Learn Local. Play Local.: Slow Art to Matzo. Hero’s Journey to Bird Migrations.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

BalletBroadwayDramaLiterature in TranslationSnow WhiteBeauty and the BeastWomen’s HistoryLocal HistorySleddogsAmerican WoodcockVernal PoolsAmphibiansApril Vacation WeekSummer CampsMovie Theater Birthday PartyFamily CampParents’ Night OutDate NightBaby ShowerEducationEarly Childhood EducationWeek of the Young ChildNature-Based LearningCreative-Free PlaySound ArtMuseum AdventuresSlow Art DayEaster BunnyPassoverRamadanImmigrationRaceIslamic StudiesTEDx TalkHero’s JourneyAnatomy & PhysiologyOrnithologySTEMAstronomyAeronauticsKineticsParenting WorkshopTeen HealthHomeopathy5KRecyclingUpcyclingSustainabilitySeed ExchangeLandscape DesignGardeningFarm to SchoolPancakesMatzaString QuartetOrchestraContradanceFlamencoFiber ArtsAirplanesTrolley CarsMini GolfBasketballKites

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 6-12, 2019… Scroll down, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!


Let the spring bird migration inspire you to learn about native species who live in your local habitat for part of the year. Starting with the learning to id them by their call, migrating species have much to teach about ecology and the importance of conservation!


  • Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7-10am: Bird Walk. Enjoy beautiful Graves Farm while searching for early spring migrants. Take an easy two-mile loop which is often filled with bird activity. At this time of year, you may see hermit thrushes, tree swallows, male red-winged blackbirds, and other early migrants. Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. Adams Rd, Haydenville, MA
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019, 6-8:30pm: Dance of the American Woodcock . Witness one of the most spectacular dances on earth – the courtship display of the American woodcock. Usually, a reclusive forest dweller, the male of this game bird species takes center stage in his springtime dance to attract a female. The male struts and calls out a nasal peeent, then suddenly spirals into the air and gives a whistle-sounding call before zigzagging down. Then the show begins all over again. Brief slide presentation, then head outdoors for the show. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 5:30-6:15pm: Warbler Madness! Join David Brown and the Northfield Bird Club on for a timely refresher on Massachusetts’ warblers before their return from southern wintering grounds. “Warbler Madness” contains video footage of our migrant and resident wood warblers along with many of their songs. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Interest: Religion Studies

In this video segment, “John Green teaches you the history of Islam, including the revelation of the Qu’ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. Learn about hadiths, Abu Bakr … Also, learn a little about the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and how to tell if this year’s Ramadan is going to be difficult for your Muslim friends.” – CrashCourse

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 7-8pm: Seeing the Moon in Islamic Traditions. Join the Amherst College Muslim Students Organization and advisor, Mohammed Abdelaal for a pre-Ramadan discussion about celestial bodies in Muslim traditions, and socializing over cookies and tea. This program takes inspiration from the artists featured in “Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein” who visualized the cosmos in multiple dimensions. Free and open to all. Presented in partnership with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Muslim Students Association and the Mead Art Museum. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.


“What trials unite not only Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins but many of literature’s most interesting heroes? And what do ordinary people have in common with these literary heroes? Matthew Winkler takes us step-by-step through the crucial events that make or break a hero.” – TED-Ed

View the full lesson: What makes a hero? – Matthew Winkler

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 1-4pm – Complimentary admission to The Clark Art Institute galleries all day and free activities that encourage visitors to reflect on the small ways to be heroic. Explore what it means to be heroic with guided gallery talks, or settle in for a super movie marathon. At Hero HQ, recognize the everyday heroes in your life, make a custom superhero mask, and stop by the Small Heroics station to receive your mission. The Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA



“Matzo is an important part of any Passover Seder. Nancy Giles visits Streit’s Matzo Factory on New York’s Lower East Side and learns the true meaning of making Matzo.” – CBS Sunday Morning


  • Sunday, April 7, 2019, 10am-2pm: Community Matzah Bake and Maror Hunt for all ages. A participatory hands-on workshop to experience: the sweetness of making your matzah in our cob oven with a community of friends; the hunt for the best bitter foods Abundance Farm has to offer; a wild edibles walk; a chance to grind your own wheat using a wheat grinder and mortar and pestles; a time and place to ask questions. Sign up for a matzah baking time slot at http://tinyurl.com/matzah2019. Abundance Farm. 413-584-3593. 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA.
  • Sunday, April 7, 2019, 11:30am-12:30pm : The Model Matza Bakery. On Passover, the focus of the seder revolves around matza, the unleavened bread that is baked in under eighteen minutes. Join Chabad Hebrew School and Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) as they bake matza in preparation for Passover. Participants will learn about the process of how matza is created and walk away with freshly made. Children ages 5-12 will participate in the entire process from the wheat grinding until the baking. RSVP required: info@lya.org or call 413-567-8665. Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. 1148 Converse Street, Longmeadow, MA

Observation Day: SLOW ART DAY

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 11am-1pm: International Slow Art Day at MASS MoCA. The average museum-goer spends just 10 seconds with any given work of art. Turn that truth on its head with contemplative walks through MASS MoCA’s expansive galleries and go in deep with tours focused on single works of art. MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111.1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA

How Long Should You Look at a Work of Art?




  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6pm: Participants will learn about upcycling plastic bags through the process of fusing with Lou’s upcycling. This 101 class teaches the basics of plastic bag fusing, and each participant will complete a final project using the fused textile. There is a limit of 15 participants for this free workshop. RSVP required. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.
  • Saturday, April 27, 2019, 2:30pm: Celebrate the Town of Amherst Sustainability Festival and ArtWeek Amherst by creating your own upcycled masterpiece at the library, again led by Lou Leelyn of Lou’s Upcycles. RSVP: 413-259-3096. Jones Library. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Can’t make it to the above events (or maybe they’re already full)? Try upcycling at home! Learn how with this video (saving the parchment paper used here for other purposes, like baking or more upcycled plastic bags!):



Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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