scone. Come enjoy Tea on the Veranda at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead and celebrate the memory of one of our region’s most renowned poets. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA ($)
Saturday, June 2, 2-5:30pm
Come celebrate Pittsfield’s vibrant LGBTQI community at the 2nd Annual Berkshire Pride Festival! On May 22nd, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer proclaimed June to be LGBTQI Pride Month in the city of Pittsfield. Berkshire Pride will be kicking off the month with an afternoon of community speakers, local vendors, community resources, and a full stage show featuring a drag performance, music, and spoken word acts. For more information, please visit 2nd Annual Berkshire Pride Festival. First Street Common, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 4pm
The world’s oceans are vital to the global ecosystem. In addition to producing half of the world’s oxygen supply, oceans also determine much of the weather patterns around the world, and are home to countless species of plant and animal life. Human activity currently threatens the health of the oceans in many ways. At this lecture, Adam Baske will be discussing some of the most serious threats to the oceans including overfishing, pollution, and climate change. An expert on the global fishing industry, Baske will describe the environmental impact of fisheries and suggest responsible ways for consumers to take action to protect the oceans. Stockbridge Library. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 4-6pm
POLITICAL SCIENCE/SOCIAL ISSUES
In the past five years, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has experienced extraordinary growth. The organization, which does not tend to run candidates but rather works for reforms that will empower workers and reduce the political power of the ultra-wealthy, was founded in 1982 and has endorsed candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, and Jesse Jackson. In 2013, the total number of members nationwide was 6,000, with a median age of 68. As of 2018, the membership stands at 37,000, with a median age of 33. These numbers make DSA, by far, the largest socialist organization in the country in more than a century. This phenomenal growth was certainly heavily influenced by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. But what does it actually mean to be a socialist? Socialism seems to mean something different to practically everyone you talk to! DSA is hosting a special event to try to provide meaningful answers to the question “What IS socialism?” Presenters will discuss different aspects of socialism as well as various types of socialism drawn from history. All are welcome. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 5-7pm
Amy Chua’s 2007 book Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance—and Why They Fall argues persuasively that history’s most prosperous, powerful, creative, and influential societies became so precisely because of their multiculturalism and tolerance for diversity. Conversely, Chua demonstrates how the collapse of great nations and empires can be tied directly to increasing xenophobia and restrictions on immigration. In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield will be hosting a series of events highlighting various aspects of the immigrant experience. This Saturday, come enjoy an evening of stories, poetry, and delicious Syrian food at the Berkshire Immigrant Stories Exhibit. Each piece in the exhibit features the story of one family and their journey, alongside a photograph of an object that best represents their experience. Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. 28 Renne Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 2, 7-9pm
Voices from the Inside is an organization that offers writing groups to currently or formerly incarcerated women. By expressing themselves through creative writing and reading their work in public, participants are empowered to discover their own voices in an environment that is profoundly dehumanizing. This program gives participants the opportunity to share their stories and experiences with the outside world and be heard. Come listen to a selection of readings from Voices from the Inside at the first outdoor reading of the year hosted by the Departure Reading Series. All proceeds benefit Voices from the Inside. Northampton Community Arts Trust. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Sunday, June 3rd, 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, June 3, 10am-3:30pm
LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. This sunday, the museum will be hosting a free community day for residents of Amherst, South Hadley, and Sunderland. For more information visit Community Days at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 130 River Drive, Hadley, MA (FREE)
Sunday, June 3, 12:55-3:10pm
DANCE STUDIES/WORLD HISTORY
The French Revolution was one of the decisive events in modern history. By abolishing the monarchy, promoting social equality, and beginning to define the concept of universal human rights, the men and women of the revolution set the stage for much of how we currently conceptualize the role of government and society. Imagine what it would have been like to live through such momentous events! “The Flames of Paris,” a ballet that premiered in 1932, tells the story of a young brother and sister, who travel to Paris to support the brave revolutionaries, finding love and adventure along the way. This ballet’s incredible passion and energy is perfectly expressed by the dancers of the world famous Bolshoi Ballet. This screening of “The Flames of Paris,” performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, is a great opportunity to learn about ballet and the history of the French Revolution. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)
Sunday, June 3, 1-2:30pm
