Suggested Events for August 5th-11th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2017-2018 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Now – Aug 12

Finally, the birds and the bees for funky families! The Flexible Facts of Life: Information and Stories for Kids, Celebrating Diverse and Creative Families. This book includes a straightforward, gender-neutral introduction to the sperm and the egg, and lots of sweet stories about daily life in all kinds of families. This is a full-color 35-page book, written by a local mom, author, and clinical social worker. Check it out, order a copy, tell your friends, and help make this valuable resource a reality! Find it now on Kickstarter, only until August 12th: Flexible Facts of Life – a book about families.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Sept 18 – Dec 11

Online-Live Animation and Drawing classes taught by a former Disney animator (and veteran homeschool Dad) Chad Stewart. Offering a 12 week live-online animation courses for 11-18 year olds. He also teaches online drawing classes for multiple ages as well. Weekly classes are one hour long and include personal video reviews for individual learning! The cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks. The Fall Session meets Sept 18-Dec 11, and classes tend to fill up very quickly, so register soon! Hold a child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. Please send inquiries to kayla@theanimcourse.com or check out our website: theanimcourse.com.

Calling all volunteers! You can help make The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event another tremendous success. Volunteering is a great way to support Will Bike 4 Food for those who are unable to ride at the event. They have a number of volunteer opportunities available throughout the day including check-in & check-out, route patrol, lawn game facilitators, food service, water stop coordinators, and more. For more information about how you can get involved and lend your support, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Aug 4-6

Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience member should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Performances are Fri. August 4 at 7pm, Sat. & Sun. August 5 & 6, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheater.com.

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Amherst College Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Two-hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus. Children and parents visit the Amherst College campus for one two-hour study visit during the summer. Parents and children complete questionnaires about social relationships and emotions. Children also complete a social interaction task and cognitive measures while their physical response (e.g., heart rate and breathing) is recorded. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Looking for summer options? 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.

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 us at at sales@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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 5th-11th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, August 5, 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. Rivers, Critters and Pirate Misfit Episode. During this segment an unlikely band of musical misfits known as Funkinships, share some of their favorite songs about the river that brought them together. Learn about the critters that make the water a magical place and why we need to keep the rivers clean for them. 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, August 5
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
All are welcome to the 95th annual Littleville Fair! There will be live music all three days and chances to learn about agriculture through viewing ox and horse draws, truck and tractor pulls, cattle, sheep, and more. There will be a magicians and clowns, and games for children. The exhibit hall will be open all weekend. For more information call 413-667-3279. The Boot Hill Band will perform on Sunday. 15 Kinne Brook Road. Chester, MA. ($)

Saturday, August 5, 9am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK/ECOLOGY
Floodplain forests are one of the most significant natural habitats in the pioneer valley. You can join a naturalist from the Hitchcock Center to learn about them by exploring three different floodplain forests, discovering plants, and hearing about natural history. A number of species will be identified and compared. Participants will explore mature forests with diverse herbaceous ecology. There will be poison ivy, mosquitoes, and probably ticks at all sites! Bring a hand lens and be ready to take notes. Attend one or both of the walks on August 5 and August 26. Directions to sites will be provided upon registration. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Various locations, MA. (Member $; Non member $$)

