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Culture to Do: Jan. 31, 2023

Gina Coleman's Misty Blues presents “Queens of the Blues” in honor of Black History Month, Saturday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at The Drake in Amherst.
The Cost of Inheritance, an America ReFramed Special

NEPM presents: "The Cost of Inheritance" screening & discussion
Springfield College
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
NEPM invites you to a screening of “The Cost of Inheritance,” a film by acclaimed director Yoruba Richen about the U.S. reparations debate. Join us for a night of impactful storytelling and dialogue on historical and social justice and learn more about the reparative justice work happening in western Massachusetts. Following the screening, engage in a panel discussion with two of the film’s subjects, Briayna Cuffie and Lotte Lieb Dula; and local experts Dr. Jallicia Jolly and Dr. Stefan M. Bradley, Black studies professors at Amherst College; and Michele Miller, chair of Amherst’s African Heritage Reparation Assembly. The panel will be moderated by Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, chief inclusion and equity officer at GBH Boston.

Faces of Medicine
Screening and Conversation with Dr. Khama Ennis
Bombyx, Florence
Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Faces of Medicine is a documentary project celebrating the paths of Black female physicians both throughout the United States and in Massachusetts specifically. In sharing these diverse experiences, the filmmakers' hope is that any young Black or brown woman can find herself in one of the stories and feel empowered to pursue medicine if it is her passion. At the post-screening panel discussion, audience members will be invited to share their reactions with Khama Ennis, MD, the film’s director and executive producer.

Misty Blues
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.
2019 International Blues Challenge finalist, Misty Blues, is led by lead singer/band founder Gina Coleman and is based in the Berkshires. This concert will be a special presentation of “Queens of the Blues”, featuring music by Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, and Koko Taylor - in celebration of Black History Month.

photo by Emily April Allen

Crys Matthews
The Parlor Room
Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
A former drum major and classically-trained clarinetist turned folk singer, Matthews is using her voice to answer Dr. Martin Luther King's call to be "a drum major for justice." Matthews began performing in 2010, but cemented her acclaim at Lincoln Center as the 2017 New Song Music and Performance Competition grand prize winner. With the release of her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album Changemakers, Matthews hopes to take her place alongside some of her heroes in the world of social-justice music like Sweet Honey in the Rock and Holly Near.

Drum Tao 30th Anniversary
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Bust out of the winter blahs with the extraordinary showmanship of the world’s greatest taiko ensemble. Founded in 1993 with the objective of creating the world’s greatest show using wadaiko (Japanese drums), Drum Tao has spread out from their base in Oita, Japan to perform in front of more than nine million spectators in 26 countries across four continents. The troupe’s performances are magnificent spectacles of musicianship and movement, incorporating wadaiko (or taiko) drumming, Japanese flute and harp, and acrobatic choreography.

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts, 15 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley
Friday, Feb. 2 – Sunday, Feb. 4
The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA) Charter Public School Theater Department will present Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, by Dave Malloy. It’s a musical adaptation of a 70-page segment of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, written by composer/lyricist Dave Malloy. It is based on part 8 of Tolstoy's novel, focusing on Natasha's romance with Anatole and Pierre's search for meaning in his life.

102nd Annual Greenfield Winter Carnival
Friday, Feb. 2 – Sunday, Feb. 4
Here’s our chance to experience a tradition that began in 1922! The Greenfield Recreation Department is putting on a weekend packed with events including (but not limited to) ice sculpture contests, fireworks, a parade of lights, a glow party, family activities, donuts with Olaf, mad science show, jigsaw puzzle contest, cribbage tournament, cardboard sled race, k9 keg pull, chili cook off, vintage snowmobiles, sledding, and ice skating.

Painting the Persianate World: Portable Images on Paper, Cloth and Clay
Smith College Museum of Art
Opens Friday, Feb. 2
Despite the mountain range that divides them, Greater Iran and the Indian subcontinent have long been in contact through trade and migration. Painting the Persianate World explores the circuitous histories of painted portable images from these regions across three media: paper, cloth, and clay. It is the first comprehensive project at SCMA to examine the Persianate world from a trans-media perspective.

