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Current Edition - 5/17/24
Previous Edition - 5/10/24


Happening at the PCA, 10 Lincoln Street, Westford
May 31 at 7:30pm

Frank Santos, Jr. (Comic Hypnotist)
WESTFORD: Be amazed when you and your friends (or strangers) across the room become stars of the show, as Frank Santos, Jr. makes them believe they are singers, dancers and much, much more on May 31 at 7:30pm at the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street in Westford. This is a rated R performance where the audience becomes the show - a hilarious, energetic and unique event you will never forget! BYOB and snacks for a complete evening of entertainment! Tickets are $20 Members; $22 Non-Members; $25 at the Door (if there are any left). For tickets and information, call (978) 692-6333, or visit www.pcawestford.org.
Frank Santos Jr. has over 20 years of experience. His spectacular display of mind bending antics can turn any skeptic into a fan. His act is always fresh, energetic and unique; no two shows are ever the same. He has appeared at many theaters throughout New England like The Palace Theatre, Colonial Theatre, Capital Center for The Arts, The Wilbur Theatre and many more. He performs regularly at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island, and Treasure Island Casino in Minnesota. Frank has entertained for large corporate events such as Google, Nike, CVS, Blockbuster, and Tyco (to name a few), and has also been featured on ABC numerous times. Direct ticket link:

Chelmsford Quilters Host Quilt Show

Excitement is in the air for this upcoming Quilt Show! And what could be more beautiful than a room filled with hand crafted quilts?! Catch the enthusiasm and attend this local Quilt Show being held May 18 & 19 at Chelmsford Senior Center, 75 Groton Road (route 40) in North Chelmsford, MA. Show hours are Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
The show features over 100 Traditional, Modern, and Art quilts made by members, a Members Boutique, Silent Auction of Mini Quilts, Themed Raffle Baskets, Quilting Demonstrations, and More! Show Vendors are Bits ‘n Pieces Quilt Shop of Pelham NH and blade sharpener National Sharpening Company. This year, our Charity Quilt Raffle will benefit Lowell Transitional Living Center.
Admission is $10 and free for children under 12; cash or check only as we are unable to accept credit or debit cards. Building is wheelchair accessible with plenty of free parking.
The group's Quilt Shows are held every two years and are always a highlight of Guild programming. If you are in the area, this show is a “must see” event!
For more information, visit  www.chelmsfordquiltguild.com

ShirleyFest will be held on Shirley Center Common, Saturday June 1st  from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Besides having a lot of entertainment, kids activities, and sales, the day also gives folks a chance to purchase lunch or supper from many local non-profit organizations. The Shirley Historical Society will sell BBQ chicken and salads. Trinity Chapel will bake pies. Boy Scout Troop 7123 will cook up sausages and ShirleyArts! will grill hot dogs and hamburgers. The Fabulous Five will have lemonade and popcorn. Supporting these groups supports our town. The Friends of Hazen Library, the Fort Devens Museum, the Hindu Temple, the Shirley Meetinghouse, and Shirley Greenway will have information booths. Shirley Penguins will sponsor the dunk tank.
At the crafts tables you will find jewelry, woodwork, windchimes, photos, soaps, paintings, house décor, and greeting cards.
Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket and stay for the whole day.

Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast and Fundraiser for the Groton Grange #7 Brad Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund.

May 27,2024 from 7:30 to 10:30 am at Groton Grange #7, 80 Champney St. All proceeds from the breakfast go to the scholarship fund.
Live music will be provided by the Contra Banditos. Parking is allowed on the Grange side of Champney St only.
Pancakes (plain, chocolate chip, blueberry), sausage, maple syrup, orange juice, tea and coffee. $10./all you can eat. Children under 3 are free. Please join us rain or shine.

New England Contra Dance

Saturday, May 25, from 7:30 - 10:00 PM
Groton Grange #7 invites you to our traditional New England Contra Dance on Saturday, May 25, from 7:30 - 10:00 PM, at Historic Groton Grange
Hall, 80 Champney Street. This will be an evening of live music and dancing with Groton's own Contra Banditos, along with caller Dudley Laufman,  who will teach traditional New England style contra, square, and line dances to the beat of old time fiddle tunes. Beginners are welcome, no experience or partner is necessary. Suggested donation at the door is $5.00  per person,
Children under 3 years old are free, and family maximum is $20.  Made possible by a grant from the Town of Groton lecture Funds. Refreshments are provided. PARKING ALLOWED ONLY ON THE GRANGE SIDE OF CHAMPNEY ST.

“The Ammo Dump: A Taking of Heritage” Saturday, May 18

What if you received a knock on your door tonight and were told you had to leave? You had no more than a month to do so, and you could only take what was not nailed down. Eighty Massachusetts families faced that predicament on March 25, 1942. The Ammo Dump: A Taking of Heritage tells their story.
Join us at 1:00 on May 18 at the Fort Devens Museum for an afternoon of local lore and history with the authors of The Ammo Dump. Co-authored by Maynard historian Paul Boothroyd and his sons Paul Boothroyd, Jr. and Todd Boothroyd, the book explores the U.S. Army's seizure by eminent domain of some 3,100 acres of land spanning Maynard, Stow, Sudbury and Hudson in the spring of 1942.
At the breakout of World War II, the U.S. government required four square miles to create an ammunition depot. The purpose was to create this munitions storage at a distance from Boston harbor, so that if German battleships appeared off the Massachusetts coast, the munitions facility would be too far inland to be shelled from the sea. An extensive network of railroad tracks and widely spaced 'bunkers' (earth-covered warehouse buildings) would hold munitions until ships docked at harbor to take on supplies for transportation to Europe. Eminent domain was ordered, and the land taken, forever. However, that's only the surface of the tale...
Explore the who, how, and why. Learn about close-knit families in Maynard, Stow, Sudbury, and Hudson, Massachusetts, who lost their farms, their livelihoods. They not only had to find new places to live and work, they had to deal with the loss of all they had built.
The Fort Devens Museum is located at 94 Jackson Road, Devens, MA, on the third floor and is wheelchair accessible. The museum is open on May 18 from 10 AM to 3 PM with the program at 1:00.  This event is free and open to the public with donations gratefully accepted. Thanks to the Harvard Cultural Council. More information at www.fortdevensmuseum.org.
Water chestnut

