Suggested Events for March 3rd – 9th, 2018

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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, Hilltown Families will be featuring summer camps and programs in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Hilltown Families is stepping out as National Model and seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

As Hilltown Families has grown, community organizers and educators in other regions of the country began reaching out to inquire how they too could create a similar network in their communities. Wildfield realized the power a collective of community-based educational networks could have in spearheading a movement towards a culture of intentional learning. While Wildfield’s work has moved to replicate the Hilltown Families model elsewhere, she continues to write for and consult with the staff and board of directors of the local Hilltown Families organization.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Hilltown Families Events

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are rounding out the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ fundraising series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! Join us on Saturday, March 10th, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall!

As always, we’ll have a community breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit. For this special Saturday only, we’ll be joined by talented young performers from Youthful Expressions Dance Studio, who will wow the audience with creative moves directed by Tylor Thomas of Springfield, MA. At Youthful Expressions, their motto is “Perform hard and stay humble,” so you know this will be a show you don’t want to miss! After the dancers from Youthful Expressions inspire us with their moves, all the kids (and parents!) can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party!

These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families. Admission is $6 per person. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Open House Mar 3

Looking for a thoughtful approach to education? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Give your child the foundation for engaged learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 3rd. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All are welcome. Applications accepted for the 2018-19 school year. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Mar 3

The New England Air Museum will hold its annual Women Take Flight event on Saturday, March 3 from 10am-4pm in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Families are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, hands-on activities, & lectures from special guest speakers. Discover the history of women in aerospace through the museum’s collection of over 100 historic aircrafts. Meet local women pilots, engineers, & industry professionals. Participate in hands-on STEM activities. Climb-aboard and experience historic aircrafts & flight simulators. For more info & the full schedule of events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. Located in Windsor Locks, CT adjacent to Bradley International Airport.

Mar.
8 & 9

The Academy of Music Theatre and Academy Youth Productions presents Annie, Jr. on March 8th & 9th at 6:30PM. Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to- nothing start in 1930s New York City. Sponsored by Northampton Cooperative Bank. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main Street in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413.584.9032 x105 or visit www.aomtheatre.com.

Mar 11

Piti Theatre’s 9th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, 3/11 starting with pancakes at 11 am! Spring forward with Piti’s celebration of spring, sap, and performance at Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, 53 Main St.. Award winning Sandglass Theater headlines the Festival at 3:45 pm with their puppets-under- an-umbrella tale «Punschi». Piti’s international touring musical «To Bee or Not to Bee» is at 2:30 and join us for pancakes, syrups, skits, and a CD release party from 11 – 2:30. Plus, free Real Pickles, Red Sox raffle, and more! Tix: $12/$10 students & seniors/$5 children at ptco.org/syrup or 1-800- 838-3006 (no additional fees!). Puppet workshop registration: info@ptco.org, 413-339–4569.

Jun 11-Aug 3

Amherst Montessori’s Summer Discovery offers playful adventures tailored to children ages 6 months to 12 years. Preschool/kindergarten children will have so much fun jumping through sprinklers, playing outside, and exploring two-week themes that include Gardening, Insects & Wildlife, Building & Creating, and Cooking. Infants/toddlers ages 3 and below will love AMS’s nurturing environment with lots of outdoor play, songs & movement, water play, and sensory exploration, all with emphasis on building independence. The amazing Michelle Risch leads three weeks of Lego building and creativity with thousands of Legos for Elementary children to build wherever their imagination takes them. Varying schedules to meet the needs of working families. For more information, contact sthompson@amherstmontessori.org.

Jun 18 – Aug 31

Our Place Summer School in Northampton gets kids off the screen and into the green, Jun 18-Aug 31. For 5 days campers ages 5-14 hike, climb, wade, and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Students go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! For more info: 413-320-0522; info@biocitizen.org; biocitizen.org.

