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Concord Museum’s Holiday House Tour- Inside Out!

CONCORD: On Saturday, December 11 from 11am to 3pm get ready to turn Concord “inside out”!  This twist to Concord Museum’s 11th Annual Holiday House Tour showcases the incredible outdoor spaces of ten Concord homes. Hidden and often overlooked spaces, like porches, doorways, playhouses, barns, and cottages, will take center stage for this showcase of outdoor winter wonderlands. 

Each location on the Holiday Inside Out Tour was carefully selected for its unique and architectural details and historical significance. Properties range from Georgian, Victorian, and Federal-style homes to simple New England farmhouses. This year, one of several standout historical locations includes the Emerson’s barn. The Ralph Waldo Emerson property was originally constructed in 1828 and is on the National Register of Historic places. We know visitors will enjoy the experience of walking through this beautifully decorated space.

The annual Holiday House Tour, which is organized by Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers, is one of the Museum’s largest fundraisers. Tickets directly support the Museum’s education resources for local schools, exhibitions reflecting inclusive historical scholarship, and public programs featuring nationally renowned historians.

Tickets include admission to ten outdoor spaces on the Inside Out Tour, a program booklet with detailed information about each home and property, free cocoa at the Colonial Inn, and Free Admission to the new galleries at the Concord Museum including the 26th Annual Family Trees event. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 978-369-9763 ext. 222.

The FBCOA Supports Health and Wellness at the Council on Aging

BEDFORD: The Bedford Council on Aging is a town government-run department, which means by law they cannot fundraise.  Enter the Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging (FBCOA).  The FBCOA 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.  The FBCOA has provided support for senior trips, socials, movies, and many programs that have been funded by donations. The FBCOA was a critical partner and chief funding source for the very popular memory cafe that helps seniors and caregivers dealing with dementia.

A major part of the Council on Aging’s daily offerings include exercise and fitness classes with a purpose. These programs provide an opportunity to meet with others, get out and socialize while keeping fit, staying well and building skills that prevent falls. The COA is fortunate to have great instructors who are aware of the older body and tailor classes to promote healthy aging after 60. Weekly classes offerings include hybrid Tai Chi, virtual chair and floor yoga, hybrid chair exercise and virtual Zumba. Weekly in person classes include general fitness, aerobic and strengthening classes using weights and stretch bands, weekly bootcamp, line dancing and tap dancing.  In addition the COA is also very fortunate to have volunteers run programs that include Scottish Dance, biking and Qi Gong.

During the COVID19 pandemic the Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging (FBCOA) stepped up and subsidized these on-going virtual exercise classes to ensure as many people as possible could participate while at home. On re-opening, due to COVID, attendance is slowly returning. Before the pandemic these fitness classes were self-sustaining. Now in Covid times, it’s been harder to stay financially solvent. The FBCOA, committed to promoting better health and less isolation for our Bedford community, has helped these programs continue and are seeking more community support.

The  FBCOA hopes to grow its membership and donations so that they can continue to help our seniors enjoy many activities.  The dues are $5 per person and $7 per family – no age restriction and donations are always welcome. Joining the FBCOA allows you a 15% BJ’s membership discount and 10% discounts at Bedford Florist and Bedford Jewelry. Giving to the FBCOA can also be considered as a tax deduction!

To find out more about the FBCOA you can contact Leslie at 781 276 7999 or leslie@withloveandgratitude.com.  You can donate by stopping by the COA or sending a check to the FBCOA at 12 Mudge Way, Bedford, MA 01730 (please put FBCOA in the memo line).
Bedford 2021 christmas

Back Bay Ringers Christmas Concert at First Parish

BEDFORD: The First Parish Music Committee is delighted to present the Back Bay Ringers, who have serenaded Boston-area audiences with their annual Christmas concert series for over 15 years.  The concert will take place on Saturday, December 4 at 2pm at First Parish in Bedford, 75 The Great Road. As the weather cools, the leaves change colors, and fall marches steadily on towards winter, and The Back Bay Ringers return for their bi-annual visit.  The concert will feature traditional, but perhaps slightly less often heard, pieces. While the program will inspire peace and contemplation with classics like “Silent Night” and "The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), it also might have you fighting the urge to clap your hands and sway to “On This Day, Earth Shall Ring" (and ring and ring!). Either way, it is a program you won’t want to miss... especially the grande finale: “All I Want for Christmas is You.”  Tickets for in-person or online are available at www.backbayringers.org/events. For the safety of the performers and audience, masks and social distancing will be required.

Beyond the Notes Brings Mini-Concert Series to The Umbrella Arts Center!
Featuring Concord Native & Violinist Sarah Whitney 

December mini 2020
CONCORD: It is no secret that live music has taken a hit since the pandemic began, but that has not stopped Concord native and violinist Sarah Whitney from finding innovative ways to present creative COVID friendly concerts to the community. On December 10, Whitney will take The Umbrella Arts Center Black Box Theater stage to present her highly acclaimed concert series Beyond the Notes Minis for an unforgettable evening of music! The program will consist of works for solo violin and for violin and loop pedal, highlighting the works of Black composers. 

Having presented over 10 COVID friendly shows since the pandemic began, Whitney has been creating lots of buzz in the Concord community and beyond. According to a recent audience member, "The Beyond the Notes Minis have delighted audiences with over a year of bold and immersive concert experiences that have TRULY gone 'Beyond the Notes!' Not only does this series deliver performances of the highest caliber, but it also supports social justice and spreads awareness about wonderful organizations doing important work!" 

The concert will be presented live at 7:30pm in The Umbrella’s Black Box Theater with limited capacity to allow for social distancing. In-person and live virtual ticketing options are available. 20% of all proceeds will be donated to The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions for low-income people. CLASP develops practical yet visionary strategies for reducing poverty, promoting economic opportunity, and addressing barriers faced by people of color. 

Praised by the Washington Post for her "marvelous violin acrobatics," violinist Sarah Whitney is known for her musical versatility and has been heard worldwide across stages in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the United States. She is recognized as a performer, teacher, entrepreneur and advocate for bringing fresh new ideas to classical music. She is a member of the acclaimed string quintet SYBARITE5, one of the fastest-rising chamber-music ensembles in the United States, whose latest album reached #2 on the Classical Billboard Charts. 

All attendees must provide proof of full vaccination by showing a vaccination card, a photo of the card, or a digital vaccine record. Anyone exempt from/ineligible to receive the vaccine or unable to verify vaccination status must present proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours OR healthcare-professional-administered negative rapid test within 24 hours of the time of entry. Regardless of vaccine status, ALL patrons must wear a properly fitted CDC-approved face mask. The venue will operate at limited capacity with distanced seating and upgraded MERV-13 HVAC filters. Tickets are $30/person and $15/student and must be purchased in advance. In-person and live virtual ticketing options are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.gobeyondthenotes.com.

Concord AMP Launches Annual Online Auction

CONCORD: The Concord Association of Music Parents (Concord AMP) has launched its annual online auction at concordamp.org/auction. Concord AMP is a parent-led volunteer organization that raises money to support the music performing programs in the Concord Public Schools. Concord AMP provides resources to our dedicated faculty above and beyond their already tight budgets, so that every child in the Concord Public Schools can experience an education enriched by music. 

The auction includes homemade treats, exclusive gifts, and sought-after services. They are especially thrilled that Heart Orthodontics, located on Main Street in West Concord, has donated a complete orthodontic treatment (value $6800). Heart Orthodontics and Dr. Yang Li offer state-of-the-art treatment, such as a 3D scanner that completely eliminates messy and unpleasant impressions, as well as a low radiation X-ray machine, in addition to little perks like complimentary coffee and wi-fi. Heart Orthodontics also offers evening and Saturday hours. Their goal is to deliver an exceptional, personal experience. Other Concord businesses supporting the auction include Nashoba Brook Bakery, the Thoreau Club, Concord Recreation and Radius Ensemble.

