39 steps

Concord Players Presents a New Take on Classic 1935 Film

CONCORD: The Concord Players presents The 39 Steps November 4-19 at The Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!

This version of The 39 Steps is based on John Buchan’s ground-breaking novel, Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1935 movie, and the exquisite idea of two Northern English writers, Nobby Dimon and Simon Corbel, of doing the whole thing with just four enthusiastic actors. One plays the hero, one plays the girl, and two play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object resulting in this serious spy story becoming a chaotic and hysterical farce.

There is much opportunity for comedy and satire here - but it’s also a love story.
Performances are November 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8pm; 2pm on November 13.  Tickets are $22 with reserved seating. For tickets and more information please visit www.concordplayers.org.
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Concord Park Chef Wins Company Title “Top Chef”

CONCORD: Misty Heldermon, Executive Chef at Concord Park Senior Living, has been named Senior Living Residences’ (SLR) 2022 Top Chef. SLR, the management company for Concord Park and its 17 sister communities across New England, hosts an Annual Chef Cook Off, pitting Executive Chefs of each community against one another in a culinary battle for the coveted title of Top Chef.

At this annual competition, each chef prepared dishes influenced by the various countries that are also being featured as part of the senior living company’s Grab Your Passport! armchair travel program. A group of guest judges graded each chef on a variety of criteria including adherence to the company’s Mediterranean-inspired Brain Healthy Cooking program, taste and
appeal to residents, overall presentation and authenticity to the assigned country. Heldermon triumphed over the competition with a Turkey inspired bazlama (flatbread) with an assortment of vegetarian spreads incorporating white bean, eggplant and lentils. She also prepared fistikli baklava with traditional Turkish coffee for dessert.

“Misty has proven herself time and again as an extremely skilled Chef and talented leader in our company” says Kim Smith, SLR’s Director of Culinary & Dining Services who also oversees the annual competitive event. “We were blown away by her creative incorporation of brain healthy ingredients, and her commitment to providing the best dining experience for seniors at Concord Park is unparalleled.”

Located in the heart of historic West Concord Village, Concord Park offers local seniors a secure, supportive and independent lifestyle. The community features assisted living options as
well as a state-of-the-art Compass Memory Support Neighborhood® featuring innovative, research-based programming for those with memory loss. The community recently unveiled new and renovated spaces for residents to enjoy including a new theater, fitness center and
cafe, and an expanded and updated dining room, salon, and living room. Those interested in learning more can visit www.ConcordPark.org or can contact Maryellen King at mking@slr-usa.com or (978) 369-4728.

The Concord Festival of Authors Celebrates 30 Years

CONCORD: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Concord Festival of Authors (CFA) presents 39 engaging literary events for all ages both online and in-person on October 13-31. Stewarded by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) and planned  collaboratively with multiple local organizations, CFA programs showcase diverse experiences and voices that honor the evolving literary history of Concord, MA.
The 30th annual CFA kicks off on October 13 at 7pm with Gregory MacGuire, author  of the bestselling novel and Broadway sensation, Wicked, at the Concord Museum. The CFA  keynote address on October 21 features acclaimed author, physicist and MIT professor Alan  Lightman discussing literary life in Concord and his thought-provoking book, Probable Impossibilities. 

In a unique collaboration on October 28 with The Robbins House, Concord’s African American  History Museum, board members will share a conversation entitled, A School. Sugar. A Slave  Bell, which explores the intentions and emotions elicited by a 500-pound sugar plantation 'slave  bell' given to the historic site.  

On October 22, register for the popular Breakfast with the Authors panel – this year held at the newly renovated Concord Free Public Library’s Richard and Doris Kearns Goodwin Forum. The  CFA Breakfast will be moderated by physician, author and Concordian, Dr. Suzanne Koven in  conversation with Steve Almond, Rachel Barenbaum and Lan Samantha Chang. 

CFA 2022 award ceremonies include: winner of the Friends of the CFPL’s Miller Award for  Excellence in American History, Professor Sean Wilentz of Princeton; Rajani LaRocca, award winner and presenter of the CFPL’s Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture for Young People; and the  presentation of the Concord Young Writers Award, presented by celebrated author and Instagram  phenom Yung Pueblo. 

The Umbrella Arts Center offers a reading by poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil from her  best-selling book, World of Wonders. Be Well Be Here presents Mindful Storytelling with renowned activist and author, Shelly Tygielski, in conversation with global mindfulness educator,  Dr. Christopher Willard. Concord Academy offers an alumnae/i panel moderated by Susan Knopf and featuring acclaimed authors Julia Glass, Susan Minot and Ruth Ozeki. The CFA also presents  writing workshops on family narratives, healing stories, nature writing, and time travel for teens. 

“This enduring festival exemplifies Concord’s literary heritage and its evolving, vibrant writing community,” says CFA Curator Lara Wilson. “The CFA Team is committed to sharing diverse  narrative voices with a broad audience, and our collaborators endeavor to present creative programs imbued with the warmth of the Concord community.” 

Most events are free thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the CFPL, the CFPL Corporation,  participating CFA organizations and CFA sponsors. Online registration is required for many events and can be accessed along with the full calendar through the CFA website, www.ConcordFestivalofAuthors.org 

Announcing the Writer-In-Residence Program at the Concord Free Public Library

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CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) is thrilled to announce the Writer-in-Residence Program (W-I-R) for authors, poets, and storytellers alike. Concord’s literary heritage is an important part of the Town’s history, including the work of Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts as well as many distinguished contemporary writers. The CFPL’s newly-established W-I-R Program is intended to continue this tradition, offering new ways to celebrate diverse voices and share stories through literary arts programming. The W-I-R Program will provide private office space to write in the Library’s newly-renovated historic wing as well as opportunities to connect with our devoted CFPL community. During the 6-month program, the W-I-R will be expected to create an original piece of work as well as conduct writing programs and workshops for the Library community.

The first residency will take place between March and September of 2023. A stipend of $10,000 will be offered with the expectation that the W-I-R will spend an average of 8 hours a week at the Library for the duration of the 6-month program and will work with the W-I-R Committee to develop in-person programs for patrons. Specific times are flexible including evenings and weekends when the Library is open.

The CFPL welcomes applicants outside of the Concord area, but the Library cannot provide a place to live or transportation. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2022. If you have questions, please contact: Ricky Sirois, Assistant Library Director at rsirois@concordma.gov.
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The Concord Orchestra presents “An American Journey”

CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents “An American Journey” at 8pm on October 15, and October 16 at 3pm at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden. The orchestra, directed by Larry Isaacson, performs Mabel Wheeler Daniels’ Deep Forest,  William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 and Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.  A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15pm. Larry Isaacson is a finalist auditioning for the position of Music Director. For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com

Isaacson is a Professor of Trombone and conductor of numerous ensembles at Boston Conservatory. He was Founder, Conductor and Music Director of Boston-based Symphony Nova for ten years. As the only post-graduate professional training orchestra in New England, their mission was to "transform aspiring orchestral musicians into successful arts professionals".  In 2018, Symphony Nova merged with New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Department and became EM Nova Fellows, allowing their mission to continue for many years to come. Other conducting opportunities include a regular guest conductor spot at the Aspen (CO) Music Festival for 20 years.

Cellist Owen Young performs Antonin Dvořák’s lovely Cello Concerto.  Young joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1991. A frequent collaborator in chamber music concerts and festivals, he has also appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras. He has performed frequently with singer/songwriter James Taylor, including the nationally televised concert "James Taylor Live at the Beacon Theatre" in New York City.  He a faculty member at Berklee College of Music and is active in Project STEP (String Training and Education for students of color).

Composer Mabel Wheeler Daniels was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts and studied at Radcliffe College.  Larry Isaacson, in his notes for the program, says that her composition Deep Forest “is about the profound experience of what we now call Forest Bathing – spending time in nature and tuning in to the sights, sounds and smells of the world around us.”

Larry Isaacson comments that William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, “ also known as his African American Symphony, was a milestone in Still’s career being the first symphony by a black composer to be performed by a major orchestra. The symphony blends jazz, blues and spirituals into a traditional classical form, elevating these styles into something to be celebrated.”

This program is supported in part by grants from the Acton-Boxborough, Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural   Council, a state agency.
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Face the Art: For Teens at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: October’s Concord Free Public Library Gallery artist Shelby Meyerhoff is here to make you costume ready! Face the Art is October 22 at 2pm in the Main Library Courtyard Workshop. Using professional face paints and tools, teens will learn pro-tips and tricks to transform their visage into artistic masterpieces. Turn yourself into an animal, or perhaps something more expressionistic or abstract!

Please wear suitable (stainable) clothing. Masks optional. Participants will be able to
paint on hands/arms as well. If you have a history of skin allergies, please do not
register for the program. If you have any concerns, speak with a physician beforehand.  All paints used in this workshop are professional-quality face paints from Mehron, made in the USA with FDA-approved ingredients.

Shelby Meyerhoff is a multidisciplinary artist based in the Boston area. She lives near the Middlesex Fells, a 2,575-acre nature reservation, and draws much of her inspiration from the plants, animals, and other species found in her local area. Before becoming a fine artist, she worked in nonprofit communications, promoting environmental initiatives. She is also an educator, with a focus on arts and nature programming.

