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Keeping tabs on the arts

  • Works by Barry Freedland are on view at the ECA+ Gallery.
  • "Ice Tray" by William Chambers
  • Works by Matthias Leutrum are on view at the A.P.E. Gallery.
  • Peter Biedermann
  • A scene from National Marioneet Theatre's "Pinocchio"
  • Works by Nina Rossi are on view at the ECA+ Chamber Gallery.

Kids culture

The Easthampton Elementary Cultural Festival will be held today at 6 p.m. at Pepin Elementary School. The festival will feature a Japanese Taiko drumming performance by Odaiko New England in the auditorium followed by displays of classroom cultural projects, music, art, activities, food and games from over 20 countries in the gym.

‘Godspell’

The Hatfield Education Foundation and Hatfield Public Schools will present the musical “Godspell” tonight and Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Hatfield Elementary School Auditorium, 33 Main St. in Hatfield.

Tickets, available at the door, cost $10; $8 for students and seniors.

Music for social justice

Charlie King and Karen Brandow will perform at “Duopalooza,” a benefit concert for the Markham- Nathan Fund for Social Justice, a local progressive grassroots foundation, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, 220 Main St., Northampton.

King and Brandow are musical storytellers and political satirists. King has performed folk music nationally and internationally for 50 years, writing songs for Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon and Arlo Guthrie. Brandow brings Latin America to her repertoire, from the years she worked there as a human rights advocate. They have created and performed musical narratives of the Civil Rights Movement, the Great Depression and the workers’ movement in the United States. Together they have toured the country and produced eight CDs plus several songbooks.

Magpie, folksingers Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, will also perform. Their musical roots are planted in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War era. Their style ranges from traditional, classic country, swing and blues of the 1920s and e_SSRq30s to contemporary songs. In recent years they have become internationally known for their collaboration with the environment movement, and their song “We Belong to the Earth has become an anthem for the cause.

Tickets cost $12 in advance ($15 at the door) and are available at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, Food for Thought Books in Amherst, and World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield.

At Chamber of Commerce Gallery

An exhibit or work by Turners Falls artist Nina Rossi will open with a reception Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain on view through June 4 at the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce Gallery.

Rossi creates colorful and textured paintings and three-dimensional structures using a wide array of materials including paint, trash scraps, found industrial materials and roofing tar. She is inspired by people, places and things, including Kandinsky’s paintings of music, newspaper pictures, repair manuals.

The gallery is located at 33 Union St., Easthampton. Hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At ECA+ Gallery

“Passive Engagement,” an interactive exhibit of work by Barry Freedland, will open with a reception Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain on view through April 29 at the ECA+ Gallery in Easthampton. It is part of REACH, a multi-city exhibition with over 30 contemporary practitioners.

Barry Freedland uses robotics and machines as an agent for examining human identity. “Passive Engagement” investigates boundaries of artistic ownership and creative process through a series of robotically generated drawings.

The gallery is located at 43 Main St., Easthampton. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. For information, visit www.easthamptoncityarts.com.

At City Hall Gallery

A reception will be held Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. for “Cold Series,” a selection of oil paintings by Vermont artist William Chambers, on view through June 12 at the Easthampton City Hall Gallery.

In his series of still life paintings, Chambers explores vintage devices that manipulate water, including ice boxes, thermoses and ice cube trays. The discarded objects that serve as subject matter for his work were located in trash bins and thrift stores. Chambers sees the objects of chilly insulation from yesteryear as a metaphor for the human body.

The gallery is located at 50 Payson Avenue. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Puppet shows

The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton will present its fifth annual Puppet Festival, Sunday and Monday. There will be two performances: Tanglewood Marionettes will stage “The Dragon King” on Sunday at 2 p.m. The story begins when a terrible drought has overtaken the land, and all the world has turned brown and lifeless. The Dragon King is ruler of the waters, and the people are beginning to wonder why he has not brought rains in a very long time.

National Marionette Theatre will perform “Pinocchio” Monday at 10 a.m. National Marionette Theatre’s adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s tale about a puppet who wants to become a real boy is a faithful re-telling of this childhood favorite.

All shows are approximately 50 minutes and are appropriate for ages 4 and up. Puppeteers will answer questions from the audience following each performance.

Tickets cost $5. To reserve, call 584-9032, ext. 105 or visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com.

Music at Forbes

Instrumental guitarist Peter Biedermann will perform original work spanning various genres on six, eight and twelve string guitars Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Forbes Library, 20 West St. in Northampton.

Biedermann has been composing and performing for more than 35 years. This will be his fifth performance at the library. For information call 587-1013 or visit forbeslibrary.org.

At A.P.E.

