Hilltown Families


The MA Agriculture Calendar photo contest for the 2017 calendar is looking for pictures of all types agriculture. Even children can enter their photos since there is no age limit.

Needed are pictures of farms/activities featuring cranberries, maple sugaring, dairy, flowers, growing Christmas trees, fruit trees, and any farm animals.

Easily overlooked, the tracks and sign left by some of our landscape’s smallest creatures are fascinating, and speak volumes as to the habits of the many insect species found locally. Families can explore the miniature world of insects through a photography exhibit at the Westhampton Library!

What parts of the Hilltown landscape offer inspiration? Share your answer in the form of an image for the Hilltown Land Trust’s Picturing the Hilltowns photography contest, open to local folks of all ages!

What will the Pioneer Valley look like 1,000 years from now? Artist Jonathon Keats and Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum are committed to finding out – with a Millennium camera, and an exhibit on the process of deep time photography. A 1,000 year community project that integrates art, citizen scientist, climate change, culture and history.

It must be the term itself but “Endangered Species” suggests a distant acknowledgment of a painful occurrence. It’s almost too scientific when what’s at stake are living breathing creatures facing extinction. The exhibit “Animalia: The Endangered” by Dawn Howkinson Siebel at UMass Amherst’s Hampden Gallery counters this with the capturing of an intimate sad capturing of beautiful animals in danger of being wiped from the earth. It’s powerful stuff and can be used as a rallying call to become more engaged in the protection of animals. Read on for more information…

Two remarkable photo exhibits start next week, capturing everyday life and scenes in the respective regions of the photographers: Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, and Northampton, MA. There’s nothing more captivating than a photographer pressing a scene’s pause button and capturing timeless essence for us to enjoy and reflect upon.

Exhibits such as these provide an inspiring community-based educational opportunity for children to learn so much from. Challenge them to photograph a scene on a regular basis and for them to evaluate the power of documentation and storytelling. A great place to start is by attending the exhibits of the two multi-talented photographers living in our own region here in western Massachusetts.

Bringing together the unparalleled artistic expression of modern dancer and choreographer Philippina “Pina” Bausch with the talent of filmmaker, Wim Wenders, has resulted in a “thrillingly unpredictable” film, PINA. Despite the former’s untimely passing, Wenders carried on to finish the project and ended up with a visually stunning, imaginative but yet touching piece to be screening here in Western MA.

Yet another treat from the canon at Amherst Cinema, this film is a must see for anyone interested in multicultural expression, photography, cinematography, and of course dance. Check out the trailer and makes plans to see this Academy Award-nominated feature-length film.

It’s now well recorded that bees are under threat and that their shrinking numbers will have a negative impact on our environment. Innovative measures are being taken and communities are being mobilized to help curb the decline of this important pollinator. Within this process, there are inbuilt community-based learning opportunities that come with these programs. Families are invited to participate as citizen scientists, documenting, analyzing and photographing bee-movements and taking ownership of an important impact that will make a difference.

“Midnight to Midnight” is a community photography blitz aimed to capture contemporary images of Northampton. This collaborative activity is a great educational opportunity for parents, families, and educators because it presents contemporary daily life and daily tasks as being significant (both now and to future generations), and can imbue participants with a sense of appreciation for, and pride of, the place the live, work and travel to.

What is “spirit of place?” Can you identify it in your backyard? How about in historic landscapes? UMass Amherst Libraries is hosting the traveling exhibition, “A Genius For Place,” this spring, featuring photographs of North American landscape designs from the “Country Place Era.” Take in the exhibit, learn about the history of the estates featured, and ask yourself questions about the spirit of these places, your place, and how it may influence landscape architecture to amplify natural elements.

Landscape Photography Exhibition Encourages Visual Literacy From now through the end of August, the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be home to a major exhibition of works by Anne Whiston Spirn. Spirn, a renowned author and photographer, has for decades drawn connections between her photographs and the work she does as both teacher and scholar in the field of landscape architecture. A graduate of Radcliffe College and the… Read More

Hot Fun at the 2013 Hilltown Spring Festival! The 7th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival took place this past Saturday, June 1st at the Cummington Fairgrounds!  An all day celebration with music on two stages, workshops, maypole, morris dancers, animals, kids-made craft bazaar, puppets, local food & vendors, and water sprinklers! Terrific music on two stages! Performers included percussionist Tony Vacca, acoustic string band Appalachian Still, singer-songwriter Heather Maloney, the Lonesome Brothers, Hot… Read More

Ansel Adams: Masterworks on View Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA February 9th – June 2nd, 2013 The Berkshire Museum welcomes their newest exhibit this week!  Beginning February 9th, “Ansel Adams: Masterworks,” will be down in the museum’s galleries.  The show contains 48 pieces of Adams’ most striking nature photography, on loan from the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA.  Titled, “The Museum Set,” the works feature scenes from across the country… Read More

Western MA in 2012: A Year in Photos  

Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western MA Youth Photographers Opening Reception: Dec. 30th, 2012 from 12-2pm Cummington, MA For the month of January 2013, Hilltown Families and the Cummington Cultural Council will present a group exhibit titled Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western MA Youth Photographers, comprising of 20 Western MA youth ages 10-18. All are welcomed to an opening reception on Sunday,… Read More

Call for Youth Photographers Western MA youth photographers ages 8-18 are invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit titled, Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers. Presented by Hilltown Families with the support of the Cummington Cultural Council, the exhibit will be on display at the Cummington Community House Gallery in the rear of the Cummington Community House, originally schedule for this fall, re-scheduled for… Read More

Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers Youth photographers ages 8-18 are invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit titled, “Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers.” Hosted by Hilltown Families with the the support of the Cummington Cultural Council, the exhibit will be on display at the Cummington Community House Gallery in the rear of the Cummington… Read More

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit At the Northampton Center for the Arts in July & August 2011 Opening Reception: Friday, July 8th from 5-8pm On Friday, July 8th from 5-8pm at the Northampton Center for the Arts,  Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit opens in the center’s East Gallery, taking part in Northampton’s Arts Night Out with an opening reception. Photographs of life and landscape in Western MA featured on HilltownFamilies.org… Read More

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit Featuring Life and Landscape in Western MA A traveling photography exhibit featuring images of life and landscapes in western Massachusetts will kick off celebrations for the fifth anniversary of the founding of Hilltown Families, an online grassroots communication network for families. Featuring work by photographer and Hilltown Families’ founder, Sienna Wildfield, the show will travel to five different towns in 2011, showcasing images relative to the… Read More

Putting the Camera Down It’s a beautiful morning as the family rushes to pack the car and get on the road. We attempt to account for the various items we will need for the current family excursion: diapers, wipes, “cow’s milk,” snacks, change of clothes, swim suit, gloves, toys for the ride, music CD’s, and the list goes on. I grab my point and shoot camera, a nice easy to use model… Read More

Amy Pulley of Cummington, MA writes: Dear Friends, Save the date! Spread the word! October 24th is the 350.org International Climate Action Day. Come be part of our local action at Warner Farm (4 Porter Hill Road) in Cummington, MA from 2:00 pm on into the evening. Ongoing from 2pm – 350 Neighbors slide show and photo display in the big beautiful Warner Farm barn. We still need about 200 more photos… Read More

School Lunch Updates: How the USDA Helped Bring Processed Food to School Lunch Most adults don’t have glorious memories of school lunch. It was sloppy Joes, shepherd’s pie, spaghetti with meat sauce, and it was usually on the bland side. But the food wasn’t bad, and it was almost always cooked from scratch by an army of school lunch ladies. Read more at School Lunch Talk. Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We… Read More