What’s Happening In Amherst?


Photo: Pixabay.com

by Art and Maura Keene

There are lots of interesting events happening in our town. You can help us make our events calendar more useful by sending us your listings and including contact information and/or a link for more information. Send events listings to amherstindy@gmail.com.


FRIDAY APRIL 14: CONCERT- UMASS SYMPHONY BAND AND WIND ENSEMBLE. 7:30 p.m. Tillis Performance Hall, UMass. Matthew Westgate & Lindsay Bronnenkant, conductors. Madeline Wight, & Richard Sargent, graduate conductors. The Wind Ensemble performs Ingolf Dahl’s Sinfonietta, Ryan George’s Firefly, and Omar Thomas’ Come Sunday featuring saxophone soloist, UMass jazz professor Felipe Salles. The Symphony Band performs the Leonard Bernstein Suite from Mass and works by Shapiro, Vaughan Williams, and more. Tix: $10 Adults, $5 Seniors/Students, UMass Amherst Students Free. Call Box Office at 413-545-2511 or Buy Tickets Online

SATURDAY APRIL 15: 40th ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND SAXOPHONE SYMPOSIUM AND COMPETITIONSaxophone Symposium and Competition, which will take place throughout the day on Saturday, April 15 in the Music Wing of the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts. All symposium events are free – For registration and other general information, visit the department’s events calendar. Organized by UMass Saxophone Studio professors Jonathan Hulting-Cohen and Felipe Salles, the Symposium features concerts and interactive clinics by faculty and guests, including former UMass faculty member Lynn Klock, who founded the event in the mid-1980s. The day-long symposium will commence on Saturday, April 15 at 8:30 a.m. with a free breakfast sponsored by D’Addario Woodwinds. The day’s events will also include the finals of the annual Gerry’s Music High School Competition, where winners will receive $300 in Gerry’s gift cards plus a special performance opportunity during the afternoon.  The symposium also features the popular Symposium Saxophone Ensemble, which gives sax players of all skill levels the chance to rehearse and perform with participants from all over New England, plus a 2 p.m. classical sax concert featuring Lynn Klock and the Zach Robarge Quartet, and a 7:30 p.m. jazz concert by Braxton Cook and members of the UMass Jazz Faculty Combo. 

SUNDAY APRIL 16: A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF JOHN OLVER. 1 p.m. John W. Olver Design Center at UMass, 551 North Pleasant Street. There will be a memorial service on April 16 for former U.S. Representative John Olver who died on February 23 at age 86. Parking for the service is available in lot 62 or nearby lots. Carpooling is encouraged. Olver had a long career in state and national politics. He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 2nd Hampshire District from January 1969-January 1973, the Massachusetts Senate from the Franklin and Hampshire District from January 1973- June 1991, and U.S. House of Representatives for the Massachusetts 1st District from June 1991- January 2013. He chose not to run again in 2012 when most of his district had been eliminated after the 2010 census. Prior to serving in Congress, Olver was a chemistry professor at UMass.

TUESDAY APRIL 18: GREAT TREES AND FORESTS OF THE NORTHEAST PAST AND PRESENT. 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Zoom. “Old-growth forest evangelist” Bob Leverett will take us on a virtual tour of treasured trees and forests in New England and New York. We’ll learn about the many values of old-growth forests, from both a scientific and spiritual perspective.  Register for link here. More information

THURSDAY APRIL 20: UMASS DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY DISTINGUISHED LECTURE – SARA DOBROW – DOROTHY KENYON, THE ACLU AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF FEMINIST JURISPRUDENCE. 4 p.m. 601 Herter Hall at UMass. Free and open to the public. In 1945, 25 years after its founding, the American Civil Liberties Union established a Committee on Discrimination Against Women. This committee represented a victory, and a launching pad, for Dorothy Kenyon, a lawyer who had joined the Board of Directors of the ACLU in 1930. As chair of this committee, Kenyon led the organization’s fight for women’s rights until her death in 1972. This talk explores how Kenyon convinced the ACLU to put women’s rights on their agenda and how she developed the ACLU’s earliest legal strategies to fight sex discrimination, strategies that would be successfully deployed in the 1970s by Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. More information