Saturday, August 5, 9:45am-12pm
POETRY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Naturalist and New England Trail poet-in-residence David K. Leff will be leading participants on a sensory awareness and poetry walk along Amherst’s Emily Dickinson Trail. Bring water and a snack for this easy grade 2 mile walk along the Fort River. After the walk, all are invited to the Emily Dickinson Museum for refreshments in the garden and poetry inspired by the natural world. All are welcome to share their own work. Meet in the Emily Dickinson Museum tour center. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 5, 10am-5pm
HISTORY/BLACKSMITHING
The Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum with 20 Shaker buildings. Through the buildings, displays, and costumed historians, the museum depicts the life of an intriguing religious community of people that lived and cared for each other during the 19th century. Visiting the museum at any time provides you with the opportunity to learn about life during the 1800s for this interesting and self-reliant group. Visiting during the Age of Iron Weekend will teach you a great deal about blacksmithing specifically, as blacksmiths from all over New England converge at the village for demonstrations, hands-on activities, and generally fun, educational antics ranging from harpooning to Minecraft. All activities are free with admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield MA. (Adult $; 13- 17 <$; 12 and under FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 10am-7pm
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES
A study of local, New England, or national history is incomplete if it does not recognize the continued impact of Native American cultural heritage and the colonization of the land by Europeans. The Nolumbeka Project is a local group who promotes a “deeper, broader and more accurate” understanding of Native American history in New England before and during European contact. You can learn more about this history, the mission of the organization, and much more by attending their annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival. This all ages celebration will teach participants through live music, drumming, dancing, storytelling, native crafts, and food. Unity Park. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 10am-9pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The Adams Agricultural Fair will feature live music, sheepdog demonstrations, truck pulls, line dancing and much more. Visit their website for a full schedule. Bowe Field. 371 Old Columbia Street. Adams, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 5, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience members should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Visit the PaintBox Theater website for more information. 413-341-0320. Williston Theatre. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 5, 10:30am-11:30am
GEOLOGY
For young children, exploring the natural world is one of the healthiest ways to spend time. A love of nature can grow into an interest in studying scientific subjects, such as geology. Junior geologists ages eight through twelve are invited to join the “Rock & Mineral Hound Club” at the Granby Library. Participants will learn how to identify and catalog rocks and minerals, and take home new minerals each time. They can meet other children with similar interests, and build their geology collections. Registration is required. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 11am
JAZZ STUDIES
For junior musicians, studying jazz can open a player up to the world of improvisation. Jazz standards often involve more complex chord progressions than pop songs and therefore can build a great foundation for musicians who want to be able to someday play in bands and perhaps write their own music. Northampton Community Music Center is offering an Introductory Jazz Workshop for grades 3-8. Jazz drummer and composer Benny Woodard, alum of the center, will be offering this class for participants with at least one year of instrumental music study. Participants should bring their instruments to the workshop. Woodard is currently pursuing his degree in jazz studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Registration is required. 413-585-0001. 139 South Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 11am
FAMILY THEATER/PUPPETRY
As part of the Families First series, Caravan Puppets will performing selections from their multi-cultural puppet show, “Timeless Tales,” at the Spectrum Playhouse. This performance brings together folktales from all over the world, as well as original stories. There will be a wide diversity of puppets, puppetry styles, staging, and original music. Some stories are interactive; all have positive messages. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 5, 12pm-4:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/POLLINATORS
Bees have played an integral role for humans in Deerfield since colonial times, up to the present. “Get the Buzz on Bees” at Historic Deerfield will provide historic information on pollinators, as well as up-to-date information on honey bee decline and its possible causes. These bee-related educational activities will be fun for everyone. Visitors can make wax candles, taste honey, create a honey bee art project, and plant pollinator friendly flowers. This program will take place daily through August 13. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($; Ages 6-17 <$Member and Deerfield/South Deerfield Resident FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 1pm-2:30pm
ANIMATION
Graphic novels combine narrative and animation skills to create uniquely engrossing stories. Local author Haven Williams and artist Nancy Nguyen will be leading a three-part workshop series, “Writing and Drawing Your Own Graphic Novel,” for teens, so that local teens can get started telling their own stories. Participants will learn basic drawing skills and page layout design, at the first workshop. The second and third workshops will take place August 12 and August 19. Mason Square Branch Library. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Andy Warhol pioneered the “pop art” movement in the 1960s, inspired by the cultural interest in celebrities and advertisements. Families are invited to learn about his work at theNorman Rockwell Museum by exploring his art on view. Visitors can meet James Warhola, the illustrator of more than two dozen children’s picture books, including Uncle Andy’s and Uncle Andy’s Cats. As Andy’s nephew, James has unique insight into his life and work. The afternoon will including storytelling and art making as well as talks. All activities are included in museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 2:30pm and 3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
The taking of tea was a common and important social ritual for Americans in the 18th century.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752, invites you to celebrate local and historic customs by enjoying an afternoon tea on their back veranda. The “Perfect Spot of Tea” program at the museum will take place on Saturdays in July and August, featuring locally sourced pastries, Earl Grey tea, and live music. On August 5, the “56 String Duo” with Bob Markey and Andrew Jenkins will play a range of classical, blues, improvisational and world music featuring the twelve-string guitar and sitar. Reservations will not be taken in advance. Tours will be given for an additional fee every hour on the half hour; at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, August 5, 4pm-5pm
LOCAL HISTORY
What can a stroll through the cemetery teach you about local history? Find out by attending a Stockbridge Library. Museum and Archives cemetery walk. This walk will focus on the famous and memorable people who lived on Church Street. Learn about the Mahican Indians, the street’s original inhabitants, as well as renowned photographer George Seely, and sculptor Augustus Lukeman. You will also hear the stories of a one-legged barber, a blind cook, a tuba-playing plumber, a jolly nurse, and a door-to-door fish monger. Gather at the cemetery gate. 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 5, 8pm
THEATER
The 2017 Ko Festival of Performance, a theatrical event of workshops and shows, centers around the theme: “tactics for trying times.” The Society of Civil Discourse provides a type of contemporary performance but it is also an interactive night of “debate, appreciation,” hating, and rhetorical excess…about style, not substance.” The event is designed for communities to have fun together, with art at the center, and blur the line between performance member and audience. You can come and watch or participate. Visit the Ko Festival of Performance website for full details. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, August 6, 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. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, August 6,
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
All are welcome to the 95th annual Littleville Fair! There will be live music all three days and chances to learn about agriculture through viewing ox and horse draws, truck and tractor pulls, cattle, sheep, and more. There will be a magicians and clowns, and games for children. The exhibit hall will be open all weekend. For more information call 413-667-3279. The Boot Hill Band will perform on Sunday. 15 Kinne Brook Road. Chester, MA. ($)

