Radio

January 8th – January 14th

 

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Welcome to the New Year!

This year why don’t you make a commitment to coming to the most excellent night of every month, Nerd Nite NoHo? The one this Monday should be a good time, because we have it on good authority that for completely good reasons that definitely have nothing to do with a scheduling mixup on the part of one of the organizers, one of the organizers is going to speak! And it’ll be a fun talk!

So come to the World War 2 Club and learn about how Common Good’s community currency works from William Spademan, and how arachnophobia and videogames interact from James Olchowski!

Also on a totally different note, you should take a look at Pyre if you like videogames. Just an all-around wonderful piece of work.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Science:

Monday, January 8th
World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Common Good and Arachnophobia Meets Videogames!
This Nerd Nite NoHo did something really special: screwed up the timing for one of the speakers and wound up having to have a host give a presentation. Luckily the host is pretty charming and wonderful and smart and had a presentation that he’d been waiting to give for a while so it’s no big. See William Spademan talk about how the Common Good community currency works, and learn from Nerd Nite host James Olchowski about what a phobia is, why arachnophobics have a tough time with videogames, and what can be done about it! It’ll be a fun time and we promise there will be minimal actual spider pictures and plenty of warning beforehand.

Art:

Monday, January 8th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Warrior Writers Workshop
Local writer and veteran Eric Wasileski will lead a writing workshop! Military veterans and their families are very welcome, though the event is also open to the public. Warriror Writers works to build a community that allows for artistic expression and helps people witness the full range of military experiences.
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Maker Mondays
Teens! Come hang out in the Teen Room, your designated room, to create! Write, draw, make jewelry, design things in 3D, play with their technology! Use the library’s resources to make your dreams… reality.
Wednesday, January 10th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
You Can Pastel Paint
A hands-on workshop inspired by Monet! You don’t need any experience and all materials are provided to you, so just sit back and relax as Gregory Maichack teaches you what you need to know to make excellent pastel paintings. It’s free, but space is limited so be sure to register at 413-283-3330!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIInes are what you can make at this club, if you like!
Friday, January 12th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you love museums, but not FIVE DOLLAR love museums? This is the perfect moment to see one of our local museums for free! There is a suggested donation of five dollars.
Saturday, January 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Artists’ Reception for Michael Tillyer, Susan Boss, and Mark Brown
Nontraditional Quilts by Susan Boss! Wood Sculptures by Michael Tillyer! Robots and Paintings by Mark Brown! All this and exactly and only this at the artists’ reception! Why would we give you more? You can’t handle more and frankly it’s a bit presumptuous that you asked for it!
Gandara Youth Development Center [306 Race St., Holyoke, MA] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Radioplasma Recording Studio Sessions
Meet in the Teen Room to walk as a group to the Radioplasma Recording Studio to get some hands on experience with journalism, storytelling, and sound mixing! SOUNDS cool! Get it? See that? Nice.

Board Games:

Friday, January 12th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Meet up and play some excellent board games! A friendly group of folks who like to play mostly Euro games but are open to whatever it is that you think would be fun. We’ve had a good time playing Photosynthesis and Clank! recently, if you’re looking for suggestions!
Saturday, January 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Board Game Night
Play boardgames with friends and soon-to-be-friends as well as some of the friendly staff at Modern Myths! It’s a great night to try out something you may have been meaning to check out! We really recommend Clank! or Not Alone if they’ve got those!

Card Games:

Friday, January 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Booster Draft
Draft cards, play magic, win prizes! A $16 entry fee includes tax, and gets you 3 booster packs to draft with, and adds a pack to the prize pool! Everyone gets at least 1 prize pack, and extra packs and foil cards will be awarded for exceptional play!
Saturday, January 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Rivals of Ixalan Pre-Release
The second set in the Ixalan block from Magic the Gathering! This is your chance to play with the latest cards! It’s a limited sealed deck tournament. Everyone starts with the same number of cards to build the best 40-card deck they can. Play for promo cards and packs! $30 in advance, $35 at the door!

