38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Physics to Folk Music. Agriculture to Road Races.

Physics to folk music. Agriculture to road races. Sculpture to strawberry festivals. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

In addition to being great exercise and a fun, social activity, skateboarding can inspire kids to become interested in science! Skateboarders performing tricks are actively engaging with scientific principles such as momentum, gravity, friction, and centripetal force.

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Do you and your children enjoy learning about history through demonstrations and artwork? August 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is currently exhibiting an art installation in honor of the National Park Service. You can come see this exhibition and learn about American war history on Armory Day, Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm. A full day of events will include military drills with living history reenactors, primary source documents such as WWI videos and letters, and much more. Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site website for a full schedule of events.413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ Picture Books ♦ Literacy Biology Entomology ♦ STEM ♦ Physics ♦ Music Studies ♦ History ♦ Placemaking ♦ Sports & Recreation ♦ Skateboarding ♦ Bubble Soccer ♦ Food Culture ♦ Strawberry Fest ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Agricultural History  ♦Dance Studies


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ART STUDIES

SCULPTURE
Saturday, June 18, 11am-3pm
Families with an interest in animals, art, or music, will find entertainment at the opening reception for “Here Comes the Sun” at MASS MoCA. This exhibit features animal sculptures made out of many different materials such as leather sneakers or an army helmet. Federico Uribe’s artwork sheds light on the ways in which humans use animals to make products. Instead, he uses products to make animals. After exploring his artwork, you can enjoy family-friendly music performed at 2pm by Grammy-winning folk and blues musician, Dan Zanes. The “Here Comes the Sun” reception is free. Tickets for Dan Zanes can be purchased on the MASS MoCA website. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (Adult tickets purchased on the day of the event $$. Adult advance tickets and under 16 tickets $. Kids 5 and under FREE)

Federico Uribe’s artwork could inspire kids to become interested in repurposing items and making sculptures of their own out of everyday objects. This could be an inexpensive and educational craft could also support an interest in upcycling as well as art.

PICTURE BOOKS
Sunday, June 19, 1pm
Author and illustrator Robert McCloskey is best known for his 1942 picture book, Make Way for Ducklings. McCloskey actually purchased ducks, which lived in his studio, so he could study their appearance and movements in order to render them realistically in his illustrations. This is a testament to his artistic dedication and precision. Curator Nick Clark will be providing tours of the new exhibition, “The Art of Robert McCloskey,” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. See examples of McCloskey’s iconic images and learn about his life. This program is free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Check out this Hilltown Families post, “Literary Guide for Robert McCloskey’s ‘Make Way for Ducklings'” to learn more about the legacy of hist work, and the ways in which parents can use this book as a learning tool with their children. McCloskey’s classic tale is a great launching off point for discussions about habitat and city life, as well as poetic, artistic, and literary concepts.

Make great use of Google maps function by building Google Lit Trips, which gives a whole new dimension to great literature simply by putting literary characters on the map. This free enhanced visual aid enhances literacy and mapping, and gives readers a sense of place. Many great reads are rooted in “journey” and Google Lit Trips grasps this opportunity and gives us another layer of learning. Read more in our post, Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map, and check out this (silent) Google Earth Lit Trip for Make Way for Ducklings, just a day trip away in Boston, MA:

ART EXHIBIT/EUROPEAN NUDES
Monday, June 20, 6pm-9pm
Kick off summer 2016 with a celebration of art and movement at the Clark Art Institute. At special after-hours admission to the galleries, you can see the exhibition currently on view, “Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado.” The exhibition examines the collecting of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paintings of the nude at the Spanish court, reconsidering the significant role of the nude in European art. Summer solstice celebration activities will include yoga sessions and drum circles. This event is open to all ages. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Non members $. Members FREE)

LITERACY

SUMMER READING
Monday, June 20, 5pm
The Sunderland Public Library will kick off their Teen Summer Reading program with Messy Twister and Water Balloons! Teens can meet others in the area who will be participating in the summer reading program and have a great time playing messy games. Please sign up in advance and wear clothing which can get stained. For younger kids who want to participate in summer reading, there will be a kick off event at 6pm featuring The Bubble Man. His comedic and musical performance will captivate kids with lots of bubbles! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