Additionally, community members are donating a stay at the Black Bear Lodge in Waterville Valley, NH, Boston Bruins tickets, homemade pies, face masks, and music lessons.  Go to concordamp.org to browse the many items available for bidding. Like eBay, our platform includes proxy bidding so that you can automatically increase your offer as others bid, up to a maximum you designate.  Bidding ends December 17!

Among the many projects Concord AMP funding makes possible are instrument purchase and maintenance, technology to enhance virtual learning, special guests and speakers and intensive opportunities for our most dedicated performers.

Concord AMP believes that music is not an “extra” — it is an irreplaceable facet of our lives that makes our children better learners and citizens, enriches the community at large, and brings hope and joy.
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The Space Torah: An Extraordinary Journey into Outer Space

CONCORD: In 1996, NASA astronaut Dr. Jeff Hoffman, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, brought a small Torah scroll on board Space Shuttle Columbia. On Shabbat, while orbiting Earth, he read from the book of Genesis, “In the beginning God created heaven and the earth.” On Sunday, December 5 at 3pm, join the Kerem Shalom community to watch the inspiring documentary, "Space Torah," about Hoffman’s journey into outer space. After the screening, Hoffman and Kerem Shalom member Alan Lightman, Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at MIT, will discuss the many dimensions explored in the documentary—religious, spiritual, scientific, educational, and personal. Rachel Raz, an educational consultant and the documentary’s executive producer, will moderate the discussion. Visit www.keremshalom.org for additional information & registration for all events.
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Nutcracker Reading at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host a free reading of the classic tale, The Nutcracker, on Wednesday, December 8 at 4:30pm. Several ballet dancers from the
Commonwealth Ballet Company will help bring the story to life in their elegant and colorful costumes as the story is read aloud. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to see and meet their favorite characters from the beloved holiday tale. The dancers will be available to answer questions and pose for photos with the children after the reading. This program is recommended for children ages 4-10. Registration not required. For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Careers with Animals
at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: Calling all middle schoolers! The Concord Free Public Library will host a fun workshop on Tuesday, December 7 at 4pm about the many exciting careers that
involve working with animals. Michelle Kreell, Community Liaison from Baypath
Humane Society, will lead this program and afterward, meet a special furry rescue dog, Lane, who loves hugs and chin scratches. No registration required. For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301 (Main Branch) or 978-318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Concord Conservatory Presents Symphonic Exploration Lecture

WEST CONCORD: Join the Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) on Friday, December 10 at 7pm for the Symphonic Exploration lecture presented by guest speaker Sepehr Pirasteh. This lecture will be held at the Concord Council on Aging at 1276 Main Street. Be prepared to explore the depths of some of the greatest symphonies ever composed, and learn how the symphony evolved from the 18th century to the 20th century. Some of the greatest and most important musical masterpieces were written in the symphonic genre. You’ll hear how more than 100 instruments work together to form a large orchestra and make extraordinary sounds come to life in a concert hall. 

A native of Shiraz, Iran, composer and conductor Seperh Prasteh draws on Persian classical and folk music and contemporary classical music to express his concerns and fears about the political and social realities of the world we live in. As a conductor, he has been focusing on premiering new music written by young and emerging composers and conducting the classical repertoire.  

Students attending the lecture are encouraged to bring their instrument to sightread simple melodies that Sepehr has arranged from different music eras (classical, romantic, 20th century, etc.). Then, Sepehr will conduct participating musicians in an orchestral setting, and students will learn firsthand from a highly experienced conductor! 

General Admission tickets are $15. Kids under 18 are FREE. Purchase tickets in advance:  https://concordconservatory.org/events/symphonic-exploration/ or payable at the door. Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 for more info.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays. There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive. For further information about how you might help, please contact:

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Call now to see how you can help.

Concord Orchestra: Restoring Balance

CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents “Restoring Balance” on December 3 and 4.  The orchestra, directed by Zeke Fetrow, performs Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body,  Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7. A pre-concert talk by the conductor will take place on Saturday at 7:15pm.

All concerts of the 2021-2022 Concord Orchestra season are planned and directed by finalists auditioning for the position of Music Director. Fetrow is the second finalist to audition this season. Equally at home in front of the orchestra, in the opera pit, or working with a chorus, Fetrow is the former Music Director and Conductor of the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra and has served as the Assistant Conductor of the Eugene Opera, Oregon Mozart Players, and Oregon Music Festival.   He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He holds a dual Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of Oregon, working with Dr. Sharon J. Paul throughout his time as a choral conductor and with Dr. David M. Jacobs during his studies in orchestral conducting.  He is an accomplished singer and experienced collegiate teacher.

Fetrow has chosen an uplifting program with the theme of “Restoring Balance.”
Theofanidis’  Rainbow Body is a symphonic poem inspired by melodies by 12th century composer and mystic Hildegard von Bingen, and the Tibetan Buddhist concept of “rainbow body” in which the body of an enlightened being is absorbed back into the universe upon his or her death. In his notes on the program, Fetrow describes Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7 as “a hidden gem of the western repertoire” which is “often missed in the shadow of Prokofiev’s more popular first and fifth symphonies.”

Edward MacDowell’s romantic Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by esteemed pianist Randall Hodgkinson.  While studying at the New England Conservatory Hodgkinson became grand prizewinner of the International American Music Competition sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the Rockefeller Foundation. Mr. Hodgkinson has performed with orchestras in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Boston, Cleveland and abroad in Italy and Iceland, and also numerous recital programs spanning the repertoire from J.S. Bach to Donald Martino and Mark Berger.  A frequent guest of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, he also performs the four-hand and two-piano repertoire with his wife, Leslie Amper, as well as with the Gramercy Trio.  Mr. Hodgkinson is on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music and Wellesley College.

Concerts take place at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden. Tickets for adults and seniors are $25.  Admission for youth under 18 is free.  For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.   Proof of vaccination is required.
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Emerson Hospital Awarded Highest Grade for Patient Safety 

CONCORD: Emerson Hospital has again earned an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent non-profit organization that serves as a voice for healthcare consumers. The public uses these results to make informed decisions about where to go for hospital care. Leapfrog calculates the Hospital Safety Score under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data from more than 2,900 acute care hospitals nationwide on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. Hospitals are assigned a letter grade for their overall performance.  Just 32% of hospitals in the country receive an A. 

“I am extremely proud of our Emerson team for their dedicated work to care for our entire community and beyond, even with the complexities of the pandemic,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO of Emerson Hospital. “Our steadfast commitment to quality, safety, and equity, especially during this challenging time, is why people choose Emerson for their health care."

Safety performance measures are collected from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In addition, secondary data is used from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey. To view Emerson Hospital’s Leapfrog score and learn more about the hospital rating organization, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Thanksgiving Buffet Among Public Services Offered at Minuteman High School

LEXINGTON: The District Restaurant at Minuteman High School is now accepting phone reservations for its traditional Thanksgiving buffet on Friday, November 19. The career technical education school’s student-run services, which also include a salon, automotive repair shop, and preschool, continue to welcome customers now that in-person services are fully resumed.
The District Restaurant will hold its traditional Thanksgiving buffet for the public on Friday, November 19, from 11am-1:45pm. Customers are required to make reservations by phone by calling (781) 372-2985. The cost is $10 per person. The menu features turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, salad, and rolls. Desserts include apple and pumpkin pie.
The District Restaurant is open for in-person dining by reservation every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am-1pm while school is in session. Phone reservations are required, Masks are required indoors unless actively eating or drinking, per local mandate. [Please note the restaurant will be closed November 11 and 12 due a holiday and an abbreviated school schedule.]
In addition, the restaurant offers the Soup Group, a weekly to-go service in which customers can order soups, breads, and desserts each week. The online order form and menu is posted on Fridays at minuteman.org/restaurant. Customers pick up their food in their vehicles outside Minuteman High School on Thursdays from 10am-1pm.
In addition, Culinary Arts students are preparing 150 Thanksgiving meals for people who are food insecure through a partnership with Food Link MA.

