DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition: A Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night
at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA
DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition
Friday, January 17th, 2014 from 4-7pm

Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. Join us for an evening of community service art-making on Friday, Jan. 17th from 4-7pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA, for DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition, the second in a series of five free family community service nights!

What better gift to receive in the winter than a warm pair of handmade mittens or cozy handmade scarf; and what better gift to give to someone in your community than something you have lovingly made?

On Friday, January 17th from 4-7pm, Hilltown Families will be hosting a Free Family Community Service Night with The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.  We are inviting families to join us for an evening of DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition. Come with an outgrown felted wool sweater, and/or fleece outerwear to be repurposed into easy-to-sew mittens and scarves to donate to New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT).  No previous experience is needed and there will be tasks for all ages… Join Us!

DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition: A Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night
at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA
DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition
Friday, January 17th, 2014 from 4-7pm

Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. Join us for an evening of community service art-making on Friday, Jan. 17th from 4-7pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA, for DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition, the second in a series of five free family community service nights!

What better gift to receive in the winter than a warm pair of handmade mittens or cozy handmade scarf; and what better gift to give to someone in your community than something you have lovingly made?

On Friday, January 17th from 4-7pm, Hilltown Families will be hosting a Free Family Community Service Night with The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.  We are inviting families to join us for an evening of DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition. Come with an outgrown felted wool sweater, and/or fleece outerwear to be repurposed into easy-to-sew mittens and scarves to donate to New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT).  No previous experience is needed and there will be tasks for all ages… Join Us!

A Serving of Art: A Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night
at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA
A Serving of Art: Placemat Making
Friday, December 13th from 4-7pm

Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. Join us for an evening of community service on Friday, Dec. 13th in Shelburne Falls at The Art Garden, for A Serving of Art: Placemat Making, the first in a series of five family community service nights!

During the holidays, many families find themselves wanting to give back to their community by supporting food security and connecting with their neighbors. This time of year can also see children with a bad case of the “gimmies.” A family night of community service is one way to support your community while helping children focus on the needs of others. Using art and making your own gifts creates a well rounded recipe for the holidays.

Hilltown Families and The Art Garden will be collaborating again this year in a series of Free Family Community Service Nights! The first in the series will be on Friday, December 13th from 4-7pm: A Serving of Art: Placemat Making.

Join us in Shelburne Falls for an evening of art and community service, making reusable handmade canvas placemats and collecting nonperishable foods, both to donate to Stone Soup Cafe in Greenfield, MA. Families will also be invited to make a second canvas placemat to take and give to an elder in their life or a home-bound senior in their community… Find out more about this community service event…

A Serving of Art: A Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night
at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA
A Serving of Art: Placemat Making
Friday, December 13th from 4-7pm

Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. Join us for an evening of community service on Friday, Dec. 13th in Shelburne Falls at The Art Garden, for A Serving of Art: Placemat Making, the first in a series of five family community service nights!

During the holidays, many families find themselves wanting to give back to their community by supporting food security and connecting with their neighbors. This time of year can also see children with a bad case of the “gimmies.” A family night of community service is one way to support your community while helping children focus on the needs of others. Using art and making your own gifts creates a well rounded recipe for the holidays.

Hilltown Families and The Art Garden will be collaborating again this year in a series of Free Family Community Service Nights! The first in the series will be on Friday, December 13th from 4-7pm: A Serving of Art: Placemat Making.

Join us in Shelburne Falls for an evening of art and community service, making reusable handmade canvas placemats and collecting nonperishable foods, both to donate to Stone Soup Cafe in Greenfield, MA. Families will also be invited to make a second canvas placemat to take and give to an elder in their life or a home-bound senior in their community… Read the rest of this entry »

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls

Signature Sounds writes: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the October 7th show with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at Memorial Hall has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.” (10/2/12)

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Jeffrey Foucault
Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
Sunday, October 7th @ 7pm

Win a pair of tickets to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault, and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST).

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer two pairs of tickets for two lucky couples to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault.

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT

One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.  Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.

He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.

Ramblin’ Jack’s life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune.  Ramblin’ Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people. At seventy-seven, Ramblin’ Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal.  You’ll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.  For more information visit: www.ramblinjack.com.

ABOUT JEFFREY FOUCAULT

Jeffrey Foucault (submitted photo)Longtime disciple of the rich and strange music that sings behind the American veil, local musician Jeffrey Foucault has spent the last decade mining the darker seams of country and blues, producing a string of spare and elemental albums of rare power while garnering accolades across the United States and overseas for a tersely elegant brand of songwriting set apart by its haunting imagery and weather-beaten cool.

With his album, Horse Latitudes, Jeffrey Foucault gives us ten new original songs that showcase an artist in the fullness of his powers, offering a compelling vision of modern American music.  A cross-country collision of rock, country, and folk, Horse Latitudes alights with equal grace on full-band ragers and whispered solo pieces, delivering a methodically paced collection of songs that inhabit the borderlands of heartbreak and memory. Foucault’s deep, enticing vocals are richly complemented by an intoxicating mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation: acoustic guitar, pedal steel, Hammond organ, piano, and accordion, electric bass, drums, cello. www.jeffreyfoucault.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a one of two pairs of tickets to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. TELL US ABOUT AN UPCOMING EVENT IN WESTERN MA YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO ATTENDING WITH YOUR FAMILY  (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton and Signaturesounds.com. 413-665-4036

Signature Sounds writes: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the October 7th show with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at Memorial Hall has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.” (10/2/12)

Hilltown Families Counteracts Commercialization via Creativity

Empowerment by Art: Hilltown Families Checks Commercial Fashion

"We had a great time! My son is wearing his shirt with pride right now at an evening event at his school," texted Helen Kahn of Florence, MA.

In the wake of JCPenney’s “I’m too pretty to do homework” and Forever 21 “Allergic to Algebra” t-shirt debacle, this past Friday Western MA families came together to pushback against commercial fashion and corporate marketers in the Hilltown Families event, “I Am Not A Billboard!”

Presented by Hilltown Families and hosted by The Art Garden, a newly formed non-profit in Shelburne Falls, grandparents to toddlers came together from Charlemont to Northampton to make their own fashion statement by designing and decorating t-shirts with their own words and images. Slogans like “Science Rocks,” “Girls Rule,” and images of peace were drawn, sewn & painted in a successful intergenerational event!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“With children’s clothes often donning corporate symbols and slogans, our kids are made into walking billboards for big corporations,” says Sienna Wildfield, Founding Director of Hilltown Families. “Fashion is just one of the many avenues corporate marketers utilize to market their brands to children, surprisingly, at a very young age.  Allowing children to embellish their own clothes with symbols and words that celebrate their individuality and intelligence is just one simple way families can counteract commercialization while fostering creativity and expressiveness.