Eluding Capture: Three Artists from Central Asia
MASS MoCA, North Adams
Opens Saturday, Feb. 3
Eluding Capture features the work of Saodat Ismailova, Alexander Ugay, and Gulnur Mukazhanova, three artists who explore the conditions of belonging in Central Asia through photography, textile, film, and video. Central Asia has been ruled by Indigenous Khanates, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union at different points in time. The region’s rich philosophical, literary, and artistic traditions provide the basis for contemporary interventions that attend to its history and speculate on its future.

Winterfest Amherst: 4th Annual Fire & Ice Festival
Amherst Town Common
Saturday, Feb. 3 from 2 – 7 pm.
The grand finale of this year’s WinterFest Amherst is the Fire and Ice Festival on Saturday. The Town Common will be transformed into a winter wonderland with ice sculptures, live entertainment, metal sculpting, hot cocoa and s’mores, fire pits to toast marshmallows, a fire truck to explore and Sparky the fire dog to take photos with, tie-dying crafts, and a breathtaking display of luminaria.

A Memorial Concert for Ronald Perera
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Saturday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m.
Join Smith College music department faculty, faculty emeriti, and guest artists in celebrating the musical legacy of Ronald Perera (1941–2023) who taught at Smith College for 30 years. The free concert will feature performances by Smith emeriti Monica Jakuc Leverett and Kenneth Fearn, music department faculty Lemuel Gurtowsky, Joel Pitchon, Volcy Pelletier, Katherine Saik DeLugan, and the Smith College Chamber Singers under the direction of Jonathan Hirsh. Guest artists will include Yu-mei Wei, Mary Hubbell, Illuminati Vocal Ensemble, Da Camera Singers, Clifton J. Noble Jr., and Kaeza Fearn.

Winter Carnival Party – Featuring: HYFY & Small Town Radio
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Saturday, Feb. 3 from 8 – 11:30 p.m.
The Valley’s newest cover band, Small Town Radio, is ready to ignite the dance floor with an irresistible blend of tunes that will transport you to the sun-soaked days of summer. This ensemble has an amazing catalog of songs you know and love, expertly curated to make you get up and groove. Whether you’re a fan of classic hits or modern favorites, Small Town Radio guarantees a night filled with infectious rhythms. With a Hawaiian theme, a limbo contest, and summer drinks with umbrellas, this party sounds like blast.

Food, Farms, and Factories: Sunday Matinee Documentary Double Feature
Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls
Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.
Building on the success of 2023’s Crossroads: Change in Rural America in, the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center are presenting programs and exhibits about Food, Farms, and Factories throughout 2024. At this event you will watch two films — “The Genesis of the Turners Falls Community – The post-colonial creation of Montague’s largest village” and “The Franklin County Fair – History of the Fair and why it’s important today.” Chris Clawson and Ed Gregory of the Montague Historical Society will lead a discussion after the films.

Valley Classical Concerts: Merz Trio
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College
Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.
Merz Trio are passionately committed to reshaping the narrative of classical music through dynamic programming and wide-ranging interdisciplinary collaboration. Their narrative programming style juxtaposes classical standards, new music, and their own arrangements of familiar and forgotten works, interwoven with speaking from the Trio’s members. Their program, “Night Songs,” consists of brief works by Hildegard of Bingen, Alma Mahler, Thelonious Monk and others, as well as Robert Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 2 in F Major, Op. 80 and Brahms’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8.

The Afro-Semitic Experience in Concert
Sinai Temple, Springfield
Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.
Co-founded by African American jazz pianist Warren Byrd and Jewish American jazz bassist David Chevan in 1998, The Afro-Semitic Experience is a band that combines an eclectic array of styles, sophisticated musicianship, good songwriting, deep grooves, and years of friendship with a simple message: Unity in the Community. This is a band beyond category that performs an intricate tapestry of spiritual, world-beat, funk, jazz, cantorial, gospel, salsa and swing.

Fun on First Sunday: Tea (Party!)
The Clark, Williamstown
Sunday, Feb. 4 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Warm up with a cup of tea and tea-themed activities like decorating your own teacup, creating a delicious tea blend and enjoying tea tastings offered by local tea shop Hearts Pace. At 2 p.m., Kathy Morris, Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Curator of Decorative Arts, will lead a guided tour to explore the unique tea sets, spoons, and pots in the Clark’s collection of decorative arts.