2015 Tiny House Raffle!

March 9, 2015 - June 6, 2015 - All Day at

Hilltop Montessori School of Brattleboro has launched a “Tiny House Raffle” to benefit the school’s financial aid program and Morningside Shelter. Jamaica Cottage Shop has donated a tiny house kit that Hilltop students and families will assemble this spring. The 7’ x 12’ house is built on a trailer for easy mobility and will be raffled off at 3pm on the Brattleboro Common after the Strolling of the Heifers parade on June 6th.  Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at Hilltop Montessori School, Morningside Shelter, and on-line at

Hilltop Montessori School is an independent school serving economically diverse children 18 months through eighth grade. For more information visit

Basic Mediation Training

March 13, 2015 - March 28, 2015 - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm at St. James Episcopal Church
8 Church Street

Learn simple steps for dealing with fights or disagreements; gain skills and confidence in handling challenging situations; help others work with their conflicts. Whether you intend to be a formal mediator, or want to develop skills you can use in other professional and personal situations, basic mediation training is a great place to start. Training runs March 13, 14, 20 and 21 (March 28 optional), 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, in Greenfield. For info or brochure, see or contact The Mediation & Training Collaborative (, 413-475-1505).

Swing music and dance

March 27, 2015 - 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm at The Arts Block
289 Main St.

The Butterfly Swing Band presents a community evening of dance and swing music starting at 7:30 with a dance lesson given by Emily Fox. The band starts at 8:30. Butterfly Swing is Mark Anagnostopulos (vocals and guitar), Joe Lomonaco (drums), Lynn Lovell (bass and vocals), Scott Sizer (trumpet, vocals, and harmonica), and Walter Slowinski (saxophones, clarinet, and vocals). Come listen and dance to classic swing and early jazz. Tickets are $7 at or $10 at the door. Learn more at

Inform to Reform: You can end Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts

March 28, 2015 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at First Church UCC Amherst
165 Main St.

Join activists and state legislators at a free forum, “Inform to Reform: How you can End Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts,” on Saturday, March 28, 10 am to 2 pm, at 165 Main St., First Congregational Church UCC in Amherst.  Register at

State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Northhampton) will speak on justice reinvestment, to offer formerly incarcerated people job opportunities to rebuild their lives.

​​Attendees will take away an action plan to visit their state representative and senator to inform them about the costly injustice of mass incarceration, and ask legislators to enact reform. Other speakers will describe pending bills to reform the state’s criminal justice and correctional systems.

Barbara Dougan, Mass. project director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), will speak on a bill to repeal mandatory prison sentences for drug offenses so that the punishment can fit the crime.

Donald Perry of Amherst and Donnell Wright will speak from personal experience on injustices of the state’s prison, parole, probation and CORI [Criminal Offender Record Information] systems.

Mt. Holyoke senior Jessica Morris will speak on creating a more just pre-trial and bail system based on likelihood to show up for trial and risk, versus ability to pay. Morris is a senior fellow with the Roosevelt Institute and has authored a white paper on pretrial and bail reform.

Free admission and refreshments are provided. For more information, contact, 978-772-3930,

Sponsored by EMIT, End Mass Incarceration Together, a statewide grassroots task force of Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network, and hosted by Peacebuilders and Anti-Racism Ministry Team of First Congregational Church UCC of Amherst.

The Justice Reinvestment Act will establish a trust fund with the cost savings from the improvements to the criminal justice system.  These funds will be used to balance economic opportunity by investing in evidenced-based practices, including job development efforts for youth, veterans, victims of violence and others who face employment barriers.  The trust fund will also support programs that encourage at-risk youth to remain in school.

Valley Vegfest 2015

March 28, 2015 - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at JFK Middle School
100 Bridge Road

Valley Vegfest, featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment.  Speakers include Kathy Stevens, of Catskill Animal Sanctuary; Reed Mangels, author and nutritionist , Pattrice Jones, of VINE Sanctuary; Tim Van Orden, vegan athlete; and Mary Lawrence, author and vegan chef.   Free admission– donations are appreciated.  Details at

Jimmy Webb

3/28 – Jimmy Webb

March 28, 2015 - 7:00 pm at Iron Horse Music Hall
20 Center Street

ArtSpark at Eastworks to Benefit Hilltown Charter

March 28, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm at Eastworks
116 Pleasant Street

a 20th Anniversary Celebration Benefit for HCCPS

Saturday March 28
7:00 – 11:00 PM
@ Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton

Get your sparkle on for a razzle dazzle adult night on the town…
Something for everyone–
The Best of Hilltown & Easthampton Talents & Treasures Auction & Raffle***
Showcase of Savories & Sweets from Easthampton Eateries
Beer & Wine from Local Purveyors
and a boogie down with The Mike Hooker Experience (featuring 3 Hilltown Parent Alums) from 9 – 11

$15 per person
Special Welcome Back Rate — $10/per HCCPS Student Alum (21+)

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio

March 28, 2015 - 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm at

Thelonious Monk Competition winner Aldana is the third generation in her family to take saxophone as a calling.

With bassist Pablo Menares (also from Chile), and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela, she formed the Crash Trio.

Sponsored by Julian Gerstin and Carlene Raper

Tickets $20-$40 Sliding Scale, $15 Students. Available online, at door, reserved by phone and In the Moment Records.

802 254 9088

Please call ahead for handicap access.

Sage Chamber Music Society: Volcy Pelletier, Cello Recital

March 29, 2015 - 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at Sweeney Concert Hall
Smith College

Sage Chamber Music Society presents cellist Volcy Pelletier in a faculty recital. Ms. Pelletier will perform a solo cello work by Penderecki, the heroic sonata for cello and piano by Richard Strauss and the richly romantic and beguiling Serenade for string trio by Dohnanyi. Ms. Pelletier will be joined by Judith Gordon, piano, Joel Pitchon, violin, and Ronald Carbone, viola.

Tim Brookes: Disappearing Alphabets and the Future of the Written Word

March 30, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm at O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building
Landmark College

What does the age of Digital Convergence, Twitter, and eBooks mean for the future of the written word? Writer/carver/painter Tim Brookes offers remarkable and thought-provoking perspective on this question by looking at thirteen forms of writing from all over the world that are in danger of extinction. He displays a sample of each script, leading a discussion on how technology will help—and always has helped—define the nature of communication, and shows how the story of a culture can be seen in its writing—even if that writing is (as in these examples) beautiful, bizarre, utterly unfamiliar, and disappearing.

Tim Brookes is a Vermont Humanities Council Speaker. Brookes works at Champlain College as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Professional Writing Program. He holds a master of arts from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and he is the author of 13 books including the historical Guitar: An American Life (2005), which boasts 4.3 stars on His books cover wide-ranging topics including the virus SARS, polio, traveling to India, and living with the “evil challenge” of a Vermont driveway. Between 1989 and 2008, Brookes recorded essays for the National Public Radio programs Performance Today, Morning Edition, and Sunday Weekend Edition. Brookes is also an active blogger who posted the comment, “If I had my life all over again, I would take more risks, like smuggling the liver out of the dining hall wrapped in my handkerchief.”

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