Agenda September 7, 2015

Northampton Jazz Festival

Sept. 8-12: The 2015 Northampton Jazz Festival will begin Tuesday, Sept. 8 with a performance at the Northampton Jazz Workshop and various other performances during that week, culminating with the main-stage, all-day event on Saturday, Sept. 12. The main concert event will take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Northampton on Hampton Avenue, behind Thornes Marketplace. At Saturday’s signature performance, which is free and open to the public, featured performers will include the Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke Duo, the Zaccai Curtis Latin Jazz Quartet featuring Ray Vega, the Edmar Casteneda Trio, Pete McGuinness, the Jeff Holmes Quartet, and the Franz Robert/Benny Woodard Trio featuring Conner Duke. Paul Arslanian, co-creative director of the Northampton Jazz Festival, said the lineup for this year’s main event is unique from that of previous years. “We’re featuring young, unique voices and artists who are exploring different avenues of jazz. We’re hoping to showcase a wide variety of jazz genres.” The week’s events begin Tuesday, Sept. 8 with a performance by tenor saxophonist Felipe Salles at the Northampton Jazz Workshop at the Loft at the Clarion Hotel, starting at 7:30 p.m. Saxophone students from UMass Amherst will be performing with Salles, along with the Green Street Trio. From Wednesday, Sept. 9 to Friday, Sept. 11, Downtown Struts are planned in Amherst, Easthampton, and Northampton, respectively. The struts will give music lovers a chance to explore many different venues in each town and hear local and regional jazz musicians perform. David Picchi, co-creative director of the Northampton Jazz Festival alongside Arslanian, said performers for the Amherst Downtown Strut on Wednesday, Sept. 9 are still being finalized. However, Free Range Cats will be one of the bands featured. On Thursday, Sept. 10, the Easthampton Downtown Strut, which will commence at 5:30 p.m., will feature the Pangeans in front of the Old Town Hall, the Nancy Janoson Trio at Galaxy, and the Carol Smith Trio at Nini’s Ristorante. The Northampton Downtown Strut on Friday, Sept. 11 will include seven additional bands, starting at 6 p.m.: Mtali Banda Oneness Project on the Northampton Court House lawn, the O-Tones at McLadden’s, the Claire Arenius Trio at One Bar & Grill, the Scott Mullett Trio at the Deck Bar, the Jeremy Turgeon Quartet at Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar, FlavaEvolution at Sierra Grille, and Mammal Dap at Bishop’s Lounge. The main performances on Saturday, Sept. 12 will kick off with the Jazz Futures Stage on the Hampshire Courthouse Lawn with student bands from six local schools: UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School, and Northampton Community Music Center. The Saturday main-stage concert will be hosted by two notable emcees from New England Public Radio. Tom Reney, host of the radio show Jazz à la Mode, will announce the performers in the first half of the festival, followed by Kari Njiiri, host of Jazz Safari and a senior news reporter for NEPR. In addition, at least 10 food trucks will be on site to offer such fare as pizza, sausage, organic burgers, and ice cream throughout the day. The second annual Northampton Jazz Festival Home Brew Challenge will take place from 3 to 5 p.m.; regional home brewers will have an opportunity to put their brews to the test with guest tasters. For more information or to help sponsor the event, contact Yvonne Mendez at Jazz fans can get more information at Major sponsors include Baystate Urgent Care, TD Bank, North Coast Brewing Co., Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, UMass Fine Arts Center, Northampton Arts Council, MassLive, McLadden’s, Northampton Jazz Workshop, Silverscape Designs, Florence Bank, the Artisan Gallery, Hampshire Hospitality Group, the Clarion Hotel, 90+ Cellars, Delap Real Estate, Lia Auto Group, Log Cabin/Delaney, Thornes Marketplace, and Daury Wealth Management.

Diversity & Inclusion Interactive Workshop

Sept. 10: Exploring unconscious bias will be the topic for discussion at the 2015 Diversity & Inclusion Interactive Workshop, sponsored by Baystate Health, to be conducted Thursday, Sept. 10 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The event is open to the public. Participants can select either the morning session from 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or a repeated session from 1 to 5:45 p.m. “At Baystate Health, we understand that diversity and inclusion are a business imperative. In alignment with our business and development goals, and in support of the community, we are pleased to offer hands-on education and best-practice workshops to the region’s diversity champions and leaders, including our own employees,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. During the half-day interactive learning experience, skills will be gained in decision making, building inclusive teams and cultures, intercultural communications, and increasing employee engagement. Attendees will have an opportunity to better understand the science, research, and impact of unconscious bias; become aware of their own background and its impact on individual perceptions; explore functions of the unconscious mind and their impact in the workplace; apply new strategies for practicing more conscious awareness to concrete action steps; and recognize the business case for a reinvented approach to diversity and inclusion. Presenters include principal consultant and keynote speaker Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale, who will be joined by Armers Moncure, Joe Gerstandt, and Melanie Miller, all from Cook Ross, a premier diversity and inclusion consulting firm. Registration, which includes parking, is $150. To register, visit, then click “About Us,” then click “Diversity and Inclusion.” For more information, call (413) 794-7722.

