Community Events

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 www.hilltopmontessori.org/tiny-house-raffle-2015.

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

Randall Deihl & Nancy Hill: Sideshow

April 10, 2015 - April 30, 2015 - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at R. Michelson Galleries
132 Main Street
Northampton

R. Michelson Galleries presents

Randall Deihl & Nancy Hill: Sideshow

Opening Reception: Friday, April 10th from 6 to 8pm in conjunction with Northampton’s Arts Night Out

Gallery Hours:  Mon-Wed: 10-6pm; Thurs-Sat: 10-9pm; Sun: 12-5pm

Sideshow is an exhibit featuring all new oil paintings of old-time carnival nostalgia by husband and wife Randall Deihl and Nancy Hill.

Race Peace in Brattleboro

April 27, 2015 - May 2, 2015 - All Day at BUHS and Pliny Park
131 Fairground Rd
Brattleboro

Sandglass Theater, in collaboration with Next Stage Arts Project, will be hosting a unique residency as part of the Voices of the Community series. Race Peace is a project of three Louisiana and Mississippi theater companies: Mondo Bizarro, M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction) and Junebug Productions. These groups have developed an extensive track record for working with communities and organizations in their last eight years of activism and performance. Their project blends interactive performance techniques with facilitated discussions to inspire dialogue about race and racism.

This company will be working in close collaboration with BUHS and Putney Central School through workshops that create a space in which groups can hear each other and learn from one another. The aim is to expose some of the roots of racism and racial misunderstanding – structural, systemic, interpersonal and intrapersonal – and together lay the groundwork for justice and peace. The workshops will culminate in performances, the contents of which will be a mix of workshop outcomes and pieces by the Race Peace artists. There will be a public performance at Pliny Park on Main Street Brattleboro at 5pm on May 1st in celebration of Diversity Day, and another performance at the BUHS auditorium at 4pm on May 2nd.

Monday – Thursday, April 27-30:

Workshops in Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) and Putney Central School

Friday, May 1:

Diversity Day!
In school performances
at Brattleboro Union High School and Brattleboro Area Middle School
5pm: Performance at Pliny Park in Downtown Brattleboro
(Free public event, part of Brattleboro Gallery Walk)

Saturday, May 2:

4pm: Public performance at BUHS
in the BUHS/BAMS auditorium
Admission is $10 (Cash or Check at the door)
No online sales or reservations for this event

 

In their own words: “When dealing with issues as complex and embedded as race and racism in American culture, it is important to think long-term because transformation takes time. In this project, as in all of our work, we try to maintain realistic expectations. We see any first time workshop as the beginning, understanding that the people assembled will have varying degrees of experience with these conversations, and knowing that each person enters with their own analysis of race and racism shaped by their environment, the media they are exposed to, and their personal experiences and beliefs.” Race Peace was born out of the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as a group of Gulf Coast artists and friends with long-standing relationships struggled to address the blatant issues of race at the center of the storm. Although originally envisioned as a two-year dialogue and performance project, it soon became apparent that the need for the work was vast and ongoing.

Race Peace works together with their partners to develop action plans for using arts and dialogue to address the unique issues and needs specific to the community involved. They strive to make the work energizing and engaging so that people can be present and wholly invested in the discussion. “We hope to create reciprocal, ongoing partnerships in the effort to undermine racism and seek out a lasting, celebratory peace,” says Race Peace.

Among other residency activities, Race Peace will conduct a workshop with middle-school students at Putney Central School. Over the course of approximately two hours, Race Peace facilitators will lead the students in the Story Circle Process – a methodology for sharing personal experiences that was developed by the Free Southern Theater and Roadside Theater for use during the Civil Rights movement.

In the Race Peace workshop at Putney Central, facilitators will lead small groups of students in the Story Circle Process, using a prompt to help the students share personal stories that touch on the role race plays in our world and in their lives. After the storytelling, facilitators will guide the students in reflecting on what they heard and in finding an artistic way to share something from the small circle with the larger group of middle school students. This artistic share-back may involve original poetry that the students write, a gestural sequence or a song. The idea is for the full group to get a taste of what was discovered in each small group, and for the students in the small groups to integrate their learning by expressing it in a new form. Overall, the intention is for students to leave the workshop with new thoughts about the role race and racism play in the world around them, and with a glimpse into how listening deeply to one another’s experiences can help us take a small step towards racial justice together.