Comic Books:

Friday, January 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Comics Club
A monthly meetup to discuss and share your favorite comics! You’ll also get a chance to create one of your own with provided artist supplies! Intended for elementary, tween, and teen readers and artists!

Community:

Tuesday, January 9th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Film & Discussion Series: Trevor Noah’s Humor and Insights into Racism
A video screening of a collection of short videos of the host of the Daily Show! The focus will be on race in the US, and after you finish laughing at the jokes, you’ll talk about what you can learn and how you can help dismantle racism. Free and open to the public!
Thursday, January 11th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Community Action Fuel Assistance Event
Do you need to get some fuel so that the super-cyclone-freeze doesn’t turn you into an ice-cube? The GPL can help out!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
League of Women Voters
An open meeting of members of the League of Women Voters!

Computers:

Wednesday, January 10th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
This week, you’ll be talking about prototyping and Agile projects! They’re going to be showing off products like Sketch and Envision, as well as techniques for paper prototyping. Share your Agile prototyping victories and frustrations!

Entertainment:

Saturday, January 13th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Borders, Detention, and the Trump Era: a talk by David Hernandez
From the site: “David Hernández is a leading expert in the study of U.S. immigration policy and enforcement. He has published widely on the topic and is currently working on a book, “Undue Process: Immigrant Detention and Lesser Citizenship,” which examines the intersections of immigration, detention, race, and imprisonment in the United States. ” See him explain the varied horrors of our immigration and justice systems!

Kids:

Tuesday, January 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Kids! Play with LEGO! It’s fun!

Movies:

Monday, January 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:45 PM to 6:00 PM
Teen Movie: Spider-Man Homecoming
Teens! Watch the most recent and probably one of the best Spider-Man films! It’s quite fun, and there are a lot of times when the titular Spider-Man says a funny thing and then bops someone on the noggin. That’s quality Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Manning!
Tuesday, January 9th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Teen Movie: Pitch Perfect
The film about acapella groups that’s widely regarded as a pretty solid comedy. Like Bring it On we think? We’re dating ourselves but we think it’s pretty much acapella Bring it On. There are snacks!
Wednesday, January 10th
Amherst Cinema Arts Center [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA] at 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Shape of Water Screening with Western MA Sci-Fi Meetup
If you want to see this widely regarded as very neat movie with some nice folks, you should meet up with the Western MA Sci-Fi Meetup at 6:30pm in the lobby, and then try to sit together at the flick and maybe grab food afterward. What a delight!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film: Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power
“The entire country watched as Anita Hill, an African-American law professor, sat before a 1991 Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas…” Sponsored by the Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars!
Saturday, January 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Alice’s Ordinary People: Film Screening and Lecture with Professor John H. Bracey, Jr.
A new documentary about Alice Tregay will be screened, followed by Professor John H. Bracey, Jr. giving a lecture about the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Alice Tregay was a woman who spent her life standing against injustice and bringing others together to change things for the better across a long career. Learn more about an important person, and the Civil Rights Movement in general!

RPGs:

Wednesday, January 10th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12! You can become a member of this club by prepaying $50. That gets you help with creating a character, a mini, a custom D&D session, and a set of dice! It’s the perfect way to play a fun game with friends! We recommend you play a bard. Actually everyone should play as a bard and you should be adventurers by day and a traveling band by night!
Thursday, January 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Youngbloods Adventure Guild
A monthly D&D club for players 8-12!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play one of the classic RPGs at Modern Myths! New players are always welcome, and there’s a friendly crowd there every week! We recommend playing fast and loose, since it’s a drop-in drop-out game, so worst case you can come back in a few months with your bard’s ‘long-lost uncle who’s also secretly a god’.