This program is open to teens only, age 11-18. All genders and identities are welcome. Please arrive on time! Registration is required, please visit www.concordlibrary.org to register and for more information. Contact Teen Librarian Cary Stough with questions: cmstough@minlib.net.
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The Garden Club of Concord Seeks Proposals

CONCORD: The Garden Club of Concord is soliciting proposals from local organizations and residents seeking funding for gardening-related community projects. Each year, the Garden Club sponsors a range of projects in the Concord community.  Past grants have funded planting projects at the Old Manse, the Concord Housing Authority and The Umbrella Community Arts Center.  Grants have also supported organizations engaged in the preservation of open space and the environment in Concord.  In addition, the Club supports outreach to citizens through nature and horticulture; Gaining Ground, Minute Man ARC for Human Services, and Cooperative Elder Services have received grants for garden-related educational and therapeutic programs.
Funding for all grants is provided by the Club's annual Spring Plant Sale, open to the public each year. To request an application or for more information, please contact Joan Campbell at joancampbell74@gmail.com or 978-369-3889.  Applications are due by October 21, 2022.

Bedford Council on Aging Board Meetings

BEDFORD: The Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging (FBCOA) plans to meet on the 3rd Tuesday of October, November, January, April and June at 1pm. Share what programs you would enjoy on ZOOM and in-person, and give your input on the programs that are now being presented. You DO NOT have to be a member to attend a board meeting. There are people of all ages joining to assist Bedford's senior adults and take part in the many benefits of FBCOA sponsored programs.

The Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging was established as a private, non-profit 501c (3) organization over 20 years ago to financially support the programs and services of the Bedford Council on Aging (COA). It is entirely supported by donations and fundraising.  For more information, call (781) 275-6825, or visit them online at

FINANCIAL FOCUS : How Should You Pay for Short-term Financial Goals?

October 3, 2022

As you go through life, you will likely have long- and short-term financial goals. But how will your strategies for meeting your long-term goals differ from those needed for your short-term ones?

If you’re like most people, your biggest long-term goal is achieving a comfortable retirement. And for this goal, a common strategy is putting away money in tax-advantaged retirement vehicles, such as your 401(k) and IRA.

So, how should you go about preparing for shorter-term goals, such as a family vacation, home renovation, wedding or major purchase?

For starters, determine what your goal is, how much you can spend on it and when you’ll need the money. Even if you can’t pinpoint a precise amount, you can develop a good estimate. Of course, the sooner you start this process, the better off you’ll be, because you’ll have more time to save.

Your next decision involves the manner in which you save for your short-term goal. Specifically, what savings or investment vehicles should you use? The answer will be different for everyone, but you need to make sure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. And you’ll want to ensure, as much as possible, that a certain amount of money is available for you at the specific time you’ll need it.

If you aren’t able to save enough to reach a short-term goal, you have other options — you can borrow what you need, or you can potentially sell investments to cover the cost. How can you decide which choice is best?

To help make up your mind, you’ll first want to consider some of the most common borrowing options: credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans and margin loans. (A margin loan lets you borrow against the value of investments you already own). How might each of these loans fit into your overall financial strategy? Will the repayment schedule work with your cash flow and budget?

You’ll then want to compare the costs and benefits of borrowing, in whatever form, against selling investments. For example, if you can borrow at a lower interest rate compared to the return you think you can get from your investments, borrowing might be a reasonable choice. You’ll also need to consider other factors, such as your credit score, taxes, fees associated with selling investments and time needed to repay debts. If, for instance, selling investments will trigger a large amount of taxes, borrowing might be preferable. You’ll also want to consider whether there’s a penalty or high costs associated with selling investments. In addition, if you have a long time horizon for a loan, you may want to sell investments to avoid paying interest for a longer period of time, and thus driving up the overall cost of borrowing.          Finally, keep in mind that you may have built an investment mix designed to align with your goals and risk tolerance. If you were to sell any of these investments to meet short-term needs, you would want to consider the need to rebalance your portfolio to maintain your desired asset allocation.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to paying for short-term goals. But by carefully evaluating your options, you can make the choices that are right for your needs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

LWV Hosts Candidates Forum

The League of Women Voters Acton-Area, Concord-Carlisle and Chelmsford will host a Candidates Forum for the 14th Middlesex District State Representative. The 14th Middlesex District Representative represents residents in portions of Acton, Concord, Chelmsford and all of Carlisle.
The forum will be held at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street in West Concord on October 11 at 7pm. It will be recorded and available on public access channels in the 14th Middlesex District as well as League YouTube channels: lwv-acton-area.org and lwvcc.org.
The League of Women Voters is eager to help voters learn more about the candidates running in the November 2022 Election and provide a non-partisan forum for all candidates to be heard. The event is part of our mission to encourage the active and informed participation of all citizens in government and the electoral process. The forum is free and open to the public.

Read to Laddie the Collie

CONCORD: Did you know that reading to dogs boosts reading skills, emotional, and social skills for children? Read to a good listener who loves stories! The Concord Free Public Library invites children ages 5 years and up to “Read to Laddie the Collie” at the Children’s Library on the third Saturday of each month at 3pm on the following dates:

● Oct 15
● Nov 19
● December 17
● January 21
● February 18
● March 18
● April 15
● May 20
● June 17

Laddie is a certified therapy dog through Pets and People Foundation. He is a 6-year-old sable, rough collie, who has been an active therapy dog since 2018. Laddie loves to listen to stories, whether it is children reading at a library or residents at a nursing home sharing their life stories. With his big warm furry coat, Laddie loves the colder weather, especially the fall and winter.

Register for your own 15-minute session with Laddie through the Event Calendar at
www.concordlibrary.org. Bring along a favorite book. 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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The Umbrella Presents Aimee Nezhukumatathil 

CONCORD: In collaboration with the Concord Festival of Authors, The Umbrella Arts  Center’s Arts & Environment program is proud to present New York Times bestselling author Aimee Nezukumatathil on October 18-19. Nezhukumatathil’s most recent book is the collection of illustrated nature essays, World of Wonders:  In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments (2020, Milkweed Editions), a finalist for the  Kirkus Prize in non-fiction, Barnes and Noble Book of the Year, and an NPR Best Book of 2022. 

She also has four previous poetry collections: Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and  Letters Award; Lucky Fish, winner of the gold medal for the Independent Publisher Book Awards; At the  Drive-In Volcano, winner of the Balcones Prize; and Miracle Fruit (2003), winner of the Tupelo Press  Prize, ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, the Global Filipino Award, and a finalist for The  Glasgow Prize and the Asian American Literary Award. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite, a  collaboration of epistolary nature poems with the poet Ross Gay. 

On October 18 at 7pm, Nezhukumatathil will present a reading and Q&A on The Umbrella  Mainstage, Theater144. This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is  recommended. The reading will be followed by a dessert reception and book-signing. 

Also known for her dynamic and joy-filled teaching, Nezhukumatathil serves as a poetry “ambassador”  to classrooms all over the country. Her work is widely adopted by high schools, colleges, and  universities as part of contemporary poetry, environmental studies, women’s studies, and Asian American literature classes; and she has been a featured reader at hundreds of venues across the  globe from Amsterdam to Greece to Singapore.  

In her column for Orion Magazine, Nezhukumatathil celebrates food by exploring single ingredients,  and on October 19 from 1-3pm, she will teach a creative food writing workshop at The  Umbrella. The workshop is for all levels, and will feature writing prompts and exercises that explore the  joy, shame, desire, grief, and nostalgia of food. This event is made possible in part through a  partnership with Concord Academy. Limited capacity; registration is required. 

Find registration options and further info at https://TheUmbrellaArts.org/NEZ and courtesy media  images here. Questions, contact Madeline Miller, Director of Arts & Environment, at  madeline@theumbrellaarts.org.

Concord Conservatory of Music’s New Community Sing Series

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CONCORD: New this fall—the Concord Conservatory of Music presents the Community Sing Series. Here’s the opportunity for singing enthusiasts of all ages and levels to gather and enjoy making music together. Each one-hour singing session provides an opportunity to learn new repertoire and sing in a family-friendly gathering. There’s no cost to participate, just a love of singing! Led by CCM voice faculty Gray Leiper, this unique multi-generational chorus will sing musical selections that celebrate the seasons, beginning with harvest time. Harvest – Abundant Song will take place on October 16 from 1:30–2:30pm.

Mark your calendar for the second Community Sing session titled, In the Pale Morning Light – A Festival of Hope on December 4 from 1:30–2:30pm. Then, cherish the rare gift of light in the winter months and sing at Concord’s annual Tree Lighting on December 4 immediately following the session.

Sign-up for sessions in advance at ConcordConservatory.org and bring the entire family! Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.
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"Dracula" Still Looms Large at The Umbrella

CONCORD: One hundred and twenty five years after its publication, Bram Stoker’s 'Dracula' still looms large, thrilled to and interpreted by each generation in turn. And now, Kate Hamill – one of the most produced playwrights in America for three years running – sinks her teeth into the seductive tale and its patriarchal take on the modern woman in the current production running September 30 through October 23 at The Umbrella, 40 Stow Street. You’re in for a fun, fearless ride when the Count meets his match – and the #MeToo movement – in this fast-paced, theatrical tour de force. NOTE: This play contains sexual situations, violence, and suicide - may not be appropriate for persons under 16 years old. This production uses strobe lights and fog effects.  For tickets and information, visit theumbrellaarts.org, or call (978) 371-0820.

Alexandra DePalo Named Open Table Executive Director

CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that Alexandra DePalo will take over the role of executive director leading the 33-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger in the local community by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served. DePalo replaces Jeanine Calabria who helped establish Open Table as an area provider of food pantry services and mobile meals programs over her 10-year tenure.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, DePalo will provide vision and dynamic leadership to Open Table as well as supervisory oversight for a staff of 13 and over 500 volunteers. She will oversee the strategic and operational efficiency of the non-profit’s programs and staff and will help define the role of the new 3,000-square-foot annex.

“As executive director at  Open Table, I’ll have the opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable members of the MetroWest community,” said Alexandra DePalo, executive director, Open Table. “I’m looking forward to building on the strengths of this already impressive organization and advancing that work  to end hunger in our communities.”