For more information please visit sandglasstheater.org/presenting/voices-of-community and racepeace.com. Tickets for the May 2nd performance at BUHS will be available only at the door.

Smith College Gamelan Spring Concert

April 29, 2015 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm at Earle Recital Hall
Smith College
Northampton

Gamelan music from Central Java performed by the Smith College Gamelan Ensemble and friends directed by Sumarsam (Wesleyan University).

Spring Ensemble Student Concert at the Vermont Jazz Center

April 30, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm at

Vermont Jazz Center celebrates International Jazz Day 2015 with a concert featuring students from four of the VJC’s student ensembles. Featuring the Youth Jazz Ensemble, the Women’s Jazz Harmony Ensemble, the Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Vermont Jazz Center Sextet.

The concert is free and open to the public. All donations will go directly to the VJC Scholarship Fund.

This event will be a snack potluck.

Please call ahead for handicap access.

Vermont Jazz Center
72 Cotton Mill Hill #222
Brattleboro VT 05301
802 254 9088
www.vtjazz.org

Youth Marijuana Use: What’s the Big Deal? A Community Meeting w/ Rick Cresta – LICSW, MSW/MPH

April 30, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm at Northampton High School’s Little Theater
380 Elm Street
Northampton

This Northampton Prevention Coalition parent education event will feature Rick Cresta – LICSW, MSW/MPH from Boston University and focus on useful strategies to help parents and teachers speak about the consequences of youth marijuana use and how we can engage youth in non-judgmental conversations about use without increasing defensiveness.

Visit our blog at northamptonprevents.org to register!

MUS 341 Wet Ink Residency: Concert

May 1, 2015 - 12:00 am - 9:30 pm at

Performance of student works by the Wet Ink Ensemble. Performance to be preceded by rehearsals during the day.

Spring Swizzle & Auction

May 1, 2015 - 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm at Eastside Grill
Strong Ave.
Northampton

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Northampton is holding its annual auction this Friday, May 1 from 6:30-10:30pm at Eastside Grill. The O-Tones will be performing. Valet parking provided. Preview the amazing menu, the incredible items to bid on and get your tickets in advance. http://www.chamberspringswizzle.com/

$75 in advance.

$100 at the door.

River Walk: Native American History

May 2, 2015 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at Unity Park
1st Street
Turners Falls

Join the Nolumbeka Project and Connecticut River Watershed Council to learn about 10,000 years of Native American presence near the Great Falls. Learn from and speak to experts in the Native American history of this area, culminating in the Turners Falls massacre during King Phillips War in 1676. Meet at 10 a.m. the Unity Park/bike path gravel parking area on 1st  St.  in Turners Falls. It involves leisurely walking along paved bike path for 1-1.5 miles. Accessible to all; dogs on leashes welcome. Free (donations appreciated).

The guides will be Nolumbeka Project Board members David Brule, Howard Clark, and Joe Graveline.  Collectively they share about one hundred years of information reconstructed through research, observations, insight, education, explorations, field work and associations, which illuminates the little known history of the early Native American culture of the Northeast. All three work closely with the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office and monitor local Native American/American Indian sacred sites

Brule, of Narragansett and Nehantic descent, is the coordinator of the newly awarded National Park Service Battlefield Protection Program whose goal is to identify the likely locations of the King Phillip’s War (1675-76) Peskeomskut (Turners Falls) Battlefield and associated sites, including the Native American community Peskeomskut-Wissatinnewag. This is in partnership with an archaeologist, town historic commissions, and members of four New England tribes.

Clark has Cherokee roots and his extensive research into the Native history of this area revealed the prime importance of Great Falls as a gathering place for many Northeastern tribes during the fish runs.  The Great Falls Massacre on May 19, 1676 was a turning point in the King Philip’s War. Clark was instrumental in securing protection for the land across the river, Wissatinnewag, and was a signer of the Reconciliation Agreement between the Town of Turners Falls and the Narragansett tribe at Unity Park on May 19, 2004.
Graveline, Nolumbeka Project president, is descended from Cherokee and Abenaki and began learning about the native culture from his mother at a young age. He specializes in presenting the unrepresented Indian side of American history.  He was one of the organizers of the Reconciliation Agreement; and of the Peoples Harvest Native American cultural celebration that took place on the Banks of the Connecticut River in Gill, MA in 2005 and 2006.