Jun 25 – Aug 17

For over 40 years Montessori School of Northampton has offered exciting and engaging summer programs for children in the tradition of Italian educator Maria Montessori. Located near downtown Northampton, Route 9 and I-91, they offer 8 weeks of programming starting at 18 months old up to 8th grade, Jun 25-Aug 17. The Toddler program will have half and full day options available, with a strong teacher/student ratio. Their Children’s House (pre/K) theme based programs also have half and full day options. For elementary and middle school students they offer Film & Videography, LEGO Robotics, Advanced Painting Technique, Daytrippers, LEGO STEM Challenge, Graphic Novel & Comic Book Art, Outdoor Wilderness Adventures, Mad Science programs, and Digital Animation presented by Holyoke Codes. For more info: 413-563-4645; summer@northamptonmontessori.org; www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Jun 27 – Aug 12

Rockin’ the Summer 2018. The Institute for the Musical Art’s residential music programs give girls access to top-notch facilities & instruments, to veteran professional musicians & teachers, and musical exploration & collaboration. Explore Rock ‘n Roll (June 27–Jul 1; Aug 15-19) offers girls 9-12 opportunity to explore instruments, to begin writing songs, and to participate in a concert. Rock ‘n Roll Performance (Jul 6-15; Jul 20-29) offers girls 13-19 an opportunity to speak their truth through the medium of rock ‘n roll, gain confidence in performance abilities, improve musicianship, and develop collaborative leadership skills. Studio Recording & Production (Aug 2-12) offers hands-on studio recording seminar for women 16-21 who are ready to record their work and/or interested in engineering. More info: 413-268-3074; info@ima.org; www.ima.org.

July 9-27

Rock On is a three week music program for youth held annually at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA. Rock On welcomes all levels and ages and offers training for voice, guitar, bass, drums, piano, horns and winds. Workshops include songwriting, recording and music production, rapping, band coaching, and large ensemble rehearsals in classic rock and jazz. Friday performances are held in the Boland Theatre in the Koussevitzky Arts Center. Rock On students also perform off campus at open mics, Pittsfield’s downtown 3rd Thursday celebrations, and in partnership with regional theater and performing arts organizations. With an emphasis on mentoring through music, Rock On offers a nurturing environment for kids to learn from a professional faculty while playing in bands and making friends and memories for a lifetime. For more information, call 413-329-2280 or email rockonworkshopma@gmail.com.

Jul 16 – Aug 17

Dancers of all ages can enroll in Massachusetts Academy of Ballet Summer Camp sessions, from July 16 – August 17. The Pre-Ballet Workshop (July 16-20) is geared for ages 5-8 and teaches primary ballet with improvisation, acting games and storytelling. Intensives for older and more experienced dancers include pointe, pas de deux, repertory, modern, jazz, and yoga. Adult open classes also available. Located in Open Square, part of Holyoke‘s Innovation District, MAB studios feature state-of-the-art sprung floors, a dressing room, and reception area. All MAB classes emphasize classical ballet technique, musicality, artistry, and creativity. For more information, email rflachs@massacademyofballet.com or call 413-536-6200.

Add your class

Hilltown Families has put together an After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory of classes and programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners and our directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education. — Have a class or program you’d like to include in our directory? Click here to find out how to have it added. New and updated opportunities are added throughout the year.

Add your school

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
March 3rd – 9th, 2018

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, March 3, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, to hear this weekend’s Sheep Shearing & Maple Syrup Episode! The moment that we have been waiting for all winter is here: Sugar Season! The ground is thawing, and the sap is running. Maple sugaring is everywhere, giving great reason to get out with your family to sing about all things maple! Along with sugar season comes the shearing of the sheep. Two seasonal markers of the coming of spring in the northeastern region of the United States. In this week’s episode, learn songs not only about maple syrup but sheep shearing and spring traditions in New England. — Download Hilltown Families Season: March & April issue of Learning Ahead to discover more about the seasonal markers that connect us to place in Western MA. 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, March 3, 8:30am-2pm
LIVING HISTORY/MAPLE SYRUP
As the snow melts and mud season comes upon us, it’s time to indulge in one of our region’s most unique and delicious traditions: maple syrup! In 1824, Western Massachusetts native and foundational American Romantic poet William Cullen Bryant wrote: “The groves were God’s first temples.” Who among us has not felt a touch of the sentiment expressed in those words? The maple groves at Bryant’s boyhood home are more than two hundred years old, so he may very well have been thinking of those trees when he wrote that line. Come experience Maple Days at the Bryant Homestead and learn all about the history of maple syrup production, William Cullen Bryant, and homesteading in 19th century New England. This event features a pancake breakfast, house tours, boiling demonstrations, and more. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA ($)

