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Concord Women’s Chorus Free Program of Beauty & Renewal

CONCORD: Join the Concord Women’s Chorus on May 7 at 4pm for a free program of beauty and renewal, as they welcome their friends and supporters back to a special live, in-person concert.  This concert will take place at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street. “Days of Beauty” offers works of promise, joy, and stunning harmonies. At the heart of the concert are graceful works by composer, Ola Gjeilo, whose whose jewels for women’s voices (“Days of Beauty,” “The Rose,” and “Seasons”) offer a rich and reflective landscape. The program includes pieces by composers Cécile Chaminade, Emma Lou Diemer, Gwyneth Walker and the Wailin’ Jennys.

Concord Women’s Chorus is directed by Jane Ring Frank, now in her 29th year. They perform a wide range of classical and contemporary music, with emphasis on works written for women’s voices. Face coverings and proof of vaccination will be required. Good will offerings are always appreciated. For more information: concordwomenschorus.org.
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Read to Daniel the Cat! at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: Did you know that reading to animals boosts reading skills and emotional and social skills for children? The Concord Free Public Library invites children to read to Daniel the Cat (also known as “Dan the Man”) in the Children’s Garden on the third Wednesday of each month between 2pm and 3pm. Daniel is a certified therapy cat through Pets and People Foundation. The upcoming dates to read to Daniel are April 20, May 18, and June 15. This event is for children ages 5 and up. Children are invited to register for their own individual 10 minute session with Daniel. Register in advance by visiting the Events Calendar at www.concordlibrary.org.
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The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist's Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion

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CONCORD: Kerem Shalom of Concord is pleased to host Tony McAleer online on April 3 at 4pm. McAleer was an affluent, middle-class private school student and the son of a doctor. Yet, he ended up at the Aryan Nations compound in Idaho, falling in with and then recruiting for some of the most notorious neo-Nazi groups in Canada and the U.S. After fifteen years in the white supremacist movement and becoming a movement leader, accomplished propagandist, and operator of one of the first white supremacist websites, he left the highest ranks of these groups and co-founded Life After Hate. What led him to disengage from the violent far-right cause and how does he work today to get others to deradicalize—to exit from hate groups, heal, and become "formers"?

Learn how people are drawn to violent extremism, how the ideology takes hold, and the best ways to help someone leave hate behind. McAleer will draw on his memoir, The Cure for Hate, which details both his personal story and his insights into deradicalization, providing a path back from hatred.

Kerem Shalom is offering this special program, at no charge, as part of its ongoing L.E.D. (Learn, Explore, Discuss) series. Visit keremshalom.org to register for the Zoom link. Contact the office at 978-369-1223 or ksadmin@keremshalom.org with any questions.
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Rotary Celebrates 90 Years with Live Music at Spring Pops

CONCORD: Join the Rotary Club of Concord in celebration of its 90 years of service at Spring Pops with the Concord Band and jazz vocalist Cindy Scott on April 8 at 8pm at 51 Walden. This fundraiser in support of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell’s newly renovated two-family house in Concord will help provide a home for deserving families. Doors open at 7pm for guests to enjoy refreshments and bid on auction items.  Due to Covid concerns, there will be auditorium style seating. Admission is $30 per person. Reservations may be made at www.rotaryclubofconcord.org, by clicking on “Pops Fundraiser” in the banner at the top. 

Two years ago Cindy Scott was to be featured with the Concord Band at Rotary’s Pops, cancelled due to Covid. Now she’s back, the Band is back and Rotary wants you to join the celebration. Cindy is recognized as a singer’s singer. Her technical mastery and commitment to the lyric and musical expression has earned her loyal fans around the world. Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, Cindy Scott has lived a life steeped in all forms of American roots music, jazz, gospel, and southern soul. She also plays flute, bamboo flute, guitar and hand percussion, and is a composer and lyricist. In 2016, Cindy relocated from New Orleans to Boston to join the faculty of the esteemed Berklee College of Music as Associate Professor of Voice.

For over 90 years, Concord Rotarians have served the local and international community in hundreds of ways. This year they enjoyed providing hands-on work at the Habitat site. Habitat’s model gives families a “hands up, not a hand out” as the families provide “sweat equity” in the construction and take on an interest-free mortgage. Learn more about why they are passionate about encouraging your support for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell at https://lowellhabitat.org.
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How to Reduce College Costs at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will offer a free virtual workshop entitled “How to Reduce College Costs: Strategies You Need to Know” on April 6 at 7pm. This workshop introduces little-known financial strategies parents can use to reduce college costs, improve admissions chances, and increase scholarship opportunities. Learn income, asset, and borrowing tools as well as the new FAFSA rules and how they will impact what you pay for college. The workshop is hosted by My College Planning Team. Register in advance at https://concordlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/how-to-reduce-college-costs-strategies-you-need-to-know  to receive the Zoom link. For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Local Students Named to The Dean's List at MCPHS University

ACTON/CONCORD: MCPHS University is pleased to announce the students who have been named to the Dean's List for the Fall 2021 semester:
 
  • Guslicia Fallah is a native of Acton, Mass. and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Guslicia will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2024.
  • Joelle Perron is a native of Acton, Mass. and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree. Joelle will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2023.
  • Owen Haddadeen is a native of Concord, Mass. and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Premedical Health Studies (Optometry) degree. Owen will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2023.

The Dean's List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

The mission of MCPHS University is to prepare graduates to advance health and serve communities worldwide through excellence, innovation, and collaboration in teaching, practice, scholarship, and research. Founded in 1823, MCPHS University is the oldest institution of higher education in the City of Boston. In addition to the original Boston campus, the University has campuses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as robust online learning options. The University currently offers more than 100 unique baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs and certificates covering a variety of health-related fields and professions.
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Musical Mondays in April at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library hosts free musical concerts on Mondays at 10:30am for children ages 0 - 6 years and their caregivers at the Main Library.
 

For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.

Open Bluegrass Jam at Concord Conservatory on Thursday Evenings

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CONCORD: Attend the Open Bluegrass Jam at the Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM), located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church, on Thursday evenings from 7:30pm– 9pm to connect with other musicians, hone your playing skills, and have lots fun. Get coaching and guidance from CCM faculty member and mandolinist Max Anderson and other experienced guest musicians who lead the jams. 

The Jam is open to bluegrass players at all levels – guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, dobro, bass, and singers. Join Max as he calls the tunes, posts the charts, and leads the group (at a manageable speed) through the great repertoire of tunes and songs from the bluegrass tradition. The jam provides a terrific opportunity to play with other musicians. Attending a jam is an invaluable experience as it teaches improvisation, tone, dynamics and overall musicality. For those who don’t play an instrument but appreciate great music, you’re welcome to join the fun too!

The Thursday evening Jam continues now through May 26 with the exception of April 21 (spring school vacation week). The Open Bluegrass Jam is fee-free, though a $10 contribution is greatly appreciated to support the program. 

Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about the Jam and CCM.

Emerson Hospital’s Comprehensive Gastroenterology Program Is Destination for Screenings, Procedures & Advanced Care The Only Hospital-Affiliated Outpatient
Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center In the Region

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CONCORD: Emerson Hospital is pleased to announce the opening of Emerson Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center (the Center), a convenient destination for outpatient digestive care. The Center, located at 310 Baker Avenue, a short drive from the hospital, is led by fellowship-trained physicians and combines easy access to comprehensive care, state-of-the-art equipment, and local, experienced subspecialists.
 
