Suggested Events for March 18th – March 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many and learned about so many others… This is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities. Thank you!” Toni H. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families Event

Saturday, March 18, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! After a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family!

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Mar 19

Celebrate spring with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Sunday, March 19 from 12noon-4pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Enjoy a Wiggle Jiggle Dance Party down the Great Hall with the beloved Caterpillar, a special studio art project, storytimes and films, and search for the Caterpillar’s favorite foods in a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Plus, see Brown Bear Turns 50 before it closes! For more information and a schedule of activities, please visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-559-6300. All activities are free with Museum Admission.

Fall 2017

Whately Elementary preschool program is now accepting applications for the fall of 2017! They are happy to announce the expansion of their existing program to a full-day, full-week experience for children aged 3-5 years old. Whately offers a small integrated preschool experience serving a mixed age population. They believe in the power of learning through play and their caring and skillful staff are experts in guiding children in their development. Preschoolers enjoy gardening, art, music, literacy, engineering, obstacle courses and so much more. The expanded hours are: Monday-Friday 8:30am-3pm with extended care hours until 5:30pm. For more information, please contact Rhonda at 413-665-1155 ext. 700 or emailing Rhonda.lutenegger@frsu38.org.

Mar 18

Piti Theatre’s 8th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival celebrates spring, sap and the arts at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, 3/18. Two time Grammy winner Bill Harley headlines the Festival at 4 pm, performing his own set and narrating two stories performed by Piti’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Sammy and the Grand Buffet, a world premiere solo physical comedy performance by Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin taps things off at 2 pm. Plus syrup tasting, complimentary Real Pickles, clowning workshop for children on 3/19 (free), teen/adult clowning workshop and more! Tix: $15/$12 students and seniors, $5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, World Eye Bookshop or www.ptco.org/syrup. 1-800-838-3006. info@ptco.org.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 18th – 24th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. You, Me, Our Community Episode with Lucy Kalantari. Sing and dance to the beauty of community with guest DJ Lucy Kalantari. Featuring songs by Moona Luna, Louis Prima, Alastair Moock, and many more. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 9 years!