SUMMER READING
Friday, June 24, 10:30am
Participating in a summer reading program at your local library is something you can do as an entire family, setting positive examples for your children and discussing books. The Gaylord Memorial Library. summer reading kickoff celebration will feature family music and storytelling by Mary Jo Maichack. Read books this summer and you could earn raffle tickets for prizes! 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

BIOLOGY

BIODIVERSITY
Saturday, June 18, all day
Are your kids curious about all of the many different plants and animals that they find while exploring outside? A “bioblitz” is a community event designed to quickly compile information on biodiversity in a relatively small area. The 24-hour long Berkshire Bioblitz will take place from June 18th through June 19th at Mount Greylock. The BioBlitz is an opportunity for biologists, naturalists and environmentalists to work in collaboration with the general public to gather and complete a formal survey of all living species while seeing first-hand the importance of a healthy, active ecosystem in their own community. For more information, visit the website or email berkshirebioblitz@gmail.com. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

This National Geographic Education video shares why National Parks are important and the benefits of community Bioblitzes! These events bring people together, get them outside, and promote the protection of species by fostering a connection to local lands and species.

For Western MA teachers, educators, and parents who are interested in learning more about using the outdoors as a living classroom, check out the Berkshire Museums Living Landscapes curriculum. Living Landscapes focuses on natural science but also includes connections to math, language arts, and visual arts, and is a terrific local resource.

ENTOMOLOGY
Saturday, June 18, 10:30am
Actors who utilize puppets engage children’s minds, imaginations, and humor through the creative use of their fabric-based characters. Puppets open up a world of possibility through talking animals or completely imagined creatures. This performance by Talking Hands Theater will introduce kids to the fascinating world of entomology through songs about bugs, and how they help gardens thrive. Belding Memorial Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

For even more entomological learning, listen to the Hilltown Families Varity Show Insect Episode featuring music which supports an interest in insects! Through music and story you’ll learn: how to identify an insect, how insects connect with animals, how insects help humans, and how humans can help insects!

ECOLOGY
Saturday, June 18, 10am-1pm
Discover the biodiversity of the Wild Scenic Westfield River! Naturalist Ed Neumuth will lead participants around the river on this “Birds, Beasts, and Bees” guided hike. At this event you can find out about species which thrive at the West branch of the Westfield River, and how they impact one another as well as humans. For all the event details, register with Meredyth Babcock, 413-623-2070. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Though the relationships between birds and insects the two are generally predator-prey. Exploring the ways in which birds and insects depend on each other can offer insight into the inner workings of the local landscape. By learning to identify insects and birds, families can explore the who-eats-who of their surroundings! Read more in our post, Studies of Birds and Insects Illuminate Interconnectedness in Nature.

STEM

MAKERSPACE
Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm
Makerspaces, which have been popping up in museums, schools, and community centers, are a space for people with various interests to collaborate in innovative ways. These spaces do not limit to a particular discipline, and in fact provide the chance to combine science, technology, engineering, art, and math (a combination widely known as STEAM) in order to produce something new. You and your family can get creative and bring your special knowledge and abilities to the table at Makers’ Day! Included with regular museum admission at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (Adult $. Under 18 <$. 3 and under FREE)

Filling the need for spaces in which to combine art and science, maker spaces and meet-up groups are popping up all over western Massachusetts! Offering community-based opportunities to think, make, do, learn, and share, these groups and spaces can be valuable to young makers! Read more in our post, Maker Spaces: Community-Based Opportunities to Think, Make, Do, Learn and Share!

