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Culture to Do: Jan. 10, 2024

Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Classics & Jazz – MLK Jr. Celebration at Springfield Symphony Hall Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Conducted by Damien Sneed and and featuring Mebrakh Haughton-Johnson, clarinet and Jason Flowers, piano.

MassMutual Center, Springfield
Monday, Jan. 15 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The annual Dr. King Day Celebration provides our community with an opportunity to celebrate and honor Dr. King’s legacy through a rich tapestry of cultural presentations by community-based organizations. The program includes song, dance, musical performances, and inspirational words by talented youth and adult leaders from the Springfield community. The event reflects the many ways that Dr. King’s life and teachings continue to inspire our community. NEPM is a sponsor of this beautiful event. Arrive early to check out the arts, wellness and vendor expo that opens at 9 a.m.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Classics & Jazz – MLK Jr. Celebration
Springfield Symphony Hall
Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Conducted by Damien Sneed and and featuring Mebrakh Haughton-Johnson, Clarinet and Jason Flowers, Piano, this concert features some of the most beautiful American orchestral compositions created by African Americans. The first part of the program incorporates two well-known African American female composers, Florence Price and Margaret Bonds. The second half of the program is all about jazz. The concert’s finale is the world premiere of Sneed’s A Symphonic Homage to The Duke, a sizzling tribute to one of America’s greatest composers, Duke Ellington.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration
Greenfield Community College
Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
For over two decades Greenfield Community College has been celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. This year’s 25th annual event features a program appropriate for all ages with dance, arts and crafts, education, music and free lunch — plus keynote speaker La Wanza Lett-Brewington on “Embracing Our Responsibility to the Legacy.” Lett-Brewington is a nationally known speaker on leadership, Title IX, equity and social justice. RSVP strongly recommended!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service
Berkshire Community College
First United Methodist Church, Pittsfield
Monday, Jan. 15 from , 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Berkshire Community College will honor one of America's greatest heroes by giving back to the community at its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service event. Join them for breakfast and a keynote by Michael Obasohan, Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Pittsfield. This will be followed by volunteer activities and lunch provided by Smokey Divas.

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Bangs Community Center, Amherst
Monday, January 15 at 1 p.m.
The Amherst Human Rights Commission and the Amherst Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will sponsor a celebration of the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The event will include a community reading of King’s speech, “The Quest for Peace and Justice.” The event is free and open to the public.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Village
Old Sturbridge Village
Monday, Jan. 15
As a part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, AmeriCorps team members will bring several special programs to the Village on Monday, January 15, 2024. Start your visit to the Village in the Visitor Center, where you can contribute to our “I Have a Dream” cloud, visit a table with community and social service resources, and chat with AmeriCorps members about community story quilts. You can even design your own square to add to a community quilt on display!

Cross Country Skiing at Notchview
I’m not much of a skier. But as I was shoveling my walkway last Sunday, I figured that with the snow — abundant, light, and fairly dry — some of my ski-loving friends would be heading to Notchview on Monday. It’s renowned for its Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, and with over 25 miles of trails to explore, there is something for everyone. Almost half of the trails are groomed and track-set for classical cross-country skiing and 5 miles are groomed for skate skiing. You can also snowshoe alongside the ski trails or go off track and explore the backcountry.

Handy and useful: You can check conditions at Notchview and other locations here thanks to the Western Massachusetts Cross Country Ski Area Association.

Amherst Community Theater presents "Seussical"

Bowker Auditorium, UMass
Thursday, Jan 11 – Sunday, Jan. 14
Thursday, Jan 18 – Sunday, Jan. 21
Amherst Community Theater presents a 2-weekend run of the Broadway musical Seussical! “Oh the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’ best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper. Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage at the historic UMass Bowker Auditorium.

Fred Sokol in Person
Odyssey Bookshop
Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.
Local author Fred Sokol will present his new novel, Harry. Here’s how it starts: Harry was just a year out of college when he tried taking census in New York City's Lower East Side during the summer of 1970. He was sweaty and he tied a bandana around his head to keep his long hair from falling over his eyes. Harry loved music almost as much as he loved Carolyn, whom he felt he'd known forever. Fred Sokol was Director of Theater Arts at American International College and Bay Path University.

Lonnie Holley w/ Mourning [A] Blkstar
The Drake, Amherst
Thursday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m.
Bluesman Lonnie Holley is a child of most difficult times and experiences. Yet, in the course of a productive artistic lifetime of sculpture, painting, film making, and performing he is a figure of near-infinite optimism and love. He comes to the Drake to share his soulful mystic improvisations in the company of a sprawling, multi-generational Black Culture collective: Mourning [A] BLKstar, who deserve a full billing in their own right.

Young Shakespeare Players East Present: The Tempest
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Friday, Jan. 12 – Sunday, Jan. 13
The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP) East is a non-profit theater program where youth between the ages of 8-18 perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare. Don’t miss YSP East's distinctive, magical production of The Tempest — with Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Trinculo, Stephano, Gonzalo, three "Men of Sin" (Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian), Ariel, Caliban plus the YSP East Sprites. It’s free and open to the public.

Peter Mulvey & the Crumbling Beauties
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Peter Mulvey has been a songwriter, road-dog, raconteur, and almost-poet since before he can remember. Twenty albums, one illustrated book, thousands of live performances, a TEDx talk, a decades-long association with the National Youth Science Camp, opening tours and gigs for luminaries such as Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, Emmylou Harris and Chuck Prophet, appearances on NPR, an annual autumn tour by bicycle, emceeing festivals, hosting his own Lamplighter Sessions for years in Boston and in Wisconsin… he has built his life’s work on collaboration, on an instinct for the eclectic and the vital.

Boar’s Head Festival
Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Friday, Jan. 12 – Sunday, Jan. 14
An extravaganza of epic proportions! For many, the holiday season is not over until they get their annual Boar’s Head Festival fix. This pageant follows the ancient origins of the journey of epiphany with music, dancing, live animals, and storytelling. Even before the pageant begins, you will be entertained by magicians and townsfolk strolling and tussling through the Gothic-style sanctuary. And after the show is over there’s a massive cookie buffet!

Alphabet Soup: How Picture Books Are Made, From A to Z
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst
Saturday, Jan. 13 –Sunday, June 2
This exhibition mines The Carle’s permanent collection to uncover the processes that bring picture books to life. Each letter of the alphabet introduces a key concept in picture-book making, from the materials artists use, to changes in printing technology, and even the physical parts of books themselves. You’ll see eighty unique pieces and you can make can own miniature book to contribute to the exhibition’s community zine library.