What’s Happening in Amherst?


Photo: istock

by Art and Maura Keene

The students are back and there is a lot happening around town. You can help us make our events calendar more comprehensive by sending us your listings and including contact information and/or a link for more information. Send events listings to amherstindy@gmail.com.


10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with snacks and coffee at 9:30 a.m. All ages and abilities welcome. Meet at Groff Park, 83 Mill Lane. Wear long pants and boots, and bring a water bottle. Registration required for all participants. Register at https://fortriver.org/cleanup/ . Sponsored by the Fort River Watershed Association. Free.

2-4 p.m. Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Road, Hadley. A commemorative memorial ceremony in remembrance of six people who were enslaved during the eighteenth century at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington farmstead. With soulful expression through music and renowned storytellers Onawumi Jean Moss and Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker, we invite all members of the community to share the histories of Zebulon Prutt, Cesar Phelps, Margaret Bowen, her daughters Rosanna and Phillis, and granddaughter Phillis. This program includes reading of an abridged version of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24: LATINX HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION. Town Common, 1-4 p.m. Thunder Storm Location: Crocker Farm Elementary School, 280 West Street. Join the Human Rights Commission for their 2nd Annual Latinx Heritage Celebration. There will be salsa lessons, music, food, and community! 

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 25 THROUGH SUNDAY OCTOBER 1: 2023 TELL IT SLANT POETRY EVENT.  Hybrid event. The annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival features workshops, panels, and readings by a diverse and talented group of poets from around the world. This year’s Festival will be hybrid with events happening online and in-person at the Museum.

This year’s line-up features the annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, a screening of Apple TV+’s Dickinson, the Tell It Slant Awards, and more! View the full line-up and register at https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/tell-it-slant-2023-schedule/ .

MONDAY AND TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25 AND 26: BECOME A COMMUNITY FACILITATOR. 5 p.m. to 9:30 at the Bangs Center. Facilitators will join Dr. Barbara Love in a series of facilitator preparation sessions prior to joining the project for the Town of Amherst to facilitate Liberatory Visioning Circles. Register here. This event is sponsored by CRESS, The DEI Department, and the League of Women Voters. Dinner and childcare provided.

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26: JUDY BROOKS CONVERSATION, “THE ROLE OF RACE IN VOTING RIGHTS AND EDUCATION”. 7 p.m. Guest speaker Matthew Charity. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst. On Zoom. Register here. .

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27: “THE ANGLE OF A LANDSCAPE” AN INDIGENOUS POETICS PANEL: 6:30 p.m. Zoom In this panel we will explore how our Indigenous poetics connect with Emily Dickinson’s world — particularly the influence of the Northeast land and its flora and fauna. Featuring poets Denise Low, Lucille Lang Day, and Mikhu Paul. Part of the Tell It Slant Poetry Event. Register at https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/tell-it-slant-2023-schedule/ .

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27: MONTHLY VETERANS’ LUNCH. Noon – 2 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. 121 North Pleasant Street. Be Heard Veterans, you and your spouse or partner are invited to enjoy lunch Sponsored by Town of Amherst CRESS Department (Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service). Last Wednesday of Every Month. More Details

Interested in learning more about reparations? Want to k ow what’s happening in Massachusettts? Ready to get involved in the movement? Join the statewide conversation on reparations and hear from active leaders and learn about local efforts. Sponsored by the MA Black Reparations Collective. Register for Zoom link here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdeqtqj0vHtdEV2uJepQViyryslz-JiWY#/registration

