Suggested Events for June 9th – 15th, 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.
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Come join your neighbors on Sunday, June 10th at Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton for a fantastic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Carnival. Admission is free! They’ll have games for kids of all ages, a bounce obstacle course, a dunk tank, face painting, art projects, fabulous entertainment, amazing food & drink from local vendors like Holyoke Hummus Company and Crooked Stick Pops! Lander Grinspoon Academy is located at 257 Prospect St, Northampton.
Shop local, shop small! OnTrend Crafts is hosting its Spring Craft Fair on Saturday, June 9 on the historic Hadley Town Commons. More than 40 of the region’s top indie crafters will be in Hadley selling their high-quality handmade goods. Shoppers will find handcrafted jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, housewares, ceramics, knitted apparel, and much more. Come support our talented local artisans! Free admission; rain or shine. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connecticut River Conservancy invites the entire Connecticut River community to their annual River Celebration. The family-friendly event will be held at the Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT on Saturday, June 16. Activities include a paddling adventure in the Meadows, a freshwater mussel ecology workshop, and a fly casting workshop. While the adults are engaged in our Farm/River Roundtable: “Doing Right by Our Rivers,” the kids can attend an ice cream-making workshop! Enjoy live music by River Rhapsody and lunch by Tito’s Taqueria & Vermont Country Deli. Retreat Farm features a Children’s Farm and encompasses 500 acres of conserved forest, farmlands, trails, waterways, and an historic Farmstead. All who love our rivers, near and far, are encouraged to attend! Get your tickets at www.ctriver.org/celebration.
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; email@example.com; springfieldmuseums.org.
The Montessori School of Northampton, located on Bates Street, is entering the rolling admissions phase for enrolling students for the fall of 2018. Limited openings are available for students from 18 months (toddler) through 14 years (middle school). The Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) is the only school in Northampton to offer continuous education for students from 18 months through 14 years. The school is celebrating its 41st year of educating children to be self-motivated learners and active community participants. Alum (and their parents) often cite the skills honed at MSN as the basis for their success at college and beyond. For more information, call (413) 586-4538 x103 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.
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.
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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 9th – 15th, 2018
Saturday, June 9, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Kindie artist Alison Faith Levy shares some of her favorite songs with the theme of New Beginning – songs about starting something new, dawning, awakening, renewal…. and shares fun facts about which came first – the chicken or the egg! She plays some of her own retro pop tunes for kids, some classic rock from the Kinks, the Byrds and The Beatles, some favorite modern psychedelia, and plenty of wonderful songs by her many musicians’ friends. 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 9, 10am-11:59pm
MUSIC STUDIES/TRADITIONAL MUSIC
According to legend, the fiddle has been a part of the American musical tradition since 1620, when English fiddle player John Utie settled in Virginia. Since then, the fiddle has played an important role in many of the most distinctively American musical genres. But what is the difference between a violin and a fiddle, anyway? As it turns out, the distinction may be somewhat arbitrary. Many musicians use the terms interchangeably but there are some common differences in the construction of the two instruments. The fiddle, for instance, is more often played with steel strings. The height of the strings may be lower on a fiddle and the bridge may be flatter. Learn all about fiddling and the rich tradition of American Old Time music at the first ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention, hosted by the Hancock Shaker Village! This all day event will feature workshops, fiddling competitions, and square dancing. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Saturday, June 9, 10am
This time of year farm stands all over the area are selling rhubarb. A local delicacy, rhubarb has been enjoyed all over the world for thousands of years in both sweet and savory dishes. In China, rhubarb has also been prized for its medicinal properties. For most people, the most common application of rhubarb is paired with strawberries in crumbles or pies. Many 19th century cookbooks even refer to rhubarb as the ‘pie plant.’ Come learn all about things you can do with rhubarb and taste some delicious sweet and savory rhubarb dishes at the 5th Annual Lenox Rhubarb Festival! Plants and cookbooks will also be available for sale. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA (<$)
Saturday, June 9, 10am-1pm
LOCAL HISTORY/SOCIAL ISSUES
Learn all about the 19th century history of Florence! In honor of the memory of Sojourner Truth and her tireless struggles for abolition and women’s rights, the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee is offering guided walking tour through Florence. The tour will focus on the rich tradition of social justice in Florence and Northampton in the 19th century and visit some of the houses and sites that played an important role in the community at that time. For more information about this event, please visit Take a Walk in Sojourner Truth’s Shoes. Corner of Park and Pine, Florence, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 9, 10am-3pm
