40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 17: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2023. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 17. Launched in 2007, the program recognizes rising stars in the four counties of Western Mass. Nominations, which should be as detailed and thorough as possible, should list an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed online at Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges, and the selected individuals will be announced and profiled in the May 1 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 15. Event sponsorship opportunities are available.


‘Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow’

Feb. 6-21: Wistariahurst Museum and Garden will display a poster exhibition titled “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow,” organized and distributed by the New York Historical Society Museum and Library, with lead support for this traveling exhibition provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Black Americans gained monumental new liberties after the Civil War and the end of slavery. The era known as Reconstruction brought freedom, citizenship, and, for Black men, the right to vote. By the early 1900s, these liberties had been sabotaged by a repressive racial system known as Jim Crow. This exhibit chronicles the long strides forward, bruising setbacks, and heroic struggle for equality that took place during these years. In addition to the exhibit, this program provides a resources for teachers and the public, including recommended readings, recommending watching, links to interactive presentations, workshops and educational curricula, and lesson plans for grades K-12. The exhibit will be supplemented with artifacts and images from the Black Holyoke collection. The gallery is open Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Visit to register for this event.


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. 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


Lawyer on the Line

Feb. 13: The Hampden County Bar Assoc., in conjunction with Western Mass News, will hold its Lawyer on the Line program from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Local, experienced attorneys will be able to provide legal advice on various topics, including divorce and family, bankruptcy, business, employment, landlord/tenant, and real estate. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 846-0240 to speak to a volunteer.


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


Springfield Thunderbirds Sensory-friendly Game

Feb. 26: The Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the Center for Human Development (CHD) and Springfield College’s Department of Occupational Therapy, will host their third annual sensory-friendly game at 3:05 p.m., when the Thunderbirds host the Charlotte Checkers. The game presentation will feature decreased stimulation, including no goal horn or noise meters, decreased microphone and music volume, no strobing lights, and consistent lighting throughout the game and pregame, as well as two ‘cool-down stations,’ quiet areas on the concourse and main entry level of the MassMutual Center, away from the seating bowl, and a ‘sensory story’ booklet and other supportive items for guests. Since their inaugural season in 2016, the Springfield Thunderbirds have been partners with CHD, celebrating community-focused initiatives and difference makers in the Western Mass. community. At each T-Birds home game, a Game Changer award is presented to a member of the crowd who has bettered his or her community in ways both large and small. Additionally, the two organizations have partnered to create an opportunity for all — including those with physical limitations — to enjoy the game of hockey with the introduction of the CHD Sled Hockey Thunderbirds. The Springfield Thunderbirds, through Hockey Fights Cancer and other initiatives, have also been steadfast supporters of the CHD Cancer House of Hope, which is committed to providing access to free services and therapies that bring comfort, care, strength, resilience, and hope to patients with cancer and their loved ones. Fans with questions regarding the sensory-friendly game can direct them to the Thunderbirds front office at (413) 739- 4625 or by visiting


Difference Makers Gala

April 27: The 15th annual Difference Makers Gala will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Since 2009, BusinessWest has been recognizing the work of individuals, groups, businesses, and institutions through this recognition program. The 2023 Difference Makers will be announced, and their stories told, in the Feb. 20 issue of BusinessWest and at Event ticket cost and registration information is coming soon. Partner sponsors for this year’s program include Burkhart Pizzanelli, the Royal Law Firm, TommyCar Auto Group, and Westfield Bank.