Arts

More music, bigger stages: In new hands, Green River Festival returns next weekend with headliners CAKE, Fleet Foxes and Gregory Alan Isakov

06-14-2024 2:11 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

We are days away from the Green River Festival, one of the most anticipated and most popular summer events in Franklin County. Now in its 38th year, the festival will run from June 21 to 23, Friday through Sunday, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in...


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He may have been America’s first Black composer: Juneteenth concert at Historic Deerfield to feature music of Sawney Freeman, among others

06-14-2024 2:10 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

In celebration of Juneteenth, folks are invited to join a star-studded group of early American musical performers at Historic Deerfield, as they take on a wide variety of music from regional African American composers and band leaders.Kicking off a 7...


Valley Bounty: Pea time is upon us: Dave’s Natural Garden in Granby grows a variety of the seasonal favorite

06-14-2024 11:32 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

After the cold of winter in New England, spring on our region’s farms is a treat for the senses. While locals may argue over whether asparagus or strawberries declare the arrival of spring, Meghan Hastings, owner and farm manager of Dave’s Natural...


Book Bag: ‘Sandwich’ by Catherine Newman; ‘The Man Who Loved Trees’ by Annaliese Bischoff

06-14-2024 11:28 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

SandwichBy Catherine NewmanHarperCollins In late 2022, Amherst writer Catherine Newman released her first adult novel, “We All Want Impossible Things,” after previously publishing a number of nonfiction titles, a middle grade novel, and quite a bit of...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Chris Hoogendyk of Amherst

06-14-2024 11:26 AM

And just like that, asparagus season is coming to a close. But before we say goodbye until next year, Chris Hoogendyk of Amherst made this asparagus quiche featuring Hadley Grass purchased from Flayvors of Cook Farm in Hadley. It also contains onions,...


Celebrating Sojourner Truth, with modern elements: Florence performance mixes arias, history and AR

06-13-2024 2:09 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Sojourner Truth has long been a symbol of a strong Black woman: a straight-talking, formerly enslaved woman who remade herself as an ardent abolitionist and women’s rights activist, a preacher, and a riveting speaker who wowed audiences with her wit...


A different kind of road trip: ‘Ezra’ explores the challenge of raising an autistic child

06-13-2024 2:08 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Among a number of very good lines in “Ezra,” a film about the challenge of raising an autistic child, there’s one that really encapsulates the problems parents and caretakers can face.Bobby Cannavale plays Max Bernal, a struggling comedian with his...


The Beat Goes On: Jazz manouche and choro in Northampton, Pride music celebrations in Greenfield, and jazz in Amherst

06-13-2024 2:03 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It was 20 years ago today … Well, maybe not exactly to the day, but Django in June, the annual Northampton celebration of the music created by the legendary Belgian-French guitarist Django Reinhardt, is marking its 20th anniversary this year.That’s no...


Earth Matters: A brief history of our soil: Why the Valley land produces such amazing crop

06-13-2024 1:59 PM

By TOM LITWIN

There is a stretch of road that runs north along the Connecticut River from the Whately/Hatfield line to the foot of Sugarloaf. It is no surprise its name is River Road. Leaving Northampton I often take “the river road,” the long way home. Over the...


Speaking of Nature: Too slow to survive? All porcupines want is a peaceful life in the country woods

06-11-2024 2:27 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I was on my way to work the other day and, at least initially, I was enjoying the morning drive. The sun rises just after 5:00 a.m. these days and the approach of my last day of school added a little buoyancy to the otherwise monotonous commute. I...


A house guest with a dangerous bite: Easthampton Theater Company revives vintage screwball comedy, ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’

06-07-2024 12:42 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

At some point in our lives, most of us have the misfortune to have someone come to our home who quickly wears out their welcome, for dinner or a party or maybe a weekend visit: an obnoxious uncle, your daughter’s new boyfriend, a neighbor’s work...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: ‘This is my playground’: Saturday’s Northampton Garden Tour grants access to six beautiful home gardens

06-07-2024 12:38 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

I recently heard about a practice called Forest Bathing, which involves spending a few hours in a forest, or at least a sheltered patch of trees, and allowing one’s awareness to settle on all the immediate sensory surroundings. Forest Bathing is...


Bring on the summer music and arts: Concert series and more return to Hadley and Huntington

06-07-2024 12:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Summer brings outdoor music as well as any number of artistic performances, including theater, literary readings, dances and more.And it’s not just big blowout events like the Green River Festival.In Hadley, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum has...


A burst of hot pink in Old Deerfield: Extensive Barbie collection on view at PVMA before heading to auction

06-07-2024 12:31 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

At the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s upcoming garden party this weekend for its new “Barbie – All Dolled Up” gallery exhibit, it’s BYOB: Bring Your Own Barbie.The museum is welcoming folks on Sunday, June 9, to the official opening of the...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Tobi Sznajderman of Amherst

06-07-2024 12:29 PM

Behold, “the first local strawberry rhubarb compote of the season,” served over vanilla ice cream! Tobi Sznajderman of Amherst says the rhubarb and strawberries came from Warner Farm in Sunderland, and were purchased at Millstone Market. How to...


A half-century of photography: Forbes Library exhibit showcases the vintage work and world views of photographer and digital printmaker Stan Sherer

06-06-2024 3:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Stan Sherer was growing up in the Bronx in New York City in the 1950s, an uncle paid a visit to his family one day and brought along some World War II-era darkroom equipment.Sherer didn’t know it just then, but he was about to find his life’s...


Arts Briefs: A Sojourner Truth biographer comes to the Valley, a new take on a noted play, and more

06-06-2024 3:36 PM

Truth biographer comes to townFLORENCE — Historian Nell Irvin Painter, the author of an acclaimed biography of Sojourner Truth, will visit the town where the famed abolitionist once lived to talk about her newest book and about some of the ideas that...


Around and About with Richard McCarthy: ‘You’re a strong man to do that’: Observations from this side of the shuffleboard court

06-06-2024 3:33 PM

By RICHARD MCCARTHY

When I was 18 years old, I hitchhiked alone from western Massachusetts to St. Petersburg, Florida and back. Hitchhiking was fairly common among young people then, although not typically for such a long distance. I had some trials along the way, not...


Earth Matters: Swamps, stewardship and conservation: What does it mean to care for a forest?

06-06-2024 3:32 PM

By CHRISTINE HATCH

Swamps are great story villains. They are notoriously difficult to navigate due to their sinking sticky mud, spiked vines and dense vegetation; they are neither fully land nor water, negating boats and footwear as helpful vessels for traversing them;...


Speaking of Nature: The return of some familiar feathered faces: Tree swallows come home to the same fields they used the previous year

06-04-2024 1:38 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

One of the great joys of the spring is the year’s first appearance of the tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). In my yard this event almost always occurs in the first week of April and this year was no exception. It was a close call, but the first...



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