Home gardens seem to have become popular in the 13th and 14th century in Europe. What started as a trend among rich landowners spread to the working classes in Elizabethan England. Some theories for how and why gardens became so popular at the time revolve around the Black Plague, which drastically increased the availability of land. If you are passionate about gardening you won’t want to miss the 25th Annual Northampton Garden Tour! Check out some of the Northampton’s most amazing gardens, learn some new gardening techniques, and support the Forbes Library, while you’re at it. Northampton, MA ($)
Saturday, June 9, 10:15-11am
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
There is no better way to instill a lifelong love of art in a child than to expose them to art at a young age! The Smith College Art Museum will be offering a special art adventure designed for toddlers and their caregivers. This program gives visitors an opportunity to explore the museum’s galleries and other spots around the Smith College campus. The theme for this session is “Outdoor Sculpture Story Walk.” The walk will feature many of the spectacular sculptures all around campus. Smith College Museum of Art. 20 Elm Street, Northampton, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, June 9, 10:30-11:30am
Never heard of pickleball? Well, you’re not alone, although the sport is rapidly growing in popularity. The game was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. One summer day, State Representative Joel Pritchard and his friends wanted to play badminton but couldn’t find the shuttlecock. So they found a wiffle ball, lowered the net, dug up some plywood paddles from the tool shed and pickleball was born! Commonly played in both singles and doubles, pickleball is played on badminton court with a tennis style net. The rules are similar to tennis, although the ball is served with an underhand stroke. The sport’s popularity has since grown to India, Finland, France and New Zealand. If you are interested in learning to play pickleball, come on down to this free clinic! This event is appropriate for everyone ages 6 and above. Green River Park. Petty Plain Road, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 9, 11am-3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/ARTS AND CRAFTS
Legend has it that the name ukulele, Hawaiian for ‘jumping flea,’ was first given to the British officer Edward William Purvis, who served on the staff of the penultimate Hawaiian king Kalakaua. Purvis was an expert player of the Portuguese instrument known as ‘machete,’ which had become popular in Hawaii after it was brought there by Portuguese traders. King Kalakaua was a merry character, who enjoyed music greatly, and it is said that Purvis’ small stature, agitated disposition, and quick fingers earned him the nickname ‘ukulele.’ Thereafter, the Hawaiian adaptation of the machete was named after Purvis. Join McCuskers Market and Ukulele Scramble for a celebration of the ukulele, featuring live concerts, arts and crafts, and fun games! McCuskers Market. 3 State Street, Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 9, 1-2:30pm
In the mid 19th century, the population of Holyoke was very small, with less than 5,000 residents. By 1920, however, the population had exploded to 60,000. This incredible population boom was due to the rapid industrial growth of its paper mills. In the late 19th century, Holyoke was the world’s biggest paper manufacturer. This growth brought an enormous amount of wealth to Holyoke and its richest residents built lavish Victorian-style mansions, many of which are still standing to this day. Eric Gradoia, Director of Historic Preservation at Historic Deerfield, will be discussing the history of Holyoke’s Victorian mansions at this presentation, featuring pictures and illustrations from Holyoke History Room’s special collection. Holyoke Public Library. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 9, 1-3pm
Unfortunately, ticks are an increasingly important part of our lives. In addition to Lyme disease, there is a growing number of new tick-borne pathogens that have the potential to impact our lives. It is important to take preventative measures against ticks while spending time outside in New England in the warmer months and knowing certain facts about ticks may make a big difference in reducing your exposure to tick-borne illnesses. Nolan Fernandez, outreach coordinator for the laboratory of medical zoology at UMass Amherst, will be leading a walk and discussing tick life cycles and preferred habitats. Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. North Farms Road, Florence, MA (FREE)
Saturday, June 9, 4-6pm
SOCIAL ISSUES/PANEL DISCUSSION
Intersectionality refers to the ways that class, gender, and race are inherently connected in forms of oppression. Historically, there was a tendency to view feminism, socialism, and racial justice as separate struggles, which each focused on different systems of power. Intersectionality, however, is a framework for perceiving the ways that these struggles are linked and stem from the same fundamental problems in society. This panel and discussion, hosted by Pioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), will focus on feminism and how race and class have played an important role in the movement. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about how different social struggles are linked. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)
Sunday, June 10th, 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 10, 11am-5pm
Come celebrate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) at the Lander Grinspoon Academy’s STEAM Carnival! This wonderful event will feature fun activities and games for children of all ages, inspired by STEAM topics. They will have a dunk tank, an obstacle course, delicious food, and live music. This is a great way to learn all about some of the fun and interesting applications of STEAM concepts. Lander Grinspoon Academy. 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Sunday, June 10, 10-11:30am
