What’s Happening In Amherst?

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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.


SATURDAY MAY 13: ANNUAL POETRY WALK. 10 a.m. In honor of the 137th anniversary of the poet’s death, The Annual Poetry Walk returns in-person for the first time since 2019! Join us for an engaging poetry walk through Amherst, the town Dickinson called “paradise.” At each stop we will explore sites of meaning for Dickinson and read poetry. Register here. (free)

SATURDAY MAY 13: SHADE TREE PLANTING: 9 a.m. -noon. Corner of Orchard Street and Northampton Road (Route 9). Is there a more enjoyable time to plant a tree than in May? The only way to find out is to do it. So join us on Saturday, May 13th at the corner of Orchard Street and Northampton Road/Rte 9. Bring a shovel if you have one, and if you don’t, we have plenty.   

SATURDAY MAY 13: TREEFEST AT THE AMHERST FARMERS MARKET. UMass environmental education students will host Treefest -Rooted in Connection, a community event organized around the theme of trees and community, at the Amherst Farmers’ Market on the Town Common on Saturday, May 13 from from 7:30am- 1:30pm. The students will run a number of stations and activities for people of all ages to learn, share, and think about the role of trees in our community. The event is free and open to all. 
More information

SATURDAY MAY 13: SPRINGFEST AT THE MILL DISTRICT WITH MR. G. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Mill District, 91 Cowls Road.  Latin Grammy winner Mr. G will have fans of all ages jumping and dancing to his upbeat performance at The Mill District’s SpringFest on Saturday May 13.  This resident of Western Massachusetts is known offstage as Ben Gundersheimer. He performs in English, Spanish and Hebrew

“SpringFest is a new family fun event at the Mill District.  We’re honored to host MISTER G,” said Cowls’ Senior Communications Director Tim O’Brien. “We’ve planned additional fun activities too.” Complementing Mister G’s live concert, The Mill District Local Art Gallery has arranged pre-show kids’ crafts, games and giveaways.  There will be post-show book signings and photo-ops with MISTER G. Weather permitting, Mister G will lead a singing stroll along the Mill River Story Walk, which will be featuring one of Mister G’s latest books, How Many Squirrels Are in the World?  A huge live squirrel may even be in attendance!  You never know in The Mill District.The book signing is sponsored by Mill District partner, Amherst Books. Copies of many MISTER G titles will be available for sale during the event. The event and concert are free of charge, however pre-registration is required at Eventbrite.

SUNDAY MAY 14: SPRING CHORAL CONCERT. 4 p.m. Bowker Auditorium, UMass.

Lindsay Pope and Stephen Paparo, conductors. Buy tickets online at https://fac.umass.edu/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=musicanddancedepartment&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=  Tix: $10 Adults, $5 Seniors/Students, UMass Amherst Students Free

MONDAY MAY 15: DINE TO SUPPORT AMHERST REGIONAL CLASS OF 2023. 3 to 8 p.m. Dine-In or To-Go at the Texas Roadhouse, 280 Russell Street, Hadley, Massachusetts. Ten percent of proceeds will be donated to the Amherst Regional High School.

SATURDAY MAY 20:BE AN ALLY, NOT A SAVIOR.9:30-11 a.m. Bangs Center 70 Boltwood Walk. Sponsored by the Department of Diversity and Inclusion. Join Jana McClure as she facilitates answers to: What is the role of the white ally to Black and BIPOC communities? How can you shed the cape of savior to become the warrior ally? Jana McClure is a Truth School trainer and a resident of Amherst. She has participated in several local activities serving the community. As a life-long non-profit human service administrator, Jana has worked in numerous positions supporting individuals with varied abilities and challenges. Light refreshments will be served. 

SATURDAY MAY 20: GARDEN CLUB OF AMHERST PLANT SALE. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. under the tent on the Town Common, rain or shine. Fabulous woodland and native plants, perennials, shrubs, grasses, trees. Plants for shade and sun. Plants for everyone!

