Suggested Events for January 28 – February 3, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“[Last year] was the first year my three year old participated in the Valentine’s Day swap & we had a blast making and receiving our cards in the mail. This site truly enhances what western Massachusetts is all about community and our great state!” – Summer Mikaitis (Pittsfield, MA)

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

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

Hilltown Families Events

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again! Deadline to sign-up is Wed. Feb 1st!

Saturday, February 4, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Open House:Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education – Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon in Amherst. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

Open House: Feb 4

The Campus School at Smith College. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 4, from 9:30am-11:30 am at the school on Prospect Street. Tour the school. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

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 info@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
January 28 – February 3, 2017

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Morning Summer Block Party for Kids!

Block Party for Kids - Flywheel

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton is holding our first ever outdoor summer block party for kids at Easthampton’s beautiful Millside Park, located just off the Easthampton Bike Trail.* Join families from across the region on Saturday, August 8 from 10am-12noon for a summer celebration that features dancing, a marionette performance and refreshments. This family event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend.  Read the rest of this entry »

Arts Enclaves Flourish in Easthampton

Easthampton City Arts Enriches Cultural Life of Western Mass Community

Western Massachusetts’ beauty has allowed the area to become somewhat of a haven for artists. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a Snap! Exhibit in Easthampton Captures Time

Anonymous Snapshots Found by Collectors Encourage Cultural Voyeurism
Sunday, Feb 1 – Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

In today’s tech-saturated world, it’s safe to assume that virtually every single photograph we see was likely taken (and uploaded to the web) only moments prior. We are accustomed to receiving instant updates, we expect constant contact, and we require visual documentation of unlikely experiences. With all this focus on the present, how often do we take time to think about, or look at, the past? Both jaw-droppingly unlikely and seemingly mundane moments throughout American culture have been documented by amateur and professional photographers over time. But what makes a photo valuable as a cultural or historical document? How does one draw the line between “just another family photo” and a particularly special shot? (And why is it necessary to create a hierarchy of photographs?) Read the rest of this entry »

Beat Winter Doldrums by Taking on a Second Skin!

Free Costume Workshops to Prepare for Fire and Ice: Wild at Heart Art Walk

This year’s Fire and Ice Art Walk Easthampton invites all to beat the winter doldrums by taking on a “second skin” in the form of animals, beasts, and creative creatures. The Fire and Ice: Wild at Heart Art Walk is inspired by such traditions as Fasnacht, where communities wear costumes meant to scare off old-man winter and wish for spring to near.

This Art Walk will include costume contests, performances, exhibitions and more. All are invited to make wearable art at workshops or elsewhere and join in festivities as part of Art Walk on February 14, 2015. Two upcoming free workshops include Wearable Arts Costume and Body Puppet: Read the rest of this entry »

Pancakes & Polka!

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a  ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA!

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton have revived the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series, a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, performances and diversions for kids. Hosting three music parties this winter, two more remain: February 8 (as part of Easthampton’s Fire & Ice Festival) and March 11, 2014.

FEBRUARY 8TH: The second of three installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party kicks off the Easthampton Fire and Ice Festival on Saturday, February 8th at 10am at Flywheel Arts Collective located in the old town hall in Easthampton (43 Main Street).  This event is $12 per family, or $6 per individual, and open to people of all ages.

Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the February 8th event features performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra.

“Getting families with children of all ages out and engaged in their community has it’s challenges in the winter,” says Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield.  “A Saturday morning music party with free pancakes and live music is sure to get families on their feet and dancing the winter blues away!”

Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series in 2013. Driven to continue the success of past Saturday morning activities at Flywheel, Smith says, “We started the Saturday Morning Music Party to provide families with an affordable, fun activity that was enjoyable for adults as well as kids. We hope that families from all over the Valley will attend.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.


This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel to Kick Off Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival!

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a  ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA!

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton have revived the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series, a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, performances and diversions for kids. Hosting three music parties this winter, two more remain: February 8 (as part of Easthampton’s Fire & Ice Festival) and March 11, 2014.

FEBRUARY 8TH: The second of three installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party kicks off the Easthampton Fire and Ice Festival on Saturday, February 8th at 10am at Flywheel Arts Collective located in the old town hall in Easthampton (43 Main Street).  This event is $12 per family, or $6 per individual, and open to people of all ages.

Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the February 8th event features performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra.

“Getting families with children of all ages out and engaged in their community has it’s challenges in the winter,” says Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield.  “A Saturday morning music party with free pancakes and live music is sure to get families on their feet and dancing the winter blues away!”

Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series in 2013. Driven to continue the success of past Saturday morning activities at Flywheel, Smith says, “We started the Saturday Morning Music Party to provide families with an affordable, fun activity that was enjoyable for adults as well as kids. We hope that families from all over the Valley will attend.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.


This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Tasty Top ❥ Ice Cream in the Valley

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 27, Tasty Top in Easthampton

Tasty Top in Easthampton, MA (Submitted photo).

While I have never made an exhaustive search nor done a scientific study, I am pretty confident that the following statement holds true: Tasty Top in Easthampton has the best soft serve ice cream in the Pioneer Valley. Please comment below if you disagree with the better option—and a description of why it’s better.

In my humble opinion, Tasty Top doesn’t taste plastic-y or fake or chemical-laden. It’s a bit rich compared to some soft serve ice creams. There are three flavors, vanilla and chocolate (of course) and black raspberry. Two of my kids (that’s half, by the by) swear by the black raspberry. I’m more chocolate or vanilla or chocolate and vanilla myself. My small gal is chocolate all the way.

Note, if you’ve never been there but plan to go: the servings are gigantic…

Read the rest of this entry »

Warm Up this Winter with Easthampton Fire & Ice Art Walk!

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather and a citywide parking ban in Easthampton, the Fire and Ice Art Walk has been postponed until February 16th, 2013

Warm Up this Winter with Easthampton Fire & Ice Art Walk!

Easthampton celebrates its fifth annual Fire and Ice Art Walk on February 9, 2013 with performances, exhibitions, poetry readings, a bonfire, and luminaries in venues throughout the city. All events are free and open to the public.

Easthampton’s 5th annual Fire and Ice Art Walk takes place this weekend, filling the city with performances, gallery shows, art activities, and learning opportunities for families! The event celebrates the work of local artists, as well as the city’s history, winter traditions, and love of the community!

The event officially takes place from 5-8pm on Saturday, February 9th, but the kick-off event begins earlier in the day. Families can learn about local history and traditions at Nashawannuck Pond, where an old-fashioned ice harvest will take place from 12noon-3pm! Historian Denis Picard will demonstrate ice harvesting techniques using antique tools to pull the chunks of ice from the pond. Information will be shared on the role of ice harvesting in Easthampton’s economy back when the practice was still necessary. A visit to the pond makes a great supplement to studies of early American life, and will help kids understand the history of their community!

Galleries throughout town will be open for visitors beginning at 5pm, offering a wide variety of art – everything from paintings to sculpture to quilts! Some locations will host live music (Botaniste features music in a tropical landscape!), while others will feature readings of fire-and-ice-inspired poetry written specially for the event by local poets. Families can learn about the local art scene by visiting galleries, and kids will see unique methods of expression by viewing the variety of art displayed.

Does the prospect of exploring Easthampton on foot sound too cold for you? Not to worry! Warm up at a bonfire at Nashawannuck Pond from 5-6:30pm. And, if seeing art makes you feel inspired, visit city hall to make a valentine for the city expressing your love for Easthampton! The handmade cards will be displayed until Valentine’s Day, when they will be distributed to city employees. For more information, visit the Easthampton Art Walk Website at artwalkeasthampton.com.

Saturday Morning Music Party Continues this Saturday in Easthampton!

Saturday Morning Music Party & Pancake Breakfast
Continues at Flywheel in Easthampton
Saturday, April 7th, 10am-12noon

The Flywheel Arts Collective, an Easthampton-based, volunteer-run music and arts venue, along with the Hilltown Families and No-Nap Happy Hour, invites families with kids of all ages to a fun, creative, and educational series of events!

