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Culture to Do: Feb. 14, 2024

Shelburne Falls' annual Winter HooPla is Saturday, Feb. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring art installations in the Trolley Museum rail yard.

Seiji Ozawa
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Listen Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. on Classical NEPM

Seiji Ozawa's 29 years as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is the longest tenure for any conductor in that position in BSO history. He also led more BSO recordings of individual works than any other conductor. In this program, four members of the orchestra along with BSO Vice President for Artistic Planning Tony Fogg, tell the stories of the most memorable recordings they made with Ozawa. The program includes movements from Mahler’s 3rd Symphony with Jessye Norman, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Kiri Te Kanawa, Bartók’s 2nd Violin Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and more.

Kelly Link in Person
Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley
Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
Kelly Link presents her long-awaited debut novel, in which three teenagers become pawns in a supernatural power struggle. Late one night, they find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from their hometown, the small seaside community of Lovesend, Massachusetts, having long been presumed dead. Which, in fact, they are. Kelly Link is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the co-owner of Book Moon, an independent bookstore in Easthampton. She will be joined in conversation by Yvette Ndolovu.

Cirque Mechanics — Zephyr
Tillis Performance Center, UMass
Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 2004 by Boston native and German wheel artist Chris Lashua, Las Vegas-based Cirque Mechanics, quickly established itself as a premier American circus troupe. The company is revered for its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling, and innovative mechanical staging.Zephyr is Cirque Mechanics’ latest expression of their celebrated blend of ingenuity, theater, and circus arts. It tells of a miller, and his complicated relationship with wind, the natural resource that powers his flour mill.

My Evil Twin
The Drake, Amherst
Thursday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.
My Evil Twin is an intimate, genre-bending musical starring identical twin opera singers Jim and John Demler – as Jim and John Demler. My Evil Twin exposes tenderness and vulnerability beneath masculine bravado as the twins tell the story of their lives in words and song in a tribute to sibling love. The book was developed in rehearsal with the twins themselves and with director Ron Bashford. The result is an exquisite, entertaining and totally out-of-the-box new kind of music theater. Amherst College music professor Eric Sawyer is the composer/lyricist, Harley Erdman wrote the script.

10x10 New Play Festival
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield
Thursday, Feb 15 – Sunday, March 10
Not your average play festival. You’ll experience 10 new plays by 10 playwrights. That’s 100 minutes of fresh theatrical fun. It’s a super popular highlight of Pittsfield’s city wide 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival that launches this week.

The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today
Springfield Museums
Opens Saturday, Feb. 17
Launched in 2006 to support contemporary portraiture in the United States, the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition returns to the Springfield Museums. A major survey of the best American portraits, selected by internationally prominent jurors and curators, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today presents 42 works selected from over 2,700 entries, that foreground the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture today.

Sophie et Adam
Northampton Center for the Arts
Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux and multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Adam Simon recently moved to Conway — which is very good news for us! Sophie sings with the Blue Heron Ensemble, the Lorelei Ensemble, Les Délices and other superb groups; Adam’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the US and Europe and he’s now the Music Director at Edward’s Church in Northampton. Both sing with the world music group Culomba, and are creators of The Tiny Glass Tavern. They will present a super interesting program of music for voice, guitar, and piano from France, Argentina, Brazil, England, originals, and more. Plus, they’ll be on The Fabulous 413 Friday afternoon at 3 pm.

Ted Leo w/ Will Dailey
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Ted Leo is “one of the finest songwriters of our generation, even if it’s not entirely clear what generation that is.” His new album, The Hanged Man, was recorded at a home-studio-in-transition in Wakefield, Rhode Island with Ted playing almost all the instruments. Ted describes the time working on the album as one of “personal desolation that felt fallow but was actually very fertile.” On Monday’s Fabulous 413, Ted chatted with Monte and Kaliis about the punk scene and his songwriting.

Will Dailey is an acclaimed independent recording and performing artist. His sound has a rich vintage vibe while having a firm appreciation of AM rock, pop and big hooks.

Reclaiming Our Heritage
The Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery at Springfield Technical Community College
On view through Thursday, Feb. 29
Public reception Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
A selection of 2D and 3D artwork, art projects, video and text by students from Springfield Honors Academy and Springfield Conservatory of the Arts has been curated by STCC students. In response to Black History Month, this celebration of BIPOC ( student artwork focuses on issues of identity.