SUNDAY MAY 21: AMHERST EDUCATION ASSOCIATION MINI GOLF FUNDRAISER. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Western Mass Family Golf Center, 294 Russell Street, Hadley. $50 per group includes 18 holes of golf and snacks. Register at  bit.ly/minigolf2023 amherstedfound@gmail.com

SUNDAY MAY 21: GENERATION RATIFY AMHERST THIRD ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AND FUNDRAISER. Munson Library, 1-3 p.m. Live music, catering, speakers , presentations, and an art auction. This is a fundraising event with ticket admission. Tix: suggested donation $10. More information

WEDNESDAY MAY 24: REVIEW THE RESULTS OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SURVEY ON THE TOWN CHARTER. 7.p.m. in the Bangs Center and on Zoom. The League of Women Voters of Amherst Charter Review Task Force will present the findings of the Charter Review Survey. In 2018, Amherst adopted a Home Rule Charter that calls for a Council/Manager form of government. The Charter Review Task Force survey is part of the League’s process of gathering information on how the new form of government has been doing incorporating League good government principles – in anticipation of the town’s official Charter review scheduled for 2024.  Look here for Zoom link. 

THURSDAY MAY 25: READING BY AMHERST AUTHOR SABRINA MURRAY. 6 p.m. Amherst Books, 8 Main Street. Murray will read from her new book, Muckross Abbey & Other Stories.   From the PEN/Faulkner award winning pioneer of “ironic gothic” (Washington Post) comes a wry & spooky set of ghost stories, replete with original illustrations.

SATURDAY MAY 27: SUNRISE MOVEMENT AMHERST – CLIMATE JUSTICE, INTERSECTIONALITY, AND RACE. 2 p.m. online. Register here for link. Part of the Judy Brooks Conversation Series. Amherst Sunires was founded in 2019 by Amherst Regional High School and Amherst College students. Since then the hub has had members from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, college and beyond.

SATURDAY MAY 27: BILL FRISELL TRIO. The Drake, 44 North Pleasant Street. 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 40 years and many celebrated recordings, whose catalog has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” Recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, Frisell was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012.  He is also a recipient of grants from United States Artists, Meet the Composer among others.  In 2016, he was a beneficiary of the first FreshGrass Composition commission to preserve and support innovative grassroots music.  Upon San Francisco Jazz opening their doors in 2013, he served as one of their Resident Artistic Directors.  Bill is also the subject of a new documentary film by director Emma Franz, entitled Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which examines his creative process in depth. Tix: $$38.50 adv. $45 day of show. General Admission seating. More information

TUESDAY MAY 30: AMHERST REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBOS 6TH ANNUAL SINGERS’ SOIREE COMES TO THE DRAKE! The Drake, 44 North Pleasant Street. 5:30 p.m. Free. The 6th annual ARHS Jazz Singer SoireĂ© will feature 2 jazz combos from ARHS and will showcase a variety of outstanding student (and some staff!) singers. Tunes will range from American Songbook classics to soul hits and contemporary songs. Open to all! Any donations at the door will benefit the ARHS Jazz program.” Full calendar of events here.

FRIDAY JUNE 2: PRIDE MONTH FLAG RAISING. 4 p.m. Town Hall steps. Raising of the Pride flag and reading of the Town Council’s proclamation ending in, “WHEREAS, we affirm our support for our LGBTQ+ residents [and youth] and stand with them to protect their civil rights and ability to live openly without fear.” The Pride flag will fly at Town Hall until June 30, 2023.

SATURDAY JUNE 3: PUFFERS POND PANCAKE BREAKFAST. Mill River Recreation Area. 95 Montague Road. 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Free and open to the public. Join the Friends of Puffer’s Pond for multigrain pancakes made from ingredients donated by local farms. There will also be gluten-free pancakes and local sausages! And, as usual, we’ll have real maple syrup, live music, fabulous raffle prizes, and tons of community spirit!

FRIDAY JUNE 9: SUN RA ARKESTRA – CELEBRATING MARSHALL ALLEN’S 99TH BIRTHDAY. The Drake, 44 North Pleasant Street. 8 p.m. Tix: $35 advance. $35 day of show. All seating general admission. The Sun Ra Arkestra‘s live shows combine big band swing, outer-space jazz, dancing, singing, chanting and Afro-pageantry. For most of the 20th century, iconic jazz bandleader Sun Ra helmed one of the planet’s most exciting big bands. Entertaining audiences from the Pyramids to the Hollywood Bowl, the visionary pianist/composer took his acclaimed Arkestra everywhere. A skilled clutch of musicians were with him at every turn of the journey, helping Ra fulfill his lofty mission of enhancing listeners’ lives. When Ra passed in the spring of 1993 at the age of 79, the group knew it was paramount to sustain his work. The 98-year-old Allen is a wonder, shepherding the Arkestra through its second act, and pushing its members into making some of the outfit’s most remarkable sounds ever. Physically spry and musically daring, Allen is an on-stage beacon during the band’s stellar concerts, crafting the music’s dynamics, signaling soloists for lift-off, and configuring passages to reflect the ever-changing vibe between ensemble and audience. Like Sunny before him, Marshall is expert at delivering all sorts of turns to keep his presentation unique. More information. Full calendar of events here.