“Messages that communicate values on physical appearance, consumerism and gender stereotypes to our children are pervasive,” says Jess Kuttner, LICSW, Psychotherapist and mother of two boys. “The recent news of t-shirts sold by JCPenny with the slogan, ‘I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me,’ is one example of how empty and degrading values are being marketed to our children.  Is it any wonder that there are epidemic numbers of kids and teens who bully each other and numb themselves with video games, TV, food and drugs? Giving children the opportunity to create their own t-shirts is a proactive way to counter corporate and negative messages while helping children focus on what is unique about themselves on a deeper level.

Big thank you to ❤ The Art Garden for hosting this event, to ❤ Country Pie Pizza of Ashfield for donating pizza for our pizza party, and to all the ❤ amazing families who came together to empower their kids and themselves through art!

Too Creative to Wear a Corporate T-Shirt. Make Your Own!

I AM NOT A BILLBOARD!
Make Your Own T-Shirt Workshop & Pizza Party with Hilltown Families
at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls
Friday, Oct 14th from 4-6pm

Hilltown Families and The Art Garden will be offering a free Make Your Own T-Shirt Workshop & Pizza Party for families on Friday, October 14th from 4-6pm in Shelburne Falls. All are invited to come and create t-shirts with affirmative slogans and positive images of self-expression.  Bring an old t-shirt and repurpose it into your very own, one-of-a-kind design.

“With children’s clothes often donning corporate symbols and slogans, our kids are made into walking billboards for big corporations,” says Sienna Wildfield, Founding Director of Hilltown Families. “Fashion is just one of the many avenues corporate marketers utilize to market their brands to children, surprisingly, at a very young age.  Allowing children to embellish their own clothes with symbols and words that celebrate their individuality and intelligence is just one simple way families can counteract commercialization while fostering creativity and expressiveness.

“Messages that communicate values on physical appearance, consumerism and gender stereotypes to our children are pervasive,” says Jess Kuttner, LICSW, Psychotherapist and mother of two boys. “The recent news of t-shirts sold by JCPenny with the slogan, ‘I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me,’ is one example of how empty and degrading values are being marketed to our children.  Is it any wonder that there are epidemic numbers of kids and teens who bully each other and numb themselves with video games, TV, food and drugs? Giving children the opportunity to create their own t-shirts is a proactive way to counter corporate and negative messages while helping children focus on what is unique about themselves on a deeper level.

On Friday, October 14th from 4-6pm, bring your kids to The Art Garden and allow them to create their own t-shirt.  Jane Wegscheider, Artistic Director of The Art Garden will show families how to use an assortment of materials and methods to create their own designs and unique messages. Bring your own t-shirt and choose from acrylic paints, fabric pens, stamps, embroidery thread, etc. to make your very own, one-of-a-kind, t-shirt that celebrates your individuality and intelligence.

“Rather than a t-shirt that says, ‘Allergic to Algebra,’ how about slogans that promote a willingness to learn, like “One Smart Cookie!” or “Math Rocks!” says Wildfield.

The Art Garden is located at 14 Depot Street in Shelburne Falls, MA (in the same building as the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum) . Click HERE for map.  All are welcomed to this free event. Slices of pizza donated ♥ by Country Pie Pizza of Ashfield will be available for $1 a slice while supplies last. For more information, contact Sienna Wildfield at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com, or call The Art Garden at 413-625-2782.

RiverFest Returns to Shelburne Falls

RiverFest returns to Shelburne Falls

A RiverFest tradition continues as the colorful “Frog & Flower Parade,” once again coordinated and led by performance artist Maya Apfelbaum, brings together giant puppets, stilt walkers, river angels, drummers and children and adults who want to march along wearing vibrant masks they create in a free pre-parade workshop. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Saturday, June 11, rain or shine, visitors to the scenic village of Shelburne Falls, MA, will find themselves “going with the flow” of RiverFest, the Deerfield River Watershed Association’s 23rd annual celebration of a beautiful river and the countryside through which it flows.

New this year, Jim Dowd Fly Fishing pros will present a morning fly-casting demonstration followed by a clinic for anglers who want to learn fly-fishing techniques or polish their skills (bring your own rod or use one of Jim’s). There will also be an opportunity to watch a master fly-tyer create lures that fish find hard to resist. These events will take place on the Trinity Church-owned Baptist lot at the corner of Main and Water streets; no need to wear waders!

For adventurers of all ages, there will be chances to try out the latest craze in paddlesports, Stand-Up Paddling, courtesy of Zoar Outdoor, who will also offer quiet-water raft rides throughout the day.

Going with the flow, Lui Collins will delight youngsters and the young at heart with her river-inspired songs and stories, and the celebrated Piti Theatre Company will weave together music, dance and poetry into an innovative performance highlighted by the gleeful participation of audience members. And for those who enjoy a trek through friendly woods, there will be a special riverside walk led by local artist and drummer Philippe Simone.

Kids love discovering the local insect life in our rivers at the Aquatic Bug Table. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Visitors can browse an exciting variety of vendors’ booths as well as used-book and tag sales…tune in to the many fine musicians appearing on the main stage and talented troubadors throughout the village…enjoy original poetry written and spoken aloud in homage to the river and the surrounding countryside…experience the grace and artistry of a Ballet Renversé dance performance…meet some of the magnificent birds of prey native to the region during Julie Collins’ thrilling Wing Masters program and discover the wonders of local insect life at the Aquatic Bug Table—two of many entertaining, educational displays for nature lovers.

Stroll along the famous Bridge of Flowers; take a ride on a historic Trolley; catch a double feature at Pothole Pictures; hike local trails; or simply treat yourself to something special in Shelburne Falls’ many distinctive shops and restaurants. Just go with the flow of RiverFest, and have a wonderful time!

Read the rest of this entry »

Discover the Village of Shelbune Falls During Art Under the Stars

Art Under the Stars Returns to Shelburne Falls
Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Follow the shoes at Shelburne Falls Art Walk, Art Under the Stars. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

This Saturday, May 7th, from 5-8 pm, Art Under the Stars shoes will lead you on an Art Walk in Shelburne Falls. Stroll across the Deerfield River and through dozens of shops, galleries and restaurants for an evening of new exhibits, receptions with artists, studio demonstrations, interactive art, and delicious treats. Gaze out over Salmon Falls and the glacial potholes, walk the Bridge of Flowers, ride a historic trolley under the stars in this jewel of an artisans village. Art Under the Stars is free to the public and there will be plenty to do and see. If you haven’t visited Shelburne Falls yet this year, Art Under the Stars is the time to go!  Read the rest of this entry »

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Redbird at Memorial Hall

New Year’s Day Concert with Redbird
Opening with The David Wax Museum
Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
Saturday, January 1st @ 7:30pm

Click to see larger poster

Deadline to enter to win: 12/28/10 @ 7pm (EST). Poster design: Gayle Kabaker

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer a pair of tickets for one lucky couple to a special New Year’s Day Concert with Redbird in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, January 1st at 7:30pm with opening act, The David Wax Museum.