Alexandra DePalo brings over 20 years of experience in public and community health to Open Table. She has worked in academic, philanthropic, government and community-based organizations to improve access to health and wellness across Massachusetts. Most recently Alex was the Director of Public Health for the City of Framingham where she provided personnel and budget management for the department, worked with a wide variety of community partners, and coordinated many of the City's COVID-19 responses including emergency food programs, free testing sites and vaccine clinics.

Previously she worked for the Hudson Health Department on regional community health programs including food access and healthy eating initiatives. Earlier in her career she managed grant programs to promote healthy eating and reduce health disparities at the MetroWest Health Foundation. DePalo holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.

“Open Table is excited to welcome Alexandra DePalo as its new executive director. Her experience in creating and running public health programs is exactly what Open Table needs,” said Mary Siegel, chairman of the board of Open Table. “She will be a driving force in helping  Open Table move closer and closer to meeting the needs of our clients in the communities where they live.”

Currently Open Table distributes bags of groceries, which include fresh produce, proteins, dairy, baked goods, and shelf-stable produces, to over 300 households each week and provides over 1000 prepared meals to clients that hail from the Metro West suburbs.  Open Table has received incredible support from the communities it serves through donations of food and funds, making it possible to continue to address food insecurity in the MetroWest area.

Concord Conservatory of Music’s Adult Hosts Chamber Music Play-In 

CONCORD: Calling all adult chamber musicians! Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM), in collaboration with the Concord Chamber Music Society, announces the CCM Adult Chamber Music Play-In on October 22 from 9:30am–12pm. Adult instrumentalists are welcome to experience the unique enrichment of making music together! Participants will be placed in groups to play through repertoire and will have an opportunity to engage with members of the Concord Conservatory faculty. All players will gather at the end of the morning for a larger group play-in and are invited to bring a bag lunch to enjoy in the garden following the event. Please RSVP online at www.ConcordConservatory.org by October 10 to provide some background information. Concord Conservatory is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.

Concord Library Invites You to "The Pineapple Project"

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library invites you to enjoy “Pineapple Project” on Saturday, October 15 at 10:30am at the Main Library! “Pineapple Project” is an original play about gender, creativity, and a child's freedom to be who they are. This program is recommended for children ages 3-8; no registration required. “Pineapple Project” was born when actor Mal Malme and her niece were playing, and her niece said “Boys Can’t Be Princesses!” This led Mal and colleagues Becca A. Lewis and Renee Farster-Degenhardt to create a theater piece for children to broaden the gender conversation and validate each child’s identity.

Concord Orchestra Young Artists Competition Holds Auditions

CONCORD: Auditions for the Concord Orchestra Young Artists Competition will be held on November 16 & 17.  The winner will be the featured soloist at the Concord Orchestra's Concerts, on March 25 & 26, 2023, 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 November 1, 2022.  For more information and an application form, call (978) 371-1491 or (978) 369-4967.  Applications (and additional information) can also be downloaded from www.concordorchestra.com.

Concord Conservatory Presents Music & The Cosmos Concert & Lecture

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CONCORD: For centuries, composers have found inspiration in the vastness of the universe. The intersection of music with the cosmos challenges our conventional thinking of what music can be, where it can occur, how it is constructed, and how it can connect us to nature. Explore the intersection of music and space and delight in a chamber music concert performed by the talented Concord Conservatory of Music faculty. On  October 21 at 7:30pm, join CCM for Music & The Cosmos. The evening will feature presentations by guest speakers, Observational Astrophysicist Erin Kara of the MIT Kavli Institute and Brad Wells of the Grammy Award-winning Roomful of Teeth and Williams College Lecturer. We'll learn about the sonification of black holes and the concept of space, and its relationship to sound. The concert will feature chamber music works of Mozart, John Luther Adams, and Urmas Sisask performed by Concord Conservatory faculty, flutist Anthea Kechley, violinist Nicole Parks, cellist Stephen Marotto, and pianist Keun Young Sun.

Guest speaker, MIT Assistant Professor of Physics Erin Kara, is an observational astrophysicist working to understand the physics behind how black holes grow and affect their environments. She has advanced a new technique called X-ray reverberation mapping, which allows astronomers to map the gas falling onto black holes and measure the effects of strongly curved spacetime close to the event horizon. She also works on a variety of transient phenomena, such as tidal disruption events and Galactic black hole outbursts. She is a NASA Participating Scientist for XRISM Observatory, a joint JAXA / NASA X-ray spectroscopy mission, and co-chairs the supermassive black hole working group. Her work in the field of space is extensive, and she also works to develop new and future space missions. 
Guest speaker and musician Brad Wells is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Grammy Award-winning new music vocal group Roomful of Teeth. He has led the ensemble in premieres of works by many of today's leading composers, including Caroline Shaw, Terry Riley, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. This new music "vocal band," praised by WQXR as "the future of vocal music," performs regularly in festivals, on concert stages, and in educational residencies around the world. He has composed and arranged vocal and instrumental works that have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Since 1999 Wells has been Artist in Residence in Vocal Music at Williams College. He has lectured and published articles on the physiology and acoustics of non-classical vocal styles and the role of singing in film.  

General Admission tickets are $25. Kids under 18 are FREE. Purchase tickets in advance from ConcordConservatory.org or at the door. Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM, located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should you Stick with Index-based Investments? 

September 21, 2022
You may have heard that you can simplify your investment strategy just by owning index-based or passive investments. But is this a good idea? You’ll want to consider the different aspects of this type of investment style. 
To begin with, an index-based investment is a vehicle such as a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that mimics the performance of a market benchmark, or index — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and so on. (An ETF is similar to a mutual fund in that it holds a variety of investments but differs in that it is traded like a common stock.) You can also invest in index funds that track the bond market. 
Index investing does offer some benefits. Most notably, it’s a buy-and-hold strategy, which is typically more effective than a market-timing approach, in which individuals try to buy investments when their prices are down and sell them when the prices rise. Attempts to time the market this way are usually futile because nobody can really predict when high and low points will be reached. Plus, the very act of constantly buying and selling investments can generate commissions and fees, which can lower your overall rate of return. Thus, index investing generally involves lower fees and is considered more tax efficient than a more active investing style. Also, when the financial markets are soaring, which happened for several years until this year’s downturn, index-based investments can certainly look pretty good — after all, when the major indexes go up, index funds will do the same.
Conversely, during a correction, when the market drops at least 10% from recent highs, or during a bear market, when prices fall 20% or more, index-based investments will likely follow the same downward path. 
And there are also other issues to consider with index-based investments. For one thing, if you’re investing with the objective of matching an index, you may be overlooking the key factors that should be driving your investment decisions — your goals and your risk tolerance. An index is a completely impersonal benchmark measuring the performance of a specific set of investments — but it can’t be a measuring stick of your own progress.
Furthermore, a single index, by definition, can’t be as diversified as the type of portfolio you might need to achieve your objectives. For example, the S&P 500 may track a lot of companies, but they’re predominantly large ones. And to achieve your objectives, you may need a portfolio consisting of large- and small-company stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification can give you more opportunities for success and can reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee profits or prevent all losses.)

Ultimately, diversifying across different types of investments that align with your risk tolerance and goals — regardless of whether they track an index — is the most important consideration for your investment portfolio. Use this idea as your guiding principle as you journey through the investment world. 
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor: Marshall-Ben Tisdale,Westford, MA  - www.EdwardJones.com/Marshall-Ben-Tisdale, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

Goats and Giggles at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: Bouncing baby goats are coming to the Concord Free Public Library
Children's Garden on October 6 from 10:30-11:30am! Children ages 0-5 and their caregivers are invited for a hands-on playtime with baby goats from Chip-In Farm. There will be plenty of time for goat cuddles and photo ops. The folks from Chip-In will set up a large pen to mix and mingle with their friendly Nigerian dwarf fainting goat kids. While you wait for your turn to pet the goats, enjoy some goat stories with the librarians! 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.

An Invitation to Share High Holy Days 5783

CONCORD: Kerem Shalom—Vineyard of Peace— warmly invites the community to join in for the High Holy Days 5783! This year’s services and programs will take place both in-person and online and include: 
  • Erev Shabbat Service - September 23, 7:30pm. Spiritually Preparing for the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe)
, in-person only. 

Throughout this month of Elul, it is our task to be engaged in a process of deep, introspection and reflection on who we have been over the past year, and who we want to become during the upcoming year. Jewish tradition refers to this process as “Teshuvah.”
 This Shabbat Service is the last Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah and the New Year. Take the opportunity to engage in some of the melodies and prayers of the High Holy Days as well as engage in conversation about how we can make real practical sense out of some of the complex themes of the High Holy Days. Also have the opportunity to hear the shofar sounded in preparation for Rosh HaShanah and to sing the words of the Psalm for this season, Psalm 27, Achat Sha’alti. 