Providing the full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment in an outpatient setting, the Center is home to Concord Gastroenterology Associates' board-certified physicians: John Dowd, DO, Andrea Fribush, MD, and Jennifer Nayor, MD. The team provides a personalized approach to patients with various digestive health conditions, renowned for creating a trusted partnership using a holistic method to care for the whole person, not just their disease.  
 
"Emerson strives to help everyone in our community achieve their full potential for health and wellness," said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO, Emerson Hospital. "Our highly-skilled physicians and staff have the expertise to manage complex and routine GI conditions. We are excited to bring the latest advances in digestive health to the community with our new and convenient outpatient Center."  

Emerson partnered with PE GI Solutions to design, build, and manage the Emerson Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center, the region's only hospital-owned outpatient endoscopy center. The Center is designed to enhance patients’ experience and provide a dedicated environment for digestive health care. It is now open for screenings and procedures, including colonoscopies. In addition, the Concord Gastroenterology Associates physicians and office staff will move to the Center for office visits this spring.

Patients can expect expert, compassionate, and convenient care, the latest health, safety, and privacy features, free parking, and fast access to Emerson Hospital if needed. In addition, patients requiring highly-specialized procedures, including endoscopic ultrasound and suturing, and advanced bariatric endoscopy, have quick and convenient access to Marvin Ryou, MD, and Christopher Thompson, MD, fellowship-trained, experienced sub-specialists at Emerson Hospital. This makes it easy for patients who will no longer need to travel for these procedures.  

Emerson Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditation - a designation of quality that reflects a commitment to providing safe patient care.  
 
For more information about Emerson's Gastroenterology program and its Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center, and to make an appointment, visit www.emersongi.org or call 978-295-2800. 

End Hunger New England Announces Plan to Send up to 1 Million Meals to Ukraine & Refugee Centers

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PEMBROKE: EndHungerNE announced that it has started a funding campaign to package and ship up to one-million meals to Ukraine and refugee centers in surrounding countries. The plan is to raise $350,00 in the next 2 months. All of the money tagged for the Ukraine will be used for food. 

Matthew Martin, the organization’s Development Coordinator stated, “We have been working on this for a while and just coordinated with a shipping and distribution partner to get our meals overseas. The situation in Ukraine is dire, our volunteers and supporters have been asking if we were going to get involved – and the answer to that is YES! We’ll start packaging this weekend.”

“The financial and volunteer support we have experienced over the past two years has been incredible. Over 1200 volunteers are regularly showing up at our Pembroke facility – brownie troops, high schoolers and sports teams, local civic and church groups, seniors – it's just been amazing! The more funding we can acquire, the more meals our volunteers can pack.” 

To make a donation or volunteer, please visit www.endhungerne.org. Checks can be made out to The Outreach Program (parent non-profit of EndHunger NE) and sent to 93 Whiffletree Lane, Marshfield, MA 02050. Please write Ukraine on the memo line and please check with your company to see if they offer a corporate match or are seeking to support the mission of EndHungerNE.

Alexander Technique Workshop Presented by Concord Conservatory, April 9

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CONCORD: The Concord Conservatory of Music, located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church, welcomes guest lecturer Lisa Sailer who will present a workshop on the Alexander Technique on April 9 at 11am. As a violinist and certified Alexander Technique teacher, she’ll teach us how to move around and live with a greater sense of ease and comfort—how to let go of tensions and bad habits that affect our everyday lives. This workshop is open to the public with a $15 fee for non-CCM students. Advance registration required.

The Alexander Technique is an educational method used worldwide for well over 100 years. By teaching how to change faulty postural habits, it enables improved mobility, posture, performance, and alertness along with relief of chronic stiffness, tension, and stress. As Lisa explains, “While the Alexander Technique is commonly sought out by performers or people looking for relief from pain, anyone can benefit from it.  No matter who you are or what you do, the Alexander Technique can help you move through life in an easier and more present way.”

For musicians, there’s no question that playing an instrument at times can be physically demanding on our bodies. In this workshop, Lisa will provide tips on injury prevention and how to become more aware of what your body is doing while playing an instrument. The Technique can help relieve pain through learning better coordination of the musculoskeletal system as well as enhance playing any instrument. Athletes, singers, dancers, and musicians use the Technique to improve breathing, vocal production, and speed and accuracy of movement.

Register in advance at https://concordconservatory.org/programs/alexander-technique/ Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM.

Umbrella Serves Up an Exultant Celebration of Love and Acceptance for Returning Audiences 

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CONCORD: Having rearranged the back half of its theater season around omicron, The Umbrella Stage Company welcomes audiences back on an energetic high note with the exuberant musical, Head Over Heels (April 15 - May 8, 2022), fueled by the newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Go-Go's. 

Called “a hilarious, exuberant celebration of love and beauty in its infinite varieties,” (EW) this laugh-out-loud love story was created by the visionaries behind recent Umbrella favorites, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Avenue Q

A gleeful mash-up of a Tudor-period court drama and 80s pop-punk jukebox, the show follows the escapades of a royal family and their subjects driven by a prophecy on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction—from losing its "Beat". 
The characters' explorations of gender-fluidity, sexual awakening, beauty and acceptance are acted out in a hilarious series of adventures and entanglements set to such infectious hit songs as “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and "Mad About You". Along the way, they discover the key to their realm’s survival lies not out there – but within each of their own hearts. 

Directed by Umbrella Stage Company Producing Artistic Director Brian Boruta, with music directed by David Wright and choreography by Lara Finn, the show “is nothing short of pure joy on stage. It is bright, it is bold, and it is unabashedly brave in its celebration of love and identity.” 

The cast includes Damon Singletary*, Katie Pickett, Bri Ryder, Temma Boudreau, Bob Saoud*, Lillian Salazar, John Breen, H.C. Lee, Erica Lundin, Ashley Nicole Martin, Isabella Rivera, David Rodrigues, and Hannah Shihdanian. 

The Umbrella Stage Company has earned audiences' trust for its rigorous COVID safety measures, and will continue to closely follow or exceed public health guidelines for the protection and comfort of its artists and attendees. The Umbrella is ADA-accessible, LGBTQ friendly with marked all-gender bathrooms, and a proud partner in the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Card-to-Culture Program. Tickets $15-$44 at www.TheUmbrellaArts.org/BoxOffice.
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Enjoy a Scrumptious Dinner and Support the Council on Aging

BEDFORD: Mark your calendars Monday, April 11 for either a takeout or dining in dinner at Red Heat Tavern, 152 Great Road (The Whole Foods Plaza).Starting at 5pm, Red Heat Tavern has generously offered to donate 15% of ALL sales, dine in or take out, to support the Council on Aging in Bedford. All proceeds go to programs at the Bedford COA.

Just to mention a few:
 
  • contributing to the memory café that supports those with dementia
  • helping to operate the fix-it shop 
  • during Covid times funding exercise programs which pre-pandemic were self-sustaining
  • sponsoring day trips and informational programs
  • movie night which includes popcorn and drinks and Netflix
  • funding seasonal and holiday parties
  • … and much more

So, why cook dinner April 11 When you could enjoy a delicious meal and support your local Council On Aging?

The Concord Orchestra presents “Poetry without Words”

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CONCORDThe Concord Orchestra presents “Poetry without Words” at 8pm on March 26, and on March 27 at 2pm.  The orchestra, directed by Filippo Ciabatti, performs George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.   Performances take place at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden.   A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7pm.  All concerts of the 2021-2022 Concord Orchestra season are planned and directed by finalists auditioning for the position of Music Director.