This is a very rare area performance by Redbird (Jeffrey Foucault, Kris Delmhorst, Peter Mulvey) will celebrate the release of their new CD, Redbird Live at The Cafe Carpe.

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT REDBIRD

Redbird is both the name of the album and the loose affiliation of three acclaimed American songwriters that began to take shape during a common tour experience. In January of 2003, Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault and Peter Mulvey did a run of shows together in England. Most afternoons they found themselves with a few free hours at a hotel, and without fail they engaged in an off-the-cuff song circle. Across the tour, they discovered musical affinity and a shared love of a fairly diverse spectrum of Americana.

It was a natural idea to do a record, but in keeping with the spontaneous nature of their original sessions, they did it in a living room, around one microphone, in three days in the hot August of 2003. The members enlisted multi-instrumentalist David “Goody” Goodrich as a fourth member, and tackled a mixed bag of traditional tunes, old jazz standards, rock & roll and country songs, as well as a number of songs by cohorts and contemporaries (Jabe Beyer, Mark Sandman, Ry Cavanaugh, Paul Cebar). Kris and Peter also swapped covers, backed Jeffrey on one of his originals, and they all lent their instrumental skills to a Goodrich composition. What emerged was a real-time, un-staged love letter to the body of American song. Their live show echoed the trio’s stripped down and spontaneous beginning and was hailed by critics: “At the end Redbird took flight, leaving the stage to applause that was as thunderous as the performance was low-key… If the rest of the performances are as well-received as this one was by the standing-room audience, the artists might as well consider making the arrangement permanent” (The Washington Post).

ABOUT THE DAVID WAX MUSEUM

The David Wax Museum, “one of Boston’s hottest new bands” (The Boston Globe), fuses exuberant Mexican roots music with homegrown country folk, creating a unique Mexo-Americana sound. With Latin rhythms, call-and-response hollering, accordion pumping and donkey jawbone rattling, they have won over audiences across the country. Having toured with The Avett Brothers and shared the stage with Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ben Kweller, The Low Anthem and Nathaniel Rateliff, they were fresh off a national tour with the Old 97’s when they arrived at the Newport Folk Festival on August 1, 2010, and made a big splash: NPR’s All Songs Consideredfeatured them as one of the highlights of Newport. In addition to selling out historic venues such as Boston’s Club Passim and touring with national acts, The David Wax Museum has been causing a ruckus in living rooms and backyards throughout the country. In these unique settings, the band’s fiery and heart-wrenching shows have created an undeniable buzz and a devoted following.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to a special New Year’s Day Concert with Redbird  in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, January 1st at 7:30pm with opening act, The David Wax Museum, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton, Elmers in Ashfield , Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls and Signaturesounds.com. 665-4036

Moonlight Magic in the Village of Shelburne Falls

Moonlight Magic in the Village of Shelburne Falls
Friday, November 26th, 2010

The annual Moonlight Magic kicks off the holiday season in the Village of Shelburne Falls on Nov. 26th, home of the historic Bridge of Flowers and the Glacial Potholes of the Deerfield River.  (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Moonlight Magic happens again this year on Friday, November 26th, from 4:30-10pm. A terrific family event, the annual Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls, MA will begins with the Lighting of the Village at approximately 4:30 pm. Hot drinks, food, baked goods and more will be sold on the streets and stores, galleries and restaurants will stay open late.

A town parade follows the Lighting of the Village, crossing over the Iron bridge from Buckland to Shelburne. The town will be all aglow with 1,800 luminary candles lining the street and throughout the village, provide by Mole Hollow Candle Company. Santa, the Grinch, Shriners Clowns, the Snow Princess and many others will be strolling through the village bringing a bit of holiday magic into your little ones evening.

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum will offer rides all night in a restored trolley built in 1896 in Springfield Massachusetts, and throughout the evening local vocal and instrumental groups will fill the evening air with music. At Memorial Hall Theater, children and their families can watch cartoons on the big screen from 5:30-8pm courtesy of the Memorial Hall Association.  A cookie shop will be at the Visitor’s Center, and Santa’s Workshop will be at the Shelburne-Buckland Senior Center.

A shuttle service will be provided by the Academy at Charlemont from 4:30-8pm, and the Iron Bridge will be open to only foot traffic so families can stroll back and forth enjoying both sides of the river.

The Shelburne Falls Area Business Association sponsors Moonlight Magic and many local businesses make this annual event such a great family destination, including Greenfield Savings Bank, Berkshire Bank – Mass One Insurance, Franklin Regional Transit Authority, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, and McCusker’s Market.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Eilen Jewell at Memorial Hall

Eilen Jewell with Special Guests, The Sweetback Sisters
Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
Friday, November 12th @ 7:30pm

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: Two Tickets to See Eilen Jewell with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters, at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm. Deadline to Enter to Win: 11/10 @ 7pm (EST)

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer a pair of tickets for one lucky couple to see Eilen Jewell in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters.

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT EILEN JEWELL

Eilen Jewell burst onto the Boston music scene with her 2005 debut, Boundary Country. Reaction to her music was swift, with many comparing her talents to those of Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch and June Carter Cash. Jewell’s hushed style and intimate grasp of roots music have earned her rave reviews, both nationally and abroad. Her album, Sea of Tears was lauded as “album of the year” by critics, was featured on the New and Noteworthy home page on iTunes, and reached #9 on the Americana Radio Chart staying in the top 10 for 2 straight weeks. MOJO gave the album 4 stars and raved; “The comparison game can hardly get any muddier to suggest Lucinda Williams fronting Chris Isaak’s band, with both singer and accompanists at the top of their game.”

Eilen’s lastest release, Butcher Holler, is a tribute to Loretta Lynn.  She writes: “Butcher Holler is named for the little Kentucky town where Loretta Lynn was raised. In this tribute to the country star we pay homage to her humble roots and straightforward, hard-hitting performance style. All of the songs in this collection were written by Lynn herself and are a testament not only to her strength as a songwriter but to her personal strength as well. In the 1960s and 70s, Loretta Lynn dared to write songs about topics that were widely considered off-limits, especially for women. The fact that her words still hit a nerve today is proof of their timelessness. And so, a toast: to the woman with more banned songs than anyone can count; to that voice that reaches the very grain of the theater walls around her; to our national treasure. Gratitude is not enough, so I sing these songs for any who will listen.”