 

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December 11th – December 17th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


This week is a bit of a big one. A lot of local creators were affected by recent changes to Patreon. Basically, the new plan is that people who pledge money will pay 2.9% + $0.35 for each monthly pledge. Not a bunch of money, right? Well… unless you’re giving say $50 a month but split it up between 50 creators at $1 a piece. Then suddenly you’re paying around $70 per month. A lot of people don’t have that sort of wiggle room in their Patreon budgets, and they’re ditching the service.

We don’t know how many local creators make a living exclusively using this service, but a lot of people rely on it to provide some steady income while they work on producing the amazing artwork that the Valley is not-actually-known-for-precisely-but-definitely-affects-the-zeitgeist-via.

Because our own Patreon tops out at about $9/week from 6 Patrons including our kind mom, we’re going to leave the discussion to more qualified folks. We’ve put together some chunks of the explanations we’ve gotten from people we backed, and a couple answers on Twitter.

But it pretty much boils down to: they get it, they support your decisions, they’d like to keep eating food and living inside so please help them figure out how they can still get money from you because that is important. Like pick something up from their stores if you’re no longer supporting them on Patreon, at least! It’s the holidays someone you know wants a shirt or something!

Emily Care Boss:  “In 2018, my plans are to restructure this Patreon to support analysis and writing I’m doing on various narrative forms. It may include previews of upcoming games in the pipeline: Heart of the Rose, Sign in Stranger, Stillwater, Caerllion and King Wen’s Tower. In particular, the analysis will focus on the unique contributions of role playing games to making and understanding story. The support levels will be different, and take into account the changes Patreon has made. I will publicize the changes with a month or two lead time to allow you to make changes as you desire and for new folks to add on.”

Joshua AC Newman: “Yes, they’re still inexplicably charging you for each additional creator you support. The percentage is fine; someone’s got to pay it, and one of my missions is to make sure everyone understands just how much of a constant investment it is to be a professional creator. But the $.35 fee is a mess. That disincentivizes backing multiple creators. It’s a weird thing they did, so I’m not surprised that a lot of patrons are backing off to only their favorites. Patreon’s new fee schedule is going to hit anyone who, like me, backs lots of Patreons at small amounts. For my 14 $1 backers, I suggest to you that you move your pledge to $3 and appropriately set your maximum monthly payout.”

Twitter update: “It was an utter cockup that makes the people with the least money pay more money, all of the increase going to the credit card companies.”

Vincent Baker: “If you drop your patronage over this, I’m with you, and I won’t be deactivating your forum membership. Please keep coming to the forum. This is especially important because I won’t be able to reach you through Patreon anymore. Please keep coming to the forum!”

Epidiah Ravachol: “If Patreon no longer works for you, fret not! I will find other ways for you to show you support and ensure that you never miss an issue. When I have sussed them out, I will let you know here and at www.WorldsWithoutMaster.com. Additionally, later today I’ll be reducing the pledge levels so that, even with Patreon’s new fees, you will only be charged what you have always been charged. However, to take advantage of this, you need to alter your own pledge level as well. Ultimately though, I just want you to know that if you need to alter or remove your pledge, I am with you. And I thank you for all the support you have shown me in the past. You remain the best! Sincerely, Eppy.”

Pat Nietupski via Twitter: “I’m not crazy about it. It seems like my patrons, especially the small, $1 patrons are going to be paying almost 1.5 times what they pledge. I wish Patreon had given more of a heads up.”

