CISA to host annual storytelling event at the Academy of Music Theater on Sunday

  • Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture brings back Field Notes show in-person for the first time since 2019 on Sunday. Here, David Wissemann, representing the 10th generation to work on the Warner Farm in Sunderland, tells his story as part of the virtual event in 2021. Contributed photo

For the Gazette
Published: 4/27/2023 10:11:18 AM

NORTHAMPTON — For the first year since the pandemic, the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture will host its annual storytelling event, Field Notes, in person Sunday at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton.

The event, which was first held in 2019, celebrates the ways local food and farming impact the community and individual lives. This year’s event will feature seven storytellers across a range of backgrounds, including a farmer and restaurant owner.

“Some of the stories are funny and just enjoyable. Some of the stories are thoughtful. Some of the stories are heartwarming,” said Lisa Goodrich, communications coordinator at CISA.

During the 2021 Field Notes, Greenfield farmer Meryl LaTronica told the story of when her newly built greenhouse was blown apart by the wind and the community came together to rebuild it. Other past stories have touched on topics ranging from parenting as a farmer, starting a business and even eating bugs.

One of this year’s speakers, Benito Torres, will tell his story in Spanish with English captioning displayed on the screen behind him. For audience members who would like to understand the entire show in Spanish, interpretation services will be offered.

In addition to language interpretation, hard of hearing listeners will also have the option to follow a link on their phones with a captioning to read along.

“We really just want people to feel genuinely welcomed and warmly included to hear the stories about the people that grow our food, the people that make our food, the people that are out in the community standing up for others who might not have food,” said Goodrich.

This year, Monte Belmonte, former WRSI radio host of “Mornings with Monte” and current host on NEPM, will emcee the event.

General admission tickets are offered on a sliding scale basis at $10, $20 or $30, and can be purchased at the Academy of Music box office or online at The event will take place on April 30 from 2-4 p.m.

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