Our region’s wetlands play a vital role in the local ecosystem, particularly in regards to adjacent forests. Wetlands are home to a myriad important regional animals including beavers, otter, and salamanders. During this walk, led by Paul Wetzel, Environmental Research Coordinator of the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability at Smith College, participants will explore the wetlands and learn about wetlands biology and how this unique habitat is connected to the surrounding areas. Chester, MA (FREE)
Sunday, June 10, 1-4pm
Do you love to be silly and playful? If so, this is the event for you! Clowning is an age old form of comedic theater that blends miming and physical comedy. While clowning is all about fun, it’s an artform with hundreds of years worth of tradition. If you have always been fascinated by clowns or wanted to become one yourself, this is your opportunity. Berkcirque will be offering a special clowning class, covering all of the basics. This class is appropriate for everyone age 8 and up. Berkcirque. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA ($$)
Sunday, June 10, 4-6pm
The Great British Bake Off has become a major cultural phenomenon in Great Britain and around the world. Since the show aired in 2010, there has been a revitalized interest in home baking and the show has also played a role in revising traditional misconceptions about British food. Historically viewed as bland and unappetizing, British cuisine is now increasingly being recognized as one of the preeminent culinary traditions in the western world, particularly in regards to its scrumptious cakes, pies, and other baked goods. If you are a baking enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the Great Berkshire Bake Off’s cake party, to determine the winner of the competition! Guests will have a chance to taste the innovative offerings from contestants and even play a role in choosing the winner. The Wolfson Center. 122 North Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Monday, June 11th, 2018
Monday, June 11, 6-8pm
THEATER/CIVIL WAR HISTORY
In 2002, Judy Cook discovered a packet of more than one hundred letters between her great-great-grandparents during the Civil War. Judy’s great-great-grandfather Gilbert Claflin was 40 years old when he was drafted into the Union Army and traveled to Kentucky, leaving his wife and children at home on their farm in Wisconsin. Luckily Claflin saw very little combat during his 11 month service and he had ample time to write to his wife. Amazingly, the letters they wrote to each other only took two or three days to arrive! Because Claflin was not in the line of fire, the letters tend to discuss more of the day to day aspects of life and his wife Esther’s letters paint a vivid picture of 19th century farm life. Join Judy Cook for a special presentation of her great-great-grandparents’ letters, interspersed with images and songs. This event is a great way to learn about what life during the Civil War was like away from the battlefields. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, June 12th, 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 12, 7:30pm
If you’ve ever been to a graduation ceremony, you have heard English composer Edward Elgar’s most famous piece “Pomp and Circumstance.” Elgar was one of the leading composers in Britain at the turn of the 20th century and was also noteworthy for being one of the first composers who recorded his music on the gramophone. A self taught composer, Elgar came from a humble background and failed to achieve success until his 40s. Being a Roman Catholic in Protestant Britain also made Elgar an outcast socially. The Elgar Variations Tour is a special performance blending theater and ballet, which tells the story of Elgar’s life. This performance is part of Daniel’s Art Party, a three week long celebration of art at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Daniel Art Center. 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA ($)
Wednesday, June 13th, 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 13, 2pm
Jane Austen’s novels offer a detailed look into the everyday lives of the British landed gentry during the 19th century. At the time, Austen’s work was revolutionary for its realism and social commentary. While Austen’s novels comment on the role of women in society, as well as the legacy of colonialism, class is conspicuously absent from Austen’s critique. Jo Baker’s 2013 novel Longbourn, based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her family from the perspective of their servants. This clever retelling gives a voice to the unseen men and women in the background. Come discuss Longbourn at the Lee Library Book Club and learn all about the lives of working class people during the time of Jane Austen. Lee Library. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, June 13, 6-8pm
ARTS AND CRAFTS/ORIGAMI
The history of origami, or Japanese paper folding, begins in the 6th century when Buddhist monks first brought paper to Japan from China. By the 7th century, paper folding played an important role in Shinto, the traditional Japanese religion, during weddings and other ceremonies. The most famous origami shape is the crane and tradition holds that anyone who makes one thousand paper cranes will have their deepest wishes come true. Over the years origami has evolved as an art form and many related types of paper folding have developed. Kusudama, for example, is a type of paper folding that features the use of pyramidal units that are folded together to form spherical shapes. If you are interested in origami or arts and crafts in general, come check out this kusudama workshop! For more information and to register, please visit Japanese Paper Folding. Hatfield Public Library. 39 Main Street, Hatfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, June 13, 6:30pm
