Suggested Events for April 14th – 20th, 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 FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

April 14 – May 6

Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour their greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet their merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

April 21

On April 21st, you’re invite you to downtown Amherst to crawl and walk in celebration of spring! A Chalk Walk will decorate the sidewalks of downtown Amherst with images of daffodils and awakened nature and perhaps a few lines of poetry! Chalk donated by TD Bank will be available at the Amherst BID tent at the Amherst Farmers’ Market (opening day!) from 10 am – 1:30 pm, and at the Visitors Information Center at 35 South Pleasant Street from 1:30 – 4 pm. A limited supply of maps of already-created art by amazing local artists will be available. If you feel that a delicious confection will help your creative process, consider purchasing a golden ticket to the Dessert Crawl taking place from 1-4 pm. This sweet benefit helps the nonprofit global literacy group, Reader to Reader and features 10 desserts for $10. Tickets are available at A.J. Hastings and a limited supply will be available at the Visitors Information Center on April 21st.

Jun 4 – Aug 20

Live Animation and Drawing Classes Taught by a Former Disney Animator! Chad Stewart, former Disney animator and veteran home school Dad, offers a 12 week, live – online Animation & Drawing Course for ages 11-18. Each assignment is given a review by a professional animator with feedback for the individual learning of each student! They are taking registrations now for the Summer Session, beginning June 4th! Hold your spot with a $50 registration fee. Their live and recorded classes – with grading – are $300. They also have a 2018 Fall Session starting Sept 17th; refer to the website for more information and to register.

Jun 18-Aug 17

People can’t fly, but at the New England Center for Circus Arts they do. The impossible becomes possible – the person who is shy opens, the one who was introvert expresses, the child who is weak becomes powerful, the teen who is awkward finds grace. Find your strength. Their week long circus skills camps, in America’s newest custom circus trapezium, offer top-notch instruction in a noncompetitive environment that teaches confidence, communication skills, perseverance, self determination, and pride, as well as how to be a fabulous acrobat, aerialist, juggler or clown. Students work in groups by age and ability for the best learning experience and for our youngest students we include art activities and quiet time suited to their learning needs. Circus transforms! Come play! For more information, contact: 802-254-9780, info@necenterforcircusarts.org, www.necenterforcircusarts.org

Jun 25-Jul 28

Learn the sport of rowing this summer with Northampton Community Rowing, offering a full range of summer rowing programs for kids & adults at their newly constructed facility on the Connecticut River in Northampton. The experienced and trained staff provide instruction for several youth rowing programs including multiple one week learn to row & learn to scull programs. Youth learn to row programs are open to anyone 14-18 years old. No experience is necessary. Not sure if this is for you? Try one of their Learn to Row Days. A full schedule of adult summer learn to row programs are also available. Youth Learn To Row Program Dates: June 25-30, July 9-14, July 16-21. Learn to Scull Program Date: July 23-28. 413-923-2923. info@hampcrew.com.

Jul 16-27

Hampshire College Summer Academic Programs is accepting applications for summer 2018. Students who will be high school juniors and seniors in fall 2018 are encouraged to apply and experience Hampshire College, located in Amherst. Get a sense of Hampshire’s innovative approach to learning and what life is like on Hampshire’s campus and in the classroom during the following two-week precollege programs, July 16-27: Blacksmithing, Jewelry Design, and Metal Fabrication; Design for a Better World; Immersion Spanish; Inside the Cell; Making Music for Film, Games, & Other Media; Social Media Literacy; The Craft of Documentary; The Science of Food; and Young Feminist Collaborative. Apply by Friday, April 13, 2018 to receive a 10% tuition discount. For more info: 413-559-6843; summer@hampshire.edu; precollege.hampshire.edu.