ABOUT THE SWEETBACK SISTERS

This young group of stellar Brooklyn-based musicians performs an array of traditional old-time & honky tonk rock music reminiscent of the 1940’s & 50’s. Complete with hot licks and sweet girl-on-girl harmonies, The Sweetback Sisters are sure to warm the heart of all you modern day cowboys and girls.  They sing country songs in close, surrogate-sister harmony and matching dresses. Their repertoire combines several of the Sisters’ passions — country music from before they were born and new interpretations of those traditions — to create a fresh take on what it means to be country. Their album Chicken Ain’t Chicken is a sincere ode to the classic styles that inspire the Sweetback Sisters, with an ample dose of their own personality and off-kilter sense of humor.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Eilen Jewell in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 11/10/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton, Elmers in Ashfield , Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls and Signaturesounds.com. 665-4036

Hundreds of Ways: A Community Exhibit about Walking


Jane Beatrice Wegscheider of Shelburne Falls, MA writes:

You are invited to the opening reception for Hundreds of Ways: A Community Exhibit about Walking at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls on Thursday, September 23rd, from 6-9pm. (Directions)

I am very excited as approximately 30 artists and writers submitted work for the exhibit!

There will be refreshments and an interactive art piece to contribute to. All ages are welcome! I’m also hoping the weather stays as glorious as it is tonight and we can go walking together in the full moon light.

If you cannot make it to the reception but would like to see the show, please click here for new Fall hours:

Happy Equinox!

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sonya Kitchell and the Brooklyn String Quartet at Memorial Hall

Sonya Kitchell and the Brooklyn String Quartet
At Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
Sunday, October 10th @ 7:30pm

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: Two Tickets to See Sonya Kitchell and the Brooklyn String Quartet at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA on Sunday, October 10th at 7:30pm. Deadline to Enter to Win: 10/6 @ 7pm (EST)

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer a pair of tickets for two lucky couples to see Sonya Kitchell in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 10th at 7:30pm. Joining her for this special evening is the Brooklyn String Quartet with opening act, Rusty Belle.

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT SONYA KITCHELL

After her 2008 album, This Storm, suggested that Pioneer Valley native Sonya Kitchell was forsaking jazz for a more pop-rock approach (and a fine one at that), the singer does a 180-degree turn with her latest recording, Convict of Conviction, a six-song EP of gorgeously rendered chamber pop. Piano has replaced guitar as Kitchell’s own instrument, and a string quartet has replaced a rock band as her backup, forefronting Kitchell’s ever-evolving, insinuating vocals, which now sound incredibly dusky, mature, and confident for someone who still is only twenty-one-years-old. After a year on the road with Herbie Hancock (as part of his Joni Mitchell tribute project) and touring with jam-band trio the Slip, Kitchell returned to Shelburne Falls, MA to write these quiet ballads and torch songs, which connect her jazz origins to progressive classical song. Credit Kitchell with following the lead of her restless muse and capturing her own moment in time.

ABOUT RUSTY BELLE

Rusty Belle is a group of self described “weird” kids from Amherst, MA. taking a new approach on old styles. You’ll hear Americana, rock & roll, blues and folk in their sets, but you’ll never exactly pinpoint it. They provide something different,
yet beautiful as they swagger between raw blues, tiny tangos, country waltzes and backyard symphonies

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Sonya Kitchell in concert with the Brooklyn String Quartet at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 10th at 7:30pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 10/06/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets for adults are $17 in advance or $20 day of show (Students $10 advance or $13 Day of Show).  Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton, Elmers in Ashfield , Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls and Signaturesounds.com. 665-4036

A Day at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

School’s Out

Engineer Polly Bartlett shows the boys how to operate the pump car at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

School’s out! The last time it was this hot, my family and I had just moved to Northampton from a sleepy Connecticut suburb, there were two weeks until school started, and we knew nothing and no one. We spent every hot afternoon at Look Park, running through the much beloved sprinklers. Now that it is summer again, we are more or less unpacked and ready adventures. My boys are 11, 6 and 4. The age span can be a challenge for us. My summer goal is to find places we can frequent that satisfy us all, build bridges between the boys’ different ages and temperaments and wear them out so they will sleep heartily at night.

I decided to surprise Matt on Father’s Day with a short day trip to Shelburne Falls. The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is home to trolley car #10. This trolley belonged to the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Railway company which closed up shop in 1928. It was saved by a farmer, used as a chicken coop and then refurbished in 1999.  It is a charming little trolley, with a shiny dark wood interior, the original frosted glass windows at the top and fresh exterior boards painted a perfect farm yellow. Our tickets were punched, the lights came on, the kids sat at attention for the short ride.

While the conductor turned the line around for our return trip, we had a bit of a history lesson from the guide.  We learned that car #10 was a combination car. It carried both cargo and passengers. One side hauled cotton, apples and vinegar from the farms to town and the other side carried passengers, usually workers or students who used the trolley to commute to high school in Colrain.  High school feels like a world away to me now, but I pictured my boys as teenagers, commuting by trolley in 1920, hopping on, eyeing the barrel full of apples in the cargo section, borrowing the fare from a friend, swimming in the Deerfield River to cool down once they reached home again.

Bridge of Flowers, built in 1908 by the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Railway company. (Photo credit: Isaac Bayne)

When #10 headed back, we found ourselves in a race with the pump car on the nearby track. Engineer Polly, along with a teenager and her grandpa were flying down the track pumping the handles, hair whipping everywhere.  My six year old assures me that we won, as trolleys cannot be beat. The boys were intent on riding the pump car, because they are the fastest ever. I thought maybe Theo was too young so Matt took Isaac and Henry first. Polly, our engineer, assumed control of our family for a short time, as she explained the purposes and rules of the pump car. Henry was to stand on the side and hold on to the bar in the center.  Isaac and Matt face forward and pumped side by side at the back. Polly pumped at the front and controlled the foot break.

On the way back, Henry was allowed to pump, as she determined he was both tall enough and old enough to follow the instructions. When I took Theo on he held on tight with two hands and kept his feet on the platform. He will have to grow a few more inches until he can pump without it bumping his chin, but he has just turned 4. Polly instructed him not to wave at daddy, as she wanted both hands on the bar. When we coasted in, Theo did not wave but gave a big smile, with a “hello there!” He was quite pleased with himself. All the kids got a “I drove the pump car” sticker.  Before we left, the boys crawled all over the yet to be restored little caboose. They climbed up to the upper seats, admired the wood burning stove & the “closet potty” in the corner. We poked around the museum for a bit, enjoying this store house of trolley treasure, with telegraph machines and electric trains running.

Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls, MA. (Photo credit: Isaac Bayne)

Since we were in Shelburne Falls, we crossed the famous Bridge of Flowers, which was built in 1908 by the trolley company itself. Just a few years after the trolleys stopped running, the town itself saved this bridge transforming it into a glorious garden. I expected to have a difficult time in engaging the boys in the viewing of a garden, but walking on a foot bridge over a river was entertaining for Theo. Henry was happy to direct my attention to the smell and colors of different roses and Isaac was pleased when I set the camera to macro and showed him how to photographs the flowers close up.  On the far side of the bridge, we visited the Glacial Potholes. My kids are easily impressed by geological formations (also known as rocks), and these were very impressive rocks which can be very safely view from the observation deck. The boys itched to get down and scramble in the river bed, but the glacial potholes are actual holes in the river bed left by stones swirling in the river when it swelled with the melting of the glaciers. We left with promises to find another spot for river scrambling and swimming. There are many hot days of summer ahead.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

RiverFest 2010: Celebrating the Deerfield River

RiverFest in Shelburne Falls
Saturday, June 12th

RiverFest is an annual celebration in the village of Shelburne Falls with children's games, educational opportunities, parade, singing, storytelling and much more. Click collage to see larger image. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The village of Shelburne Falls will once again celebrate the Deerfield River and the surrounding countryside with RiverFest next Saturday, June 12th. RiverFest is an annual tribute to the Deerfield River, and the role it plays in people’s lives and the ecosystem of western Massachusetts. Through entertaining, educational displays and demonstrations, a unique “Frog & Flower Parade” of schoolchildren (and adults), art, crafts, tag, book and plant sales, RiverFest helps people of all ages-area residents as well as visitors-gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for a rich natural resource.

There will be musicians and vendors throughout the village, children’s games, singing and storytelling, creative workshops leading up to the colorful “Frog & Flower Parade,” and much more, including:

  • Meet many of the birds of prey that soar through local skies
  • Learn how to identify edible wild plants
  • See specially chosen movies at Pothole Pictures (the fly-fishing film Rivers of a Lost Coast on Friday night and The Deerfield: A Working River on Saturday)
  • Participate in guided tours of the Gardner Falls power plant to gain a better understanding of how our river helps generate electricity
  • Try quiet-water rafting
  • Join a guided hike on one of the watershed’s scenic trails on Sunday
  • Ride an 1896 trolley car at the Trolly Museum
  • Enjoy Shelburne Falls’ many attractions, galleries and restaurants

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: 4 Tickets to See Chris Smither @ Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls

Like This!

Chris Smither at Memorial Hall
Shelburne Falls, MA
Friday, June 4th, 2010 @ 8pm

On June 4th, Chris Smither will be performing a Friday night fund-raising concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School … and we have a 4-pack of free tickets along with a signed CD to offer one lucky person! Deadline to enter to win is 05/28/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT CHRIS SMITHER

Chris is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose music draws deeply from the blues, modern poets & philosophers. His most recent CD is Time Stands Still (Signature Sounds). He has released 13 albums and 3 DVDs and tours clubs, concert halls, and festivals across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His songs have appeared in films & TV and have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris & Diana Krall.

ABOUT THE PIONEER VALLEY CHINESE IMMERSION CHARTER SCHOOL

PVCICS prepares K- 8th grade students for academic and personal success through rigorous study and instruction aligned with the state and federal government standards, augmented with Chinese language and culture. PVCICS’s goals are to graduate students with excellent scholarship, high proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and English, plus sensitivity to multiple cultures. PVCICS serves the Pioneer Valley region. The school is currently accepting applications for K, 1st, and 6th grade for Fall 2010 enrollment. For more information about PVCICS go to www.pvcics.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a 4-pack of free tickets (and a signed CD) to see Chris Smither is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 05/28/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go!  Tickets are $22adv/$25door, and proceeds from the concert will benefit the fundraising efforts at The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS) in Hadley, MA.  Purchase tickets online or in person at Elmer’s/Ashfield, Mocha Mayas/Shelburne Falls, World Eye Bookshop /Greenfield.

Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Featival in Shelburne Falls

Piti Theatre Company Presents…
SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival

New Englanders know that March and April is the time of year when the sap starts to flow in our maple trees and people from around the region travel to our area to enjoy their favorite syrup at their favorite sugar house. On Saturday, March 13th, 2010, they can also savor the sweetness of art with the premiere year of SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at one of the Pioneer Valley’s great performance spaces – Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA.

Afternoon programming for families starts at 1 pm with a rehearsal for ages 7 -10 who want to perform with Piti Theatre onstage at 2 pm in their acclaimed story of the Deerfield River “Salmon Falls.” After the show, Piti Theatre will offer theatre workshops for ages 4 – 7 and 8 – 12.

For more about SYRUP: One Sweet Arts Festival visit www.ptco.org/syrup.

Children Celebrate Local Farm Heroes Through Song

Local Farm Heroes Public Concert
at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center

Franklin County farmers will be interviewed in a vacation music project led by local songwriter, Sarah Pirtle (pictured above). Children ages 5 to 9 will meet and learn from the farmers and write a song about each of them. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Farmers from four different generations and four different types of farms will be honored by song in concert on Thursday, February 18th at 2pm at the Senior Center in Shelburne Falls, MA.

Franklin County farmers will be interviewed in a vacation music project led by local songwriter, Sarah Pirtle. Children ages 5 to 9 will meet and learn from the farmers and write a song about each of them.

  • Herb Purington of Wilson Hill Farm in Colrain is a seventh generation dairy farmer. The children will also hear haiku poetry about farm life by his daughter, poet Carol Purington.
  • Daniel Bodkin of Laughing Dog Farm in Gill will do a permaculture seed propagation demonstration.
  • Bethany Wiles will represent Hagers Brothers Farm in Colrain and their farm market in Shelburne.
  • Five year-old Leora Fisher from the CSA Natural Roots in Conway will be both a songwriter and describe her experiences as a farmer.

“I want children to meet farmers of many generations and feel the vitality and importance of small farming,” said Sarah Pirtle who wrote grants to do the project in support of local farms after releasing her ninth CD recording, Pocketful of Wonder, celebrating farming. The concert will include songs written by the children, songs of hers like “A Seed Knows What to Do,” and folk songs about farms including “Down on the Farm,” by Molly Scott.

This program is held at Arms Library in Shelburne Falls and is supported in part by a grant from the Shelburne Cultural Council and the Buckland Culture Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Transition Towns & Time Banking: Building Community Strength and Resilience

Building Community Strength and Resilience

Transition Towns

The Hitchcock Center is hosting a discussion for folks interested in increasing community resilience on Sunday, January 31st in Amherst, MA.

  • Transition Towns: Increasing Community Resilience in a Time of Change
  • Tina Clarke, Transition Towns Trainer
  • Sunday, January 31, 7-9pm
  • Donation requested, sliding scale, $5-$20
  • Pre-registration required; please call 413-256-6006.

Transition Towns are communities that are proactively addressing the “Triple Challenge” of long-term rising energy costs, economic instability and climate change. Launched in the U.K., where 1,000 communities are involved and The Transition Handbook was among the top ten books read by Members of Parliament in 2008, the Transition Towns model and process helps local citizens and groups work together to build resilience for economic and environmental changes unfolding locally and globally. Tina has become one of the Transition Town trainers in the U.S. She will present the process for engaging large numbers of people in creative transition from dependence upon non-renewable energy sources to greater community resilience and quality of life. Pre-registration is required; please call (413) 256-6006. Check out Hitchcock’s other community programs here.