THURSDAY APRIL 20: ART FORUM ONLINE WITH KAREN IGLEHART. 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. See the Gallery A3 website ( www.gallerya3.com )  to register for this online event, which is free and open to the public. Iglehart will hold a dialogue about her practice with Alison Rabinowitz, Art Consultant at Bonhams Art Auctions, and welcome questions from the audience. Information at Igelhart’s exhibit at Gallery A3

FRIDAY APRIL 21: DELLA MAE BLUEGRASS AT THE DRAKE. 8 p.m. The Drake 44 North Pleasant Street. Della Mae is a Grammy nominated all-woman string band founded lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith and two-time Grand National champion fiddle player Kimber Ludiker. The current tour also includes guitarist Avril Smith and bassist Vickie Vaughn. Della Mae is “one of the most charismatic and engaging roots band touring today.” They have traveled to over 30 countries spreading peace and understanding through music, and to showcase top female musicians and improve opportunities for women and girls through advocacy, mentorship, programming, and performance. Following 2020’s album “Headlight,” their new album “Family Reunion” captures the joy of the band reuniting after more than a year of virtual collaboration. Maya De Vitry opens. $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. Full calendar of events here.

SATURDAY APRIL 22: 12TH ANNUAL 5K DASH AND DINE TO BENEFIT THE AMHERST SURVIVAL CENTER. The 5K features a USA Track and Field-certified course for runners, walkers and participants in wheelchairs. After the race, all are welcome to have a free lunch courtesy of the top-ranked campus food program in the country at either the Hampshire or Berkshire dining commons. The race fee is $10 for all UMass and Five College students, $20 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and $25 for the general public and includes registration, a T-shirt and a complimentary lunch. Children 8 years and under may participate for free at the annual fun run at 10 a.m.  Online registration ends April 19. Day of registration available on site. Race check in at top of SW horseshoe. Course map and more information

SATURDAY APRIL 22: PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKEBACK DAY. Parking lot of Wildwood School, 71 Strong Street (with other drop off points throughout Franklin and Hampshire Counties). 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with local police departments and the Hampshire and Franklin Sheriff’s offices and the DEA will be offering an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted and unneeded drugs, keeping them safely away from potential misuse. More information

SATURDAY APRIL 22: AMHERST SUSTAINABILITY FESTIVAL. Amherst Town Common. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event offers a day of family fun, education and entertainment with something for everyone including vendors of renewable energy, energy efficiency product suppliers, advocacy groups, and sustainable crafts and artisans.  Check here for more information and program updates.

SUNDAY APRIL 23: UMASS DANCE MARATHON. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Campus Center Auditorium, UMass. This is the largest student-run philanthropy at UMass Amherst that raises over 100,000 dollars for Baystate childrens hospital. Our event will be filled with a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and a lot of (bad) dancing. All of your donations and support help provide essential care to the kids of Baystate Children’s Hospital located in Springfield, Massachusetts, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. More information

TUESDAY APRIL 25: UMASS CAMPUS INSTALLATION OF BERLIN WALL SEGMENT. 2 p.m. Memorial Hall Patio, UMass. The University of Massachusetts Amherst will celebrate the installation of a 12-foot segment of the Berlin Wall painted by famed French artist Thierry Noir on Tuesday, April 25 at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Hall patio. Sonja Kreibich, Consul General of Germany to the New England States, will join UMass President Marty Meehan, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and other campus officials for the event, which is the highlight of a week of art exhibitions and film screenings related to the history, impact and legacy of the structure that divided Germany’s capital for four decades. More information

Link here. The Amherst Energy and Climate Action Committee (ECAC) invites you to join us for a webinar on electric vehicles presented by the Drive Green Team from the Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Interested in making the switch? Bring your questions! The public is welcome to join the full ECAC meeting, starting at 4:30 pm on April 26. Or join us for the presentation only, starting at 5:30 pm.

FRIDAY APRIL 28: THE PEOPLE’S SCIENCE FAIR. Noon – 4 p.m. At the UMass Campus Pond. The event will showcase diverse efforts by Western Massachusetts residents to harness STEM for social, economic, racial, environmental, climate, and cultural justice. Participants will include campus-based researchers with justice-oriented projects, grassroots organizers whose work involves STEM knowledge, and student activists committed to building a just future. Look here for up-to-date information.

SATURDAY APRIL 29: 30th ANNUAL AMHERST ULTIMATE INVITATIONAL. All day beginning at 9 a.m. at the McDuffy School in Granby. Over 600 athletes from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and more, are scheduled to compete. At 30 years running, the Amherst Invitational is the longest running high school ultimate tournament in the country. This year, the tournament is a qualifying event for the 2023 High School National Invite (HSNI). Winners from the Girls Division 1 and Open Division 1 will receive an automatic invitation to this year’s HSNI. All are welcome to attend this free event.

SUNDAY APRIL 30: 13th ANNUAL DAFFODIL RUN FOR BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY. 5K AND 10K races beginning and ending at the Amherst Town Common. Start time 10 a.m. Virtual participation option also available. Registration information and more


SECOND TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH: OPEN MIC NIGHT AT THE DRAKE. 44 North Pleasant Street. Free event. Performers arrive by 5:30 p.m. Stage time: 6 p.m – 10 p.m. All ages. Younger performers will be slotted earler. All performers and styles of performances welcome, including but not limited to: music (of all kinds) – acoustic, folk, rock, hip hop, jazz, classical, etc…comedy, spoken word / readings, poetry, dance, performance art. House rules and more information.

FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH: NORTHAMPTON JAZZ WORKSHOP. The Drake. 44 North Pleasant Street. 7:30 p.m. Free (donations accepted). Featuring the Green Street trio with a special guest. Featured set at 7:30 followed by an open jam session. Bring your axe. Full calendar of events here.

FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH: COVID 19 VACCINE CLINIC. Bangs Center, 70 Boltwood Walk. 3:00-5:00 p.m. Free. The clinics offer Pfizer and Moderna Bivalent Boosters for ages 12 and up and Pfizer Bivalent Booster for ages 5 and up.  Registration is preferred, but walk-ins are accepted. To schedule an appointment, click hereMore information

LAST WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH: CRAFT AND CONVERSE. Mill District General Store and Local Art Gallery, 91 Cowls Road. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Are you tired of creating in solitude? Looking to connect with other artistic individuals? Grab your sketchbook, knitting bag, or water color gear and join our monthly coworking group! Craft and converse, hosted by Easthampton artist Kaia Zimmerman, is held the last Wednesday of every month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. This welcoming, intentional space is designed for community members to come together for a casual, social evening while pursuing their own creative projects. Drop-ins welcome, but registration encouraged for any weather-related changes in schedule. Bring your own arts or crafts project (BYOA) to work on. Ages 16+.

EVERY WEDNESDAY : CAN’T REMEMBER CAFE. Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Are you or a loved one experiencing memory loss? At the Amherst Senior Center, we understand memory changes and have developed a new program based on the popular Memory Café format. The Can’t Remember (CR) Café offers fun, relaxation, and of course, snacks. This program is perfect for caregivers, people with mild memory loss, or anyone in the community who enjoys good conversation and strong coffee. Each Can’t Remember Café opens with a coffee and conversation hour, followed by a group activity. Join us on Wednesday, November 30th for a performance by our special musical guests, “Healing Hearts with Harmony” at 11:00am. Come for the coffee, stay for the connections! Email seniorcenter@amherstma.gov or call 413-259-3060 with questions. 

LAST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH : LAST FRIDAYS AT THE DRAKE POETRY SERIES HOSTED BY LYRICAL FAITH. 44 North Pleasant Street. Join us every last Friday of the month* for Last Fridays at The Drake hosted by Lyrical Faith for an unforgettable open mic and poetry night experience featuring award-winning spoken word artists from across the country. Come through for music, drinks, and artistic expression where poets take center stage to share new work, old work, or any work that helps them get free. Doors and bar open at 5PM. Early arrival is encouraged to get a slot on the sign-up sheet. The cover charge is $5 with a college ID or $10 general admission. More InformationFull Events Calendar at the Drake.

THIRD SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH APRIL THROUGH OCTOBER: CARS AND COFFEE AT THE MILL DISTRICT. Hosted by the Mill District General Store, 91 Cowls Road, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. It is free for collectors to display their cars and compete for trophies in four categories: best domestic, best foreign, best exotic, and best overall, based on votes of the public. Plus, there will be coffee from Futura Coffee Roasters which will soon be joining the Mill District. Cars and Coffee will be held rain or shine.