Concord Conservatory Presents a Concert & Masterclass Series

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CONCORD: On Saturday, November 20 at 5pm, Concord Conservatory is presenting a Masterclass with guest musicians, guitarist Matt Munisteri and mandolinist Joe K. Walsh. Both
instrumental virtuosos, singers, and world-traveling improvisers who will share their insights about the shared language running through bluegrass, jazz, and swing music. Grab a bite to eat in West Concord after the masterclass and return to CCM at 7pm for a great concert by Munisteri and Walsh.

Driven by their deep faith in the  improvised moment and their shared musical conversation full of surprises, they draw from the deep well of American music in crafting their sound. Joe and Matt will take you through the process of using melody as the springboard for  improvisation during the masterclass. To those who don't yet do it, improvisation can sometimes feel like "divine inspiration.: It can seem that in every moment, the improviser must create an entirely new brilliant idea. In practice, though, many simple variations of melodies, rhythms, and shapes can generate beautiful, engaging, improvised variations. And these ideas can be taught and practiced. Our goal in the masterclass will be to illustrate the simple techniques that improvisers use to create new experiences. Using melodies and rhythms, the participants leave armed with some new approaches to improvising on melodies and chord changes.

CBC-Newfoundland hails Joe K. Walsh as "one of the best mandolinists of his generation"; and Vintage Guitar Magazine as "brilliant,"; Portland, Maine-based mandolin player. He’s known for his exceptional tone and taste. His collaborations with acoustic music have taken him all over the global and musical map. He's played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris and performed everywhere from festivals to laundromats to Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. An avid educator, Joe is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music and regularly teaches at music camps throughout North America and beyond.

Matt Munisteri is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and educator based in New York City. A freewheeling and virtuosic guitarist on both acoustic and electric guitar—in modern and old-fashioned music—he credits the early jazz plectrists of the 1920s and 1930s with providing the foundation for his technique and musical direction. As one of a relatively small number of authoritative acoustic jazz guitarists playing swing and early jazz, Matt has recorded extensively. He is a first-call guitarist when a  "period" sound is sought for CDs, film scores, and commercials.

CCM's Covid policy requires those over 12 to show proof of vaccination. Please wear your mask in the building at all times. Attend both for $45 or the concert only for $20 and free for students 18 and under. Purchase tickets in advance at www.ConcordConservatory.org or at the door. Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more.
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Salon Series with Dr. Suzanne Koven at Kerem Shalom

CONCORD: Join Kerem Shalom of Concord online on November 21 at 10:30am for a Salon Series with guest speaker Dr. Suzanne Koven, a Kerem Shalom member and former Board President. In 2017, Dr. Koven published an essay describing the challenges faced by female physicians, including her own personal struggle with “imposter syndrome”―a long-held secret belief that she was not smart enough or good enough to be a “real” doctor. Accessed by thousands of readers around the world, Koven’s Letter to a Young Female Physician has evolved into a deeply felt reflection on her career in medicine.

Kerem Shalom is a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming Jewish community where tradition and innovation are celebrated. It is located at 659 Elm Street. Visit them online at keremshalom.org for additional information and registration. Contact the office at 978-369-1223 or ksadmin@keremshalom.org with any questions.

Minuteman Senior Services Recognizes State Legislators for their Advocacy on Behalf of Older Adults

BEDFORD:  Local non-profit organization Minuteman Senior Services recognized two outstanding legislative leaders with the "Friend of Minuteman Senior Services Award" at their 46th Annual Meeting recently - Senator Pat Jehlen and Representative Tom Stanley.

As co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, Chairwoman Jehlen and Chairman Stanley have advanced legislation and funding priorities aimed at promoting the health, safety, and quality of life for older adults across the Commonwealth. Kelly Magee Wright, Executive Director, noted at the meeting “At Minuteman Senior Services, we are acutely aware that our ability to deliver on our mission is, in significant part, a result of the tremendous support of the broader community at large that champion the needs of older adults and persons with disabilities”.

Following a year in which older adults were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, each legislator has been a vocal advocate for necessary investment in aging and disability services; support for workforce development activities; and for promoting transparency in government.

The meeting’s theme was A Call to Action: Innovating Aging and Disability Services Delivery. Speakers included Jennifer Throwe, Regional Administrator from the Administration for Community Living and Ipyana Spencer, Chief Health Officer with Meals on Wheels America.

Also recognized were the more than 100 staff and volunteers who have been with the agency for 10 years or more.

Minuteman Senior Services is a multi-service, non-profit organization serving 16 communities north and west of Boston. Their mission is to empower and advocate for those impacted by aging and disability, by offering information and supportive services that enhance health, well-being and independence. To learn more about their programs and services, please call 888-222-6171 or visit www.minutemansenior.org.

Lowell Chamber Orchestra Performs in MCC’s “World of Music”

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LOWELL/BEDFORD: As part of Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series, the college will host a live, in-person performance of “As One,” a ground-breaking opera portraying the challenges, joys and fears of the trans experience.

Middlesex is dedicated to providing all students with access to an equitable education and opportunities that enrich their time at the college. Offering performances that emphasize acceptance, inclusivity and representation is important to a student’s overall college experience and future success, according to Orlando Cela, MCC Assistant Professor of Music.
“The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is proud to collaborate once more with MCC’s ‘A World of Music’ concert series to put on this performance,” Cela said. “It is so important to provide platforms for those whose voices need to be heard and celebrated, especially by performers who represent that particular population. The significance of the concert is made even more special by being performed on November 20, International Transgender Day of Remembrance.”

The concert will feature mezzo-soprano Tona Brown and baritone Rahzé Cheatham in the lead roles, supported by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, with Cela conducting. “As One” was written by Laura Kaminsky (music and concept), Mark Campbell (libretto), and Kimberly Reed (libretto and film). 

In October 2021, The Lowell Chamber Orchestra was awarded third place in the country for The American Prize Competition for the Performing Arts.  The performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in the Theatre in Lowell. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

The final performance of MCC’s “A World of Music” Fall 2021 concert series will be an MCC Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or (781) 280-3923.
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Epic Sea-Faring Musical Continues Umbrella Season

CONCORD: Adventure lovers of all ages are invited to set sail on a high-energy, family-friendly epic that combines live, narrative folk music, puppetry, and theatrical effects for a unique, fantastical theater experience as The Umbrella Stage Company continues its 2021/2022 season with the The Old Man and The Old Moon, November 12 thru December 5.

The Old Man has kept his post as the sole caretaker of the moon for as long as he (or his wife, the Old Woman) can remember. When she is drawn away by a mysterious melody sparking memories of their shared past, the Old Man must decide between duty (and routine) and love (and adventure). Luckily for audiences everywhere, he chooses the latter, and what follows is an imaginative sea-faring epic, encompassing apocalyptic storms, civil wars, leviathans of the deep, and cantankerous ghosts, as well as the fiercest obstacle of all: change. 

