Suggested Events for August 25th – 31st, 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.
After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs
Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!
If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its eight year on Sunday, September 30, in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger-free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $130,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration pricing ends August 31. To register, or to learn more, visit willbike4food.org.
Looking for a fun and creative outlet for your kids this year? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s theater classes, weekend workshops, and vacation and summer camps. Their programs for young children (1.5-6) celebrate imaginative play and encourage creative expression. For older kids (7-12), their programs provide a nurturing environment to stretch creatively while exploring acting, improvisation, movement, and voice. For more information visit www.valleyperformanceplayground.com or email email@example.com.
Piti Theatre Youth Troupe Fall Session: Greenfield’s Grumpiest T-Rex to be performed for the Great Greenfield DinoFest on October 6th at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. The troupe will perform again in December. Performers ages 8 and up learn improvisation, magic, singing, movement, acting and puppetry skills while developing their capacities for trust, confidence, teamwork and creativity! “We loved watching the show; our children loved being part of it.” – C.W., Shelburne Falls Rehearsals on Thursdays, 4:00 – 5:15 and some Saturday mornings, 10 – noon in Shelburne Falls and Greenfield. Registration: firstname.lastname@example.org, (413) 339 – 4569. Also watch out for improv classes for teens and adults. More at ptco.org/classes.
Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at email@example.com to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.
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
August 25th – 31st, 2018
Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español Events Happening in the Hilltowns
Saturday, August 25, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Kevin and Casey of The Whizpops have put together a fun educational show about wildlife and imagination seamlessly weaving songs about animals both real and make-believe. Join them on a musical journey through endangered species, mustaches, and even unicorns! 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, August 25, 11am-2pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/REIKI
Reiki, which translates to “mysterious atmosphere” or “miraculous sign,” is a form of Japanese traditional medicine, that was codified by Mikao Usui in 1922. Usui believed that the vital energies of the body, known in Chinese as “qi,” which can be translated as “numinous atmosphere,” could be transferred or rearranged through the movement of the practitioner’s hands, held above the patient’s body. This change in the bodies energies can be used, according to reiki practitioners, to treat various conditions and diseases. If you would like to learn more about reiki, come check out this Reiki Clinic Day! Groundings. 7 Main Street, Florence, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, August 25, 12-7pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES
Lughnasadh, pronounced “lunasa,” is the ancient Gaelic harvest festival, celebrated among Gaelic communities throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The festival is named for the god Lugh, one of the central deities of the Gaelic pantheon, who governs arts, crafts, and law. Like most holidays, Lughnasadh has its roots in ritual worship of the god. In ancient times, the holiday was celebrated with feasts, athletic competitions, music, and storytelling. In Ireland today, many still celebrate Lughnasadh with a mountain pilgrimage to honor Lugh. Come commemorate this ancient harvest festival with a full day of Irish music, dance, lectures, and, of course, a soda bread competition! For a full list of events, visit Lunasa. Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA ($)
Satuday, August 25, 12pm
In 1906, Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzo wrote: “Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.” Kakuzo wrote The Book of Tea as an exploration of ‘chado’ or the ‘way of tea,’ the elaborate series of cultural and aesthetic practices related to the preparation and serving of tea. For Kakuzo, the culture of tea was a vital part of Japanese culture as a whole and reflected many of the broader philosophical and spiritual values of that society. Throughout the tea-drinking world, the beverage has taken on an almost religious level of reverence. If you are a tea fanatic, you won’t want to miss this tea time event at Historic Deerfield. Participants will sample teas from around the world and learn about the fascinating history of this amazing plant. Historic Deerfield. 80 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, August 25, 12:30-2pm
FILM SCREENING/ART STUDIES
It’s hard to think of any artist whose bizarre and fantastic vision surpasses the 16th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Best known for his grotesque and fascinating depictions of heaven and hell, Bosch has remained something of a mystery to scholars. Little to nothing is known of his life and only 25 paintings can be reliably attributed to him. Most of all, interpretations of his amazing detailed and highly individualized images are heavily contested. The alternately dreamlike and nightmarish qualities of his work has been linked by some art historians to influences from heretical medieval sects such as the Cathars, who believed that there were two all-powerful gods, one good and one evil, that all matter was inherently evil, and that human souls were genderless angels. The Cathars were ultimately exterminated by the Catholic Church, after declaring a crusade against them in 1208, which led to the massacre of thousands. Other interpretations, particularly during Bosch’s life, suggested that his work was deliberately designed to provoke and scandalize. Today, it is generally agreed upon that Bosch’s work was meant to clearly illustrate and explore certain spiritual ideas. The film The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch explores these questions and more. How do we account for Bosch’s sensational continued popularity? And how on earth did he come up with such outlandish images? Don’t miss this screening! Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)
