Intergenerational History Project in the Berkshires

Southern Berkshire Community Coalition
Senior Life History Project for Teens

The Southern Berkshire Community Coalition is sponsoring a unique intergenerational history project!  The Senior Life History Project pairs teens (ages 12-18) with seniors, and the pair will together create a life history project.  Together, the senior and their teen will use writing, photography, and video to tell the story of the senior’s life- the end result of which will be a scrapbook (including mixed media, if the pair chooses).  Teens who participate in the project will get to hear a firsthand account of what it was like to live in their community during the past 60+ years- they will learn how local culture has changed over time, and what it was like to live in the Berkshires during important eras in history (During the Civil Rights movement, for instance.).

There are two different meeting locations for the project, and those participating will be expected to meet weekly at either Monument Valley Middle School or the Sheffield Senior Center.  The program begins on January 12th in Sheffield, from 3-4pm, and on January 17th at the middle school from 12:15-1:10pm.  For more information or to sign up, call 413-528-1919.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Old Sturbridge Village

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrated
at Old Sturbridge Village

Historian and storyteller Tammy Denease portrays Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, telling her story for her fight for freedom at the Old Sturdbridge Village on MLK Jr. Day, Jan 16th, 2012.

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Old Sturbridge Village is offering a program on Monday, Jan 16th for families that highlights the story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, a former slave (from Sheffield, MA) who successfully gained her freedom in court- a case that eventually lead to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.  Freeman is played by historian and storyteller Tammy Denease, who will tell the story of Freeman’s fight for freedom as well as explain her role in the fight to abolish slavery for good.  Freeman’s story is important not only because it is unique (most slaves couldn’t even try to fight for freedom, let alone succeed at doing so), but because she was a woman and women’s rights were practically unheard of during the 1700’s.

Children can learn a lot from the presentation- it fits into studies of civil and human rights, culture, and American history, and hearing Freeman’s story within a re-creation of its historical context can help kids to contextualize the story.

Other activities taking place throughout the day include ice skating (BYO skates), hands-on art activities, and history-based free play at the village’s KidStory area.  For more information, call the museum at 800-733-1830 or visit

“Frogs: A Chorus of Colors” Exhibit Comes to Springfield

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
Springfield Museums
January 21st – May 13th, 2012

Borneo Eared Frog featured in "Frogs: A Chorus of Colors." (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The Springfield Museums will be hosting the exhibit, “Frogs: A Chorus of Colors,” January 21st through May 13th, 2012.  This is a new exhibit of live frogs that teaches visitors about the many different types of frogs found around the world and the habitats in which they can be found.  The exhibit holds fifteen different habitats filled with plants, waterfalls, rocks, ledges, etc., each of which is filled with frogs and toads.  Museum visitors can learn to identify frogs by reading about specimens, watching videos of frogs, and listening to recordings of frog calls.  Kids can even learn why each frog looks the way that it does by comparing the frog’s size and coloring to the habitat in which it can be found.

Opening Day: Saturday, January 21st from 10am-5pm. The exhibit’s opening day features exciting events including live animal demonstrations from 11am-12:45pm and a puppet performance of “The Frog Prince” at 1pm.

A visit to the new exhibit is a great opportunity to learn about amphibians that live outside of your backyard!  To learn more, call the Springfield Museums at 800-625-7738 or visit

To find out more about this exhibit, read our review from the summer of 2009 when it came to the Berkshire Museum: Frogs Educate and Fascinate Museum Goers in Pittsfield, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see…

Carolina Chocolate Drops
with opening act, Joy Kills Sorrow
Calvin Theatre in Northampton
Saturday, January 28th at 8pm

Enter to win a pair of tickets for a Parents' Night Out to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Saturday, Jan 28th at 8pm. We have TWO pair of tickets to giveaway! Deadline to enter to win: 01/25/12.

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

To start off 2012, we have two a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Carolina Chocolate Drops, with opening act Joy Kills Sorrow, at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on Saturday, Jan 28th at 8pm to two lucky winners! Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is 01/25/12 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.


The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African-American string band musicians that have come to together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in Carolina’s Piedmont.  Although they have diverse musical backgrounds, the band draws its musical heritage from the foothills of the North and South Carolina. Under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string band player, of Mebane NC, they strive to carry on the long standing traditional music of the black and white communities. –


Your chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on Saturday, Jan 28th at 8pm , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!

To enter to win simply:

  1. CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES AS CONNECTED  YOU WITH YOUR COMMUNITY OVER THE YEARS  below (one entry per household); and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE), Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address with a third party).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 01/25/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets can be purchased at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, by phone at 413-586-8686 and online at

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