A preschool experience that savors childhood. Nature walks by woods and stream, days of music and song, stomping in puddles, nourishing, shared meals: these are parts of the young child’s daily rhythm at The Hartsbrook School. Led by experienced, nurturing teachers, the early childhood program supports imagination and joyful play. Give your child the foundation for future learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. The Hartsbrook School has limited openings for children 2.9 to 5 years old for the 2018-19 school year. Come take a tour of the school and experience our early childhood program for yourself. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908. For more information: www.hartsbrook.org

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 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.

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
April 14th – 20th, 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, April 14, 2018

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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. Listen to the modern “Pioneers of Sound!with Guest DJ, Elska as she takes us on a sonic journey into the world of early electronic music, synthesizers, micro-beats, bells, and more. Broadcasting from her Arctic island home, Elska teaches us about the origins of the most innovative sounds in pop music, how they were made, and then she plays us fascinating examples from pop music, art music, classical and some music that defies classification all together. Get ready for a true sonic journey with “Pioneers of Sound!” 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, April 14
ANIMAL STUDIES/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour their greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet their merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Saturday, April 14, 10am-4pm
SUSTAINABILITY FESTIVAL
With Earth Day right around the corner, this is the perfect time to celebrate sustainability and reflect on ways that we can work towards this goal both as individuals and community members. As profound as the ecological challenges we face are, there are actions we can take to address them and more and more people are working to develop creative approaches to this issue, from engineers to farmers and artists. Come enjoy a day of fun and learning at the 9th annual Amherst Sustainability Festival! With more than one hundred vendors, participants will have the opportunity to learn all about sustainable energy, energy efficient products, as well as the work of advocacy groups. And of course, there will be lots of craftspeople and artisans sharing their creations. Amherst Town Common. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 14, 10am-4pm
REVOLUTIONARY WAR/LIVING HISTORY
In 1837, American Transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote published his “Concord Hymn,” memorializing the earliest moments of the American Revolutionary War. In the first stanza, Emerson writes, “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world.” The phrase “the shot heard round the world” has been evoked ever since to commemorate this historic moment. While it is, of course, impossible to pinpoint when the first shot of the war occurred, Patriots Day celebrates the battle of Concord, the first major battle of the war. This Saturday, in honor of Patriots Day, visitors can enjoy a day of historical reenactment at Historic Deerfield, including crafts, historical activities, music, and a muster. Historic Deerfield. 80 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, April 14, 10am
CHILDREN’S CONCERT
Come out for a morning of exciting music and support a great cause. Local family music supergroup In the Nick of Time has been performing all over the country for the last twenty years, blending elements of rock, reggae, folk, and funk. This rousing concert, to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center, is sure to be a hit with families! The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA ($)

Saturday, April 14, 11am-2pm
ART STUDIES/SLOW ART
Have you ever been at a museum and had the experience of utterly losing yourself within a work of art? Gazing at it intently, getting deeper and deeper into the details of it and finding something inside of yourself that maybe you didn’t know was there. The greatest power of art is that it enables us to see within ourselves and speaks to us in an intuitive language that supersedes time and place. The sad truth, however, is that the museum visitors only spend an average of 10 seconds looking at each piece. There is a sense of pressure to see everything, which ultimately deprives people of the incredible experience of really immersing themselves in a piece of art. Letting it impact them, learning from it, perhaps even letting it change them. Come experience International Slow Art Day at MASS MoCA! A series of guided exercises and tours will give participants opportunities and strategies for experiencing art in a slower, more reflective context. Following these activities, participants can enjoy a cup of coffee together and discuss their experiences. MASS MoCA. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, April 14, 11am-2pm
MYCOLOGY/WORKSHOP
Shiitake mushrooms have been cultivated by human beings since at least the 13th century. Until the 1980s, shiitake cultivation in Japan was still done according to ancient traditional methods, by chopping portions of the Shii tree, a relative of the beech and oak. Prized for their culinary and medicinal properties, shiitake now constitute around 25 percent of global mushroom production. If you are a fan of this wonderful fungus, this is the event for you! Local mycologist Paul Lagreze will be demonstrating inoculation techniques for shiitake spores in hardwood logs. And as a bonus, each participant will get to take home a shiitake log for themselves! 65 Foundry Village Road, Colrain, MA ($$)