Sunday, August 26, 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, August 26, 1-2:30pm
Do you have a kiddo at home who loves drawing, comics, and jedis? Do we have the event for you! This Sunday, best selling author Jarrett Krosoczka will be discussing his new book Jedi Academy: The Principal Strikes Back! and leading a comic drawing workshop, in which all the participants will work together to create a giant collaborative comic. And don’t forget to come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character! Academy of Music Theatre. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Sunday, August 26, 6-8pm
The end of summer is a bittersweet time for many of us. Between going back to school and the coming of autumn, it’s a time of transitions. Welcome the coming school year with an evening of ice cream and community! See old friends, catch up on all the fun you had over the summer, and go to know new friends and community members. This is a great way to get excited about the coming school year. Colrain Central School. 22 Jacksonville Road, Colrain, MA (FREE)
Sunday, August 26, 7:45-9:15pm
The full moon has inspired folktales and superstitions for thousands of years. Full moons have been linked to an incredible array of behaviors and phenomena. The word ‘lunatic,’ of course, is derived from the word for moon and there is a widespread belief that the full moon is a time of increased mental instability. Additionally, in 2009, British MP David Tredinnick claimed that surgeons refuse to operate during a full moon because blood won’t clot. Needless to say, this was immediately refuted by the Royal College of Surgeons. Ultimately, data shows very little evidence that the full moon has any particular impact on human beings but it’s certainly true that many fish and amphibians mating cycles are linked to the full moon. So while the full moon probably won’t make you go insane, turn into a werewolf, or bleed uncontrollably, it is still one of the most beautiful and profound natural phenomena. Come experience the magic of the full moon! For more information and directions, please visit Full Moon Hike at Hollow Fields. Richmond, MA (FREE)
Monday, August 27, 2018
Monday, August 27, 6-9pm
LITERARY STUDIES/WRITING WORKSHOP
Memoir has existed as a literary genre for thousands of years. In addition to the ancient Roman memoirs of famous statesmen, including Julius Caesar, the Japanese Sarashina Diary was written sometime around the year 1008, by an anonymous daughter of famous lady-in-waiting named Sugawara Takasue. The Sarashina Diary is significant as a record of the innermost thoughts and feelings of a woman in Japanese society, which was extremely repressive. The memoir also contains passages of breathtaking beauty, including the following: “It [Mount Fuji] has a most unusual shape and seems to have been painted deep blue; its thick cover of unmelting snow gives the impression that the mountain is wearing a white jacket over a dress of deep violet.” Come discuss memoir as a literary genre, write, and share at this writing workshop. Writers of all levels of experience are welcome. Welcome, Writer. 5 State Street, Shelburne Falls, MA ($)
Monday, August 27, 7-9pm
FILM DISCUSSION/FILM STUDIES
Fans of magical realism and global cinema are in for a real treat! The 2010 Thai art film masterpiece Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives will be featured in the next session of the Forbes Library’s Far Out Film Discussion series. When Uncle Boonmee was first released, it received tremendous acclaim and won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, written, directed, and produced by the visionary Apichatpong Weerasethakul, tells the story of the titular uncle Boonmee during the last days of his life, accompanied by the spirit of his dead wife and his son, who had disappeared years earlier, only to return in a non-human form. Boonmee has the rare ability to remember his past lives, as he reincarnates over the ages, and the theme of flux and hybridity is mirrored in the setting of the film in the mountainous jungle region of Isan, bordering Laos. The forest is a place where things can become something other than what they are. Shapes and shadows, only dimly perceived, emerge and disappear among the thick trees and vines. In Weerasethakul’s own words, the film investigates “objects and people that transform or hybridise.” As a meta-commentary on the state of cinema itself, Weerasethakul made the decision to shoot the movie entirely on film, in an era that is almost universally digital. Thus, stylistically, the film also functions as Weerasethakul’s homage to classic Thai films. A truly unique film that defies explanation, Uncle Boonmee has been described by film critics as “barely a film; more a floating world. To watch it is to feel many things – balmed, seduced, amused, mystified.” Above all, the film is one that begs to be discussed! The Far Out Film Discussion works like a book club, watch the movie at home and then come to the group to discuss. Don’t miss this opportunity to dive into one of the most beautiful, haunting films of our time! Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, August 28, 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, August 28, 10:30am