Directed by the award-winning Julia Deter, it stars Jonathan von Mering*, Gregory Boover*, Emily Serdahl*, Jennie McGuinness, Jay McCarthy, Kayla Shimizu, Lily Steven, Griffin Ostrowski and Erica Risti, each of whom also play instruments, and features dazzling sets, lighting, and stagecraft to tell an unforgettable story of love and devotion. 

The Old Man and The Old Moon will be presented at The Umbrella Arts Center's Mainstage Theater144, with limited seating capacity to allow for optimal social distancing. Facemasks are mandatory, and proof of full vaccination or negative Covid test is required for attendance. TheUmbrellaArts.org; 978-371-0820

Concord Conservatory Presents Music & Medicine Concert & Lecture

CONCORD: Explore the intersection of music and medicine and delight in a chamber music concert performed by the talented Concord Conservatory of Music faculty, Friday, November 12 at 7:30 for Music & Medicine. The evening will feature a conversation between Dr. Lisa Wong (pictured), a physician, author, and musician, and Geoff Edgers of The Washington Post. Dr. Wong is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and has played violin and viola in the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Boston’s medical orchestra, for over 30 years.
Discover what happens in your brain when you play music, learn which great composers were also connected to the medical field, and find out how music has become more deeply used as a therapy to treat patients.

CCM faculty members Yelena Beriyeva on piano, Egle Jarkova on violin, and Stephen Marotto on cello will present a chamber music concert including Sergei Rachmaninoff's Trio elegiaque No. 1, and featuring works by Jean-Marie Leclair, Astor Piazzolla, and contemporary composer Judith Weir.

An international speaker on arts and health, Dr. Wong co-founded the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School and the Boston Arts Consortium for Health (BACH). She advises several arts and education organizations and serves on the boards of Conservatory Lab Charter School, New England Foundation for the Arts, and A Far Cry ensemble. Lisa is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine and practices at Milton Pediatric Associates. Her first book, Scales to Scalpels: Doctors who practice the healing arts of Music and Medicine, was published in 2012.

Geoff Edgers is an American journalist and writer who is the national arts reporter for The Washington Post. He previously worked for the Boston Globe. Edgers is the author of “Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, and the Song That Changed American Music Forever.” He also hosted the “Edge of Fame,” a podcast produced by The Washington Post and WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, that profiles figures such as Norm Macdonald, Ava DuVernay, Roseanne Barr and Chevy Chase. In 2010, Edgers produced and starred in the music documentary “Do It Again,” about his attempt to reunite the Kinks. His articles have appeared in magazines such as GQ, Spin and Wired. Edgers has also published children’s books on Elvis, the Beatles and Stan Lee, and contributed to WBUR Boston. In 2013, he hosted a Travel Channel reality TV series called “Edge of America,” and in June 2013 he was awarded a New England Emmy for work on a video for the Boston Globe. Edgers joined The Washington Post in September 2014 as the paper’s national arts reporter and hosts the military history series “Secrets of the Arsenal” on the American Heroes Channel.

General Admission tickets are $25. Kids under 18 are FREE. Purchase tickets in advance:  https://concordconservatory.org/events/music-medicine/ or payable at the door. Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM.

CCM’s Covid policy requires those over 12 must show proof of vaccination, and you are asked to please wear your mask in the building at all times. Info: info@concordconservatory.org; (978) 369-0010. CCM is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.
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Bedford's Troop 114 Continues Longstanding Fundraising Tradition

BEDFORD: The Boy Scouts of Bedford's Troop 114 are continuing their longstanding fundraising tradition by selling Holiday Wreaths again this year.  The community has shown great support for this event.  Last year the boys sold over 900 wreaths.  The scouts range in age from 12 to 17.  They will be canvassing Bedford's neighborhoods in early November.  The beautiful fresh wreaths cost $14 if plain and $18 with a red velvet bow.  Funds are used for the purchase of camping equipment and supplies, merit badges and rank awards, and to cover the various costs of the Troops wide range of activities.

Neighborhood sales conclude on November 17.  A Troop 114 Boy Scout will be coming to your door soon to take your order!  On-line sales can be ordered after November 7.  People wanting to order wreaths can order on-line at www.troop114.org/wreaths.

“Artdoors" Creatively Interpret MMNHP Landmarks in New Public Art Collaboration 
Artists Respond to Famed Park Sites, Connecting Park to The Umbrella's Expanding "Go Out Doors" Regional Project 

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CONCORD: An exciting new public art exhibition has been installed in the Minute Man National Historical Park this month, in collaboration with The Umbrella Arts Center, and is viewable through November 15. 

Curated by Monkeyhouse, Go Out Doors – Minute Man National Historical Park brings unique, Park-inspired artistic perspectives to The Umbrella's "Go Out Doors – Neighbors" regional exhibition of artfully upcycled, painted doors, installed in towns throughout Battle Road, Metrowest and beyond. The doors feature designs inspired by, responding to, and creatively interpreting themes from three major sites in the Park, selected in consultation with Park interpretive staff led by Visitor Service Manager Jennifer Pierce and 2021 Intern Luis Berrizbeitia

New Jersey-based painter Yetti Frenkel was inspired by The Wayside, home of authors; mixed media artist BARD found reconnection to nature in famed Buttrick Gardens above the Old North Bridge; while at Minute Man Visitor Center, Cassandre Charles found herself imagining the life of Prince Estabrook, an enslaved Revolutionary soldier injured in battle on April 19, 1775. 

The project is the Park’s second major collaboration with The Umbrella, following 2019’s “Earth Press Project: Witness,” a large-scale sculptural installation by MMNHP’s first Artist-in-Residence, Nancy Winship Milliken. It is supported in part by The Foundation for Metrowest. 
Originally inspired by the En Plein Air door exhibit on NYC’s High Line, Go Out Doors has expanded from The Umbrella's original summer 2020 exhibition in West Concord into a wide collaborative public art campaign, with thematically similar installations cropping up along trails, open spaces, business districts and cultural attractions in Arlington, Lexington, Newton, Medford, Carlisle, Westford, and others. Monkeyhouse is an award-winning, Boston-based nonprofit that connects communities to choreography. 

Background, wayfinding, photos, information about the artists and more may be found at www.TheUmbrellaArts.org/Doors.

Resettling Afghan Evacuees in Greater Boston

CONCORDThe United States is going to resettle 50,000 Afghan evacuees in the next year with around 500 people coming to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The evacuee resettlement is being coordinated through designated social service agencies. One of those agencies is the International Institute of New England.  IINE is a nonprofit organization with a long history of assisting immigrants to our country.

On Wednesday, November 10 at 7:30pm the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, the Immigration Justice Task Force of First Parish in Concord, Kerem Shalom, and the Afghan  Welcome Team of TriCon Church will be sponsoring a Zoom conversation with a representative of the International Institute of New England (IINE). This is an opportunity to learn how the resettlement effort is organized and ways in which volunteers can help with short- and long-term tasks.  

To register, visit the LWVCC Calendar at lwvcc.org, or you can find a registration link here.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan, issues-oriented organization of women and men of all ages and backgrounds. The League encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues. For more information, visit www.lwvcc.org or email league@lwvcc.org.

StoryWalk at the Concord Free Public Library: We Are Water Protectors

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library invites everyone to visit the newly installed StoryWalk on the Main Library lawn. The StoryWalk features We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade. Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal, this book celebrates indigenous-led movements to protect our planet's water. The book features stunning watercolor illustrations combined with spare, lyrical text. This story is a call to action from a fierce child seeking justice to safeguard the Earth's water. 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.

