The Pioneer Valley is full of opportunities to explore local history. Please check the events calendar often.
For Events that run for multiple days and times, like exhibits and shows, see our “On-Going Events” page.
See Past Events here.
3 December 2015 — Amherst Art Walk poetry reading with Tom Daley
The Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, 5 – 8 p.m.
You’ll be able to pick up your calendar late on December 3, as the Museum hosts poet Tom Daley for our monthly Amherst Art Walk poetry night from 5 to 8 pm. Daley will read from his new collection, House You Cannot Reach-Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, beginning at 6:45 pm in the Homestead parlor. $5 “Twilight Highlight” tours of the Homestead will also be offered from 5 to 6:30 pm.
Tom Daley was last at the Museum for the 2014 Amherst Poetry Festival, where he performed his Dickinson-themed play Every Broom and Bridget. A machinist for over two decades, Daley now leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry and the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Prize from the Academy of American Poets, his poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Witness, and Poetry Ireland Review.
Thursday, 3 December 2015 — “Celebracion: Film Festival, Food, Families, and Fun”
Sponsors: Springfield City Library, S.T.C.C. & WGBY
Venue: Chestnut Middle School, Springfield, 5:30 p.m.
Jean Canosa Albano, Manager, Springfield City Library; Vanessa Pabon, Community Engagement Director, WGBY
Latino Youth Media Institute staff will work with residents to collect oral histories from 4 to 8 people from July 1 to October 1. After production, a film festival will premiere the videos as part of a family event featuring performances, demonstrations, and food ways from the varied aspects of the Springfield Latino community.
4 December 2015 — “A Coming of Age Story: Mercy Sheldon, Amos Amsden and a Young Nation”
History Bites Lecture Series
Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity St., Amherst, 12:15 p.m.
4 December 2015 — “Pollinators in Crisis”
Pioneer Valley Institute
Stinchfield Lecture Hall, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, 7 p.m.
The Pioneer Valley Institute will hold its annual meeting on Friday, December 4, in Stinchfield Lecture Hall on the main campus of the Greenfield Community College. The brief business meeting will begin at 6:30 and includes the election of officers and Board members and a brief recap of the 2015 programs. Tom Sullivan will begin his presentation, “Bee Ready! Pollinators in Crisis” at 7 o’clock. The program is free and open to the public.
Landscape designer and owner of Pollinators Welcome, Tom Sullivan prepares us to meet the greatest pollination crisis on record with relevant ecological strategies.
As we face the tragic record losses of our nation’s beehives, awareness of how to provide habitat for the 378 plus bee species native to Massachusetts has grown in significance. High numbers of native bees were once the norm and we must protect them, their environment and their means of a making a living.
In his one and a half hour talk, Tom reveals the basic needs of these most efficient pollinating insects and addresses the causes of this crisis and what actions we must take. Tom zooms in on bee families, bee behaviors, bee-scaping practices and essential resources for creating the healthy spaces wild pollinators deserve and must have in order to survive.
5 December 2015 — “Lydia Maria Child & Anti-Slavery Work in Northampton”
Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, 2 p.m.
Patricia Holland will speak on abolitionist Lydia Maria Child
who lived in Northampton from 1838 to 1841. Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) was one of nineteenth-century America’s most popular writers and a thoroughly committed abolitionist.
Her literary career began with the publication of her 1824 novel Hobomok, A Tale of Early Times, which portrayed an interracial marriage between a white American woman and a Native American Indian man. In 1826, she founded the popular children’s magazine, the Juvenile Miscellany. Her 1829 book The Frugal Housewife (later renamed The American Frugal Housewife) was the first American domestic advice book to offer advice for average households aiming to make ends meet.
In the 1830s, Child joined the Boston abolition movement and published a wide range of works on the rights of African-Americans, Native American Indians and women including An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833); The History of the Condition of Women, in Various Ages and Nations (1835); and Evils of Slavery (1836). Despite being a household name in the mid-19th century, Child fell into obscurity in the 20th century.
Patricia G. Holland collected the correspondence of Lydia Maria Child for microform publication in 1980 and edited selected letters of Child for a book published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 1982. Lydia Maria Child biographer Carolyn Karcher attributes access to Child’s correspondence as the basis for full-length scholarly study of the life and work of Lydia Maria Child. Patricia Holland then went on to collect the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony for microfilm publication.