3rd Annual Water Chestnut Pull

Announcing the 3rd Annual Water Chestnut PULL at Grove Pond in Ayer For the past two years, volunteers have made a huge impact to clear the very invasive, fast growing European water chestnut from the beautiful Grove Pond in Ayer. Year three is starting and we invite you and your family to join us! If you didn't have a chance to help last year, no worries, No experience is needed; we provide everything. All we need is YOU! Details and signup are at tinyurl.com/2024AyerWCP. Laurie Nehring, Ayer resident, who has coordinated the project since the beginning, suggests, “this is a great project to bring the whole family. High school students will receive community service credit and kids over the age of 12 are welcome, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. We provide training and all participants are required to wear a life jacket.” New this year is a Kick-off on Saturday, May 11, 9am-2pm. Join us all day, or for some portion of the festivities and win a gift bag (courtesy of Ayer businesses) for signing up early! Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to sign up for a Pull session for your employees. If the times listed at tinyurl.com/2024AyerWCP are inconvenient please contact PACEAyer@gmail.com to make arrangements. Liability insurance is covered through the American Canoe Association, funded through the Nashua Rivers Wild and Scenic Stewardship Council. Those who volunteer 3 or more times in 2024 will be offered full membership in ACA with great benefits. Laurie reminds those who want to help but don’t love being on the water that “shoreline help is incredibly valuable -and really messy!- and makes the work of pulling about 50% more efficient. To help onshore please sign up at tinyurl.com/2024AyerWCP. ” We look forward to hosting another successful season of pulling this Spring and Summer and look forward to your participation to help make it happen!

Summer Kick-Off Carnival

The Rotary Club of Littleton, MA is proud to introduce their first annual Summer Kick-Off Carnival in Littleton from June 20-June 23. Produced by Fiesta Shows, the Carnival will offer the latest and newest in rides and games. Food will be available from several vendors, starting with a Sal’s Pizza Food Truck. Entertainment during the weekend will be DJ’d music as well as live music, a karaoke night, and a magic show for the kids (young and old) on Sunday. The Rotary Club will also have a Beer Garden at the Carnival for visitors 21+ years of age and older.
The Carnival will be located near Littleton Common, on the site of the former IBM campus at the intersection of Routes 119 and Route 2A. Carnival hours are Thursday, June 20, from 6 PM-10 PM; Friday, June 21, from 6 PM -11 PM; Saturday, June 22, from 1 PM–11 PM; and Sunday, June 23, from 1 PM-9 PM.
The Rotary Club of Littleton will have a table at the Carnival to register participants and volunteers for the Appleman Triathlon (which will be taking place on July 21). Stop by to meet some of the Littleton Rotarians, see what Rotary is about, learn how to become a Rotarian, and look at what the Club has done to help others over the past year. This is a great family event, with something for everyone. Please help us spread the word before the Carnival, and stop by our table when you’re there to say hello!
Proceeds from this event will benefit Littleton’s TREAD (Tax Reduction for the Elderly and Disabled) Program and other local non-profits.
For more information, contact Chris Alphen, Club President, at chris@debsbeds.org, or visit the Rotary Club's website at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/3691. And stay tuned for more information about the Carnival and the entertainment!

Food Preservation Workshop

Groton Grange #7, 80 Champney St.. 11:15 AM-2:00 PM, Saturday, June 1st
Water bath and pressure canning, fermenting, dehydrating, vacuum packing, root cellaring, dry storage, equipment use and care demo, care of preserved foods. Interested older children welcome. Please register : fisherclio@yahoo.com Parking on Grange side of Champney street only.

Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast and Fundraiser for the Groton Grange #7 Brad Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund.

May 27,2024 from 7:30 to 10:30 am at Groton Grange #7, 80 Champney St. All proceeds from the breakfast go to the scholarship fund.
Live music will be provided by the Contra Banditos. Parking is allowed on the Grange side of Champney St only.
Pancakes (plain,chocolate chip, blueberry),sausage, maple syrup,orange juice, tea and coffee. $10. all you can eat. Children under 3 free.

Groton Grange #7 invites you to our traditional New England Contra Dance

on Saturday, May 25, from 7:30 - 10:00 PM , at Historic Groton Grange Hall, 80 Champney Street. This will be an evening of live music and dancing with Groton's own Contra Banditos, along with caller Dudley Laufman, who will teach traditional New England style contra, square, and line dances to the beat of old time fiddle tunes. Beginners are welcome, no experience or partner is necessary. Suggested donation at the door is $5.00 per person, children under 3 years old are free, and family maximum is $20. Made possible by a grant from the Town of Groton lecture Funds.

Brunch Fundraiser to Support DSVN
(Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc.)