Walk for Love Walkathon and Barbecue

Sept. 12: Come celebrate the 90th anniversary of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield at the sixth annual Walk for Love Walkathon and Barbecue. This easy, three-mile walk begins at the hospital and continues through Van Horn Park and back to the hospital for a barbecue. The day of family fun includes Shrine clowns, Zoo on the Go, K-9s for Kids, face painting, a photo booth, music, food, and more. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m.The barbecue and entertainment run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 
p.m. The event will be held rain or shine. Registration fee for walkers and non-walkers alike is $25 per person,
$5 for children 12 and under, and $40 per family. A waiver must be signed to participate in the walkathon. No pets are allowed, except for service animals. Free parking will be available at the Boys and Girls Club located directly across from Shriners Hospital on Carew Street. All proceeds from this event benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield. Register online at Forms will also be available on the day of the walk. For additional information, contact Lee Roberts, the hospital’s public relations specialist, at (413) 755-2307 or

Dinner Forum on Business Decision Making

Sept. 16: The UMass Amherst Family Business Center will present a dinner forum from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton. The program is called “Effective Business Decision Making in the Fast-changing Environment of the 21st Century.” How many decisions do you make in the course of each business day? How often are they based on a gut feeling, versus measurable, relevant data? How accurate is your gut, and how well can you really tune into it? And how do you know which data is accurate, not to mention relevant? How can you be sure you’re considering all the consequences? Are you reaching for solutions that worked before, not sure they’re what is needed for more complex dilemmas? Are you influenced by biases you’re not even aware of? This presentation could help you, by exploring the practical aspects of the latest research on effective decision making and how family and closely held businesses are using it to create success. Presenters include Vana Nespor, chief learning officer and dean of Online and Adult Studies at Bay Path University, and Tom Loper, associate provost and dean of Bay Path’s graduate Business program. Call Ira Bryck, Family Business Center director, at (413) 545-4545 for more information.

Status Report on Casinos

Sept. 18: Stephen Crosby, Massachusetts Gaming Commission chair, will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce September Breakfast. His presentation is titled “A Status Report on Casinos in Massachusetts — and What is Unique About Them.” The breakfast will be hosted by the 104th Fighter Wing located at 175 Falcon Dr., Westfield. Baystate Noble Hospital is the platinum sponsor. The gold sponsor is United Bank, and the silver sponsors are Tighe & Bond and United Way of Pioneer Valley. The coffee-bar sponsor is Spherion Staffing. Registration begins at 7 a.m.; breakfast will be served at 7:20 a.m., and the program will end by 9 a.m. The cost is $25 for chamber members and $30 for non-members. Registration is mandatory for the breakfast, and a driver’s license is required for entry onto the ANG base. Contact Pam Bussell at (413) 568-1618 to reserve tickets or to donate a door prize, or e-mail

‘Fall Back in Time’ at Holyoke Merry-Go-Round

Sept. 18: The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, the prized carousel with a storied history that dates back to the early 1900s, announced a “Fall Back in Time” fund-raiser to remember the magic of Mountain Park, to be held at the carousel site, 221 Appleton St., from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for the event, which will support the ongoing maintenance and operation of the ride. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round — also known as Holyoke’s Happiness Machine — has delighted children and families since the 1920s, when it was featured at Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mount Tom. The carousel arrived in Holyoke for the 1929 season and remained in Mountain Park until its closure in 1987. The fund-raiser will feature food and a cash bar prepared by the Log Cabin; live music including sax player Tom Tisdell, his musicians, and a banjo player; train rides to the mall and back provided by the Pioneer Valley Railroad; and carousel rides. Tickets are $45 per person or $400 for a table of 10. A grand raffle will also be held, with $8,000 in prizes: $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Raffle tickets are $100 each. Event and raffle tickets are available now at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round concession or by calling Meghan O’Connor at (413) 427-7629 or Susan Leary at (413) 592-7573. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (413) 538-9838 or visit

