Community-Based Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox at the UMass Sunwheel

UMass Amherst Sunwheel and Sky-Watching Events Mark the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, 2015

The public is invited to witness sunrise and sunset associated with the autumnal equinox among the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015, at 6:45am, and 6pm. These Sunwheel events mark the astronomical change of seasons when days and nights are of nearly equal length in the Northern Hemisphere.

At the gatherings, which have attracted more than 10,000 visitors over the past 18 years, UMass Amherst astronomer Stephen Schneider will discuss the astronomical cause of the suns changing position during the hour-long gatherings. He will also explain the seasonal positions of Earth, the sun and moon, and answer questions in astronomy such as the definition of blue moon, supermoon, and why September 23 is celebrated despite the fact that September 17 is actually the shortest day of the year.  Read the rest of this entry »

UMass Exhibition Examines Changes in Historical American Landscapes

A Genius for Place: American Landscape of the Country Place Era
A Panel Exhibition from the Library of American Landscape History

The UMass Amherst Libraries are hosting a traveling exhibition called “A Genius For Place,” on view now through May 10th, 2014.  Organized by the Library of American Landscape History (LALH), the exhibition illustrates and analyzes the chronological development of North American landscape design throughout the “Country Place Era,” or the period of time (1890 to 1930) between the Gilded Age through the end of the Great Depression.  During that time, many wealthy American families, convinced that their hectic, crowded, and unclean city lives required periodic retreats to the fresh air and far-ranging vistas of the countryside for renewal and recovery, erected country “cottages” (some of which were more extravagant than the average mansion today).  Of course, these homes were not complete without elegantly sculpted garden paths, man-made reflecting pools, outdoor courtyards, and a spectacular view to top off the experience of nature-filled country life.  Landscape architects creating the perfect outdoor environments for their clients employed a wide range of techniques, structures, and both modern and historical iconography in their designs.  It was a transitional moment, both for the country as a whole and for the practice of landscape design.

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Robin Karson, founding director of LALH, sees the Country Place Era as a significant time in the history of American landscape architecture: balancing on the cusp of the twentieth century, still weighted with the ideas and traditions of bygone years.  One such was the notion of the genius loci, or the “spirit of the place.”  While in some cultures this spirit takes the form of a protective, guardian-like presence, Western cultures more commonly use the phrase “spirit of the place” to refer to a site’s distinctive energy or aura.  In her book A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era, Karson suggests that landscape architects during this time were guided by the genius loci to preserve the natural beauty and quirks of the original landscape while injecting more modern, experimental architectural elements into their designs… Read the rest of this entry »

Win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to Imago: ZooZoo at UMass

Imago: ZooZoo
Thursday, April 11th at 7:30pm
UMass Fine Arts Center in Amherst

“Theater like this opens the eyes to the possibilities of exploration in the vast 
realm of imagination.”  – New York Times

Hilltown Families and the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at University of Massachusetts in Amherst have partnered up to offer two family 4-packs of tickets to two lucky families to see Imago: ZooZoo on Thursday, April 11th at 7:30pm, at UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA!

Deadline to enter to win: 4/8/13 by 11:59pm (EST).  More details below.

ABOUT IMAGO: ZOOZOO

Imago Theatre’s shows have been described as Cirque Du Soleil-evoking acrobatics mixed with Mummenschanz-like mime, set in a unique yet accessible French-
influenced avant-garde playground. Imagine all of that with
 penguins playing musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, hippos with
 insomnia, anteaters as waiters, and a madcap revue of illusion. That’s ZooZoo, the 
critically acclaimed mix of dance, design, circus, music, text and illusion that has inspired
audiences nationwide.

This is an Arts Give back event for Feline
Friends. Tickets holders are asked to bring an item from the Feline Friends’ wish list
available at www.felinefriendsinc.org.

ABOUT IMAGO THEATER

Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, the creators of Imago, have been called alchemists, magicians, theatrical animators, and physical comedians.  Defying classification, they have populated the stage with characters and beings such as comedic amphibians, acrobatic larvae, circus boulders, and metamorphosing humans in works which tantalize the senses, the intellect, and the passions. From adaptations of classics to excursions into vaudevillian existentialism, Imago’s repertoire is as vast as the forms they shape. With commissions for stage, film, and television, Imago blurs the lines of the expected to break new ground, exploding performance boundaries yet maintaining humor and humanity.

