Hilltown Digest: Hilltown CDC taking applications for affordable housing waitlist

  • Old Country Road performs Sunday afternoon at North Hall in Huntington as part of the North Hall Arts Festival. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/19/2022 9:54:04 AM

CHESTERFIELD — Hilltown Community Development Corp. is accepting applications for the waitlist for affordable housing units in three hilltown communities.

The Village Center Apartments is an affordable housing project whose 24 rental units are spread across Haydenville, Williamsburg and Chesterfield.

The apartments are available to households whose income is at or below 60% of the area median income, with some units reserved for households whose income are at or below 50% AMI, in addition to some of the units being reserved for households whose income are at or below 30% AMI.

A 60% AMI household of one person is listed by Hilltown CDC as $39,540, while a four-person household with a 60% AMI is set at $56,460.

More information and applications for the program can be found at hilltowncdc.org or by calling or emailing Kristepher Severy at 413-296-4536 extension 105, kristephers@hilltowncdc.org. The priority application deadline is Sept. 8.

Applications for the waitlist can also be found at the Village Enterprise Center at 26A Main St. in Chester, Holyoke Public Library at 250 Chestnut St. in Holyoke, Meekins Library at 2 Williams St. in Williamsburg, Huntington Public Library at 7 East Main St. in Huntington, and the Forbes Library at 20 West St. in Northampton.

Worthington tag sale

The Friends of the Worthington Library’s townwide tag sale fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 23.

Maps of all the tag sale sites around town will be available starting at 8 a.m. at the Worthington Library that day, for a donation to the Friends.

Getting a spot on the map costs participants a $5 donation to the Friends, while a spot on the library lawn for the tag sale was a $10 donation. The deadline for reservations and payments was July 16. The money raised will be used to fund programs at the library, including children’s programs, wish list books, and museum passes.

“This is one of our two big fundraisers in the year,” said Judy Babcock, a volunteer with the Friends.

The annual Book and Bake Sale is the other big fundraiser that the Friends hold annually.

“It’s a modern library, even though it’s in a small town,” Babcock said, noting that the library has a maker space.

Additionally, she said patrons can check out a wildlife camera or a spinning wheel, among other items, in addition to books at the library.

“There’s something for everybody,” Babcock said.

More information can be found by contacting Babcock at 413-238-4457 or jabneb@juno.com.

Babcock also said that the Friends are always looking for more Worthington residents to become members.

North Hall Festival begins July 31

The Historic North Hall Arts Festival in Huntington is kicking off this year with a one-woman show about Frances Perkins, the first woman to be appointed as U.S. secretary of labor.

“She’s the first woman to have been appointed a Cabinet member,” said Peri Sossaman, vice president of the North Hall Association.

The show will be performed by its author, Jarice Hanson, and will be titled “Frances Perkins: A Woman’s Work.”

“I got interested in this a couple of years ago,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she was inspired after learning about Perkins visiting factories in Holyoke when she did a Labor Day show in that city. As part of her research, she met a grandson of Perkins.

“She was really the brains behind the New Deal,” Hanson said.

The form of her show is in the style of the Chautauqua Movement, a turn-of-the-century adult education movement that included shows with actors portraying historical figures.

It will take place at 2 p.m. at North Hall, and will be the first performance on its stage since before the COVID-19 pandemic. All other performances in the festival will also take place at 2 p.m. and, like “Frances Perkins: A Woman’s Work,” will be free.

Last year, the association hosted five performances on the Town Common, and this year’s program will be split between there and North Hall. Hanson also has received a grant from the University of North Dakota to develop the show.

Hanson said Perkins experienced many things in her life that resonate today, such as pandemic recovery and talk of expanding the Supreme Court. She said the show will begin touring nationally on Feb. 6, pandemic allowing.

The Uncles, a trio whose repertoire includes folk, jazz, rock and bossa nova, will play on the Town Common on Aug. 14. Meanwhile, Aug. 21 will see the festival return to North Hall with the Bob Sparkman Trio, a staple of the festival, with the trio joined by Ellen Redman on flute and piccolo.

“He’s an incredible clarinetist,” Sossaman said of Sparkman.

Next up on the North Hall stage will be Helen Gillet, a jazz-based cellist, composer and singer, who will play on Aug. 28.

All North Hall performances will require vaccination and masks.

Yet another returning staple will be the Old Country Road Band, who will be playing on the Town Common on Sept. 11. “It’s vintage country,” said Sossaman.

Folk trio Hold On Honeys, meanwhile, will be playing on the Town Common on Sept. 18. One of the band’s members, Emily Curro, worked with Sossaman on musicals at Gateway Regional High School when Sossaman worked there and Curro was a student. Originally Curro’s father was approached about playing this year, but he recommended her band instead.

Closing out the festival will be returning act Dixieland Stomp, a brass and banjo group that draws on the New Orleans Jazz tradition.

“We thought that that would be great on the Town Common,” Sossaman said.

The North Hall building is a former school that dates back to the 19th century, and the festival first started more than a decade ago. All North Hall performances will require vaccination and masks. More information on this year’s festival can be found at northhallhuntington.org.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.
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