Celebration of Hope Benefit
Saturday, May 18th, 11:00am-2:00pm
The Barn at Gibbet Hill
Enjoy Brunch in the Rustic Elegance and Celebrate...
Hope, Connections, & Community Partnerships
Tickets $100 per person (Ticket price covers the cost of brunch, drinks, dessert, entertainment, and rental fees)
To Reserve Tickets: Visit DVSN.org/Benefit2024 or call 978-318-3421 for more information. Help Us Reach Our Fundraising Goal: $100,000

THE CANNON THEATRE Proudly Presents “Alice By Heart”

Devens, MA: The Cannon Theatre is thrilled to present Alice by Heart, written by Steven Sater and Jessie Nelson’s with music by Duncan Sheik and directed by Shawn Cannon. It is 1942, and a young woman named Alice Spencer uses the Lewis Carroll stories to escape the horrors of the bombings in London. During one curiously terrible evening in the bunker, her best friend Alfred is diagnosed with incurable tuberculosis and a Red Cross nurse rips apart her favorite book, Alice In Wonderland. This pushes Alice over the edge, and since she has learned the stories by heart, retreats into her fantasy world, dragging the dying Alfred with her. This much anticipated musical is from the creators of Spring Awakening. Full of whimsy, gorgeous songs, inventive dances, and fun characters, this de-constructed version of Alice in Wonderland is sure to delight you and hit the heartstrings. You don't want to miss it. Show times are May 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 7:30 pm, with matinees on May 19 and 26 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available at www.thecannontheatre.org, and are $25 for adults, and $20 for students/seniors.

The Cannon Theatre is an intimate, non-profit community theater newly installed at 28 Andrews Parkway in Devens, MA. The theater’s 2022 move from Littleton and interior space renovation was made  possible by very generous funding from The Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation, as well as donated work by Studio J2 (architect) and Frank Harrigan (structural engineer). Additional support is provided by the Community Foundation for North Central Massachusetts, and the Local Cultural Councils of Acton-Boxborough, Ayer, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Townsend, Templeton, and Shirley - local agencies which are supported by Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Loaves & Fishes Announces Spring Into Action 5K to be held on
Sunday, May 5th

Fundraiser Benefits Individuals and Families in 7 Local Communities Devens, MA – Loaves & Fishes, a food pantry dedicated to providing nutritious food to people in need who reside in Ayer, Devens, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley, will be holding its annual Spring Into Action 5K on Sunday, May 5, 2024. This is one of the biggest annual fundraising events for Loaves & Fishes and is one of several events commemorating the organization’s 40th anniversary. The event begins at 1 PM on Sunday, May 5th, at Rogers Field, Devens (with parking near The Bob Eisengrein Community Center, 100 Sherman Ave., Devens). Pre- registration is strongly recommended. There is an initial $25 entrance fee; however, participants are encouraged to seek sponsorships. All donations benefit Loaves & Fishes and will be used to help the organization continue to provide food in an atmosphere of kindness and respect to people in need. Gold Sponsors for 2024 include: AFA Obstetrics & Gynecology, Enterprise Bank, FBS Tire Recycling, Gervais Ford, Murphy Insurance Group, CPF, Inc. and Lazaro Paving. To register, sponsor, donate, or learn more, go to https://lfwalk.org/.


Groton Grange #7 invites you to our traditional New England Contra Dance on Saturday, May 25, from 7:30 - 10:00 PM, at Historic Groton Grange Hall, 80 Champney Street. This will be an evening of live music and dancing with Groton's own Contra Banditos, along with caller Dudley Laufman , who will teach traditional New England style contra, square, and line dances to the beat of old time fiddle tunes. Beginners are welcome, no experience or partner is necessary. Suggested donation at the door is
$5.00 per person, children under 3 years old are free, and family maximum is $20. Made possible by grant from the Town of Groton lecture Funds. Refreshments are provided. PARKING ALLOWED ONLY ON THE GRANGE SIDE OF CHAMPNEY ST.

Littleton Country Gardeners Plant Sale

Town Common, Saturday, May 11, 2024, 9am-2pm
Perennial • Fairie Gardens • Herbs & Veggies• Pollinator and Native Plants
Ask a Master Gardener and Membership booths!
Keeping Littleton Beautiful
Littleton Country Gardeners maintain 13 civic sites in town with seasonal plantings.
Cash or Check only!

Shirley Public Forum on 25mph Speed in Thickly-Settled Areas

According to a recent survey conducted by the Shirley Transportation Action Committee (STAC), almost half of respondents believe cars travel too fast in Shirley. The Annual Town Meeting on May 13th includes a warrant article reducing vehicle speeds in “thickly-settled areas” throughout Shirley to 25mph. To provide residents with full information regarding this change and an overview of survey results, Shirley residents are invited to attend a public forum on April 25th at 7pm in the Town Offices. The forum is sponsored by STAC and will provide ample time for questions and comments from residents.
Massachusetts state law sets the “statutory” speed limit in thickly-settled areas at 30mph unless a town or city votes to reduce it to 25mph. Streets with posted speed limits would be unaffected by this change whether thickly-settled or not. Survey results and independent research proving that reduced speeds save lives, have led STAC to join neighboring towns of Ayer, Harvard and Lunenburg and propose the speed reduction for thickly-settled areas Shirley.
There are about 45 miles of roads in Shirley, about a quarter of which would qualify for the speed reduction. Almost all of these are in residential neighborhoods and subdivisions. Reducing the statutory speed limit in these areas will create safer streets for pedestrians, children and bicyclists as well as drivers. The public forum will provide Shirley residents with an opportunity to learn more about this change and have their questions answered by STAC members in advance of the vote at Annual Town Meeting. As a bonus, preliminary results of the ongoing STAC Transportation Survey will also be presented.

Flea Market

West Acton Baptist Church will be holding a Flea Market May 11th from 12 noon to 3:00 in the parking lot, 592 Mass Ave. during the West Acton Merchants Village Association Spring Fling.  Spaces available for a small donation. Limited number of tables, first come, first served.
Slated to date: Acton Police Dept with Zane their comfort dog! Handmade Greeting cards, Vintage used jewelry & the church membership will be offering vintage teacups for sale. Contact church office 978-263-5902 or wabcadmin@verizon.net.