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah - September 25, 7pm – Community Service, in-person and online, with live captioning;
  • Rosh Hashanah - September 26, 8:30am – Early Childhood Family Service, in-person, with ASL, and online; 10am – Community Service, in-person and online, with live captioning. All children are welcome during the community service. Childcare primarily geared to young children (ages three to eight) is also offered. Students in grades 3-6 are invited to come to the first part of the service and then to join in age-appropriate holiday activities with Rabbi Sam during the Torah Service. Students will return for a special blessing during the Shofar Service.; 12:30 pm – Extended outdoor Kiddush following the Rosh Hashanah service; 4:30 pm – Tashlich at the Old North Bridge – At the Monument Street entrance (NOT Liberty Street). Please note this service will not be available via Zoom.
  • Rosh Hashanah Day 2 - September 27, 10am – Community Service led by David Orlinoff, in-person and online, with Zoom captioning;
  • Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) - October 4, 7pm – Community Service, in-person and online, with live captioning. Please note Rabbi Darby will deliver his main Yom Kippur sermon at this service.;
  • Yom Kippur - October 5, 8:30 am – Early Childhood Family Service, in-person, with ASL, and online; 10am – Community Service,  in-person and online, with live captioning. All children are welcome during the community service. Childcare primarily geared to young children (ages three to eight) also offered. Students in grades 3-6 are invited to come to the first part of the service and then to join in age-appropriate holiday activities with Rabbi Sam during the Torah Service and, optionally, continuing through Yizkor.; 12pm – Yizkor (Memorial Service), in-person and online, with live captioning. See below for information on the Yizkor slide show and how to submit photos.; 1:30pm – Torah Study, with Rabbi Sam, in-person only; 2:30pm – Mindfulness Meditation, with Cheryl Steinberg and Scott Sancetta, in-person only; 3:30pm – Musical Musaf Service, with Tiferet Ensemble, in-person only. 4:30 pm – Mincha (Afternoon Service),  in-person and online, with live captioning; 5:30pm – Neilah (Closing Service),  in-person and online, with live captioning; 6:30pm – Havdalah, in-person and online, with live captioning.

Visit keremshalom.org for the full schedule as well as registration and further details. For further information, contact the Kerem Shalom Office at ksadmin@keremshalom.org or (978) 369-1223.

Guided House Tours at Job Lane

BEDFORD: Job Lane Farm Museum, 295 North Road, will be open for tours on
September 25. Guided tours are held on the 2nd & 4th Sunday, May through October from 2-4pm.  One of the oldest homes in Bedford, Job Lane is owned by the Town of Bedford.  The house has Rufus Porter murals, a beautiful garden maintained by the Bedford Garden Club ladies and Children’s Colonial Games.  Memory Lane Gift Shop in the Job Lane Barn has many children’s books, Bedford Flag items, and much more.  Admission donation is $4/per person or $10 per family.
Mark your calendar for their next big event - a Quilt Exhibit on October 9.  They will display older quilts, as well as more modern ones, and other objects having to do with quilting. Info: https://joblanefarmmuseum.org.
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Voice Instruction this Fall at Concord Conservatory of Music

Calling All Singers & Want-to-be Singers of Every Age
CONCORD: Gain confidence, learn proper techniques, and get that feel-good feeling while singing. Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) can help you and your kids achieve all that. CCM offers one-on-one private voice instruction as well as group offerings this fall.
You and your kids can improve the tone and control of your voices Take the time and effort while having fun to discover a wider range of music and vocal best practices. Our accomplished and talented voice instructors, Holly Jennings, Jay Lane, and Gray Leiper, have all received formal music training along with a wealth of performance experience. They know and understand what it means to perform on a stage in front of a live audience. Voice instruction provides continuous feedback. You’ll learn proper breathing and posture for singing while you increase your repertoire and explore new genres.

Gain additional benefits from singing in a group. Start your young singers out right by registering them for Beginner Vocals (ages 6–8). They’ll focus on developing their voice in the context of singing age appropriate songs from the musical theatre repertory. Kids will learn the basic elements of breathing, pitch, voice placement, range development, and tone while working towards a performance of songs from a well-known musical.

Singing in a group builds students’ self-esteem as they work towards a common goal, and form strong friendships as part of a community. The Concord Conservatory Girls Chorus for ages 9-14 receive training in vocal technique and musicianship and explore a wide variety of musical genres including folk, jazz, pop, Broadway, and world music.

If you or your child prefer a smaller group, consider joining a rock or jazz ensemble. Ensembles offer students a wonderful way to learn and collaborate with peers and experience the joy of making music together. Students of similar abilities are grouped together to form trios, quartets, and/or quintets. Musicians will be coached weekly throughout the semester.
Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org for more information. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.

Library Friends Host Sean Wilentz at Annual Lecture

CONCORD: The Friends of the Concord Library are pleased to announce that Princeton University Professor Sean Wilentz has been selected as the 2022 Ruth Ratner Miller Award winner. The Miller Award lecture will be held on October 15 at 7pm in the new Goodwin Forum of the library on Main Street. The ticketed event is part of the Concord Authors Festival.

The Ruth Ratner Miller Memorial Award for Excellence in American History was established in 1998 by Richard Miller, and is sponsored by her four children, to honor the life of their mother, Ruth Ratner Miller. It has been presented by the Friends of the Concord Public Library since 2001.

Prof. Wilentz is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American HIstory at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1979. According to a Princeton University website, Wilentz is currently at work on The Triumph of American Antislavery, a companion volume to The Rise of American Democracy, which will offer a comprehensive political history of the antislavery movement from its seventeenth-century origins to the eradication of slavery in 1865.

Wilentz’ research includes works on American social and political history. He has written award-winning books including The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, which won a Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, among other titles.

His books include The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008, a reconsideration of U.S. politics since the Watergate affair; Bob Dylan in America, a consideration of Dylan's place in American cultural history; and The Politicians & The Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics, a thematic collection of essays covering American political history from the Revolution through the 1960s, among other titles. He has also won two Grammy nominations from his writings on American music, including a book on Bob Dylan.

After the lecture, the Friends will hold a reception and book signing in the newly expanded library building. Tickets are $15 for adults; $5 for students, available at both libraries, Barrow Books and the Concord Bookshop. An online presentation will be available free, with donations to the Friends kindly accepted. Visit www.concordlibrary.org for more information.

Local Residents Named to Simmons University Dean's List

ACTON/CONCORD: The following local students were named to the 2022 spring semester dean's list at Simmons University in Boston.

* Laura Gaynor, Acton
* Emma Bethel, Acton
* Celia Morse, Acton
* Olivia Palmer, Concord
* Amanda Tong, Concord
* Emma Wilcoxson, Concord

To qualify for dean's list status, undergraduate students must obtain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credit hours of work in classes using the letter grade system.

Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons is a respected private university offering more than 50 majors and programs for undergraduate women and graduate programs open to all on campus, in blended formats, or entirely online in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, business, communications, social work, public health, and library and information science. Follow Simmons on Twitter at @SimmonsUniv, and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/school/simmons-university/.
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Girls Inc. Alum to Lead Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell

Alum, Parent & Board Member Bopha Malone Steps Up to Lead 105-year-old Organization

LOWELL/BEDFORD: Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell (GIGL) is pleased to announce Bopha Malone has accepted the position of Interim Executive Director and has committed to that role for a full year while the Board of Directors conducts a thorough, nationwide search for a permanent leader.  Bopha resigned from her prominent VP position at Enterprise Bank to step up and guide Girls Inc. through a period of building upon strengths while developing new programming, hiring and training staff, and meeting the challenges of post-Covid learning loss head on.
“The GIGL Board is grateful to Bopha for stepping into this critical role and leading during a time of real transformation,” said Jennifer Aradhya, president of GIGL Board. “Her deep connection to Girls Inc. and the Greater Lowell community is unsurpassed and we look forward to working together.”
“Girls Inc. is an extraordinary organization that has nurtured, guided, and empowered girls for more than 100 years, preparing them for their futures and helping them to become the best versions of themselves,” said Jack Clancy, Enterprise Bank CEO. “Bopha has consistently embodied Enterprise Bank’s core value of ‘community’ during her time with us and I am delighted to see her bring her talents to this new role at Girls Inc., an organization she is truly passionate about with a mission she so deeply believes in. She will provide tremendous leadership, passion, and purpose to Girls Inc. and she will make a very positive and meaningful impact and difference.”

Bopha immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight, and credits caring mentors for helping her get to where she is today. She joined Girls Inc. of Lynn at the age of 15 and worked as a Peer Leader, educating youth about racism, homophobia, and the dangers of tobacco use and gun violence, among other issues.  As a first-generation Cambodian American who benefited from the support and encouragement of others, her passion is to seek opportunities through her roles at the bank and in the community to give back and help others in the ways that she has been helped.
“Girls Inc. played a tremendous role in my life growing up and was instrumental in helping me become the woman I am today, “said Malone. “I am grateful to Enterprise Bank for supporting my involvement with nonprofits over the 16 years I’ve been with them and am honored by the opportunity to inspire the next generation of girls to be strong, smart, and bold as interim executive director for Girls Inc.”

"Girls Inc. provides a sisterhood of support and transformational programs to help girls tap into their inherent power and become the leaders they are intended to be," said Patricia Driscoll, Chief Operating Officer Girls Inc. National. "I have witnessed Bopha's evolution from a girl balancing traditional cultural norms with her new life to an impassioned professional supporting her community, running for Congress, and now leading Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell. She embodies 'strong, smart, and bold,' and her combined lived and Girls Inc. experiences will be a tremendous asset in the development of the new generation of girl leaders. I am honored to be working alongside her."

In addition to helping thousands of people create financial success for themselves, their families, and their businesses, Malone is actively involved with several nonprofit organizations.  She is a trustee of Middlesex Community College, Tufts Medicine (Lowell General Hospital), International Institute of New England, Women Working Wonders and is a member of the Bedford Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce. She lives in Bedford with her husband and two children and serves as a member of the Bedford Select Board.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Look Closely at Open Enrollment Choices

September 6, 2022

Once again, it’s the season for football games and back-to-school activities. And if you work for a medium-size or large employer, it will soon be open enrollment season – the time of year when you can review your employee benefits and make changes as needed. What areas should you focus on?

Actually, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to all your benefits. Some of the offerings may have changed from last year — and you might have experienced changes in your own life, too, which might lead you to look for something different from your existing benefits package.

You may want to start with your health insurance. If you’re satisfied with your coverage, and it’s essentially the same as it’s been, you may well want to stick with what you have. However, many employers are increasingly offering high-deductible health plans, which, as the name suggests, could entail more out-of-pocket costs for you. But high-deductible plans may also offer something of benefit: the ability to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). Your HSA contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, so they can reduce your taxable income for the year. Also, your earnings grow tax-free, and your withdrawals are tax-free, provided the money is used for qualified medical expenses. (Withdrawals taken before age 65 that aren’t used for qualified medical expenses are taxable and subject to a 20% penalty; once you reach 65, the penalty no longer applies, although withdrawals are still taxable as income if not used for a qualified expense.)