So again: Patreon changes are not going great for most local creators, help them out if you can! Maybe not via Patreon anymore if you can’t afford to do that but like, dang. They make good stuff! They deserve to be able to eat.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, December 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZINE! ZINE! ZINE! ZINE! ZINE! ZINE! ZINE! MAKE A ZINE! AT THE CLUB! A ZINE ABOUT CLUB…. SANDWICHES!
Thursday, December 14th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Mead Director David E. Little “Tells It Like It Is”
Join the Mead Chief Curator for a gallery talk and closing reception for the exhibit Tell It Like It Is – Or Could Be. Free and open to the public!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Drawing to Look Closely – A Figure Drawing Workshop in the Sharrer Exhibition
Join artist Katy Schneider to learn sketching and drawing skills and participate in a facilitated discussion while carefully examining Honore Sharrer’s work! Explore and work from both Sharrer’s paintings and a nude model! Members $5, non-members $15! No experience necessary, materials provided!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Harry Potter Holiday Craft
Celebrate the season! The season of Wizards! The season of magical potions! The season of cider and recycled book based ornaments!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM
Thirty Third Annual Quabbin History Calendar Slideshow
The calendar has pictures of the four towns of the Swift River Valley that were dis-incorporated in the 1930’s to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir. They sleep down there… waiting for us to forget. Waiting for us to be vulnerable. The 2018 calendar and copies of the author’s books on Quabbin will be available for sale!
Friday, December 15th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Make Your Own Gingerbread House!
Grades 5-12 are welcome to build a gingerbread house! It’s fun, but you should bring your own candy to eat, because the house always makes you hungry but it’s never really that good to eat.
Saturday, December 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Marbeled Ornaments Workshop
Use nail-polish and water to make a unique ornament or two! Bring extra nail polish if you can, but some stuff will be provided free of charge! Be sure not to accidentally create an ornament who eldritch whorls exactly recreate an ancient and terrible spell.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Meet Javaka Steptoe
From the site: “Artist and author Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hear Steptoe discuss his research and art for Radiant Child, and what his year has been like following a Caldecott win.”

Board Games:

Friday, December 15th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Play games with nice folks! We highly recommend trying out Azul, we got to give it a shot this past week and it was a lot of fun. Bit tough to pick up but it gets a lot easier after just a few turns!
Saturday, December 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry is free!

Books:

Monday, December 11th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Living in a Captialist Paradise: A Discussion with Authour Charles Mark
The author will talk about his book, which details a dangerous escape across the border of a totalitarian state, ultimately leading to New Zealad and after that to America! Charles will discuss the nature of life in refugee camps, New Zealand, and what it’s like in the US! A lively and critical discussion will be enjoyed by you and the rest of the audience!
Wednesday, December 13th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Book Talk with Kelly Lebrun: Against All Hope Until…
From the site: “Kelly Lebrun will talk about her abuse and mental trauma, and how Christian religious experiences helped her overcome the issues and problems in her life.”
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Celebration of Local Authors: The Modern Real and Surreal
Find out about some amazing local authors at this event! They’re going to read from their work, we think, and also you’ll get to talk to them about that work! It’s good!

Computers:

Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Bob Crowley, the CIO at Hampshire College, will get started by talking about Product Owner interviewing techniques! Learn how to get good requirements from your users using Design Thinking as well as the power of the Ancient Stone Tablets that have just been uncovered!
Thursday, December 14th
Common Media [84 Russell Street, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
After an update about ongoing projects, you’ll be able to get hacking! Make a difference in your community using the computer skills that have previously mostly used to crack into the Gibson!

Entertainment:

Monday, December 11th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Jane Austen Open Mic
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Share your favorite bon mots with like-minded people in an event we are not trying to be mean about but legitimately cannot imagine. Do you do like… fanfic? Readings? Insult comedy styled in an era-appropriate manner? It seems so out of left field. We humbly request that anyone attending report back to us.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far Out Film Discussion: Fanny and Alexander
Watch the movie first! Then, come here and talk about how excellent Ingmar Bergman’s movies are. We now realize that we haven’t seen any of Ingmar Bergman’s films! We should watch some. You can get copies of the film in the reference department!
Friday, December 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
2017 Holiday Gathering at Last Call Media
A holiday gathering for the community! Snacks and beverages will be made available to those of you who eat and drink, but also feel free to bring your own! All are welcome, but RSVP at the Meetup site! They gotta order enough food! https://www.meetup.com/wmasswebdev/events/245352008/

Kids:

Tuesday, December 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Kids! Play with LEGO! It’s fun!