The Big Chill
Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield
Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. 4 p.m.
Grab your coat and hat and head to Hancock Shaker Village for a weekend of winter fun. Activiities include ice harvesting talks, ice sculpting, maple tree tapping demos, farm animals, simple family crafts, blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations, live music, drinks by the fire, and more. All event activities are included in general admission. The Big Chill is part of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

Freedom Stories of the Pioneer Valley
Mason Square Library, Springfield
Saturday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m.
Join Cliff McCarthy, an archivist from the Springfield Museums' Library and Archives, as he highlights the stories of African Americans who lived in the Pioneer Valley and took action, whether successful or unsuccessful, to secure their freedom or the freedom of others. He will also discuss the ongoing Documenting Early History of Black Lives in the Connecticut River Valley project.

Winter HooPla
The Art Garden 14 Depot Street, Shelburne Falls
Saturday, Feb. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.
This midwinter event is filled with wonder, light and warmth. Artists, community members, and teens have created ephemeral, outdoor art installations in the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum rail yard’s historic buildings, old train cars and open landscape. You’ll wander along candle-lit paths and gather around a fire at the far end of the yard for conversation. A community exhibit in the Art Garden studio provides a place to warm up.

Lara Herscovitch
Mount Toby Concerts, Leverett
Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.
Lara Herscovitch is a singer-songwriter, poet, author and policy social worker. She writes masterful modern folk-americana music, sings and leads with authenticity, integrity, humor and heart, and delivers performances that inspire, uplift and entertain. Her songs are soulful, poetic treasure maps that point to the wisdom, grit and joy of underdogs and misfits, connection and courage, love and loss, resilience and transformation.

Arcadia Players: Chamber Music by Beethoven, Hummel and Haydn
Wesley United Methodist Church, Hadley
Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.
Three of our region's talented period-instrument performers — Monica Jakuc Leverett, Emlyn Ngai, and Alice Robbins — come together for an afternoon of chamber works from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Beethoven's popular "Spring" Sonata takes on new clarity when played on the kind of instruments he would have heard in his own day. Haydn's Trio is a masterpiece of mature Classical craftsmanship and melodic invention. And Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Sonata, little-known today, was hailed as a great work in its time.


Springfield Museums: Get Animated
Monday, Feb. 19 – Friday Feb. 23 from 10:30 – 4 p.m.
During school vacation week, the Springfield Museums new Animationland exhibit will be turbo-charged with extra related activities. Families can play with optical illusions, learn about the science of sound, create an origami jumping frog, design a comic strip, and more. On Monday, Springfield’s Olive Tree Books-n-Voices is hosting a local author book fair. On Wednesday, Tanglewood Marionettes presents Fairy Circus with music of favorite composers.

StoryWalk: Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak
Mount Holyoke Range State Park, 1500 West St, Amherst
Friday Feb. 16 – Monday Feb. 26 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A self-guided tour. Join a boy and his dog as they explore nature and take a stroll through the countryside, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with everything from the melting brook to chirping bird.

Sweeten Up! A Maple Syrup Adventure
Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls
Saturday, Feb. 17 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
For children ages 6-10. Explore the amazing transformation of tree sap into maple syrup. Learn how the hard work of a winter harvest sweetens up your pancakes through crafts and activities. Meet in the Great Hall.

Winter Wonderland Activity Day
Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough
Sunday, Feb. 18 from 1 –3 p.m.
A fun-packed time of winter activities for all ages. Winter crafts, scavenger hunts, board games, and sledding if snow permits. Designed as self-guided activities but also led by a Park Interpreter. Bring your own sled if you have one! Meet at the visitor center.

Make a Tree Guidebook
Holyoke Heritage 221 Appleton St. Holyoke, MA 01040
Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m.
Make your own winter tree identification guide. Join the interpreter for a walk around the park to make bark rubbings and collect twigs and leaves for your book. Take your homemade guide on your next hike to recognize your tree friends. Adults must accompany children. All programs are free. Meet at the visitor center. No dogs allowed. Ages 8 and up. For more information, please contact 413-534-1723.

More western Mass. park activities here »