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27: ELIZABETH DOMINIQUE LLOYD-KIMBREL POETRY READING AND BOOK LAUNCH PARTY. 6:30 p.m. Amherst Books, 8 Main Street. Come celebrate the publication of a new poetry chapbook, Matrimoni, by Amherst resident Elizabeth Dominique Lloyd-Kimbrel—known to many of her legions of friends more simply as “Nikki.”   Lloyd-Kimbrel will read some poems, introduce the artist who beautifully designed the cover, Gillian Haven, & in general we’ll all have a good time.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 28: STEP AFRIKA!.  8 p.m. Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall, Fine Arts Center, UMass. Bringing power and percussion, history and joy, Step Afrika! Has been impressing audiences since its founding in 1994. The first professional company dedicated to the tradition of step—a polyrhythmic, percussive dance that uses the body as the key instrument. Practiced historically by African American fraternities and sororities, step fuses West and Southern African dances with contemporary dance forms. Tix and more information.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 28: CANDIDATE FORUM. JONES LIBRARY TRUSTEES, AMHERST HOUSING AUTHORITY, OLIVER WILL SMITH ELECTOR. 7-9 p.m. Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29: RECEPTION FOR AMHERST PLEIN AIR EXHIBIT AT THE MILL DISTRICT LOCAL ART GALLERY. 5 to 7 p.m. 91 Cowls Road. The Mill District Local Art Gallery is excited to host the Amherst Plein Air Society in the Front Window Gallery. 15% of proceeds will be donated to Kestrel Land Trust. Over 30 paintings showcase the beauty of Sweet Alice Conservation Area and are available for purchase directly from the artists. Exhibit runs from Saturday, September 2 through Sunday, November 12. Gallery hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29. READINGS AT AMHERST BOOKS. 7 p.m. 8 Main Street. Shastri Akella & Sabina Murray will read from their new books.  Akella holds an MFA in Creative Writing & a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.   His writing has appeared in Guernica, the Los Angeles Review of Books, &  The Common, among others. The Sea Elephants his is debut novel.   Murray is author of many novels & collections of short stories, including A Carnivore’s Inquiry: A NovelThe CapricesThe Human Zoo, & Forgery.   Her new book, Muckross Abbey & Other Stories, is a wry & spooky set of ghost stories, replete with original illustrations.   Murray teaches in the UMass M.F.A. Program.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: LATE NIGHT GARDEN PARTY AT THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM.  With Marilyn Nelson and Abigail Chabitnoy. Saturday, Sept. 30, 7p.m . Hybrid Program — In-person at the Emily Dickinson Museum and streaming live for online registrants Join us for a party in Emily Dickinson’s garden (in-person or virtually) for a celebration of creativity and poetry! Our headlining poets, Marilyn Nelson and Abigail Chabitnoy, read from their work and discuss their poetic practice and inspiration with Terry Bonhurst Blackhawk. Stay for music by Daphne Parker Powell, refreshments, and book signing under our heated Festival tent.  Register at https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/tell-it-slant-2023-schedule/ .

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: READING – AN EVENING WITH JOHN LITHGOW. The Friends of the Jones Library invite you to join John Lithgow at Johnson Chapel, Amherst College, Amherst.   Free & open to the public: donations upon registration are encouraged.   For more information & to register go to the  Jones Library Website.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 1: BANDTOBERFEST. 2 to 5 p.m. Amherst Town Common. Free. A family-friendly outdoor musical celebration of fall with the UMass Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band. Matthew Westgate and Lindsay Bronnenkant, conductors. Lunch, drinks, and snacks available for purchase from nearby downtown restaurants and food trucks, or bring your own picnic. Co-sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District.

MONDAY OCTOBER 2: NANO STERN: FILM SCREENING, DISCUSSION, PERFORMANCE. 7:30 p.m. Bowker Auditorium, UMass. This event will include the North American premiere of Stern and Luis Emilio Briceño’s film We’ll Be Singing by September, as well as a live performance by Stern followed by question-and-answer with the singer-songwriter and political activist. The film explores the history, development and transcendence of Chilean music during the socialist government of Allende, and examines the importance of the resistance music form Nueva Cancion through a series of interviews while featuring some of the movement’s most prominent figures. TIX: $15-$20.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 3: THE CURE FOR HATE. PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN OUR SCHOOLS AND BEYOND. 7-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Free and open to the public. Karuna Center for Peacebuilding’s BRAVE Schools project will hold a screening and discussion based on the documentary film “The Cure for Hate: Bearing Witness to Auschwitz.” This 2023 film weaves together the history of the Nazis with the life story of a former North American neo-Nazi who is now an anti-hate activist, as he visits the memorial to the million Jews murdered at Auschwitz. This live Zoom discussion will include Tony McAleer, who is the former white supremacist featured in the film; his co-trainer in preventing hate, Robert Orell; Holocaust educator Cara Crandall, who is an English teacher in Longmeadow; and Scott Dredge, an anti-bullying trainer and Assistant Principal at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield. Register for link and more information

THURSDAY OCTOBER 5: CANDIDATE FORUM. CANDIDATES FOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE. 7-9 p.m. Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 5: AN EVENING WITH BRANFORD MARSALIS. 7:30 pm. Frederick Tillis Performance Hall, UMass. Currently comprising pianist Joey Calderazzo, double bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulker, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard by which other ensembles of its kind should be measured.  TIX: $15-$75