Movies:

Sunday, December 17th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Film: Body and Soul: An American Bridge
Composed by Johnny Green in 1929, the song Body and Soul was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman, trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong ushered the song into the jazz canon the following year. Learn more about this important, genre-spanning piece! Find out more and purchase tickets here: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/visit-shop/calendar-events/film-body-and-soul-american-bridge-sunday-december-17-2-pm

Science:

Monday, December 11th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Plane Crashes and Flamenco!
The Nerd Nite that will cause us to actually disappear into our own sense of anxiety! Bob Gould will discuss surviving plane accidents, and David and Lonnie Chu will teach us about the beautiful art of Flamenco, and lead us in a “juerga”!
Union Station [125 Pleasant St, Northampton] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SciTech Cafe
Oooooh ho ho ho so this is how it is? OUR night? You’re doing a SciTech Cafe on Nerd Nite? That’s actually delightful, because it’s lovely to have so many good events all the time in our good town! Everyone is free to go to this to see Gary Felder talk about the possibility of extra dimensions in space, but we will expect you to donate extra to charity at January’s Nerd Nite in penance.

May 29th – June 4th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Have a good Memorial Day tomorrow, readers!

Get excited for the June 12th Nerd Nite at the World War 2 Club in Northampton! It’s going to be about the vagaries of our economic system, which is a topic both tragic and comic! Kind of comediotragious, which is a word to describe that sentiment we just invented.

Check out the Western MA Film Maker’s Group! They’re having a get-to-know-you potluck June 11th! If you are interested in making films and you live around here you really kind of have no excuse, there’s not going to be a more specifically tailored group for you to hang out with we don’t think.

We would like to also take the opportunity this week to point you toward a bunch of locals with Patreons:

Worlds Without Master is a great fantasy RPG/Story/Comic magazine!

Xenoglyph is a bunch of neat art and RPGs and writing and such!

Meguey Baker is a lot of interesting games in the vein of like… tag. Real base-level intriguing social games.

Legends of Fomora is a fantasy comic about a place with children adventurers and ant-creatures and magic and very dangerous forests and the first arc is pretty neat!

KC Green is the person from the Valley that has maybe most made a splash in the general culture? He’s also very good at making comics!

And that’s not even all of them! Wow, we do have a vibrant creative community full of people who definitely deserve to get some of your cash, don’t we?

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, May 31st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ukulele With David Hyde Costello
Learn to play ukulele in a nice environment! No musical background neecessary, beginners welcome! It’s free and open to adults onnly, register at (413) 283-3330!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Needle Felting and Fiber Crafts
Create beautiful needle and fibercrafts! The helpful and talented Lisa Melnick will teach you to create three-dimensional objects out of simple materials! You should bring some materials if you’d like, and supplies will be available for purchase at the library!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Writing Room Reading
Listen to a reading of some of the work from a bunch of different writers who’ve been hanging out and working at Forbes! Naila Moreira, Susan Stinson, Alice Thomas, and many more will be there to share their work!
Thursday, June 1st
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Teen Writing Workshop
Instructor Abby Forcier will be on hand to offer guidance and support for any written work you care to produce! Anything that strikes your interest you can work on and then share with the group if you like!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus
Open mic! Poetry Reading! A one-night special art exhibit! Open mic signups from 5pm – 6pm, and then it begins at 6pm. The featured poets are Tara Jean Bernier and Catherine Weiss, and the featured artist is Julia Waves.

Board Games:

Wednesday, May 31st
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Game On!
Board games in the teen room! Have fun with the library collection or bring your own!

Books:

Saturday, June 3rd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Holyoke Remembers Mary Doyle Curran
Mary Doyle Curran was a writer born in Holyoke in 1917, who got a PhD and then was a professor at UMass Boston! She was an important part of the Irish American community and keynote speaker Jules Chametzky will let you know more about this neat person! And there’s a bus tour of Curran’s Holyoke!

