What’s Happening in Amherst?


Photo: istock

by Art and Maura Keene

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.


SATURDAY JUNE 29: SUMMER READING KICK-OFF: CARRIE FERGUSON AND THE GRUMPYTIME CLUB BAND. 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., The Drake. Come register for Summer Reading and rock out to family-friendly songs by Carrie Ferguson and the Grumpytime Club Band, featuring music filled with welcoming and inclusive messages about accepting feelings, celebrating differences, and loving ourselves exactly as we are. Free Community event.

SATURDAY JUNE 29: KINSEY-POPE GARDEN TOUR.  10 a.m. to 1 p.m., High Street. The Garden Conservancy presents the second of three open dates to visit this landscape of many uncommon trees with strikingly beautiful bark and a wide variety of textures, flowers, berries, and great autumn color; many shrubs with more than one season of beauty; perennials flowering in three seasons; ground covers of unusual dramatic effect covering all beds during all seasons; and in winter offering a wide palette of interesting shapes, lovely bark, and many evergreen trees and shrubs. In addition, there are three bridges over a stone-lined swale, a hand-built screened gazebo and curved top arbor, a charming little pond, many benches and Japanese stone lanterns, large-stone walkways and stone walls, and a Japanese inspired fence surrounding all of the ½-acre garden. $10. Registration required.

SATURDAY JUNE 29: DISTRICT 3 MEETING. 10 to 11:30 a.m., Groff Park, 83 Mill Lane. Join Town Councilors Hala Lord and George Ryan for their first district meeting. Special guest is Public Health Director Kiko Malin.

SATURDAY JUNE. 29: BERKSHIRE CHORALE SINGS VAUGHAN WILLIAMS. 7:30 p.m., Tillis Performance Hall, Bromery Center for the Arts, UMass. The 140-voice festival chorus from Berkshire Choral and full orchestra perform Ralph Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony and Five Mystical Songs under the baton of Joe Miller. The program offers an epic voyage of the soul, set to the inspiring words of Walt Whitman. Tickets $20/$10 youth and student.

SUNDAY JUNE 30: COMMUNITY RECEPTION FOR NEW POLICE CHIEF AND CRESS DIRECTOR. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Mill River Recreation Area. Get to know Amherst’s new leadership for Public Safety and Community Response on Sunday, June 30 from 2:30 – 4:30 PM at the Mill River Recreation Area. The League of Women Voters is hosting an informal Community Reception, and everyone is welcome to greet Police Chief Gabriel Ting and CRESS Director Camille Theriaque.  Chief Ting and Director Theriaque will share their initial goals and aspirations for the coming year, and they would like to meet and hear from their Amherst neighbors. Bring the family to enjoy music, snacks, and the park’s recreation opportunities. The reception is open to the public, free of charge, sponsored by the Amherst League of Women Voters. Visit lwvamherst.org for more details. 

TUESDAY JULY 2: INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS AND CELEBRATION 2024.  6 p.m., Fireworks display starts at dark. UMass Amherst’s McGuirk Alumni Stadium. We’ll have fun for all ages with a new assortment of lawn and pickup games! Bring a blanket and/or folding chairs, sit-back and relax and enjoy our stage performances. Be sure to come hungry- our Food Truck line up is sure to satisfy the whole family. We look forward to celebrating with you at this annual tradition. Restroom facilities will also be available. FREE! Food, beverage, and novelty items will be available for purchase on site. Donations gratefully accepted. Parking: Free parking available on site in UMass lots 11, 22, 21, 33.  Accessible parking is available through lot 10. Rain Date is Monday, July 8.

THURSDAY JULY 4 THROUGH SATURDAY JULY 27: IN MEMORY OF ERIC BROUDY – ARTISTS BEING ARTISTS AT GALLERY A3. A series of photographic portraits and interviews of Gallery A3 artists by Eric Broudy (1940-2024) will displayed with a group exhibit, In Memory of Eric, of small works by current gallery members at Gallery A3, 28 Amity Street, 1D. The exhibit will run from July 4-July 27. There will be an opening receiption at the Gallery on Thursday July 4, from 5-7 p.m. and an Artist Online Art Forum on Thursday: July 18, at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Preregister for the art forum and more information at www.gallerya3.com

THURSDAY JULY 4: SOUTH AMHERST 4TH OF JULY. 9:15 a.m. South Amherst Common. Children’s costume parade, decorated bikes and floats, games, races, fun! Free lemonade, watermelon, and ice cream. Bring your picnic and visit with neighbors. More information at the Munson Library.