A native of Florence, Italy, Filippo Ciabatti is the Music Director of the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, the Dartmouth Opera Lab, and the Interim Music Director of the Dartmouth’s Choral Ensembles. In 2018-2019, he led the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra in an Italian tour in collaboration with the Orchestra Toscana dei Conservatori in prominent venues and festivals, including the Puccini Days in Lucca. Other highlights of the season include an all-Beethoven concert with Israeli pianist Sally Pinkas, and a collaboration with the NPR show “From The Top”, hosted by American pianist Jeremy Denk. In 2020, Ciabatti conducted the world premiere of a new secular oratorio composed by the renowned jazz composer Taylor Ho Bynum and has collaborated on a project with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Ciabatti holds degrees in piano, choral conducting, and orchestral conducting from Italy and the United States.

This season, the Concord Orchestra features several young performers who participated in the annual young artist competition. The competition is open to musicians of high school age or younger who live in eastern Massachusetts. This season the winners were chosen by a panel of orchestra members and Eric Culver, consulting conductor.  Winners of this season’s competition will be soloists at the March and May concerts.

Katherine E Liu (pictured), 17, winner of the young artist competition, performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  Ms. Liu started her musical studies at age three and performed publicly at Boston’s Steinway Hall one year later. She has received top prizes in numerous piano competitions, including Grand Prize at the VI Chopin International Piano Competition in Connecticut, the Soloists of New England Competition, and First Prizes at the III Krystian Tkaczewski International Piano Competition, the Steinway Society Piano Competition, 2019 NEC Preparatory Concerto Competition, the 2020 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, the 2019 Rosewood Fanning International Piano Competition, and the 2021 Lowell Philharmonic Concerto Competition, among many others.  Katherine has performed with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall as a Grand Prize winner of the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition.

Pre-concert recitals featuring competition honorees precede the concerts on Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday night at 7:15 p.m., pianist Naomi Yamaguchi performs, and on Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. cellist Andrew Kim performs.

Tickets for adults and seniors are $25.  Admission for youth under 18 is free. For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.

Purim Mitzvah Masquerade & Open Table Food Drive at Kerem Shalom

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CONCORDKerem Shalom, of Concord, invites the community to its Purim Mitzvah Masquerade & Open Table Food Drive on March 20 at 1pm. Enjoy carnival games, bouncy house, costume parade, crown decorating, food & household drive to benefit Open Table, Tzedakah, and Hamantaschen, and participate in our Get Out the Vote Big Send and Afghan Adjustment Act Postcard Campaign!
 
  • 1pm Children’s Purim Spiel and Sing-a-long, presented by students
  • 1:30pm Mitzvah Projects & Games for Families with Children
  • 2:30pm Megillah Reading for All Ages
  • 2:45pm Mitzvah Projects & Games for Adults
  • 3:30pm Purim Variety Show and Singalong for Grown-Ups

Sales to benefit charitable causes include hand-made Ugandan crafts, Pottery by Susan Chormann of Wholehearted Pottery, and Origami Earrings by Lisa Corfman. Costumes encouraged, masks required.

Kerem Shalom is a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming Jewish community where tradition and innovation are celebrated. The synagogue offers a unique one-day-a-week Hebrew School and rich adult learning opportunities. Kerem Shalom is located at 659 Elm Street.  See keremshalom.org for additional information.

PHOTO: Hamantashen are a triangular filled-pocket pastry, associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim. The name refers to Haman, the villain in the Purim story. They'll be for sale at Kerem Shalom's Purim Mitzvah Masquerade on March 20!

Several Women Complete Build It! Carpentry Program at Minuteman Technical Institute
In Collaboration with North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Based in Dorchester, and Mass. Career Technical Initiative 

LEXINGTONIn an industry with fewer than 11 percent of female workers, a class of mostly women celebrated the completion of a 15-week carpentry program for adult students this month at Minuteman Technical Institute in Lexington – the adult learning division of Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School.

The students -- nine women and one man – signed symbolic letters of commitment to work in the carpentry and construction trades during a ceremony with their families on Feb. 22. Currently, fewer than 11 percent of construction workers are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The program, “Build It!” was free for qualified applicants and funded with Career Technical Initiative grants through Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet. Students participated in classes on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.

Isylah Haynes of Milton signed her certificate of commitment with her daughter and son, Ani and Kaii, both age 11, and partner, Deric Quest, by her side, along with the support of her three other children, Raheed, 16, Najee, 26, and Kaysean, 28. She is currently fielding multiple offers of employment.

“I felt honored to sign my letter of commitment to the carpentry industry,” Haynes said. “As a Black woman in this brand new world of opportunity and financial freedom, I sat proudly amongst my sisters in the trades – my graduating classmates – and my hugely supportive family.”

Haynes said when she received her certificate she felt “strong” and “truly empowered.”

“I felt I had crossed over into this industry that never stops giving opportunities to learn and grow,” she said. “I felt like once again my life was evolving and I was full of gratitude.”

The other students were:
 
  • Katus Brown of Medway, who has accepted employment with Retail Construction Specialties (RCS).
  • Kim Cooper of Dorchester, who has accepted employment with Sweeney Drywall Finishes
  • Christine Dunbar of Lowell, who has accepted employment with OWI Contractors
  • Sophia Garcia of Dorchester, who has accepted employment with Chandler Architectural Products
  • Janelle Marsh of Malden, who has accepted employment with Finish Installations of New England
  • Kelly Monteiro of Randolph, who has accepted employment with Performance Contracting, Inc. (PCI).
  • Alana Parkinson of Dorchester, who has accepted employment with FINE Install
  • Kayla Raposo of Woburn, who has accepted employment with Sweeney Drywall Finishes
  • Zherine Riley of Taunton, who has accepted employment with Central Ceilings

The students completed the curriculum from North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund and earned five industry-recognized credentials, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Safety credential. Minuteman works closely with and uses instructors from the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, which is based in Dorchester, and several local business partners, including Central Ceilings, Chandler Architectural Products, FINE: Finish Installation of New England, Gold Guard Installations, OWI Contractors, RCS, PCI, Sunrise Erectors, Sweeney Drywall Finishes Corporation, and T.J. McCartney Construction.

Minuteman Technical Institute has begun another 15-week Build It! adult carpentry program for the spring and will offer another course in September 2022 in collaboration with Commonwealth Corporation and the MassHire Career Centers. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information, visit minutemanti.org or call 781-861-7151.

PHOTO: Adult students in Minuteman Technical Institute's BuildIt! pre-apprentice carpentry program received certificates of completion on Feb. 22. Pictured here (back row, from left): Kelly Monteiro of Randolph, Sophia Garcia of Dorchester, Katus Brown of Medway, Kayla Raposo of Woburn, Alana Parkinson of Dorchester, Janelle March of Malden, Zherine Riley of Taunton, (front row) Isylah Haynes of Milton, and Kim Cooper of Dorchester. Not pictured is Christine Dunbar of Lowell.
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Paul Rishell & Annie Raines to Perform at Concord Conservatory 

CONCORD: The Concord Conservatory of Music will present one of the world’s great blues duos, award-winners Paul Rishell and Annie Raines for a concert and masterclass on Saturday, April 2, 5pm-7pm.

With 6 albums together, numerous Blues Foundation award nominations, and performing American Roots music as well as their own compositions all over the world, they are the perfect pair to lead a blues masterclass. Equally passionate about their craft and devoted to the study and performance of a wide range of blues styles, you’ll learn from the best. Paul and Annie will discuss the unique elements of acoustic and electric blues styles, and highlight the deep connection between the two. Using examples from the blues repertoire, they will work with students to demonstrate how blues music uses interlocking parts and special instrumental techniques to create a rich musical experience.