Flywheel R.O.C.K.This Saturday, April 7th at 10am, the third of four installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party continues! Families are welcomed to join us for a free pancake breakfast followed a family dance party by local kids performers R. O. C. K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys).  R.O.C.K. is a family music “kindie” band featuring Aric Bieganek, winner of the 2011 WFCR Arts and Humanities Emerging Talent award, on vocals and guitar, Hans Dalhaus on drums and David Picchi on bass. Together they form the hardest rocking band for families in the world. Period. Suggested a donation of $5 for individuals and $10 for families to cover band expenses.

ABOUT FLYWHEEL: Flywheel Arts Collective, a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aims to build community and give artists of all types the opportunity to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. For more information, visit www.flywheelarts.org.


“Saturday Morning Music Party!” is supported by a grant from the Easthampton, MA local Cultural Council  — a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Monthly Saturday Morning Music Party Series for Families at Flywheel!

Saturday Morning Music Party Series in Easthampton
Free Pancakes, Live Music, Dancing & Crafts

Known to its neighbors and fans for boisterous concerts and a DIY aesthetic, the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton may not immediately spring to mind when considering a venue for a family-friendly activity for the kids. But with the announcement of the ‘Saturday Morning Music Party,’ a free monthly breakfast bash featuring a variety of activities, performances and diversions for kids (to run from February through May, initially), Flywheel becomes just that.

  • WHAT: Monthly Saturday Morning Music Party Series for Families
  • WHERE: Flywheel Arts Collective, 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall), Easthampton, MA 
  • WHEN: Saturdays, Feb 11, Mar 10, Apr 7 & May 12, 10am
  • COST: Free. Suggested Donation $5 ($10 per family) for Mar 10 & Apr 7 concerts.
  • CONTACT: 413-527-9800

Partnering with Hilltown Families and The No-Nap Happy Hour, the first of four installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party series kicks off on February 11 at 10am at Flywheel’s Easthampton location in the town hall building at 43 Main St. in Easthampton. Subsequent events take place on March 10, April 7 and May 12. Each month’s bash features a pancake breakfast followed by musical performances, various activities and guided arts and crafts.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH:

On Saturday, February 11th, following a free pancake breakfast which begins at 10am, the first installment of the series features a screening of an episode of Pancake Mountain, a Washington D.C.-based, public-access, Saturday morning TV show hosted by a goat puppet who often features indie rock bands as guests. After the show, kids join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.”

Dj Youthelectronix, a.k.a. Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series. Driven to recreate the success of similar Saturday morning activities at Flywheel’s previous location, Smith says, “Offering unique and creative activities for families and kids while providing an outlet for artists to connect with the community falls exactly in step with Flywheel’s mission.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Subsequent month’s events will include live family concerts with award-winning musicians, Uncle Rock on March 10th, and R.O.C.K. on April 7th, along with a pancake breakfast and artist-­led arts and crafts, and other fun activities. Then on May 12th the series will close out just as the Easthampton Bear Fest kicks off with the Little Bear Craft & Dance Party!


“Saturday Morning Music Party!” is supported by a grant from the Easthampton, MA local Cultural Council  — a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

A Day at Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

Searching for Spring

We picked up a map and headed straight to the vernal pool. It’s wet enough right now to be connected to the pond. It is full of amphibians and hatched eggs right now. Frogs big enough to be seen a few yards away are impressive to anyone, especially to small boys. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Spring has taken its sweet time coming our way. I grew up in a city, and now I live in a smaller one with my family. As a child my mother would take us out of New York around the change of seasons. She said she missed the small seasonal transitions you can only notice in the country and the woods: leaf buds unfurling in springtime, and the first tint of color on autumn’s leaves.

It has been damp this spring without much sun in these parts. Our snow covered mountains are gone. Occasionally, the minivan is warm in the morning, but recently we went searching for more encouraging signs of spring at Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. It’s really just a hop down the road from us, but it was our first trip.

There are several different trails to follow at the sanctuary — short ones for small people, or people who have to be at work later that day — and longer ones for weekend mornings and sturdier legs. If you go into the Visitor’s Center you will get some good advice, but first take a nice long look at the white board detailing all the recent animal sitings (which includes deer ticks right now, so long pants tucked into rain boots are a good plan.) We picked up a map and headed straight to the vernal pool. It’s wet enough right now to be connected to the pond. It is full of amphibians and hatched eggs right now. Frogs big enough to be seen a few yards away are impressive to anyone, especially to small boys.