May 18 Open House

OPEN HOUSE: Come help celebrate the Grand Reopening of Ayer’s historic Sandy Pond Schoolhouse. With free tours of the restored schoolhouse, speakers, music, refreshments, and activities for kids, there’ll be lots of fun. It all happens Saturday, May 18th, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Sandy Pond Schoolhouse, 150 Sandy Pond Road, in Ayer. See you there!
(Rain date is May 19th)

Beauty & the Beast JR this Summer in Shirley

SHIRLEY: ShirleyArts! is excited to announce our summer children’s musical program for ages 8-17. Licensed  teachers Meredith and Laurie Marcinkewicz will direct a production of “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast JR.” As well as rehearsing for the performances, children will learn theater, music, and dance skills, and play games to improve their performance, confidence, self-advocacy and teamwork. Auditions will be held June 24 at 2pm. Rehearsals will run Monday-Friday, 2-5pm, June 25-28 and July 8-19. Performances will be July 19 and 20 at 7pm; July 21 at 2pm. Tuition is $180 for ShirleyArts! members; $200 for non-members. At least 20 student performers, plus a few student stage crew members are welcome. Scholarships are available. For more information, subscribe to the ShirleyArts! e-newsletter list and stay-up-to-date with ALL ShirleyArts! activities. You can also send an email to email@shirleyarts.info.

SAVE THE DATE: ShirleyFest 2024

SHIRLEY: ShirleyArts! annual Shirley Fest community festival will take place this year on June 1 from 11am-5pm on the beautiful Shirley Center Town Common.  There will be crafts, games, food and entertainment for the whole family.  Volunteers will be needed to help with set-up and cleanup.  For more information, google shirleyfest01464 or visit https://sites.google.com/view/shirleyfest01464/home.

Explore Longley Acres as Part of
Seeds of Spring Event

SHIRLEY: Love animals, gardens, trails and history? Explore Longley Acres with Playboard of Shirley on April 27 at their Seeds of Spring event!  Longley Acres is a 73-acre town-owned property open to the public.  It is a working farm home to animals, community gardens and trails. Read more about the agriculture landscape of the Longley Homestead with a piece adapted for the Shirley Historical Society, available online at https://shirleyhistory.org/about/agricultural-landscape. For more information about Seeds of Spring, email theplayboardofshirley@gmail.com.

Friends of the Bolton Public Library to Hold Book Sale

BOLTON: The Friends of the Bolton Public Library will hold their semiannual book sale on May 4 from 9am-3pm at the Houghton Building, 697 Main Street. There are over 5,000 books sorted and “not picked over.” Puzzles, CDs and DVDs. The sale is the Friends’ largest fundraiser. Proceeds support programs, events, museum passes, and the online newsletter “Wowbrary.”

FREE Screening of Bloomberg Original Film on the PFAS Scandal:The poison in us all.

People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment (PACE) and Silent Spring Institute will be presenting the film/documentary: The poison in us all: the forever chemical scandal.  This important 50-minute film will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with experts from Silent Spring Institute: Dr. Laurel Schaider and Emily Heckel. All are invited! Wednesday, May 1, 7-9pm at St. Andrews Church Parish Hall, 7 Faulkner St, Ayer.  Light refreshments provided.  For more info: PACEayer@gmail.com

ShirleyArts! Chorus 20th Anniversary Concert Approaches

SHIRLEY: The ShirleyArts! Chorus is hard at work rehearsing for their 20th Anniversary Concert highlighting songs from many of our past productions. The performance is directed by Laurie Marcinkewicz and accompanied by Pinyu Chen. Performances will be held May 17 and 18 at the Ayer Shirley Middle School.  Tickets will be available at the door.
This year’s Chorus cast list includes (Kids Chorus) Hope Broach, Norah Davis, Ruth Davis, Veronica Egan, Evelyn Gamache, Payton Reyno, Lydia Sanabria and Asia Sanford; (Adult Chorus) Cathy Belliveau, Katie Broach, Mary Cooper, Lyn Doran, Angie Edmunds, Melanie Egan, Roy Ellis, Christine Guertin, Mary Hauer, Terrie Hyde, Diane King, Donna King, Rebecca King, Mari Knapp, Emily Lambert, Victoria Landry, Laurie Marcinkewicz, Meredith Marcinkewicz, Tim Murphy, Olivia Pampinella, Karen Rau, Nancy Sawyer, Sarah Stevens, Katharine Taylor, Chay Tower-Hughes, Lynn Valeri and Matt Valeri.
For more information, visit ShirleyArts! at www.shirleyarts.info or email email@shirleyarts.info.

Clear Path Call for Volunteers

DEVENS: Calling all volunteers! The Clear Path for Veterans New England family-style work environment and make a meaningful impact in your community. They are seeking dedicated individuals who are eager to lend a hand on a daily, weekly, or special event basis. Whether you’re passionate about supporting veterans, maintaining facilities, or assisting with special events, there’s a variety of opportunities available for you to get involved. No experience necessary—training provided. Here are some areas where you can make a difference:
• Wingman Program for Veterans
• Saturday Warrior Reset
• Facility maintenance & care
• Special event set up & preparation
• Healing / Wellness Education
• Veteran Transportation / Mobility
• Office support / front desk
• Off-site information tables
• Cleaning, outdoor cleanup
• Hiking trail projects, gardening, weeding
Clear Path’s Volunteer Program understands the importance of “giving back” to create a healthy community. By joining, you’ll not only make a difference in the lives of veterans but also gain a deeper understanding of military culture and the value of service. Help build a stronger, more compassionate community where veterans and non-veterans alike come together to support those who have served our country.
Ready to be part of something bigger? Get involved today and help make a difference! Learn more at clearpathne.org/volunteer-application.

