Applications for Local Farmer Awards

Through Jan. 31: Farmers in Western Mass. are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards of up to $2,500. These awards are for capital/infrastructure improvement projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing that will help farms compete in the marketplace. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, is entering the ninth year of the awards program, which has helped more than 235 farmers carry out a total of 474 projects. Some examples of how the awards have been used include electric fencing, no-till equipment, irrigation improvements, frost-free water systems, feed troughs, and shade cloth for greenhouses. To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of buy-local organizations Berkshire Grown or Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) or farm in one the four counties of Western Mass. For a full list of eligibility requirements and application information, farmers are encouraged to visit


YPS Membership Drive

Jan. 19: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its annual membership-drive networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Springfield Country Club. This ‘Throwback’ Third Thursday membership drive and board alumni night will be hosted by former YPS board members Amie Miarecki and Alfonso Santaniello. Presented by the Westfield Starfires with support from America’s Box Choice and LiftTruck Parts & Service, the event will feature discounted membership rates, available exclusively on the night of the networking event. The membership drive is free and open to anyone who wishes to attend. Former YPS board of directors members are encouraged to attend the event early for a cocktail hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the 15th anniversary of YPS. The champagne toast will be sponsored by Sumner & Toner Insurance Agency Inc. and NRG Real Estate. Advance registration is requested. To register, visit


Easthampton WinterFest

Feb. 11: The 10th annual Easthampton WinterFest will be held in locations throughout the city. The festival is organized by the Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee and is a fundraising event created to bring public awareness about ongoing efforts needed to keep Nashawannuck Pond healthy for generations to come. More than 35 family-friendly activities and events are scheduled, and most are free to attend due to generous business sponsorship. Donations are accepted. Outdoor activities include a historical ice harvest on Nashawannuck Pond featuring historian Dennis Picard. Participants can try their hands at using a pond saw to ‘harvest’ blocks of ice as they learn about Easthampton’s part in the area’s ice industry. Other outdoor activities include a nature walk at Arcadia, Clay Hill Farm draft-horse wagon rides, and a fire by the pond. Ice carver Mike Rondeau will create an ice bar, luge, and tabletops on the Keystone Mill patio. Indoor activities at Keystone Mill, 122 Pleasant St., include a vendor/artisan/craft fair, Art in Motion dance demonstration, Dennis the Magician, puppeteer Tom Knight, a martial-arts demonstration, Emily Foxtrot dance lessons, and a Juggernaut Glass and Go with the Float open house. Emily Williston Library, the Council on Aging, and Easthampton Media are also planning events. Adult fun includes the first Winterfest Deca-Dance Gala, a ticketed event, at Boylston West Room featuring Johnny & the Flashbacks and appetizers by Meyers Catering and ice bar/luge outdoors on the Keystone patio featuring two signature drinks. Other events include a chili tasting hosted by Big Bear Used Books and Café, WinterFest After Dark with live music at Abandoned Building Brewery, 1 Man Party trivia at New City Brewery, and bingo at Abandoned Building Brewery. To view the full list of activities, visit


MOSSO Concert Series at Westfield Athenaeum

Feb. 23, March 23, April 20: The Westfield Athenaeum will present a three-concert chamber-music series with MOSSO (Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra) performing. This is the second year of this partnership. Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. The Westfield Athenaeum series opens with MOSSO and Friends on Feb. 23. Violinist Beth Welty, horn player Sarah Sutherland, and pianist Elizabeth Skavish will perform horn trios of Frédéric Duvernoy, Trygve Madsen, and Johannes Brahms. Welty, chair of MOSSO, is acting principal second violin of MOSSO and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO). Sutherland, MOSSO and SSO horn player, is also MOSSO’s finance director. The series continues on Thursday, March 23 with a performance by the Vermont-based Champlain Trio, which includes MOSSO and SSO principal cello Emily Taubl. The Champlain Trio will perform “Brilliant Colors,” a program that features music by Tchaikovsky, Erik Neilsen (“Trio No. 2” written for the ensemble), Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beach, and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” The series concludes on Thursday, April 20 with MOSSO and SSO horn player Robert Hoyle’s quintet, the Connecticut-based Harmonia V. The quintet will celebrate April in Paris with an all-French program, featuring pieces by Barthe, Fauré, Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy, Pierné, and Lefebvre. Tickets for the concerts, $25 per person, must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at


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