Saturday, March 3, 9am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/DR SEUSS
Legend has it that Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, came up with the idea for his first children’s book, And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, while trying to distract himself from being seasick during an ocean voyage. Even though the book was allegedly rejected by dozens of publishers, when it was finally published it launched the career of this local legend, which ultimately spanned over 70 years and 60 books. Come celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 114th birthday party at the Seuss Museum! Enjoy a breakfast of green eggs and ham, attend a wacky and fun fashion show, and watch a puppet show. Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA (FREE W/ MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, March 3, 10am-12pm
OPEN HOUSE
Looking for a thoughtful approach to education? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Give your child the foundation for engaged learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 3rd. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All are welcome. Applications accepted for the 2018-19 school year. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Saturday, March 3, 10am-4pm
AEROSPACE HISTORY/STEM/WOMEN IN HISTORY
The New England Air Museum will hold its annual Women Take Flight event on Saturday in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Families are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, hands-on activities, & lectures from special guest speakers. Discover the history of women in aerospace through the museum’s collection of over 100 historic aircrafts. Meet local women pilots, engineers, & industry professionals. Participate in hands-on STEM activities. Climb-aboard and experience historic aircrafts & flight simulators. For more info & the full schedule of events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. Located in Windsor Locks, CT adjacent to Bradley International Airport.

Saturday, March 3, 10am-4pm
HORTICULTURE/HISTORY
In 1554, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire sent a handful of tulip bulbs to Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. Who could have guessed that this simple act would lead to the world’s first ever recorded economic bubble? It’s hard to say what caused the initial spike in tulip popularity in Europe and especially Holland but it has been speculated that the vibrant colors of the tulip petals were unlike any other European flower in its hue and intensity. In any case, the popularity of tulips grew and grew over the years. The Netherlands, the world leading economic power in the 17th century, was hit hardest by what would later be called ‘tulipmania.’ By 1634, the tulip industry had been opened up to market speculation and in 1636, the Dutch economy was utterly dominated by the humble tulip. Single tulip bulbs were being sold for 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsperson. In one instance, a single bulb was traded for 12 acres of land. Massive fortunes were made overnight. One famous case recounts how a sailor, mistaking a tulip bulb for an onion, promptly popped it in his mouth and was chased through the marketplace and eventually jailed for eating the tulip, which could have financially supported the entire family of the merchant it belonged to for a year. Then, as quickly as it started, the tulip craze vanished. In February 1637 the price of tulips collapsed and the entire industry fell apart. Modern economists have studied this bizarre episode as an example of the boom-and-bust or speculative bubble phenomenon. Come check out tulips and see what all the fuss was about at the beloved annual Spring Bulb Show at Smith College. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 16 College Lane, Northampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, March 3, 10:30-11:30am
CHILDREN’S CONCERT/BALLET
Born in 1835, Camille Saint-Saens is a unique figure in the history of 19th century classical music. During his career that spanned almost a century, Saint-Saens remained true to the conventional musical structures of earlier composers. Because of this he was often accused of being a reactionary. Nevertheless, despite refusing to participate in many of the new musical trends, Saint-Saens remains one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. Maurice Ravel, one of the leading figures of the impressionist movement in music and a student of Saint-Saens, considered him a genius. Attend this ballet adaptation of the folktale “the Little Mermaid,” performed by the Pioneer Valley Ballet, featuring music by Saint-Saens. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 3, 2pm
PROGRAMMING/HACKATHON
If you love coding, you won’t want to miss HackAmherst’s first hackathon. The word ‘hack’ in ‘hackathon’ refers to hacking in the sense of ‘exploratory programming,’ rather than the more commonly used sense of the term as in cyber crime. A hackathon is a large group programming event, where coders come together for an intensive collaboration, often ending in the creation of a usable program. Many popular apps and programs have been the result of hackathons! O’Connor Commons. 3 Mead Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 3, 2-3:30pm
POTTERY/SKILLSHARING
While most ancient pottery was produced by rolling clay into long strings and then smoothing them together into a shape, early versions of a pottery wheel were being used around 4500 BCE, which were turned by the hand or foot. By 3000 BCE in Sumeria, a part of Mesopotamia, potters were using a version of the modern pottery wheel, which was designed to utilize the energy generated by a heavy spinning stone wheel. This developments allowed craftspeople to produce pottery much quicker and more efficiently. If you have always wanted to learn how to throw clay on a pottery wheel, this is the event for you! The Pied Potter is holding a special pottery demonstration, in which he will demonstrate several techniques. Afterwards, participants will have the opportunity to create their own pots! Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 3, 3:30-5pm
LITERARY STUDIES/POSTCOLONIALISM
Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o has been one of the world’s foremost postcolonial voices for more than five decades. Born as James Thiong’o in 1938 under British Colonial rule, his brother fought against the British in the ill-fated Mau Mau War of 1952, when Kikuyu and other Kenyan tribes unsuccessfully fought for independence. The rebellion paved the way for Kenyan independence, however, which was granted in 1963. The history of the Kenyan struggle for independence and the legacy of the Mau Maus feature heavily in Thiong’o’s early novels and while he was imprisoned in 1977 for his political activism, he made the decision to renounce English, changed his name to Ngugi and began to write in his native Gikuyu language. While in prison, he wrote the first modern novel in Gikuyu, on prison-issued toilet paper. Thiong’o’s seminal 1986 work of postcolonial theory Decolonising the Mind urged African writers to write in their native languages as a key element in the process of decolonisation. Thiong’o is widely considered to be a likely future recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. As part of Amherst College’s 2018 LitFest, come hear Ngugi wa Thiong’o give a reading from his most recent novel. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of the greatest living writers speak! Johnson Chapel. Amherst College. 220 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 3, 4-7pm
MYCOLOGY/POTLUCK
Mushrooms have always been mysterious organisms. In 1552, pioneering German botanist Hieronymous Bock wrote: “Fungi and truffles are neither herbs, nor roots, nor flowers, nor seeds, but merely the superfluous moisture or earth, of trees, or rotten wood, and of other rotting things.” Even today, scientists are still learning new things about how these organisms play a vital role in the global carbon cycle, by breaking down complex biomolecules. If you are passionate about mushrooms, you won’t want to miss the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association winter potluck. Founded in 2013, the PVMA is committed to teaching people about both edible and poisonous mushrooms and promoting appreciation for the vast and beautiful fungal kingdom through workshops, lectures, guided mushroom walks, and more. Come meet new people, enjoy tasty food, and play mushroom-inspired games. 441 Kennedy Road, Leeds, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 3, 7:30-10pm
ORCHESTRA/SCIENCE FICTION
Are you a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek? Do you also love orchestra music? If so, this is the event you have been waiting for! The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is performing an evening of music from both the Star Wars and Star Trek series. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected John Williams 1977 soundtrack to Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time! Come hear these beloved science fiction soundtracks like never before, conducted by self-professed science fiction fanatic Kevin Rhodes. Springfield Symphony Orchestra. 1441 Main Street, Springfield, MA ($$)

