Just Roots Community Farm Fosters Youth Collaboration

Innovative farm program uses accessible skillshare as community builder

Just Roots Community Farm isn’t “just” anything – never just this or just that, the farm incorporates many different projects, practices, and goals into its overarching purpose. Located on the former Poor Farm in Greenfield, MA, Just Roots works to promote knowledge of, demand for, and access to local food in Franklin County. Through a variety of offerings including community workshops, affordable CSA shares, volunteer workdays, and educational programming, Just Roots serves as a community-centered vehicle for resiliency, self-sufficiency, sustainability, and endless learning.

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Four Interactive Music Workshops Planned for Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12th!

Music Workshops for All Ages
Hilltown Spring Festival
May 12th at the Cummington Fairgrounds

Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a "World Music" percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear. All ages and skill levels are welcome. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

In addition to a great line up of live music on two stages, the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds will feature four interactive music workshops for all ages:

AFRO-CARIBBEAN SONG & DRUM WORKSHOP

At 1 PM, Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots will lead an intergenerational, interactive Afro-Caribbean song and drum workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. – www.gaiaroots.com

WORLD MUSIC PERCUSSION

At 2 PM, percussionist Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a “World Music” percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear. All ages and skill levels are welcome. The instruments usually include djembe drum, balafon, tuned bells, shekere, talking drum, gongs and drum set. Instruments will be provided, and you are welcome to bring your own as well. Whether you’re a professional drummer or a first time player, there’s a part for you to play in the ensemble. – www.tonyvacca.com

FAMILY MUSIC JAM

At 3 PM, singer and teacher Lui Collins will lead a Family Music Jam! We’ll sing together, play instruments, do a bit of movement, maybe even dance! We’ll sing traditional and original songs, accompanied by guitar and banjo. All ages are welcome, from grownups down to babes in arms. – www.luicollins.com

RECYCLED PERCUSSION

At 4 PM, in a hands-on workshop, we’ll make a wooden “harmonica” and a wacky, found-object drum set with percussionist Scott Kessel from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem. Along with cans, bottles, cardboard boxes, pencils, and rubber bands, we’ll recycle rhythms from around the world into beats of our own — and then we’ll strike up the whole, recycled band! —  www.raniarbo.com


Hilltown Spring FestivalThe Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, a family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more. More information is available at www.hilltowncdc.org.

Mark Your Calendars for the 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival: May 12th!

6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival
Cummington Fairgrounds
May 12th, 2012

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, a family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more.

Here’s a recap from the last two years at the festival:

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NEW THIS YEAR

New this year is an Emerging Artists Stage for musicians who have had little public exposure and have made little income from their music.  Samples of their music will be juried by professional musicians, and up to eight emerging artists will be chosen to perform two songs at the festival.  The music played must be original, and must be family-friendly (no “metal”, no “thrash”).  There is a $5 fee for submissions and interested artist can email to festival@hilltowncdc.org or mail P.O. Box 17, Chesterfield, MA 01012 by March 23. Include names, instruments, and a brief biography.

Also new this year is a family contra-dance from 5 to 7 PM (beginners and children always welcome)!

JOIN US: VOLUNTEER, SPONSOR, DISPLAY

Support for the Hilltown Spring Festival is provided by thirteen Local Cultural Councils; by local business sponsors; and by the exhibiting businesses.  All proceeds will contribute to the work of Hilltown CDC, including support for small businesses and support for low and moderate income Hilltown residents.  Interested in being a sponsor, vendor or volunteer? Contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org and join our team!

6 More Reasons to Spend Your Saturday at the Hilltown Spring Festival!

An Eclectic Mix of Dancing, Creating and Workshops
at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival
Saturday, May 14th at Cummington Fairgrounds

The Hilltown Spring Festival already sounds so wonderful, right? With it’s 3 stages of music, including a family stage, educational opportunities mixed into the fun, frolic, solar power and delicious local food with an international flare… who would need another excuse to go? We’ll there are plenty! Plenty! Including a hot air balloon launch in the evening, Morris dancers through the day, sustainability vendors, kids-made craft bazaar, solar powered stage, music giveaway, artisans, blacksmith demo, horse trainer, petting zoo… my goodness, someone stop me!  Too late… look what else you can find at this year’s Hilltown Spring Festival:

EarthSpirit of Worthington leads the Maypole dance again this year at the Hilltown Spring Festival. Join them at 12:30pm on Saturday, May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds to celebrate spring and community! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

12:30pm ❁ MAYPOLE & MAYPOLE DANCE

Maypole and a maypole dance return to the festival this year, lead by EarthSpirit of Worthington, MA. Dancing the maypole is a traditional way of welcoming in the spring throughout northern Europe. At the time of the Earth’s greatest fertility, winding the ribbons around the pole is a way of connecting with the community as it emerges from the cold of winter, and of celebrating the coming together of Earth and sky to create new life. The colors and flowers of a maypole are expressions of gratitude for the warmth and joy of springtime. On the lawn at 12:3pm, followed by Morris Dancing!

1:15pm & 2:15pm ❁ DRUMMING WORKSHOPS

At 1:15pm percussionist Tony Vacca will offer a hands-on percussion workshop! In this “hands-on” session, Tony will apply over two decades of experience as a drummer/composer, and over a dozen trips to West Africa, to create and teach a percussion composition. He’ll use djembe drums, gongs, rattles, an orchestra of tuned bells, and a wide variety of other percussion instruments, involving combinations of rhythms that connect African, Caribbean and American traditions.  Tony is an innovative American percussionist with Jazz and World Music roots going back to 1972 and has created a unique blend of rhythm, word, and drum that has come to be the signature of his workshops.

Then at 2:15pm join Gaia Roots co-founder and drummer/singer Aimee Gelinas and dancer Marie Georgefils in an intergenerational and interactive Afro-Caribbean drum, song and dance workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

11:30am & 1:15pm ❁ INTERGENERATIONAL YOGA

Prakasa Yoga Studio of Goshen, MA will offer an interactive intergenerational yoga demo of Anusara Yoga, an integrated yoga system that invites you to joyfully inhabit our body. At Spring Festival they invite all to come stretch and play in postures that are accessible to everyone, of any age. Fun partner yoga and group poses will encourage an intergenerational participation in yoga. On the lawn at 11:30am and 1:15pm.

2:30pm ❁ RIVER POETRY WORKSHOP

Write! Draw! Make a Show with Piti Theatre Company at 2:30pm. Shelburne’s Piti Theatre Co. is getting ready for a community-powered performance at Riverfest in Shelburne Falls on June 11. Drop into their river poetry workshop to write/illustrate river-inspired poems and build props for the show. You can even sign up to be a dancer/actor! All poetry will also be displayed by Hilltown CDC and at Riverfest. For ages 5 – 105.

4pm ❁ KIDS SONGWRITING WORKSHOP

Family musician, Mister G, will offer a songwriting workshop, Who Writes Songs? You Do! at 4pm. Mister G empowers students to write their own songs and demystifies the writing process. Using examples from his albums, Mister G illustrates how great songs, like stories, follow a narrative form with a beginning, middle, and end. Employing basic concepts in literacy, students brainstorm specific imaginative details to create compelling characters and events, and then translate these ideas into lyrics. Using this student-generated material, Mister G demonstrates how a range of musical styles – including funk, rock, reggae, bluegrass, and jazz –can be paired with lyrics to invent a fully-formed new song.

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