Paul and Annie’s impressive resume includes performing and recording with other great musicians, such as John Sebastian, Susan Tedeschi, Pinetop Perkins and Rory Block. They have opened for Ray Chares, Dr. John, and Little Feat, and performed on international radio and TV shows including Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion, and PBS’s Arthur. 

Paul has reached what Boston Phoenix writer Ted Drozdowski called “a place deep and resonant as Robert Johnson’s crossroads, where authenticity, soul, and a sense of purpose and commitment ring out in every note he sings and plays.” Paul’s original music has been used in plays, films, and countless television shows including Friends, Oprah, and A&E’s Biography. He has built up a stellar reputation over 40 years as a performer, teacher, and torchbearer of the country blues tradition. Annie has added vocals, mandolin, piano, and other instruments to her musical arsenal, while being recognized by top professionals and fans worldwide as the “queen of the blues harmonica.” She’s enjoyed yearlong stints with the Tarbox Ramblers and the Susan Tedeschi Band, going on to perform on Susan’s first three albums.

Tickets for the masterclass and concert are $45 or the concert only for $20. Both are free for students 18 and under. Purchase tickets at www.ConcordConservatory.org or tickets at the door.  To attend events at CCM, you must show proof of full vaccination.
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Knitting for Kids at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) will host a free 4-week knitting workshop at the Main Library for children in grades 2 and up on Mondays beginning March 21 at 4pm. Knitting is a great activity to  encourage children’s creativity,  concentration, relaxation, and even math skills! This program is perfect for beginners as well as children looking to advance their skills. Diane Johnson of Knit and That will teach children the basics of knitting - knit/purl stitch, casting on or off, and increases/decreases - while helping each child make their own stuffed bunny rabbit. The workshop includes yarn, knitting needles, and a pattern. The workshop is intended for registrants to attend all four weeks. Register by visiting the Event Calendar at www.concordlibrary.org.
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Art into Action! Sparking Global Change Through Art⁠–⁠ivism with COAR at the CFPL

CONCORD: Kids - want to make the world a better place and engage in global citizenship through art? Join COAR on Saturday, March 26 at 10:30am and move art into action!

Members from COAR (Communities Organizing Against Racism) are partnering with the Concord Free Public Library to create a quilt filled with ideas on how to build a community with empathy, equity, and understanding. For each quilt square, the Bezos Family Foundation will  contribute $5 to programs meeting global needs.  Learn more about the Students Rebuild program and the mission of COAR. Enjoy a few stories and create some art!

No registration needed. This program is intended for all ages. Program will take place in the Commons Area at the Main Library.  For more information about Library programs and services, visit www.concordlibrary.org.

Minuteman Receives Skills Capital Grant to Expand Robotics and Automation Will Enhance Automated Warehouse, Supply-Chain Management Programming

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LEXINGTONThe Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District recently received a $150,000 Skills Capital Grant from the Commonwealth to expand robotics and automation programming. The funding will be used to teach students Industry 4.0 skills amid a rapidly expanding logistics automation and supply chain management industry.

Logistics automation and supply chain management are crucial aspects of today’s global economy, which have only increased in importance since the pandemic began. Minuteman is expanding its programming in response to student interest and the needs of the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a 140% increase in employees in the transportation and warehousing industry since 2012.

“This is a perfect example of supporting a form of career technical education that directly energizes the regional workforce and the economy,” said Edward A. Bouquillon, Superintendent-Director of Minuteman. “The Skills Capital Grant provides for technology and skills needed today in a rapidly changing global market.”

Through Governor Charlie Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, this year’s Skills Capital Grants will total $3.3 million and benefit 20 schools across the state. Since 2015, 407 grants totaling $105 million have benefited 207 schools or educational organizations.

Minuteman’s business partners, including Abel WomackFesto Didactic, and Locust Robotics are serving as advisors to the new programming.

“Exposing, inspiring, and teaching students about cyber-physical systems – the building blocks of the smart factory revolution – opens up so many successful career pathways,” said Mark Downey, chair of Minuteman’s Engineering Advisory Committee, a 1987 Minuteman alumnus and applications manager for Analog Devices of Wilmington. “Minuteman’s hands-on curriculum introduces students to these opportunities, which are critical to the modernization of Industry 4.0 and growing markets.”

Minuteman has letter of support from Quinsigamond Community College for a potential articulation agreement, which could allow Minuteman’s high school and adult students to receive course credit toward an associate degree. Simultaneously, Quinsigamond students could access Minuteman’s automated warehouse for hands-on learning.

“The logistics and supply chain industries have been rapidly automating and as a result requiring more technological skills within its workforce,” said Jennifer Stephens, chair of Minuteman’s Robotics Automation Advisory Committee and robotics and automation instructor for Mount Wachusett Community College. “Students entering this field need hands-on experience to develop the needed competencies to work in the industry. The Skills Capital Grant will provide the funding for the acquisition of the technology and equipment to support the development of these skills.”

The expanded capacity will allow for an increase in students who want to enroll in the Robotics and Automation career major at Minuteman High School. The funding will also benefit students in the Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing majors, as well as adult evening students in Minuteman Technical Institute.

Minuteman’s new building, which opened in 2019, features a warehouse designed to teach students skills in the logistics industry. With the help of the grant, the goal is to fund technology to grow the space into full-service, automated warehouse with racking systems, materials to handle equipment such as pallet movers and forklifts, and an automated inventory control system. Students will gain skills in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mechatronics.

Minuteman students will sequence and run the software and automated equipment and systems as part of the expanded logistics automation programming. Students will earn industry-recognized credentials that cover skills in distribution, warehousing, inventory management, data analyses, invoicing, purchasing and supply chain activities common to many occupations.

PHOTO: Alexander Lavernchik, a tenth-grade Engineering student from Stow, observes Robotics instructor Tina Collins operate a numeric test board at Minuteman High School in the fall of 2021.
Photo by Reba Saldanha/Minuteman High School
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Virtual Poetry at the Library: Poetry of Visions for a Nation in Balance

CONCORD: The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library invite you to join renowned poets Sean Hill and Michael Kleber-Diggs who will read from their luminous, moving poetry on Black experiences in America, with home and family at its heart and visions for a nation in balance, March 6 from 3-4pm. A Q & A period follows.

Born and raised in Milledgeville (GA), Sean Hill is the author of Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and  Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, named one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book, (UGA Press, 2008).

Poet, essayist, and literary critic Michael Kleber-Diggs reads from his debut collection, Worldly Things, (Milkweed Editions, 2021), winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, and A New York Times Book Review "New & Noteworthy Poetry" Selection.

The Virtual Poetry at the Library Series is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. [Register for Zoom Link

Concord Chamber of Commerce Presents Business Seminar on Avoiding Payroll Pitfalls

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CONCORD: Concord’s Chamber of Commerce recently launched a business webinar series specifically targeted to help small to mid-size Concord businesses and is hosting “Avoiding Common Pitfalls With Payroll” presented by Sheldon Prenovitz on Thursday, March 3 at 8am. Sheldon Prenovitz has been working with  businesses for many years helping them through the changing regulations of both Federal and State governments. The webinar will cover best practices in payroll issues encompassing periods, timing of payrolls, vacation policies, time and attendance, proper HR compliance, and more. The goal of the seminar is to cover the most cost-effective ways to manage payroll in order to maximize profits and cash flow as well as, being fully compliant with government agencies.

