Photo: Wikimedia commons.

There is a lot going on in the Amherst area this winter. Here is a select list of some events.

Every Saturday –All Winter Long.  Winter Farmer’s Market at the Hampshire Mall.  10 AM – 2 PM.  More Info here:

February, March and April..  Free UMass Music Faculty Concerts at Benzanson Recital Hall,  UMass.  Dates and times below.

Thurs. Mar. 5, 7:30pm: Faculty Jazz Concert
Sun. Mar. 8, 4:30pm: Joshua Michal, horn & Ludmila Krasin, piano
Sun. April 5, 4:30pm: Nadine Shank, piano with guest Gran Wilson,
tenor & others
Tues. April 28, 7:30pm: Gilles Vonsattel, piano  
More info on the above concerts plus a full schedule of Music Department events can be found here.

Saturday February 29.  Climbathon for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.  A Fundraiser for BBBS. 12-3PM Central Rock Gym, Hadley. $30. Registration. Register by FEB 22 at

Monday March 2.  Panel: Higher Education in a Time of Social Change. UMass Amherst Chancellor Hosts Presidents of GCC,  Southern New Hampshire University. 4-6 p.m. Carney Family Auditorium in Furcolo Hall on the UMass Amherst campus. The event, organized by the UMass Amherst College of Education, will explore the challenges and opportunities facing higher education and will be moderated by Kathryn A. McDermott, chair of the college’s Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration. The three panelists will also answer questions submitted by current graduate students in the higher education program. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 3. Climate Action Now’s Carbon Pollution and Fee Rebate Group Meeting. 9-10:45 AM (first and third Tuesday of each month). Panera, 335 Russell St (Mountain Farms Mall), Hadley. We’re building on the success of gaining many co-sponsors on the carbon pollution pricing bills. Meetings focus on educating legislators and interested groups.  Get trained to meet with legislators and work with a statewide coalition focused on carbon pricing legislation.  For more information. For questions or to get involved, contact Mary Jo Maffei at or 413-265-6390.

Tuesday March 3. Massachusetts Presidential Primary. Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM. More information here.

Wednesday March 4 and every Wednesday thereafter through April 22.. 27th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.Isenberg School of Management Flavin Family Auditorium (137 SOM). UMass Amherst campus maps. The Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is delighted to announce the 27th annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival “Imagine Better,” opening its spring season on February 26, 2020 at 7:30pm with weekly screenings on Wednesday evenings through April 22 in the same location.  If the future we imagine is the future we get, then we need to learn to imagine better. This season we present films from around the world offering creative, often startlingly original visions that rethink environmental challenges, encounters with many sorts of difference, and our very understanding of fantasy, history, family, friends, and neighbors.  Our imaginative, entertaining and provocative selection includes documentaries, narrative feature films, shorts, and digital television productions from Iceland, Japan, Israel, Palestine, Mexico, and the US.  It includes the New England premiere of a charming Japanese film about family, food, love, and loss and the East Coast premiere of four exclusive independent online television episodes from the Chicago-based, award-winning Open Television intersectional digital television platform.  The program also features Emmy-award winning UMass alum Lindsay Van Dyke’s return to campus to share four recent short films she has made. Other visiting filmmakers include Alex Rivera, AJ Christian, and Ian Chaney.  We are pleased to host filmmakers, producers, and scholars throughout our season who will be present for critical introductions and discussion; all events are completely free and open to the public. For full listings and up-to-date changes please consult our festival website at: 

Thursday March 5, On the Same Page…with Abdi Iftin. 7-8:30 PM. Jones Library. Join us for this event with Abdi Iftin, author of our 2020 community read, “Call Me American”. Iftin will speak about the book and his experiences. Books will be available for purchase and signing. 