Indoor Yard Sale

Free sale poster 2024

The Poison in us all

Flyer   the poison in us all 2024

Groton Garden Club Plant Sale

2024 plant sale flier

Gallery Sitka Announces Veronique Sapin Exhibition

SHIRLEY: Gallery Sitka announces the exhibition “Symptoms” by French visual artist Veronique Sapin, with an opening reception on April 26 from 4:30-6:30pm. Sapin, whose studio is in Cugnaux, France, will be in attendance at the Shirley gallery. The show will be displayed through May 3. Also planned is an Artist Talk, “Sisterhood in Art, as a Consequence, as a Strategy” at the Fitchburg Art Museum May 2 from 12:30-1:30pm. Both the artist reception and the artist talk are free and open to the public.  

The full scope of Véronique Sapin’s artwork is of the visual arts nature, including videos, installations, photos, ink, and art books. Her artwork has been a part of more than 240 showings in forty countries. She is also curator, co-founder and coordinator of the international women artists collective FemLink-Art which involves 140+ artists from 60+ countries. She has initiated important partnerships with institutions such as Unesco for the video training of African women artists.

For this exhibition at Gallery Sitka, Sapin focuses on an ink painting art method she gleaned while living in Singapore where she took classes from artist Lim Choon Jin.
Sapin offers, “Working with ink means anticipating what the ink will want to do, expecting it not to do so, and measuring our degree of intervention on its freedom. This implies a constant game of partnership and adversity between the artist and the medium.”

Gallery Sitka owner, Tamar Russell Brown states, "We have been expanding the gallery’s breadth of artists and offerings to include more international art. Veronique is our first French female artist to have as part of our Gallery Sitka family; we invite the community to join us in welcoming her!”

For more information, visit gallerysitka.com.

Groton Conservation Trust Annual Meeting

GROTON: Groton Conservation Trust will hold their Annual Meeting on April 24 at 7pm at the Groton Center. The focus this year is on the environment. Groton resident Jason Petralia, CEO and Founder of Anthropogenic Inc. will be speaker. Petralia is a serial innovator and tech entrepreneur and global solutions pioneer with a passion for developing software and data analytics capabilities that boldly transform the planet and its inhabitants. He has an extraordinary portfolio of corporate and product success across a broad spectrum of sectors including: AI, climate, mobile applications, Esports, health, education, and entertainment. TEDx speaker and advisor to leading ventures, Jason is an internationally recognized leader in sustainable finance solutions. The event is free, but please register at gctrust.org/about/events.

Character & Community Continues at the GHC’s Open House

GROTON: For a compact and visually alluring presentation, check out the display case on the top floor of the Groton Public Library. Easy on the eyes and feet, this museum-in-a-nutshell tells the story of Marion Stoddart’s successful campaign to clean up the Nashua River. Deemed among the top ten most polluted waterways in the country when she and her husband Hugh moved to Groton in 1962, Marion, soliciting the help of many over decades brought the biologically dead river back to life. This small, telling display comprises one part of the larger exhibition, Character & Community, currently on view at the Groton History Center’s Boutwell House at 172 Main Street.

To spend time with ten more individuals whose energy, foresight, and passion helped shape the town, join the GHC for its monthly Open House on April 20 from 11am-2pm.  Among other revelations, Character & Community unravels the mystery behind the Castle on Gibbet Hill, profiles an artist of international renown who made his home in Groton, and offers a cameo portrait of the man behind the Groton Myseum.

A tour of the 1851 Boutwell House--full of fascinating memorabilia, period furnishings, and stories at every turn -- showcases Groton history in its own remarkable way. The Open House and all GHC programs are free to all, thanks to the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds, grants, and corporate and private donations. Regular hours are Mondays and Thursdays, from 10 am to 3 pm. To schedule a visit, or for more information email info@grotonhistory.org, visit grotonhistory.org; grotonhistory.org/Facebook, or call (978) 448-0092.

PHOTO CAPTION: Paddle Wave taken on June 27, 2009, on the last day of the shoot for the Work of 1000, a documentary film and civic engagement program about Marion Stoddart and the clean-up of the Nashua River. Eighty people showed up for the shoot to celebrate Marion, the river, and their ongoing support of the Nashua River greenway, a corridor for wildlife and people. As Marion is quoted as saying: “We will always need watchdogs and stewards or the river could go back. We must ensure that laws are passed and enforced to protect the river and its greenway.” (Photo by Hugh Stoddart)
Some of what's happening at Groton Public Library...
Pace rachael ross water chestnut pull kayak

New Members Needed for PACE!

AYER: PACE (People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment) will be hosting its next bimonthly meeting through Zoom Thurs. April 11 at 7pm. New Members are Needed!  Please join us and help support PACE!  There is a lot going on, and we have some GREAT NEWS!

Get ready to help pull invasive European Water Chestnuts from Grove Pond again, this spring and summer!  Thanks to the renewal of our Grant from the Nashua Rivers Wild & Scenic Stewardship Council as well as support from the town of Ayer, we will again be seeking volunteers to help rid Grove Pond of these intrusive and pretty horrible plants!  Canoes will be provided/kayakers welcome!  Mark your calendar for May 11 for a Kick-Off Event. Online signups will be coming soon for the rest of the season!

We want to launch a clean water project in Ayer, but we need someone to lead the work that will utilize an award of $62K PACE recently received!  The selected project must address a surface water project in support of the Clean Water Act.  A new committee has partially formed.  Please consider joining us to share your time, energy & ideas!

It's Movie Time!  On April 24, the public will be invited view an important film/documentary by Bloomberg Investigates: The Poison in us all: the forever chemical scandal.  This is one everyone should be aware of.   Dr. Laurel Schaider,Sr. Scientist and PFAS Expert from Silent Spring Institute will share the latest research and lead a discussion about her work with chemical exposures and human health. Dr. Schaider has been the Project Manager for the PFAS Health Study in Ayer and Hyannis.  The time and exact location in Ayer was not finalized as of this publication.