Sunday, August 6, 9am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The Adams Agricultural Fair will feature live music, sheepdog demonstrations, truck pulls, line dancing and much more. Visit their website for a full schedule. Bowe Field. 371 Old Columbia Street. Adams, MA. (<$)

Sunday, August 6, 10am-5pm
HISTORY/BLACKSMITHING
The Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum with 20 Shaker buildings. Through the buildings, displays, and costumed historians, the museum depicts the life of an intriguing religious community of people that lived and cared for each other during the 19th century. Visiting the museum at any time provides you with the opportunity to learn about life during the 1800s for this interesting and self-reliant group. Visiting during the Age of Iron Weekend will teach you a great deal about blacksmithing specifically, as blacksmiths from all over New England converge at the village for demonstrations, hands-on activities, and generally fun, educational antics ranging from harpooning to Minecraft. All activities are free with admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield MA. (Adult $; 13- 17 <$; 12 and under FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 10:30am-11:30am
BOTANY/PLANT SCIENCE
Plants are beautiful, often delicious, sometimes medicinal, but sometimes deadly. Any of the above may be a sufficient reason for you to learn how to identify plants. A four part series at Great Falls Discovery Center will cover visual patterns to help you make connections and identify plants. You are welcome to attend a single session or all three on Sundays August 6, 13 and 20. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience members should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Visit the PaintBox Theater website for more information. 413-341-0320. Williston Theatre. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Sunday, August 6, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Elizabeth Freeman, also known Mum Bett, was enslaved in the Ashley House, and later became the first black slave to successfully sue for and win her freedom. Touring the Ashley House provides insight into the life of both the Ashleys and the enslaved African Americans who lived there in the 18th century. The Ashley House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can tour the house on Sundays through August 31. For more information call 413-298-8138. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, August 6, 1pm and 4pm
FAMILY THEATER
Do your kids love Halloween? You don’t have to wait until October to celebrate all things spooky! Bring them to the Majestic Theater’s adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for a family-friendly performance of silly and spooky (but not too spooky!) action and fun. The story follows goofy schoolmaster Ichabod crane to the small New England town of Sleepy Hollow, in his search for a good life and a wealthy wife. Meet the Headless Horseman and other mysterious spirits haunting the town. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, August 6, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Do you ever wonder what daily life was like 100 or 200 years ago? Historic house museums offer visitors the chance to walk through a historic architectural structure and see it furnished with vintage items. These tours offer a highly personal approach to historical learning. The Edwards Museum house was built in 1820, and was donated as an educational resource in 1950. Come to an ice cream social at the museum and see the antique furniture, vintage gowns, old organ and more! 3 North Road. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Video games? Television? View-Masters? No. Not yet. Take a step back in time to the late 1800s at the Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop to see some really basic entertainment. Stereoscope viewers were all the rage and those fortunate enough to own them planned parties around showing their newly arrived images. The ruins of Athens and Scottish castles were very popular themes, but local images such as those taken of the aftermath of the 1874 Mill River Flood also quickly made their way to the western Mass. marketplace. After a few weeks, friends, cousins, and neighbors would swap collections for some variety. Come to the museum and see what you can see through their stereoscope viewer! 413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 3pm-4pm
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Do you and your teen enjoy yoga? You can practice for free, outdoors in Colgrove Park at a weekly All Levels Yoga Class. Devin Kibbe of North Adams Yoga will lead everyone in traditional yoga poses to increase strength and flexibility. This class is best suited for ages fourteen and up. Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and bring a yoga mat. 24 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 4pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL
The 50th season of the Sevenars Music Festival in South Worthington will be offering music lovers the opportunity to hear some of the finest contemporary classical musicians. On August 6, attendees will hear composer and pianist Jerry Noble, Jr. play with legendary jazz clarinetist, Bob Sparkman and the dynamic young classical cellist, Christopher James. They will be playing in the Historic Academy building. South Ireland Street and Route 112. South Worthington, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, August 6, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/COUNTRY
Loretta Lynn’s impressive musical career spanned almost sixty years with chart-topping hits. Lynn won awards from the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music as a duet partner and an individual artist. You can learn more about this history, and pretend to meet Loretta herself, at Donna Lee’s Tribute to Loretta Lynn in Stanley Park. Concerts are open to the public and chairs will be available. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 6, 7pm
THEATER
Many of Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed at the Globe Theater in London, a partly open, outdoor theater. Outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s plays, and the plays his works have inspired, keep this history alive. For Shakespeare lovers, the 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead offers an absurdist, comedic take on Shakespeare’s most famous work, Hamlet. This play reworks the story from the perspective of two minor characters. You can see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead performed by Hampshire Shakespeare Company under the direction of Calvin Atkinson, at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. In the event of rain, the performance will be held indoors. 413-577-3600. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, August 6, 7pm
THEATER
The 2017 Ko Festival of Performance, a theatrical event of workshops and shows, centers around the theme: “tactics for trying times.” The Society of Civil Discourse provides a type of contemporary performance but it is also an interactive night of “debate, appreciation,” hating, and rhetorical excess…about style, not substance.” The event is designed for communities to have fun together, with art at the center, and blur the line between performance member and audience. You can come and watch or participate. Visit the Ko Festival of Performance website for full details. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, August 7, 9am
YOGA
Through stretching poses and sometimes concentration on the breath, yoga can relax your body and calm your mind. Practicing yoga outdoors has the added benefit of connecting you to nature. The Clark Art Institute is offering an outdoor yoga class weekly on Mondays through August 28. This class is suitable for all experience levels, ages fourteen and up, and will focus on improving strength and flexibility. Classes will be held on the Fernández Terrace adjacent to the Clark Center. Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and bring a yoga mat. Rain cancels this event. No registration is required. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 7, 10am, 1pm and 6:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
Do your kids love halloween? You don’t have to wait until October to celebrate all things spooky! Bring them to the Majestic Theater’s adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for a family-friendly performance of silly and spooky (but not too spooky!) action and fun. The story follows goofy schoolmaster Ichabod crane to the small New England town of Sleepy Hollow, in his search for a good life and a wealthy wife. Meet the Headless Horseman and other mysterious spirits haunting the town. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Monday, August 7, 6pm
LITERARY HISTORY
Many libraries, museums, and cultural institutions are providing opportunities to celebrate Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday. Thoreau was a naturalist as well as an author; he believed in the importance of walking outdoors to nourish the soul and refresh the spirit. His “transcendentalist” philosophy and his love of nature helped inspire a movement of people experimenting with time spent alone in the woods. He is perhaps best known for a famous act of civil disobedience, his intentional nonpayment of the state poll tax, as well as his life at Walden pond. Thoreau explains some of his political philosophy in the essay, Civil Disobedience, published in 1849. The Greenfield Public Library invites you to engage in a spirited reading and discussion of this essay. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 7, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/POSTMODERN ART STUDIES
In celebration of the summer exhibition, Picasso: Encounters, the Clark Art Institute is offering a free film screening series. Learn about various artists of different styles through film. On August 7, the Clark will be screening the 1996 biographical drama, Basquiat, which chronicles the life of American postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat created collage-style paintings as well as graffiti. He was a friend of Andy Warhol’s, who is played by David Bowie in the film. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