Time Banking

The West County Resilience Conversation is hosting a free gathering to discuss “Time Banking” on Tuesday, February 2nd in Shelburne Falls, MA.

  • Time Banking
  • Facilitated by Liz Sheehan.
  • Tuesday, February 2nd, 7-9pm
  • Free
  • Call for more information: (413) 625-9744
  • Location: Shelburne Senior Center, 7 Main Street, in Shelburne Falls

Time Banks Weave Community One Hour at a Time – earn a time dollar, spend a time dollar while profoundly strengthening your community.

Moonlight Magic in the Hilltowns

Moonlight Magic in the Village of Shelburne Falls
Friday, November 27th, 2009

Moonlight Magic 2008 (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Moonlight Magic is a community tradition held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving coinciding with the annual “Holiday Lighting of the Village” in Shelburne Falls, MA. Many special features add to the traditional festive evening of family fun and holiday spirit in this classic New England village on the Mohawk Trail. The streets are filled with luminary candles, caroling, sidewalk sales, art events and craft demonstrations; Vendor tables are set along the sidewalks with local non-profit group’s holiday wreaths, baked goods and crafts; Live music and roving performers will be present on both sides of the river throughout the evening.; and Stores, galleries and restaurants stay open late for special holiday promotions.

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum will be open too. This will be a rare opportunity to ride the brightly lit and beautifully restored Trolley No. 10 after dark. While you wait for the Trolley, warm up by the potbelly stove and enjoy a cup of warm cider in the museum’s classic restored wooden caboose.  Take the Trolley to the Museum’s visitor center for interesting historic period displays of life in the area one hundred years ago. The kids will love the operating displays of toy trains.

Mole Hollow Candle Company, a local candle company, provides 1500 luminary candles to line the village streets and sidewalks. The town lights up about 4:45 pm with the help of many volunteers. Bridge Street, the main thoroughfare, will become a pedestrian walkway to allow space for street performers and holiday strollers.  Singing and instrumental groups will perform about town.

There will be family fun and children’s activities too, such as cookie decorating, ornament making, and candle dipping.

Discover South American Folklore in the Hilltowns

Mettawee River Theater Company to Perform New Outdoor Production in Western Massachusetts
Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story

Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story is a Peruvian folk tale where Imposing Condor and Resourceful Hummingbird do battle, to be performed by the Mettawee River Theater Company in both Shelburne Falls and Cummington, MA. This free outdoor theater production will incorporate masks, giant figures, puppets and other visual elements with live music, movement and text, drawing on myths, legends and folklore of the world’s many cultures for its material.

Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story is based on a beguiling folk story of the Quechua people, descendants of the Incas who inhabit the Andean highlands and tropical regions of Peru, Beyond the High Valley will be offered to the public at two free outdoor venues in Western Massachusetts:

  • Friday, 07/31/09 at 8pm in Shelburne Falls, MA on the Buckland-Shelburne School lawn
  • Sunday, 08/02/09 at 8pm in Cummington, MA at Pettingill Field (off of Main Street)

In Beyond the High Valley, the unlikely opposing forces are a willful giant condor and an intrepid little hummingbird. At the onset, the condor spies a young woman tending her family’s llamas in a meadow. He sweeps down from the sky, transforms into a dashing lover and carries her off to a rocky crag. Her rescuer is a creature of dazzling ingenuity, a plucky hummingbird. The production will incorporate a range of puppets and other visual elements realized on many different scales, expressing the vast distances, radiant sky and rugged, vertical thrust of the fierce and beautiful highland terrain.

About the Mettawee Theatre Company

Read the rest of this entry »

Staycation Location: Shelburne Falls, MA

Local Day Trip to Shelburne Falls, MA

Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA

Bridge of Flowers (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The summer vacation time is in full swing! And, with frugality more in than ever, more and more vacationers are opting to stay close to home. Within forty five minutes of Springfield, Holyoke and Northampton is the delightful town of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Shelburne Falls is located in the Franklin County area of Massachusetts along the scenic Mohawk Trail. It is also home to the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. The museum is a great operating attraction for families of all ages. Featuring restored Trolley Number 10, the original trolley which ran across the Bridge of Flowers, plus an operating pump car and steam locomotive display.

Ancient Glacier Pot Holes - Geological Wonder (Shelburne Falls, MA)

Ancient Glacier Pot Holes: Geological Wonder (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Besides the operating trolley museum, other town features include:

  • Cafes, such as McCusker’s Market Co-Op
  • Artisan Shops, including handblown glass demos at Angelic Glass
  • Restaurants
  • Historic Bridge of Flowers(photo above)
  • Famed Glacial Potholes of the Deerfield River

Read the rest of this entry »

Growing Toward Adulthood: The Role of the School in Neighborhood Building

Jamie Godfrey of Shelburne Falls, MA writes:

What is the goal of education? There are many different, often competing, answers to this question. Is it the job? The productive worker? The good citizen? The critical thinker? One possible approach sees education more broadly as “growing toward adulthood.” But how do we grow? Can it be controlled? Scripted? Measured and tested? Or does it just happen? And what does it mean to be an adult? Meanings of adulthood today include everything from the spiritual to the chronological, legal and pornographic.

Why is nearly all public talk about education today really about schools and schooling? Are they the same thing? By equating education with schooling have we robbed it of something essential? And by asking schools to carry the whole responsibility for education, have we placed an impossible burden on them? How has the institutionalization of our children at an early age affected them? And what is the impact of the professionalization of the school on its relationship with the surrounding neighborhood? We talk about the school as serving the community, but in reality the opposite often seems to be the case.

At the same time, how does our tendency to reduce education to schooling affect older people? Does education even apply to them? If “adulthood” is the goal, is it a permanent achievement by a certain age? We spend many thousands of dollars on each child’s “education” every year, while our outlay for working adults is limited to smaller amounts for “job retraining,” and our contribution to elders is miniscule by comparison and usually has no educational motive attached to it at all.

What is the role of the school then? Do other social forms – the workplace, the family, the religious body, the local café – have an educational function as well? What possible interplay might there be between all these forms, including the school, which opens up a richer educational experience that is life long?

On Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m., the next session in the Conversation Café series “Who is My Neighbor” will take place at the Senior Center in Shelburne Falls. Entitled “Growing Toward Adulthood: The Role of the Local School in Neighborhood Building,” the conversation will be a wide-ranging exploration of the purpose of education and the role of the school in our towns.Come and share your own ideas and questions about education, schools, and the neighborhood. Or simply listen while you enjoy a cup of Mocha Maya coffee. These are great street level conversations about things that really matter. The Center is located at 7 Main Street in Shelburne Falls. Call Jamie Godfrey, Director of the Shelburne Falls Senior Center ,at 413.625.2502 for more information.