Sheldon Prenovitz was a trail blazer when he opened one of the first Professional
Employer Organizations in Metro West. His experience in insurance and HR/Payroll has helped thousands of business owner stay compliant with state and local organizations. After merging his business into ConnectPay 5, Sheldon has been working with businesses owners helping with their payroll needs.

This webinar is free to all Concord Chamber of Commerce members. Non-members $25. (Fee may be applied to a Chamber membership) To register, visit https://concordchamberofcommerce.org.
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Read and Discuss the Newbery Medal Winner at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library invites children to join a book discussion group on Wednesday, March 16. Discuss the 2022 Newbery Medal Award winner The Last Cuentista by Donna Barbra Higuera. Read and discuss this new science fiction classic, with pizza as part of the discussion! This program will take place in the new Children's Library at 151 Main Street from 2pm-3pm. Please register at the library website so they can reserve a copy for you in advance of our meeting. The book is recommended for children ages 10 and older. For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit concordlibrary.org.
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CPT Online Webinar: "Turning Angst into Action: Talking to Our Children about the Climate Crisis"

CONCORD: The Center for Parents and Teachers will present a free online webinar, Thursday, March 3 at 7:30pm - "Turning Angst into Action: Talking to Our Children about the Climate Crisis." Our children are angry, scared, surprised, defiant, unsure, oblivious and concerned. They are all, or none of the above. As the climate crisis gains prominence in the news and takes center stage in the classroom, in our homes and in our local community are you prepared to answer questions your children are asking? Harriet Shugarman will share information, ideas and advice from her more than 25 years of experience working on the climate crisis. She will be joined by Sarena Sabine for an engaging conversation and online presentation.

Harriet Shugarman is the Executive Director and founder of ClimateMama, and author of the 2020 book How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change, Turning Angst to Action. She has worked for more than 25 years with governments, international organizations, and educational institutions on climate and sustainability issues as an economist, policy analyst, and educator, including 13 years with the International Monetary Fund as a representative of the IMF at the United Nations. Harriet is a professor of Climate Change and Society and World Sustainability at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Sarena Sabine, a 2015 Concord-Carlisle High School graduate is currently a second-year Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Washington working in the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) Lab. 

To receive the zoom link for this free webinar register here:  https://3march2022howtotalktokidsaboutclimatechange.eventbrite.com

For more information on the Center for Parents and teachers, visit centerforparentsandteacher.org.
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Concord Conservatory Presents Carnival of Animals

CONCORD: Join the Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) for a music, and movement celebration on Saturday, March 5 from 11:30am–12pm. The free Carnival of Animals – Dalcroze Performance Day will introduce children to the world of music and movement using the lighthearted musical journey of movements by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens. The music for each movement represents a different animal, from the "hee-haw" of the violins to the "roar" of the pianos.  

CCM’s youngest students from their Music Makers and Musical Gateway classes will perform for our community. Everyone is welcome to see how they embody music joyfully through creative movement, improvisation, and expression. In their movement-based music curriculum classes, they’ve been introduced to concepts like rhythm, melody, and harmony in a social and imaginative way. The students gain a strong music foundation which will undoubtedly inspire them for a lifetime of music education and enjoyment.

Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010 for more information. To attend events at CCM, you must show proof of full vaccination. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. 

Alive with Birds: William Brewster in Concord
         A special exhibition opening at the Concord Museum

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CONCORD“To my great surprise, the Farm was simply alive with birds, the entire morning.” William Brewster, April 7, 1893.  

The Concord Museum is pleased to collaborate with Mass Audubon on the special exhibition, Alive with Birds: William Brewster in Concord, opening in the Museum’s Wallace Kane Gallery on March 4 through September 5. Alive with Birds is the first and most comprehensive exhibition on William Brewster (1851 -1919), the first president of Mass Audubon and one of the country’s earliest advocates for the protection of birds and their habitats.

The exhibition also showcases 20 paintings and sculptures from Mass Audubon’s Museum of American Bird Art by acclaimed artists, including John James Audubon, Frank Weston Benson, Anthony Elmer Crowell, Charley Harper, David Sibley, Leonard Baskin, and Barry Van Dusen, each of whom depicted birds formerly or currently native to Concord’s landscape. In 2019, Mass Audubon received a gift of 143 acres of the October Farm property, which has been renamed Brewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary.

“This exhibition weaves together art, science, and history to tell the story of a truly fascinating figure,” says Erica Lome, Peggy N. Gerry Curatorial Associate, Concord Museum. “The works of art on display tie everything together, illustrating the diversity of birds species represented by William Brewster in his writings, as well as the artists who, from past to present, have found inspiration in this subject.”

David Wood, Curator, Concord Museum, continued, “For thirty years William Brewster labored to make a few hundred acres on a bend on the Concord River a better place for birds. This collaborative exhibition demonstrates that his singular efforts continue to pay rich dividends.”
A centerpiece of the show is a meditative exploration of Brewster’s Woods in a 10-minute media presentation. William Brewster’s own words, taken from his journal entries, guide the visitors in discovering the wonders of this natural landscape and his own photographs, taken in the late 19th century, are compared side-by-side with scenes today showing how little has changed in the intervening years.

As a youth, William Brewster explored the fields, meadows, and marshes just beyond his home on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, collecting eggs, nests, and specimens to study. Rather than follow his father’s footsteps into banking, Brewster remained devoted to the field of ornithology, of which he was primarily self-taught.  After his marriage to Caroline Kettell in 1878, Brewster built a house in Cambridge which included a library and museum to hold his growing collection of mounted birds. He became the curator of mammals and birds at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University in 1885. In 1890, Brewster bought a tract of woodland on the Concord River with a farmhouse situated on Monument Street dating back to the eighteenth century. The property spanned 300 acres and Brewster renamed it October Farm. Brewster spent the last thirty years of his life exploring October Farm and recording his observations.

Alive with Birds: William Brewster in Concord is a collaboration with Mass Audubon. For a full list of programs visit www.concordmuseum.org.

Concord Conservatory Presents Rachel Sumner, a Masterclass & Concert

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CONCORD: Singer-songwriter Rachel Sumner came to Boston and Berklee College to pursue a flute career but found her calling in bluegrass music and songwriting. Known for writing songs shaped by painful personal experiences, Sumner will be performing her songs in concert at the Concord Conservatory of Music on Saturday, March 12 at 7pm. Hear Rachel’s original tunes and learn about her writing process. She’ll also discuss works by her favorite modern songwriters (like, but not limited to, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell, Joanna Newsom).

Sumner will present a masterclass prior to the show from 5-6pm that explores the ties between traditional and modern folk songs and how we as writers can look to those old songs and find something new and original within them.

 
Rachel spent her early career on the bluegrass circuit, singing and writing with the acclaimed Boston group Twisted Pine. Rachel’s current solo work has a new clarity and conviction. Intricate yet forthright, these are songs we can believe in. Her crown jewel is “Radium Girls (Curie Eleison),” which won the grand prize at the 2021 John Lennon Songwriting Contest’s folk category. The ballad tells the tragic story of women factory workers in the early 20th century who painted “glow in the dark” watch and clock dials using powdered radium. The workers were all exposed to massive amounts of radiation poisoning, which led to various forms of cancer and other ailments. She’s working on a full-length debut album of originals – filled with learning and suffering, justice, heartbreak, and craving too much of the world.  You can hear Rachel on stage around New England with an instrument in her hands, nectar, and venom in her throat. She’s been hitting the road with a band she affectionately calls Traveling Light, a tight-knit, powerhouse string band.