“Roofing Tar Paintings,” an exhibit by Matthias Leutrum, the artist behind the 2010 “Human Cannonballs” exhibit, will be on view through April 28 at A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main St. in Northampton. A striking departure from the “Human Cannonball” series, which was cited by the Valley Advocate as one of 2010’s best cultural events, Leutrum’s latest grouping of paintings gives everyday building materials a sensual and visually compelling new spin. For information, visit www.matthiasleutrum.com, www.apearts.org or call the gallery at 586-5553.

Music at UMass

The following musical events will take place this week at the Bezanson Recital Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst:

∎ Tuesday at 8 p.m.: A faculty voice and piano recital.

UMass professors Marjorie Melnick, mezzo-soprano, and Nadine Shank, piano, will perform with guest Ravenna Helson, cello.

On the program: Schumann’s “Frauenliebe und Leben”; Schoenberg’s “Cabaret Songs”; Brahms’ “Songs for Alto, Viola & Piano”; Amy Beach’s “Chanson d’amour”; and music by Leonard Bernstein.

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, seniors and children under 18. To reserve, visit www.fac.umass.edu/musicanddance or call the Fine Arts box office at 545-2511.

∎ Wednesday at 8:15 p.m.: The Euridice Ensembles (Early Music)

The Baroque Chamber and Orchestral Music, under the direction of UMass professor Robert Eisenstein, will perform Henry Purcell’s “Suite from Fairy Queen”; George Philippe Telemann’s “Concerto for flute, recorder and orchestra”; J.S. Bach’s “ ‘Triple’ Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor” and Brandenburg’s Concerto No. 3. The soloists are Christie Cho and Billy Meyers, violin; Anderson Paes, recorder; Natalie Talbot, flute; and Diana Chu and Artur Wysoczanski, harpshichord. This concert is free.

∎ April 18 at 8 p.m.

“Blowing Up a Storm: Wind Ensemble in Concert

The UMass Wind Ensemble, directed by professor James Patrick Miller, will perform music by David Lang, Ernst Toch, W.A. Mozart, and Paul Hindemith.

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, seniors and children under 18. To reserve, visit www.fac.umass.edu/musicanddance or call the Fine Arts box office at 545-2511.

Indian music

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will perform Indian classical music on slide guitar, accompanied by tabla player Subhen Chatterjee Friday at 8 p.m. in the at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall.

As the principal disciple of Ravi Shankar, Bhatt belongs to a set of musicians who trace their lineage back to the 15th-century Mughal musicians.

Blending traditional and contemporary methods of playing, he won a Grammy Award for “A Meeting by the River,” a collaborative album he made with Ry Cooder. Bhatt is the inventor of the Mohan Veena, a hybrid slide guitar. Played lap-style like a Hawaiian slide guitar, the Mohan Veena is a modified, 19-string concord archtop guitar.

The show is presented by the UMass Asian Arts and Culture Program.

Tickets cost from $15 to $30 depending; $10 for students. To reserve call the Fine Arts Center box office at 545-2511.

Movie songs

The Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus will present “The Movies in Song,” a concert featuring songs written for movies, as a part of its “At the Movies” season, Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, 16 Court Square in Greenfield.

Classic favorites, such as “Moon River” written by Henry Mancini for the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” written by Harold Arlen for “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as pieces by Ennio Morricone and Eric Whitacre. The concert also includes works from the classical choral repertory that were used in movies, including works by Samuel Barber, Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner. In honor of the 100th anniversary of composer Benjamin Britten’s birth, the chorus will perform his “Five Flower Songs,” written in celebration of the blooming of both spring and love.

Tickets cost $20; $17 for students/seniors; $6 for children. For information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pvso.org.

Museum10

Several members of Museum10, an area cultural collaborative, are recent recipients of major grants and awards for educational initiatives that foster life-long learning through art, culture, science and history.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst was awarded The Commonwealth Award for Creative Learning. The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College received a grant for $68,000 from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to co-fund an 18-month postdoctoral curatorial teaching fellowship. The Mount Holyoke Art Museum in South Hadley is the recipient of a challenge grant from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation in support of the new initiative, “The Museum as Catalyst for the Creative Campus. The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton received an $80,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts to fund the development of “Mary Baurmeister: The New York Decade,” which will open in spring 2015. The University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst received a $90,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to support two years of experimental exhibitions and educational programming, and a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a fall exhibition, “Du Bois in Our Time.”

‘People’

British comic playwright Alan Bennett’s new play, “PEOPLE,” about a grand old country house and its upper-crust owners, who object to being turned into a part of the heritage industry will be screened April 13 at 1 p.m. at Amherst Cinema.

Directed by Nicolas Hytner, the satire was captured live in HD from the London stage of Britain’s National Theatre.

Tickets cost $24 and are available at the Amherst Cinema box office or online at www.amherstcinema.org.

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