Although the river has gone through many changes the history remains and much will be revealed and explained during the walk. The guides will offer a “geological primer” and give an overview of 345 million years history how the land was formed. Early May is a prime time for this event, before the leaves fully cover the trees. From across the river the serpentine trails down the hill from the Wissatinnewag land to the fishing stations below will still be visible.A map will be provided to help identify some of these features during the walk.  Binoculars might be helpful, not just to see the sights but there will likely be migrating waterfowl and the occasional eagle. www.nolumbekaproject.org

2nd Annual Spring Fling Craft Fair to Benefit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

May 3, 2015 - 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at John Boyle O’Reilly Club
33 Progress Ave
Springfield

A craft and vendor fair will take place on Sunday, May 3rd from 10:00am – 3:00pm at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club, 33 Progress Avenue in Springfield. The Spring Fling Craft Fair is a fundraiser of the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP, afsp.org), which helps to support local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs to reduce the annual rate of suicide by 20 percent by 2025.

The event will feature more than 25 local artisans, crafters and direct sales representatives and over 30 raffle prizes. Jewelry, artwork, specialty food items, bags, candles, vintage items, scarves and many other items will be featured for sale. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase for various prizes.

If interested in becoming a vendor, contact Cheryl Ronzoni, Western MA Chapter Associate Area Director at cronzoni@afsp.org or call (413) 387-3770

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy as well as to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.  For more information please visit www.afsp.org.

Wet Ink Ensemble

May 3, 2015 - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm at

Wet Ink will present the partial premiere of Ipsa Dixit by Kate Soper, a quasi-theatrical, highly virtuosic exploration of language, expression, and Aristotelian mores featuring texts by Lydia Davis, Plato, Freud, and many others. Erin Lesser, flute; Joshua Modney, violin; Ian Antonio, percussion; and Kate Soper, voice.

What to do when your family member has memory loss

May 5, 2015 - 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at The Senior Center in Shelburne
7 Main Street
Shelburne Falls

The Alzheimer’s Association will present a comprehensive program for families caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The program focuses on getting a diagnosis, understanding and addressing behavior and communication problems and finding local resources and support. Pizza, salad and beverages will be provided. This program is free and open to all. Pre-registration is required by calling 625-2502

The Valley Lux Festival

May 8, 2015 - May 9, 2015 - 6:00 pm - 1:00 am at The Miller’s Falls Rod and Gun Club
210 Turners Falls Rd
Montague

The Valley Lux Festival will bring together lighting and projection artists with electronic musicians to create an immersive and interactive festival experience for its attendees. The Valley Lux Festival aims to help nurture a space and a climate for electronic and digital arts in the Pioneer Valley by bringing an industrial aesthetic into the natural surroundings of the area.  Installation artwork will be on display throughout the woods where attendees can view the contributions of artists like D’hana, Valentina Forte-Hernandez, John Erickson, and many others. Musical performances, curated by Foie Gras Music, will include Swing House musician Don Johnson, Heart of House, and Brooklyn-based artist Battyjack, as well as local electronic music standouts.

Guests will have access to the Brewmaster Jack Lounge, where the Northampton craft brewery’s beer will flow on tap. There will also be a variety of local food trucks for attendees to enjoy, including Korean street food from Sun Kim Bop and Southern-style barbeque from Cliff’s Smokin’ BBQ.

Early Bird Passes are available now at ValleyLuxFestival.com. One-day Early Bird Passes are available for $15.00 and two-day Early Bird Passes are available for $25.00. Daily Passes at the door will be available for $20.00.

To promote a greener and safer community free parking will be extended to vehicles with 3 or more passengers. For more information visit ValleyLuxFestival.com or email the festival at info@valleyluxfestival.com.

Tour of Railroad Heritage of Holyoke

May 9, 2015 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at

Dick Joyce is leading a tour of Holyoke railroads past, present, and future. Dick grew up in Holyoke and has great knowledge of the area. Holyoke at its peak had a dense network of railroads to serve many industries in a relatively small area. We’ll stop at several locations and end with lunch. $10 per person.

Register via email: jabschweitzer@yahoo.com

For those unable to email, please call 516-830-1462 for assistance with the registration process.

The Best of Rufus Wainwright

May 9, 2015 - 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm at

Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation.

For more information and tickets, click here.

Commencement Chamber Music Concert

May 15, 2015 - 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm at

Featuring Smith College seniors in performances of instrumental and vocal chamber music.