We didn’t have my oldest son Isaac with us on this trip but we are going to go back and try the Quest. It was perhaps a little too challenging for the younger kids on their own to accomplish this wildlife sanctuary treasure hunt, and I truly think they will enjoy it more if they are working together without much help from an adult. Older elementary school kids would be able to do it independently.

As for spring, we did find it: leaves unfurling, shiny green moss, birds squawking, and buds blooming. We feel a little more settled that New England’s snowy winter is behind us. We can crawl out into nature again. I will be celebrating by sending the boys out to play in the neighborhood while I pack away winter boots, hats, gloves and scarves for next year.

If you decide to go in search of spring this weekend, you should know there is a small fee to enter the sanctuary, but it is free to Mass Audubon members. That reminds me to tell you that right now annual family memberships are on sale for $29.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

Ticket Giveaway: The Deedle Deedle Dees Family Concert

THE DEEDLE DEEDLE DEES
Saturday, February 26th @ 1:30pm
At Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA

Hilltown Families & Spare the Rock present Valley favorites The Deedle Deedle Dees in their triumphant return to Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA at the Old Town Hall on Saturday, February 26th, at 1:30pm (doors open at 1pm). 

Part of the fantastic No Nap Happy Hour Series, The Dees will be doing a Black History Month Show — and we’re giving away a family 4-pack of free tickets. Deadline to enter to win: 02/23/11 by 7pm (details below).

ABOUT THE DEEDLE DEEDLE DEES

The Deedle Deedle Dees are an educational rock band based in Brooklyn, NY.  Since October 2003, the band has been entertaining family audiences with songs inspired by history and science — “Underground Railroad,” “Nellie Bly,” “Rancher Ants” — as well as simple movement-based tunes.

The Dees will be doing a special Black History Month show featuring tunes about Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Cool Papa Bell, Satchel Paige, Henry Box Brown, and other folks worthy of song — including some songs never before performed in the Valley. www.thedeedledeedledees.com

ABOUT THE NO NAP HAPPY HOUR SERIES

Started by Bill Childs of Spare the Rock in 2009, the No Nap Happy Hour concert series continues at it’s new location, Flywheel (43 Main St., Easthampton, MA).  The series has been featuring the kinds of bands that seem to have taken their cue from They Might Be Giants in believing that kids’ music doesn’t have to condescend or, well, suck. The series has brought many fantastic acts to the Pioneer Valley, including Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Gustafer Yellowgold, AudraRox, Bill Harley, Justin Roberts, Lunch Money, Uncle Rock and the Deedle Deedle Dees. www.sparetherock.com

ABOUT FLYWHEEL

The Flywheel Arts Collective’s new home (Easthampton’s Old Town Hall) is a delightful space for families to come enjoy fabulous family entertainers! Home of the Easthampton Family Center, Flywheel is a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aimed at building community and giving artists opportunities to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. www.flywheelarts.org

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Deedle Deedle Dees at Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Saturday, February 26th at 1:30pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw our winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, you simply still must come!  The Dees will be doing a special Black History Month Show, a entertaining way for families to learn a little history. Advance discount tickets can be purchased online HERE and are $5 in advance, or $15 for a family four-pack.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door the day of the show. Flywheel is located in the Easthampton Old Town Hall at 43 Main St.

Ticket & Music Giveaway: Family Performance with Bill Harley

BILL HARLEY
Sunday, January 23rd @ 1:30pm
At Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA

Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock present…

Hilltown Families & Spare the Rock present Bill Harley in his triumphant return to the Pioneer Valley as part of the fantastic No Nap Happy Hour Series at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA! Enter to win a family 4-pack of free tickets along with a copy of his newest Grammy nominated CD, "The Best Candy in the Whole World". Deadline to enter to win, 01/19/11 by 7pm (EST).

Grammy award winning storyteller Bill Harley will be singing songs and telling stories at  Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Sunday, January 23rd at 1:30pm as part of the on-going No Nap Happy Hour Series.  Families are invited to come sit and listen to Bill’s funny and engaging stories and songs.