PHYSICS
Saturday, June 18, 10:30am
What makes a balloon float? This Maker Club meeting at the Westhampton Public Library will explore things that go up! Participants will play with things that float, fly, or just move through the air such as rockets, kites, and balloons. If you have any empty soda bottles, please bring them. Suggested ages are ten and up, but all are welcome! 413-527-5386. 1 N Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

PHYSICS
Thursday, June 23, 10am
You don’t have to talk your children into playing with bubbles. Most people find this to be an immensely fun activity. What’s more, you can use your children’s enjoyment of bubbles as an entry point for talking about the math of measuring bubble solutions or the physics of a substance which involves air and liquid. Playing with bubbles can be a sensory exploration as well as a fine or large motor experience. This “bubbleology” session at the West Springfield Public Library will educate participants ages 4 and up about the fascinating science of bubbles. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Want to learn more about the science of bubbles and how you can make them at home? In this episode of The Spangler Effect, the science of bubbles is investigated, unveiling why bubbles pop, their shape, and even how to put a person inside of one!

MUSIC STUDIES

LAWN CONCERT
Saturday, June 18, 6pm
Do you enjoy swing music? You and your family can dance to free, live music at the annual Sup and Swing party in Otis. Bring a picnic meal to enjoy as you listen to music by the Wanda Houston Band. For more information, visit the Otis Cultural Council website. In addition to the Otis lawn concerts, there will be lawn concerts all summer long across Western Mass! Read about them in our post, Lawn Concerts Strengthen the Social Fabric of a Community via Live Music in Green Spaces, and come out to hear a range of musical styles performed by local musicians. Izaak Walton Field. Route 8. Otis, MA. (FREE)

GYPSY JAZZ
Saturday, June 18, 7:30pm
Django Reinhardt is famous for being the forefather of gypsy jazz, and is regarded as one of the best guitarists of all time. Django in June brings together students of this genre from all over North America and beyond, to perform at the Academy of Music Theatre. Anyone who likes jazz guitar, or wants to branch out in their knowledge of musical genres, should attend this performance. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

CARILLON
Sunday, June 19, 1:30pm
A carillon is a musical instrument involving at least twenty-three bells, typically played by striking a keyboard. Automated music can also be played on certain carillons, similar to a player piano. You can hear these bells played by carilloneur Norma Hopper in Stanley Park. Concerts will take place on Sundays throughout Spring and Summer: June 19, July 17, August 21. For more information, call 413-568-9312 ext 100. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

The University of Michigan became the first university to teach carillon music in North America beginning in 1936. Check out this behind-the-scenes video tour of their 21.5 ton musical instrument made up of over 50 bells. Every day that classes are in session, there is a recital at noon, and students are invited to see and learn about the bells and their history.

FOLK MUSIC
Wednesday, June 22, 6:30pm
People write music for many different reasons. Writing music can be a cathartic experience and a way of expressing political and cultural experiences or beliefs. Afro-Andean Fusion group, Viva Quetzal, has members from all over New England as well as Latin America, producing a unique sound and a fascinating blend of cultures. You can hear them perform as part of Wednesday Folk Traditions at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. Come to the museum every Wednesday through July 20th to hear a range of folk music, and throughout the summer for a range of historical learning programs at Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum for 2016. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds at 5:00 pm. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley MA. ($. 16 and under <$)

BEGINNER UKULELE
Wednesday, June 22, 6:30-8pm
Come learn to play this convenient, portable string instrument in a supportive environment with other beginners. More experienced ukulele players are also welcome, however, to come join in on the fun at the Storrs Library. Please bring a ukulele if you own one. Loaner ukuleles will be available on a first-come first-served basis. With only four strings, the ukulele is easier to learn than the guitar and can be a great introduction to learning chord progressions. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

HISTORY

AGRICULTURE
Saturday, June 18, 9:30am-3:30pm
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, showcases life in rural New England over three centuries. Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived there, the museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. On June 18th, the museum opens its doors for free to residents of Amherst. Tours will take place every half hour. 413-584-4699.130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. (FREE for Amherst residents. <$ for nonresidents)