Comic Books:

Saturday, June 3rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Wonder Woman Day
Celebrate Wonder Woman during the opening weekend of the film! GPL will have exhibits, activities, freebies, screenings of the original “Wonder Woman” TV show, and more! All ages are welcome, and the event takes place throughout the library!

Community:

Saturday, June 3rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Kick-off Party: Awareness Fair, Summer Reading Sign-ups, and Book Sale
Stroll through a Bazaar on the West Lawn and meet people from various community organizations to learn what they do, sign up for summer reading, see the AEIO Ukes perform, get a balloon twisted by local jim Jim, see Percy Jackson the therapy dog do freestyle tricks, get a temporary tattoo, and buy some great books! A spectacular day for the whol family!

Entertainment:

Friday, June 2nd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Garden Days
Help make the Dickinson Museum beautiful by helping out in the garden! Join a group of other friendly volunteers to cultivate the beautiful grounds! No need to be an expert, just learn from the folks who volunteer there all the time! You can also tour the archeaological dig going on at the same time!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Products of My Farm Are These: Farming with the Dickinsons
Landscape historian and garderner Marta McDowell will lead a program about the various edibles that the Dickinson’s grew, cooked, and ate! You’ll also see how you can grow your own delicious fruits and vegetables in your own New England garden! This will take place both indoors and outdoors, so dress for the weather! It’s $10 for museum members and $13 for non-members!
Saturday, June 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Super PAC Band: An Acoustic Concert on the grounds of Historic Northampton
Historic Northampton will host the Super PAC Band, a group of talented local musicians who “play for the general good will and your listening pleasure!” Sounds delightful! Bring a blanket, picnic, and your friends and family!

Kids:

Saturday, June 3rd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Wonder Woman Day
Create your own superhero identity! Make a unique symbol for them and a backstory, and also work on some Wonder Woman coloring pages! Recommended for ages 4-11! There’s still time to get your character into Justice League or Infinity War if they’re neat enough!

Movies:

Tuesday, May 30th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Teen Movie: A Thousand Words
Watch Eddie Murphy in a really odd family film that takes an old aphorism and turns it into a sort of terrifying curse designed to teach someone how to listen better via the threat of death. Gruesome!
Wednesday, May 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:30 PM to 9:50 PM
Moana Lawn Screening
Hang out on the library lawn for a screening of the recent hit Disney animated movie Moana! When a terrible curse is incurred by the demigod Maui, a chieftan’s daughter answers the call to set things right! Free for all, bring blankets and a picnic!
Sunday, June 4th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cinema Sunday: Funny Face (1957)
Enjoy a screening of a classic musical at the Carle! A romatic comedy starring Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, and Kay Thompson! We presume that like many Fred Astaire films there’s a strong subplot about the community organizing behind all those coordinated song and dance acts.
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Film: The Green Park
The story of The Green Park, a glamorous hotel on the British Riveria! The kosher establishment opened in 1943, and this film follows decades of Jewish history that took place in and around it.

Science:

Saturday, June 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Massachusetts Birds of Prey
We’re kind of assuming this is just a big room full of birds of prey. Watch out! They’ll scratch you right up.

May 22nd – May 28th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Boss Baby was oddly good, some real nice physical comedy animating from Dreamworks. Good job, Dreamworks! Good job team of probably 100 animators doing some of the most grueling and boring work possible for only acceptable pay!

We would also like to point you once again to the excellent new Valley meetup about film making! The Western MA Film Makers Meetup! It is neat, and it’s a good excuse to go to fun events and meet new people to spend time with. Who doesn’t need a bit of that in their lives?

Also! News this week: Greenfield Games changed locations! They’re no longer renting, either! They bought a place just down the street from their old location. It’s a bit bigger, a bit nicer, and in general it seems things are going well for them. Look for them at 228 Main St. in Greenfield!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Anime Club:

Wednesday, May 24th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! Anime is sometimes great and sometimes not, debate which anime are which with some pals at this club!