The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Story/Craft with Crossroads at the Concord Free Public Library

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CONCORD: The Children’s Department at the Concord Free Public Library is partnering with Crossroads - a student organization created by Concord Carlisle High School students to offer monthly story and craft programs that focus on important cultural, social, and diverse topics. Children in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to delve into subjects including culture, identity, and diversity! The program will take place in the Children’s Activity Room at the Main Library on the third Thursday of each month at 4pm. The dates are as follows: November 18, December 16, January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, and June 16. No registration required.

The mission of Crossroads is for high school students to educate and engage with younger children about important social and political issues.

For more information about Library programs and services, call 978-318-3301, or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Local Residents Onstage in "Lovers & Other Strangers"

WEST ACTON: Local residents Peter Cavicchio and Carla Perrotta (Lexington), John Day (Carlisle), and John Lynch (Lincoln) are appearing in Theatre III of West Acton's fall production, Lovers and Other Strangers, by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor. Performances run November 5, 6, 12 & 13 at 8pm; November 7 at 2pm at 250 Central Street.  Tickets are $22; seniors/students/groups of seven or more $19. For more information, visit www.theatre3.org.

General & Colorectal Surgeons Join Walden Surgical Associates

CONCORD: General surgeons, Alexandra Columbus, MD, and Christopher Schlieve, MD, recently joined Walden Surgical Associates at Emerson Hospital. Walden Surgical is also home to surgeons Elizaveta Ragulin Coyne, MD, and Atif Khan, MD.

Dr. Columbus specializes in both general surgery and colorectal surgery. Her expertise will support colon cancer treatment and care in partnership with oncologists at Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson Hospital-Bethke. Her clinical interests include anorectal disease, colonoscopy, colorectal cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and pelvic floor dysfunction.  She received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and completed her residency in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery at Lahey Clinic and received a master’s degree in public health from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. In her time outside of the hospital, Dr. Columbus enjoys outdoor adventures with her friends and family.

“I am pleased to be part of the outstanding team at Walden Surgical Associates and work closely with clinicians at Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson Hospital to ensure patients have the best outcomes,” said Dr. Columbus.

Dr. Schlieve (pictured) specializes in adult and pediatric general surgery, complex abdominal wall and hernia procedures, and gastrointestinal and colorectal disease.  He received his medical degree from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, completed an internship at the Mayo Clinic, and joined the general surgery residency program at UMass Memorial. He sought advanced training in pediatrics and completed a fellowship in pediatric colorectal surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Schlieve is board-certified in general surgery. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Schlieve enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking, scuba diving, traveling the world, and spending time with his family.

“I enjoy working with patients to help them regain their life and reach their physical goals following surgery,” said Dr. Schlieve. “I am excited to join the Walden Surgical Associates family and provide exceptional care for adults and children in the community. As a part of the Emerson health system, I strive to provide a truly patient-centered experience alongside outstanding surgical staff, nursing care, and rehabilitative therapists.”

To make an appointment with the surgeons, please visit www.waldensurgical.com or call Walden Surgical Associates at 978-287-3547.
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It’s Halloween! Party at Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is excited to host a Halloween celebration on Friday, October 29, 4pm - 5:30 pm. Get a sneak peak at the future Children’s Room and Makerspace! See the new Children’s Garden! Wear a costume! There'll be spooky stories, crafts, cookies and a pumpkin decorating contest. All ages are welcome. Library staff as well as representatives from the Concord Free Public Library Committee, the Concord Free Public Library Corporation and the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library will be on hand to welcome you to the future space, along with some special VIP guests from the community!  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.

Emerson Hospital Receives Donation from National Alliance on Mental Illness

CONCORD: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Middlesex affiliate recently donated $5,000 to the Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital’s Anchor Down Campaign to support behavioral health programs at Emerson. Part of NAMI’s donation will provide therapeutic kits, called Anchor Bags, for pediatric patients who are experiencing a mental health crisis and are evaluated in Emerson’s Emergency Department (ED). The Anchor Bags include relaxation tools, breathing exercises, and items for creative expression. The bags help patients maintain a sense of calm and “anchor” them in the present moment in order to work effectively with clinicians and begin to recover from a crisis. Additional funds from NAMI will provide technology to enable patients in Emerson’s adult behavioral health unit to participate in online therapeutic programs.

“The demand for mental health and substance use services has grown dramatically during the pandemic,” explains Lori Krinsky, President of NAMI Central Middlesex. “We are honored to partner with Emerson Hospital, a leader in delivering behavioral health care to the community, to help bring important supports to those in need.”

“NAMI Central Middlesex is a key partner in improving the lives of those living with mental health conditions throughout our community,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO, Emerson Hospital. “At Emerson, we are caring for more patients who need behavioral health care than ever before. We are very grateful for NAMI’s support to provide important resources to help patients recover. Through the Anchor Down Campaign, Emerson’s Auxiliary shines a very important spotlight on mental health and ways the community can help.”

The Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital’s Anchor Down Campaign for Mental Health is accepting donations through November 1, 2021. To learn more about the Campaign, see videos with clinicians about mental health care, and learn about the need for community support, visit www.emersonhospital.org/supportmentalhealth.

A Fall Outdoor Concert to Benefit Under-Resourced South African Schools

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CONCORD: In the beautiful but historically neglected Eastern Cape region of rural South Africa, 9-year-old Siphelele carries his shoes the 8km to and from school every day so as not to wear them out. In the classroom, eight children squeeze around a desk for four and share a small dry erase board because paper is precious. And yet, these students are so hungry for education that they choose to do Saturday school and evening classes. Yes, that's the 8km walk all over again. In these remote villages, more and more young people are discovering the value and possibilities of education.

And this is thanks to Axium Education (axiumeducation.org), a non-profit of dedicated South Africans working in the very heart of these rural communities to raise student awareness and create opportunities and a meaningful future for the children there. Axium has a strong connection with Concord as, for years, a sizable group of residents, including many students, has supported their work, and volunteered in the village schools.

On October 30 at 12:30pm, you can learn more about the important work Axium is doing, at an outdoor concert with local Concord talent, folk rock singer-songwriter, Sawyer Lawson, on Old Bedford Road. Complimentary refreshments will be provided and you are welcome to BYO picnic lunch, lawn chairs and of course friends and family to enjoy the afternoon with you. To help support Axium's work and get full event details, please sign up and donate at: https://ubuntuconnects.org/axium-education-double-header/.
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MCC’s “World of Music” to Hold a Halloween-themed Performance

LOWELL/BEDFORD: Middlesex Community College is celebrating Halloween early with a live, in-person performance of their Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series. Audience members can experience “The Black Cat” by Larry Bell for cello, piano and narrator, based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. 
“Larry and I overlapped at Juilliard many years ago, and I have been an admirer of his compositions ever since,” said Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department. “He truly captures the gothic quality of Poe’s writing in this work. This is a program which everyone will enjoy, and we are so delighted that we can present this live!”

Additional haunting music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Edvard Grieg and Camille Saint-Saëns will be featured. MCC faculty members Rodríguez-Peralta, piano, and Orlando Cela, flute, will be joined by Sam Ou, cello, and Bell, composer/narrator.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 29 at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

Other performances in the semester include a concert featuring the Lowell Chamber Orchestra in “Opera: As One,” at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 in Lowell, and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford. 

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for directions to campus and more information about parking.

Holiday Kindness for Our Prison Neighbors

CONCORD: It’s not too early to think about helping out for the holidays. Concord Prison Outreach (CPO), a local non-profit, offers high-quality, transformative programs that focus on education, personal growth, and increased opportunity for incarcerated people and their families. CPO’s work began over 50 years ago, when a group of Concord women made curtains for the prison infirmary and initiated holiday programming at MCI-Concord. Today, CPO offers educational, vocational, socio-emotional, and parenting programs in jail and prison locations throughout Massachusetts.