Lovers of world music are in for a real treat this Wednesday, when Grammy nominated Senegalese master Kora player Youssoupha Sidibe will be performing live at the Porter Phelps Huntington Museum. Sidibe has played with numerous celebrated musicians including Matisyahu, Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, and Charles Neville. The Kora is a traditional African instrument made from a calabash gourd and cow skin. It has 21 strings and its sound most closely resembles a harp. Sidibe’s music has been influenced by reggae, blues, traditional Wolof music, and Sufi devotional chanting. This is an amazing opportunity to hear a true master perform. Porter Phelps Huntington Museum. 130 River Drive, Hadley, MA ($)
Wednesday, June 13, 6:30-8:30pm
The Korean War (1950-1953) is often referred to as ‘The Forgotten War,’ due to the general lack of awareness surrounding the conflict, both during and after. Despite this, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and an estimated two million civilians were killed during the war. In fact, the aftermath of this war still heavily influenced both the political climate on the Korean peninsula and diplomatic relations between the United States and North Korea. While the end of the war was technically considered a stalemate, North Korea was devastated by massive aerial bombing campaigns. The Korean War is notable, as well, for the fact that it represents the first instance of a “police action” type of war. That is to say, none of the combatants, including the United States, ever actually declared war. The authorization for the use of force came directly from the United Nations Security Council. Come learn more about this often neglected, but crucial, piece of 20th century history with a screening of the film Memory of Forgotten War. The film tells the story of the war through the lives of four Korean-American survivors and blends these personal accounts with archival footage and analysis by academics and historians. Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, June 13, 7-9pm
Jenny Bruso had never considered herself to be the ‘outdoorsy type.’ When she happened to go for a hike in 2012, she suddenly discovered the incredible joy and peace that comes from being in nature. After discovering her love for hiking, however, Bruso began to realize that the dominant narratives around hiking and engaging with nature were only telling one type of story. As Bruso writes, she noticed that the type of person portrayed in outdoorsy ads and blogs was “always white; if it’s a woman, her hair is cascading down her back, and they’re very young and thin. It’s always someone who looks like they’re effortlessly there, like they didn’t get their entire ass kicked by hiking.” This realization led Bruso to start Queer Adventure Storytelling, a forum for marginalized voices in the outdoors community to tell their stories of travel and adventure. This Wednesday, Queer Adventure Storytelling is coming to New England! Click Workspace. 9 ½ Market Street, Northampton, MA ($)
Wednesday, June 13, 8pm
Since the late 1990s, the Neo-Psychedelic band of Montreal has been one of the most influential acts in contemporary indie music. The band’s most recent release, White is Relic/Irrealis Mood, draws heavily from frontman Kevin Barnes’ readings of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Barnes writes that the album was written from a place of despair following the 2016 presidential election, during which Barnes sought writers and thinkers who continued to struggle in the face of oppression. The title of the album White is Relic, Barnes writes, was inspired by James Baldwin’s analysis of the construction of white identity. Come see of Montreal performing live at Gateway City Arts this Wednesday! This is an opportunity music fans won’t want to miss. Gateway City Arts. 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA ($)
Thursday, June 15th, 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 14, 4:30-6pm
Django Reinhardt is considered to be one of the greatest jazz guitarists of all time. Born into a Romani community in 1910, he was already a world-renowned guitarist by the age of 17. Tragically, he was horribly burned and almost killed when his caravan caught fire. His right leg and left hand were paralyzed and doctors intended to have them amputated. He was told he would never play the guitar again. Django refused the surgeries and walked out of the hospital days later. Amazingly, Django managed to teach himself to continue playing the guitar despite his handicap, by using only his thumb and two fingers on his left hand. To this day, countless celebrated guitarists have acknowledged Django’s influence on them and he remains the greatest jazz guitarists ever to come out of Europe. Northampton’s “Django in June” concert series honors Django’s legacy with five days of performances and gypsy jazz workshops. In case you can’t make the festival, audiences will have the opportunity to hear members of the Django in June ensemble play for free on Thursday evening! Thornes Marketplace. 150 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, June 15th, 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 15, 5-8pm
There are few traditions as old and beloved as gathering with community members to enjoy food and play music together. Events like these give us the opportunity to feel connected with the people in our community and to meet new friends. When jam-style music is thrown into the mix, these types of parties can also be a great way to learn new songs and skills from other musicians. On Fridays all summer long, Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst will be hosting a community gathering with music and food. Bring your own instrument to play along or just come hang out and enjoy some hot dogs! Simple Gifts Farm. 1089 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, 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.