Please "like us' on Facebook at facebook.com/PACEayer or email PACEAyer@gmail.com to be added to the direct email list.  Hope to see you there!  
~Laurie Nehring, President of PACE
Asrhs percyjackson

ASRHS Drama Presents “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical”

AYER: For its 2024 Spring musical, Ayer Shirley Regional High School Drama Club presents 'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical," based on the 2005 book by Rick Riordan. Performances run April 5 and 6 at 7:30pm, and April 7 at 2pm. Tickets are $5 for students, general admission; $15 in advance; and $20 at the door. To order online in advance, visit asrhsdrama.ludus.com.

With a book by Joe Tracz and music/lyrics by Rob Rokicki, "The Lightning Thief" is a story about Percy Jackson, a teenage boy who always seems to get into trouble, no matter how hard he tries to be good. When he is expelled from school for the sixth time, his mother decides that it is time for Percy to know the truth. The Greek gods are real and, what’s more, Percy is a demigod, the son of Poseidon. Along with fellow demigod Annabeth (the daughter of Athena) and best friend and protector, Grover (who happens to be a Satyr), Percy must go on an epic quest to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt and prevent war amongst the gods. The quest turns into an epic adventure, with the Furies, Medusa, and Ares (the god of war) among those wanting to stop Percy in his tracks. With time running out, Percy soon discovers that nothing is normal when you’re a demigod.
Directed by Desiree Feigley with musical direction by Michael Powderly, the cast features Vanessa Abbott, Abigail Alberga, Sophia Angers, Chloe Begin, Remy Duffner, Raegan Feigley, Stephen Govang, Grace Hanss, Noah Hirtle, Lindsay Iannacone, Zoe Kerr, James Mayes, Serenity Middlebrook, Isabelle Pepin, Toby Renczkowski, April Rust, Keziah Salter, Emma Soto, Natalie Stebbins and Katelyn Treadway.

PHOTO CAPTION: Clarisse (played by freshman Serenity Middlebrook) cornering Percy (played by junior Keziah Salter) in the bathroom during his first game of Capture The Flag.
Historian and performance artist  chris potts.

“Sarah Grimke Speaks” with Chris Potts

GROTON: If the name Sarah Grimke means little to you, now is the time to learn about the pioneering abolitionist and advocate of equal rights for women through her own words. In Sarah Grimke Speaks, historian and performance artist Chris Potts shares the stories and impassioned public sentiment that led to Grimke’s prominent place among social reformers, on Sunday, April 7, at the Old Meeting House, 3 Powder House Road, at 2 pm. Timeless and timely, Potts’ performance, free to all, should not be missed.

Outspoken, courageous, and deeply committed, at 26, Grimke left her privileged southern childhood behind to settle first in Philadelphia and later, with her sister Angelina, in New York. At a time when respectable women kept out of the public discourse, the Grimke sisters were among the first to conduct a lecture tour. During their rise to fame, Sarah published Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman, one of the earliest tracts in American history on the personal rights and public responsibilities of women. Two of those letters were posted from Groton in 1837.

Bringing a strong background in academia and storytelling to the stage, Chris Potts returns Sarah Grimke to Groton. Her program on women suffragists at Maryland’s Historical Society of Hartford County, where she serves as Executive Director, sparked Potts’ deeper dive into the Grimke sisters.

Sarah Grimke Speaks comes to Groton through the collaboration between the Groton Public Library, Groton Neighbors, and the Groton History Center. This performance is free, thanks to the generosity of the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds Lecture Fund. Registration is strongly advised; visit the Groton Public Library website at www.gpl.org, for free registration and a reminder email. 
Luke bulla photo by donna green

notloB Parlour Concerts presents Luke Bulla

HARVARD: notloB Parlour Concerts presents Luke Bulla at the old Harvard library, 7 Fairbank Street on April 19 at 7:30pm (Doors open 7pm). Tickets for this event are by free-will offering, with suggested amounts being Adults $20+, teens and seniors $15, children $10. Reservations are requested, as notloB Parlour Concerts are run on the "house concert" model - an accurate headcount is necessary. The Fivesparks facility is mask-friendly. Visit fivesparks.org/event/luke-bulla-presented-by-notlob-parlour-concerts/ for information, or email notloBReservations@gmail.com.

Luke Bulla has been singing and playing music most of his life, touring with and singing in his family band from age four, Luke took up the fiddle at seven. Over the course of the next few years, he won the National Fiddle Contest (Weiser, ID) six times in his respective age categories. His seventh win came in the Grand Champion division at age sixteen, making him the youngest to have earned the title at the time. In 1999, Luke moved to Nashville to establish himself as a full time musician. He spent his early years playing fiddle in Ricky Skaggs’ band, Kentucky Thunder, which earned him his first Grammy Award. Luke was a member of the John Cowan Band, and has also performed and/or recorded with an iimpressive number of well-known artists. In 2009, Luke released a solo EP featuring Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Aoife O’Donovan and more, and has since released an LP (“Who Loves You Better”), produced by Bryan Sutton. After many years as a sideman, Luke is currently touring the country playing solo performances.  For more information, visit lukebulla.com.

Since 2007, notloB has presented not-for-profit folk, Celtic, old-time, bluegrass, and progressive string concerts in unique venues throughout the greater Boston area. notloB's current home is space in Harvard’s renovated 1887 Harvard, Massachusetts library. For more information, visit harvardpubliclibrary.org/about/history-library.


