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By Line search: By STEVE PFARRER


The ABCs of children’s books: ‘Alphabet Soup’ at the Eric Carle Museum looks at how picture books come to life
02-23-2024 2:22 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has no shortage of material to draw on for exhibits.Aside from highlighting work from traveling exhibits, or showcasing illustrations of specific artists drawn from various sources, the Amherst museum can...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 236 total.
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Book Bag: ‘What’s New, Daniel?’ by Micha Archer; ‘Monkeyface’ by Judith Podell
02-23-2024 2:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

What’s New, Daniel?Written and illustrated by Micha ArcherPenguin/Random HouseIn the last several years, Leverett illustrator and children’s book author Micha Archer has been gaining increasing attention for her eye-catching art and for stories that...


New year, new look: Bombyx Center adds more varied arts programming to its lineup while making infrastructure improvements
02-22-2024 1:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

What a difference a year makes.Late last May, the Northampton Fire Department abruptly shut down virtually all music performances at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity in Florence, citing inadequate fire prevention measures at the venue.The move...


The Beat Goes On: The Back Porch Festival is just three weeks away, and the Iron Horse announces its opening lineup
02-22-2024 12:25 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

If you’re like me, counting the days to spring, it’s a little over three weeks to the official first day, March 19.Yet that’s just a date on the calendar, and the weather in mid-March can still spell winter. But one antidote to that is to hit the Back...


Literary musing and gatherings: Amherst College host its ninth annual LitFest this weekend
02-22-2024 12:20 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Amherst College has sent many a successful writer into the world, or brought them in to teach: David Foster Wallace, Robert Frost, Richard Wilbur, Robert Stone, Lauren Groff, Chris Bohjalian, Charles Mann and many others.That legacy will be celebrated...


From Holland with love: Julia van IJken takes up more of the reins with Young@Heart Chorus
02-16-2024 3:59 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Julia van IJken was at her parents’ home in the Netherlands, unable to travel back to England, where she’d been working on a master’s program in art and communication at the Royal College of Art in...


Music festivals small and large: Jazz Shares mini-fest and a new outdoor indie rock festival are headed to Northampton
02-16-2024 3:54 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It’s still winter, but music festivals, small and large, are in the works. Here’s a look at some coming events, one that’s imminent and one further down the road.First off, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares is offering a mini-fest next weekend, Feb. 22-25,...


Taking up long-form fiction: Acclaimed short-story writer Kelly Link is set to debut her first novel
02-09-2024 12:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Kelly Link has piled up quite a few accolades and honors over the years: a MacArthur “genius grant,” a Pulitzer Prize nomination, several awards for fantasy fiction — a Hugo, a World Fantasy, and three Nebulas — and the kind of praise writers dream...


Art that traveled far, wide: Smith College exhibit showcases venerable art from the Persianate world
02-08-2024 3:29 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Before it became recognized by its modern name in 1935, Iran was known for centuries — at least in the western world — as Persia, a name that reflected the language of the same name and the culture that was part of it.In the 1970s, academics coined...


Still harmonizing after all these years: Silver Chord Bowl marks its 40th anniversary
02-08-2024 3:21 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The 1980s witnessed the start of what have become some longstanding artistic landmarks in Northampton: the Young@Heart Chorus, the downtown New Year’s Eve festival called First Night Northampton, and a good-natured competition involving collegiate a...


The Beat Goes On: Acclaimed dobro player shows her singer-songwriter side in Northampton, an eclectic duo comes to Florence, and more
02-08-2024 1:37 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Parlor Room features a steady stream of singer-songwriters, given the Northampton club’s intimate setting is ideal for acoustic music.The vast majority of those performers come bearing acoustic guitars. But Abbie Gardner will bring her dobro, or...


Animal tales: Northampton exhibit of photography and poetry looks at the threats animals face, as well as their beauty
02-02-2024 11:53 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

When he was growing up in New York City, Florence photographer Stephen Petegorsky was fascinated by the skeletons and diorama displays of animals in places like the city’s Museum of Natural History, developing an early interest in the science and art...


Book Bag: ‘The Sacred Dog’ by Joan Livingston; ‘Mud Pie’ by Lauren Arienzale
02-02-2024 11:52 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Sacred DogBy Joan LivingstonDarkstroke Books Franklin County author Joan Livingston, a former reporter and editor who once covered the Hilltowns for the Gazette, has used her experience to create a series of mystery novels set in similar towns,...


In time for downbeat: Jazz record designer Jack Frisch hosts new jazz show on Valley Free Radio to ‘get the music out there’
02-01-2024 3:13 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Back in the 1980s, Jack Frisch, then in his early twenties, got bitten pretty hard by the jazz bug, taking the ferry from his home in Staten Island, New York, over to Manhattan with some friends and haunting record shops.His interest had been...


The Evergreens house is ready for its close-up after preservation work at Emily Dickinson Museum
02-01-2024 1:38 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

AMHERST — Closed since 2019 for extensive preservation efforts and infrastructure improvements, The Evergreens, a key property at the Emily Dickinson Museum, will reopen for visitors March 1.The 19th century house was built in 1856 for Austin...


‘Creole love call’: Gombo launches new music series starting Feb. 2 with jazz reedman Evan Arntzen
01-26-2024 2:18 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When John Piskor opened his Cajun-style restaurant, Gombo Nola Kitchen & Oyster Bar, in Northampton last year, he said he eventually wanted it to turn it into something akin to a New Orleans cafe, where people come out for a drink and live music after...


‘You don’t look like a doctor’: Documentary film looks at the biases and challenges Black women physicians face 
01-25-2024 3:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Dr. Khama Ennis had come a long way in her medical career.Until 2022, the Amherst resident had spent about two decades in emergency medicine, including a number of years as chief of emergency medicine at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, as...


Staying in the game: Veteran actors and teachers Raye and Candace Birk are still involved with theater after decades of performance
01-25-2024 3:02 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Looking for some talented older actors who can play a wide range of roles? Who have decades of experience in theater, film and television?Raye Birk and Candace Barrett Birk are at your service.The Florence couple, relatively new transplants to the...


The Beat Goes On: A busy couple of weeks at The Drake, a new acoustic music series in Holyoke, and more
01-25-2024 2:58 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In my last column, I mentioned that The Parlor Room in Northampton and the Marigold Theater are maintaining busy schedules right through these early, dead-of-winter days.Another area venue that keeps pumping up the music is The Drake in Amherst, and...


Hitting it big for wrong reasons: In ‘American Fiction’ at Amherst Cinema, writer’s pastiche hailed as authentic
01-19-2024 11:23 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Though it had only an initial limited theatrical release, and did not appear until December, “American Fiction” has already popped up on a number of critics’ “best films of 2023” lists, and the movie has been nominated for a slew of awards.The buzz is...


A song for the ages: Easthampton Theater Company presents ‘Torch Song,’ an iconic work of queer theater
01-19-2024 11:08 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Ever since the November 2022 elections, politicians in over a dozen Republican-controlled states have seemed to compete with each other in attacking parts of the LGBTQ community: banning or restricting gender-affirming medical care for transgender...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 236 total.
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