Ensuring that incarcerated people feel remembered during the holidays has been a mainstay program for CPO. For close to 40 years, a group of Concord-based volunteers has worked with CPO to create Holiday Gift Bags for men in the two Concord prisons: MCI-Concord and Northeastern Correctional Center.  Each gift contains toiletries, writing materials, a calendar, and greeting card; for many of the men, this is the only holiday gift they receive. Some use the first page of their new writing tablet to write a note of thanks. One man wrote, “I’ve been incarcerated since I was 18.  I’m 26 now so I haven’t gotten an actual gift from someone since I was 17. What you all are doing is very thoughtful and it goes a long way so Thank You!”

For the 2021 holiday season, the Massachusetts Department of Correction intends that all men and women incarcerated in Massachusetts will receive a gift. The DOC is working with CPO and Bethany House Ministries, based in Millis, to create 5,000 gift bags. CPO is pleased to expand its Holiday Gift Bag program to cover MCI-Concord, Northeastern Correctional Center, MCI-Shirley, Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, and MCI-Framingham. It’s a daunting task, but one that is possible because of the approximately 150 volunteers who support CPO.

2020 gave most people a sense of what it is like to be separated from loved ones, made even more difficult by the arrival of the holidays. We value the opportunity to remember incarcerated men and women during this holiday season.

To learn more about CPO, volunteer opportunities, or to donate, please visit www.concordprisonoutreach.org.

Thoreau Society Honors Best-selling Author Robin Wall Kimmerer

CONCORD: The Thoreau Society will be honoring botanist and best-selling author Robin Wall Kimmerer with the 2021 Henry David Thoreau Prize for Literary Excellence in Nature Writing. The event is scheduled to take place on October 29, as part of the Concord Festival of Authors, at First Parish at 8pm. A book-signing with the author will follow her talk. Event tickets are available at www.thoreausociety.org.

Kimmerer, a forest ecologist, and advocate for the rights of native peoples, is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. She is a professor of environmental biology at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry of the State University of New York and is the founder and director of its Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Braiding Sweetgrass weaves together indigenous Native American and traditional Western scientific ways of looking at nature. The Thoreau Prize committee noted that its focus on the reciprocal and ethical relationship between people and plants captured the spirit of Thoreau’s nature writing. Braiding Sweetgrass became a New York Times Bestseller in January 2020, seven years after Milkweed Editions published it in 2013.

A specialist in mosses and the author of numerous scientific articles, Kimmerer describes herself on her website first as a mother, then as a scientist, professor and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, won the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. In 2015 she addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on a central theme of both her work and of Thoreau’s writing, “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.”

The Henry David Thoreau Prize for Literary Excellence in Nature Writing was established as an annual award in 2010 by Dale Peterson to honor a writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry whose work embodies Thoreau’s legacy as a gifted stylist, keen naturalist, and social thinker. The Thoreau Society became administrator of the prize last year.
It is named for Thoreau, who wrote, “I wish to speak a word for nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil” and who said one of his aims was to “regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.”

It is given as a lifetime achievement award or to honor mid-career nature writers of exceptional promise. Previous winners of the Thoreau Prize have included the poets Mary Oliver and Gary Snyder, the author-naturalists Sy Montgomery, Peter Matthiessen, Diane Ackerman and Gretel Ehrlich, the poet, novelist and essayist Linda Hogan, biologist E.O. Wilson and the ecologist and nature writer Bernd Heinrich.

Founded in 1941, The Thoreau Society is the largest and oldest organization devoted to an American author. The Society has members from more than twenty countries around the world, the Penobscot Nation, and all fifty U.S. states.
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Concord Conservatory Presents 21st Century Classical Composers Lecture

CONCORD: Discover the world of today’s classical composer on Thursday, October 21, 7–8pm at Concord Conservatory. In a talk on 21st Century Classical Composers, presented by CCM faculty member Nicole Parks, you'll learn about composers making exciting music with new technology. Gone are the days of putting pen to paper. Contemporary composers take advantage of the latest technology, blending musical styles and genres. Today’s composers are pushing the boundaries and exploring creative sounds for audiences of the 21st century. 

Joan Tower, Du Yun, Aaron Jay Myers, Angélica Negrón, and Evan Williams are a few of the composers you will be introduced to. Parks will discuss their music and lives and what makes them an individual voice in the "classical" music world. She’ll delve into their music and share how it is influenced by their experiences and the world around us.

CCM’s Covid policy requires those over 12 must show proof of vaccination. Please wear your mask in the building at all times. Kids under 18 are FREE, and General Admission tickets are $15 each. Tickets:  https://concordconservatory.org/events/21st_century_composers/.  Email  info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM.

Halloween Harvest: Ghosts, Goblins & More with Storyteller, Davis Bates

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is excited to host a Halloween storytelling program with Parents’ Choice Award-winning performer Davis Bates on Tuesday, October 26 at 4pm. The program is recommended for ages 5 years and older, as well as adults. In case of inclement weather, the program will take place at Hunt Recreation Center, 90 Stow Street.

This is the perfect way to celebrate the fall season, with traditional and true life ghost stories, supernatural tales, and songs about the harvest and turning of the earth. The program will include amusing folktales about spirits and shapeshifters, and a couple of not-too-scary true-life ghost stories that Davis has collected over the years, including one from his own family. It also includes trick or treat and harvest sing-alongs with very sing-able choruses that will be taught to the audience. Some of the songs will be accompanied by rhythms played on spoons from a kitchen drawer and percussion instruments from around the world. There will be an appearance by a dancing wooden dog named “Bingo.”

Pete Seeger calls Davis "thoughtful, creative, human, and a fantastic storyteller."  Davis' traditional and participatory style of telling is a refreshing change from videos and passive televised entertainment, empowering and encouraging audiences of all ages to join in the fun, and to take the stories home with them to share with others. He also encourages listeners to remember and tell stories from their own family and cultural tradition.

Davis Bates has been telling stories for over forty years, in schools, libraries, colleges, and community settings around New England and across the country.  His recording of Family Stories won a Parent’s Choice Gold Award, was named one of that year’s best Audio Recordings by Booklist Magazine and is available as a free download on his website, www.davisbates.com. Davis has also served as director and consultant for several local and regional oral history and folk arts projects. Davis lives in the village of Shelburne Falls, MA, and when he isn't collecting or learning stories he spends his time working with the Hampshire College Alumni Advisory Group and gardening on the Hampshire campus and at home.

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.

CROP Walk for the Hungry

CONCORD: At 2:15pm on October 17,  concerned residents from Concord, Carlisle, Bedford, Sudbury, Lincoln, Acton and other area towns will step off from First Parish, 20 Lexington Road in Concord for the 41st annual Concord Area CROP Walk for the Hungry.  A scenic 2.25 mile route through Minuteman National Park across the Old North Bridge, the Walk takes about one hour. The Concord-Carlisle High School Band will provide music during registration, beginning at 1:30pm. 

In 2020, despite the COVID pandemic, Concord CROP Walk raised $20,400 in a virtual walk, bringing the 40 year total to $1.26 million. 75% of funds raised by the walk help Church World Service (CWS) programs to fight the causes of hunger and provide emergency response to disasters in the U. S. and worldwide. 

Locally, 25% of funds raised go directly to support hunger relief programs in nine area towns including Open Table in Concord and Maynard, Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Bedford Community Table and Pantry, and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry serving Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, all local food programs have had to respond quickly and creatively to meet the rising need.  For health safety, community suppers have been suspended and pantries moved outside.  In January, 2021, the Greater Boston Food Bank reported that in Eastern Massachusetts one in eight individuals are now food insecure. One in five children in Eastern Massachusetts, a 117% increase, now live in a food insecure home.   