Imago Theatre tours internationally while also producing a season at its home base in Portland, Oregon. The company’s critically acclaimed productions FROGZ and ZooZoo have played at the prestigious New Victory Theatre on Broadway. www.imagotheatre.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win one of two free family 4-pack of tickets to Imago: ZooZoo on Thursday, April 11th at 7:30pm, at UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst 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  THROUGHOUT THE REGION  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 to enter to win: 4/8/13 by 11:59pm (EST)

Tickets for Imago: ZooZoo at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall are $30, $25,
$15; Five College, GCC, STCC students and youth 17 and under are $10. For tickets 
call the Box Office at 413- 545-2511, toll-free at 800-999-UMAS, or purchase online at 
fineartscenter.com. Imago: ZooZoo is sponsored by Baystate Medical Practices and the
Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Cultural Studies: Christian Folk Art from India at UMass

Christian Folk Art from India
Dec. 12th-16th, 2011
Augusta Savage Gallery at UMass

An exhibit from the collection of local, 83 year-old independent scholar of South Asian Studies Georgana Falb Foster at the UMass Augusta Savage Gallery in Amherst, MA. This exhibit features paintings of Christian stories by artists who come from Hindu hereditary castes of story teller/painters (Chitrakars) in Bengal province. Show runs Dec. 12th-16th with an opening reception on Monday, Dec. 12th from 5-7pm

The Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts’ Fine Arts Center will be hosting a show of Christian Folk Art from India opening with a reception on Monday, December 12th from 5-7pm and running through December 16th.

Each piece in the collection is a painted cloth scroll depicting a Christian story or concept- the scrolls were used by Chitrakars, traveling painters/storytellers in the Bengal province of India, and the scrolls were used to help illustrate the stories that the Chitrakars shared with communities.

Also included in the show are works by Christian Indian artist Frank Wesley, as well as other Christian artworks and artifacts.

A visit to the gallery can help students become aware of how Christianity influences and differs within various cultures worldwide, and thinking about this specific art show is a great way to segue into a broader dialogue on religion and cultures.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT TICKET GIVEAWAY: Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Iron Horse Music Hall

Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Iron Horse Music Hall
Northampton, MA
Friday, October 15th, 2010 @ 7pm

 

Black-listed by the White House in the ‘60s and ‘70s, author of classic songs “Universal Soldier” and “Up Where We Belong,” UMass (and Sesame Street) alum Buffy Sainte-Marie plays the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Friday, October 15th at 7PM. Deadline to enter to win: 10/13/10. (Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz)

 

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

This month we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Friday, October 15th, 2010.

Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, 10/13/10 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE

Buffy Sainte-Marie was a graduating college senior at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1962 earning degrees in teaching and Oriental philosophy and graduating in the top ten of her class. She hit the ground running in the early Sixties, after the beatniks and before the hippies. All alone she toured North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls, meeting both huge acclaim and huge misperception from audiences and record companies who expected Pocahontas in fringes, and instead were both entertained and educated with their initial dose of Native American reality in the first person.

By age 24, Buffy Sainte-Marie had appeared all over Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia, receiving honors, medals and awards, which continue to this day. Her song Until It’s Time for You to Go was recorded by Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, and Cher, and her Universal Soldier became the anthem of the peace movement. Donovan’s version is especially memorable. For her very first album she was voted Billboard’s Best New Artist.

She disappeared suddenly from the mainstream American airwaves during the Lyndon Johnson years. Unknown to her, as part of a blacklist which affected Eartha Kitt, Taj Mahal and a host of other outspoken performers, her name was included on White House stationery as among those whose music “deserved to be suppressed”, and radio airplay disappeared. Invited onto television talk shows on the basis of her success with Until It’s Time for You to Go, she was told that Native issues and the peace movement had become unfashionable and to limit her comments to celebrity chat. The next presidential administration, that of Richard Nixon, also came down hard on her, as this was the time of the Wounded Knee massacre.

In Indian country and abroad, however, her fame only grew. Denied an adult television audience in the U.S., in 1975 she joined the cast of Sesame Street for five years. She continued to appear at countless grassroots concerts, AIM (American Indian Movement) events and other activist benefits in Canada and the U.S. She made 18 albums of her music, three of her own television specials, scored movies, garnered international acclaim, helped to found Canada’s Music of Aboriginal Canada JUNO category, raised a son, earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts, taught Digital Music as adjunct professor at several colleges, and won an Academy Award Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for the song Up Where We Belong.

2009 marked the release of her eighteenth album Running for the Drum, which just won Buffy her third Juno Award. Packaged in tandem with the bio-documentary DVD Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, the two disks together give audiences a glimpse into the life and work of this unique, always current artist.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Friday, October 15th, 2010. is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. HELP CO-CREATE A COMMUNITY PLAYLIST AND RECOMMEND A SONG BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 10/13/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

Win Tickets to See Dan Zanes and Friends: Family Dance Party (Deadline 10/19/09)

Win Free Tickets to See
DAN ZANES AND FRIENDS: FAMILY DANCE PARTY

At the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA

SHOWTIME:
Friday, October 23rd at 7pm
Family Fun Pre-Show Party begins at 6pm

Hilltown Families and the UMass Fine Arts Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Dan Zanes and Friends: Family Dance Party at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on the UMass campus in Amherst, MA on Friday, October 23rd.  Festivities begin at 6pm. This is an ASL interpreted event. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT DAN ZANES

Concerts by Dan Zanes & Friends are always cause for celebration, filled with singing and dancing to songs brimming with warmth, wisdom and wonderful music. The Grammy-Award Winner is joined by his “beautifully scruffy, harmonically precise, spirited, and better-than-ever band” and they’ll be singing songs in both English and Spanish with their own homespun style giving you the feeling that a bunch of wildly talented friends and neighbors just got together to throw a party . . . and everyone’s invited.