“Harley delivers an uninhibited performance with wry sense of humor and has a love of life we can all share…” — Los Angeles Times

“He combines wry observation with well-crafted folk, pop and rock music to tell tales that tickle the funny bone and tease the brain.” – Boston Globe

Hilltown Families is giving away a family 4-pack of free tickets to see this show, along with 2 copies of Bill Harley’s newest CD release, The Best Candy in the Whole World. Deadline to enter to win is 01/19/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT BILL HARLEY

A two-time Grammy award winning artist, Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant picture of growing up, parenting and modern family life. Poignant and hilarious, his work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves.

A prolific author and recording artist, Bill is also a regular commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered and featured on PBS. Harley joined the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence in 2001 and tours nationwide as an author and performing artist.  Harley is the recipient of the 2010 lifetime achievement award from RI Council for the Humanities “for his use of music, song, and story in building community; promoting our common humanity; and encouraging lifelong learning, exploring and growing”.

Bill is the author of numerous children’s books and is working on a new project relating to school culture. His new collection of stories and songs, The Best Candy in the Whole World, was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album for Children category. Harley also just published a new book for parents and educators called Between Home and School: Letters, Notes and Emails.

Find out more about Bill Harley at www.BillHarley.com.

ABOUT THE NO NAP HAPPY HOUR SERIES

Started by Bill Childs of Spare the Rock in 2009, the No Nap Happy Hour concert series continues at it’s new location, Flywheel (43 Main St., Easthampton, MA).  The series has been featuring the kinds of bands that seem to have taken their cue from They Might Be Giants in believing that kids’ music doesn’t have to condescend or, well, suck. The series has brought many fantastic acts to the Pioneer Valley, including Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Gustafer Yellowgold, AudraRox, Bill Harley, Justin Roberts, Lunch Money, Uncle Rock and the Deedle Deedle Dees. www.sparetherock.com

ABOUT FLYWHEEL

The Flywheel Arts Collective’s new home (Easthampton’s Old Town Hall) is a delightful space for families to come enjoy fabulous family entertainers! Home of the Easthampton Family Center, Flywheel is a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aimed at building community and giving artists opportunities to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. www.flywheelarts.org

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see storyteller Bill Harley at Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Sunday, January 23rd at 1:30pm, or a copy of Bill Harley’s newest CD release, The Best Candy in the Whole World, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw our winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 7pm (EST). We will randomly select three winners.  One winner will receive 4 tickets, and two additional winners will receive a CD.  If you can’t make the concert but would like to enter to win a CD, please note you are entering to win just a CD.

If you don’t win, you simply still must come!  Bill Harley is a fabulously funny entertainer and the show will be a great way to spend a Sunday in January. Tickets can be purchased in advance online HERE and are $8 in advance/ $10 door. Family 4-pack: $25 in advance, $35 door.  Flywheel is located in the Easthampton Old Town Hall at 43 Main St.

Screening of Consuming Kids in Easthampton

Reclaiming Childhood For Our Children From Corporate Marketers

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) invites families in Western Massachusetts to join them for a local screening of the critically-acclaimed film Consuming Kids, an eye-opening account of the pervasive and pernicious effects of advertising on the health and well-being of kids, at the Pepin School Auditorium (4 Park St.) in Easthampton, MA on Wednesday, November 17 at 6:30PM, hosted by the Easthampton PTO. The film is produced locally by the Northampton-based Media Education Foundation and features the CCFC staff and Steering Committee. The event is free and open to the public. Please click here to RSVP.

Consuming Kids zeroes in on the often shocking practices of the multibillion-dollar youth marketing industry, exposing how marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. The film has been earning widespread praise from critics, health care professionals, and children’s advocates from around the country.

Celebrate the New Home of the Easthampton Family Center on April 17th!

Flywheel Arts and the Easthampton Family Center (EFC) present a FREE show for kids to celebrate the grand re opening of Flywheel Arts and the new home of the Easthampton Family Center!  On Saturday, April 17th R.O.C.K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys) will perform at 11am at Easthampton’s old Town Hall.  Fun starts at 10 a.m., and best of all – it’s free!  Donations to help support Flywheel are welcomed.