6 December 2015 — Holiday Open House
Keep Homestead Museum, 35 Ely Rd., Monson
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE, with Gay Paluch playing holiday music on the piano and Linda Day, violin, for a sing-a-long. Keep Homestead Museum, Sunday, December 6, 35 Ely Rd., Monson, MA. No admission charge. Refreshments served. Information: 413-267-4137
The Keep Homestead Museum will be closed for the winter, starting December 8. In order to save fuel, no meetings or tours will be held until March 1, 2016. The trails are open daily before dusk, for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; maps in the parking lot. For information: 413-267-5210
6 December 2015 — “Still Life”
Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge St., Northampton, 3 p.m.
“(1944-2014) was an avant-garde German filmmaker and video artist whose work examined the ways images are used to inform, instruct, persuade and propagandize. Mr. Farocki made more than 100 films, many of them short experimental documentaries that explored contemporary life, and what he saw as its myriad depredations — war, imprisonment, surveillance, capitalism — through the visual stimuli that attend them. Ruminative, but with an undercurrent of urgency born of his longstanding social engagement, Mr. Farocki’s films sought to illuminate the ways that the technology of image-making is used to shape public ideology. His work, shown on European television, has also been the subject of major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London and elsewhere.
Writing about Mr. Farocki in 1992, The Los Angeles Times called him “surely one of the most challenging, speculative and distinctive filmmakers ever to confront an audience.” Mr. Farocki’s films were conspicuous assemblages, comprising found and archival footage including surveillance tapes, home movies and corporate training films. By juxtaposing such images, he sought both to highlight their curious commonalities and to put his finger on the political imperatives that lay beneath their flickering surfaces.
“Mr. Farocki, who was deeply influenced by Bertolt Brecht and Jean-Luc Godard, studied at the German Film and Television Academy in West Berlin. He began making films — from the very beginning, they were non-narrative essays on the politics of imagery — in the mid-1960s. On the whole, Mr. Farocki’s film seemed to say, under the strains of modern life, the objects bear up better than the people do.” — The New York Times, August 23, 2014
Harun Farocki: Still Life, 1997, 58 minutes
In his film Still Life Harun Farocki connects the contemporary advertizing of consumer objects to the 17th century Flemish tradition of still life painting. Weaving together scenes from shoots advertising cheese, watches and beer, juxtaposed with 17th century still life paintings, Farocki explores the similarities and differences between these two image making traditions. As the final film in the series, Still Life gets at the essential question of the series’ theme: how do we photograph objects?
The program will be introduced by Barton Byg, Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Barton Byg teaches German literary and cultural studies as well as film studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is founding Director of the DEFA Film Library and a founding faculty member of the UMass Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. His publications focus on the cinema and cultural legacy of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), the films of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, documentary film and Cold War culture. His recent interdisciplinary teaching has focused on such topics as landscape and film, color, modern poetry and the culture of memory.
He is currently teaching a course on Brecht and World Cinema at Hampshire College, which he has dedicated to the memory of Harun Farocki.
The fall Fast Forward season is curated by Magda Bermudez, a media-artist based in Northampton MA. She has taught summer courses in non-fiction film for undergraduate and high school students through Hampshire College’s Creative Media Institute, and teaches media-literacy at Amherst Cinema’s See Hear Feel Film program for third graders. In her own work she is interested in discarded formats, objects and places, and is currently making a series films about the history of the Swift River Valley. Ms. Bermudez received her BA from Hampshire College.
Our thanks to The Goethe Institute Boston for making this film available to us.
This event is free and open to the public.
12 December 2015 — Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration,
bedroom open house, and book launch
The Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, 1 – 4 p.m.
Help us celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 185th birthday as well as the completion of her bedroom restoration on Saturday, December 12, from 1 to 4 pm. Tour the bedroom and the rest of the Homestead at your leisure, contribute to a crowd-sourced commemorative poem, and of course, enjoy coconut cake made from the poet’s own recipe.
As part of the celebration, the museum will be launching A Mighty Room, a new collection of poetry featuring 25 poets who were given the opportunity to write in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom. Several of the poets included in A Mighty Room will read from their work throughout the day, and the book will be available for purchase in the Museum store. All are welcome to this free event, and no reservations are required.
19 December 2015 — “A Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons”
The Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst
On this special family-friendly visit, revel in holiday traditions as we trace the history of Christmas celebrations in the two Dickinson households.
Evocative decorations, seasonal music, and new objects on exhibit will delight your holiday senses during A Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons, and the words of Emily Dickinson and her family will bring their Christmas experiences to life. A Museum guide will serve as your host for this special holiday trip through the Homestead and The Evergreens.
Each visit concludes with an intimate reading in The Evergreens from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a Dickinson favorite, by award-winning author and Dickens fan Tony Abbott! Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for museum members, and $5 for students grades K-12. Tickets can be purchased on the Museum website or by calling 413-542-2034.
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