Quilting Classes for Kids Forming

Felice Wolfzahn of Shelburne Falls, MA writes:

My daughter has been wanting to learn quilting.  I just talked to Becky Stratton from A Notion to Quilt and she’s willing to run a six week class if I can get enough kids together. A Notion to Quilt is on Rt. 2 on the left just before the first exit into Shelburne Falls, MA.

It would be either:

  • Tuesdays or Thursdays
  • 4-5:30pm
  • for 6 weeks (starting soon)
  • Possibly $50 for the whole series
  • Ages 8-11

She said they would learn the basics of using the sewing machine and make a variety of quilted projects. (She’s also a first grade teacher)! Please e -mail me if you re interested.  Let me know which day works best! She only wants 4-8 kids so I imagine it will fill fast.  Thanks!

Best,
Felice Wolfzahn
felwolf@crocker.com

Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls, 2008

Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls on November 28th, 2008

It’s exciting and magical! Moonlight Magic takes over Shelburne Falls on Friday, November 28, 2008 from 4:30 – 10:00 PM.

Moonlight Magic is a community tradition held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving coinciding with the annual “Holiday Lighting of the Village.” Many special features add to the traditional festive evening of family fun and holiday spirit in this classic New England village on the Mohawk Trail. Stores, galleries and restaurants stay open late for special holiday promotions. The streets are filled with caroling, sidewalk sales, art events and craft demonstrations. There will be vendor tables along the sidewalks with local non-profit groups holiday wreaths, baked goods and crafts. Live music and roving performers will be present on both sides of the river throughout the evening.

 

  • The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum will be open. This will be a rare opportunity to ride the brightly lit and beautifully restored Trolley No. 10 after dark. While you wait for the Trolley, warm up by the potbelly stove and enjoy a cup of warm cider in the museums classic restored wooden caboose. Take the Trolley to the Museum’s visitor center for interesting historic period displays of life in the area one hundred years ago. The kids will love the operating displays of toy trains.
  • Mole Hollow Candle Company, a local candle company, provides 1500 luminary candles to line the village streets and sidewalks. The town lights up about 4:45 pm with the help of many volunteers. Bridge Street,
    the main thoroughfare, will become a pedestrian walkway to allow space for street performers and holiday strollers.
  • Santa will arrive about 4:45 PM on Deerfield Avenue and will be serenaded to his workshop at the Shelburne Senior Center. Children will be greeted at Santa’s Workshop for the first part of the evening.
  • Cartoons will be shown on the big screen in the Memorial Hall Theater.
  • Singing and instrumental groups will perform about town.
  • There will be family fun and children’s activities such as cookie decorating, ornament making, and candle dipping. Knights in armor will greet people at Wandering Moon. Many of the village merchants will have in-store promotions and specials. Shelburne Falls is a great place to find one-of-a-kind and hand-made gift items.
  • At the Shelburne Senior Center there will be a craft sale and the Mountain Lodge.
  • A. F. & A. M.’s will offer soups and other items from their kitchen.
  • Around the corner at the Village Information Center, Shelburne Falls Women’s Club will hold their annual Cookie Shoppe. The Friends of Arms Library will be holding their annual holiday book sale. Craft fairs will be held in the Eagles Hall and at the VFW. Many other private and non-profit groups will be offering items at sidewalk sales throughout the village.
  • The Village Information Center, open throughout the evening, will provide accessible public restrooms.

 

 

More information online at www.sftm.org or www.shelburnefalls.com


Do you have a local community event you would like to share on Hilltown Families? Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com and let us know.

Local Day Trip: Shelburne Falls

Gas too expensive? Here’s a great local Day Trip that is very close: Shelburne Falls!

Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA (c) Sienna Wildfield

Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA (c) Sienna Wildfield

The summer vacation time is in full swing! And, with gas prices still topping recent highs, more and more vacationers are opting to stay close to home. With forty five minutes of Springfield, Holyoke and Northampton is the delightful town of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Shelburne Falls is located in the Franklin County area of Massachusetts along the scenic Mohawk Trail. It is also home to the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. The museum is a great operating attraction for families of all ages. Featuring restored Trolley Number 10, the original trolley which ran across the Bridge of Flowers, plus an operating pump car and steam locomotive display.

Besides the operating trolley museum, the town features cafes, artisan shops, restaurants, the historic Bridge of Flowers and the famed glacial potholes of the Deerfield River.

Visitors to the trolley museum can board the beautifully restored trolley Number 10 at the visitor’s center and ride it to the end of the line at Salmon Falls. The Salmon Falls stop is high above the Deerfield River – with a breathtaking view of the river, waterfall, glacial potholes and the town center of Buckland and Shelburne Falls.

With the purchase of a train ticket, visitors can park at the museum all day and shuttle to the Salmon Falls for easy access to Shelburne Falls village attractions.

The museum is situated just above the Bridge of Flowers and the Deerfield River in the former Buckland rail yard. Its growth and success over the years has been attributed to its easy proximity to the downtown area of scenic Shelburne Falls, as well as the many attractions and rides on both trolley Number Ten and other working railroad equipment. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Involved and Discover the History of Railroads

Volunteers Keep 111 year old Trolley on Track
New Member Orientation Day April 19th

Based in the old Boston & Maine freight yard, the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, in  Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, is a non-profit educational organization that has restored one of the original trolley’s, Trolley No. 10, originally used to transport passengers, apples, mail, milk and other freight. (Photo (c) SFTM)

With a “ding-ding” of the bell, Sam Bartlett ratchets up the electric power on car Number Ten. The hundred and eleven year old wooden trolley responds and pulls away from the station at Salmon Falls. Sam is a motorman and wears several other hats at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, a stone’s throw from the glacial potholes and Historic Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge that connected Shelburne Falls with Colrain.

After it’s heyday of carting back and forth, the trolley was retired and spent sixty-five years as a chicken coop. That’s until a team of volunteers and train enthusiasts step in and transformed both train and station into a viable museum that explores both the mechanics of trains and history of the railroad.

Today, volunteers at the museum provide rides on the trolley and other historic railroad equipment, guide interpretive tours, repair the railroad tracks and are in the process of restoring many of the historic buildings in the former Boston and Main railroad yard. If your family has an interest in discovering more about both our local history and locomotive workings, parents and age appropriate children might like to discover volunteer opportunities at the museum. As the museum gears up for the spring operating season and opening day in May, they are on the lookout for fresh recruits interested in restoring and carrying on the traditions of the trolley car era. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Japanese Girl’s Day with a Mother/Daughter Tea

CELEBRATE GIRLS DAY IN SHELBURNE FALLS
at the Children’s Art Museum

Kokeshi DollsHilltown Families and CAM present a special Mother/Daughter Tea this Friday, February 29th at 4pm, just prior to Japan’s National Girls Day at the Children’s Art Museum in Shelburne Falls, MA (same building as the Trolley Museum).

