Suggested Events for November 24th – 30th, 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 email@example.com to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.
Amherst Downtown is merry and bright this holiday season with music and activities for the whole family. The Annual Lighting of the Merry Maple on Friday, November 30, 3pm-7pm is filled with events and activities for all ages at the Fire Station, History Museum and the Commons hayrides, crafts, and storytelling, the High School chorus perform seasonal songs and the UMass Minuteman Marching Band arrives with Santa. Tree lighting at 5 pm. Pick up sacks at the Merry Maple and come back Saturday December 1st for Pack the Sack, 20% off downtown Amherst. Santa and Elf visit shops and street band Prone to Mischief perform around town; starts at noon. Free Holiday Concert by the Amherst Community Band at Mercy House on December 15that 4 pm. Free Parking Saturdays starts November 24th. More information available at www.amherstdowntown.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 24th – 30th, 2018
Saturday, November 24th, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Wendy & DB show us the way to Peace & Love listening to some of their favorite songs and by telling us some stories about Peace that have touched their lives. All Aboard the Peace Train! 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, November 24, 10am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/ARTS AND CRAFTS
British historian Eric Hobsbawm, renowned for his scholarship on the rise of industrial capital, coined the term ‘the General Crisis’ to refer to the 17th century. This period was marked by a huge number of massive social upheavals in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World. In Europe, the Thirty Years War caused a 30 percent reduction in the population of Germany, as over 8 million people died in the conflict. Poland lost a third of its population. In China, as the Ming dynasty collapsed, over 50 million people died in the span of 40 years. Revolts and civil wars led to the destabilization of many of the world’s largest nations. Also during this period, enormous amounts of material wealth began arriving in Europe and China from the New World, as settlers and conquistadors extracted huge quantities of silver from Mexico and Bolivia. Amidst all this chaos and suffering, scientific and industrial developments surged forward. The 17th century was the century of Galileo, Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes. During this time, life for the colonists in New England may have felt relatively untouched by these massive events occurring elsewhere. Come learn all about what daily life would have looked like for the 17th century colonists! Historic Deerfield. 80 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA ($)
Saturday, November 24, 2-4pm
3D printing technology has grown at an incredible rate. The implications of this technology are very intriguing, as it can even be used to produce food. With 3D printing, if you can imagine it, you can create it! This 3D printing workshop is a great opportunity to learn how to work with this fascinating technology. Participants will learn how to design and execute a 3D printed project. This event is free but participants must bring their own computer. Make-It Springfield. 168 Worthington Street, Springfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, November 24, 4-6pm
L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been called “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale” by the Library of Congress and continues to delight old and new fans. The timeless tale of Dorothy and her little dog Toto and their adventures in the magical land of Oz has inspired sequels, spinoffs, a Broadway musical adaptation, and perhaps most famously, the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Since CBS broadcast the film on television in 1956, watching the film has become an established American holiday tradition. This Saturday, you can watch “The Wizard of Oz” in 35mm film on the big screen! Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA ($)
Saturday, November 24, 4-9pm
It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Park. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA (FREE)
Saturday, November 24, 5:30-6:30pm
ART STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES
Based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, Norman Rockwell created a series of four paintings representing the “Four Freedoms,” “the freedom of speech,” “the freedom of worship,” “the freedom from want,” and “the freedom from fear.” When the paintings were released in 1943, they met with a mixed reception, although President Roosevelt felt that they perfectly captured the spirit of his words. Many critics felt that Rockwell’s work lacked artistic maturity and failed to represent the economic struggles of millions of Americans by depending on overworn patriotic cliches, nostalgia, and bland, middle of the road civic sentiments. Nevertheless, “the Four Freedoms” have remained an important artistic representation of Roosevelt’s vision. This Saturday, audiences will have the opportunity to experience “Paintings in Song: The Four Freedoms,” a choral composition inspired by Rockwell’s series of paintings. Norman Rockwell Museum. 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, November 24, 9:30-11pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/CONCERT
It is thought that the word zydeco derives from the French phrase “Les haricots ne sont pas salés,” which translates to “the green beans are not salty.” Apparently, when spoken in Creole French, the phrase sounds like the word “zydeco.” A mixture of blues and rhythm and blues, zydeco typically features a fast tempo, accordions, and washboards. What could be a better way to recover from your Thanksgiving feast than with an evening of dancing! Zydeco Connection will be playing a special Zydeco Dance Party, this Saturday. Luthier’s Co-op. 108 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA (FREE)
Sunday, November 25th, 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, November 25, 9:30am-1pm