Saturday, April 14, 12pm-2pm
INDIGENOUS STUDIES/LANDCAPE
For thousands of years, the indigenous people of the North East have built stone piles, similar to the Gaelic cairns, in a variety of ceremonial contexts. According to the United Southern and Eastern Tribes, an intertribal organization of American Indians, these ceremonial stone landscapes were constructed as a way “to sustain the people’s reliance on Mother Earth and the spirit energies of balance and harmony.” These structures vary in size from small to massive and feature a variety of rows and stacks. Join Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett Indian Tribe for discussion of these important monuments, their significance to local indigenous communities, and the dire need to conserve them. Pelham Library. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 14, 12-4pm
SUSTAINABILITY/SKILLSHARING
Instead of throwing away old broken items learn how to fix them yourself with assistance from knowledgeable members of the community! An age-old tradition, more and more community repair events are popping up around the country. While most people in our society are accustomed to just throwing out things when they stop working and buying a replacement, communities have always come together to conserve their resources by learning to fix things. It’s amazing how many things can be fixed for free, with just a little know-how. So come on down to the Community RePair, fix something that was broken, learn some new skills, and connect with people in your community. Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 14, 12:30-1:30pm
LITERARY STUDIES/AUTHOR DISCUSSION
Local literary celebrity Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth is one of the most beloved children’s novels of the twentieth century, even drawing comparisons from some critics to The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Juster’s quirky and lovable story is perfectly matched by Jules Feiffer’s illustrations and the relationship between these two friends is as hilarious and off-beat as the book itself. When they first met in New York City, some years before the 1961 publication of The Phantom Tollbooth, Juster had recently founded the “Garibaldi Society,” a secret society, complete with membership forms and stylized logo, that seemingly existed for no other purpose than to reject anyone who applied for membership. Juster had come up with this idea and many other practical jokes while trying to fight boredom as a member of the Navy, from which he was discharged shortly after. Juster and Feiffer became roommates and Feiffer quickly discovered himself to be the victim of many of Juster’s jokes and pranks. Come learn all about the history of this friendship and legendary collaboration at this special conversation with Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer themselves. This is sure to be a fascinating and hilarious event! The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, April 14, 5-7pm
MYCOLOGY/COMMUNITY MEAL
Radical Mycology is a grassroots movement, founded in 2006 by writer Peter McCoy, devoted to promoting mushrooms as a food source, medicine, and vital element of ecological health. While most amateur and professional mycologist focus on identifying and eating mushrooms, Radical Mycology takes this relationship a step further and seeks to recreate the ancient bond that has existed throughout human history between us as the fungal world. As a philosophical approach, Radical Mycology recognizes that we have much to learn from fungi and celebrates the role of mushrooms in the ecosystem in terms of bioremediation, which refers to the ability of fungi to actually absorb and break down toxins and other harmful pollutants. This means that mushrooms can actually help to restore ecosystems that have been heavily damaged by human activity. The Massachusetts chapter of Radical Mycology is hosting a free community dinner for anyone who is interested in learning more about growing mushrooms and the fascinating and important roles they play in the environment. For more information and address, please contact Radical Mycology Dinner. Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

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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, April 15, 1-3pm
SOCIALISM/READING GROUP
Professor David Harvey is one of the world’s leading academic scholars in the field of urban geography and Marxist political economy. In particular, Harvey has become famous for his class at the City University of New York on Marx’s foundational two volume work Capital. The youtube recordings of Harvey’s analysis of this notoriously dense text have become hugely popular and spawned two books of commentary by Harvey. Originally published in 2014, Harvey’s Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism discusses the ways that build-in internal contradiction have both made capitalism resilient and adaptable and, paradoxically, destined for global collapse. Anyone with an interest in understanding the nature of global capitalism and its flaws won’t want to miss the Pioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of America’s six-week reading group of Harvey’s Seventeen Contradictions. Lilly Library. 19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 15, 2-3:30pm
ECOLOGY/FORESTRY
While forests currently cover roughly 60 percent of the state of Massachusetts, less than 1,500 acres of those forests are defined as “old growth,” which is to say, forests that show little to no signs of human interference and contain trees that are more than 50 percent of the maximum age of that particular species. In the town of Mount Washington there is a 200 year old pitch pine and 400 year old trees can be found in Stockbridge and along the Mohawk Trail in Franklin County. The preservation of Massachusetts’ forests is absolutely vital to the ecological health of the region and the sacred traditions of indigenous communities. If you are interested in learning more about the particular forest preservation concerns in Massachusetts, you won’t want to miss this discussion with local forest conservationist Michael Kellet. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 15, 2-4pm
WORLD CIRCUS DAY/OPEN HOUSE
Come celebrate World Circus Day and the 3rd anniversary of Berkcirque with an afternoon of circus fun! Berkcirque is dedicated to teaching young people athletic, creative, and social skills through circus arts. Learning these kinds of skills in a non-competitive, supportive environment is a great way to build self-confidence, self expression, trust, and physical fitness. Berkcirque offers classes on tumbling, clowning, juggling, and aerial arts. At this special open house visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the exciting classes offered at Berkcirque, meet the instructors, and even try out some simple circus techniques. Berkcirque. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 15, 4pm
FILM SCREENING/CHILDREN’S MARCH
Young people have always played a key role in the struggle for justice. Their passion and energy has been hugely influential in popular struggles throughout the world. The Oscar-winning 2004 film The Children’s March documents the role of children in the American Civil Rights Movement. This free screening of The Children’s March is inspired by the #neveragain movement, in support of the National School Walkout Protest planned for April 20th. As filmmaker Bobby Houston remarked, “We have the opportunity to again see the activism of children turn the tide of a political issue in America.” The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

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Monday, April 16, 2018

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Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, April 16, 10-11am
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/MUSIC STUDIES
Berkshire Museum is bringing families a weeks worth of fun, educational activities for young children hosted annually during April vacation week by The National Association of Education for Young Children. The activities and events during this program will focus on early learning. Mondays program will be all about music: children will have the opportunity to make their own rhythm instruments together and attend a sing along concert! For a complete list of activities at Berkshire Museum during vacation week, please visit Week of the Young Child at Berkshire Museum. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Monday, April 16, 11am-2pm
CHILDREN’S CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
This April vacation week, Look Memorial Park is offering different kid-friendly activities every day! It’s been a long winter and we have probably all been cooped up in the house for too long. So come enjoy what we can only hope will be lovely weather and check out concerts, clown shows, and visits from the firefighters. For more information and a complete list of events for the week, please visit April Staycation. Look Memorial Park. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA ($)