This Mother/Daughter Tea is a community celebration to honor happiness and health of our girls. Peach Blossom tea and symbolic snacks will be served. Participants are encouraged to dress festively and to bring a snack to share, especially snacks that are pink (implies peach flowers), white (implies snow), and green (implies new growth) foods, fruit, sweet rice cakes, and vegetable sushi.

Collectively, participants can create a display to honor girls with small objects, pictures or poems brought from home. All are welcome to add to the display and to offer a word or two about their contribution.

Japan’s National Girls Day is also know as the Japanese Doll Festival, or Hinamatsuri. Girls are welcomed to bring along their favorite doll. Our craft will be Kokeshi Dolls, traditional wooden Japanese dolls (pictured above). All ages are welcomed. Pre-registration is required ($). Click here reserve your spot, or call 413.625.2030.


Suggested Titles:

  • Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns And Stars!
    by Betty Reynolds
  • Tea Ceremony: Asian arts & crafts for creative kids
    by Shozo Sato, Alice Ogura Sato, Masturah Jeffrey (Illustrator)
  • Best-Loved Children’s Songs from Japan
    by Yoko Imoto
  • Girl’s Day in Hawaii with Yuki-chan
    by Tokie Ikeda Ching, Sets Arai (Illustrator)

Suggested Events 01/26/08 – 02/01/08

DISCOVERING WORLD CULTURES AT CAM

Families wanting to broaden their children’s global awareness through fun activities like traditional folks arts, folktales and ceremonies, should check out the following series of three Art & World Culture Playshops happening at the Children’s Art Museum (CAM) in Shelburne Falls, MA (next to the Trolley Museum):

    TIBET: SAND MANDALAS & PRAYER FLAGS

    This series will begin this Friday (February 1st) with Sand Mandalas & Prayer Flags of Tibet from 4pm-6:30pm. Sand Mandalas are an ancient Tibetan art form that were used to teach compassion, environmental relations and impermanency. With Tibet being one of the last ancient civilizations, teaching kids the history behind this ancient art form can supplement their global awareness of world civilizations and cultures. Making a sand mandala and prayer flags joins the art and history together into a creative and tactile experience. Click here to see a video of Tibetan Monks making a traditional sand mandala. All ages are welcomed. Pre-registration is required ($). Click here to reserve your spot, or call 413.625.2030. Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.  (Postponed to Sunday 02/03 @ 10am)

    RUSSIA: MATRYOSHKA MADNESS

    On Sunday, February 10th at 10am, Russian traditional folk art will be discovered with Matryoshka Madness. Not only can this traditional Russian icon be used to educate your kids about fertility and motherhood, it can also be used to teach them about world culture and customs too. In this playshop, families can discover Russian culture through the traditional Russian Folk Art by painting their own heirloom Matryoshka Dolls. (Please pre-register now for this class to reserve your Matryoshka Doll). All ages are welcomed. Pre-registration is required ($). Click here to reserve your spot, or call 413.625.2030. Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.

    JAPAN: CELEBRATING GIRLS DAY

    Then, on Friday, February 29th at 4pm, just prior to Japan’s National Girls Day, CAM and Hilltown Families will be sponsoring a Mother/Daughter Tea, serving Peach Blossom tea and symbolic snacks. National Girls Day is also know as the Japanese Doll Festival, or Hinamatsuri. Our craft will be Kokeshi Dolls. All ages are welcomed. Pre-registration is required ($). Click here reserve your spot, or call 413.625.2030. Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.

    SATURDAY MORNING KIDS CONCERTS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS!

    • This Saturday (01/26) check out the Deedle Deedle Dees at Lyman Hall in Northampton at 10am.
    • Next Saturday (02/02) join us for a kids rockin’ concert with Uncle Rock at the Florence Civic Center at 10:30am.

    THIS WEEK’S LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS IS SPONSORED BY:

    GRENDEL BOOKS (www.GrendelBooks.com)

  • Become a Sponsor
  • To find out how you or your business can help support Hilltown Families by becoming a sponsor, drop us an email or give us a call at 413.296.0096 for more information. By having individuals in our community and area businesses become sponsors, Hilltown Families can continue to offer a weekly list of suggested events, a weekly podcast, updated resources, articles and much more.

    • Submit an Event

    If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at swildfield@juno.com, or post your event on our community bulletin board. Comments are warmly welcomed!

    Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings & Delays

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    The following key represents the sum cost of one adult and one child:
    (>$) Under $10; ($) Between $10-$19; ($$) Between $20-$44; ($$$) Over $45

    Saturday – 01/26

    8am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child with the Deedle Deedle Dees! [All ages] (Free)

    8am & 9:15am – KIDS BASKETBALL – (Worthington) Throughout the winter months, the Worthington Recreation Department is offering co-ed basketball program for kids at the town hall. Grades 1-2 begin at 8am. Grades 3-4 begin at 9:15am. No registration is necessary. 413.238.5500 [Ages 6-9] (Free)

    9am – TRAINS! – (West Springfield) The Amherst Railway Society will be holding a weekend Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition on Saturday & Sunday. Bring your young train enthusiasts to see over 35 operating layouts, visit with historical societies, clinics and more. www.AmherstRail.org [Families] ($)

    10am – FAMILY BOOK CLUB – (Williamsburg) Family Book Club will be at the Meekins Library.Click here for more info. [Ages 9-12] (Free)

    10am – KIDS CONCERT – (Northampton) The Deedle Deedle Dees will be performing at Lyman Hall at the First Churches in Northampton, MA. There will be pancakes, carnival games, live music and dancing! Click here for more information. [Families] ($)

    11am & 1pm – THEATER – (Amherst) In the auditorium at the Eric Carle Musem, Castle Hill Theatre Presents an original adaptation of the Norse myth, Tatterhood. 413.658.1126 [Families] ($, ticket price does not include museum admission. Borrow a museum pass from your local library)

    1pm-3pm – NATURE EXPLORATIONS – (Williamsburg) Mass Audubon will be hosting Nature in Winter at the Meekins Library (indoors/outdoors). 413.268.7472 [Ages 4-8] (Free)

    1:30pm – 3:20pm – ICE SKATING – (Greenfield) The Collins/Moylan Memorial Skating Rink will have a public skate. Skate rentals available. 413.772.6891 [Families] ($)

    2:30pm-4pm – FAMILY ART WORKSHOP – (Haydenville) Art Star invites families to come make art together with art projects that celebrate the family. Materials included. 413.896.3709 [Families] ($)

    4pm-6:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    « Older entries

    %d bloggers like this: