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Culture to Do: Dec. 13, 2023

Radiant Nights at Hancock Shaker Village runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 31.

Ana Reyes in Person
Odyssey Bookshop, Hadley
Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
Meet author and Easthampton resident Ana Reyes as she launches the paperback release of her novel, The House in the Pines. It follows a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death and sets out to track down answers. She will be joined in conversation by Margot Douaihy who has been a guest on The Fabulous 413, appeared at our June Asparagus Festival and co-hosted the NEPM Book Club discussion of her book, Scorched Grace.

Fresh Pressed: Print & Design Holiday Party Experience
Paper City Clothing Company, Holyoke
Friday, December 15 from 4 – 7 p.m.
At this hands-on party experience, you can choose a design created by Paper City Clothing or by guest artist Hasani Picasso, then print it to create your own giftable clothing or household items. Enjoy music, refreshments and good vibes. Then stay for a listening party that goes from 7 – 9 p.m.

Radiant Nights
Hancock Shaker Village
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 15 – Dec. 31 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Here’s a multisensory holiday experience with lights, farm animals, music, and festive spirits. Artist Joe Wheaton illuminates the Village with stunning and unexpected video projections on several historic buildings, including the iconic Round Stone Barn. There are many other elements of “surprise” along the path as you stroll through the Village including warm drinks and snacks in the Discovery Barn along with a fire pit in the center of Village.

Hampshire County Messiah Sing
Grace Church, Amherst
Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.
A Messiah sing-along is an opportunity for the community to come together to sing through sections of Handel's popular oratorio. The audience is the chorus, and joins in song with players and soloists. It's a Christmas tradition that dates back to the 19th century in the US and England. Arianne Abela and Noah Horn will conduct the entire Christmas section, plus the Hallelujah chorus, and more. Featuring Paige Graham, soprano; Caitlin Felsman, alto; Noah Horn, tenor; John Thomas, bass; and a chamber orchestra. Bring your score. Some scores are available. The event benefits the Sidney Smith Toy Fund.

The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Presents Tartuffe
PVPA Main Stage Theater, 15 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley
Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
PVPA is a regional public charter school serving 400 students grades 7-12, from over 50 towns throughout Western Massachusetts. Its theater department is excited to present Molière's classic French farce in which the conman Tartuffe worms his way into the good graces of a wealthy family. Hiding behind false piety and humbleness, he enraptures Orgon, the patriarch of the family who promises him his daughter's hand in marriage. What comes next? Hijinks and hilarity!

Darlingside with Caitlin Canty
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Friday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m.
NPR once described Darlingside as “exquisitely arranged, literary minded, baroque folk-pop.” The concert will feature music from Everything Is Alive, their fourth LP. Nudged by the limitations created by pandemic isolation, the album, brings out the individual voices of each member. Caitlin Canty is an American singer/songwriter whose music carves a line through folk, blues, and country ballads. Her voice was called “casually devastating” by the San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Music describes her songs as having a “haunting urgency.”

The Great Greenfield DinoFest
Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17
Presented by Piti Theatre and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA), DinoFest is a celebratory in-person and online series of performances, films, interactive exhibits and activities for children and more celebrating our local dinosaur footprints in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts and related history. Why? Because this is where the first scientific study in the world of dinosaur footprints took place!

Pioneer Valley Symphony
Home for the Holidays: Holiday Pops for the Whole Family
Greenfield High School Auditorium
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.
This kid-friendly annual tradition unites the 150+ musicians of the PVS Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Orchestra on stage for a big holiday sound. The program includes seasonal favorites such as Sleigh Ride and Jingle Bells, music from Polar Express and Home Alone and the premiere of a new commissioned work from local composer, pianist, and writer Clifton "Jerry" Noble based on the humorous Hanukkah in Santa Monica by Tom Lehrer.

10th Anniversary & Holiday Reception
CyclePottery, Florence
Saturday, Dec. 16 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Created by artist Kathryn Kothe, CyclePottery is a creative center and community fixture in Florence. At their 10th-anniversary reception you’ll see work by local potters and paintings by Collin Ricketts. Stop by to learn more about the artists, how to become a studio member, and class offerings available in the new year.

Eveline Macdougall with Fiery Hope
Mount Toby Concerts, Leverett
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
Fiery Hope began in 1988 in the form of a chorus called Amandla, which means “power” in Zulu. They started out by singing exclusively South African freedom songs as part of anti-apartheid work, but have since added songs from many different cultures, as well as original compositions by their founder and director, Eveline MacDougall. They sing to celebrate life, articulate social concerns, and provide inspiration as they work for justice and peace.

Arcadia Players: Charpentier’s Midnight Mass for Christmas
Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier's beautiful Messe de Minuit pour Noël from 1694 is based on traditional Christmas “noëls,” many of which are still sung in France and Quebec today. It is the centerpiece of a holiday program performed by the Arcadia Players ensemble, soloists and Cantabile vocal ensemble, directed by Andrew Arceci. The concert also includes holiday-themed pieces by Corelli and Torelli, and a special guest appearance by the Amherst Regional High School Chorale, directed by Todd Fruth.

Kimaya Diggs & Friends Holiday Show
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.
Join Western Mass. songstress Kimaya Diggs for a night of holiday magic featuring an all-star lineup of special guests from across the state. One part jazz show, one part campy variety, this is a show for lovers of tinsel, sing-along fanatics, and folks who want to kick off the holiday season in style. Come for the music, stay for the giveaways, surprises, and special guests. Dressing up is highly encouraged.

Conway Fine Arts: Ballet and Bach
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.
This promises to be a super interesting concert. Each of Bach’s cello suites starts with a prelude and then presents movements based on dance forms of his time. This concert brings music and dance together. Geoffrey Archambeau will play the fifth and third suites on the viola while Mikayla Archambeau dances to her own choreography.

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
Celtic music superstar Natalie MacMaster is one of Cape Breton’s most important cultural exports. Her husband, Donnell Leahy, is known as one of the best fiddlers in the world. The pair realized early on that being on the road without their kids was infinitely harder than touring with them. “Initially we were reluctant to let the kids perform. We worried the expectations might be too much,” Leahy says. “But then one night we put Mary Frances on stage. Soon after that Michael wanted to play. And you must reward practice.”

Winter Solstice at Bombyx
Bombyx, Florence
Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
On the eve of the Winter Solstice, gather to prepare to intimately engage with the energies of this annual turning. Through individual reflection, earth-based readings, meditation and visualizations, listening circles, creativity, and ritual, participants will immerse in an exploration of relationship with Spirit/God/the Divine, the natural world, and the time of the longest darkness and shortest light. All beliefs and non-beliefs are warmly welcomed.

Norman Rockwell: Winter Wonderland
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge
Exhibit on view through Sunday, Feb. 25
Among Norman Rockwell’s best-known illustrations are heartwarming scenes that capture the essence of American holiday traditions celebrated throughout the year. Rockwell’s connection to holiday-inspired art can be traced to his youth, when at the age of fifteen, a parishioner of his family’s church employed his talents for Christmas card designs.