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Culture to Do: Oct. 18, 2023

This year’s corn art at Mikes Maze in Sunderland asks the question. “In the age of artificial intelligence: what makes us human?”

Promenade 1 (over the still world)
Larch Hill Conservation Area, Amherst
First created in April, 2020 by John Bechtold, Promenade 1 provides you with a meditative free wander, featuring the words of Robert Frost and Louise Glück who, in 2020, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal." Guided by the app through your headphones, you will wander through Larch Hill Conservation Area as a series of poems come to life. Maybe choose a misty morning like this.

Art in the Orchard
Park Hill Orchard, Easthampton
Open through Sunday, Nov. 26
Every two years, Art in the Orchard presents a juried sculpture trail at Park Hill Orchards in Easthampton. You start at the top of the hill, near the permanent “Big Red Frame” which gives you an irresistible opportunity to frame yourself in an iconic western Mass. landscape, and then meander through the orchard to explore 32 unique pieces of sculpture. There’s also a lovely herbaceous pollinator labyrinth, chickens to feed, and lots of delicious food in the farm stand. New this year — an all-accessibility golf cart, which is able to traverse the entirety of the exhibit.

CISA’s Growing Resilience Day at Mike’s Maze
23 South Main Street, Sunderland
Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This year’s corn art at Mikes Maze in Sunderland asks the question. “In the age of artificial intelligence: what makes us human.” (Can you make it out in the aerial photo above?) The answer, “thinking,” is easy to read. If you haven’t made it to Mike’s Maze yet this year, consider going Saturday for CISA’s Growing Resilience Day. In addition to all the regular activities, at the Maze, you can learn how you can help make local farms more resilient and ensure that an abundant supply of locally produced food continues to nourish us all.

2023 Print Exhibition and Sale
Zea Mays Printmaking, Florence
Oct. 18 – Dec. 31
Zea Mays Printmaking is a professional printmaking studio that provides a state-of-the-art printmaking facility for over 100 artist members, residencies, exhibitions and educational programs. It collaborates with artists, studios and schools around the world to share innovations in non-toxic and sustainable printmaking. The rotating exhibition, featuring over 200 prints from member artists opens this week.

A Beethoven Cycle II: The Complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
This is the second in a series of tremendously interesting free concerts presented by the Sage Chamber Music Society of Smith College. Violinist Elizabeth Chang and pianist Jiayan Sun continue their exploration of Beethoven’s sonatas for piano and violin with performances of three sonatas, including the well-known “Spring” and “Kreutzer” sonatas. The program also features the world premiere of “Fast Forward,” composed by Amherst College Professor Eric Sawyer reflecting on Beethoven’s legacy.

As They Saw It: Women Artists Then & Now
Springfield Museums
Open now through Jan. 14
This new exhibit celebrates the vision and creativity of American women artists working across three centuries. The exhibition emphasizes varied experiences and approaches to artmaking, while pushing back against the under-representation of women in the arts. Over 60 works were organized by an all-women curatorial team, and drawn from the collections of three partner museums — the Springfield Museums, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and Cooperstown’s Fenimore Art Museum.

Adam Ezra Group
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.
Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the Adam Ezra Group first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances. From hole in the wall bars and house concerts to sold-out headline shows Ezra and his bandmates treat every single gig like it’s their last.

Arcadia Players’ 34th season opening concert
featuring baroque trumpet virtuoso Robinson Pyle
Wesley United Methodist Church, Hadley
Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7p.m.
Robinson Pyle, a celebrated performer on the baroque trumpet, is the guest artist for Arcadia Players’ 34th season opening concert. Pyle will be featured in works by Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, and Giuseppe Torelli and will show what musical acrobatics can be achieved on the baroque trumpet — without valves. The program will be led by Arcadia Players Artistic Director Andrew Arceci.

Valley Classical presents the Viano String Quartet
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.
The name “Viano” was created to describe the four individual instruments in a string quartet interacting as one. Each of the four instruments begins with the letter “v”, and like a piano, all four string instruments together play both harmony and melody. Since winning first prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, they have traveled to nearly every major city across the globe, captivating audiences in New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing, Toronto, Lucerne — and now Florence, Mass. The program will include works by Schubert, Florence Price, Penderecki, Dvořák and Smetana.

Springfield Public Forum: Heather Cox Richardson
Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America
Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.
In the midst of the 2019 impeachment crisis, history professor Heather Cox Richardson began writing a daily Facebook essay, providing historical context for the daily churn of news. It soon became a chart-topping Substack newsletter, Letters from an American, which now has over 2 million subscribers. Richardson’s talent is to condense the content of news feeds into coherent stories. She aims to pinpoint what we should pay attention to, what the precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead.

The Northampton Education Foundation Adult Spelling Bee
Bombyx, Florence
Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.
In this annual fundraiser for the NEF Small Grants to Educators program, teams of three show off their humor, costumes, and spelling dominance, undaunted by words like tergiversation, myrmidon, or adularescence. The evening is hosted by emcee Kelsey Flynn, with luminaries from the Northampton Public School District serving as judges. Plus, there’s a dinner that starts at 5 p.m., a bake sale, and Herrell’s ice cream.

MOMIX: Alice
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Acclaimed internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of choreographer/director Moses Pendleton. Seamlessly blending illusion, acrobatics, magic, and whimsy, MOMIX sends audiences flying down the rabbit hole in Pendleton’s newest creation, Alice, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Sam Bush
The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Multi Grammy Award winner and father of Newgrass Sam Bush is a legendary bluegrass musician, known for his virtuosic skills on the mandolin, fiddle and guitar. From his early days playing with New Grass Revival to his work as a solo artist, Bush has always pushed the boundaries of traditional bluegrass, incorporating elements of rock, jazz and even reggae into his music.

Bruce Cockburn: O Sun O Moon
Academy of Music, Northampton
Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.
“Time takes its toll, but in my soul I’m on a roll,” Bruce Cockburn sings on his latest studio album, O Sun O Moon. An inspired poet and exceptional guitarist, the award-winning artist has spent his entire career kicking at the darkness with songs that tackle topics from politics and human rights to the environment and spirituality. And he’s not letting up.