Your next benefit to consider: Life insurance. Your employer may offer a group life insurance plan, but you’ll want to evaluate whether it’s sufficient for your needs, especially if you’ve experienced changes in your personal situation over the past year, such as getting married or adding a new child. There’s no magic formula for how much life insurance you need — you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, such as your income, family size, mortgage and so on — but it may be necessary to supplement your employer’s coverage with a private policy.

Your employer may also offer disability insurance as a benefit. Some employers’ disability policies are fairly limited, covering only short periods of time, so you may want to consider a private policy. 

Beyond the various insurance policies your employer may offer, you’ll also want to closely look at your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. Typically, you can make changes to your 401(k) throughout the year, but it’s important to make sure your investment selections and contribution amounts are still aligned with your risk tolerance and goals. Also, are you contributing enough to earn your employer’s match, if one is offered? And if you’ve already receiving the match, can you still afford to put in more to your plan if such a move makes sense for you? 

Your employee benefits package can be a valuable part of your overall financial strategy. So, as open enrollment season proceeds, take a close look at what you already have, what’s being offered, and what changes you need to make. It will be time well spent.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor 
Financial Advisor, Alan Bell, Littleton, MA
Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

Pizza, Pizza:  Support the Bedford Council on Aging

BEDFORD: On October 6 from 5-9pm, Flatbread has generously offered to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all pizzas to the Bedford Council on Aging!  You can either dine in or take out.  The money will go to support the CoA's many programs that support Bedford seniors.

The Friends of the Council on Aging will be there hosting a very exciting raffle.  ALL the proceeds of the evening go to supporting a variety of programs.  Just to mention a few:

1. Day trips and informational programs
2. Memory café that supports those with dementia
3. Seasonal and holiday parties
4. Fix-it shop operation
5. Exercise programs
6. Saturday Netflix movie with popcorn and drinks

Join the Friends of Bedford Council On Aging (FBCOA) at Flatbread Pizza on Burlington Road.  Enjoy a fun night out, mingle with members of the FBCOA , and who knows, maybe even win the raffle!  You can dine in or take out, so why cook dinner when you could to enjoy a scrumptious pizza while supporting the Bedford Council On Aging?!

Spinning is Not a Lost Art at Job Lane Farm Museum

BEDFORD: Spinning is not a lost art. In 1768, Boston merchants decided not to import any products from Britain, including textiles. Ladies here had to learn to spin, which gave way to spinning bees. Some spinning bees are still held. On September 11 from 2-4pm, Zoe Lawson, a very knowledgeable spinner as well as Elizabeth Skipper will be spinning during Job Lane house tours for all to see. Info: https://joblanefarmmuseum.org.

Bedford Cultural Council Grant Applications Open; Deadline October 17

BEDFORD: The Bedford Cultural Council grant cycle for FY23 opened September 1, and the BCC seeks applications from interested individuals and organizations for funding. Eligible projects include a wide range of artistic projects and activities in and around Bedford — including festivals and performances; lectures and workshops; arts education and enrichment programs for children and adults; nature, science, and environmental education projects; and projects celebrating local history and cultural diversity. First-time applicants are given priority in grant decisions.

People of all ages, backgrounds, and affiliations are encouraged to apply for projects that will enhance Bedford as a community. Funding for the grants comes from Mass Cultural Council  with the Select Board also allocating funding. This year, Select Board liaison Emily Mitchell emphasized the Select Board’s continuing commitment, noting that "Bedford has a long history of community arts and culture, and the Bedford Cultural Council is an integral partner is bringing innovative and inclusive programs to the Town through its annual grant program. The Select Board strongly encourages individuals and community groups to apply for FY23 grants to continue Bedford's rich tradition of cultural and educational opportunities.”

"As a former BCC Chair, I'm always proud to see the amazing work that the Cultural Council supports. The dedication of the BCC volunteers exemplifies the best of Bedford. I encourage everyone involved in the arts and humanities to apply and take advantage of this incredible resource," said Bedford's State Representative Ken Gordon.

“The Council works hard to encourage people in the community to apply for grants, then is put to the task of applying limited resources to fund worthwhile projects,” said Bedford’s State Senator Mike Barrett. “These grants ensure that Bedford's wealth of cultural groups will continue to thrive.”

The application is completely electronic, straightforward, and relatively easy to complete. Bedford funding priorities, local guidelines, and information are available online at www.bedfordma.gov/cultural-council and www.mass-culture.org/Bedford. The online application is available at  https://massculturalcouncil.smartsimple.com/s_Login.jsp.

If you want to learn more about the online application and process, the Massachusetts Cultural Council is hosting an information session on September 13, 2022. You can register for this webinar at https://massculturalcouncil.org/event/how_to_apply_localculturalcouncilgrant/. More detailed information on the grant process can be found at https://massculturalcouncil.org/communities/local-cultural-council-program/application-process/

If you have any questions, please email the Bedford Cultural Council at BedfordMACulturalCouncil@gmail.com or contact Barbara Purchia at bsrpurchia@aol.com or 781-275-2464.
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Beford Library Hosts Fall Book Sale

BEDFORD: The Friends of the Bedford Library are delighted to hold their Fall book sale this year inside the library on the following dates:
  • September 15 from 6:30-8:30pm (Special Members Preview)
  • September 16 from 1-5pm
  • September 17 from 10am-4pm
  • September 18 from 1-4pm ($10 Bag Sale)

There are thousands of fiction and non-fiction books, DVDs, CDs and more for adults, teens and children. Don’t miss out on wonderful books, puzzles, games, and other merchandise at great prices. And remember, 100% of all proceeds go directly to support Bedford Public Library
programs and acquisitions.

All visitors to the sale, please wear masks to keep Volunteers safe!
Concord open bluegrass jam at ccm

Sample the Concord Open Bluegrass Jam
Free Jam Session September 10

CONCORD: Discover the joys of making music with others in a special bluegrass jam session during the Concord Conservatory of Music’s Discovery Day Open House on September 10, from 3-4pm. Join the area’s roots music community for a jam session in the beautiful Sanctuary of the West Concord Union Church. CCM faculty member and mandolinist Maxfield Anderson will lead the group through vocal songs and instrumental tunes from a variety of musical traditions, including bluegrass, old time, classic country and western, blues, swing, and beyond. This session is open to acoustic musicians, including voice, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, dobro, bass, cello, harmonica, etc. — at all levels — and community members who wish to listen and enjoy the sanctuary.

The Concord Open Bluegrass Jam runs weekly on Thursdays from 7:30-9pm. For more information, visit concordconservatory.org/news-events/jams.
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Discovery Day Open House at CCM
Instrument Exploration for Kids & Adults

CONCORD: Start your Fall off with a free, fun and interactive afternoon event for kids and adults! Try out instruments you’ve never even held before at the Concord Conservatory of Music’s Discovery Day Open House on September 10 from 1–3 pm.

Experience hands-on Instrument Exploration, which allows you to play various instruments in a safe environment. You'll be guided to determine which instrument and group class is right for you and your kids. Develop your talent and skills with exceptional and innovative instructors, who are trained in the best practices for today’s techniques and technologies. Not limited to beginners, students already playing an instrument will also have the opportunity to meet instructors to find the right match. For ages newborn through age 11, choose demo classes appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Sign-up in advance online at www.ConcordConservatory.org.

Introduce your kids to the world of music through singing, dancing, and games! CCM Early Childhood and Music & Movement group classes help kids develop social, cognitive, and emotional skills while having fun with music. Young musicians explore all the qualities of music through movement—learning about pitch, phrasing, accent, and all of the richness of music. Experience free 30-minute Music & Movement and Group Keyboard classes, too!Group Keyboard allows students to learn to read music and play the piano through songs, games, movement, and educational activities. The small classes of students move together as a group, covering note reading, rhythm skills, and ear training by singing with solfège.

You can also enter a raffle at Discovery Day to win a free CCM Group Class for the 2022 Fall semester! Additionally, anyone registering for a group class at the Open House will receive a 10% discount. Discount valid only at the Open House.

For new students seeking private lessons, visit www.ConcordConservatory.org and submit a Student Interest Form or call (978) 369-0010. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.
Ukulele group class at concord conservatory of music

Free Trial Group Classes at CCM

CONCORD: Did you know that you can sample a Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) Group Class to see if it’s a fit for you? Have fun connecting with other musicians and learning in a social and supportive shared experience. The CCM Free Trial Group Class week runs from September 12-17.

CCM group classes provide excellence in music education, balancing rigor with the joy and fun of creating music for any age. Group classes are available for the true beginner and the more advanced student. Small classes give each student individual attention, yet learning in a social experience. Register as soon as possible due to maximum enrollments per group class. Sign-up for your free trial group classes at www.ConcordConservatory.org

Kids gain a strong foundation of playing technique, music theory, and musicality, which inspires a lifetime of continued music appreciation and enjoyment. Now even babies and toddlers can attend Concord Conservatory of Music! For adults, CCM offers many ways to help you develop and continue your lifelong love of music. Try out one of our banjo, ukulele, or guitar classes. Maybe you want to learn how to jam in a bluegrass group!  For information on the complete list of CCM offerings, visit  www.ConcordConservatory.org, email  info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010.

River Clean-up Volunteers Needed!

ACTON: OARS needs volunteers to help spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord river watershed to clean up rivers, streams, ponds and trails! This year marks the 36th Annual River Clean-up which will be hybrid and take place September 16 thru 18. Every year OARS relies on the support of volunteers and local businesses to keep our rivers clean. Local business owners are also encouraged to reach out and find out how company teams can get involved in this year’s clean-up. Visit www.oars3rivers.org to find out how to join in!