LIVING HISTORY
Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm
August 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is currently exhibiting an art installation in honor of the National Park Service. You can come see this exhibition and learn about American war history on Armory Day. A full day of events will include military drills with living history reenactors, primary source documents such as WWI videos and letters, and much more. Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site website for a full schedule of events.413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Saturday, June 18, 11am-3pm
Storrowton Village Museum, located in West Springfield at the Big E, offers hands-on, historical learning through workshops. The museum also offers tours of historic 18th and 19th century buildings including the meetinghouse, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, Eddy Law Office, John Potter Mansion, and Gilbert Farmstead. Tours and activities provide the opportunity for interactive learning about history, the closes you will get to stepping back in time. On June 18th, opening day for the season, free activities will include broom making, open hearth cooking, and blacksmithing demonstrations.Visitors can also learn about herbal folklore and remedies. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Visit the Hilltown Families History Bulletin Board for many more suggested events and historical resources.

PLACEMAKING

PARADE/HABITAT
Saturday, June 18, 8am-8pm
Since the dawn of agriculture and increasingly settled life, people have made their homes near rivers and other water sources. Land near rivers and waterways tends to be more fertile for growing crops, and traditionally water has been used as a form of transportation. How do rivers and other bodies of water affect culture and lifestyle today? You can explore these topics while simultaneously learning about and enjoying art, music, and other entertainment, at RiverWalk! The day will begin at 8am with a book sale, followed by the opening of shops and galleries at 10am. At 4pm, the family-friendly “Frog & Flower Stroll” around the Deerfield river will begin at Mallei Park in Buckland and culminate with a river dance. For more information, visit the Greater Shelburne Falls Area website. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

 

SPORTS & RECREATION

SKATEBOARDING
Saturday, June 18, 12pm-10pm
Skateboarding is a daring sport which encourages balance, strength, coordination, and even creativity as skateboarders try to create routines which showcase their best tricks. For nearly two decades, young people of the Montague area have been working for the creation of a permanent skate park, Unity Skatepark. It’s finally here! Come to the opening celebration, with a ribbon cutting at 1pm. There will be a Skateboarding Jam and Best Tricks Contest from 2-4pm. Sign up before 2pm. 56 First Street. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Skateboarding as a lens for learning about physics, geometry and the scientific process. When kids are inspired by their interests and learning is made relevant to their lives, new interests can form and support not only learning, but also social engagement and physical activity. In this video, Dr. Skateboard, Bill Robertson, share the science behind skateboarding:

FITNESS
Saturday, June 18, 10am-3pm
This year, many Massachusetts libraries are providing summer reading programs with an Olympics theme. The Whately Library will kick off their summer reading program with fitness activities including archery, basketball, fencing and more. Summer reading participants will get a reading log where they can record their books and earn prizes all summer long! 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

BUBBLE SOCCER
Saturday, June 18, 1pm-5pm
In “bubble soccer,” each player wears a protective, inflatable bubble which transforms the game, allowing for bouncing, rolling, bumping and flipping. The Jones Library, Sunderland Public Library, and Hatfield Public Library invite teens ages 14 to 19 to sign up for a game of library vs. library bubble soccer. Refreshments will be provided and a book giveaway will take place. Please register at the Jones Library (413-259-3091) The Hatfield Public Library (413-247-9097) or the Sunderland Public Library (413-665-2642). The tournament will take place at the Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

BUBBLE SOCCER
Friday, June 24, 6pm
The Mohawk Regional Trail High School Football Team is hosting a bubble soccer game as a fundraiser for the Mohawk Athletic Association. Come try this fun, new take on soccer! There will also be a bake sale, shirt sale, and raffle. 25 Ashfield Road. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)

What is Bubble Soccer? It’s so much fun… to play and watch!