Tickets for the masterclass and concert are $45 or the concert only for $20. Both are free for students 18 and under. For tickets and information, visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010. To attend events at CCM, you must show proof of full vaccination. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.
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Local Student named to Fall 2021 Dean's List at Saint Michael's College

CONCORD: The following student was named to the Dean's List at Saint Michael's College for the Fall 2021 semester.
 
  • William Meehan, a senior business administration / economics major from Concord (01742) and a graduate of Concord Carlisle Regional High School.
 
Saint Michael's College, founded in the great Catholic intellectual tradition, which also recognizes the principles of social justice and compassion, is a selective, fully residential Catholic college in Vermont's beautiful Green Mountains. Our closely connected community delivers internationally-respected liberal arts and graduate education near Burlington, one of the country's best college towns. To prepare for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives, young adults here grow intellectually, socially, and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other and their world.
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Beede and Books Starts February 18

CONCORD: The Beede Swim and Fitness Center and the Concord Free Public Library are teaming up to bring you Beede and Books. This is a free program available to all. Join us at the Beede Center for a Friday collaboration of reading and swimming. A librarian will read books at 11:30 am, then at 12pm, transition to the Children’s Pool for water fun! This free program happens once a month in 2022 on the following Fridays: February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20, and June 17. For more information, visit https://concordlibrary.org.
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CFPL Offers Interactive Music Program with Roger Tincknell

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is excited to offer a highly interactive music program with Roger Tincknell for young children and families in the Lower Meeting Room at the Fowler Branch Library. Children sing, dance, move, imitate animals, play rhythm instruments, learn songs in Spanish and other languages through call and response, and explore other cultures through traditional and contemporary children's songs. The program also includes sing-alongs performed on guitar, banjo, and other instruments. There will be limited capacity for in-person seating, but the program will also be broadcast on Facebook Live. Visit https://concordlibrary.org for information.
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Friends Announce “Season of Music from the Library”

CONCORD: The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library announce the 2022 “Season of Music from the Library,” which includes concerts over several months and features unique performances from a variety of musicians. The Friends anticipate that the concerts will be in-
person programs, but due to COVID-19 precautions there is a possibility some performances will be cancelled, postponed, or moved to a virtual environment. If that is the case, registered
patrons will be notified ahead of time.

On February 26, Thomas Meglioranza (baritone) and Reiko Uchida (piano) will present “American Songs from 100 Years Ago,” with art songs by Charles Ives, Carrie Jacobs Bond, and Ruth Crawford Seeger (on poems by Carl Sandberg) and popular tunes and parlor songs of the era. Naumburg award-winning singer Thomas Meglioranza has performed with major
orchestras, in operas, and in chamber music in eras ranging from early music to contemporary. Reiko Uchida is a Grammy nominee who has performed concertos with major orchestras, chamber music at festivals, and collaborated with string quartets and other artists.

On March 12, Liana Paniyeva (solo piano) will perform works by Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert-Franz Liszt, and Frederick Chopin. Liana Paniyeva began winning prizes in piano competitions in Ukraine in 2002 and continued winning competitions in the US and performing at international festivals.

On April 2, the Friends will present the American Brass Quintet, performing works by Luca Marenzio, Jennifer Higdon, Nina C. Young, and Eric Ewazen. The program will range from Renaissance to contemporary. The quintet, founded in 1960, is  internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber ensembles of our time.

All concerts will take place at 7:30pm. Doors will open at 7pm. The concerts are free, but advanced registration is required beginning two weeks prior to each performance. Patrons can register by calling the Main Library at 978-318-3301 or online at www.concordlibrary.org.

Northeastern University Announces Fall Semester 2021 Dean's List

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ACTON/MAYNARD: Northeastern University is pleased to recognize those students who distinguish themselves academically during the course of the school year. The following local students were recently named to the University's dean's list for the Fall semester, which ended in December 2021.

* Carlisle resident Myles O'Leary, majoring in Business Administration.
* Carlisle resident Aidan Ih, majoring in Computer Science.
* Carlisle resident Jessica Shang, majoring in Computer Science.
* Carlisle resident Adrian Hatch, majoring in Criminal Justice.

* Concord resident Mary Hoffman, majoring in Business Admin/Comm Studies.
* Concord resident Nyla Horne, majoring in Business Admin/Psychology.
* Concord resident Sophie Fisher, majoring in Business Administration.
* Concord resident Lucy Jin, majoring in Business Administration.
* Concord resident Charlotte Pitha, majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
* Concord resident Melissa Jiang, majoring in Computer Engr/Computer Science.
* Concord resident Magan Lee, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
* Concord resident Jasmine Cheung, majoring in Biochemistry.
* Concord resident Andrew Upham, majoring in Biology.
* Concord resident Christina Lefebvre, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology.
* Concord resident Nancy Jin, majoring in Health Science/Psychology.
* Concord resident Hannah Lee, majoring in Linguistics.
* Concord resident Katherine Murphy, majoring in Economics.

To achieve the dean's list distinction, students must carry a full program of at least four courses, have a quality point average of 3.5 or greater out of a possible 4.0 and carry no single grade lower than a C- during the course of their college career. Each student receives a letter of commendation and congratulation from their college dean.  The University Honors Program offers high caliber students the chance to further hone their studies and interests, live in special interest residential communities, participate in enriched, interdisciplinary courses, and engage in research and creative endeavors, service, and global experiences. Invitation into the University Honors Program is highly competitive and students must maintain a high GPA to maintain membership.
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Pre-order Period for At-home Covid-19 Tests Has Begun

The Biden Administration is offering free rapid tests to all residents in the United States. The pre-order period for the at-home COVID-19 tests via www.covidtests.gov has begun. Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free and will usually ship in 7-12 days. Please visit www.covidtests.gov to submit an order and learn more.
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Middlesex CC Awarded Funding from Bedford Cultural Council

BEDFORD: Middlesex Community College was awarded a $450 grant from the Bedford Cultural Council – an agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council – in support of the college’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT). Funds from the grant will go toward Racial Healing Circles that MCC will run on the college’s Bedford campus during the Spring 2022 semester.

“Middlesex is a leader of engaging in impactful conversations, making meaningful changes, and actively fighting against racism,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “Funding and support from
the BCC allows us to continue and enhance this important and necessary work.”

Middlesex was selected to participate in the 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). MCC is now one of 55 campus-based AAC&U TRHT Centers. In addition to integrating racial equity work into its strategic plan, the college sees the Center for TRHT as an opportunity to engage in college-wide honest dialogues on race and to serve as a resource and partner within MCC’s communities. This includes leading Racial Healing Circles, which will be run by Middlesex faculty, staff and students who went through training by the Racial Healing Circle Practitioner Institute workshop in January 2022, according to Darcy Orellana, MCC’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion.

“Racial healing is an essential and ongoing part of building more just and equitable communities together,” Orellana said. “A Racial Healing Circle is a way to bring  people together by providing a compassionate space to share stories and deeply listen to one another so that we can discover our common and interconnected humanity. Through the practice, we can build relationships and engagement to tackle the impact racism has on us.”

The mission of MCC’s TRHT Center is for internal and external communities to engage in racial healing and build deeper collective capacity toward racial equity and justice in relationships, structures, policies and practices. Through this work –  including Racial Healing Circles – Orellana encourages participants to imagine what the community will look, feel and be like when the belief in a racial hierarchy has been eliminated.