OARS is a nonprofit, science-based organization whose mission is to protect, improve and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord River watersheds for all people and wildlife. The watershed includes: Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Berlin, Boxboro, Billerica, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Maynard, Marlboro, Northborough, Lowell, Saxonville, Stow, Southborough, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Wayland and Westborough.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Prepare Yourself for a Long Retirement

August 29, 2022

We all want to live long lives. We all expect to live long lives. But are we financially prepared for this longevity?  Before we get to the issue of preparation, let’s look at a couple of interesting findings from a 2022 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones:
  • The surveyed retirees said, on average, they expect to live to 89, and they said the ideal length of retirement is 29 years.
  • When asked if they want to live to 100, nearly 70% of the respondents said “yes.” The main reason for this desire for long life? To spend more years with their family and friends.

Of course, none of us can see into the future and know how long we’ll be around. But with advances in medical care and a greater awareness of healthy lifestyles, these aspirations have a real basis in reality.

However, if you’re going to enjoy a longer lifespan, and the extra years with your loved ones, you need to ensure your finances are also in good shape. How can you make this happen?  Here are some basic steps to follow:
  • Save and invest early and often. This may be the oldest piece of financial advice, but it’s still valid. The earlier you start saving and investing for your retirement, the greater your potential accumulation. Consider this: If you began saving just $5,000 per year at age 25, and earned a hypothetical 6.5% annual rate of return, and didn’t take any early withdrawals, you’d end up with $935,000 by the time you reached 65. But if you waited until 35 to start saving and investing, and you earned the same hypothetical 6.5% return – again with no early withdrawals – you’d only end up with $460,000. And if you didn’t start saving until 45, you’d end up with just over $200,000, again given the same 6.5% return. 
  • Be mindful of debt. You may not  want to be burdened with certain debts when you enter retirement. So, while you’re still working, try to reduce unwanted debts, particularly those that don’t offer the financial benefits of tax-deductible interest payments. The lower your debt load, the more you can save and invest for the future.
  • Keep reviewing your progress. It’s important to monitor the progress you need to make toward achieving your goal of a comfortable retirement. Over the short term, your investment balances may fluctuate, especially in volatile financial markets such as we’ve seen in the early part of this year. But you’ll get a clearer picture of your situation if you look at long-term results. For example, have your accounts grown over the past 10 years as much as you had planned? And going forward, do you think you’re in good shape, or will you need to make some changes to your investment strategy? Keep in mind that, if you’re 50 or older, you can make “catch-up” contributions to your IRA and 401(k) that allow you to exceed the regular limits. You may also want to adjust your investment mix as you near retirement to potentially lower your risk exposure.

Hopefully, you will enjoy many years of a healthy, happy retirement. And you can help support this vision by carefully considering your financial moves and making the ones that are right for you. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Financial Advisor, Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA
Edwardjones.com/Mandy-Calouro, Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Concord Park Transforms into Tropical Island for Hawaiian Luau

CONCORD: Residents at Concord Park Senior Living were in a tropical state of mind for the most recent stop on their Grab Your Passport Road Trip Around America! Staff organized a day of Hawaiian music, snacks and decorations to transport residents to the islands. 

Grab Your Passport! is an innovation from Senior Living Residences, management company for Concord Park. It is an educational program that gives residents the opportunity to connect to the world around them, interact with new cultures, and explore new places. Each month, the entire community virtually travels to a new destination through decorations, music, cuisine and educational programming. Highlights of the day include hands-on activities and sharing artifacts, family recipes, photos, and stories of past travels. 

Concord Park hosted a Hawaiian luau to celebrate the beautiful state. Residents and staff looked snazzy in their shades, which were decorated with flamingos, palm trees and seashells to add to the oceanside atmosphere. They also posed with lei necklaces and a tropical backdrop. Residents cooled down with piña colada popsicles while Concord Park’s Director of Dining Experience, Misty Heldermon, demonstrated how to crack open a coconut. The addition of live singing and guitar made this an experience to remember. 

Located in the heart of historic West Concord Village, Concord Park is a Volunteers of America Massachusetts community offering independent and assisted living options as well as a state-of-the-art Compass Memory Support Neighborhood® featuring innovative, research-based programming for those with memory loss. The community recently unveiled new and renovated spaces for residents to enjoy including a new theater, fitness center and cafe, and an expanded and updated dining room, salon, and living room. Those interested in learning more can visit www.ConcordPark.org or can contact Maryellen King at mking@slr-usa.com or (978) 369-4728.

Concord Conservatory's Singing With Parkinson's Chorus Challenges Progression

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CONCORD: Concord Conservatory of Music’s Singing with Parkinson’s Chorus brings together Parkinson’s patients, their families, and caregivers to provide enjoyment, strength and comradery. This is an ongoing program, and participants are welcome to come at any time during the semester to try  out the chorus. Meetings are on Tuesdays, 10:30am-Noon and will resume on September 6.

A chorus-based opportunity to participate in voice therapy through song, Singing with Parkinson’s focuses on vocal fitness while offering people coping with the disease a chance to sing together, perform in the community and build new friendships.  Breathing, stretching, posture, and vocal exercises are taught in a supportive, congenial environment. The chorus sings songs from a variety of genres, with input from the group helps guide the repertoire. The cost for participants is $50 for the fall semester, which is 10 sessions, and there’s no cost for caregivers and family members to attend.

Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available. Visit www.concordconservatory.org for information.

Concord Museum Names New Executive Director

Lisa Krassner Returns to MA & Brings 20+ Years of Museum Leadership Experience 

CONCORD: The Concord Museum Board of Governors is pleased to announce it has named Lisa Krassner as the Museum’s new Edward W. Kane Executive Director. Krassner will begin her new position on September 1, 2022, which follows Thomas Putnam’s recent retirement after four years of leadership. 
Krassner is an experienced and innovative museum leader who has expanded audience engagement at museums in Boston and New York City for more than 20 years. The Museum’s Board of Governors unanimously approved Krassner’s candidacy after a national search. 
“I believe Lisa’s enthusiasm and impressive museum experience will be a wonderful asset to the Concord Museum. I am looking forward to working with Lisa as she takes this vibrant organization to the next level,” said Holly Salemy, President of the Board of Governors at Concord Museum.
In Krassner’s new role, she will be responsible for providing strategic leadership, management, and direction for the Concord Museum. In reporting to the Board of Governors, she will lead the organization to harness key strategic opportunities to drive future growth and will have a significant impact on its mission. 
“It is an honor to join the Concord Museum as its next Executive Director at such an important moment in the Museum’s history,” said Krassner. “The 2021 re-envisioning of the galleries sheds new light on the history of Concord and how its community influenced American political, literary, and cultural life in unparalleled ways. I look forward to welcoming more visitors to our dynamic programs, ever-changing exhibits, and treasured collections of American material culture and decorative arts.” 
Krassner most recently served as the Chief of Visitor Services, Security, and Floor Operations for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City, one of the largest, and highest attended, natural history museums in the world. Prior to joining AMNH, Krassner was the Chief of Member and Visitor Services at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) where she directed service excellence for more than seven million visitors annually and grew the membership base to be the largest art museum membership program in the world. Krassner was also the Senior Director of the Visitor Experience at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston from 1999-2012 where she led the Visitor Services, Security, and Membership teams and grew audience engagement strategies to bolster the MFA’s mission. 
Krassner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and Graduate Certificate Degree in Museum Studies from Tufts University. She received a Master of Business Administration with Honors from Simmons University. 

The Concord Museum educates visitors of all ages about the history of Concord and its continuing influence on American political, literary, and cultural life. The Museum’s nationally significant collection serves as a catalyst for changing exhibitions, extended classroom learning, dynamic programs, and publications relevant to an ever-changing world. Founded in 1886, the Museum is a center of cultural enjoyment for the region and a gateway to the town of Concord, Massachusetts for visitors from around the world. In 2021, the Museum completed a New Museum Experience initiative that funded the complete redesign and fabrication of all new dynamic and multi-media installations of the permanent galleries. www.concordmuseum.org

Open Table Partners with Nonprofits to Bring Prepared Meals to Minority and Immigrant Communities 

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that it is working with four separate programs to get 1000 prepared meals per week to elders and 300 fresh lunches per week to children in need through a variety of programs this summer. The participating programs include: The Food Project, IINE in Lowell, Mill City Grows, and the Kids Summer Lunch and Snack Program.

These four partnerships are in keeping with Open Table’s goal to significantly grow the number of individuals it serves through its mobile programs. Working with partners helps Open Table identify and serve unmet need, especially within minority and immigrant communities. For many people, lack of transportation, lack of information, shame, and stigma, along with limited access to food pantry locations and hours are obstacles. Innovative partner-based programming, focused on increasing information, access and choice allows Open Table to begin meeting critical food needs for “the invisible two-thirds” of food insecure households not currently accessing food pantry services.

Participants in the Open Table mobile food partnerships receive either pre-cooked and frozen meals made fresh in Open Table’s professional kitchen or kid’s packs, which contain meals and snacks for enjoying at summer camp or at home.
  • Food Project – Every Thursday, the Food Project picks up 75 frozen meals prepared at Open Table and labeled in Spanish. The Food Project then distributes the meals to seniors at La Alianza Hispana, a community-based organization providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health and education programs to the Latino Community of Greater Boston.
  • IINE, Lowell -  Building on its success in providing prepared meals for Afghani refugees, Open Tables is now providing IINE with up to 70 monthly meals for all the refugees and immigrants who come through its doors. 
  • Mill City Grows – Beginning the week of August 13, Open Table will deliver 85 all-vegetarian meals  to Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG), which includes them in their CSA farm shares to people in need. Meals are labeled in Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.
  • Kids Summer Lunch and Snack Program – Open Table is preparing 300 lunches a week for area children to eat at home or to take to summer camp programs. The kids’ packs must be reserved in advance and are distributed through the Acton Food Pantry and at the Open Table pantry in Maynard.

