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Culture to Do: March 1, 2023

Springfield Forum presents "Making History: Lessons from a Year in Space with NASA Astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly" Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m. at Symphony Hall.

Native Memories: Recovering Pocumtuck Histories in Franklin County
A talk with Dr. Margaret M. Bruchac
Shea Theater Arts Center, Turners Falls
Saturday, March 4 at 4 p.m.
Here's a great day trip. First go to the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls. It’s part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Mass Humanities. Then head to the Shea for Dr. Bruchac’s lecture. In her multi-modal career as a performer, ethnographer, historian, and museum consultant, Bruchac has long been committed to critical analyses of colonial histories and recoveries of Indigenous histories.

Lydia Moland in Person
Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley
Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m.
Head to the Odyssey Bookshop to meet Lydia Moland and learn about her book “Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life.” Best known today for the immortal poem “Over the River and through the Wood,” Child had become famous at an early age for spunky self-help books and charming children’s stories. But in 1833, Child shocked her readers by publishing the first book-length argument against slavery in the United States.

Exit Strategy
Rooke Theater, Mount Holyoke College
Thursday, March 2 – Sunday, March 5
Presented by The Film Media Theater Department at Mount Holyoke College, “Exit Strategy” is a timely and poignant drama that deals with an inner-city public school on the brink of extinction. The fictional Chicago-based Tumbldn High School is severely underfunded and undermined. The impending closure thrusts its vice principal, teachers, and a student into a battle to save their beloved institution. Will the bonds forged in this battle be enough to rescue their school from extinction?

Back Porch Festival
Featuring performances in 8 venues in Northampton
Friday, March 3 – Sunday, March 5
The Back Porch Festival was founded in 2014 as a one-day event at the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton. It has since grown to a multi-venue event featuring the best in American roots music. This year’s line-up includes Sonny War, Peter Mulvey Fancy Trash, The Gaslight Tinkers, Grammy-winning Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside and so many more fabulous musicians and bands.

Tony Vacca
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m.
Over the course of his career Tony Vacca has made a habit of pushing the already adventurous conventions of World Music into new territory, both as a soloist and as the leader of his World Rhythms Ensemble. Twenty-one trips to West Africa have contributed to his unique approach and to his depth of knowledge regarding African and American musical traditions.

Music@Amherst Presents: The Gryphon Trio
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m.
Violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker are creative innovators with an appetite for discovery and new ideas. They have commissioned over 85 new works, and they frequently collaborate with other artists on projects that push the boundaries of classical music. The program includes Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio, Dinuk Wijeratne’s Love Triangle, and Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1.

Nelson Stevens: Color Rapping
Springfield Museums
Opens Saturday, March 4
Nelson Stevens is an American artist and educator renowned for creating powerful, rhythmic compositions that celebrate Black life and reveal his technical mastery of the figure. From 1972 through 2003, while teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Stevens lived in Springfield. In the early 1970s, he initiated a groundbreaking public art project that resulted in the creation of over 30 murals throughout the city.

The Glad Machine CD Release Party
The Divine Theater at Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m.
There’s nothing like a CD release party, particularly when the band is local! Formed in the fall of 2012, The Glad Machine set out to write some of the catchiest rock songs on the vibrant western Massachusetts music scene. Drawing influence from Cheap Trick, The Posies, Jellyfish, The Beach Boys and Superdrag.

The Robert Cray Band
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m.
The Robert Cray Band is touring for the first time since the 2020 release of his album, That’s What I Heard. “Funky, cool and bad,” is how Cray describes the Grammy-nominated album, produced by longtime collaborator, Steve Jordan.

Springfield Public Forum
Making History: Lessons from a Year in Space with NASA Astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly
Symphony Hall, Springfield
Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
The Springfield Public Forum is the revered local institution known for bringing important and interesting people to Symphony Hall for free lectures — usually on weekday evenings. This time around, it’s on a Sunday afternoon, making it a perfect event for families! During his record-breaking Year in Space, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly captivated the world while laying the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration. Kelly will reflect on his journey— from the leadership and teamwork required in such demanding conditions, to the long-term deprivation from loved ones and Planet Earth itself.

Concert for Peace, Ukrainian and Russian Organ Music
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, Springfield
Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
Organist Gail Archer’s “Concert for Peace” presents a unique opportunity for audiences to appreciate the substantial contributions to organ music, that have emerged from both Ukraine and Russia. The program will include music by Ukrainian composers Tadeusz Machl, Mykola Kolessa, Svitlana Ostrova, Iwan Kryschanowskij. Russian composers include Alexander Glasunow, Cesar Cui, Sergei Slonimsky, and Alexander Shaversaschvili.

Presidential Colloquium Series: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Tuesday, March 7 at 5 p.m.
Smith College’s Presidential Colloquium series gives us the chance to tap into the Five College scholarly vibe. Ta-Nehisi Coates is the award-winning author and journalist whose works include the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award. Coates also enjoyed a successful run writing Marvel’s Black Panther.

Ruthie Foster
Bombyx, Florence
Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m.
Drawing inspiration from legends like Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, and Darlene Love, Ruthie Foster’s joyful voice is a searing, soaring expression of resolve and resilience in the face of challenging times. A staple of Austin’s fertile music scene, ninth album, Healing Time, is the latest jewel in a career that includes multiple Grammy nominations and more than a dozen awards from the world's most respected blues institutions.