Moving forward, Middlesex strives for a community that will “eliminate the false belief in a hierarchy of human value based on race,” actively challenge racism, be equity-minded, and be responsive to diverse identities and community experiences, Orellana said. Racial Healing Circles and similar activities and conversations will help MCC create a positive narrative about race, prepare the next generation of leaders to build just and equitable communities, and pinpoint key leverage points for change.

ArtSpace Maynard @ The Umbrella Visiting Exhibition
January 20 - February 26

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: A diverse array of 30 artists from ArtSpace Maynard will be featured in a new gallery exhibition at The Umbrella Arts Center in neighboring Concord, January 20 through February 26, 2022. With 2D and 3D work representing a variety of styles and media on display, this will be the first group exhibition of ArtSpace artists since the pandemic. It is being hosted by The Umbrella in support of its fellow nonprofit, which has been forced to temporarily close following a notice of reduced occupancy from the Town of Maynard. Normally providing affordable space for some 85 local artists to work and exhibit art, ArtSpace has been forced to close until issues are identified, remediated, and a re-inspection can be performed to reinstate the historic building’s full occupancy certification.

Works can be viewed 7 days a week, 10am-9pm, in The Umbrella’s Main Gallery at 40 Stow Street, Concord, which is free and open to the public and ADA accessible. CDC-approved face masks are required for entry. Several artist talks to be announced will be scheduled throughout the exhibition.

The Umbrella encourages art audiences to support ArtSpace by purchasing exhibition artwork available for purchase through the Art Cloud online art market gallery, or by making a donation at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/artspace.  Find more information about ArtSpace Maynard and The Umbrella Arts Center at https://TheUmbrellaArts.org/ArtSpace.

Greater Lowell Community Foundation Seeks Request for Proposals for 2022 Discretionary Grant Cycles & Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund and Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 2 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $160,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Funding areas for 2022 include children’s services, elder services and racial equity/inclusion.

Non-profit organizations serving the communities of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, and Wilmington are invited to apply.

Additionally, GLCF will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle on February 2. The foundation seeks requests for proposals from non-profit organizations supporting the advancement of community health of residents in the following GLCF communities: Ashby, Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford. The Foundation will award $80,000 through this grant program.

Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle grant awards will range from $5,000 up to $20,000; however, larger scale collaborative projects that are more than $20,000 will be considered if the funding request is justified by the impact of the project. Of particular interest are proposals that address systemic issues like (but not limited to) addiction/ substance abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity, mental health, suicide screening and prevention, obesity, racial equity and inclusion and other specific issues as indicated by community needs.

Grant applications for both grant opportunities must be submitted by noon on March 4, 2022. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available on the foundation’s website: www.glcfoundation.org.

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at sharon@glcfoundation.org.

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $55 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

PHOTO: Catie’s Closet, Inc. received a past Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Lowell program. Pictured, Catie’s Closet volunteers with special request bags packed with urgently needed items for children.

Emerson Hospital Announces Grant Recipients to Enhance Mental Health Care in Community

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CONCORD: To continue its focus on expanding access to mental health care for the community, Emerson Hospital named three local grant recipients to address the needs of residents in its service area. Acton-Boxborough United Way, Elder Services of Merrimack Valley-North Shore, and First Connections, a program of JRI, will receive funds from Emerson over the next three years to improve the accessibility of mental health services for residents. The recipients collectively represent the entire life span and were chosen among 18 applicants from a request for proposal process held during the Fall 2021.

Mental health care was identified as a critical need across all ages, income levels, and racial/ethnic groups in Emerson’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment (www.emersonhospital.org/chna). “The pandemic significantly exacerbated the need for mental health support for people of all ages. Core to our mission of  providing care to residents in our community, we are pleased to partner with these innovative organizations to make mental health care more accessible to all,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO, Emerson Hospital.

The grants will be used by the organizations in the following ways:
 
  • Acton-Boxborough United Way will focus on strengthening community resilience, conduct a community assessment, create a mental health coalition, and launch a resiliency challenge to help reduce stigma, and empower residents to recognize and address mental health challenges.
  • Elder Services of Merrimack Valley-North Shore plans to establish an Elder Mental Health Outreach Team to connect adults in the Westford area with behavioral health services in the community. A clinician will identify at-risk seniors for counseling, support groups, and homecare services.
  • First Connections will offer the First Year of Life program to under-served families throughout Emerson’s service area. This program provides education and resources to families with infants, including mental health care, wellness support, and referral services.

Funding for the grants is stipulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health based on the capital investment of Emerson’s new Digestive Health Center that is expected to open this Spring. For more information, please visit www.emersonhospital.org/community-programs. For additional grant opportunities visit  www.emersonhospital.org/grants. For mental health resources in the
community, visit www.emersonhospital.org/mentalhealthresources.
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History in Bloom at the Concord Museum

CONCORD: Spring is coming early at the Concord Museum! History in Bloom will showcase ten floral designs interpreting original works of art and artifacts from the Museum’s renowned collection starting on Friday, January 28 through Sunday, January 30, 2022.  Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers are creating floral arrangements inspired by the watercolors from the exhibition 'HOME: Paintings by Loring W. Coleman' as well as a variety of artifacts from Concord’s remarkable history, including a women’s silk shoe worn in 1775 and a Daniel Munroe clock (1805-1810) among others! After viewing the floral designs visitors will also be invited to come explore the Museum’s sixteen newly installed permanent galleries including the actual artifacts that will serve as an inspiration for the flowering artistry! History at Home is free with Museum admission. Walk-ins are welcome! For more information, visit www.concordmuseum.org.
 
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Music and Movement with Julie Stepanek

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host a weekly family-friendly Music And Movement program featuring Julie Stepanek on Mondays at 10:30am at the Main Library beginning January 2022! The dates will be January 3, January 17, February 7 and February 14. Featuring songs you know and some songs you might not know, we'll stretch, stomp, sing, and shake out our sillies - all to the sweet sounds of the ukulele. These programs will run 30-45 minutes and are geared toward children aged 0-5 years. These programs are generously sponsored by The Friends of the Concord Free Public LibraryFor more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.

DCU Awards Scholarships for Students to Attend Steinberg Wellness Center’s Osteoporosis Program

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CONCORD: In recognition and support of Emerson Hospital’s Osteoporosis program, the Digital Credit Union has awarded the Steinberg Wellness Center for Mind and Body a donation for its Living & Moving with Osteoporosis program. The donation is to be used as a partial scholarship for students with limited financial resources who would benefit from this program. An 8-week, 16-class online program, Living & Moving with Osteoporosis provides exercises that support and replicate daily movements for those with osteoporosis and osteopenia, including movements to avoid and modify. Taught by Rhonda Hamer, the class is appropriate for various fitness levels and modifiable for all. Through strength exercises, students increase muscle mass, making it easier to maintain good posture and balance and reduce the risk of falls. Each class also includes bone-healthy nutrition tips from a certified nutrition coach. Although classes started Tuesday, January 18, students can join the following week. For more information about the scholarship, please call the Steinberg Wellness Center at (978) 287-3777.
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Animals in Your Backyard at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host a fun, interactive program on January 12 at 4pm at the Main Library to teach children about all the animals that they might find living in their neighborhood. Michelle Kreell, Community Liaison from Baypath Humane Society, will lead this program which is geared towards children in kindergarten through 3rd grade. No registration required. For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Music at the Blissful at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host a monthly family-friendly Music and Movement program featuring Music at the Blissful on Saturdays at 10:30am at the Main Library on January 8, February 12, March 12 & April 9. These programs are generously sponsored by The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Music at the Blissful is a high-energy, interactive movement and music experience for children of all ages. Be ready to move, shake, bounce, jump, and stomp as we become dinosaurs, bunnies, alligators, and cars. These programs are fun for the whole family!
Check out the music and performances before class by viewing "Music At The Blissful" on YouTube.