“The funds provided by a Massachusetts Food Infrastructure grant have allowed Open Table to upgrade both our kitchen equipment and transportation capabilities so that we can make and deliver more prepared meals to those in need,” said Jeanine Calabria, executive director, Open Table.  “Partnerships with groups like the Food Project, IINE, and Mill City Grows are a friction-less way to extend our reach further into communities where food insecurity is real and where Open Table can make a big impact.”

Open Table is a 501(c)(3) established in 1989. Their mission is to address hunger in their local community by providing healthy food in a welcoming environment while respecting the dignity and diversity of those served. For more information, visit www.opentable.org.

Concord Women’s Chorus to Host New Singer Auditions

CONCORD: Concord Women’s Chorus (CWC), fostering the power of women’s voices in song, invites new singers to join its ensemble at “New Singer Auditions” on September 6, 8:45am, and October 25, 8:45am, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street.  Artistic Director and Conductor Jane Ring Frank welcomes newcomers to audition, join rehearsal and learn more about the fall season.  Rehearsals continue Tuesday mornings, 9:30am to 12pm, also at Trinity Episcopal Church throughout the 2022-23 season.

CWC welcomes singers with prior choral experience including good sight-reading skills, solid intonation and vocal quality, responsiveness to direction and the ability to blend within an ensemble. For auditions, prospective members may be asked to sight-read a short passage and/or sing a familiar tune, arriving with a prepared solo is not necessary.  An information form is available to be printed in advance and brought to the audition at concordwomenschorus.org/wp/sing-with-us.  Chorus members are expected to attend rehearsals and to participate in performing scheduled concerts. Since CWC values opportunities to collaborate and perform with other musical and cultural groups, additional commitments may become available during the season.

The ensemble continues weekly rehearsals in preparation for upcoming concerts, including “Grown Wild: A Special Commission Concert,” performing Sunday, October 23, 4 pm.  The performance features a commissioned work by composer Melissa Dunphy based on the poem by CWC member singer and poet Melissa Apperson, and soloist Beth Welty, violin.  Scored for women's voices, violin and piano, the new work is written specifically for CWC's distinctive sound. The program also features works of women composers from the nineteenth century to today.

The season continues with “Songs of Peace and Promise,” performing Saturday, December 17, 4 pm, offering a celebration of the wintry season of light in song, through familiar holiday tunes, poignant Chanukah pieces and a mash-up of mass movements.  For the spring, the ensemble rehearses for the concert “Come Day, Come Night,” performing on Saturday, May 13, 2023, 4 pm, featuring a program of love songs to boat songs, exploring the joys of a life well-lived.

CWC is committed to the safety of all and requires that all singers present proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, leadership will request a copy of vaccination cards upon arrival.  All participants are required to wear masks during rehearsals.

For more information, performance details or to join Concord Women’s Chorus, email Chorus Manager Patsy Eickelberg at  manager@concordwomenschorus.org, visit concordwomenschorus.org, or follow Concord Women’s Chorus on Facebook and Instagram.
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Concord’s Assabet River Bluff is Permanently Conserved

CONCORD: The Assabet River Bluff, a seven-acre parcel off Upland Road and Old Marlboro Road in West Concord, has been purchased by the Town of Concord and the Concord Housing Development Corporation. One acre will be set aside for up to five units of affordable housing, while the remaining six acres along the Assabet River are being permanently conserved as open space for public use. The successful project is the result of a year-long collaboration of municipal boards, conservation groups, a nonprofit housing entity, and local residents.

When the seven-acre parcel came on the market in June 2021, neighbors contacted Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) and the Concord Land Conservation Trust (CLCT) to see if anything could be done to save the property from development. A working group was established between the two land trusts, the Town’s Planning and Natural Resources Divisions (NRD), and the Concord Housing Development Corporation. The landowner, Digi, LLC, agreed to take the property off the market for a year to allow the conservation and housing groups to develop a plan.

With approval from town voters at Annual Town Meeting in May 2022, the Town contributed $1 million of Community Preservation Act funds toward the $2.8 million purchase price of the property, with $700,000 allocated for the open space and $300,000 for the affordable housing land. Concord’s recently established Affordable Housing Trust contributed $650,000, and the Concord Housing Foundation provided $50,000 which includes transaction costs.
Generous donors from Concord and beyond contributed more than $700,000 toward the purchase through a campaign led jointly by CLCT and SVT, and in May 2022, the Town learned it had been awarded a $500,000 federal Land & Water Conservation Fund grant in support of the effort.

Thanks to the outpouring of support, CLCT and NRD will be able to provide additional funds to the NRD for improvements to the site, including the construction of an all-persons trail, and set aside a permanent stewardship fund for the property.  The CHDC will embark on a public process to design the proposed housing over the next year, and looks forward to continued support from the community.

“The Assabet River Bluff project is an example of what strong partnerships between Concord’s housing interests, land preservation interests, and the town leadership can do.” said Lee Smith, CHDC’s President.  “The CHDC looks forward to creating affordable homes on this property so close to public transportation and West Concord Village center.” 

“We are thrilled to have helped protect this important community asset,” said Christa Collins, SVT’s Director of Land Protection. “Though small, the Assabet River Bluff’s location on the Wild & Scenic river, adjacency to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, and proximity to the West Concord MBTA station makes it a regional conservation priority.”

“This lovely riverfront woodland has been among the Land Trust’s highest priorities for preservation for years,” said Polly Reeve, chair of CLCT. “We are proud to have been part of this collaboration and the creative solution including both land conservation and affordable housing that resulted.”

Delia Kaye, Concord Natural Resources Director, added, “It has been an honor and a privilege to partner with dedicated professionals from housing and land protection groups towards two important community goals, and inspiring to see such strong support from the community for this project.”

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition's Annual State-wide Against the Tide Multisport Virtual & In-person Events

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting its annual, statewide Against the Tide athletic fundraising events as both virtual and in-person events this summer.  
MBCC will hold its in-person Cape Cod Against the Tide event on August 13 at DCR’s Nickerson State Park in Brewster for the 23rd year. This event will feature a 1-mile recreational and competitive swim, a ½-mile recreational swim, 5K and 10K runs, a 3-mile walk, and a 1-mile USMS sanctioned swim.
Additionally, MBCC is offering participants the option to participate remotely in the Against the Tide August virtual event from August 6–13. The virtual event components include 1-mile recreational or competitive swims, a ½-mile recreational swim, 5K and 10K runs, and a 3-mile walk.
Registration for both the virtual and in-person options is $40 for an individual participant, and $100 for a family registration (up to 5 family members). Participants may register as an individual or as part of a team. Participants are encouraged to raise funds beyond the registration fees, as all proceeds support MBCC’s unique goal of breast cancer prevention. All participants will receive an event t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded for the top swim and run finishers of the in-person events. To learn more about all of the registration options or to make a pledge, please visit the MBCC website at www.mbcc.org/swim or call 508-246-3047.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Market decline offers buying opportunities

July 27, 2022

The financial markets have gotten off to a rocky start this year. What’s caused this volatility? And does it present opportunities for patient investors?

First of all, several factors are behind the market volatility, including the war in Ukraine, higher inflation, rising interest rates and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while these factors may be specific to the recent market decline, volatility itself is a common feature of the investment environment. In fact, history shows that corrections of 10% or more happen about every year, and declines of 15% or more have happened every other year, on average. Furthermore, while 2022 has thus far been challenging for investors, it was preceded by a long period of strong markets, with the S&P 500 averaging more than a 20% return over the past three years. 

Knowing the typical frequency of market volatility and reviewing the results of the past few years may make the current situation seem less shocking. But you don’t have to simply “ride out” the downturn – because a down market may give you the opportunity to buy more investment shares at good prices. Specifically, you can expand your holdings in companies that have good growth prospects due to strong management and products or services that provide sustainable competitive advantages. And this type of opportunity is important, because one of the keys to building wealth is to increase the number of shares you own in your various investments and hold them for the long term. While the market will always fluctuate, the long-term trend has been positive, particularly for well-diversified portfolios built with quality investments.       

Of course, while it is a good idea to boost your share ownership at favorable prices, you still want to be strategic about it, rather than just buying whatever seems to be the biggest bargain. In reviewing your existing portfolio, can you identify any gaps that could be filled with new investments? Are there opportunities to further diversify your holdings? By owning different types of stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments, you can help reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification can’t guarantee profits or prevent losses in declining markets.) Or, if your portfolio has become “unbalanced” in some way, you could also use this time to rebalance it back to its original long-term targets. You might also consider setting up a systematic investing program in which you invest the same amounts in the same investments on a regular basis, such as monthly. When prices go down, you’ll automatically buy more shares, and when prices rise, you’ll buy fewer shares. (However, systematic investing does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss and you’ll need to be willing to keep investing when share prices are declining.)
Before this year, average annual returns have been solid for about a decade, which makes it somewhat easy to forget about normal market volatility and may have led to overly optimistic performance expectations. So, it would not be surprising if your initial reaction to the current downturn is one of concern. But by viewing the current investment environment as a chance to add quality investments at attractive prices, you can help yourself develop a behavior that can serve you well throughout your life as an investor.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Music Education Program for Kids with Special Needs at Concord Conservatory

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CONCORD: Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) uses the language of music to help children with special needs flourish. Parents often seek extracurricular activities for their children to help expand their horizons. It’s not an easy task, and it becomes even more complicated when a child has special needs.