Saturday, March 18, 7:30am-10am
COMMUNITY MEAL
Celebrate the coming Spring season with a community meal! Late winter is the time for maple sugar harvesters to tap their trees, making it a great time to share maple-based meals among neighbors! The United Church of Conway invites families to a pancake breakfast. All are welcome. 44 Whately Road. Conway, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 18, 8:30am-4pm
BOTANY
Spring comes sooner than you might think, at the Pioneer Valley’s local greenhouses! Spring bulb shows signal the coming end of winter and offer families an opportunity to learn together about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and species identification. A visit to a bulb show can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany, plant and soil science, and possibly even evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin, in his study of natural selection, examined the co-evolution of orchids and insect species. Visiting the greenhouse can be an opportunity for you and your children to think about this interrelation of plants and insects. Or you may simply want to see the beautiful sights and smell the fragrant flowers! The Smith College Bulb Show runs from March 4 through March 19. Lyman Conservatory. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 18, 8:30am – 4:30pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/ART HISTORY
Interested in learning about the history of art in New England? Come to a day-long symposium on artistic productions of familial memory and commemoration. The work extends across the centuries from the 1600s to the 1900s. The art of family was wide-ranging and included family registers, mourning art, gravestones, textiles, furniture, jewelry and other clothing accessories, scrapbooks and albums, as well as portraits, silhouettes, and, by the mid-19th century, photographs. Registration for the event is requested, and a lunch will be available for purchase. Register Here. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 10am-11:30am
LANGUAGE LEARNING/SPANISH
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. For that reason it is a very practical and enriching second language to learn. Non-native speakers who wish to practice their Spanish are invited to a four-week series of conversation sessions at the Jones Library. Saturdays March 18 and March 25, meet other community members and improve your Spanish speaking skills in a relaxed environment. To learn more about the advantages of learning a second language, as well as resources for language learning, read our post: Language Learning Resources in Western MA. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 10am-12pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Let your imagination run wild at the Berkshire Museum’s Imagination Playground™, an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. Unstructured, child-directed play helps kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. The Imagination Playground™ provides a changing array of elements, allowing children to exercise their imaginations as they build and rebuild the space using big blue blocks. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA. ($; children under 18 <$; members, ages three and under FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 10am-12pm
FAMILY MUSIC PARTY/COMMUNITY MEAL
Join us, Hilltown Families, in person for a morning of music, dance, and pancakes! This Saturday Morning Music Party at the Flywheel Arts Collective is great for both kids and parents who love to dance. In addition to music and food there will be a performance by The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! All events in this Morning Music Party series are a fundraiser for both Flywheel and Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 18, 10am-12:30pm
STEAM/ROBOTICS
Makerspaces provide opportunities for do-it-yourself projects, collaboration, skill sharing, and creativity in the realm of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). This makerspace workshop at the Huntington Public Library will focus on robotics and 3D printing! Father-son team Arthur and Peter are experts in intergenerational DIY projects and will be sharing their knowledge and skills with participants. 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 10am-5pm
ART STUDIES/HISTORY
In his Four Freedoms speech, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated his vision for a society founded on the following values: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The Reimagining the Four Freedoms exhibit at Norman Rockwell Museum features original works from New York state high school students. The students’ works interpret the meaning of these four freedoms for 21st century Americans. The exhibit is on view from March 18 through April 9. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 12:30pm
INTERNATIONAL THEATER
Eugene Onegin is a Russian opera, based on a verse novel written by Alexander Pushkin. The 1879 opera was written and composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Fans of international opera and Russian history can view an HD screening of the play performed by Vakhtangov Theatre, at Amherst Cinema. This film can teach American theatre lovers about Russian culture and classical music composition at the same time. 13- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 18, 1pm-2:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Not all birdhouses are the same. Different species of birds have different biological needs which can be met by specific types of bird boxes. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary invites families to assemble pre-cut bluebird nesting box kits and take one home. Families who participate in this program will be helping bird conservation efforts while learning about local ecology. The bird boxes are suitable for species such as the swallow, house wren, black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, and white-breasted nuthatch. Bringing home a bird box can help families attract birds to their yards, for more ornithological learning at home! 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (Adult $$; child FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 2pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/IRISH HISTORY
Studying the history of race in the United States and beyond can help us to understand racial issues today. Did you know that the definition of “white” has changed over the centuries to include or exclude various groups? Did you know that “white” was defined by law and used in citizenship court cases? The Irish, for example, were discriminated against when they first came to the United States. The discrimination against the Irish was founded upon their exclusion from the definition of “white.” You can learn more about Irish history by attending this presentation, “No Irish Need Apply: The History of the Irish in Boston,” given by historian Christopher Daley of Wareham Massachusetts. West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
Piti Theatre Company’s 8th annual “One Sweet Performing Arts Festival” combines the New England tradition of springtime maple sugaring…with all kinds of performing arts! Celebrate the coming warm months with syrup tasting, clowning workshops, a solo physical comedy performance, and storytelling! Grammy winner Bill Harley will headline the festival. He will perform a set of his own and serve as narrator for two of his stories performed by Piti Theatre’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Sammy and the Grand Buffet, a world premiere solo physical comedy performance by Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin taps things off at 2 pm. This is a great opportunity to introduce your children to performing arts and to support young, local actors. 413-625-6569. 280 Colrain-Shelburne Road. Shelburne, MA. ($; children 12 and under <$)

