Agenda Departments


‘Better Angels’ Exhibit

Through July 10: In the months prior to 9/11, firefighter Peter Freund had been considering a career change after 23 years with the FDNY. One week after he perished at the World Trade Center, Freund’s family received a letter confirming his acceptance to teach high-school mathematics. Described by some as “a living saint,” chaplain Mychal Judge was the first FDNY casualty listed on 9/11, entry number 0001. His helmet was later presented as a gift to the Pope. A proud first-time uncle, firefighter William Johnston, had been looking forward to the baby shower on Sept. 30. His remains were found at Ground Zero that afternoon. These are just a few of the stories that await visitors who come to view “Better Angels: the Firefighters of 9/11,” a new traveling exhibit at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History opening Tuesday, Jan. 12 and running through July 10. The exhibit features 343 portraits by artist Dawn Howkinson Siebel, one for every New York City firefighter lost in the World Trade Center attacks. Together, the images create a wall measuring 21 feet long, allowing visitors to come face to face with men who made their living running toward danger and saving lives, even at the risk of their own. Siebel, a current resident of Easthampton, was living in Colorado at the time of the attacks, but had been a longtime resident of Manhattan in the years prior. Inspired when the New York Times printed photos of all 343 fallen FDNY members, Siebel set out to paint a portrait of every firefighter lost on that fateful day. Over the next few years, she painstakingly hand-painted each portrait onto a block of charred wood. In total, the exhibit took 3,000 hours and over six years to create. In her artist statement for the exhibit, Siebel said, “these 343 firemen represent New York, the FDNY, their selfless profession, and also — in the way of heroes — the possibility that each of us may rise to the ‘better angels’ of our own nature.”

‘How to Talk to Kids About Therapy’

Feb. 9: The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens, a program of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice that provides support to grieving young people and their families, announced a free workshop with Sarah Abel, LICSW. This workshop, titled “How to Talk to Kids About Therapy,” will take place from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice offices at 168 Industrial Dr. Geared toward adult caregivers, the purpose of the workshop is to provide an understanding of child therapy and to prepare parents, caregivers, and teachers to talk about therapy with kids. Participants will be able to discuss children’s behaviors and what they reveal about underlying feelings. Participants will also consider when to consult with a therapist around concerns about a child. Abel has been a psychotherapist since 1994 and aims to help families prepare their children to enter into therapy and face this vulnerable moment for both parents and children. She is a graduate of New York University School of Social Work and the Institute of Child, Adolescent and Family Studies, and completed a post-graduate fellowship in psychoanalysis at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. She has taught child development at Smith College School of Social Work and currently treats children, adolescents, and adults in her private practice in Northampton. This event is free, and the snow date is Thursday, Feb. 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To RSVP, contact Shelly Bathe Lenn, coordinator at the Garden, at (413) 582-5312.


Heart Walk Kickoff Breakfast

Feb. 12: The American Heart Assoc./American Stroke Assoc. invites the public to the 2016 Pioneer Valley Heart Walk Kickoff Breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. The free event includes a hot breakfast. Team captains or those interested in leading a team are encouraged to attend to receive their team-captain kits, hear a panel of guest speakers, and learn more about the Heart Walk and new 5k Run, set for Sunday, May 1 at Look Park in Florence. To attend the breakfast, RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 26 with Traci Heath at (413) 262-3223 or [email protected] For more information, visit


Academy of Music Historic Tour

Feb. 24: The Academy of Music will offer a free tour of the historic theater at 5:15 p.m. Led by Academy of Music Development Coordinator Kathryn Slater, the tour will provide insight into the history behind this Northampton mainstay, including details about the organization’s founder and interesting notes about the many revitalizations. Built in 1891, the Academy of Music was the first municipally owned theater in the U.S., and home to the first stock theater company in the nation, the Northampton Players, formed in 1912. For nearly 125 years, the Academy has hosted an impressive array of performers, and the building holds the tales. See for yourself the century-old hole cut in the stage floor for Houdini’s disappearing act; Cole Porter’s grandfather clock; dressing rooms used by Sarah Bernhardt, Boris Karloff, Ethel Barrymore; and more. Step on the stage and see the Academy of Music from a whole new perspective, and take in the results of the 2014 restoration that refurbished the 800-seat auditorium, which earned a Mass. Historical Commission Preservation Award. This walking-and-talking tour begins promptly at 5:15 p.m. in the main lobby and is expected to run approximately 45 minutes. Admission is free, but reservations are required, as attendance is limited to 20. Reservations may be made through the Academy of Music Box Office by calling (413) 584-9032, ext. 105, Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., or by e-mailing [email protected]


Difference Makers

March 31: The eighth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Tickets cost $60, and tables of 10 are available. For more information, go HERE. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. This year’s class is profiled in this issue HERE. Difference Makers is sponsored by EMA Dental, First American Insurance Agency, Health New England, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., Northwestern Mutual, PeoplesBank, Royal LLP, and Sunshine Village.


40 Under Forty

June 16: The 10th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. The magazine will continue to accept nominations for the class of 2016 until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12. The nomination form, which can be found HERE, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community. An independent panel of judges will choose the winners, and their stories will be told in the April 18 issue. More details on the gala will be revealed in upcoming issues.

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