Join the young performers from Multi-Arts for a special time traveling adventure, celebrating the history of Amherst and its long history of fighting for diversity and social justice. This performance tells the true story of Angeline Palmer, a freeborn African American girl born in Amherst in the early 19th century. While she was born free, the family that she was indentured to conspired to sell her into slavery in Georgia. When Angeline’s half brother found out about the plan, he and his friends abducted her and local abolitionists helped transport her to a safe location in Colrain. Angeline’s brother and his friends were arrested and the judge offered to dismiss the case if they revealed Angeline’s location. They refused and were sentenced to three months in prison. Coincidentally, their defense lawyer was Edward Dickinson, Emily’s father. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Sunday, June 3, 4pm
Go where no circus performer has gone before…to the stars and beyond! Blast off with Show Circus Studio‘s intrepid acrobats as they journey throughout the galaxy to discover brave new worlds, fantastic creatures, and feats beyond your imagination! The voyage will take you upside down, inside out, and to the edge of the known universe and back! Come join them for the debut of their family-friendly, out of this world circus experience. You will never forget it! Featuring the “SHOW OFFS” Circus Youth Troupe, SHOW Adult Troupe, and professional SHOW circus performers. Sunday, June 3. Doors at 3:30pm, show at 4pm. Tickets available online at aomtheatre.ticketfly.com Northampton, MA (Adult: $18, Youth: $13)
Sunday, June 3, 7-8:30pm
The Tuareg people are made up of a confederacy of Berber tribes living in the Sahara desert. Due to their indigo dyed clothing, which often stains their skin, the Tuareg are known as ‘the blue people.’ You might not think that the first ever Tuareg fictional film would be a remake of Prince’s Purple Rain but that is exactly what Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazouhai is. The title literally translates to “Rain The Color of Blue with A Little Red in It,” because the Tuareg language doesn’t have a word for “purple.” This fascinating film demonstrates the increasing cultural connections being made in a globalized world. Come watch a screening of Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazouhai, immediately preceding a live performance by the film’s star, Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar. Iconica Social Club. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, June 4th, 2018
Monday, June 4, 6-7:30pm
While 18th century Scotsman James Hutton is generally considered the first modern geologist, it’s amazing how much ancient geologists understood about the earth. Scholars in Persia, China, and Rome, as far back as the 3rd century BCE, had studied a wide range of geological phenomena including soil erosion, sedimentation, mountain formation, and silt deposition. When the theory of plate tectonics was developed in the 1960s, by observing continental drift and seafloor spreading, it represented a major breakthrough in geology and finally allowed geologists to reliably date the age of the planet. Come learn all about geology at SciTech Cafe’s special event “What do Rocks Remember? Billion-year-old Mountains!” Union Station. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, June 4, 7-9pm
LITERARY STUDIES/SOCIAL JUSTICE
In 1956, Allen Ginsberg wrote: “America when will you be angelic? / When will you take off your clothes? / When will you look at yourself through the grave? / When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? / America why are your libraries full of tears? / America when will you send your eggs to India? / I’m sick of your insane demands.” The relationship between poetry and resistance has a long history. For centuries, poets have used their voices to expose injustice and fight for freedom and equality. Join the Straw Dog Writers Guild for a special celebration of poetry, music, and resistance! “Voices For Resistance” will feature readings from the public on the topic of social justice, as well as special guest appearances by local poet Martin Espada, the Nields, among others. Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, June 5th, 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, June 5, 7pm
You may have heard of the superstitions surrounding Shakespeare’s Macbeth but have you ever wondered why it is forbidden to say the name of the play inside of a theater? According to legend, Shakespeare stole the lines for the three witches’ spell from an actual coven of witches, which were common in 16th century England. When the witches discovered that Shakespeare was sharing their secrets, they cursed the play. Allegedly, during the premiere in 1606, an actor was killed when the prop knife was accidentally replaced by a real one. Since then, there has been a long list of mysterious accidents and misfortunes associated with the play, including fires and injuries. Curse notwithstanding, Macbeth remains one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays and any fans of Shakespeare or literature or theater will not want to miss this screening of “the Scottish Play,” performed by the National Theatre! Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)
Wednesday, June 6th, 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, June 6, 6-8pm
June is Immigrant Heritage Month and Holyoke is the perfect place to celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our communities. Since the beginning of its history, Holyoke has been a profoundly diverse city. The first wave of immigrants in the city were Irish, as evidenced by the fact that the city was originally simply called “Ireland Parish.” By 1890, Holyoke had the third highest immigrant population of any city in the country. Today, Holyoke has the highest percentage of Puerto Rican residents of any area outside of Puerto Rico itself, at 44 percent. The city of Holyoke begins its celebration of immigrants in the community with this opening reception for local artist Steven Huerta’s new exhibit “Journeys II – The Dreamers: American B-sides and Rarities.” Race Street Gallery. 80 Race Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, June 6, 7-8pm