Saturday, March 18, 2pm
HISTORY
Although her legacy has often been overshadowed by her husband, Elizabeth colt was a powerful community leader in her own right as well as an avid philanthropist. After the loss of her husband and four children, Elizabeth made it her life’s mission to preserve the story of the colt family. Her husband, Colonel Samuel Colt was well known as a firearms mogul. Willie Granston, a PhD student in History of Art and Architecture at Boston University, will be giving a talk on Elizabeth Colt’s life and work, at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 2pm-3pm
HISTORY
Colonel Samuel Colt is of course famous for founding Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company (Colt’s Manufacturing Company) and making the mass production of the revolver commercially viable. His wife, Elizabeth Colt, has been largely overshadowed by Colonel Colt. Following the tragic losses of her husband and children, Elizabeth Colt worked with some of the most talented artists and architects crafting a material legacy throughout Hartford. Join presenter Willie Granston at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site as he tells the story about the fascinating life of Elizabeth Colt. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 2pm-3pm
FAMILY THEATER/LITERACY
Mo Willems’ popular Elephant and Piggie picture books often address themes related to friendship, reconciling differences between fun-loving Piggie and melancholy Elephant Gerald. In spite of their different personalities, Elephant and Piggie are best friends. Families who enjoy the book series can now see these characters come to life in the musical, Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, to be performed at the Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 18, 5:30pm-7pm
ART STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
How has social media shaped friendships, relationships, and self-image? In a world where many of us have hundreds of “friends” online, this is an important cultural question to address. Maine-based artist Tanja Hollander explored these questions through artwork, as she travelled all over the world on a mission to photograph all 626 of her Facebook friends. The resulting multi-media art project Are You Really My Friend is now on view at MASS MoCA. You are invited to the opening reception to see hundreds of photographic portraits, travel ephemera, and a short documentary. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (Adult $; children 6 to 16 <$; children 5 and under FREE)

Saturday, March 18, 7pm
FAMILY THEATER
The classic 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a Jewish Russian peasant village during the 20th century. This play can serve as a great supplement to studies of Jewish history and culture. Young actors from Hampshire Regional High School will be performing their rendition of the musical for an audience of all ages. Ticket reservations are available by calling 413-437-5597 or emailing hrhstickets@gmail.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (Adults; 18 and under <$)

Saturday, March 18, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/BLUEGRASS
Bluegrass is a musical genre with ties to country and folk music. Bluegrass stems from a mix of Irish, Scottish and English traditional music, later influenced by jazz. Like jazz, bluegrass music sometimes incorporates improvisation. Blackstone Valley Bluegrass have been perfecting their bluegrass, complete with four-part harmonies, for over fifteen years. Each of the band’s members are multi-instrumentalists and can play a wide range of bluegrass styles. See them perform at the Palmer Historical and Cultural Center for a taste of bluegrass and an inspiring performance. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. ($; members <$)

Saturday, March 18, 7:30pm-9pm
ASTRONOMY
As the seasons change you may notice different plants on the ground, different birds in the air…and different stars in the sky! As the Earth changes position throughout the year, different stars become visible in our night sky. In our area on the Earth, we can see constellations such as Orion the Hunter, Gemini the Twins, and the Queen of Ethiopia during late winter and early Spring. This introductory program at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center will teach participants the stories behind these constellations and show you how to find them in the sky! The program will take place indoors and outdoors. Dress warm. Bring a flashlight and binoculars if you have them. This program is suited for ages ten and older. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org, to hear a rebroadcast of a favorite Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano of Preschool of Rock. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to listen to nearly 10 years of archived shows.