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, March 4, 11am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia is so valuable because anyone can edit it and add to the content. As a tool for self-directed learners, Wikipedia is incredibly useful because it is made ‘by the people, for the people.’ In honor of Women’s History Month, the Clark Art Institute is organizing a special ‘edit-a-thon,’ adding content to Wikipedia’s entries on topics related to art and feminism. Instructors will be there to teach would-be editors how to add and edit content on Wikipedia. All you need to do is sign up for a Wikipedia account and bring along a laptop. For more information please visit Clark Art Institute. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, March 4, 1-3:30pm
HORTICULTURE/SKILLSHARING
Grafting is the ancient art of binding two plants together so that they can both continue to grow. This practice is most often used in producing hardy fruit trees. The American sculptor Sam Van Aken has taken this practice to extremes with his “Tree of 40 Fruit” series, in which a single tree bears 40 different types of fruit that ripen in sequence from July to October. The tree produces almonds, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, and 35 other varieties of fruit! Learn more about grafting at the Hilltown Winter Scion Swap. Expert from local orchards will be discussing grafting practices and offering tips on how to get the most from your trees. Beginners as well as advanced grafters are welcome. Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street, Cummington, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, March 4, 4-6pm
FOLK MUSIC/CENTRAL ASIA
In a land famous for its epics and heroes, the story of the warrior maiden Gulaim and her forty women warriors and how they defended the people from Eastern invaders is still told among the bards and poets of the Central Asian steppes. This live adaptation of the story, by Uzbek filmmaker Saodat Ismailova, combines traditional folk music and video footage. Of the production, Ismailova writes “for me this project celebrates the spiritual dimension of women and their ability to become the driving force of a civilization.” The show will be followed by a meet and greet with the artists and musicians. UMass Bowker Auditorium. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA ($)