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The WeeMuse Littlest Learners program is designed to give children ages 6 to 18 months and their caregivers an opportunity to learn, play, and connect with others. Through a mix of storytelling, music, sign language, and play, young children will develop important physical and verbal skills. Caregivers will also be able to connect with others in their community and share experiences. Being at home with a young child can be an isolating experience, this program is a great way to get out of the house with you wee ones and engage in an activity that benefits you all! Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Tuesday, August 28, 1-3pm
Yo ho-ho and a bottle of rum! These legendary words were written by novelist Robert Louis Stevenson for his pirate novel Treasure Island. Stevenson was inspired by the rich tradition of pirate songs and sea shanties. These songs were typically sung by sailors to accompany specific kinds of tasks while sailing. Come enjoy an afternoon of rousing pirate songs and tasty popsicles. Sing, dance, and get your photo taken with a pirate! Whitney Center for the Arts. 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Tuesday, August 28, 6pm
ART STUDIES/ARTS AND CRAFTS
Everyday objects can easily be turned into things of great beauty! Art can be made out of anything. Franco-American Cubist Marcel Duchamp essentially gave birth to the ‘found art’ movement in 1917, when he bought a urinal at a hardware store and put it on a pedestal and displayed it at the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York City. Trouble Mandeson is an artist, whose medium of choice is shoes. Trouble transforms ordinary shoes into beautiful objects and will be leading a workshop, giving participants ages 13 and above the opportunity to work with shoes, glitter, and other fun materials. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.
Wednesday, August 29, 3-4:30pm
LITERARY STUDIES/CURRENT EVENTS
One of the greatest qualities of literature is its ability to speak in any age. Shakespeare is a profound example of this. As distant as Elizabethan England may feel to us, Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted to countless historical settings. From Richard III set during the 1930s, portraying the hunchbacked king as an aspiring fascist, to Romeo and Juliet set in Miami in the 1990s, to Coriolanus set in war-torn Yugoslavia in the late 20th century, Shakespeare continues to resonate with audiences. At this lecture, actor, author, and director Tina Packer will discuss how Shakespeare reflects our own times. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Wednesday, August 29, 6pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/QI GONG
Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Qi Gong practicioners of all levels are invited to attend this free Qi Gong class! Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, August 29, 7-8:30pm
ARTS AND CRAFTS/KNITTING
Come meet community members and work on your knitting projects together! Knitting is a great way to keep traditional crafts alive, become more self sufficient, and it’s also lots of fun. There is something so hypnotic about the ‘clickety-clack’ sound of the knitting needles, the warm and cozy feeling of the yarn, and the relaxing, repetitive motion. This informal knitting group is open to everyone and local knitting experts will be on hand to help you work through any problems that come up. M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA (FREE)
Thursday, August 30, 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, August 30, 5:30pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The brilliant film director David Lynch once said: “Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.” It is no surprise that spiritual traditions from around the world promote meditative practices. Whether we seek to quiet the mind, or simply the calm recognition and acceptance of our thoughts as they come and go like waves on distant shore, meditation can put us touch with stillness and balance. Experienced meditators and newcomers are welcome to attend this free open meditation event, hosted by Pioneer Valley Shambhala! 191 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, August 31, 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, August 31, 4pm
Since 1818, the Three County Fair in Northampton has been showcasing local agriculture. America’s longest running agricultural fair was originally established as an agricultural society, designed to promote agricultural knowledge and appreciation. Over the years, the fair has stayed true to its original mission and expanded to include live music, delicious food, and lots of fun activities for children and adults. Livestock demonstrations are still a huge part of the fair experience and awards are given for both agricultural and domestic animals. This year, visitors will also be able to learn about kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras and other Australian animals at the Aussie Kingdom Education & Interaction Shows. Don’t miss one of the most beloved local events of the year! For more information and a complete list of events, please visit Three County Fair. Northampton, MA ($)
Friday, August 31
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/SERVICE LEARNING
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its eight year on Sunday, September 30, in Hatfield. Early bird registration pricing ends August 31. You can pedal towards a hunger-free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $130,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. To register, or to learn more, visit willbike4food.org.
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.