Thursday March 5.  Artist Reception for “Trusting Alchemy”. Paintings by Rodney B. Madison.  Town Hall. 5-8 PM.  Join us during Amherst Arts Night Plus, for the opening reception for our new art exhibit, Trusting Alchemy: Paintings by Rodney B. Madison. In the words of the artist, “As I dip the brush into paint and then onto canvas the painting’s future is unknown, unforeseen. I begin to make marks on the canvas and these marks eventually relate to others. As these foundational marks settle, I become increasingly unsettled with an anxiousness that arises brought on by the anticipation of the developing piece. As I work through this, a frenzied period emerges which in result is my greatest joy. My intent is rarely to send messages through my work but what is important is that my artwork conveys energy, creativity, beauty and soul.” Evidence of his alchemy of art is left on the canvas. Rodney B. Madison (B: 1959) hails from the south side of Chicago and now lives in Hadley. He is a self-taught artist who submerged himself into art and painting later in life.

Thursday March 5.Amherst Arts Night Plus.  5-8 PM. Multiple venues in Amherst Center. Amherst Arts Night Plus is a free cultural event held in and around downtown Amherst, MA. Each first Thursday of every month, from 5-8PM, participating venues host gallery openings, concerts, lectures, and other creative events. For a listing of current shows, visit the “This Month” link in the main menu above. More info here.

Saturday, March 7. Celebrate International Women’s Day with Solidarity.1-3 PM. First Congregational Church, Main Street, Amherst. The purpose of the event is to provide a welcome to women who are refugees and immigrants in our community.  Catholic Charities is co-sponsoring and bringing speakers from the refugee community. Speakers include: Mindy Domb, State Representative, 3rd Hampshire District, Tsultrim Dolma, human rights activist and former political prisoner, women from refugee and immigrant community (women from families that work with Catholic Charities), Meka Magee, Amherst Educator and Special Education Consultant, and others. Free and the public is invited  / Refreshments  / Registration encouraged but not required,  at  “” Contact:  Cathy McNally at 413-575-5164 /

Saturday, March 14.  Family Science: Backbone Not Required. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM @ Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Join us for seasonal nature and science programs each second Saturday of the month. Designed for children with their parents, these programs will explore cool topics in nature. The programs are adaptable, but generally geared toward early childhood and elementary, ages 3-8. March 14: Backbones Not Required Ranging in size from microscopic to gigantic, invertebrates make up the largest group of animals in the animal kingdom. Come learn about some awesome invertebrates with the Hitchcock Center! Be prepared to get hands on with one of the Hitchcock Centers spineless teaching animals. Members: Free/Non-members: $10 per family. Register here. The Hitchcock Center will be open from 9am-1pm today. Stop in for a visit any time or stay after the program and hang out in our Visitor Center with animals, games and books!

Saturday, March 14. Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders: film screening and discussion. 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM @ Woodbury Room, Jones Library. During Women’s History Month, the Amherst League of Women Voters and the Jones Library invite you to join us for a screening of this documentary, followed by a discussion led by Traci Parker, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass-Amherst.

Saturday, March 21.  Take Back our Democracy Summit.  1-3:30 PM. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street, Northampton. 2020 is here and there’s a lot of work to be done leading up to the November election. This summit is where we will be kicking off our official efforts for 2020 elections. Join local activists as we come together to support efforts to keep the U.S. House blue, flip the U.S. Senate from red to blue, and dump Trump. We’ll hear about key races, how to plug in to local activities, and we will take action at the Summit. Guest speakers include our incomparable U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, the Political Directors from the Maine and New Hampshire State Democratic Parties, Susan Labandibar (the New England Organizer from Swing Left), and others. This is the time for us to take back our Democracy!  Pre-registration encouraged (but not required).  More info here.

Sunday, March 29.  Amherst Neighbors Kickoff Event.  Red Barn, Hampshire College, 3-5 PM. Celebration of this new organization. Helping to build community that already exists in Amherst and Pelham – to make this part of the valley a better place to live for older adults and people of all ages.

Saturday, April 4. 11 AM.  UMass Dash and Dine 5k benefitting the Amherst Survival Center.  More info at 

Sunday, April 26.  Daffodil Run to Benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hampshire County.   5k run/walk and 10k.   10 AM Amherst Town Common.  More info and regisgter here.

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