Tuesday, August 8, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Do your kids love halloween? You don’t have to wait until October to celebrate all things spooky! Bring them to the Majestic Theater’s adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for a family-friendly performance of silly and spooky (but not too spooky!) action and fun. The story follows goofy schoolmaster Ichabod crane to the small New England town of Sleepy Hollow, in his search for a good life and a wealthy wife. Meet the Headless Horseman and other mysterious spirits haunting the town. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, August 8, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/CUBISM
You would probably recognize a cubist painting by its style, a distinct blend of realistic and abstract elements, rendered with geometric forms. But did you know that cubist artists also made sculptures, or that cubism as an artistic movement also impacted music, literature and architecture in the 20th century? The Clark Art Institute invites people of all ages to experiment with cubism through outdoor art-making on Tuesdays through August 22. Participants will be encouraged to make visual observations from different angles. This event is weather-dependent. All activities are free, but admission to the galleries will be charged. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Tuesday, August 8, 6pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/HARMONICA
The harmonica is one of the most portable instruments out there! You can fit it in your pocket to bring to a campfire with friends, or practice just about anywhere. Rob Fletcher will be at the Erving Public Library teaching workshop participants how to play the harmonica. Registration is required and limited to 12 participants. Call 413-423-3348 or email library@erving-ma.org to register. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 8, 6:30pm-8pm
CEMETERY STUDIES
Though it may seem morbid to some, visiting a cemetery to carefully observe headstones and other features can provide insight into local history. Cemeteries teach us basic facts about life spans as well as where and when people lived. Additional words and artwork on gravestones can teach us about cultural values and aesthetic trends as well. This past Spring, UMass Amherst Public History graduate students Austin Clark and Nolan Cool helped the Leverett Historical Society and Cemetery Association catalogue six of the town’s cemeteries. You can hear them discuss the project, their research for the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and their experiences “graveyarding” out in the field. Discover how their work helps to preserve Leverett’s cemeteries and their stories. Leverett Library. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, August 9, 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, August 9, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Do your kids love halloween? You don’t have to wait until October to celebrate all things spooky! Bring them to the Majestic Theater’s adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for a family-friendly performance of silly and spooky (but not too spooky!) action and fun. The story follows goofy schoolmaster Ichabod crane to the small New England town of Sleepy Hollow, in his search for a good life and a wealthy wife. Meet the Headless Horseman and other mysterious spirits haunting the town. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, August 9, 12pm
ZOOLOGY
Lots of kids love to interact with animals. These interactions can help teach kids empathy and responsibility. Older children may discover a biological or environmental interest in animal studies, discovering that they can learn about habitat through local animal species. The “Teaching Creatures” educational program builds upon children’s natural attraction to animals, helping kids make lasting connections with the natural world. A Teaching Creatures program in Stanley Park invites kids to get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and invertebrates from around the world, and engage in an animal-themed craft. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 9, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Lenox’s “Concerts in the Park” bring together families, community members, and local musicians with free performances throughout the summer months. Pittsfield’s finest country and southern rock band, 5 Gun Draw, will be performing. Concerts take place in Lilac Park. In case of rain the event is moved to the auditorium at Town Hall. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 9, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Do you like to picnic with your family over the summer? Have your next picnic dinner at Windsor Lake and enjoy family-friendly music, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. You can connect with local musicians and music fans while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake. The JP Murphy Band will perform. 200 Windsor Lake Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 9, 7pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Have you ever wondered about town “granges,” those organizations often used as local meeting places and town events? A short business meeting of the The Plainfield Historical Society will be followed by a program focusing on the history of Grange, the nation’s oldest national agricultural advocacy organization, with units established in thousands of local communities in 37 states. The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, as it is officially called, was formed in the years following the American Civil War to unite private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nation’s farm population. Learn more about granges in general as well as the history of the Plainfield grange. Town Hall. Main Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