“Georgianna Boutwell: Of Most Progressive Spirit” - An Illustrated Talk March 23

Georgianna boutwell (1843 1933) daughtr of george s. boutwewll and his wife sarah thayer. (from the ghc arcives)
GROTON: Georgianna Boutwell has been the Groton History Center’s guiding spirit since its founding at the turn of the twentieth century. Far-seeing and forward-thinking, Georgianna continues to cut a distinctive figure. She belongs to history and to our time. Born in 1843 to Governor George S. Boutwell and his wife, Sarah A. Thayer, she devoted herself to furthering the rights of women, to social service, and to the interests of her town and state. A founding member of the Groton Historical Society, she bequeathed the family home on Main Street to the society at her death in 1933. 

While she lived most of her life in Groton, the letters she and her father exchanged and the many months she spent at his side during his years in Washington (DC), serving under Presidents Lincoln and U.S. Grant, reveal her breadth of intellect and understanding, and the rare kinship between them.

Celebrating Georgianna’s life and legacy, the Groton History Center’s Executive Director, Kara Fossey, will present “Georgianna Boutwell: Of Most Progressive Spirit,” at the Groton (Senior) Center, 163 West Main Street, on March 23, at 2pm. All are invited to attend this free talk, which promises to reveal a multifaceted woman of character.

Fossey graduated from Wheaton College and attended Tufts graduate program in Museum Studies. Her research and interpretative work focus on storytelling and making connections between people, places, events, and community. She will give voice to Georgianna’s many contributions, her independence of spirit, and commitment to social and cultural causes close to home.

Among other accomplishments, Georgianna founded the Groton Women’s Club, whose members will be on hand to give the Groton History Center a time capsule of memorabilia from the club’s first 110 years.

“Georgianna Boutwell: Of Most Progressive Spirit” is free and open to the public thanks to the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds, grants, and corporate and private donations. For more information visit grotonhistory.org, write info@grotonhistory.org, or call (978) 448-0092.

Classical Music Lovers, Mark Your Calendars: A Musical Journey Awaits You

GROTON/LITTLETON: On April 21 at 3pm, prepare to be transported into a world of sublime beauty and musical mastery at the gorgeous Groton Hill Music Center. The Nashoba Valley Chorale, led by Conductor and Music Director Anne Watson-Born, proudly presents a captivating evening of classical gems, headlined by the New England premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's contemporary masterpiece, "Far Past War."  Featured performers include:
  • Nashoba Valley Chorale: Anne Watson-Born, Conductor and Music Director
  • Baritone Soloist: Christòpheren Nomura
  • Soprano Soloist: Brianna J Robinson
  • Tenor Soloist: Fred C. VanNess, Jr.
  • Musicians from the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra

Highlighted in the program will be: Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams: A timeless masterpiece, promising an unforgettable auditory experience; Far Past War by Augusta Read Thomas (New England Premiere): A lyrical choral piece featuring poetry by local resident Cammy Thomas, sister to the composer. The performance will include a live reading by Cammy Thomas and a message from Augusta Read Thomas; and I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes by Adolphus Hailstork: Moving from despair to hope, Hailstork's composition draws inspiration from African-American spirituals, resonating with powerful psalms.

This concert will be held at the Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Road.  Tickets range from $30-$80, and are available online at grotonhill.org/concerts/nashoba-valley-chorale.  For more information, visit nvcsings.org or call (978) 540-0088.

This extraordinary musical journey promises to be an enchanting celebration of peace, featuring world-renowned soloists, an exceptional orchestra, and a repertoire that spans the classical spectrum. Nashoba Valley Chorale is grateful for its partnership with Groton Hill Music Center and generous support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as the Local Cultural Councils of Littleton, Shirley, Westford, Concord and Carlisle. 
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Blackadder image 2

The Cannon Theater Proudly Presents “Blackadder (Returns)”

DEVENS: The Cannon Theatre is pleased to present Blackadder (Returns), combining episodes, “Potato,” “Ink and Incapability,” and “Corporal Punishment” from the amazing British series of Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third, and Blackadder Goes Forth. This hilarious show, directed by Aydan Bahe, is fast paced and frenetic; you won’t want to miss it! Show times are March 22, 23, 29, 30 and April 5, 6 at 7:30pm; with matinees on March 24 and April 7 at 2pm. Tickets are available at www.thecannontheatre.org, and are $25 for adults, and $20 for students/seniors.

Blackadder is a rollicking romp through British history, finding the funny in every age. Blackadder and his faithful companion, Baldrick, get into scrapes as they try to either make money, be famous, or just get ahead in their worlds. Hilarious antics always ensue, as this duo have you laughing out loud time and time again. Created for Rowan Atkinson in the 80s, this show is a must-see for all that love British humor. In the cast are: Jerry McMahon (Littleton) as Blackadder; Matt Foster (Tyngsboro) as Baldrick; Andrew Harrington (Newton) as Percy, Prince George, George; Simon Jensen-Fellows (Acton) as Melchett, Dr. Johnson, General Melchett; Meredith Jones (Ayer) as Queenie, Mrs. Miggins; Maren Caulfield (Harvard) as Nursey, Byron, Robinson; Ben Martin (Dracut) as Sir Walter Raleigh, Coleridge, Captain Darling; Kendra Sweitzer (Leominster) as Redbeard Rum, Sergeant Jones; Carolyn Mitchell (Bolton) as Shelley, Tipplewick; Rachel Cieslik (Littleton) as Background, Perkins and Brian Francis (Littleton) as Poet/Background, Fraser.