Monday, April 16, 6-7:15pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/PARENTING
Parenting and caregiving is an incredibly joyful and enriching act. But as all parents and caregivers know, it can also be very draining and challenging. As an amazing experience as it is, parenting and caregiving brings it own kinds of frustrations, stresses, and, above all, is exhausting. Come recharge your batteries at this support group for parents and caregivers, focusing on strategies and methods for mindfulness and nourishment for the body, mind, and spirit. Sunflower Yoga. 2 Main Street, Cummington, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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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, April 17, 10am
BUDDHISM/SAND MANDALA
Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas is are a beautiful and powerful representation of the belief that the material world is transitory. Over several days, Buddhist monks place grains of colored sand by hand to create an incredibly complex and detailed image of deities and spiritual geography. By using interwoven geometric shapes and different colors of sand, the mandala is meant to be a two dimensional representation of the entire cosmos. Some sand mandalas contain more the 700 deities and spirits. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the sand mandala custom is that when it is finished, the entire mandala is destroyed. If you would like to have the opportunity of witnessing this incredible act of artistic and spiritual devotion, please visit Healing the Earth: Mystical Arts of Tibet Sand Mandala to order tickets. Closing ceremony is already sold out! UMass Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, April 17, 2pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/SPRING BREAK
Looking for fun and interesting activities during April vacation week? Look no further! The Berkshire Athenaeum has got you covered. With four days worth of activities, there will be something for everybody. Tuesday’s program will feature a special butterfly presentation, where children can learn all about butterflies and made a cool butterfly shirt to take home afterwards. For more information and a complete list of the week’s activities, please visit Spring Break at the Athenaeum. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, April 17, 6:30-8pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/GASTROINTESTINAL HEALTH
We now know that the ecology of the digestive system is vital to overall health. From chronic diseases to depression and fatigue, gut bacteria plays an important role. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your health through gut bacteria, you won’t want to miss this free workshop on gastrointestinal health. Topics will include how to change your gut ecology through diet, probiotics, and lifestyle choices. River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, April 17, 7:30-10:30pm
CLASSICAL MUSIC/CONCERT
Neglected during his life, 19th century French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz’s final words are disputed but according to at least one source, as he died, he muttered: “well, at least now they will finally play my music.” Occasionally considered the heir to Beethoven, Berlioz is now certainly one of the most influential Romantic composers, particular as regards the development of the symphonic form. Even as late as the early 20th century, audiences and musicians failed to appreciate Berlioz’s genius and he was all too often dismissed as an eccentric anomaly. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Berlioz was critically re-evaluated, when a pair of composers decided to record his entire oeuvre as a way of bringing him greater recognition. Nowadays, thankfully, interest in Berlioz has surged, with some critics even going so far as to place him together with Bach and Beethoven, as one of the greatest composers of all time. Come enjoy an evening of symphonic music featuring Stravinsky and Berlioz. For more information please visit UMass Symphony Orchestra. UMass Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA ($)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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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, April 18, 8:45am-3pm
AGRICULTURE/GARDENING
What better way to spend a vacation than by learning about farming, tending to animals, and getting your hands dirty! The Hampshire College Farm is offering a special Farm and Garden program for children this April vacation. Spring means that baby lambs and baby chicks will be around and needing special attention and love. Participants will also have the opportunity to do some planting in the greenhouse, learn about sheep shearing, and lots more. Make sure to bring your work clothes! Hampshire College Farm. 793 West Street, Amherst, MA ($$$)

Wednesday, April 18, 6:30-8pm
AUTHOR TALK/BICYCLING
In 2011, Brian Phelps asked himself: “What have I done in my life to make a difference?” The answer led him on a 4,000 bicycle trip across North America on a bike from 1982 that he bought at a yard sale. He tells the story of this incredible journey of self-discovery in his book Fanny and Me. Come talk with Brian about his book and this amazing, inspiring experience at the Holyoke Public Library. Maybe you will find yourself inspired to ask yourself the same question, and as Brian suggests, you might be shocked by where the answers lead you! Holyoke Public Library. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

