Northampton | WAMC

Northampton

A flyer for the "Help Save Halloween" concerts
Mister G / mistergsongs.com/halloween/

A Latin Grammy award-winning musician and educator from Western Massachusetts is broadcasting a live show Saturday from the historic Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton in an effort to “Help Save Halloween.” Ben Gundersheimer – better known as Mister G — says the concert will invite children and families to join in for some spooky fun as he explores how the holiday is celebrated here and in Mexico. Mister G spoke with WAMC. And a warning for our more sensitive listeners – this story contains a song that discusses both ghosts and goblins.

Squeeze first formed in 1973, shortly after Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook had begun their songwriting partnership, brought together by an ad in a sweetshop window. By 1977 they had made their recording debut and enjoyed a string of hits which lasted until 1982, the maturity of their songs outliving their initial burst of chart activity on the back of New Wave.

Over the years there have been solo careers and occasional separations, but the Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriting duo Chris and Glenn reunited ten years ago to relaunch Squeeze and have been touring, writing and recording together since.

The Squeeze Songbook Tour will be at The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts tonight. Chris Difford joins us.

     Public input is being sought for a major redesign of Main Street in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts.

The Berkshire Bach Society presents “Bach at New Year’s” with a program of all six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti at three locations in our region: Monday, December 30 at 3 p.m. at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts; Tuesday, December 31 at 6 p.m. at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Wednesday, January 1 at 3 p.m. at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York.

Berkshire Bach Ensemble Director and soloist, Eugene Drucker, violinist and Co-Founder of the Emerson String Quartet joined us.

media pool

It has been a year since the first recreational marijuana stores opened in Massachusetts.

Northampton Arts Council

     A western Massachusetts city with a vibrant and diverse poetry community has a new poet laureate.

Twitter

Legendary western Massachusetts-based activist Frances Crowe is celebrating her 100th birthday Friday.

Northampton Memorial Day parade
City of Northampton

A Memorial Day parade marks a milestone in western Massachusetts this year. 

     Four people say they plan to campaign to win election to the Massachusetts Senate seat that was held for over a quarter-century by Amherst Democrat Stan Rosenberg.

campaign photo

  

              Chelsea Kline, a political newcomer, now appears all but guaranteed to succeed Stan Rosenberg in the Massachusetts Senate.

"High Wire" By Jules Feiffer
rmichelson.com

This morning we meet cartoonist and illustrator Jules Feiffer whose new exhibit, "A Dance to Spring, Astaire, and Getting Old: New Works by Jules Feiffer at 89," is on display at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts through May 31st.

Feiffer’s revolutionary political cartoons were a fixture in the Village Voice from 1956 until 1997. He has also illustrated children’s books including "The Phantom Tollbooth" and "Bark George," wrote plays and screenplays, novels, graphic novels, and animated film shorts. He has received an Oscar, Obie, and a Pulitzer.

There will be an Artist Reception Friday, April 13th 6-8PM in conjunction with Arts Night Out at the galleries.

What do Susan B. Anthony, Alexander Graham Bell, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Leonard Nimoy, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Sojourner Truth and Kurt Vonnegut all have in common? They have all impacted the historical fabric of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts!

The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Mass. will present “The Valley Letters Project: Live on Stage,” a new series celebrating the art of letter writing and its connection to the region’s history. The evening will feature letters by historic people of note connected to the Western Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley region read aloud by contemporary people of note who are currently impacting the Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley landscape.

The event, taking place on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., is a fundraiser for The Academy of Music Theatre.

Here to tell us more are Academy of Music Theatre's Development and Marketing Manager Emily Curro, and the Artistic Director of Eggtooth Productions and Academy of Music Theatre Board Member, Linda McInerney.

Wikimedia

Saturday, November 11th is Veterans Day, and in Massachusetts is has been declared “Jane Addams Day” by the state legislature.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer who The New York Times praises as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”

He’s the co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with friend/fellow comedian W. Kamau Bell. His new documentary The Problem with Apu will premiere on truTV on November 19 and Hari will perform at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Saturday, November 4.

The mission of the Academy of Music is to enrich greater Northampton’s quality of life by offering first class performing arts and film presentations in an historic theatre of national significance, and encouraging the use of the venue for social, educational and professional events.

Academy of Music kicks of their 2017-18 season with the New England premiere of Building the Wall, the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award – winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. It’s the very near future, and the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promises to round up and detain millions of immigrants. 

   A march and rally is scheduled Saturday July 8th in Northampton to raise awareness about sexual harassment. 

      The protest has been organized by a group of young people. It follows a sit-in last month at the JFK Middle School in Northampton, where protestors complained about students being harassed by peers.

     WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Maya Mintz Coccoluto, a co-organizer of Saturday’s march.

     The city of Northampton, Massachusetts recently made new land purchases, including the only bog located in the city, to add to its acreage of permanently protected open space.


  Mark Mulcahy was the singer for the New Haven, Connecticut-based band Miracle Legion, active in the 1980s to mid-1990s. The band split up awhile ago but reunited last year to play some shows -- including a gig at The Linda - WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio.

 

Mark’s band Polaris was the house band for the mid-1990s Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Following the cancelation of Pete & Pete, Mulcahy found himself playing solo and releasing albums on the Mezzotint label -- the most recent of which came out in April and is entitled The Possum in the Driveway.

 

He’s assembled a band to play the album in its entirety at The Parlor Room in Northampton, MA on 6/21; Lyric Hall Theater in New Haven, CT on 6/22; and Joe’s Pub in New York City on 6/27.

AFSC

          An organization that has advocated for peace and social justice in western Massachusetts for almost 50 years is closing in a few months.

A bicycle sharing station
Wikipedia

        Originally set to begin this year, the launch of a bicycle sharing program in western Massachusetts has been pushed back to 2018. 

The Academy of Music Theatre is mounting a new work by playwright Carol Carpenter entitled Sweet, Sweet Spirit on March 24th and 25th at 7:30 p.m.  The play addresses gay bashing and child abuse within a West Texas conservative family whose gay teenage son is beaten into a coma by his father.

Carpenter takes her audience deeper into an exploration of a family struggling with their own fear and heart.  The son, Tyler, who is described as “different,” but not referred to by his family members as gay, affects each of the members of this Southern Christian family in disparate ways.

We are joined Debra J'Anthony, Academy of Music Theatre's Executive Director and Sheila Siragusa, director of Sweet, Sweet Spirit.

David Narkewicz
northampton.gov

       Downtown Northampton saw an increase in key economic indicators in 2016, according to a report compiled by city officials.

A new facility aimed at helping those dealing with substance abuse is opening in Northampton.

npr.org

       Plans are moving ahead to resettle 51 refugees, including some from Syria, in Northampton, Massachusetts. There are questions about how United States’ refugee policy might change under the administration of Donald Trump.  

       WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, executive director Catholic Charities of Springfield, the agency that is working to resettle the refugees.

Open Clip Art/Public Domain

       Two public forums are scheduled this week about an initiative to resettle refugees including some from Syria in Northampton, Massachusetts. 

       The meetings are being held tonight at the John F. Kennedy Middle School beginning at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Northampton Senior Center. 

       The public conversations are being sponsored by Catholic Charities of Springfield. The agency has contracted with the U.S. State Department to resettle 51 refugees. The first of the refugees could arrive as early as January.  

  Richard Michelson has had a wonderful friendship with actor and artist Leonard Nimoy. After Nimoy’s passing, Michelson has written a new picture book, Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy.

He is also presenting a beautiful exhibit: UNSEEN: Fifty never before exhibited photographs by Leonard Nimoy which is now open and runs through October 25th.

Michelson will be speaking in Great Barrington on September 9th from 10:30 to noon presented by The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and will have a publication party. Later that night will be the official opening of UNSEEN at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA.

To celebrate the September 8th - 50th anniversary of the first Trek episode – we welcome Richard Michelson to The Roundtable.

Governor's press office

   Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has been on a bill-signing spree. He has now put his signature to five major bills that passed the legislature in the final days of formal sessions last month. One of these is intended to make local government more efficient by cutting red tape and giving cities and towns more autonomy.

Wikimedia Commons: Original uncropped image from Laurie Avocado

  The opening of the first medical marijuana dispensary in Springfield – and just the second in all of western Massachusetts – is being delayed as city councilors review the terms under which the proposed facility would operate. 

An Amtrak train arrives at the downtown Holyoke, MA rail platform
WAMC

A new advocacy group is pushing for more rail service in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.

The founders of Trains in The Valley will host a public meeting later today in Northampton which will include a website launch.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Trains in The Valley co-founder Ben Hecksher.

Muppeteers and Big Bird
http://www.iambigbird.com/

  The Northampton Arts Council presents a special screening of I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story on Friday February 12th at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton.

The film will be followed by a Q&A session at which Mr. Spinney, his wife Debra and a very special guest will be discussing their journey and answering questions.

The documentary chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, the man who has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. For over 4 decades, Caroll's characters have been cherished by generations of children. At 81 years old, the tenacious and enthusiastic performer has no intention of slowing down.

Caroll Spinney joins us this morning.

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