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Hitting the ceramic circuit: Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail turns 20 years old, April 27-28
04-19-2024 11:32 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

A lot can change in 20 years: Presidents and other politicians come and go, new cultural fads and technologies emerge, clothing styles morph, and music and movies take on different dimensions.In these parts, one tradition hasn’t changed. Since 2005,...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 42 total.
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You’re up next: Western Mass open mic scene heats up post-pandemic
04-12-2024 10:46 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Not so long ago, there was a general lament sometimes heard among Valley musicians: “There aren’t enough places to play around here.”That might have been true for professional players who wanted to be paid — and maybe, despite the opening of new local...


For all the bragging rights (and one trophy): The winners of this year’s Valley Voices story slams head to a final competition
04-05-2024 1:47 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The assignment is pretty straightforward: tell a concise story about your life, in no more than five minutes, that reflects a certain theme.The challenge is in telling that story with enough heart, spirit, verve, humor or whatever else you can conjure...


A workplace from hell: Amherst filmmaker Matt Heron-Duranti is part of the team behind independent film “Another Day in America”
04-05-2024 1:44 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

There’s been a lot written about the problems that have plagued many American workplaces in the wake of the pandemic, from employees insisting on continuing to work at home to offices that have mirrored the polarization and social conflicts plaguing...


A tale of murderous indifference: ‘The Zone of Interest’ offers a view of the Holocaust as chilling as its architects
03-22-2024 10:09 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Hannah Arendt famously coined the term “the banality of evil” in her book on Adolph Eichmann’s trial in Israel in 1963, where the former Nazi official, a key organizer of the Holocaust, presented himself as a bureaucrat who was “just doing his job” in...


Direct from the Sunshine State: Augusta Savage Gallery celebrates its namesake with group show from Florida
03-08-2024 5:21 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Augusta Savage rose to prominence as a sculptor and educator when she moved to New York City in the 1920s, where she soon became a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance.But Savage, who was also a determined advocate for equal rights for African...


Turning 35, with some new plays to mark the occasion: Chester Theatre unveils its 2024 program
03-08-2024 5:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Chester Theatre Company turns 35 this year, and for its 2024 season, the ensemble is throwing in some new wrinkles to mark the occasion, from the world premiere of two new plays, the addition of some Friday matinee shows, and a production that the New...


Preserving a key part of Emily Dickinson’s legacy: Historic Evergreens house reopens at the Emily Dickinson Museum
03-01-2024 11:49 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Between the “Dickinson” series on Apple TV+ and movies such as 2016’s “A Quiet Passion,” interest in Emily Dickinson has grown in the last several years, even beyond the already intense admiration that existed for her poetry among readers and literary...


The Evergreens house is ready for its closeup after preservation work at Emily Dickinson Museum
02-09-2024 12:51 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

AMHERST — Closed since 2019 for extensive preservation efforts and infrastructure improvements, The Evergreens, a key property at the Emily Dickinson Museum, will reopen for visitors March 1.The 19th-century house was built in 1856 for Austin...


Book Bag: ‘The Sacred Dog’ by Joan Livingston; ‘Mud Pie’ by Lauren Arienzale
02-02-2024 12:02 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Sacred DogBy Joan LivingstonDarkstroke Books Franklin County author Joan Livingston, a former reporter and editor who once covered the Hilltowns for the Gazette, has used her experience to create a series of mystery novels set in similar towns,...


‘You don’t look like a doctor’: Documentary film looks at the biases and challenges Black women physicians face 
01-26-2024 12:42 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Dr. Khama Ennis had come a long way in her medical career.Until 2022, the Amherst resident had spent about two decades in emergency medicine, including a number of years as chief of emergency medicine at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, as...


Northampton’s new poet laureate lives in Greenfield: Franny Choi is 10th person to hold title
01-19-2024 11:43 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

NORTHAMPTON — After a delay caused in part by the pandemic, the city has a new poet laureate.Franny Choi, who was nominated last year for a Massachusetts Book Award, has written for the New York Times and the Atlantic, and been interviewed on NPR, has...


Hitting it big for wrong reasons: In ‘American Fiction’ at Amherst Cinema, writer’s pastiche hailed as authentic
01-19-2024 11:39 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Though it had only an initial limited theatrical release, and did not appear until December, “American Fiction” has already popped up on a number of critics’ “best films of 2023” lists, and the movie has been nominated for a slew of awards.The buzz is...


Getting an inside look: Holyoke exhibit culls varied work from artists’ sketchbooks and journals
12-29-2023 6:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Where does art begin? With a general idea or image? Maybe something that’s sketched out quickly in a journal or on a piece of paper?This month at PULP in Holyoke, the Race Street gallery is showcasing just that sort of “behind-the-scenes” look at what...


Rachel Maddow’s new book examines American fascism in the WWII era and the fight against it
12-22-2023 12:49 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The conventional story of World War II in the United States is the one about how the country, shrugging off the hardships brought on by the Great Depression, rolled up its sleeves to defeat the fascist forces of Nazi Germany and Japan and make the...


Not home for the holidays: ‘The Holdovers’ offers a funny, bittersweet Christmas story
12-16-2023 7:00 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Back in 2004, actor Paul Giamatti teamed up with screenwriter/director and Alexander Payne in “Sideways,” an offbeat comedy/drama about two friends who take a road trip through the California wine country as they both grapple with midlife crises of a...


Visions from state’s past find a new home: Photographer gives antique glass negatives to UMass
10-13-2023 1:53 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Over three and a half years ago, documentary photographer Terri Cappucci received an unusual package: 4,000 glass-plate negatives of photos taken between about 1860 and 1920, courtesy of a collector who had no room for them and otherwise was going to...


UMass Amherst obtains papers of veteran social activist and writer Al Weinrub
08-21-2023 3:55 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

AMHERST — Adding to its collection of work documenting social change, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has acquired the papers of social activist and writer Al Weinrub, co-founder of the anti-imperialist organization Science for the People...


Book Bag: Debut novel by Dean Cycon tells the story of a fraught WWII homecoming for Holocaust survivors
07-21-2023 12:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Finding Home (Hungary, 1945)By Dean Cycon; Koehler Books A common image from the end of World War II in Europe is that of cheering crowds of people welcoming Allied troops in towns and cities that had been liberated from the Nazis.A lesser-known and...


Fleet of foot and easy on the eye: ‘Horse Tales,’ a new exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum, celebrates our four-legged friends
06-30-2023 1:45 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Is the dog man’s best friend? Or it is the horse?Based on the longevity of their relationship with humans, horses might have the better claim. Researchers have estimated horses were widely domesticated at least 4,000 years ago and even further back...


Walking the earth, with a bit of swagger: Documentary film profiles the groundbreaking all-female rock band Fanny
06-16-2023 3:13 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

June Millington is a familiar name in the Valley music scene, a veteran guitarist and educator who since the early 2000s has overseen numerous programs at The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA), the Goshen center dedicated to supporting women and...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 42 total.
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