Arts & Culture Briefs

  • Performers in “Restoring Community: Valley Writers Inspiring Theatre” include Annelise Lawson, Phanésia Pharel, Tony Aidan Vo, and Austin Jones Submitted photo

Published: 4/6/2021 2:52:16 PM
CitySpace series to conclude with virtual event

EASTHAMPTON — The fourth and final evening of CitySpace Presents virtual series will take place Sunday, April 18, and will feature area actors performing some of western Massachusetts’s esteemed literary figures’ writings.

“Restoring Community: Valley Writers Inspiring Theatre,” is a virtual event featuring actors Phanésia Pharel, Annelise Lawson, Tony Aidan Vo, and Austin Jones. The performances will highlight the work of authors Ocean Vuong, Charlise Lyles, Emily Dickinson and David Foster Wallace.

The event is being held in support of CitySpace’s capital project to convert Easthampton’s Old Town Hall into a 350-seat accessible performing art and community space. The event will be followed by a conversation with Mary and Ed Hamel, proprietors of Glendale Ridge Vineyard in Southampton.

Emily Wiest, a New York-based playwright, and graduate of Smith College who was residing in Easthampton during the pandemic is the artistic producer.

The performance will take place from 6-7 p.m. A requested ticket price of $25 is recommended, though free “pay it forward” tickets are available.

Detailed information may be found at

Signature Sounds livestreams

Signature Sounds has the following livestreams:

■On Wednesday, April 7, the Oshima Brothers EP Release show will be held at 8 p.m. The brothers are celebrating their new album, “Dark,” with a livestream concert live from their studio in Portland, Maine, on the platform Mandolin. The show will feature music and musings, and a full band will join for a few tunes. To get tickets, visit

■On Thursday, April 8, Louise Taylor will play a concert as part of Signature Sounds’ 25th Anniversary Series. The 8 p.m. show can be heard via Facebook and YouTube. For more information, visit,

South Hadley Cultural Council hands out grants

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley Cultural Council has awarded 27 grants totaling $14,650 for cultural programs in town.

The grants will help fund such events as Valley Jazz Voices Northampton, which is offering online concerts and workshops, as are the Arcadia Players, the Youth Performance Festival, the Hampshire Young People’s Chorus, and Panopera Productions.

Live theater performances will be recorded and broadcast online thanks to the council’s funding, including an audio play by Real Live Theater, a livestream performance of the play “Plague Wedding,” a recording of the performance of “Musical: The Musical,” and the RACE AND dance series which highlights the dances of the African Disaspora.

Educational programs have moved online as well, such as the Mosier School’s virtual aquarium trip and Print Shop Holyoke’s “Art At Home” classes.

Finally, many exciting new projects created especially for film or audio have received grants from the council, including the SisterStories podcast which presents world folktales for children; and the Embodied Leadership Project’s film about Black women’s leadership.

Local history is the focus of several of this year’s grants, such as the South Hadley Audio Walk; as well as The Nolumbeka Project and Snapshot of a Shapeshifter which highlight the region’s Indigenous history. “The Caribbean Connection” on WGGB explores the ties between our region and the Caribbean through music, travel, and migration.

A full list of projects receiving grants is available on the state’s Local Cultural Council website at:

Springfield Museums to host Earth Day festival

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums present a virtual Earth Day Festival Sunday, April 18, that leads into an entire week of in-person Earth-centered fun during the museums’ school vacation week, April 19-23.

This year marks the 31st annual Earth Day Festival celebrated at the museums. Due to pandemic restrictions on outdoor gathering capacities, the museums have coordinated a virtual celebration with many Earth-centered groups from the region sharing videos, activities, and words of inspiration.

For school vacation week, April 19-23, “Earth Week: Take Action,” is five days of kid-friendly Earth optimism fun.

Visitors can follow a trail of environmentally mindful trivia questions as an exciting new way to explore the Science Museum. Ecological conversation starters for kids and their caregivers as well as a daily interactive science demonstration at noon keep families focused on positive change. U.S. Fish and Wildlife educators will also be at the Museums Thursday and Friday to share information with visitors.

The Springfield Museums are on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards St. in downtown Springfield. For more, visit

Mass Humanities’ publication party with Clint Smith

NORTHAMPTON — A new course in civic engagement concludes this month with a publication party featuring nationally acclaimed author and poet Clint Smith.

Mass Humanities invites the public to celebrate the conclusion of this year’s Clemente Courses in the Humanities and the publication of the students’ essays on April 21. During the event, Clemente scholars will share their written work and discuss civic engagement with Smith, whose upcoming book is titled “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America.”

This spring, students in the Clemente Course studied and wrote about democracy in America. Classes began with a look at the career of John Lewis. Participants studied some of the many forms engagement can take, from volunteering, to demonstrating, to writing op-eds and letters, to running for office, then wrote about their own experiences as participants in our democracy. Graduates of the course earn one credit from Bard College.

PVPA: Auction and arts showcase

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) will present its spring virtual fundraising event, the Spring2ACTion Silent Auction and Arts Showcase. Bidding will begin on April 12, with the campaign peaking in an hourlong live-streamed event highlighting PVPA’s talented community of artists on April 23 at 7 p.m.

The PVPA community is filled with incredible artists from over 50 cities and towns around western Massachusetts. A focus of this event is accessibility for all, with the auction featuring items at all price points and bidding accessible from the comfort of a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

PVPA is a regional charter public school entering its 25th year that serves 400 students grades 7-12.


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