Bridge of Flowers Annual Plant Sale

May 16, 2015 - 9:00 am - 11:45 am at trinity church baptist lot
Main st
Shelburne Falls

Enhance your garden with a plant from the sale. Offering flowers from the Bridge and surrounding gardens, annuals, nursery propagated wildflowers, garden inspired gifts, tools, books, art and more. Visit beautiful Shelburne Falls and support the Bridge of Flowers.

How to Help Your Teen Make Healthy Choices: A Taste of Motivational Interviewing w/ John Brelsford, PHD

May 16, 2015 - 10:30 am - 2:00 pm at Collaborative for Educational Services
97 Hawley St
Northampton

Interested in learning a way to communicate with your child/teen which fosters collaboration and motivates positive change?

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a technique used in some psychotherapies, but the basic principal (people want to be healthy) can foster parent/child connection and encourage kids to make difficult positive changes. The founder of MI describes it as “a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.”

This training will provide an introduction to the spirit and principles of MI and will give participants an opportunity to experience some of what makes MI different from other approaches.

Presenter:  John Brelsford, PhD, LMHC.  John is a member of MINT (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers) and has been offering training in Motivational Interviewing for the past 6 years.  John currently has a therapy practice in Easthampton and has over 40 years of experience in human services fieldworking people with serious psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.

Please visit our blog at northamptonprevents.org to register!

(Lunch will be provided)

Commencement Choral Concert

May 16, 2015 - 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm at

The Smith College Glee Club, the Chamber Singers, and the a capella group Groove perform works chosen by the graduating class.

Third Annual Great Falls Commemoration Ceremony

May 16, 2015 - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm at

The 3rd Annual Great Falls Commemoration Ceremony will take place at Unity Park in Turners Falls on Saturday, May 16.  The Nolumbeka Project events will be held at the River Tent at Unity Park: 1 – 1:30 p.m., Commemoration Ceremony; 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Visioning B.E.A.R. Singers; 2:30 – 3 p.m., River Stories in Poetry and Song with David Brule. The gathering,  co-sponsored by the Nolumbeka Project and Turners Falls RiverCulture, will this year be part of a larger, all day event, River’s Song.

This part of the Connecticut River is spiritually an exceptional location and the historical significance for the indigenous peoples of the Northeast is well-documented.  For millennia Great Falls (Peskeompskut) was a gathering place for numerous Northeastern tribes during the fish runs and served as a place where diplomacy and peace prevailed. That ended on May 19, 1676 with the infamous massacre. Unity Park is where, 11 years ago on May 19, 2004, the Reconciliation Ceremony was held between the Town of Montague and the Narragansett to “begin to put the traumatic echoes of the past to rest.”

People are invited to donate a special stone to a permanent memorial mound which will be assembled on the Wissatinnewag site in Greenfield. These “prayers in stone”, respectfully and mindfully chosen by each individual, will symbolize prayers for blessing, healing and reconciliation and is a Native American tradition.  Perhaps, people will choose a stone that “speaks to them” from its natural setting or one already displaced by construction and seeking a new home.  All are asked to be particularly careful not to remove a stone from an existing ceremonial mound as this will deactivate the prayer of the original donor. The permanent placement of the prayer stones will take place at a later date as part of a gathering or, with prior arrangements, privately.  The hope is that this will be an ongoing ritual for years to come. The 61 acre Wissatinnewag land, under the stewardship of the Nolumbeka Project, experienced at least three violent traumas: its connection to the massacre of almost 400 non-combatant refugees of King Philip’s War on May 19, 1676; the removal of ceremonial burials on the hill during the summer of 1964 which were uncovered and bulldozed with other excavation debris into the ten acre white ash swamp across the street; and many years of gravel removal that decimated the ancient village site and left a huge, gaping scar. In recent years topsoil has been brought into an area of the lower sand face, wells dug, and traditional circle gardens planted that grow heritage three sisters (corn, beans, squash), ceremonial tobacco, and sweet grass. Other restoration efforts are underway and planned for the future.

River’s Song activities about the Connecticut River are planned throughout downtown Turners Falls from 11a.m. to 10 p.m. and will include art making, a parade, a walking tour, spoken word and musical performances, art receptions, and a water dance sound & light show.

The River’s Song Project is a collaboration of the Nolumbeka Project, Turners Falls RiverCulture, the UMASS Asian Arts and Culture Program, The UMASS Departments of Landscape Architecture, the Connecticut River Watershed Council and the Great Falls Discovery Center. For a full event schedule please visit www.turnersfallsriverculture.org.

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