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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, April 19, 12-1pm
LITERARY STUDIES/LUNCH
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the authors greatest accomplishment and marks a key transition in the history of modern poetry. Many critics consider this poem to be the beginning of the Romantic period in poetry, emphasizing a shift inward and focusing on the inner life and passionate struggles for meaning in the individual. The poem’s powerful and heartbreaking descriptions of the emotional state of the mariner has resonated with readers for two hundred years. As critic Jerome McGann writes, “Like the Iliad or Paradise Lost or any great historical product, the Rime is a work of transhistorical rather than so-called universal significance.” This distinction suggests that the poem can be read in a great many distinct ways, depending on the historical moment of the reader. Come celebrate this poem and the career of Smith College professor Bill Oram, who will be retiring after this semester, at this discussion luncheon will professor Oram on The RIme of the Ancient Mariner. Lunch will be available to the first 20 attendees. Smith College English Department. 1 Chapin Way, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, April 19, 6pm
LOCAL HISTORY
The story of the Skinner family and Wisteriahurst is a great American tale of an immigrant who came to this country with nothing and was able to create a life for himself and his family, and achieved incredible success. At its peak, the William Skinner and Son manufacturing company employed thousands of workers at its mill in Holyoke, producing silk and satin, which was known and valued all over the world. The Skinner family home, Wisteriahurst still stands as a testament to the life and work of William Skinner and his family. Come learn all about this incredible story with Penni Martorell, curator of the Wisteriahurst Museum and city historian for the city of Holyoke. For more information, visit Wisteriahurst and the Skinner Family. Westhampton Public Library. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, April 19, 6-9pm
LOCAL HISTORY/COMMUNITY MEAL
The town of Shelburne was initially settled in 1756, as a part of the town of Deerfield. In 1768, the area was named “Shelburne,” after William Petty, Earl of Shelburne, an Irish nobleman who was Prime Minister of Great Britain during the final days of the American Revolutionary War and actually signed the peace treaty with the United States. Shelburne is rich in history and what better way to celebrate that long history than by attending the Shelburne Historical Society annual meeting and dinner! Enjoy a delicious meal and learn all about the history of our community. Shelburne-Buckland Community Center. 53 Main Street, Shelburne Falls, MA ($)

Thursday, April 19, 7-9pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
GoodWorks Coffee House will have “Date Night” duo singing live music April 19th 7-9p. GoodWorks Coffee House is a family owned coffee shop offering fair trade and locally sourced products. GoodWorks Coffee House believes that Chicopee residents, business professionals, students and surrounding neighbors deserve to enjoy the benefits of a local coffee shop. The owners, husband and wife duo Victor and Katie, chose the name GoodWorks Coffee House out of a passion to do good for their community. Part of “doing good” in the community is to open their doors to aspiring local artists such as musicians, poets, authors and painters where they can showcase their talents in the coffee house. Another “good work” is to serve complimentary coffee to local first responders once a month. They also hope to provide more employment opportunities to Chicopee residents in the future. 46 Center Street, Chicopee, MA ($)

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Friday, April 20, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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

Friday, April 20, 11:30am
PUPPET THEATER/APRIL VACATION EVENT
GoodWorks Coffee House will host a puppet show, featuring longtime friend of Hilltown Families, Scotty Swan, along with face painting, on April 20th, starting at 11:30am. GoodWorks Coffee House is a family owned coffee shop offering fair trade and locally sourced products. GoodWorks Coffee House believes that Chicopee residents, business professionals, students and surrounding neighbors deserve to enjoy the benefits of a local coffee shop. The owners, husband and wife duo Victor and Katie, chose the name GoodWorks Coffee House out of a passion to do good for their community. Part of “doing good” in the community is to open their doors to aspiring local artists such as musicians, poets, authors and painters where they can showcase their talents in the coffee house. Another “good work” is to serve complimentary coffee to local first responders once a month. They also hope to provide more employment opportunities to Chicopee residents in the future. 46 Center Street, Chicopee, MA ($)

Friday, April 20, 6-8pm
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP
As Nobel Prize winning German novelist Thomas Mann once put it: “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” One of the hardest parts of writing is that it is a solitary act. So much of the process involves being alone with our thoughts and words but, like most things, when you can share this process with others it is incredibly enriching. This free writers workshop will allow writers of all ages and backgrounds to write together, discuss the art of writing, share works, learn techniques to get the “juices flowing,” and get to know each other! Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop. 16 Main Street, Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

Friday, April 20, 7:30pm
THEATER/MUSICAL COMEDY
Moliere’s 1664 comedy Tartuffe gets a 21st century update in this performance of “Tar2f!” This adaptation of Moliere’s classic tale of moral hypocrisy uses an original musical score to accompany and punctuate the mischievousness of Tartuffe, a con man who disguises himself as a pious Christian in order to take advantage of a family and their riches. For more information and to order tickets, please visit Tar2f!. This show is most appropriate for children over 12. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. 289 Main Street, Greenfield, 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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