The Gorge apres Gorge is a local favorite! For 14 years, families and community members have gathered for a 5K trail run and walk at the lovely Chesterfield Gorge, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Work off some of that turkey and stuffing, compete for handmade hats, and take part in a beloved local tradition. Free family fun walk begins at 11am. Proceeds benefit the Hilltown Land Trust. Chesterfield Gorge. Chesterfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)
Sunday, November 25, 12-2pm
Come celebrate the winter holidays with children and families in your community! This Sunday, Berkshire Theatre Group will be hosting a Children’s Holiday Extravaganza, featuring face painting, pizza, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The first 400 visitors will also receive gift bags! This event is free but tickets are required. The Colonial Theatre. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Sunday, November 25, 12-4pm
ARTS AND CRAFTS/WORKSHOP
Christmas wreaths were originally used in a wide variety of traditional spiritual practices, from the Etruscans in the Mediterranean, to the ancient Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia. In many cases, wreaths were meant as harvest talismans, decorated with ritual and symbolic objects, and blessed by priests. To this day, wreaths are typically made from evergreens and holly because they do not wither in the cold winter weather. This may symbolize strength and endurance in the face of adversity. Come make you own wreath at this workshop. Bring any accents you may wish for, in addition to a bow. Leyden Town Hall. Leyden, MA ($)
Monday, November 26th, 2018
Monday, November 26. 12pm
Fantasy legend Ursula LeGuin once wrote: “fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? The moneylenders, the knownothings, the authoritarians have us all in prison; if we value the freedom of the mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can.” By entering the realms of fantasy, we are able to imagine other worlds and without the ability to do so, there would truly be no hope of changing the world. This exciting new exhibit highlights the work of local fantasy artists! Local Gallery. Easthampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, November 27th, 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, November 27, 4:30-6:30pm
PANEL DISCUSSION/SOCIAL ISSUES
In the face of an increasing gap between the rich and the poor and an utter refusal to engage meaningfully with the growing climate crisis, it’s no surprise that people are increasingly losing faith in global capitalism. Unfortunately, much of this frustration is being redirected in the form of nativism and conservative populism. According to recent polls, roughly 50 percent of American claim to have lost faith in democracy. Among millennials, only 30 percent believe that it essentially important to live in a democratic society. And nearly half of Americans believe that the government should be able to ban offensive speech. These trends are consistent outside of the United States as well. This panel discussion will focus on the Global Rise of Nativism and Illiberalism. The Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College. 61 Quadrangle Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, November 27, 5:45-8:30pm
As the political discourse in this country becomes increasingly polarized and tense, it’s more important than ever to be able to have a productive conversation with someone who may see things differently. For those who have friends and family members on different sides of the political spectrum, this can be a source of enormous stress. Learn all about how to converse respectfully with others at this workshop, How to Speak and Listen Across the Political Divide. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and practice with a partner. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, November 27, 7-8:30pm
Thought to have originated in Greece or the Near East, the olive tree has been treasured for thousands of years. While olives were domesticated long before, by the year 6000 BCE, communities around the Mediterranean had already begun pressing olives into oil. Today, Spain, Italy, and Greece are the highest producers and consumers of olive oil. New England may not be known for its local olive oil but maybe the Northampton Olive Oil Company will put us on the map. Come enjoy a special tasting of local olive oils this Tuesday! Westhampton Public Library. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, November 28th, 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, November 28, 6-7:30pm
This special storytime event focuses on the ways that stories can be used to build connections within the community. Telling positive stories about ourselves and our communities can help to create a deeper sense of identity and belonging. It’s amazing how powerful stories can really be! Snacks provided. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Thursday, November 29th, 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, November 29, 5-6:30pm
SOCIAL ISSUES/CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change impacts all life on earth. From human beings, to corals, to bees, to rhinos. The dangers we face threaten all organisms, from the biggest to smallest. Having said that, the immediate consequences of the climate crisis will impact certain populations more so than others. Rising sea levels, flooding, and increasingly erratic storms will radically impact economically disadvantaged populations in the United States and globally. Come learn about how the climate crisis amplifies socioeconomic inequality at this free workshop. The Montessori School of Northampton. 51 Bates Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Thursday, November 29, 6:30-8:30pm
SPELLING BEE/LANGUAGE ARTS