Sunday, March 19, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Sunday, March 19, 12pm
LITERACY/ART STUDIES
The picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has remained popular among children and adults since it was first published in 1969. Kids, who are constantly growing, learning, and changing, can relate to this inspiring story of transformation. Eric Carle’s enchanting artwork also captures many hearts, young and old. If you or your children are fans of the book, join other families at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for the Very Hungry Caterpillar Day! Enjoy a Wiggle Jiggle Dance Party down the Great Hall with the beloved Caterpillar, a special studio art project, storytimes and films, and search for the Caterpillar’s favorite foods in a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Plus, see Brown Bear Turns 50 before it closes! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, March 19, 12pm-2pm
ENGINEERING/LEGOS
LEGOs are a fantastic learning tool. Without realizing it, kids playing with LEGOs learn about physical and geometric concepts. At the same time they’re having fun, engaging their imaginations and feeling the satisfaction of a hands-on, creative outlet. Children ages four and up are invited to build with LEGOs at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 19, 1pm-2:30pm
CULINARY ARTS/NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Packages of fresh or frozen tortellini are available at most American grocery stores; however, making your own tortellini is a fun, satisfying way to connect with your Italian heritage and to learn about food culture. Even if you are not Italian, you can come to the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts and learn how to make this delicious food, fresh at home. Bring an apron. Adults and children are welcome. Take home what you make. Call 860-305-1175 to register. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 19, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
The classic 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a Jewish Russian peasant village during the 20th century. This play can serve as a great supplement to studies of Jewish history and culture. Young actors from Hampshire Regional High School will be performing their rendition of the musical for an audience of all ages. Ticket reservations are available by calling 413-437-5597 or emailing hrhstickets@gmail.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (Adults; 18 and under <$)

Sunday, March 19, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
Piti Theatre Company’s 8th annual “One Sweet Performing Arts Festival” combines the New England tradition of springtime maple sugaring…with all kinds of performing arts! Day two of the festival, on March 19, will start off with a free physical comedy workshop for ages 7-12. Then, “Funny Stuff for Grown-ups” runs from 3:30pm-5:30 pm. This festival offers a great opportunity to introduce your children to performing arts and try out your own comedic techniques! 413-625-6569. 280 Colrain-Shelburne Road. Shelburne, MA. ($; children 12 and under <$)

Sunday, March 19, 2pm-5pm
WRITING/ZINE MAKING
You don’t need a publisher to get your stories, poems, or drawings out to be the public. If you want to share your work with the community, you can always make a zine. Zines are small magazines, made inexpensively and often distributed for free. Since zines don’t usually travel far in their distribution, zine collections can give you an idea about the culture of your community and connect you with local writers. Zine making is also a great way to collaborate with other artists. If you’re more interested in distributing a longer piece of writing, however, you may want to learn about self publishing. Make It Springfield is offering a crash course in all things related to zines, self publishing, and handcrafted books. Attend one or multiple sessions. You must register and indicate which session(s) you are interested in. Visit the Make It Springfield Facebook page for more details. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 19, 4pm-5pm
MINDFULNESS/NUTRITION
Mindfulness practices encourage people to turn mindful attention to daily activities which otherwise become routine and mindless. Virtually any part of your day can become an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Eating mindfully can help you to get more enjoyment out of mealtimes and be more aware of how food affects your body. Find out more by attending a four week mindful eating series at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library on March 19, March 26, April 2 and April 9. Participants must have a smartphone or tablet. You will be asked to download an app to help you with daily mindfulness exercises. Please register at the library or call 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, March 20, 2pm
BIKE REPAIR
Learning to tune up and repair your own bike can save you time and money while teaching you about engineering and problem solving. Bring your bike or just your questions to Make It Springfield, and have your repairs taken care of by RadSpringfield. Stop in anytime during these drop in hours. All ages are welcome. There is a suggested donation up to twenty five dollars or more, depending on the repair. You can also bring by your old, unused bikes to donate. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, March 20, 6:30pm
EDUCATION/PARENTING
The documentary series The Raising of America is meant to increase awareness of the struggles of modern parenting in the United States, and to inspire changes in our education system, political climate, and culture. The film discusses political issues such as paid parental leave, sick leave, and affordable housing. Screening the film with other parents, educators, and people who care about children, is particularly productive. Parents and educators are invited to view and discuss the film at this public screening. Childcare will be available during the event. Call 413-587-1471 with questions. Northampton High School. Little Theater. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 20, 6:30pm-8pm
WOMEN’S STUDIES/CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The United States has the highest prison population in the world. Whether we realize it or not, incarceration has a huge impact on our society. The number of incarcerated women has been rising significantly for decades as well. This discussion, “Women, Crime and Justice: Mass Incarceration and Mothering,” at the Westhampton Public Library will illuminate issues related to this crisis. Participants will discuss the disproportionate numbers of women of color and poor women who are incarcerated, as well as the impact on children whose parents are incarcerated. This event is occurring in conjunction with the Holyoke-Hamptons community-wide reading of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 20, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
The DeChamplains will be bringing their jazz vocal and piano stylings to the Gaylord Memorial Library for a Music Monday on the rotunda. The trio comes from the Hartford Connecticut area, and will be accompanied by a special guest, and Pioneer Valley favorite, trombonist Steve Davis. Give yourself something to look forward to on Monday and meet other fans of local music. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