The Cannon Theatre is an intimate, non-profit community theater newly installed at 28 Andrews Parkway. The theater’s 2022 move from Littleton and interior space renovation was made possible by very generous funding from The Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation, as well as donated work by Studio J2 (architect) and Frank Harrigan (structural engineer). Additional support is provided by the Community Foundation for North Central Massachusetts, and the Local Cultural Councils of Acton-Boxborough, Ayer, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Townsend, Templeton, and Shirley - local agencies which are supported by Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Supporting Your Loved Ones Who are Transgender or Non-Binard

GROTON: On April 13 from 9:30-10:45am, come together as people who love someone who may be questioning their gender, entering into a transitioning process, or living as a trans/non-binary person. When beloveds transition, everyone goes through a process, too. Guided by Li Kynvi,  licensed mental health counselor, music therapist, and student-minister-in-residence at First Parish in Groton, through sharing personal experiences and feelings, group members will have the opportunity to offer support, encouragement, and comfort to each other, and receive the same in return. Please note, this is *not* a group for loved ones who wish to stop, interrupt, or undermine the transitioning process.  This event will be held at Prescott Community Center, 145 Main Street. For more information, visit https://prescottscc.reg.eleyo.com/course/171/prescott-cc-2024-program-catalog/supporting-your-loved-ones-who-are-transgender-or-non-binary.

“Character & Community” Debuts March 16 at the Boutwell House

GROTON: William Wharton (1880 to 1976), a passionate birder and conservationist, put his considerable energies and fortune into preserving Groton’s open space and furthering the science of forest management.

Emma F. Blood served as Head Librarian in Groton for a record fifty-seven years. During her tenure, from 1891 to 1948, she acted as town diarist, documenting Groton’s response to WWI, the 1918 flu epidemic, and wartime fuel shortages.

West Groton native Elizabeth Hill, a teacher and naturalist, devoted her life to developing and supervising vegetable and flower gardens all over town. Ahead of her time, she instructed women in landscape architecture, Latin, and nature studies.
What distinguishes these individuals and what they share is the theme of the

Groton History Center’s exciting new exhibit, “Character & Community” on display at the Boutwell House, at 172 Main Street starting March 16.  The show features ten forward-thinking men and women who influenced the town in the areas of conservation, history, art, and public service.

All are cordially invited to the Groton History Center’s Open House on March 16 from 11am-2pm. Enjoy the exhibit and take a tour of the Boutwell House, a stunning example of mid-nineteenth-century Italianate design. Furnished in period style, the house is filled with artifacts related to the Boutwell family and the town’s deep roots in historic New England.

The Open House and all GHC programs are free and open to the public thanks to the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds, grants, and corporate and private donations. Regular hours are Mondays and Thursdays, from 10am-3pm. To schedule a visit, or for more information email info@grotonhistory.org, visit grotonhistory.org; grotonhistory.org/Facebook, or call (978) 448-0092. 
Jenny jasmin lacay philippines

Atomic Artistry at Fitchburg Art Museum

FITCHBURG: Atomic Artistry, a juried exhibition at the intersection of art, science, and climate activism that features nuclear power in a positive light, goes up March 6-30 at Fitchburg Art Museum Community Gallery. Members and the public are invited to the opening reception is March 9, 2-4pm. Museum admission is free on March 5, noon-7pm.

Artists created interpretations of the benefits of the power of nuclear energy for the juried contest with cash prizes. Entries came from seven states and ten countries, including 12 from Massachusetts. Submissions were judged on artistic merit and how poignantly communicated the themes of safety, reliability, and being an earth-friendly solution that can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and meet the world’s escalating energy demands. The winning artists received cash prizes.

On display are drawings, acrylic and watercolor paintings, sculptures, mixed media, digital prints and posters. They are opposite of the decades-long media representation of nuclear power in a dark, foreboding way. This exhibition bluntly contradicts the meta-narrative about atomic energy and posed a challenging project for artists. Nuclear power is a dependable, safe, and stable base of energy that provides New England and the nationwide electrical grids with 20% of its electricity, with zero CO2 emissions. The safety record of nuclear power plants is on par with wind and solar facilities.

Atomic Artistry is sponsored by Eco-Nuclear Solutions (a grassroots group of scientists and environmentalists based in Ayer), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Fitchburg Art Museum and Generation Atomic. For information go to www.eco-nuclearsolutions.org

PHOTO: An Atomic Artistry submission from Jenny Jasmin Lacay of the Philippines

Shirley Transportation Action Committee Needs Input from Residents

Tac photo   18 wheeler in shirley center
SHIRLEY: If you’re a Shirley resident - whether you drive, walk or ride the train – let the Shirley Transportation Action Committee (STAC) know what matters to you by completing a 5-minute survey. The survey closes on April 15 th , so don’t delay. Your input – and that of your neighbors – will enable STAC to focus its efforts on what matters most to Shirley residents - and the more input the better.
  • Vehicle speeds?
  • Large trucks?
  • Pedestrian safety?
  • Dangerous intersections?
  • Poor or missing signage?
  • Or something else?

To access the survey online, go to https://forms.gle/jLxeadTDmNmN2ja39. To fill out the survey in writing, pick up a printed copy at the Shirley Town Offices, Hazen Library or Senior Center.

Want to know more about STAC? In early 2022, a group of concerned Shirley residents began to discuss the local traffic increase and its negative impact on the Shirley community – including heavy truck traffic using Shirley roads as shortcuts. At the request of these residents, the Shirley Transportation Action Committee (STAC) was created by the Select Board to identify the transportation challenges in Shirley and recommend solutions. In order to reach its goals, STAC has utilized the granted-funded services of professional planners to augment the efforts of its members, all of whom are community residents.

After researching the current situation, STAC submitted its preliminary recommendations for improvements to the Select Board in early 2023. These improvements are especially important in the face of new and proposed truck terminals located on Shirley’s borders in Lunenburg and Lancaster. Feedback from residents via the survey will help STAC adjust its priorities as it moves toward implementation.

STAC’s recommendations, mission and goals can be viewed on the STAC page on the Town of Shirley website at www.shirley-ma.gov. Residents are also invited to attend a STAC meeting to ask questions, provide input and meet committee members in person.