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Culture to Do: June 12, 2024

Kevin Scott will conduct Springfield Symphony Orchestra's Juneteenth Freedom Day Concert on Wednesday, June 19 at 3 p.m. at Symphony Hall. The program will include Avery Sharpe's '400 Project.'

Juneteenth Jubilee Springfield
Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15
Over the course of two days, the second annual Juneteenth Jubilee Springfield gives us the chance to celebrate, learn, dance and enjoy food, fun and community.

Flag Raising
Black Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Springfield
Friday, June 14 at 12 p.m.
Head to Mason Square on State Street in Springfield for the flag raising plus words from elected officials, readings on the history of Juneteenth, performances, recognition of Miss Juneteenth and Jr. Miss Juneteenth, and more.

Adult Block Party
Level 5 Restaurant, Springfield
Friday, June 14 from 5 – 9 p.m.
This 21+ event will include music by DJ Buck, free food, spades, dominos, vendors, raffles and more.

Family Fun Day
Blunt Park, Springfield
Saturday, June 15 from 12 – 7 p.m.
Hosted by DJ Meechie, this event will include an awards ceremony, a youth basketball clinic, youth games, free braids and haircuts, a fashion show, free food, an ice cream truck, live performances and more.

Chains To Change: A Juneteenth Story Slam Event
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m.
The Ancestral Bridges Foundation will present its 4th Annual Juneteenth Legacy Celebration, "Chains to Change: Honoring Amherst's Everyday Heroes." Festivities will commence with a memorial outdoor gathering at the historic West Cemetery and conclude with a story slam at The Drake. This local Juneteenth event welcomes both community members and visitors to connect with the profound history of Amherst's Black residents, highlighting their significant roles from the Civil War era to today.

Juneteenth Celebration
Durant Park, Pittsfield
Sunday, June 16 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The NAACP Berkshire Branch is hosting a huge celebration that will include a flag-raising, a freedom walk, a community worship service, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, music, African dance, story time and more. Plus (since it’s Father’s Day) free lunch for all dads!

Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Juneteenth Freedom Day Concert
Symphony Hall, Springfield
Wednesday, June 19 at 3 p.m. (flag-raising ceremony at 2 p.m.)
Celebrate this pivotal moment in history with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, alongside Kevin Sharpe and The Extended Family Choir and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. Conductor Kevin Scott returns to lead the SSO in this free concert featuring a collection of classical and spiritual music with powerful themes of freedom, hope, and unity. The concert will also feature the premiere of Avery Sharpe’s ‘400: An African American Musical Portrait’ which traces the 400-year history of Black Americans through a series of ten musical vignettes.

Greenfield Juneteenth Celebration
Beacon Field, Greenfield
Wednesday, June 19 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The third annual Greenfield Juneteenth Celebration starts at 9 a.m. with tours of the Underground Railroad murals. The parade starts at City Hall at 11 a.m. and travels to Beacon Field where you will find a jam-packed schedule of activities, music, readings, dance performances, and more.

Wednesday Folk Traditions: Rebelle
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, Hadley
Wednesday, June 19 at 6:30 pm
To celebrate Juneteenth, the Wednesday Folk Traditions welcomes duo ReBelle. Their powerful vocals energize eloquent compositions of pulsing rhythms and multi-instrumental arrangements which combine Rasta, soul, folk, and poetry. The concert will be held in the museum’s Sunken Garden, which opens for picnicking at 5 p.m.

Jubilee! A Juneteenth Concert of Early New England Music
Deerfield Community Center
Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m.
Historic Deerfield hosts an all-star ensemble of early American music performers presenting a concert featuring lively abolitionist psalmody, spirituals, dance tunes, and chamber music from the repertoire of regional African American composers and band leaders. This includes the music of Greenfield’s own John Putnam (c. 1817–1895), “the father of contradance music,” and selections from a newly discovered manuscript of music by early Connecticut composer and fiddler Sawney Freeman. The ensemble will perform on period New England instruments and be joined by local shape-note singers, led by Historic Deerfield musician in residence Tim Eriksen.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Unicorn Theater, Stockbridge
Thursday, June 13 – Sunday, July 14
Step into the life and evolution of one of America’s most iconic figures in Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Charting Lincoln’s extraordinary journey from humble beginnings in New Salem, Illinois, to his historic inauguration as President of the United States, this play presents an intimate and stirring narrative of the man behind the legend. Tickets for this weekend are sold out, so it’s good that there’s a long run. You’d better get tickets soon!