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, March 5, 6pm
JUGGLING/PHYSICS
You might be surprised to learn that juggling has existed since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs! A tomb from 1781 BCE is illustrated with depictions of acrobats juggling. Additionally, evidence shows that this practice was common among ancient cultures all around the world. The ancient Chinese were even said to practice juggling during battle. In 1768, Philip Astley, the son of a cabinet maker, called his trick horse riding show a ‘circus’ because he rode in a circle. This was the birth of the circus. Astley quickly added other acts to the show for variety, including clowns and jugglers. Ever since then juggling and circuses have gone hand-in-hand. In modern times, mathematicians have used juggling as a way of testing hypotheses in physics. If you are interested in learning to juggle, come check out this Juggling Lab! SHOW Circus Studio. 150 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA ($)

Monday, March 5, 7pm
LECTURE/URBANIZATION
In 1990, only 26 percent of the Chinese population lived in cities. As of 2016, that number has increased to 57 percent. By 2025, it is expected that the number will grow to 70 percent. Needless to say, the rate of urbanization in China is much higher than other parts of the globe. As China and the world move steadily closer to an urbanized humanity, it is important to reflect on the implications of these changes. For a species that has lived the vast majority of its history in natural and rural environments, how will we adapt to the challenges of living in a world of high rise apartment complex and landscapes of endless urban sprawl? Timothy Oakes, professor of Geography and director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will be discussing China’s urban growth and larger global trends in this lecture. Bard College at Simon’s Rock. 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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 6, 6:30pm
BOOK CLUB/LITERARY STUDIES
Emily Ruskovitch’s 2017 novel Idaho will likely remind readers of Marilynne Robinson’s 1980 novel Housekeeping, named one of the 100 greatest novels of all time by “The Guardian.” Both novels emphasize the dramatic and evocative Idaho landscape. A wild, bleak environment that seeps into the souls of its inhabitants. Like Housekeeping, the plot of Idaho begins with an act of shocking and tragic family violence. For Ann, the central character of Idaho, her attempts to understand an unthinkable act ultimately lead to a fundamental truth: there are no answers that can completely explain why things happen, no matter how much we want them to. Come discuss haunting and compelling novel with members of the community and enjoy a bite to eat. For more information visit Read Around Town Book Club. Bertucci Restaurant. The Shops at Longmeadow. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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 7, 6:30-8:30pm
FILM SCREENING/BICYCLE HISTORY
Born in 1904, Harry Watson was the first New Zealander ever to compete in the Tour de France. Teaming up with three Australians in 1928, they were first English-speaking team in the history of the race. At the time the race was a grueling 3,341 miles over dirt roads, using extremely heavy fixed wheel bicycles, and Watson’s team was very inexperienced, never having raced in Europe at all. The French media predicted the team would drop out of the race almost immediately. As it turned out, the team finished the race and Watson placed 2nd overall. In 2013, Phil Keoghan honored the memory of Watson and the Australian team by riding the route himself, using a period bicycle. The film “Le Ride” captures this incredible experience, mixed with archival historical footage from the original 1928 race. Cinemark at Hampshire Mall. 367 Russell Street, Hadley, MA ($)

Wednesday, March 7, 10am-6pm
LOCAL HISTORY/BOOKSTORE
The Montague Bookmill is one of our area’s greatest hidden treasures! The building complex, which currently is home to a used bookstore, a charming cafe, a restaurant, used record store, and art studios, was originally built as a gristmill in 1832. Local families would come by horse and buggy to the mill for their wheat flour, ground on site by two massive stone grinding wheels, which are still located there. In the 1930s the building was converted into a machine factory, powered by the adjacent dam on the Sawmill River. In 1987, when the machine factory relocated, the building was purchased and turned into a bookstore and the Bookmill has been locally owned ever since. Browse a wide selection of used books, enjoy a delicious nitro brewed iced coffee, and gaze out at the beautiful waterfalls and river. For more information about The Bookmill, please visit The Montague Bookmill. The Bookmill. 440 Old Greenfield Road, Montague, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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 8, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/SELF DIRECTED LEARNING
In the 19th century, children were an important part of the domestic workforce. Household chores, farm work, cooking, making clothes, and cleaning were all part of the work children were expected to help out with. Come enjoy this special home school day at Old Sturbridge Village, full of fun and educational workshops for children, focusing on 19th century ‘chores.’ Lean to knit, make your own woodblock for printing, even become a bookbinding apprentice! For more information and a full list of workshops being offered, please visit Old Sturbridge Village. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA ($)

Thursday, March 8
THEATER/MUSIC
The Academy of Music Theatre and Academy Youth Productions presents Annie, Jr. on March 8th & 9th at 6:30PM. Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to- nothing start in 1930s New York City. Sponsored by Northampton Cooperative Bank. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main Street in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413.584.9032 x105 or visit www.aomtheatre.com.