Monday, March 20, 7pm
POETRY
The term “poetry” comes from the Greek term, “poiesis,” which translates to “making.” How do you make poetry? Typically by applying your choice of poetic techniques such as rhythm, rhyme, line breaks, repetition, puns, alliteration, or others, to your writing. Whether you make poetry yourself, or simply enjoy reading it, you can enrich your study of poetry by meeting other community members who enjoy this literary art form. The Forbes Library is hosting an ongoing poetry discussion group, through May 15. On March 20, participants will be discussing the poetry of American cultural anthropologist and writer Renato Rosaldo. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 20, 7pm-9pm
FILM STUDIES/POLITICAL SCIENCE
Want to better understand the Syrian Civil War? The Jewish Community of Amherst will be screening the 2016 documentary White Helmets (not rated), a film about a volunteer medical team that provides care to Syrian war victims, with a speaker to follow. The film won the Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 89th Academy Awards. Screening this film among other interested community members could spark positive and productive discussions of this contemporary political issue. 413-256-0160. 742 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, March 21, 10am-11am
LITERACY
Reading and comprehension of language are essential skills for functioning; these skills also open up a world of enjoyment through reading for pleasure. Parents can do a lot to encourage literacy in their children. Talking, singing, playing and reading with your child are all activities which build early reading skills. “Early Reading Skills,” a program from the Collaborative for Educational Services, will teach parents of children ages birth to five years fun activities to encourage literacy in their children. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services, website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This session will take place at the Congregational Church of Hatfield. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30pm
GENEALOGY
Studying genealogy can inspire you to learn about history in general while studying your own family’s past. Genealogy research involves skills such as planning, recording, searching, and more and can be a fun way to develop these abilities. Dave Robinson of Old Bones Genealogy will be running a three-session course at the Storrs Library to teach participants the basics they need to get started. He will teach participants how to make pedigree charts, family group sheets, research DNA and more with dozens of tools and websites. This program will take places on Tuesdays March 7, 14, and 21. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/ART HISTORY
Kids ages five and up are invited to learn about art history and do some hands-on artistic learning! Attendees will hear about the famous artist Frida Kahlo and have the opportunity to create self portraits using various materials. This program will teach participants about art while providing an outlet for self-expression. All supplies will be provided. Hubbard Memorial Library. 413-583-3408. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30pm-8pm
CULINARY ARTS
Sweet beverages have been around long before soda as we know it today. “Switchel,” for example, is a sugary beverage that was popular among farmers in the 17th century. A free workshop at River Valley Co Op will help participants think outside the box when it comes to beverages. You will learn how to make creative, fizzy sodas from simple ingredients and basic equipment. Participants will also learn how to make a version of “kvass,” Russian/Eastern European drink usually made from bread or beets. There will be time for the workshop leader to answer any questions you may have about fermented beverages. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 21, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/FRENCH STUDIES
Viewing foreign films is an entertaining way to brush up on your knowledge of a foreign language and learn about another culture. The 2014 French comedy-drama In the Courtyard (Dans la Cour) (rated R) follows middle-aged musician Antoine as he decides to end his career. He becomes the caretaker of an old building and a retired woman he meets in that position end up strongly impacting his life. In addition to learning about French culture, seeing this film could help audiences process emotions associated with aging, as well as the difficulty of artistic careers like musicianship. The film’s director Salvadori won a Swann d’or for Best Director at the 2014 Cabourg Film Festival. This is a one-time screening at Amherst Cinema. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, March 22, 9am-10am
YOGA
Yoga has many physical and mental benefits. You may want to try practicing yoga to increase your strength and flexibility, or to manage pain. Or perhaps you are motivated by the potential mental benefits of combining yoga with a meditative practice through controlled breathing exercises. Either way, you are welcome to learn a few poses through participating in a gentle yoga session at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 9am-11am