TUESDAY OCTOBER 10: BACKPORCH SONGWRITERS SERIES – THE SONGS OF GILLIAN WELCH. The Drake, 44 North Pleasant Street, 8 p.m.. Tix: $20. adv. $25 day of show. The Back Porch Songwriter Series started in 2017 as part of the Back Porch Festival in Northampton. To date this series has paid tribute to songwriting legends Townes Van Zandt, Dolly Parton, Doc Watson and John Prine.  This fall the series moves to the Drake in Amherst for a monthly set of shows paying tribute to Gillian Welch, Merle Haggard and Nanci Griffith.  Each show features the Deep River Ramblers (Chris Brashier, Jim Henry and Paul Kochanski) as the house band with several guest artists joining in for the evening. The series kicks off on October 10 with a tribute to Gillian Welch, a multi-Grammy winning artist who has released a series of critically-acclaimed albums since her debut in 1996.  Her songs have been covered by many artists including Miranda Lambert, Emmylou Harris and Tom Jones.  The special guests joining in for this show include Rani Arbo, Lisa Bastoni, Abby Gardner and Peter Mulvey. Full calendar of events

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11: SINGER SONGWRITER STEPHANIE POETRI. Frederick Tillis Performance Hall, UMass. 8 p.m. With more than a million subscribers on YouTube, 1.2 million followers on Instagram, and more than three million likes on TikTok, Stephanie Poetri has made quite the impact in her young career. A natural-born storyteller born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Poetri prides herself on transforming stories from movies, friends, and experiences into captivating lyrics that transcend age, demographics, and geographical borders. With the release of her breakout hit, “I Love You 3000,” currently viewed over 163 million times on Youtube, Poetri finds herself among the biggest names associated with going viral. Tix: $15-30.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 12: CANDIDATE FORUM. CANDIDATES FOR TOWN COUNCIL. 7-9 p.m. Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 12: ARTS, SUSTAINABILITY, AND ACTIVISM INTERDISCIPLINARY DISCUSSION. 4 P.M. Bromery Center for the Performing Arts Lobby. Free event. Join featured artist Sirintip, Dr. Shaina Sadai of the Union of Concerned Scientists and others in this meeting of minds working at the intersection of climate change, science, literature, performing arts, and social justice.
This discussion will be moderated by UMass professor Malcolm Sen.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 13: FREE CONCERT LOUISVILLE BRASS QUINTET: Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass. 7:30 p.m. Free. Performing works by Higdon, DiLorenzo, Bernstein, Nathan, Wilborn, Jan Bach and others. Founded in 1993, Louisville Brass is the resident brass chamber ensemble at the University of Louisville School of Music. Comprised exclusively of School of Music faculty, Louisville Brass is committed to artistic performance and to the sharing of knowledge of literature and styles through clinics and master classes. The ensemble is well-versed in a wide range of styles, and the repertoire list ranges from the Renaissance to jazz.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 28: JEWISH COMMUNITY OF AMHERST POETRY READING. 7 p.m. 742 Main Street. An Evening of Poetry with JCA Rabbi Benjamin Weiner, JCA Poet-in-Residence Jena Schwartz, and JCA congregant/National Jewish Book Award Winner Richard Michelson. Join us for a short Havdalah Service, followed by poetry, schmoozing and refreshments. Fully accessible, free, everyone is welcome! Zoom access available: https://form.jotform.com/223206560189152 

FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH. RAINBOW COFFEE HOUR. 10-11 a.m. Amherst Senior Center, Bangs Center, 70 Boltwood Walk. The Rainbow Coffee Hour is a new LGBTIA+ social coffee group for ages 50 and above. Join us for this welcoming space to socialize. No format, no agenda, just community. The July coffee hour will be held on July 11, due to July 4 being the first Tuesday of the month.

FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH (EXCLUDING JULY): 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.

SECOND TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH (EXCLUDING JULY): 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.

TUESDAYS IN SEPTEMBER: WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS SOLAR FORUM. Free virtual event. You are cordially invited to attend the Western Massachusetts Solar Forum, which will be held virtually in September 2023.  UMass Clean Energy Extension is currently working with members of the Western Massachusetts state delegation (State Senator Jo Comerford and State Representative Mindy Domb), as well as a planning committee of solar photovoltaic (PV) stakeholders and experts, to plan the Forum.  Please join us for a series of online public discussions and information-sharing sessions regarding the opportunities and challenges associated with solar PV development and installation in western Massachusetts. September 5: 12-3 p.m, September 12: 12-4 p.m., September 19: 12-3 p.m., September 26: 12-2:30 p.m. Register at https://web.cvent.com/event/c33d3022-39cf-4aa4-8633-8cf6820bb31a/summary .