SUNDAY JUNE 11: AMHERST HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION YOUNG HEROES PICNIC. Mill River Recration Area, 95 Montague Road. Featuring the 2023 Young Heroes awards, the old vs. young basketball tournament and a full day of activities. More information is coming.

SATURDAY JUNE 17: ANCESTRAL BRIDGES THIRD ANNUAL LEGACY CELEBRATION. beginning at 10 a.m. More information to come.

SUNDAY JUNE 18: CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH WITH THE AMHERST CINEMA. 4 P.M. Amherst Cinema. Free Film & Community Discussion; Fences, dir. Denzel Washington.  Following the screening, join Amherst Cinema at 6:30 p.m. for “The Journey, Joy & Love of Black Fatherhood”, a panel featuring fathers from our local community.

MONDAY JUNE 19: TOWN OF AMHERST JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION. Noon. Town Common. The Town of Amherst celebrates its 3rd Annual Juneteenth Jubilee on the Common:  Our Voices, Our History, Our Vision, Our Stories.  More information to come.

SATURDAY JUNE 24: COMMUNITY SAFETY DAY. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Mill River Recreation area 95 Montague Road. Join the Senior Center, Fire Department, Police Department, CRESS, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, and Northwestern District Attorney’s Office for the second annual Community Safety Day. Become a safety expert and get to know your local first responders. This event is geared toward promoting public safety awareness for all ages. Events will feature Touch-A-Truck, fire safety demonstrations, scam prevention, K9s, jaws of life presentation, face painting, balloon art, car and car seat checks, food, live DJ 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: MOBILE FOOD PROGRAM. 1-2 p.m. The Boulders, 156 Brittany Manor Drive. Free produce. No registration necessary. Open to everyone. Brought by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the Amherst Survival Center. The Food Bank truck will be in the parking lot near apartments 115-125.

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 CafĂ© format. The Can’t Remember (CR) CafĂ© 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 CafĂ© 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 Information. Full Events Calendar at the Drake.

EVERY SATURDAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 18: AMERST FARMERS” MARKET. Amherst Town Common. 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This year’s market will features 45 vendors (so far) and has room to sign up a few more. More information

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.

NOW through THE SUMMER: THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE & ART OF MABEL LOOMIS TODD. Amherst History Museum, Strong House, 67 Amity Street. The 2023 Season at the Strong House brings a fresh look at our founder, Mabel Loomis Todd with an exhibit that explores Todd’s work as a nature writer, painter, conservationist, lecturer, and the editor of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Visitors will have the opportunity for a before-and-after look at several of Todd’s botanical paintings that have not been on view in decades due to needed repairs. Open Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.

NOW through FRIDAY MAY 27: ROOTS -PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS, AND PASTELS BY TOM MORTON. Gallery A3. 28 Amity 1D. Gallery Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 3-8:00 p.m. Opening Reception: May 4, 5-7:00 p.m. Free online Art Forum on May 18 at 7:30 p.m. More information

NOW through THE END OF MAY: DAVID RUSSELL ART EXHIBIT “MADE IN MASS”. Senior Center, Bangs Community Center. David’s work is biographical; his paintings, sculptures and writing stem from personal experience. His woodworking is completely intuitive. When looking at and into a piece of wood, he finds its intrinsic nature, creating figures, landscapes, architecture and natural objects with it.

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 through JUNE 30: ARTWORK OF DR. SHIRLEY JACKSON WHITAKER AT LOCAL ART GALLERY IN THE MILL DISTRICT. Artist, activist and local nephrology specialist, Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker, will bring her etchings, paintings, and storytelling to the Front Window Gallery at The Mill District’s Local Art Gallery, 91 Cowls Road, for a new exhibit that will run through the end of June.  Whitaker weaves her love of art into all aspects of her life, connecting medical conundrums to trauma, to racism, to ongoing lynching, and then to canvas and the page.  Social Justice and a healthy community are her goals. A protĂ©gĂ© of renowned artist Leonard Baskin, Whitaker uses her talent in etchings, drawings, paintings, photography, children’s books, and cinematography to “roar for change.” 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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