Art:

Thursday, May 25th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception
Celebrating the opening of summer exhibitions, featuring alumni artists and collectors! THere are delicious refreshments and there’s a bar if you’re over 21! Well, technically there’s a bar whether even if you’re under 21, it’s just that if you’re under 21 the bar won’t give you alcohol. Free and open to the public!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Teen Writing Workshop
Instructor Abby Forcier will be on hand to offer guidance and support for any written work you care to produce! Anything that strikes your interest you can work on and then share with the group if you like!
Friday, May 26th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Gallery Talk: Artist Michael Mazur ’57
Betsy Garand, Senior Resident Artist at Amherst College and Gail Mazur, poet and wife of the late Michael Mazur ’57. This event is in conjunction with an exhibit of his work, and it’s free and open to the public!

Board Games:

Tuesday, May 23rd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Game On!
Board games in the teen room! Have fun with the library collection or bring your own!

Community:

Monday, May 22nd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:45 PM
Animal Friend Loss Support Group
We’re pretty sure this is a support group for those of you who have lost an animal friend, which is very sad. If it turns out that the support group is entirely made up of animals talking to each other about friends they have lost we apologize but there was no description on the site!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Financial Skills
Learn to save! Learn to spend! Learn to hide quarters behind the ears of other people! All the necessary skills to become a financial wizard!
Tuesday, May 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:15 PM to 7:00 PM
Greenfield Tree Committee
Do you like trees? Want to have some say about where and when trees appear in Greenfield? This is literally the only group for you!
Wednesday, May 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition
No description for this one but we have the impression they don’t actually mean they want to keep the physical schools and the physical streets safe but are using those as a sort of synechdoche for the community itself and in particular children within the community.

Kids:

Tuesday, May 23rd
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Whole Book Approach Storytime with Megan Dowd Lambert
Families will enjoy a Whole Book Approach storytime with Megan Dowd Lambert, author and Senior Lecturer in Children’s Literature at Simmons College!
Wednesday, May 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Young Writer’s Group
“Author and teacher Nell Wright will work with young writers ages 10-14 on Wednesdays. The group will meet in the Greenfield Room from 4 -5pm. The group is limited to 8 participants and preregistration is required. Call 413-772-1544 extension 5 for more information. This class is free thanks to the Friends of the Greenfield Public Library.”

Movies:

Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Teen Movie: A Thousand Words
Watch Eddie Murphy in a really odd family film that takes an old aphorism and turns it into a sort of terrifying curse designed to teach someone how to listen better via the threat of death. Gruesome!

RPGs:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play RPGs with some people! They’re going to be great and so are you! Try playing World Wrestling RPG! It’s fun trust us.

Science:

Tuesday, May 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Food and Habitat for Pollinators through the Seasons
What plants attract pollinators to your garden? What will make bees and butterflies really jazzed to see your plants? Ashley Schenk has been teaching permaculture-based landscape design since 2011, having founded Broadfork Permaculture. Learn how to plant, what to plant, and how to create neat wildflower meadows!

We’re on podcast The Chairmen of the Boards!

Loyal readers! You’ve yearned to hear us speak, wept at the lack of our dulcet tones tickling your eardrums, thrown yourself bodily out of your seats to protest the fact that text is a medium that robs you of the beauty that you know exists just beyond your grasp.

Well now you can hear us talk to local podcaster Jesse Mayhew of the venerable Chairmen of the Boards! It is a relatively freewheeling discussion of how the Nerd Watch got started and what a danged cool place the Valley is in general but particularly if you’re a big old nerd into board game things.

Nerds gather, and now his watch begins.

It shall not end until his death. He shall take no wife, hold no hands, father no children.

He shall wear no crowns and win no glory. (Unless you count the victory point track In Blood Rage or the Crown Counter In Citadels. These are obvious exceptions that we shouldn’t have to point out.)