FRIDAY JULY 5: AMHERST COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES ON THE TOWN COMMON. Amherst Town Common, 5-9 p.m. SPF-4 and Harvest and Rust. Free and open to the public.

FRIDAY JULY 5: READING FREDERICK DOUGLASS TOGETHER:3 p.m. South Amherst Common, 1066 South East Street. A public reading of Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech will take place on the South Amherst Common, 1066 South East Street, on July 5. The reading is funded by Mass Humanities and the League of Women Voters and hosted by South Congregational Church. A similar reading three years ago drew 300 people. The organizers are seeking to recruit more youth readers this time. The event will include refreshments, a follow-up discussion, gospel singing, and free books!

. Multiple events and venues. Public performances on July 10, 12, 17 and 19. See website for a full listing. 40 years ago, a group of dedicated jazz artists and jazz educators at the University of Massachusetts developed a program that would connect jazz students with the country’s top jazz artist/educators for an intensive week of study in jazz improvisation. Their dedication to the art of jazz improvisation and jazz culture gave birth to Jazz in July Summer Music Programs– a concentrated two-week program, allowing participants to study jazz improvisation with some of the nation’s best jazz educators and artists. As the jazz landscape changes, Jazz in July uses that foundation to evolve with the current innovations being developed. Current and cutting edge jazz artists help to lead Jazz in July into the ever-evolving future of jazz, and ensure our jazz education vision will be current and relevant for many years to come.

WEDNESDAY JULY 10: AMHERST SURVIVAL CENTER PICNIC. 12 to 3 p.m., Mill River Recreation Area. Everyone Welcome! The Jones Library will be joining us for summer story time. Mill River Pool passes available. D. J. Matt Peterson will provide music. Open to all.

THURSDAY JULY 11 THROUGH SUNDAY JULY 14: YIDSTOCK: THE FESTIVAL OF NEW YIDDISH MUSIC. Yiddish Book Center. Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music is back! Now in its twelfth year, Yidstock brings the best in klezmer and new Yiddish music to the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. From July 11 to 14, this four-day festival will include musicians and performers at the forefront of the Yiddish music scene. In addition to seven concerts, the lineup also includes four workshops, nine talks, and one special film screening, all in celebration of Yiddish music, language, and culture. The Concert Passes are sold out but you can still purchase individual tickets for concerts, talks, and workshops. Live streaming also available. Live streaming passes.

FRIDAY JULY 12: GALLERY RECEPTION: WORKS BY AGNES MCCRAVEN. 6 to 7:30 p.m., Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue. Free and open to the public.

SATURDAY JULY 13: BIGGER THAN SPORTS 3 X 3 BASKET BALL TOURNAMENT. Mill River Recreation Area. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Games Start at 10. $20/player. $300 grand prize.. Also at the event: Western New England College will set up an admissions tent and are expecting several other organizations to set up information tables. There will be a DJ, food trucks, raffles, and other entertainment for all ages to enjoy. The mission of Bigger Than Sports is to empower student-athletes in lower-income communities to reach their full potential. We do this by providing them with the resources and guidance needed to create and execute plans for life after high school. Amherst native Ian Waite is the founder of Bigger Than Sports.

WEDNESDAY JULY 17: HOLDING ONTO HUMANITY IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL, A CONVERSATION WITH PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI PEACE BUILDERS. 11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m on Zoom. The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding invites the public to join them on Zoom for the conversation. Free and open to the public. Register here for Zoom link. More information

FRIDAY JULY 19: ZOE AND CLOYD BLUEGRASS MUSIC. 5 p.m., Wesley United Church, 98 North Maple Street, Hadley. Come hear husband and wife, John Cloyd Miller and Leverett native Natalya Zoe Weinstein, who form the duo Zoe & Cloyd, perform bluegrass, old-time, and American roots music, and klezmer. The duo is based in Ashville, NC, but make an annual visit to the Valley and northeast bluegrass festivals. Admission.

WEDNESDAY JULY 24: MOBILE DENTAL CLINIC. Bangs Community Center, 70. Boltwood Walk. 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Appointments include teeth cleaning, clinical assessment, screenings for oral cancer and blood pressure, referrals if needed, and a free goodie bag! Appointments are free for MassHealth recipients and $75 for patients with other insurance. Denture care is $30. Older adults welcome. Please call the Amherst Senior Center at (413) 250-3060 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in services not available. Don’t delay, oral health is essential to overall health! The clinic will operate the fourth Wednesday of every month through March 2025.

