Elska Comes to Western MA! Win Tickets!

Win a package of tickets and museum passes for a family of four…

Elska Performs in Amherst
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Sunday, October 21st @ 1pm

Hilltown Families was delighted by Elska’s performance at Kindiefest in Brooklyn, NY this year. We’re excited to announce her debut performance in Western MA on Sunday, Oct 21st in Amherst! Elska’s live performance is both sophisticated and whimsical, a winning combination for families!  Deadline to enter to win a family package of tickets and museum passes is 10/17 by 11:59pm.

Called “the next big thing in toddler entertainment” by Red Tricycle New York, Elska brings her live show to a very special performance at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Sunday, October 21st at 1pm… and Hilltown Families has two family 4-pack of tickets and two family passes to the museum to giveaway!

Elska’s performance at the museum is part of her tour to support her critically-acclaimed new album Middle of Nowhere which has just received Parents’ Choice Foundation and NAPPA Awards! Details on how to enter to win are below.  Deadline to enter: 10/17 by 11:59pm (EST).


Who is Elska and why is she blowing the minds of concert-goers and promoters alike? Elska is the imaginary character performed by Brooklyn-based singer/actress Shelley Wollert. The character of Elska is a modern pioneer who discovers a newly formed volcanic island off the coast of Iceland where she lives a life of beauty and wonder amongst a cast of unusual friends, including a pensive Winter Bear, a very friendly Goobler, a mysterious Arctic Fox and a vast colony of Lost Socks.

In the live show, Elska has traveled from her amazing island all the way to the museum to tell her story. A blend of theatre, storytelling and musical performance, Elska whisks away children and families on a musical tour of her Arctic home and introduces them to the island’s wonderful inhabitants.

To create Elska and her fictional world, Wollert worked closely with New York City-based record producer Allen Farmelo (The Cinematic Orchestra, Mikael Jorgensson/Wilco). Combining the whimsy of Winnie the Pooh and the otherworldliness of Dr. Seuss, Farmelo and Wollert very intentionally set out to create a new classic in children’s music and entertainment. – www.islandofelska.com


We’re giving away two packages (valued at $50 each) of tickets and museum passes! Your chance win a family 4-pack of tickets and family pass to the museum to see Elska at the Eric Carle Museum on Sunday, October 21st at 1pm in Amherst, MA is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY   below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST).

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission to the museum is $9/Adults, $6/Youth, $22.50/Family. Tickets to Elska are $7 and may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126. Find out more about the museum at www.carlemuseum.org.

A Day at the Eric Carle Museum

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The highlight of our trip was the Art Studio. Henry was pleased to sit down and make a collage with tissue paper and liquid starch. Just like "the real Eric Carle."(Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

Our most pristine days have been reserved for traditional summer activities like turning on the sprinkler, slurping popsicles and tossing food on the grill. It takes a heat wave to tear us away from simplest of summer pleasures like swimming with friends and running through the splash pad. We are relishing every moment of these lazy summer days. Three boys, three school schedules and a handful of careers between two parents, summer’s slower pace has been a gift.  The recent heat wave slowed us down a bit too much, though. Once again we looked for air-conditioned refuges to perk us up.

We made a long awaited trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. I’ve been waiting because I want my boys to be able to have the attention span and appreciation for some time in the galleries. I was so happy to see they offered a little activity to help the youngest kids give the art the attention it deserves and not just buzz through at breakneck speed. Before you enter, pick up a clipboard, pencil and gallery treasure hunt map. Kids can find animals A-Z in the West Gallery, which houses Eric Carle’s work. My boys most enjoyed seeing the glass cased presentation of the materials used to make some of their favorite illustrations – paint, tissue paper, scissors and brushes.

Theo exploring light, color and magnification in the studio. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

The central and east galley exhibits will change but we had fun exploring the art of Barbara McClintock, especially the pieces that showed her process, changes and final presentations. We are now sure to check The Heartaches of French Cat.  Tomi Ungerer was an artist whose work I have seen without being very familiar with his own story. Most of this went right past my boys’ little brains but we did see the familiar Flat Stanley and Moon Man.

The highlight of this trip for younger kids will most likely be the Art Studio. The daily project will change. Henry was pleased to sit down and make a collage. A few manipulatives and magnet boards with different materials, colors and textures engage kids of all ages. My kids would play with magnets on the frig all day – we even installed a magnet board in their room because I need to occasionally open the frig door and disturb the artwork. There was a moment I thought they were just going to move in to the Art Studio and never leave – not a bad plan considering the air-conditioning was included! Instead, I decided that I would make them some magnets with new colors and shapes with my fabric scraps at home.

A few manipulatives and magnet boards with different materials, colors and textures engage kids of all ages. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art hosts special events year round. During the summer it is open Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm,  Saturday 10am-5 and Sunday 12-5pm. The museum is only open Mondays during school vacation periods, so check the website for details. We used our trusty Forbes Library Museum pass to get in. Ordinary admission $9 per adult and $6 per child. If you have visited before, what did your family enjoy the most? If you haven’t taken this trip yet, I hope you do!


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.

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