In 2021, Open Table, with the help of local chefs and hundreds of new volunteers, launched a rapidly growing prepared-meals program with a goal of serving 1,000 meals per week.  In the first week of August, 981 meals including 195 sandwiches for kids were created and distributed.  Meals and prepacked groceries are available for those in need residing in twenty-one central Middlesex County towns.  More information is available at www.opentable.org.  All local programs have websites with details about location, days and times for food distribution.

CROP Walk events will be held outside with COVID safety protocols.  Those who prefer may do a virtual walk.  For more information, to donate or sponsor a walker, visit www.concordcrop.org.
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Steinberg Wellness Center Offers Yoga for Pelvic Pain

CONCORD: The Steinberg Wellness Center for Mind and Body is offering a new class, Yoga for Pelvic Pain, with Dr. Briana Meagher. The 6-week series starts October 21, 4-5pm, and is being offered online and in-person at the wellness center.

This series uses an evidence-based perspective on the value of yoga for those with chronic pelvic pain. The classes focus on two of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s eight-fold path: pranayama (breathing) and asana (postures) and how they can help those with have hip, back and pelvic pain.  It focuses on bringing mobility to muscles in and around your pelvic floor. If you spend too much time tensing any muscle, the muscle can’t relax enough to contract properly, so your muscles can become weaker. Other muscles may try to do the job of the muscle that isn’t functioning properly, creating bodily imbalances and spreading the cycle of pain. 

Dr. Bre Marie Meagher has extensive training in yoga and pelvic physical therapy and guides you through this series to learn how to incorporate yoga as therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular re-education to help you build a home practice.

To register or for more information about the Yoga for Pelvic Pain program, visit www.emersonwellness.org or call the Steinberg Wellness Center for Mind and Body at 978-287-3777. 
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Concord Orchestra Begins 2021-22 Season

CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents the first concert of its 2021-2022 season, with five programs planned and conducted by finalists auditioning for the position of Music Director. Orchestra musicians are very excited to be able to work with these accomplished candidates this season. Patrons are invited to meet the candidates, share their reactions, and be a part of the journey as the orchestra chooses its next Music Director. 

The first program of the season, “East Meets West”, planned and conducted by Geneviève Leclair, takes place on October 16 at 8pm and October 17 at 2pm.  There is a pre-concert lecture by Leclair at 7:15pm on October 16.  The orchestra performs Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, Alan Hovhaness’  Artik with French horn soloist  Lauren Winter, Chen Yi’s  Ge Xu  (Antiphony), and Claude Debussy’s La Mer.

Canadian conductor Geneviève Leclair was appointed Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in 2016. Very active with organizations across Canada, the United States and the UK, she is also a guest conductor with Northern Ballet (UK) and a member of the Board of Directors of
the International Conductors Guild.

In recent years, Leclair has had the opportunity to guest conduct various orchestras both in
Canada and the United States, including National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, Winnipeg
Symphony, Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, Guelph Symphony, Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Chamber and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Her performances have been hailed as “impeccable” (Boston Phoenix), “ravishing” and of “exemplary pacing and reading” (Hugh Fraser) while her conducting style is praised for its “verve and precision”,
“confident dynamics and tempos, crisp rhythms, and crystalline phrasing creat[ing] powerful forward momentum” (Carla DeFord).

Lauren Winter is principal horn of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Symphony Orchestra.  She is also third horn with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and formerly Principal Horn of Symphony New Hampshire. Lauren also can be seen performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Emmanuel Music.

Highlights of the season will also include guest appearances with Symphony New Brunswick and Orchestre Classique de Montréal. Tickets for adults and seniors are $25.  Admission for youth under 18 is free.  For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.

Scarecrow Festival at the Concord Free Public Library

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CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host the 6th annual Scarecrow Festival on October 16 - 31. Gather your family and visit the Main Library's front lawn and the Fowler Library’s lawn to enjoy all the creative scarecrows made by local organizations! This year’s participants include: Appleton Design Group, Artscape at Bradford Mill, Beede Center, Children’s Meeting House Preschool, Colonial Inn, Concord Conservatory of Music, Concord Middle School, Magic Garden Preschool, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Nashoba Brooks School,  Open Table, Orangetheory, Village Art Room, and the Visitor Center.  For more information, contact Royce McGrath, Supervisor of Children’s Services at RNMcGrath@minlib.netFor 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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Award-Winning Poet and Writer to Speak at Middlesex CC

BEDFORDAs part of the Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host poet and writer DeMisty D. Bellinger at an outdoor event. By speaking at the college, she hopes to “show students that writing is a possibility, both as a career and hobby.”

“I want to help them understand the art of writing – and like any other art – its worth of exploration for the sake of beauty alone, as well as commentary,” Bellinger said. “Furthermore, I want them to know that there are writers who are active now, who are living people that create and try to interpret the world in the way that they know how.”

She also wants to emphasize to students the importance of writing as communication, whether it be through poetry and fiction or in more general ways, such as text messages, emails or articles. “We write to present our perceptions and to persuade others to see the world as we do,” she said.

A poetry editor at Malarkey Books, Bellinger is also an alumni reader at Prairie Schooner. At Fitchburg State University, she teaches creative writing, African American studies, and women, gender and sexuality studies. For her work, she has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and The Marge Piercy Intensive Poetry Workshop. Bellinger has published two books of poetry, “Rubbing Elbows” (2017, Finishing Line Press) and “Peculiar Heritage” (2021, Mason Jar Press). Her fiction and nonfiction writing have been published in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Necessary Fiction, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Kweli, The Ekphrastic Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eureka and Forklift, Ohio. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been included in anthologies, including From the Ashes: An International Anthology of Womxn’s Poetry, Best Small Fictions 2019, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, and Teacher Voice.

Bellinger’s event will take place in the Bedford Campus Quad Canopy Tent at 12:30pm on Wednesday, October 20. MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3363 or visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.aspx for more information.

Minuteman High School Launches Animal Science Program
Veterinary Jobs To Grow 16% Nationally By 2029

LEXINGTON: Minuteman High School has added Animal Science to its list of career technical education (CTE) majors for the 2021-22 school year – addressing the needs of the veterinary industry that is growing rapidly nationwide.
With the addition of the Animal Science program, Minuteman now hosts a total of 19 CTE majors for students in grades 9-12. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Minuteman’s Animal Science program for Chapter 74 career/vocational technical education status in June.
“Many young people are passionate about animal welfare, and there is a clear need for skilled professionals in this growing field,” said Edward A. Bouquillon, Superintendent-Director of Minuteman. “Minuteman is fortunate to have several respected industry partners working closely with us to provide real-world, hands-on opportunities for students as we grow the Animal Science program.”
A student-operated veterinary clinic, which would be open to the public, is being planned for the Minuteman campus within the next few years as part of the new program. The Animal Science program is beginning with this year’s ninth grade class and will increase by one grade level each year.
The addition of the Animal Science career major comes amid an increased demand for skilled workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16 percent by 2029, which is much faster than the 4 percent growth rate for all occupations. About 20 percent of all U.S. households acquired a dog or a cat during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Minuteman students receive industry-recognized credentials that allow them to obtain entry-level jobs upon high school graduation, or to continue their education to pursue technical or professional careers. Examples of entry-level animal science careers include veterinary assistant, animal lab assistant, and farm assistant; technical careers requiring advanced certifications or an associate’s degree include certified veterinary technician, animal lab technician, shelter director, zookeeper, or farmer; and professional careers requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher include zoologist, veterinarian, animal welfare lawyer, veterinarian technician specialist, animal educational roles, and more.
Several representatives animal science-related or workforce development organizations are serving on Minuteman’s Animal Science Advisory Board. Partner organizations include BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, Zoo New England, the UMass Amherst/Mt. Ida College Veterinary Technology Program, Hingham Animal Clinic, Education Alliance, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, and the MassHire Workforce Development Boards.
PHOTO: Ninth-grade students from Minuteman High School who are interested in enrolling in the new Animal Science program recently visited BluePearl Speciality and Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham. BluePearl is an industry advisor for the new Minuteman program.