INTERGENERATIONAL ROAD RACE
Sunday, June 19, 10am
Do you love to run? Participate in this short road race of just one mile, and help fundraise for the Northampton High School Athletic Booster Club. People of all ages and abilities are highly encouraged to participate. The road races will begin with a kids’ one mile race at 10am, followed by women’s and men’s heats. Register at The Northampton Mile website to participate in the dun. Those who do not wish to participate can still donate and cheer on participants at Northampton High School. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

INTERGENERATIONAL ROAD RACE
Sunday, June 19, 8:30am
Celebrate Father’s Day by staying fit and healthy with your family! The Springfield Jewish Community Center will be hosting kids’ fun runs and healthy family walks. At 8:30am, 10K & 5K Relays will begin, followed by a kids’ one mile Fun Run & Family Health Walk at 10am. Register on the Springfield Jewish Community Center website for the 10k/Relay ($25) or the fun run/walk ($18). There will be prizes! 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($ – $$)

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/CANOEING
Wednesday, June 22, 3pm-6pm
Canoeing offers paddlers a unique vantage point, moving at their own pace across the river. Beginners are invited to learn basic paddling techniques with canoes at this introductory trip down the Housatonic River. Canoes will be provided. Participants will learn everything from how to safely enter a canoe to basic strokes, appropriate attire, and trip preparation. Try out a new activity with friends or family! Families with children ages six and up are welcome. Space is limited. Call 413-394-9796 to register. South Lee, MA. (FREE)

FOOD CULTURE

FARMERS’ MARKET
Saturday, June 18, 10am-2pm
Farmers’ markets offer a consistent, simple way for local farmers and food producers to connect with the community. These markets provide locally grown items, teaching buyers about their habit through seasonal variation in what is available. This Easthampton farmers’ and makers’ market will also offer locally made items, bringing artists and crafters into the mix. See what you can find, every Saturday from 10am-2pm through September 24th. For more information, visit the Easthampton Farmers’ and Makers’ Market website. 50 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

CULINARY ARTS
Saturday, June 18, 12pm-10pm
The Taste of Amherst festival is an opportunity to check out and sample food from tons of restaurants. Taking place on the common, this gathering also supports placemaking in the Amherst community. It is more than just an opportunity to eat food as visitors can meet and converse with chefs, and witness demonstrations. From 1pm-4pm on Saturday, June 18th there will be chef demonstrations including a knife skills presentation and a demonstration on how to make gnocchi.On Sunday, June 19, demonstrations will take place from 12:30pm-4pm covering topics such as ice cream and cows. Amherst Town Common. Amherst, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

STRAWBERRY FEST
Sunday, June 19, 9am-5pm
Food is always better fresh and you can teach your kids about fresh, local food by picking strawberries together. Warner Farm’s Strawberry Festival will provide the opportunity for berry picking as well as a community breakfast. Harvesting your own strawberries during their short growing season can be a way of connecting to local cultures. You can read about the symbolic significance of strawberries to Algonquin tribes, as well as ways of learning from strawberry picking, in Strawberries Take Center Stage in Western MA Moonlight 413-665-8331. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE admission. Breakfast and U Pick <$ – $)

HORTICULTURE
Tuesday, June 21, 9:30am-11am
Children under five and their caregivers are invited to participate in a garden playgroup, sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations. Your kids can learn about locally grown vegetables. Interacting with healthy foods in fun ways could help them form positive associations with these foods. Children and their caregivers will gain the knowledge and skills to start their own gardens at home. Babies in arms are also welcome. Groups will take place at Monument Mountain every Tuesday until June 28 2016. Registration is recommended. 413-298-3239. Great Barrington, MA. (<$)

PLACEMAKING
Tuesday, June 21, 12pm
Music transcends age and other identities as something nearly everyone enjoys. This community meal at the Lenox Community Center will bring together people of all ages as 7-year-old Mason Zink and his band perform for seniors. Please inform The Council on Aging whether you would prefer a hot dog or a hamburger. Call 413-637-5535 to make your reservation. Come celebrate the onset of summer and this very talented, young musician. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