For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.

Concord Orchestra Young Artists Competition Auditions Upcoming

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CONCORD: Auditions for the Concord Orchestra Young Artists Competition will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 19 and 20, 2022. Two winners will be the featured soloists at the Concord Orchestra's Spring Concerts, one on March 26 and 27, 2022, and the other on May 21 and 22, and will receive the Ehlers Memorial Scholarships. The second and third place finishers may be invited to perform a recital prior to these concerts. The competition is open to high school and younger instrumental students, including pianists. A complete concerto or other work suitable for performance with orchestra must be memorized for the audition. Applications are due by January 4, 2022. For more information and an application form, call 978-371-1491 or 978-369-4967. Applications can also be downloaded from www.concordorchestra.com.
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2022 Rockabye Beats Concerts at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library hosts monthly free, family-friendly concerts featuring Rockabye Beats on the fourth Monday of each month at 10:30am.  Rockabye Beats’ music is reminiscent of founder Marcos Valles’ Puerto Rico. Their songs offer a range of styles from rock n’ roll to calypso to funk and even blues. Their music will have you bopping and moving along in no time! Mark your calendar for January 24, February 28, March 28, April 25, May 23 and June 27. Programs will take place in-person at the Main Library or virtually due to COVID-19 precautions - visit www.concordlibrary.org for more information. Sing, dance and get a little loco with the Rockabye Beats Band! All concerts are generously sponsored by The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.
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Concord Conservatory Presents Arabic Music Online Complimentary Lecture

CONCORD: Explore the beautiful and diverse sounds of Arabic music with guest lecturer Layth Sidiq. Join Concord Conservatory online on Thursday, January 27 at 7pm when Sidig, an award-winning violinist, composer, educator, and the current artistic director of the New York Arabic Orchestra, presents an exciting music history lecture. He’ll present the exciting Arabic style, how it differs from Western music, demonstrating rhythms and patterns used most frequently in traditional/classical Arab music. 

Did you know that a violin in Arab tuning is different from western tuning? Did you know that such a thing called a b half flat played in the Maqam system? Layth will explain it all and show us the rich beauty of Arabic music.

Layth Sidig was born in Baghdad and grew up in Jordan in a musical family. He has toured the world and shared the stage with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, Javier Limon, and Jack Dejohnette. Performing in prestigious venues like the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, WOMEX Expo, Panama Jazz Festival, and more. He is featured on multiple award-winning albums, and his first record Son of Tigris was premiered at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2016. 

In 2018, Layth won 2nd place at the Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition as the first Arab to participate. He was also recently awarded Best International Artist at the 2020 Boston Music Awards. He also directs the Center for Arabic Culture's Youth Orchestra Program in Boston and is a faculty member at Carnegie Hall’s ‘Music Educators Workshop.’ 

Please register by 5pm on January 27 for this complimentary lecture so you’ll receive the online link before the lecture begins: https://concordconservatory.org/events/arab-music-online-lecture.

Concord Conservatory of Music is the area's non-profit community music school located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. For information, visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010.
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Concord Free Public Library Announces Temporary COVID-19 Precautions and Updates About New Children’s Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is taking temporary precautions due to the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 in the community. The new Children’s Library, Garden and Commons space - all constructed as part of the expansion project at the Main Library - will open as planned on Wednesday, January 5. A limited selection of Children’s and Teen books will be available for browsing and to check out. However, seating will not be available in the Children’s Library and the Activity Room will be closed temporarily.

Eating is not permitted in the Library at this time, including the new Commons space. In an effort to promote social distancing, meeting and study rooms are only available for single individuals
on a walk-in basis and two hour limit at this time. Group reservations are not permitted at this time.

Additionally, the Main Library is reducing its hours temporarily. The new hours will be Monday 10am-6pm, Tuesday through Friday 9am-6pm, and Saturday 9am-5pm. The Children’s Library at the Main Library will close 15 minutes before to aid staff in expanded closing duties. The hours for Special Collections (Monday 10am-6pm and Tuesday through Friday 9am-5pm) and Fowler (Monday through Thursday 10am - 6pm and Friday and Saturday 10am - 5pm) remain unchanged. Both library branches remain closed on Sunday.

All programs will be virtual until further notice. See the library event calendar (available at www.concordlibrary.org) for up-to-date information. The Concord Free Public Library staff kindly remind patrons that there is an indoor mask mandate in effect from the Town of Concord. Staff
thank patrons and the extended community for their patience and understanding during this time.
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Children’s Concert with BenAnna Band at the CFPL

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is excited to host a free Children’s concert with the BenAnna Band on January 10, 2022 at 10:30am at the Main Library. Ben Norton and Anna Delgado are a high energy musical duo utilizing guitar and singing to jam out on pop and throwback covers, traditional Children's songs, and new Children's music. Their mission is to provide a sense of inclusion, representation, and belonging for kids of all ages and abilities through music and fun.

The BenAnna Band stresses the importance of individualized musical interaction, so they bring live musical instruments to all their concerts for the audience to physically participate in the music. There will be plenty of opportunities to follow the lyrics for group dancing, playing, and singing along with spotlight moments for everyone to rock out their own way!


For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Winter Advisory Regarding Face Coverings

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This Advisory has been updated as of December 21,  2021.

COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters are highly effective at protecting against serious illness, hospitalization and death and every individual who is eligible and works, studies or resides in Massachusetts is strongly urged to get vaccinated and boosted. The Department of Public Health urges all eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because vaccination provides the most effective protection from severe illness associated with COVID-19.

In response to the spread of the Delta variant and the emerging Omicron variant, the Department of Public Health now advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home). The DPH particularly urges this recommendation if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

Your primary care physician can advise you whether you are at increased risk.  Information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the conditions that may put you at increased risk can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.  Please see www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s current mask requirement and Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold issued on September 27th, 2021 is not impacted by this advisory.  As a result of the most comprehensive and robust school testing program in the country, with 99% of public, collaborative and charter districts enrolled, Massachusetts elementary and secondary schools remain open and safe for children and youth to engage in learning, with over 325,000 school days saved. Only schools who can demonstrate they have high vaccination rates of over 80% of all individuals vaccinated are able to remove masks for vaccinated individuals upon a written attestation.
For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is especially important that you wear a face covering or mask any time you are indoors and not in your own home to reduce the chance that you may spread COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.

An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. However, if a fully vaccinated individual becomes symptomatic, they should be tested and wear a mask until receiving test results.
When you wear a face covering or cloth mask, it should:
 
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

For more information, please refer to the CDC at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
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“Live Like Louisa May Alcott for a Day” at the CFPL

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host “Live Like Louisa May Alcott for a Day” on December 30 at the Fowler Branch Library from 3-4:30pm. Join in for afternoons of Louisa May Alcott-era lifestyle activities for all ages, such as roasting chestnuts, churning butter and making your own tri-fold notebook. There will also be a wool spinning demonstration by local artist and artisan, Krysten Morganti.

This is a wonderful opportunity for children to step back in time and explore the world of one of Concord’s favorite authors. Librarians will be on hand with knowledge of Alcott’s life, as well as the period in which she lived. Registration not required.  For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.