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September 5th: Art Walks

Little Amal at a stop along her journey
courtesy of The Walk team
Little Amal at a stop along her journey

Communication is literally the cornerstone of what we do here. But it's those big gestures of connection that really grab us.

Take Little Amal, whose stature and mission are nothing of the sort. The 12ft tall puppet walks the world bringing humanity and attention to the refugee crisis, especially the plight of children within it. Currently she and her team are on a 6,000 mile journey across the United States, and she's making two stops in Western Mass. We bring in Carlos Uriona of Double Edge Theater and Larry Spotted Crow Mann from Ohketeau Cultural Center who have collaborated to bring that first stop to Ashfield on Sunday, September 10th. Together they direct our attention to how Amal's journey relates to a wealth of things in the four counties, and how conversation about these connections can lead to action.

And that communication can be seen in an art event right here in Springfield. Originally started to just improve and beautify their neighborhood, theMattoon St Arts Festivalcelebrates its 50th anniversary this year over the course of 2 days. It's grown from its humble beginnings to a 90+vendor event, and continues to bring more people from the neighborhood and beyond together. We chat with organizers Jason Alves, Bob McCarroll, and Freya Bromwich about the many things one can get up to just behind the Springfield Museums on September 9th & 10th.

***Addendum: In the interview about Little Amal, we give the incorrect date for the event. Little Amal's visit to Ashfield happens on Sunday, September 10th at 12:30pm.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.