Django in June
Academy of Music, Northampton
Friday, June 14th and Saturday June 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Now in its 20th year, Django in June is New England’s premier occasion to celebrate, study and just plain enjoy the musical tradition associated with guitarist Django Reinhardt. “Django Camp” is happening now at Smith College. We can get in on the act by attending the grand finale weekend concerts at the Academy of Music this weekend.

Money Game
Greenfield Garden Cinemas
Showing Friday, June 14 – Thursday, June 20
Set during the Covid-19 pandemic in Western Massachusetts, and shot in Franklin County, this award-winning film tells the story of James, a young, widowed father of two, who struggles to navigate a broken financial system while fighting to give his daughters the life his late wife promised them. On Tuesday, director/writer/producer Julian Lowenthal talked with The Fabulous 413 about the creative process behind this homegrown film.

Dwight Day
Dwight Chapel, Belchertown
Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you like exploring tucked away gems, this event is for you. In the nineteenth century, Dwight was a well-known railroad destination and farming community in North Belchertown with world-renowned aquatic flower gardens and a thriving pansy seed business. Today Dwight is known for its arts and rural beauty — including waterfalls and swimming ponds, old-growth forests, bicycle paths and hiking trails on acres of conserved wildlands. The first ever Dwight Day will feature history talks, art exhibits, live music, food trucks, children’s activities, antique autos and more.

Bahué Live in Springfield: Descarga Hipnótico
Community Music School of Springfield
Saturday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m.
The dynamic voice and percussion duo, Bahué presents the East Coast Premiere of Descarga Hipnótico, a concert featuring hypnotic works for voice and vibraphone. The concert lineup includes compositions by renowned and emerging composers Orlando Jacinto García, Jorge Sosa, Jimena Maldonado, and Ney Rosauro. Guests will experience a unique improvisation by the duo and the world premiere of "Tucum" composed to include a loop station by Axel Retif.

Bicycle Film Festival Berkshires
The Stationery Factory, Dalton
Sunday, June 16 from 12 – 9 p.m.
Bicycle Film Festival, an international phenomenon that celebrates the bicycle, is coming to the Berkshires for the very first time. When BFF founder Brendt Barbur was hit by a bus while riding his bike in New York City, he insisted on turning his negative experience into a positive one. The BFF has held events in over 100 cities worldwide to an accumulated audience of over 1 million people. There will be two different curated selections of films celebrating the bicycle in all its forms, on-road and off-road rides, and bike-related merch. The Stationery Factory is a converted industrial building that most recently housed the former Crane & Co. stationery division.

Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts Spring Concert
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, June 16 at 12:30 p.m.
The Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts is an amateur orchestra that gives fiddlers and other musicians the opportunity to play together to improve their skills, nourish camaraderie, and share their enjoyment of music with the community. They will present a lovely program of new and familiar fiddle tunes from Quebec, Ireland, France, America, and beyond.

Mohawk Trail Concert Season Opener: Sahun Sam Hong
Federated Church, Charlemont
Sunday, June 16th at 5 p.m.
Pianist Sahun Sam Hong will be bringing his colorful style and riveting energy to open the Mohawk Trail Concert’s summer season. Sahun has performed in prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Vienna Musikverein and the Kennedy Center. His program includes music by Schubert, Brahms, Copland, and Glass. Plus, now’s a great time to check out the rest of MTC’s season.

College for Kids at Springfield Technical Community College
First of many sessions launches Tuesday, June 18
Do you have children who are ready to learn while having fun? Consider registering them for College for Kids at Springfield Technical Community College, a summer program that exposes participants between 11 and 16 to learning opportunities available in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields. With the first session launching June 18, College for Kids will give tweens and teens the chance to have fun learning about CPR and first aid, public speaking, creating mobile apps, origami, acting, airbrushing and more. My favorite: Basketball and Physics, which starts up July 29.

Strings Without Boundaries Summer Program
The Williston Northampton School
Thursday, June 27 – Sunday, June 30
In the 1980s, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, a multi-style violinist, composer, author, and educator, vowed to move bowed string teaching out of the 1600s into the 21st century. She created the Strings Without Boundaries program to provide a nurturing environment for violinists/fiddlers, violists, and cellists. Attendees will learn tunes in a number of styles — Irish, Appalachian, bluegrass, Cajun, blues, rock/pop, swing, jazz, Klezmer, and more with style-specific approaches to bowing and left-hand use.