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August 10, 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, August 10, 5:30pm
ART STUDIES/HISTORY
The art form of portraiture has a lot to teach us about the political, religious, and social status of their subjects, as well as the aesthetic preferences of their era. Art historian Maureen Hickey will be discussing these issues as they relate to American portraiture, in the lecture: “Coming of Age: American Portraits from Copley to Warhol.” Hickey will discuss such early American artists as Rembrandt Peale, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart; nineteenth century masters John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer; Ashcan painters John Sloan, Robert Henri, and George Belows; and the culture of celebrity inspired by Andy Warhol. This lecture is included with admission to the Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Thursday, August 10, 5:30pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
As part of the Downtown Beats summer concert series, you can hear Shokazoba and The Alchemystics perform in Kendrick park. Between the two groups you will hear funk, reggae, politically infused hip-hop, soul, rock, and pulsing Jamaican, Cuban and Trinidadian rhythms. Order food from a local restaurant, spread out a blanket and listen to the music! Free cookies will be available courtesy of Insomnia Cookies. 413-259-3050. Kendrick Park. East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 10, 6pm-8pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Warm weather and longer stretches of daylight allow us new opportunities to meet and connect with our neighbors and other community members, many of whom we may not have seen during the cold, winter months. Bring a lawn chair, or set up a picnic with friends and family at this Co Op Concert in Greenfield. Sharing a meal, meeting someone new, appreciating the built and natural landscapes, and enjoying live music all play a part in placemaking. You can also explore the gardens, and children will be able to play on the brand new train structure in the children’s area. This concert will feature Mike Pattavina and Russ Thomas. Energy Park. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 10, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Families can enjoy an evening of free 60s and 70s rock, soul, and R&B performed by local band Dr. T and the Versatiles as part of the Florence Music on the Porch Series.. Civic Center. Park Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 10, 6:30pm-7:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Have you ever wondered about the work of Habitat for Humanity? Inspired by the summer reading program theme of “Build a Better World”, the Jones Library is offering this opportunity to hear about their work. Originally focused in Georgia and Zaire, Habitat for Humanity now conducts work in 70 countries and 1,400 communities across the United States. Some of those communities are right here in the Pioneer Valley. Working for them provides volunteers with a greater sense of empowerment, community, hope, strength, stability and self-reliance. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, August 11, 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, August 11, 10am
JEWISH CULTURE
Celebrate Jewish culture at a “Shabbat Shabloom” gathering! You can end your week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer. These events are especially suited for children under five, and their caregivers. Families can enjoy homemade challah, join a service project on the farm, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Celebrations take place every Friday morning (except August 4) at Abundance Farm, until the end of August. All are welcome. For more information, contact amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street, across the street from the YMCA. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Friday, August 11, 10am-12pm
ZOOLOGY
Learning about wildlife rehabilitation can teach children to appreciate, respect, and conserve endangered animals in our local habitats and beyond. Tom Ricardi is a raptor rehabilitator. He will be teaching people of all ages about the natural history of birds of prey, demonstrating their unique behaviors and explaining their role in our ecosystem. This intergenerational zoology program at the Berkshire Botanical Garden is part of their ongoing Animals in August Program. Free with museum admission. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. Children under 12 and members FREE)