MUSEUM ADVENTURES

JUNETEENTH
Saturday, June 18 and 19, 9:30am-5pm
“Freedom Week” at Old Sturbridge Village offers historical programs to celebrate Juneteenth. This holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in the United states and the day on which Texas slaves learned of the Emancipation Proclamation. Daily performances will highlight the experience of American slaves, particularly local figures. Storyteller Tammy Denease Richardson will portray Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman, a woman who lived in the Berkshires and became the first black enslaved person to gain her freedom in a court of law based on the principle of general equality. Denease will also play Belinda Royall, a woman who was sold into slavery to the Royall Family and later taken to Medford, Massachusetts.Belinda petitioned the government for reparations. Andre Keitt will present Keys to the Keepers, a presentation about the ways in which slaves preserved their African culture through storytelling and folklore. On June 18th and 19th only, The Ray of Hope Project musicians and actors will perform participatory music programs which incorporate history and primary source readings. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adults $$. 17 and under $. 2 and under FREE)

“Freedom Week” at Old Sturbridge Village is one of many 2016 Juneteenth celebrations in Western Massachusetts

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY
Sunday, June 19, 11am-4pm
In addition to the typical learning opportunities at Hancock Shaker Village, the village will have special programming for Father’s Day. Have fun with a father figure and enjoy a guided hike to the old village sawmill and reservoir at 11am. For an additional $10 per person, participants can also attend the Attics and Basements Tour at 2pm and delve into typically unseen areas of the village! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield MA. (Adults $. 13 to 17 <$. 12 and under FREE)

LOCAL HISTORY
Sunday, June 19, 11am-4pm
A property of The Trustees of Reservations, the Choate family summer estate “Naumkeag” is distinguished by beautifully landscaped grounds originally designed by Nathan Barrett. With its gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age. You and your dad can celebrate Father’s Day with historical learning at Naumkeag. One day only, fathers get in free! 413-298-3239 x3008. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Non member $. Member FREE. Fathers FREE)

MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Friday, June 24, all day,
Museums are often an entertaining and educational place for both children and adults, and can provide learning opportunities across many subjects including STEM topics, history, and art. As part of the philanthropic organization Highland Street Foundation’s efforts to encourage education to families, many museum and performance locations will be open to the public free of charge on Friday, June 24, a “Free Fun Friday!” This is your chance to visit the Clark Art Institute, MASS MoCA, Tanglewood, Children’s Museum at Holyoke, The Mount and the International Volleyball Hall of Fame. Check out their websites for more information. Western MA. (FREE)

DANCE STUDIES

Western Massachusetts is rich with resources, classes, talks, and events to support an interest in dance for people of all ages. Check out all of these community-based resources for dance education. The following events provide the opportunity for people of all ages to learn square, circle, and contra dancing, and view professional performances of contemporary choreographies including ballet. Dance is a creative and physical pathway for learning about and connecting to various cultures.

SQUARE/CIRCLE/CONTRA DANCE
Saturday, June 18, 7pm-10pm
Want to learn square, circle, and contra dances? Come to the last Spring dance of the Chesterfield Council on Aging. Caller Sadie Stuhl will teach participants of all ages these three fundamental dances, accompanied by the Falltown String Band. Beginners are welcome. Refreshments will be available. Please bring something for the raffle table. Call 413-296-4743 for more information. 400 Main Road. Chesterfield, MA. (<$)

CONTEMPORARY DANCE STUDIES
Wednesday, June 22, 6pm
As part of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2016, free “Inside/Out” performances will take place on an outdoor stage, on June 22, June 23rd, and June 24th at 6pm. This first free performance, by The Bang Group, features percussive and contemporary forms and comedic elements. Emery LeCrone Dance’s performance on June 23rd will feature contemporary ballet choreography with distinguished composers, musicians, and designers. The June 24th performance by Urban Bush Women will focus on the perspective of women of the African Diaspora community, bringing their experiences to light through dance. In case of rain the performance will be moved indoors. All ages are invited. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

SQUARE DANCE
Wednesday, June 22, 6:30pm
Many of the pioneer valley’s library summer reading programs will offer learning opportunities which span topics and skills far beyond just literacy. This Adult Summer Reading program kick off at the Storrs Library will feature an all ages square dance! Begin your summer full of reading and learn a new dance with friends and family. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

[Photo credit: (cc) Josef Wells]


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Blandford, Bernardston, Chesterfield, Erving, Holyoke, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Warwick and Williamsburg Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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