The winning word at the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee this past year was “koinonia,” which is hard enough to spell when you are actually looking at it. Nevertheless, 14 year old Karthik Nemmani succeeded in correctly spelling this mephitic word and became champion. Spelling bees are a celebration of the beautiful and occasionally infuriating nature of our ever-changing language. Don’t miss the Mary Lyon Foundation 13th Annual Community Spelling Bee! Mohawk Trail Regional High School. 26 Ashfield Road, Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)
Thursday, November 29. 7:30-10pm
One of the most influential voices in contemporary America drama, Maria Irene Fornes’ legacy is largely unknown outside of the industry. Fornes, who died in October, began writing spontaneously one Saturday night in the Spring of 1961. As the story goes, Fornes was looking for a party with her then partner Susan Sontag. In response to Sontag’s complaints about a novel she was struggling to write, Fornes insisted that they go home, sit down at the kitchen table, and just write. To show Sontag how easy it was to start, Fornes took out a piece of paper and began writing a short story. Of that occasion, Fornes remembered: “I might never have thought of writing if I hadn’t pretended I was going to show Susan how easy it was.” Decades, and dozens of plays, later, Fornes’ influence has been cited by Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner, Sam Shepard, and Edward Albee. “What of the Night?” is one of her most celebrated plays. UMass Curtain Theater. Amherst, MA ($)
Thursday, November 29, 7:45-9:15pm
DANCE STUDIES/SENEGALESE DANCE
Music plays an incredibly important role in Senegalese culture. The national anthem: “Pincez tous vos koras, frappez les balafons” (“Pluck all your koras, strike the balafons”), refers to the country’s rich musical heritage and the first president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor made the promotion of traditional Senegalese music a high priority. Known for its distinctive drumming and kora playing, Senegalese music is also inseparable from the nation’s ancient dance traditions. This Thursday evening, local dance enthusiasts will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a dance class with Pape N’Diaye, renowned Senegalese musician and dancer! Karuna Center for Yoga and Healing Arts. 25 Main Street, Northampton, MA ($)
Friday, November 30th, 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, November 30, 9:30-10:30am
In order to make high quality STEM events and activities available to the community at large, Berkshire Museum is going on the road! This month, come down to the Lenox Community Center for a morning of icky, messy, gooey science experiments with educators from the museum. This event is designed for children ages 2 to 8. Lenox Community Center. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 12-2pm
OPEN HOUSE/WILDERNESS SKILLS
For all the amazing things modern humans have learned how to do, we have forgotten many ancient skills that used to be common knowledge and remain vitally useful to this day. Tracking, firemaking, shelter building, and identifying wild edibles are just a few of these skills. In traditional communities, these skills are taught at a very young age and indeed, they have a particularly powerful impact on young people in terms of self confidence, patience, and focus. For almost 20 years, Earthwork has been specializing in teaching wilderness skills to young people. Don’t miss this special Earthwork Open House for Homeschoolers. Come see what Earthwork is all about! Larch Conservation Center. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 3-7pm
Welcome the holiday season with the Annual Lighting of the Merry Maple on the Amherst town common! This beloved local event features an evening of holiday cheer and fun for the whole community. Check out the open house at the Fire Station, go for a hayride around the common, attend crafting and storytelling workshops, and enjoy the parade! Amherst Common. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 5pm
For some of us, there are few sights more pleasing and exhilarating than a massive stack of books. The repentant bibliophile, or book lover, will continue acquiring books no matter how many they have yet to read. In fact, the Japanese have a term for this: tsundoku, letting books pile up in your house without ever being able to read them all. Of this phenomenon, noted bibliophile A. Edward Newton once wrote: “Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity … we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.” Truer words have rarely been spoken. If you have been touched by this lucky affliction, you won’t want to miss the Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair. Smith College. 10 Elm Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 5-8pm
Celebrate the holiday season with an evening of caroling, choral music, and readings with a special service based on the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. First held in 1880 at the Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has become an annual tradition in Great Britain and the United States, most famously at King’s College in Cambridge, Brown University in Providence, and the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. This event is a great opportunity to enjoy beautiful holiday choral music and participate in a longstanding community tradition. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 6-7:30pm
As the darkest days of the year approach, come celebrate the gift of light with the whole community! This Friday, the South Deerfield community will be gathering on the town common for an evening of hot cocoa, live music, and singing. South Deerfield Town Common. South Deerfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 30, 8-10:30pm
Matthew Shepard’s tragic murder in 1998 had an enormous impact on LGBT rights in the United States. In 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, which enacted hate crimes law at the federal level and allowed violence against LGBT individuals to fall under hate crimes law. The Laramie Project is an ensemble theater project remembering Shepard, on the 20th anniversary of his death. Whitney Center for the Arts. 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Hadley, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.