Friday, August 11, 10am-8pm
ART STUDIES
The length of the sun’s shadow has always provided humans with a clue towards understanding the passage of time as well as the movement of celestial bodies. The invention of sundials harnessed this phenomenon, making it possible to have a more accurate understanding of the time of day. Sundials can also be works of art. Families are invited to construct their own sundials and engage in other “Ancient Time” themed activities at the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Fun Friday. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 11, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
A love of animals can be a catalyst for all kinds of learning. Spending time with animals can help kids build their empathic skills by understanding the needs of another living being. Taking care of animals at home (even something as simple as putting feed in a bird feeder) can also teach kids responsibility. For the scientifically minded, zoology is a topic which leads to learning about biology and ecology. You can encourage your children’s interest in animals by bringing them to animal focused “Kidleidoscope” programs at Great Falls Discovery Center. These programs are best suited for ages three to six, but siblings and friends are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The August 11 program will introduce children to the topic of dragonflies through a story, interactive games, and a craft. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 11, 11am-12pm
LITERACY
Book mobile programs make literacy more accessible to people who are homebound or have limited transportation accessibility. The Summer Bookmobile program from The Bridge Family Resource Center also provides books free of charge- to keep! This is a great opportunity for families to support literacy in the summer months. For more information call 413-549-0471 ext. 6510. On August 11 the bookmobile will be visiting Family Housing in Belchertown at 95 George Hannum Road (11:00-11:30) and 45 State Street (12-12:30). Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 11, 3pm
THEATER
Viewing contemporary and brand-new plays can connect you with the theatrical community, and possibly even give you the opportunity to watch a work evolve over time. The “Fridays@3” Reading Series, part of the Williamstown Theater Festival, has over the years featured work which went on to become main Festival productions. The reading series showcases new work in development, read by brilliant actors, and will occur weekly on Fridays through August 18 at the Clark Art Institute. Come to the reading series for a chance to experience theatre for free. On August 11, the production Overjoyedwas written by Ethan Lipton, directed by Oliver Butler. The play follows Stacey, a new mom. Stacey likes to take her baby to the park. Stacey also happens to be ninety-three years old. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 11, 5pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Arts Night Out events promote creative works and strengthen community connections. On the second Friday of every month, galleries are opened for Arts Night Out Northampton. Art may also be displayed in storefronts that are not galleries, building further connections between artists, community members, and local business owners. The event offers an opportunity to explore the diversity of local, visual and performing arts. Check the Arts Night Out Northampton website prior to the event for full details. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 11, 6pm-8pm
ZOOLOGY/CANOEING
Beavers have spent 7 million years in North America, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve their declining populations. You can learn more about beavers and the ways in which their dams impact the biodiversity of their habitats, on an evening canoe trip at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Participants will meet at the visitor’s center and walk to the river to learn about how these mammals have shaped our physical community as well as the history of our country. Trips will take place on Friday evenings through August 25. Registration is required. For more information call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Friday, August 11, 8pm
JAZZ STUDIES/POETRY
Jane Ira Bloom is a composer and a soprano saxophone player who has drawn inspiration from the words of Emily Dickinson for her latest performance piece, “Wild Lines.” Bloom draws connections between poetry and jazz, and believes that “Emily used words the way jazz musicians use notes.” You can hear the Jane Ira Bloom quartet perform the new work, “Wild Lines,” along with spoken word, recitation from actress Deborah Rush, at the Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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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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