Mutts & Mimosas

Sept. 20: Dakin Humane Society has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Petco Foundation as the Top Dog sponsor of Dakin’s annual fund-raiser, Mutts & Mimosas. The brunch event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quonquont Farm & Orchard in Whately, rain or shine. Guests, who are encouraged to bring their dogs, can enjoy a make-your-own mimosa bar, live traditional Irish music, a raffle and silent auction, apple-picking, dog-walking trails, and other fun activities. The food will be catered by Seth Mias, and an optional dog meal is available for $10. Event attendees are asked to bring dry or canned cat food to support Dakin’s Pet Food Bank program. Tickets are $50 per person and can be ordered online at or by calling event manager Gina Ciprari at (413) 781-4000, ext. 136. According to Dakin Executive Director Leslie Harris, “Mutts & Mimosas has become a tradition among Dakin supporters and dog enthusiasts around the region, and we’re happy to know that they look forward to coming to this event with their dogs each year. With Petco Foundation’s support, we will be able to leverage other donations to Mutts & Mimosas and extend our services to more animals and their people.” Other sponsors for Mutts & Mimosas include Gage-Wiley & Co. Inc., Walter’s Propane, Sarah’s Pet Services, Rice Family Foundation, Five Star Building Corp., WHMP, WMAS, Western Mass News,, and Quonquont Farm & Orchard.

Get On Board!

Oct. 8: OnBoard, a Springfield-based nonprofit organization that matches qualified individuals and area boards of directors, is inviting local organizations and businesses to participate or become a sponsor in the “Get On Board!” event in October. The event, to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will connect local organizations with individuals looking to increase their community involvement. OnBoard was founded in the mid-’90s by attorney Ellen Freyman of Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin, P.C. The group’s mission is to help organizations expand their governance diversity by enlisting women, people of color, and other under-represented populations to their boards of directors/trustees, committees, and advisory groups. OnBoard has been connecting qualified people in the Greater Springfield area with organizations seeking leadership that reflects the diversity of the region. “Our goal with ‘Get On Board!’ is to facilitate an introduction of new talent and organizations around Greater Springfield,” said Freyman. “Diversifying your board of directors by recruiting members of under-represented populations can provide you with insight into different ways to engage with the community at large. Our goal is to create new relationships for both the individuals and the organizations who will benefit from each other’s resources and experience.” The cost for organizations to register to participate in the event is $100 before Aug. 31 and $125 if submitted after Aug. 31. As a nonprofit organization itself, OnBoard relies on the support of local businesses in order to hold ‘Get On Board.’ A number of funding options are available to local businesses who are interested in contributing to the event, including a $500 community-partner sponsorship and a $1,000 general-sponsorship opportunity. To register or become a business sponsor, visit

Williamstown Film Festival Presents Wind-Up Fest

Oct. 15-18: The annual Williamstown Film Festival (WFF), now in its 17th year, welcomes big changes with new faces, a new name, and new programming focus. Slated for Oct. 15-18, WFF Presents: Wind-Up Fest is a nonfiction festival with documentary film as its backbone. Other forms of nonfiction will be in conversation with documentaries, including long-form journalism, radio podcasts, photography, and social-practice art. The event’s new artistic director, Paul Sturtz, is also the co-director at the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Mo., and its new managing director, Sandra Thomas, is the former executive director of Images Cinema in Williamstown. “Our aim is to provide a unique, distinctive event for North Adams and Williamstown while serving as a destination festival for lovers of nonfiction. We are living in a time when nonfiction storytelling is offering one of the most vital, urgent ways forward,” Sturtz said. The festival will be curated by Sturtz, who was selected (along with his True/False co-director David Wilson) as one of 40 people in the inaugural Indiewire Influencers list, described as “visionaries that are changing the course of film.” With the addition of Sturtz and return of Thomas, the board of directors announced the retirement of festival Executive Director Steve Lawson. The festival has offices in North Adams and Williamstown and can reached at or (413) 458-9700.

51st Anniversary Noble Ball

Oct. 17: Baystate Noble Hospital is preparing for the 51st Anniversary Noble Ball co-chaired by the Queenin family: Kevin, Barbara, Jay, Janine, Jon and Lisa. “Magic of Motown – Motor City Review” will take place the MassMutual Center in Springfield. More than 800 guests are expected to attend the black-tie event, which will feature live entertainment, silent and live auctions, formal dinner, cocktails, dancing, and more. Since the first ball in 1959, the Hospital has used this signature event to raise money for operating funds, building improvements, equipment purchases, and more. Proceeds from this year’s ball will be added to last year’s funds and used to enhance Baystate Noble’s entrance and reception area to provide updated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access. “Our goal is to make Baystate Noble easily accessible for all,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of Community Development. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or e-mail

Western Mass. Business Expo

Nov. 4: Comcast Business will present the fifth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News in partnership with Go Graphix and Rider Productions. The business-to-business show will feature more than 100 booths, seminars and Show Floor Theater presentations, breakfast and lunch programs (the former featuring Harpoon Brewery CEO Dan Kenary as keynote speaker), and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business, presenting sponsor; Health New England, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, and Wild Apple Design, director-level sponsors; the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst, education sponsor; Elms College, information-center sponsor; and 94.7 WMAS, media sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $750. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

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