GUIDED WALK/LIFELONG LEARNING
This time of the year, at the Quabbin reservoir, you can spot signs of Spring such as red-winged blackbirds and turkey vultures. Seniors are invited on a nature walk, led by naturalist John Green, to learn more about local ecology. Participants will enjoy a long walk at Quabbin park. Directions will be provided with registration. Visit the Hitchcock Center website for more information and to register. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 5pm
ORNITHOLOGY
“Songbirds of the Northeast,” a 60 minute power point presentation featuring both  images and recordings of our local songbirds, will be offered by naturalist John Root at the Leyden Town Hall.  Bluebird boxes and perennials for edible  landscaping and attracting songbirds, hummingbirds, bees, and  other pollinators will be offered for sale. 16 W.  Leyden Rd. Leyden, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 5pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Although you can’t always see the strings the way you can with a guitar or violin, a piano is a string instrument. The keys activate a hammer which strikes tuned strings. Pianos and keyboards can be a great beginner instrument since each note on a piano is a chromatic half step from the last, making it a useful tool for visualizing music theory concepts. Whether you are a professional pianist, someone interested in learning the instrument, or a lover of classical music, you may be interested in attending “Album for Friends,” a piano performance thesis recital by Eugene Lee, Amherst College class of ’17. Lee will be playing works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Ravel, each one exploring themes of friendship. Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. 53 College Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 5:30pm-7pm
FINANCIAL LITERACY
Most states in the U.S. do not require financial literacy courses and these topics do not appear on standardized tests. For now, the task is left to parents and the community, but some parents do not feel comfortable talking to their kids about money. These conversations can be difficult as they may alert your child to harsh realities and difficult choices of adulthood. Parents of children in kindergarten through 8th grade are invited to the Family Center for a presentation by Greylock Federal Credit Union. Presenters will give parents useful tips for teaching their children about money. Child care and transportation are available. Call 413-664-4821 to register. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 6:30pm-8:30pm
WRITING/ZINE
Do you like to read, write, draw, or collaborate with others? Join the Forbes Library Zine Club! It is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of zines, which are generally small, self-published and self-distributed works of writing and/or artwork. Zines can possibly be traced back to “pulp” science fiction magazines of the 1930s. Today, the popularity of zines seems to be growing in conjunction with the rise in self-publishing and resurgence of Do It Yourself projects. Whether you already have a zine or you know very little about them, you can meet others with this shared interest at this informal club. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 22, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHORUS
Singing releases both endorphins and oxytocin, leaving the singer more relaxed. Oxytocin also causes a feeling of bonding with others. You and your family can get inspired by high-quality choral singing, by attending Berkshire Sings at the Ramsdell Library. This free concert will take place in the Ramsdell Library rotunda. All are welcome to attend. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, March 23, 6pm-8pm
CAREER READINESS
The process of job searching and interviewing has changed drastically and rapidly. “Not Your Mother’s Job Search,” a series of three workshops at the Holyoke Public Library, will give you up-to-date advice on various job search topics. Workshop leader Barbara Foster will present resume and cover letter writing tips, search strategies, and advice for interviewing with confidence. Registration is required for this workshop which will take place on March 23, 30, and April 6. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 23, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Want to feel supported and understood as a parent? Join a parenting discussion! Parents of children ages birth through eight are invited to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to take a break and discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. This group will have three sessions on March 9, 16, and 23. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Granby Library. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 23, 6pm-9pm
