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Around Shutesbury: Holiday Shop features town-made goods

Among the many artists represented will be puppeteer Anna Sobel, Tani Anaya of EcoTai Jewelry in Shelburne Falls and photographer Maili Page. Local children’s book authors Paul Jacobs and Jennifer Swender will also have copies of their works available. Commemorative items from Shutesbury’s 250th anniversary celebrations in 2011, including sweatshirts, mugs and hats, will also be sold to raise funds for the fifth- and sixth-grade classes at Shutesbury Elementary.

The Holiday Shop will take place on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact Melinda LeLacheur at 259-1525 or dragonflyconsult@yahoo.com.

This year’s Holiday Shop will also feature a new retrospective from the town’s history in the form of a 60-page photo album originally compiled in 1911 to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Janis Gray, the co-chair of the Shutesbury 250th Anniversary Steering Committee, explained that members of the town had just recently rediscovered the collection that spent years in obscurity. “We had been unaware of the 1911 booklet until a woman in Idaho discovered it tucked inside another book and mailed it to us,” she said.

The committee has decided to republish the volume and add new images of some of the buildings and landscapes depicted within to provide a present-day perspective on the town’s growth over the past century. “We also wrote new commentary in an attempt to bridge developments in Shutesbury between 1911 and 2011,” said Gray.

The booklet will also feature a CD containing 299 photographs of last year’s 250th anniversary celebrations. Copies can be found at the Holiday Shop at the Shutesbury Athletic Club this weekend, and at A.J. Hastings in Amherst, The Village Co-op in North Leverett and the M.N. Spear Public Library in Shutesbury, all for a suggested donation of $10.

The library is also hosting its annual membership drive for the Friends of M.N. Spear Memorial Library (FSML), the committee dedicated to providing public events and programming as well as general support for the library. “We’ve just sent out our mailing to residents and supporters, but anybody can join the organization by mailing the Friends or by going online to our website,” said head librarian Mary Anne Antonellis.

Annual membership dues for the FSML begin at $15 per individual or $20 per family, with a $10 fee for seniors. More information and sign-up links can be found online at www.mnspear.org. Registration and dues can also be sent to the following address: Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library (FSML), P.O. Box 256, Shutesbury, MA 01072

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Cinderella heads West

The fall term at Shutesbury Elementary will close on an especially melodic note this year with an all-school cast production of “Cindy Ella,” an adaptation of the popular fairy tale “Cinderella” set in the Wild West. Based on the children’s book by Robin Palmer, the musical will feature actors from the upper grades telling the classic rags-to-riches story, this time set in the American frontier town of Vulture Gulch. All students will participate in the chorus as well as in musical and dance interludes throughout the show.

Principal Robert Mahler said this year’s school production has been a collective semester-long effort. “The upper grades have been rehearsing since September, and the younger students have devoted their music classes to preparing for the show,” he said. Daphne Bye, the head of Shutesbury’s music department, has been overseeing the production along with members of Enchanted Circle Theater, a nonprofit teaching and arts collective based in Holyoke.

There will be two performances at the school on Dec. 18, a matinee at 1 p.m. and an evening performance at 7 p.m.

Legacy Comments1

Thank you for publicizing our 1761-2011 Commemorative Album. Please note, however, that the sweatshirts, mugs and hats to be sold at the market for the benefit of the 5th and 6th grades are not memorabilia from the 2011 anniversary; rather, these "Shutesbury logo" items will be available from a different group. Janis Gray, Co-chair, 250th Anniversary Steering Committee.

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