He shall live and die at his post, He is the Foam LARP sword in the Darkness. The Watcher on the Wall (of discounted non-mint condition pre-owned games).

He is James Olchowski, Lord Commander of the Nerd’s Watch – and you owe him your allegiance!!

Dethroned and dispossessed, robbed of title and station, our intrepid host Jesse was shackled and marched to the wall where he was forced to take the Black (T-shirt with 3 wolves howling at the moon.)

He decided to make the most of it and interview James about The Valley Nerd Watch, The Pioneer Valley’s weekly newsletter and #1 resource for all things nerd!

Jesse was a lovely host, and we hope you have as nice a time listening as we did recording.

So You Would Like To Be Heard

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Recently we’ve become aware of the fact that several folks in town do interesting podcasts. That’s delightful! Podcasts are after all the radio of the future.

But have you considered the radio… of the past? Which is to say just plain broadcast radio?

Your local low power FM station – 103.3FM WXOJ Valley Free Radio – has resources for you to use, friendly member of the local community! So what can they do for your podcast? Lots!

Scenario 1: I Want to Start a Podcast… But I Don’t Have Any Good Equipment!

Valley Free Radio is happy to help! You can use their brand new community recording studio! They have mics, they have a computer, they have soundproofing that’s better than your living room.

What are the restrictions?

  • You can only record in the studio when a member of the VFR team is there to actually let you in. For the most part, this should not be an issue. But keep in mind that if a sudden illness hits the staff at VFR, you’ll need to make other plans.
  • You need to add a little stinger to the end of each episode of your podcast noting that this was recorded at the VFR studio.

What are the benefits?

  • You can record audio and then take that audio and do what you want with it, delightful!

Scenario 2: I Have a Podcast, But I Want To Be on the Radio!

Valley Free Radio is looking for new programs, so you’re in luck! You can record at the station or you can do live broadcasts if you’d like! Go to http://valleyfreeradio.org/schedule/new-program-proposal and fill out the online form to get started!

What are the restrictions?

  • No racism/sexism.
  • No swears. Thank the FCC.
  • No promoting products. VFR is a non-profit, and there are rules about this sort of thing!
    • You can probably say “Hi, I’m the creator of the Ice Cream Cone and you can find out more about my invention at icecreamiscool.biz” at the end of your show.
    • You cannot say “Go to Herrell’s and buy an ice cream cone, folks!” or “If ice cream cones sound tasty, go pick one up at your local retailer!”
    • Yes, it’s subjective and a bit thorny at times, but the volunteers at VFR are happy to speak with you about the specific implications for the w
  • You need to go to a training on station practices and equipment usage.
  • You need to sign a contract with the station stating you’ll follow FCC and station guidelines.
  • You need to contribute. Either with some volunteer work at the station or with a flat monthly fee of $20-$30, plus a $30 membership fee.

What are the benefits?

  • Access to the airwaves! VFR, as you can see by the map above, has about a 15-mile radius coverage area centered around Florence.
  • Access to the station! You can record any time day or night in either studio, with the caveat of course that you can’t overlap with another person. You can pre-record your shows at a time that works for you!
  • An audience! VFR already has regular listeners and a bunch of people who listen to the stream online, so you’d be able to start reaching people immediately who might otherwise never hear about your podcast. Some VFR shows have a dedicated international following!
  • A neutral professional space! People aren’t always interested in interviews/guest appearances that take place in a person’s living room. The radio station is a comfortable and convenient place to meet.
  • The ability to have call-in guests easily!
  • The thrill of creating live content!
  • Help from friendly volunteers! The people at VFR are capable radio producers who can help you with any issues that pop up in the process of making, editing, and promoting your show.
  • A specialized @valleyfreeradio.org email address so you can easily communicate with fans of your show!
  • Access to a private Facebook group just for VFR programmers where they talk about the station and answer questions about the work.

So there you have it. Whatever you’d like to do with your podcast, VFR can help you do it. Just talk to the station volunteers! You can get in touch with them here.