SATURDAY July 27 : AMHERST COMMUNITY BAND CONCERT. Sweetser Park, Lessy and Main Street. 6:30 p.m. Free


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 JUNE: SUMMER LUNCHES WITH AMHERST NEIGHBORS. 12 to 1 p.m., Kendrick Park. Meet other Amherst Neighbors members in person for general camaraderie and discussion. Bring your own lunch and a lawn chair or blanket (picnic tables may be available) and join us at Kendrick Park.

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: IRISH MUSIC SESSION. White Lion Brewery. 24 North Pleasant Street. 4 p.m – 7 p.m.

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.

FIRST AND THIRD FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH: VETERAN’S COMMUNITY BREAKFAST FOR ALL -8 a.m – 9 a.m. Large Activity Room, Bangs Center, 70 Boltwood Walk. At each breakfast (bagel/donut/coffee), a veteran or veteran ally, will tell his or her personal story regarding military service. Generation after generation reveals that those going to war to defend our country come back spiritually and morally wounded, regardless of the bodily consequences of combat. We want to bring veterans together for food and friendship to help coalesce a spirit of camaraderie to enable authentic, veteran-oriented communities to flourish. WELCOME: Veterans, Spouses, Caregivers, Amherst Community Members.  Let’s Build a Thriving Veterans Community.  There are 387 Veterans in town! Sponsored by CRESS. FOR MORE INFORMATION:  CALL THE CRESS OFFICE, (413) 259-3370  OR GENE HERMAN, VIETNAM VETERAN, (240) 472-7288  –  CRESS VETERAN’S OUTREACH VOLUNTEER.

SATURDAYS UNTIL OCTOBER 2024: CAMBODIANS IN AMERICA.  Exhibit 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Amherst History Museum, 47 Amity Street. Cambodians in Amherst exhibit: a history of the Khmer community. Telling the 45-year history of Cambodians in Amherst through oral histories, photos, art, and archived footage. On exhibit until October 2024. Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or any other day by appointment.

EVERY SATURDAY UNTIL NOVEMBER: AMHERST FARMERS’ MARKET. 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Amherst Town Common. Widely known as one of the best places for local food, fun, and community. Offering farm to table produce and selections from your local growers and valley producers. Come out for food, music, events, and community offerings in downtown Amherst.

EVERY THIRD SUNDAY FROM APRIL THROUGH OCTOBER: CARS AND COFFEE AT THE MILL DISTRICT. 8:30 to noon, Mill District, 91 Cowls Road. CARS & COFFEE IS OPEN TO EVERYONE – Exhibitors and Spectators alike are welcome! CAR OWNERS: There is no fee to exhibit your car, and pre-registration is NOT required. Aim to arrive by 8:30am for best parking spots. We’ll have our trophy ceremony at 11:45am and the show wraps up at 12 noon sharp. SPECTATORS : Come to the HQ tent and pick up your ballots. Vote for your favorite Domestic, Import, Exotic, and Best Overall. Every complete ballot returned puts you into a drawing for a Mill District Gift Card! Enjoy our expanding array of shops and discover your favorites! Next Cars and Coffee is June 16.

NOW THROUGH SATURDAY JUNE 29: PAINTINGS BY JOHN KRIFKA. Gallery A3 28 Amity Street 1 D. With his selection of old and new paintings at Gallery A3 in June, John Krifka reflects on his evolution towards abstraction. Hours are Thursday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-7:00 p.m. There will be a free online art forum (preregister at www.gallerya3.com) on Thursday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. More information

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 3: METAFICTION IN ART. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Road. The art in this exhibition contains an extraordinary sense of playfulness and surprise. It comes from metafictive books: those that tell stories about stories and about the art of storytelling itself. Artists experiment with styles, typography, and page design to delightfully disrupt the rules of how books usually work. Guests can enjoy work by 29 artists in a variety of media. They can read books and “remix” story titles on a magnetic bookshelf. Gallery graphics add a sense of surrealism. Open Wednesday through Sunday.

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  1. Don’t forget to announce the annual League of Women Voters Booksale at Fort River Elementary School starting July 26 (please check complete list of dates). Also, the summer lunches of Amherst Neighbors at Kendrick Park at noon on Tuesdays will continue through July. Stress please that lunch is “bring your own”, and bring your chair or blanket.

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