ART HISTORY
Art historians do not merely study artists and their works. A large part of the subject of art history involves tracing artworks as they are bought, sold, donated, inherited, and stolen. One art theft case which long-time residents of Massachusetts may remember is the robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, which took place in March of 1990. Author and art security expert Anthony M. Amore will be giving a talk on this event, as well as several major Rembrandt heists of the last century. He is author of the book Stealing Rembrandts. This talk will take place at Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, March 23, 7pm-9pm
POETRY/SUSTAINABILITY
Poets from Emily Dickinson to Robert Frost to Pablo Neruda have been inspired by nature. How has climate change and uncertainty about the future of our natural environment impacted poets and their work? You can attend a poetry reading and creative writing workshop as a means of approaching this question. Don Ogden, author of Bad Atmosphere, will be reading from his work and leading this writing workshop at the W.E.B. DuBois Library at UMass Amherst. Room 2601. 154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 23, 7pm-9pm
NATURE STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
The Quabbin Reservoir is a water supply source and the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts. This gorgeous spot for walking or biking is also a resource for learning about nature and local history. In his presentation “Quabbin: Then and Now” Dale Monette will be displaying rarely seen historic photographs of the Quabbin. This presentation will take place at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 23, 7:30pm-9pm
THEATER
Playwriting students often debut their theatrical creations at their college before graduating. For those living in proximity to the five colleges, this offers the opportunity to see brand new, contemporary plays performed for the first time. Act of Contrition is written and directed by Emily H. Atkinson, a Smith College MFA student ’17. The play tells the story of Kit Marlowe, a spy with a career in theatre, who is murdered in a Deptford tavern. Find out why Kit was murdered and what aspects of his life story will continue in his absence. Smith College Acting Studio 1. 122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, March 24, 10am
HISTORY/THEATER
Freedom Train tells the story of Harriet Tubman, the woman who escaped her Maryland plantation where she was held captive, hiding and running from slave catchers on the underground railroad. The play explores family and relationships, telling this historical tale through a personal perspective. Tubman had to leave her family behind to escape. She made 19 trips across the underground railroad, guiding more than 300 enslaved people to freedom. This play at the The Colonial Theatre is best suited for youth in grades 3-9. Homeschoolers and their parents may want to see the play as an opportunity to discuss and explore concepts of history, social studies, language arts, and music. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, March 24, 7:30pm
LITERATURE/THEATER
Come and step through the door of an old wardrobe where two imaginative children, Lucy and Edmund, will lead you on a magical adventure filled with fantasy and wonder. Based on the classical novel by C.S. Lewis, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, ignites curiosity while providing insight about the emotional climate of childhood during World War II. Come experience the weaving of traditional English folklore, Greek mythology, and 20th century literature that has made The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a favorite among audiences of all ages! Come 45 minutes early to this performance at Bay Path University and enjoy entertainment for the whole family. Pre-show activities will include building your own lion mask, creating a shield for fighting evil, coloring in your favorite characters, and hearing an abridged retelling of this beloved C.S. Lewis tale. Mills Theater. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Friday, March 24, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
Paul Lewis is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has gained recognition for his performances of works by Beethoven and Schubert. Contemporary musicians bring their own abilities and musical styles to classical works. A writer from The New York Times said of Lewis: “There are many prized recordings of the Beethoven sonatas from past masters and current artists. But if I had to recommend a single complete set, I would suggest Mr. Lewis’s distinguished recordings.” You can hear him perform works of Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and Weber live at the Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. 413-542-2195. 53 College Street. Amherst, MA. ($$; students with ID $)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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