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.

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. 

EVERY THURSDAY: STITCH CIRCLE. 4 to 6 p.m. Mill District Local Art Gallery and General Store, 91 Cowls Road. Grab your needles, venture to the General Store, and join us for our first Stitch Circle. Knitters, quilters, embroidery artists, and crocheters are all invited. Free.

SATURDAYS IN SEPTEMBER: MUSIC IN THE GARDEN.  2 to 3:30 p.m. Strong House garden. 67 Amity Street. Sept 2 Cushman String Quartet, September 9 Amethyst String Quartet, September 23 Puffer’s Quartet. Sponsored by Amherst Cultural Council, People’s Bank, Amherst Historical Society and Museum. Free.

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

SECOND SATURDAY OF THE MONTH (JUNE THROUGH OCTOBER): ART ON THE LAWN. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Amherst History Museum 67 Amity Street. Art on the Lawn at the Amherst History Museum takes place on the second Saturday of June, July, September and October; June 10, July 8, September 9 and October 14. Artists and crafters will be set up on the lawn of the museum from 11:00am to 3:00pm when the museum is open for visitors. Stop by to visit and chat with the artists. Come into the museum to see our newest exhibit, The Magnificent Life & Art of Mabel Loomis Todd, take a tour of the newly reinstalled rooms in the house, peruse books in the reading room, and view our extensive clothing textile collection. Entry to the museum is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.

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 –SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: MARIANNE CONNOLLY AND ROCHELLE SCHIOFF AT GALLERY A3. Piecing, Collecting, Recalling. Gallery A3, 28 Amity 1D. Hours TH-SUN, 2-7p.m. In PIECING, CONNECTING, RE-CALLINGMarianne Connolly weaves a narrative thread through collage and mixed media art while Rochelle Shicoff exhibits a mixed media series that combines painted images, hand-stitched fabrics, and various artifacts of clay, wood, and other materials. More information

NOW through SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: LUMINOUS PLACES, PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTOPHER CURTIS. Burnett Gallery at the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street. Artist’s statement: My exhibit is titled Luminous Places and includes images from wild, spiritual and ancient places around the world. My photographs include images of rare ecosystems on top of Mount Kenya, dreamtime rock art in remote Cape York, Australia, Masai villages in Tanzania, and ancient granaries and waterfalls in the Grand Canyon.

NOW through SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: VISIONS IN PAINT, PAINTINGS BY DANIEL SILBERBERG. Burnett Gallery at the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street. Artist’s statement: Through acrylic and watercolor I discover what affects me in a scene, developing focus and detail over the course of each work, balancing fidelity to the source with imagination. I invite you to look at the static, finished results, and imagine the living world that inspired it, and the journey of creation.

NOW THROUGH FRIDAY JANUARY 5: UMASS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING LIBRARY GLOBAL HEALTH EXHIBIT. 9 a.m – 5 p.m. Sunday thorugh Friday. 740 N. Pleasant St. Around the world, communities, in collaboration with scientists, activists, governments, and international organizations, are taking up the challenge to prevent disease and improve quality of life. Making a World of Difference: Stories about Global Health examines stories of the people who are working on a wide range of issues—from community health to conflict, disease to discrimination—to improve health in their areas and beyond. Free.

ALL of OCTOBER: 4TH ANNUAL AMHERST SURVIVAL CENTER HIKE FOR HUNGER. You can register as an individual or as part of a team and set your personal hiking goal. Once you register, you’ll be able to customize your own PledgeReg fundraising page to start collecting donations from family and friends.Come October, head out on the trails wherever and whenever you’d like – with your family, your friends, or your furry friends – and share your adventures. You can also join one of our group hikes! Hike for Hunger runs from Oct 1 – 31. You have four weeks to reach your fundraising goal! Proceeds from Hike for Hunger go directly to our food and nutrition programs, which last year provided 1.3 million meals (prepared and groceries) to nearly 8,600 neighbors. Register at https://amherstsurvival.org/donate/special-events/hikeforhunger/  $25.

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