The EFC will hold a bake sale during the celebration to raise money for the center.  EFC Coordinator Mindy Ramos writes, “We are looking for people who will bake up some yummy goodness to help raise funds for Family Center programming. In order for us to offer more programs like this we rely on the support of our community and our family center members. Please email me and let me know that you or a friend or family member will be able to contribute to an item to our bake sale. If your baked good contains nuts, we ask that you label it. Vegan, dairy-free, and totally sugar loaded items welcomed!”  For more information about the EFC, visit them on-line at www.easthamptonfamilycenter.org.

Where Do the Children Play: Video & Discussion

Where Do the Children Play: Video & Discussion

click to see larger image

click to see larger image

Mindy Ramos, EFC Coordinator writes:

[Here is] a flier for the Discussion and Video presentation of “Where Do the Children Play” a PBS documentary (that was not broadcasted locally!) about the vital importance of open – ended creative play for healthy development in children. It also takes about how restrictive patterns of sprawl, congestion and endless suburban development across America are impacting children’s mental and physical health and development.

There is sure to be a lively discussion following this intriguing documentary [Oct. 1st, 2008 @ 6:30pm].

This is event is sponsored by the Easthampton Community Partnership for Children, the Easthampton Family Center and the Emily Williston Library.

Greater Easthampton Early Education and Care Directory

FREE DIRECTORY FOR AREA FAMILIES
By Mindy Brown, Easthampton Family Center

The Easthampton Family Center is proud to present our first edition of the Greater Easthampton Early Education and Care Directory.

In this directory you will find licensed child care and preschool/nursery centers as well as numerous community resources that are available for families with young children in the Easthampton, Southampton,and Westhampton area.

Click here for the electronic version of the directory. Paper copies of the directory can be found at the Easthampton Family Center, the Easthampton, Southampton, and Westhampton Libraries and at the Easthampton Chamber of Commerce.

If your organization would like copies of the directory to distribute to families, please call 563-7672 or email Minleeb@yahoo.com.  This directory is FREE to families.  Read the rest of this entry »

Autism Speaks Video Fundraiser

The band Five for Fighting is generously donating $0.40 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funds raised will go towards research studies to help find a cure for autism. When you have a moment, please watch this informative clip, featuring touching photos of a beloved daughter and her family.

Thank you to Shelly Bathe Lenn, for bringing this video to my attention. It is a powerful, informative video that I hope you will share with as many people as you can. Autism has affected so many children in our community. I encourage you to help bring the much needed services and therapy to these children.

Mindy Brown
Easthampton Family Center Coordinator

Eat Your Art Out

Eat Your Art Out in Northampton
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hey hilltown families – have plans to have dinner in the “city” Thursday evening? Take your family and have a great meal at one of your favorite restaurants and, at the same time, help support the arts in Northampton.  And it just so happens that Take your Daughter/Son to Work Day is on the same day.  If you work in Noho, have lunch together too for a double duty lesson on civic support along side the balancing act of work and family.

On Thursday, April 26, 28 generous dining establishments will donate 10% of their receipts for the day to the Northampton Center for the Arts to help underwrite the Center’s community arts programming.
Read the rest of this entry »

Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

Step it Up 2007 in Western Mass

Step it Up is the largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in our nation’s history. A truly infectious grassroots movement, organized through word of mouth, email outreach and the online community. It was a nationwide campaign comprised of over 1300 actions held on April 14, 2007 as part of a National Day of Climate Action. Many local Western Mass communities participated in the campaign, including Amherst, Cummington, Easthampton, Greenfield, Heath, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Williamstown .

We gathered a lot of information on resources at the Northampton rally …

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Hilltown Families Meet Gustafer Yellowgold

Gusterfer Yellowgold comes to the Pioneer Valley with a performance at the Flywheel in Easthampton, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

On Saturday morning Gustafer Yellowgold performed Gustafer Yellowgold Wild Wide World at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA, a family concert much supported and organized by Bill Childs of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. A fun weekend performance for families with kids preK-3rd grade and early enough to get out afterwards to enjoy the first significant snow fall!

Preceeding the performance, families were served pancakes and the Pink Panther played on the big screen … all this before the invasion of a melancholic yellow alien from the sun – Gustafer Yellowgold – in a weekend morning music show!

The New York Times described Gustafer Yellowgold Wild Wide World as a cross between “Yellow Submarine” and Dr. Seuss, filtered through the lens of the Lower East Side, and after seeing this performance you may just find yourself concurring with this analogy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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