Deeply committed to providing educational opportunities for all learners, CCM has contracted with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs to bring Tones of Fun Developmental Music Class to the community. Starting on September 21,
the 45-minute class will meet on Wednesdays at 4pm for ages 3-6 and at 5pm for ages 7-10 for a 10-week semester.

Music and its creative interactions make Tones of Fun the perfect teaching tool for children with special needs. Physical, language, social, cognitive, and musical development are stimulated through musical play in a celebratory social group of all ages and skill levels. Each class will incorporate simple percussion instruments, creative movement, improvisation, and playful props. A highly trained instructor from the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs will lead the class and ensure that each student receives the attention they need in a safe and welcoming environment.

No previous musical experience is necessary to participate. However, students must be accompanied by an adult to every class, participate effectively in classes, and maintain an environment that is safe for themselves and others. Parents/Caregivers can register through CCM at https://concordconservatory.org/programs/tones-of-fun-developmental-music-class. Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org for more information.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Strengthen Your ‘Three-legged Stool’ for Retirement

July 18, 2022

For many years, Americans provided for their retirement needs through three sources: employer-sponsored pension plans, Social Security income, and savings and investments accumulated through employer plans or individual accounts – the so-called “three-legged stool.” But today, that stool is shakier than it used to be. What can you do to strengthen it?

To begin with, all three legs of the stool are facing challenges. Let’s consider them:

• Employer pensions – A generation ago, workers employed in many companies could count on a set monthly pension income to help them through their retirement years. Today, pensions – also known as defined benefit plans – are mostly found in public sector employment, as most private-sector employers have replaced their pensions with 401(k) and similar plans. These plans can be quite effective at helping build resources for retirement, but they do place most of the responsibility for saving on the employee.

• Social Security – Social Security has come under financial pressure because the workers-to-retirees ratio has declined significantly, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2021 Board of Trustees Report. A number of proposals have been brought forward on how to improve the long-term financial security of the Social Security system.

• Personal savings and investments – In terms of building savings and investments for retirement, the picture is somewhat mixed. The national savings rate has increased in recent years, but more than half of American workers still say their retirement savings are not where they should be, according to a 2021 survey from Bankrate, a personal finance website. And the same survey found that just over half of investors with a 401(k) or IRA have taken early withdrawals – that is, they withdrew money before they retired. Furthermore, we may be waiting too long even to begin saving/investing for retirement. A survey from Age Wave and Edward Jones found that respondents began saving for retirement at an average age of 38, but the majority said they should have started saving a decade earlier.

You have options for improving some parts of your own three-legged stool. For example, no matter what happens to Social Security, you can still decide when to start taking payments. You can begin collecting benefits as early as 62, but your monthly checks will be larger if you wait until your “full” retirement age, which will likely be between 66 and 67. You can even delay taking benefits until they “max out” at age 70.

As for a pension, you can’t control what’s available to you through your employer, but you can create your own retirement income stream by contributing as much as you can afford to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan and by increasing your contributions whenever your salary goes up. And you can also contribute to an IRA or other investment vehicle to further boost your retirement funds. Try to leave these accounts intact until you need them for retirement. This will be easier if you’ve built an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account, to pay for unexpected costs, such as those resulting from a major car or home repair.

The three-legged stool may not be as universal as it once was – but you can still construct a sturdy structure to support your retirement needs in the future.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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The Nature Connection Ice Cream Fundraiser

ACTON: Looking to chill out on a hot day and for a way to support a meaningful cause?  Visit West Side Creamery in Acton (Villageworks Plaza, 537 Mass. Ave.) between the hours of noon-9:30pm on Wednesday, July 27 and mention that you’re supporting The Nature Connection when placing your order. 20% of the sale will be donated to the organization, which makes nature accessible to all.  At the event there'll be an information table set up outside.  Your support makes a big difference in the lives of those impacted by our programs. If you have any questions, visit nature-connection.org or email info@nature-connection.org.
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Rotary Club of Concord Awards Eight Scholarships

CONCORD: The Rotary Club of Concord congratulates eight winners of 2022 Rotary Scholarships, administered by The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle to:

Alicia Kearney, the William L. Eaton Scholarship: Alicia Kearney is excited to broaden her robotics expertise at the Stevens Institute of Technology where she plans to study mechanical engineering. While at CCHS, her participation in (and ultimate election as captain of) the Robotics Club was her greatest joy. This summer, Alicia is hoping to start a week-long Robotics camp for local middle school children. Alicia was awarded the Rotary Class Act Award for community service and an award from the Rotary Club for her leadership of the Robotics Club.
Alicia was selected for this scholarship because of her commitment to community services her work with middle school students and her previous awards from the Rotary Club.

Max Hamel, the Thomas R. Huckins Scholarship: Max took his love of the outdoors into consideration with his selection of the University of Vermont where he plans to pursue studies in Marketing or Environmental Science with an underlying focus in business. He is proud that he co-owns a successful landscaping business that he founded with several friends six years ago. Max organized a community service organization called High St. Helping Hands that gives CCHS students the opportunity to volunteer for projects that his company has donated to beautify the CCHS campus. While at CCHS, Max was a member of the baseball and football teams, the leadership counsel for the football team, and the Tai Chi Club. Max was selected for this scholarship because of his commitment to the environment and his commitment to community service.

Jasper Clarkson, the Richard L. Hale Scholarship. Jasper Clarkson is enrolling at the University of Puget Sound. Jasper originally hailed from the West Coast and has always aspired to return. Jasper serves his community through work at OpenTable, as a TA in the library as well as assisting elder neighbors with household maintenance and upkeep. Jasper was motivated to participate in the CCHS chapter of Innocence Project to investigate and defend those who are wrongly convicted and on Death Row. He was able to communicate directly with a man he was advocating for, and it shaped his view of the criminal justice system and social justice. Jasper was selected because of his commitment to community service and his advocacy of changes to the criminal justice system and his pursuit of social justice.

Elicia Benavides, the Captain Thomas J. Hudner Jr. Scholarship: Elicia plans to attend Suffolk University in the fall, majoring in environmental studies and global law. She hopes to continue into Law School and study immigration law. She chose Suffolk because her mother, who trained as a lawyer in Peru, got in but was unable to attend. Elicia started a non-profit in 5th grade, Read to Lead, and continues it to this day. She collects books and donations during the year and in the summer brings them to the village where her mother was raised in Peru and acts as a small lending library. She wanted to give back to the community that raised her mother. She believes that education is the only way out of poverty, and she is very passionate about studying indigenous cultures. Elicia was invited to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards convention in the summer of 2021. Elicia was selected for this award because of her commitment to community service, her initiative in providing longstanding service to her mother’s village in Peru and her previous recognition by the Rotary Club.

The following Interact Scholarships were administered by the Scholarship Committee of the Rotary Club of Concord.  Interact is a Rotary club for young people who want to connect with others in their community and school. The CCHS Interact club carries out service projects and learns about the world. While CCHS’s Interact Club receives guidance from the Rotary Club of Concord, it governs and supports itself. Four CCHS Seniors won Interact Scholarships:

Zachary Hooven: Zachary will be attending William and Mary and aspires to work internationally in a finance role in investment banking and asset management. He plans to further his philanthropic interests, particularly in strengthening educational systems. Zach has spent the last two years training and recruiting tutors for ESL students. 

Alexandra Newman: Alexandra (Allie) intends to build on her volunteer and educational experiences to pursue a career in law or international relations. At CCHS she participated in many community service projects and beyond school, traveled on two mission trips to Puerto Rico to rebuild following Hurricane Maria. 

Kiley Pietropaolo: Kiley will be attending Georgia Tech. She has enjoyed her relationship with Rotary from Early Act in Middle School through Interact in High School, and credits this with her appreciation of the importance of serving her community.

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This year the Rotary Club of Concord will hold its 34th Annual Thomas R. Huckins Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday August 29 at the Concord Country Club. As in the past, the event will benefit the Rotary Scholarship Fund and Rotary charitable projects. Rotary thanks “Platinum Sponsors” Emerson Hospital, Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty (the Maurer/Widell Team) and Deaconess Abundant Life Services along with “Friends Sponsors” The Salute Military Golf Association-Boston and Spaulding Management for their support. To register to play in or learn more about the event, visit www.rotaryclubofconcord.org and click on Golf in the banner at the top of the page.

PHOTO: (From left) Rotarian Hilary Taylor, Interact Scholar Kiley Pietropaolo and Rotarian Sharon Spaulding at Interact Awards Ceremony.
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Concord on Full Display at the Summer Sidewalk Celebration

CONCORD: Concord will be on full display at the Summer Sidewalk Celebration this year! The Concord Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Concord invite residents and visitors alike to enjoy sales, dinning, shopping, and live entertainment throughout Concord Center, the Thoreau District, and West Concord on Saturday, August 6 from 10am to 3pm. At the Celebration, local businesses will both offer new products in-shop and host sales outdoors at merchandise tables. Local blues band “Becky and The Swinging Bards” will jam-out, while non-profit theatre group “The Concord Players” will karaoke the day away!

To ensure easy event access, Walden Street will be closed to traffic from 10am to 4pm with its parking lot open for visitors.

In addition to the Sidewalk Celebration, the Chamber and Town is sponsoring a Enjoy Local Passport program that rewards customers who dine or shop at ten or more Concord Businesses between July 1 and August 10 with free entry to both raffled weekly prizes and a sweeping grand prize.

“Both programs are great ways to have fun while supporting local companies,” says Marie Foley, Chamber President and owner of Revolutionary Concord, Alright Art Supply and The Concord Toy Box. “Be sure to drop by the Chamber of Commerce’s table during the Celebration for surprise giveaways and more information.”

To learn more about Concord’s Summer Sidewalk Celebration and Enjoy Local Passport, visit https://concordchamberofcommerce.org.