FRIDAY APRIL 28-SATURDAY MAY 6: INTO THE WOODS. Rand Theater at UMass. The UMass Theater Department presents the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods”. Twisted takes on fairy tale conventions make this offering from the late, great Stephen Sondheim an utter delight. These tales came from Germany, France, England and other countries, but it is in the United States where, thanks to a certain animated film company, they blended into the versions that became cultural megaliths — which in turn are filtered through the equally American art form that is the musical. What happens when Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, a brace of princes, and a boy with some magic beans are threatened with an ending that’s not so happy? Can they find a way to come together as a community to triumph over adversity?  April 28, 29, May 4, 5, 6 at 7:30 p.m. May 6 matinee at 2 p.m. $20 general admission, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office or 1-800-999-UMAS.

now through SUNDAY APRIL 23. FIFTH BIENNIAL BACH FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM. Festival runs April 21-23 with prelude events beginning March 26. Concerts, workshops, master classes. Look here for full description and listing of events.

Now through April 29: “BECOMING FORM”. ABSTRACT PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS AT GALLERY A3. 28 Amity Street 1 D. Gallery Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 2-7:00 p.m. A one-person show of abstract paintings and photographs by Karen Iglehart, explores the emergence of form in the layering of color. While she primarily works with paint on canvas, Iglehart’s exhibit also includes photographs taken in Gloucester and Venice that inspired and relate to recent paintings. More information

NOW through FRIDAY MAY 12: PORTRAITS IN RED: MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN & GIRLS. Paintings by Nayana LaFond. Augusta Savage Gallery, New Africa House, UMass, 180 Infirmary Way. Portraits in Red: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls began on May 5, 2020 with one painting, “Lauraina in RED,” created for the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. Nayana LaFond put out an open call, saying she would paint a couple more portraits if people sent information on subjects. She received more than 25 the first day with stories and photos, and decided to dedicate herself to painting all she receives. Each portrait is of someone who is missing, was murdered, survived, their family member or friend, or an activist/hero fighting for the cause. Through her work LaFond hopes to make sure the missing and dead are never forgotten, to raise awareness about this serious issue, and to provide help with healing to the families she works with. LaFond continues to receive new images and stories and has an ongoing queue of 20-30. Opening Reception: Monday, January 30, 5-7 p.m. Artists talk: Tuesday, February 8, 6 p.m.

NOW through SUNDAY MAY 14: 60 YEARS OF COLLECTING -AN ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION CELEBRATING THE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART PERMANENT COLLECTION. Bottom Floor of the UMass Fine Arts Center. Look here for gallery hours and additional information. Free. The exhibit can be viewed on line here.

now through FRIDAY JUNE 2: A RECIPE FOR SAVING SEEDS. (Beginning TH MAR 12). 10 A.M. – 5:00 p.m. –
(MON-SUN). University of Massachusetts Amherst, Science and Engineering Library,740 N Pleasant St.
The exhibit consists of a series of ten seed-saving recipe cards. Each card provides easy, step-bystep instructions for saving seeds of specific flowers, herbs, and vegetables, with images and text. Reception: April 7, 1-3 p.m.

now through SUNDAY JULY 2: GOD MADE MY FACE: A COLLECTIVE PORTRAIT OF JAMES BALDWIN. Meade Art Museum, 41 Quadrangle Street, Amherst College. Look here for days and hours. This exhibit presents works from iconic artists such as Richard Avedon, Marlene Dumas, and Kara Walker alongside archival materials in order to explore the life, work, and legacy of James Baldwin (1924–1987). More information

now throughout -SUMMER 2023: ANCESTRAL BRIDGES EXHIBITION AT FROST LIBRARY TO CELEBRATE BLACK AND AFRO-INDIGENOUS FAMILIES WHO LIVED AND WORKED IN AMHERST Frost Library at Amherst College, 61 Quadrangle Drive, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. This exhibition, the first partnership between the Ancestral Bridges Foundation  and Amherst College, seeks to center this long-neglected aspect of town history and to reveal the rich and complex lives of the Black and Afro-Indigenous community of Amherst. Our families’ old black-and-white photographs complement oral histories–some yet to be recorded – and other artifacts available locally and at the college. I hope these images and stories raise questions, prompt further research, and challenge us all to meet our collective responsibility to build a more just and equitable future. All are welcome. On view through the summer of 2023. Free.

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