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the origin of the barbershop quartet is “obscure.” This style of a cappella music is particularly known for its use of ringing chords, in which overtones from the singers reinforce each other. While it’s clear that this style of music was very popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there is considerable debate over what it has to do with barbershops. It is certainly true that in the late 19th century it was common for African American men to gather informally to sing quartet music, since they were excluded from theaters and concert halls. But it’s possible that this tradition goes even further back. In the 17th century, English statesmen Samuel Pepys described a type of amatuer music known as “barber’s music.” This apparently reflected the custom of holding community gatherings at barbershops, where barbers were traditionally musicians. Whatever the origins of the barbershop quartet, it is a highly recognizable genre of American music, especially with its gaudy matching costumes. Come enjoy an evening of barbershop quartet music, featuring songs from the 1880s to the 1960s. Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Thursday, June 7th, 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, June 7, 10am-12pm
NATURE STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY
Ever wonder how the Clam River in Sandisfield got its name? Surprisingly, the river is home to an unusual number of bivalves. You might not think of the Berkshires as a likely place to find mussels and clams but this beautiful, scenic river is an exception. This unique spot is also a great place to learn about local history, with ruins of mills, tanneries and a history of European settlement that goes back to the 1700s. Come explore this fascinating and beautiful area with a moderate hike along the Clam River. Don’t forget to bring snacks and water! Sandisfield, MA (FREE)
Thursday, June 7, 10:30am
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the pig in human history. In China for example, the pictograph representing “home” is comprised of the graph representing pig, under a roof. Hence, in China, you literally can’t have a home without a pig. Numerous mythologies and folklore from around the world feature pig gods and the ancient central Asian Kyrgyz people believed themselves to be descended from a wild boar. Part of the reason for the enormous cultural significance of the pig is due to its amazing adaptability. The wild boar, the ancestor for today’s domesticated pig, is thought to have originated during the pleistocene in Southeast Asia. It quickly spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. Since then the domestic pig has become one of the most numerous livestock animals. What’s more, escaped domestic pigs often return to a feral state and thrive, regardless of the habitat. Come get to know this amazing animal, up close and personal, at the Hancock Shaker Village “Farm Friends” program. Children ages 2-5 and their caregivers will have the opportunity to meet a pig, listen to stories, and do craft projects. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Thursday, June 7, 6-7pm
LITERARY STUDIES/YOUNG ADULTS
The Young Adult Creative Lounge at the Westhampton Public Library is a special place for young people ages 12-18 to come and express themselves creatively in a supportive environment. Guest authors will talk about the creative process and answer questions or give feedback. This week, local author Ellen Wittlinger will be at the Creative Lounge! Wittlinger has published seventeen young adult novels and won several awards for her fiction. Westhampton Public Library. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA (FREE)
Thursday, June 7, 6:30-7:30pm
TEXTILE HISTORY/LOCAL HISTORY
The story of American wool begins in New England in the early 19th century. William Jarvis was first exposed to the soft, water-resistant wool of the merino sheep during his tenure as Thomas Jefferson’s consul to Portugal. When Napoleon invaded Spain, Jarvis saw an opportunity to make a personal fortune off these sheep and in doing so, he forever altered the course of textile manufacturing in the United States. During the chaos following the French invasion, Jarvis smuggled more than 15,000 merino sheep out of Spain. Settling in Vermont, Jarvis began promoting the merino sheep throughout New England. Due to the poor quality of wool being produced in New England at the time and the fact that there was a boycott on British wool, popularity of the merino exploded. Merino production completely engulfed New England. The price of a sheep at the time was around two dollars and merinos were being sold for 1,500. Farmers in the region abandoned their crops in favor of merino production and thousands of acres of land were deforested to make room for grazing. By 1840, there were 4 million sheep in New England and wool had become the dominant industry. However, shortly after, the center of wool production had shifted to western states, trade restrictions were lessened and wool prices plummeted. By 1860, two-thirds of the region’s sheep had been killed and many farmers went bankrupt. If you are interested in learning more about the role wool has had in American history, you won’t want to miss this talk by local author Peggy Hart, who will be discussing her new book Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Friday, June 8th, 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, June 8, 4-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES
As the Smith College Museum of Art prepares to bring a series of contemporary paintings out of storage this summer, guests will have one last opportunity to appreciate Frank Stella’s Damascus Gate (Variation III) before it goes on hiatus. During this session of Free Second Fridays, guests of all ages will be able to participate in a painting activity inspired by Stella’s bold use of color and shapes. For more information, please visit Free Second Fridays. Smith College Museum of Art. Northampton, 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.