PRE-SHOW EVENTS

Family Fun Pre-Show Party
Please come at 6 PM for a pre-show party for families. There will be hands-on craft activities and healthy snacks for everyone while they last.

Arts Give Back
Please bring a new or gently used book to donate to Link to Libraries. Link to Libraries collects and distributes new and gently used books to elementary school libraries and nonprofit organizations to enhance the language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds. Please visit their site (www.linkstolibraries.org) for a list of preferred books or bring some goodies from your personal collection.

LET’S SWEETEN THE POT

The winner will receive four copies of a Dan Zane’s album to give to friends and family, courtesy of the UMass Fine Arts Center.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of  tickets to see Dan Zanes and Friends: Family Dance Party at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on the UMass campus in Amherst, MA, plus four copies a copy of a Dan Zanes CD is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) You must include your town and state to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, 10/19/09 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are available at the UMass Fine Arts box office, online at UMass Fine Arts Center or by calling 545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS.

Click here to listen and subscribe to the Hilltown Family Variety Show Podcast!

Autumnal Equinox Sunrise & Sunset Gatherings at UMass Sunwheel

Autumnal Equinox Sunrise & Sunset Gatherings
at the UMass Sunwheel in Amherst, MA

The public is invited to witness the passing of the seasons by joining Dr. Judith Young of the U.Mass. Dept. of Astronomy to watch the Sun rise and set over the tall standing stones in the U.Mass. Sunwheel for the Autumnal Equinox of 2009.

The sunrise and sunset events will be held on both Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept. 22 and 23, 2009. Visitors for the sunrise viewing should arrive at 6:45 a.m., and visitors for the sunset viewing should arrive at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

These gatherings will celebrate the Equinox, the International Year of Astronomy, and also 12 years of Sunwheel seasonal events for the public, which have attracted over 10,000 visitors.

Find out more here: SUNWHEEL GATHERING INFO.

Win Tickets to See Cirque du Soleil: Alegría (Deadline 09/07/09)

Cirque du Soleil: Alegría (tickets)

The Singer in White from Alegría (Photo credit: Camirand)

We’re very excited to be able to offer a family 4-pack of free tickets to see the Alegría, a Cirque du Soleil classic and an internationally acclaimed production that has entertained more than 10 million people worldwide since its world premiere in Montreal in April 1994.

Alegría will be performing 8 shows at the Mullins Center at UMass in Amherst, MA, from September 16-20, 2009. Tickets range from $40 to $95 for adult and $32 to $76 for children (12 years old & under).

Here’s your chance to win a free family 4-pack of tickets to see this amazing show on the premiere night, Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30pm.

ABOUT THE SHOW

Alegría is a Spanish word that means happiness, joy and jubilation. An operatic introspection of the struggle for power and the invigorating energy of youth, Alegría relates the tale of power versus weakness, the king versus his jesters, and age against youth.

A kingdom without a king, Alegría is a world where everyone feels imbued with power —from impish court jester Fleur to the young and vital Bronx, to the aged and aristocratic Birds. Alegría is inhabited by minstrels, rogues, beggars, nobles, children and clowns, the only characters able to adapt to the changing times and the upheaval it brings. In this enigmatic, troubling world of profound changes and uncertainty, despite all the trials and tribulations, there is only one constant: the human spirit remains implacable.

Alegría features an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 17 countries and showcases breathtaking acrobatics. Acts include the Synchro Trapeze and the high-speed, high-energy Aerial High Bars in which daring aerialists fly to catchers swinging more than 40 feet above the stage. The vibrancy of youth is alive in Power Track, a brilliant display of synchronized choreography and tumbling on a trampoline system hidden under the stage floor. In Russian Bars, artists fly through the air and perform spectacular somersaults and mid-air turns, landing on bars perched on the sturdy shoulders of catchers.

HOW TO WIN TICKETS

Your chance to win a free family 4-pack of tickets to see Alegría is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! Tickets are for the premiere night, Wednesday, September 16th, at 7:30pm at the Mullins Center in Amherst, MA. To win simply

  • POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state 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! — Winner must provide identification when picking up tickets at the Will Call booth the night of the show. Please only enter if you know for certain that your family will be able to attend this Wednesday night performance. Deadline is Monday, 09/07/08 @ 7pm (EST).

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