Jill Kaufman


Jill Kaufman has been reporting and hosting at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent almost 10 years in the news department at WBUR in Boston, five of them at The Connection with Christopher Lydon. In the months leading up to the 2000 New Hampshire primary Jill hosted NHPR’s call in talk show The Exchange. During the 2000 South Carolina Primary she hosted NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. Right before coming to NEPM, Jill was an editor at PRI's The World

An outdoor community refrigerator in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

The pandemic reversed the last 10 years of progress toward ending hunger in the United States, according to Feeding America. Millions more people than before are experiencing food insecurity, and a relatively new movement of community refrigerators is helping out — a bit.

A view of MASS MoCA in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts.
Shannon Young / The Republican / masslive.com

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams has hired Kristy Edmunds as its second director in 33 years.

Courtesy / Springfield Symphony Orchestra

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra announced Friday it will likely not produce any shows this season if it can't reach a contract agreement with union musicians by October 1. Earlier this month, the musicians accused SSO management of unfair labor practices.

Holyoke, Massachusetts, residents marked the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2021.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

Four years ago, Hurricane Maria led to the deaths of 3,000 people in Puerto Rico. In Holyoke, where about half the residents identify as Puerto Rican, a welcome mat was put out.

On Monday night, a small group gathered downtown to mark the somber day.

Kate Messner's novel "Chirp" is set on a cricket farm. Messner said she visited cricket farms in Vermont and Texas for research.

“Chirp” by Kate Messner is a story about friendship, the joys of summer — and how to make yourself heard if an adult acts in a way that makes you uncomfortable. 

South Hadley High School in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Courtesy / South Hadley Schools

Students at South Hadley High School begin the semester Thursday — online and two weeks late.

A screen shot of a video and city entertainment permit posted to Facebook by an organizer of the Indie Soul Festival in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Screen shot / Facebook

Organizers of a music festival in Springfield last month, which was erroneously shut down by police, are dismissing an official apology from the city.

A scene from the Indie Soul Festival on August 21 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Courtesy Darryl Moss

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood in Springfield, Massachusetts, have apologized to organizers of a recent music festival in the city for any "miscommunication" that led police to try and shut it down.

Audience members at the Springfield Indie Soul Festival in 2018.
Courtesy / Darryl Moss

Over the years, people have come to the annual Springfield Indie Soul Festival for more than just music. It's back this weekend at Riverfront Park, with room for a couple thousand music lovers alongside the musicians and vendors.

Writer Kaitlyn Greenidge's most recent novel is a work of historical fiction called "Libertie."
Submitted / Syreeta McFadden

When writer Kaitlyn Greenidge heard about a 19th century woman who became one of the first Black female doctors in New York state, she knew she wanted to write about her.

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

A federal moratorium on evictions came to an end this weekend, but housing advocates in Massachusetts say help and millions of dollars in rental assistance are available.

Shipworms are saltwater mollusks known for consuming wood, causing extensive damage to ships and piers. They may also offer a key to new types of biofuel.
Reuben Shipway / UMass Amherst

Researchers at UMass Amherst say they've solved at least one mystery about a destructive saltwater mollusk known as the shipworm.

A photo from 2012 in Belfast, Maine.
Doug Kerr / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/dougtone

The writer Gregory Brown describes his novel "The Lowering Days" as a love letter to where he grew up in Maine. 

A lengthy handwritten message was found at the end of June, taped to two political campaign signs in Holyoke, Mass. The writer casts blame on the "minorities" of Holyoke for the city's blight and a decades-long economic downturn.
Submitted photo / Garcia Campaign

A pair of political campaign signs on a Holyoke, Massachusetts, street were recently defaced with racist comments. The signs belonged to  Joshua Garcia and Israel Rivera, who are running in separate municipal races in the November election.

A pre-pandemic scene in the lobby of Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Now free of government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions, most movie theaters in New England have reopened in full. But after months of streaming movies and selling tickets in a limited capacity, several area arthouse cinemas are choosing to stay half-empty.

Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts lawmakers and arts industry leaders are recommending $575 million in new federal money go to the state's arts and culture sector, to help it rebound after being economically devastated by the pandemic. 

The Ted Shawn Theatre, named after the founder of Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.
Courtesy Jacob's Pillow

Jacob’s Pillow, the long-running dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts, has had a lot thrown at it this past year. The COVID-19 pandemic shut the venue down in 2020 for the first time in almost 90 years. Then last November, a fire gutted one of its dance theaters.

In 2019, the Big E at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, attracted more than a million visitors. It didn't take place in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Courtesy of The Big E

Several Massachusetts entertainment venues have announced they will be in full swing this summer. The Big E in West Springfield, one of the largest annual agricultural fairs in the country, is among them.

In this file photo, Kevin Rhodes conducts the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra board and its musicians are waging a public debate over union contracts, including the length of the upcoming season.

The biographical exhibit, "The Story of Eric Carle," at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Illustrator and author Eric Carle is being remembered for his many children’s books, including “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” — and the museum of picture book art he founded with his wife.

Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops at Tanglewood in 2018, when crowds were not a threat to public health.
Hillary Scott / BSO Press Office

People are dreaming of a less sequestered summer, and with COVID-19 restrictions easing, the Berkshires will be a destination for many.

Business owners count on tourists coming to this relatively small region, rich in live music, theater and museums. For them, last summer was brutal. This year, it could almost feel like the old days.

Comedian Zul Manzi of Springfield, Massachusetts, has a new animated series called "The Matumbila's."
Courtesy / Zul Manzi

A cartoon sitcom about a Tanzanian family living in a fictional western Massachusetts town has just wrapped up its first season.

A view of MASS MoCA in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts.
Shannon Young / The Republican / masslive.com

Employees at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams have voted overwhelmingly to unionize.

Massachusetts state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, at left, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, with House Speaker Ronald Mariano on April 14, 2021.
State House News Service

The smoky back room where political deals used to get made has been replaced by a Zoom meeting from a Massachusetts lawmaker's home office.


Banjo camps and academic discussions of the centuries-old instrument have been taking place for years, according to Greenfield, Massachusetts, musician Michael Nix. But there are not many events that showcase how the picking and playing of the banjo has evolved.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church on fire in Springfield, Massachusetts, on December 28, 2020.
Springfield Fire Department / MassLive / MassLive.com

A man from Houlton, Maine, faces federal hate crime charges for allegedly setting a December 2020 fire that destroyed a Springfield, Massachusetts, church.

A view of MASS MoCA in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts.
Shannon Young / The Republican / masslive.com

About 100 eligible employees at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams can now begin to cast mail-in ballots, voting on whether to form a union.

A funeral service for Black Americans lynched and never buried was held in 2016 at a church in Springfield, Massachusetts. The story of Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker and why she produced the funeral is featured in the documentary "Ashes to Ashes."
Ben Moon / benmoon.com

Updated at 3:59 p.m. on March 31 

The documentary "Ashes to Ashes" tells the story of a friendship between an Amherst, Massachusetts, doctor and a New Haven, Connecticut, man who became an artist decades after he survived being lynched. In the film, their story coincides with a funeral service held for thousands of Black Americans who didn’t survive.

Pynchon Terrace and Edgewater Apartments on Lowell Street in Springfield, Mass.
File photo / MassLive / masslive.com

A property management company that runs a 612-unit apartment complex in Springfield, Massachusetts, has settled a claim with the state that it denied housing to prospective tenants who are deaf.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which owns and operates Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, has announced it will hold live in-person concerts this summer, for the first time since COVID-19 shut down arts events and venues worldwide.
BSO Press Office

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which owns and operates Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, has announced it will hold live in-person concerts this summer. The BSO hasn't performed a live concert since March 2020, when COVID-19 triggered cancellations of arts events worldwide.