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Culture to Do: May 17, 2023

Tiny Glass Tavern presents "There Shall Be No More Sea" at All Saints' Episcopal Church in South Hadley on Friday May 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Valley Classical: Balourdet Quartet
St. John's Episcopal Church, Northampton
Sunday, May 21 at 3:15 p.m.
The Boston-based Balourdet Quartet, is currently in residence at the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet received the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition as well as the top prize awarded in the 2021 Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia, Italy. They will perform music by Hugo Wolf, Mendelssohn, and one of Beethoven’s late quartets, the luscious Op. 130, and the ground-breaking Grosse Fuge, Op. 133.

What the Constitution Means to Me
The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
Thursday, May 18 – Saturday, June 3
This boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. It became a sensation off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway where it received two Tony Award nominations and was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious and hopeful, and play, Heidi resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

Echoes of Spring: A Music Showcase
PVPA Main Stage Theater, South Hadley
Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School is a regional public charter school serving 400 students in grades 7-12, from 60 towns throughout Western Massachusetts. PVPA’s music department works diligently to provide students with the opportunity to explore music in a variety of formats, play for different audiences, experience the demands of professional musicians, and more. Under the direction of Rahul Roy, the showcase will feature department ensembles and some up and coming musicians.

Tiny Glass Tavern: There Shall Be No More Sea
All Saints' Episcopal Church, South Hadley
Friday May 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Tiny Glass Tavern is a cross-genre music ensemble that offers tastes of different styles of music to curious audiences in an intimate concert setting. An eclectic constellation of musicians brings their different expertise to perform early, folk, romantic, pop, and new music, programmed side by side to shine in contrast with each other. This concert features Sophie Michaux (voice), Adam Simon (voice+guitar+bass), Kai-Ching Chang (piano), Chris Voss (narrator+voice). Sophie is a superb singer who I know from Blue Heron, my very favorite early music ensemble. But then I discovered that she is a member of the world music group Culomba, and now this! The program includes music by Antonio Vivaldi, Rebecca Clarke, Cecil Cohen, Gabriel Fauré, Henry Purcell, Adam Simon, Jacques Brel, Folk songs from England and more.

Pamela Means Jazz Project
Luthiers Co-op, Easthampton
Friday, May 19 at 9:30 p.m.
Pamela Means is an Out (spoken), Biracial indie folk artist whose "kamikaze guitar style" and punchy provocative songs have worn a hole in her guitar. The Pamela Means Jazz Project is inspired by some of Pamela's jazz heroes: Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Anita O'Day, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Tuck and Patti, Lester Young and others. Pamela will be in the Fabulous 413 studio on Friday!

Greenfield Bee Fest 2023
Saturday May 20, starting at 9 a.m.
Greenfield Bee Fest was launched in the spring of 2010 by the Second Congregational Church of Greenfield, whose former pastor, Reverend Lorenzo L. Langstroth, is known as the “Father of Modern Beekeeping.” Games, crafts, lectures, music, costume parade, and other activities all incorporate lessons about the importance of bees and other pollinators. Without them, we would lose 35% of our food supply and up to 80% of all flowering plants!

Swords To Plowshares Northeast
First Congregational Church of Southampton
Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Inspired by a passage in the Old Testament, Swords to Plowshares takes voluntarily surrendered firearms and converts them into usable garden tools using classic blacksmithing techniques. Retired bishop Jim Curry and the violence prevention outreach program invites participants to assist in the transformation of decommissioned gun barrels. The on-site pallet-pollinator garden at the First Congregational Church of Southampton will also take shape and there will be live music and a cookout. It’s all part of “Spring into Southampton.” Check out the flea market, the book and bake sale at the library, and a big plant sale.

The Niagara Movement: The Early Battle for Civil Rights
Northampton Center for the Arts
Saturday, May 20 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Here’s your chance to attend the first screening of an important new film produced by Larry Hott and Florentine Films before it hits NEPM TV in the fall. The one-hour documentary focuses on the formation and impact of the first civil rights movement of the twentieth century. It traces the social and economic conditions of Black Americans at the turn of the century, examines the different strategies for racial advancement led by Black leaders of the time, explores the creation of Niagara Movement, and places the legacy of the movement into a contemporary context.

Ran Blake/Dominique Eade Duo
Community Music School of Springfield
Saturday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Vocalist Dominique Eade has known the legendary pianist, and Springifield native, Ran Blake since her days as a student at the New England Conservatory. Their most recent release is Town and Country. After graduating from NEC Eade was an active performer on the vibrant Boston jazz scene. She has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory since 1984. Blake has created a unique niche in music as an artist and educator. His improvisations are not only informed by his vast knowledge of jazz, but also by Greek folk songs, movie soundtracks, American pop music and gospel.

Martín Espada Reading and Book Signing
The LAVA Center, Greenfield
Saturday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
As a poet, essayist, translator, editor, attorney, and UMass professor, Martín Espada has dedicated much of his career to the pursuit of social justice, including fighting for human rights and reclaiming the historical record. His critically acclaimed collections of poetry celebrate — and lament — the working-class experience. Whether narrating the struggles of immigrants as they adjust to life in the United States or chronicling the battles that Latin Americans have waged against their own repressive governments, Espada has given voice to otherness, powerlessness, and poverty into poetry that is at once moving and vivid.

Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble: The Scythe and the Fountain
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Anchored by Howells’ magnificent Requiem, Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble’s final concert of the season explores the music of British and American composers who sought a new approach to their craft through the study of earlier periods and/or folk traditions, as well as two fresh voices who have entered the choral canon from unexpected directions. Featuring haunting melodies and pure, shimmering tones, this is music best heard in person!

Dolls of New Albion: A Steampunk Opera
Curtain Theater, UMass
Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 21 at 4 p.m.
The Dolls of New Albion, a musical about death, love, obsession, and loneliness, is part of Fringe Fest ’23 at UMass A whirlwind of sound weaving the tale of lost and fabled New Albion, a place full of steampunk whimsy: airships, sentient plants, alchemists, machines of billowing smoke, and Annabel McAlistair, who’s raising up the dead into the titular clockwork dolls. This hectic journey through New Albion, its wonders and its tragedies, shows both the self-destructive potential of loneliness and the reconstructive power of genuine human connection. Check out other Fringe Fest events happening at UMassthis week.

Center for New Americans Presents: Immigrant Voices
The Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Sunday, May 21 at 7 p.m.
The Center for New Americans helps immigrants in the area adapt and adjust to life stateside, and they'll be presenting "Immigrant Voices" at the Shea Theater this Sunday with some of the folx who have benefited from their programs. On Tuesday’s Fabulous 414, CAN director Laurie Millman and current student Roberto Loccident of Haiti gave Monte and Kallis a glimpse of what the organization does and will present at the Shea. Related: my favorite way to celebrate July 4 is to attend the annual naturalization ceremony in Northampton, hosted by the Center for New Americans.

Altered Reality at ArtWorks Gallery
Workshop 13, Ware
Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m. through June 4
Altered Reality features reality-bending artworks in a variety of different mediums including photomontage, sculpture, drawing, painting, and cut velvet silhouettes. Check out the Augmented Reality Poetry Machine. Answer a series of questions and a real, live poet will write a real poem just for you, which will be placed on site at the gallery. Professional artist, curator, and arts activist Vernita Nemec juried the show.