Thursday, March 8, 12-1pm
TREE IDENTIFICATION/NATURE STUDIES
Scientists and researchers are learning more and more about how beneficial it is to be exposed to trees. As it turns out, trees emit certain chemicals that have numerous health benefits. Research shows that these chemical substances can significantly lower blood pressure among other mental and physical health benefits. The benefits of spending time with trees doesn’t only happen in the forest. In urban environments where there are trees, you can experience the same kind of healing. Come spend some time with the trees in downtown Pittsfield and learn about different species with this Tree Walk. 37 North Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, March 8, 12-1:30pm
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH
Beginning in New York City in 1909, International Women’s Day commemorates the history of the women’s rights movements, and its continuing struggles. Over the years, March 8th, International Women’s Day has become a hugely important date in struggles for freedom and justice. On March 8th, 1917 in Saint Petersburg, then the capital of the Russian Empire, a strike by female textile workers marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution. According to Leon Trotsky, one of the founders of the Soviet Union, while it was known that the textile workers were planning a strike, nobody knew that this event would kick off the momentous events which followed. Trotsky wrote that on that day “textile workers left their work in several factories and sent delegates to ask for support of the strike… which led to mass strike… all went out into the streets.” This event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the history of the women’s rights movement. For more information visit International Women’s Day March. Pulaski Park, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, March 8, 6pm
SCIENCE CAFE/ENTYMOLOGY
The Puritan Tiger Beetle is an aggressive predatory beetle that is only found in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and in Hadley, Massachusetts along the banks of the Connecticut River. The Tiger Beetle’s habitat is confined to the sand and clay deposits along the river, left there by the glacial lakes that formed during the last ice age. This species is endangered and currently faces many threats. If this species is to be saved from extinction we have to act fast. Come learn all about the Puritan Tiger Beetle population in our area at the OEB Science Cafe. The Nacul Center. 592 Main Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, March 8, 6:30-10pm
FILM FESTIVAL/NATURE STUDIES
In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law, protecting over 200 rivers from development. This law also protects rivers from dams, of which there are currently 75,000 nationwide modifying rivers and watersheds. In honor of the 50 year anniversary of this law, The Wild and Scenic Film Festival is celebrating the beauty of rivers and our natural environment. Some of the topics covered by these films include salmon migration, the history of the natural parks, the story of an Inuit father and son, and so much more. Westfield State University. Westfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

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Friday, March 9, 2018

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 9, 4-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES
Come enjoy an afternoon of art and hands-on art making for all ages inspired by works on display in the galleries at Smith College Museum of Art. This session of Free Second Friday will focus on Itty Bitty Art. Teeny tiny materials will be available to make a teeny tiny painting, collage, or other kind of artwork. Find the smallest piece of art in the museum and use it as the basis for your own itty bitty masterpiece! For more information visit Smith College Free Second Friday. Smith College Museum of Art. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Friday, March 9
THEATER/MUSIC
The Academy of Music Theatre and Academy Youth Productions presents Annie, Jr. on March 8th & 9th at 6:30PM. Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to- nothing start in 1930s New York City. Sponsored by Northampton Cooperative Bank. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main Street in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413.584.9032 x105 or visit www.aomtheatre.com.

Friday, March 9, 8-10pm
WORLD MUSIC/CONCERT
Born in the town of Ladysmith, South Africa, Joseph Shabalala had a series of dreams in 1964. In those dreams, Shabalala heard the beautiful harmonies of Isicathamiya music, a 20th century genre, thought to be a mixture of traditional Zulu music with American ragtime music, which became very popular following a series of tours in South Africa in the 1860s. Based on these dreams, Shabalala founded the male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group entered local Isicathamiya competitions and eventually became so dominant that they were forbidden from entering the competitions. The word ‘mambazo,’ in fact means ‘axe,’ reflecting how the band regularly ‘chopped down’ their competition. After their collaboration with Paul Simon on the groundbreaking 1986 album Graceland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo became known and loved all over the world. The group has won five Grammy awards and numerous other awards around the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the most influence bands in contemporary world music right here in Pittsfield! For more information visit Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Colonial Theatre. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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