Job Lane House Farm Museum Hosts Mini Barn Raising 

BEDFORD: The Friends of the Job Lane House will host their annual Mini Barn Raising for kids ages 6 to 12 on October 16, 10am-Noon at the Job Lane House, 295 North Road.

Instructors Tom Musco & Deb D’Amico, Timber Framers, present an exercise of teamwork as the children raise a one-quarter size barn model. The small pegs and large mallets are a “big deal” for  participants. Along the way, the children learn about types of wood, history of rural structures, parts of a barn, and most importantly, why teamwork is critical - one person cannot raise a barn. It is a 3-D puzzle that teaches students (both young & old) about how barns were made, touching upon science and humanities. A short film about the history of New England barns will be shown and discussed before the barn raising.

The fee for this event is only $28 per child. There's room for just 10 kids and their adults, so sign-up is required. Register through the Bedford Recreation Department, https://apm.activecommunities.com/bedfordma.

Emerson Hospital Announces RFP to Enhance Mental Health Care
Community-Based Organizations and Non-Profits Invited to Apply

CONCORD: Emerson Hospital is pleased to announce a Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the mental health needs of the community, as part of the health system’s commitment to improve the accessibility of mental health care services.  Community-based organizations, non-profits, and municipal agencies that address mental health needs and serve residents in any of the towns within Emerson’s service area are invited to apply to receive a grant of approximately $190,000 total. The application deadline is Monday, October 18 at 5pm.

The grant is designed to improve the availability and access of mental health services for people living in Emerson’s service area. Earlier this year, Emerson conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of the issues community members face, and discover opportunities to address these issues. Mental health care was identified in the assessment as a critical need across all age groups, income levels, and racial/ethnic groups.

Recently, Emerson received approval by the Massachusetts Department of Health for a new ambulatory surgery center that will provide endoscopy procedures. Funding for the grant is based on this capital investment, For more information, including the RFP application, please visit: www.emersonhospital.org/community-programs.  For questions about the RFP, please email communitybenefits@emersonhosp.org.
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit stopbullying.org, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit jasonfoundation.com and click Training for more information. 

Minuteman Auto Students Repair Car Provided To Veteran

LEXINGTON: Recently, a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe that was repaired by Minuteman High School automotive technology students was provided to a U.S. Army and Navy veteran in a ceremony with Second Chance Cars and Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston.
Automotive teacher John Primpas was on hand with students Cole Traywick of Acton and Samuel Staiti of Arlington, both juniors, when the car was transferred to veteran John Harrold as part of Vertex’s 13th annual Day of Service. Employees spent the morning detailing 10 cars that will be provided to veterans at low-cost, no-interest loans through Second Chance Cars, including the one Harrold received.
All of the vehicles were donated to Second Chance Cars. The vehicle Harrold received was donated by the widow of a Korean War veteran who passed away last year.
“This is amazing,” Harrold said. “To a homeless veteran, this is a ‘hand up’ in the right direction.” Harrold recently had hip and knee surgery. He was walking two miles to his job at a medical company, but no longer has to do that. In addition, he said he will use his vehicle to help other veterans travel to and from work. Harrold currently lives in housing for veterans in Devens.
“I take immense amount of pride in it,” Traywick, one of the Minuteman students, said of his work. “It’s a really cool sense of community and working for someone who you know needs it.”
“It’s important for us to help veterans however we can,” Staiti said. “Something as small as a car could be the difference between getting to work or ensuring safe travels for their kids.”
Second Chance Cars is a non-profit organization that awards affordable, donated cars for veterans and low-income people in need to get to work. Donated cars are refurbished by a network of vocational schools and are worth, on average, about $5,000. Once fixed up, the cars are detailed and awarded to recipients via a $900, no-interest loan through Metro Credit Union.
Second Chance Cars works with Veterans Inc., a Massachusetts-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for veterans.

MCC’s Concert Series Turns 20 & Returns to Live Performances 

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BEDFORD/LOWELL: Celebrating 20 years of the “A World of Music” concert series, Middlesex Community College will return to in-person performances. Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department, is “delighted to celebrate this milestone” and once again perform for a live audience. “The performers enjoy connecting directly with students and the community through the great variety of music we offer, and we all look forward to these live performances,” Rodríguez-Peralta said. “This fall, we will present new compositions set to the text of Jack Kerouac, offer a Halloween concert, feature a ground-breaking opera examining the trans experience, and conclude with an MCC student recital.”

In collaboration with the “Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival” and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, this event will feature a panel discussion on Jack Kerouac’s works and how to craft musical meaning when setting his text to music. Three new compositions by MCC faculty member Aaron Rosenberg, former MCC faculty member Mark Berger and Karl Henning, set to selected texts by Kerouac, will be premiered. MCC President Phil Sisson will conclude the program by reading a Kerouac poem while Todd Brunel, bass clarinet, improvises a Jazz solo. Performers will also include members of the Lowell Chamber Orchestra with soprano Rose Hegele and MCC faculty members Rodríguez-Peralta and Rosenberg playing the piano on different selections.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm on October 7 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center in the Recital Hall in Lowell. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

Other performances throughout the semester include a Halloween concert featuring MCC faculty members, “The Black Cat” at 8pm on October 29 in Bedford; the Lowell Chamber Orchestra in “Opera: As One,” at 7:30pm on November 20 in Lowell; and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30pm on December 13 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923. MCC’s Academic Arts Center is located at 240 Central Street in Lowell. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex St. in Lowell. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.

Emerson Hospital Receives Highest Award for its Care of Stroke Patients

CONCORD: The American Heart Association honored Emerson Hospital recently for its excellence in treating stroke patients. Emerson earned the Gold Plus Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Quality Achievement Award to recognize the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate treatment to stroke patients, according to research-based
guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Someone in the country suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are essential to improve patients’ survival, minimize disability, and speed recovery times.

Emerson meets or exceeds key quality measures established by The American Heart Association for the care of stroke patients. “We are pleased to receive the highest honor by the American Heart
Association for our work to reduce the debilitating effects of stroke and help patients have the best outcomes,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO of Emerson Hospital. Every patient who comes to Emerson with stroke symptoms receives the highest quality care based on the latest
guidelines that our clinical teams are continually trained on.”

Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines has benefited more than nine million patients since 2001. For information about Emerson’s care of stroke patients, and warning signs of stroke, please visit www.emersonhospital.org/stroke.

"The Last Wide Open" Kicks Off Umbrella Stage Co. Season

CONCORD: The Umbrella Stage Company returns to live theater for the 2021/2022 season  with a fresh, intimate staging of Audrey Cefaly's romantic comedy, The Last Wide OpenStarring Watertown actress Rebecca Shor (pictured), with Ethan Butler and Kayla Shimizu, the play tells  the story of Lina, a young waitress, and Roberto, an Italian immigrant, who have been working  together for years but rarely talk. If they do talk, it’s from a distance or gets lost in translation.  But when a late-night thunderstorm finds them alone in the restaurant at closing time, they  find their lives intersecting in surprising and mystical ways. Over wine and conversation, they  test the waters of happiness and intimacy. 

The purposefully modest cast size is consistent with The Umbrella's plan to help ease audiences back into live theater with Covid safety in mind. Seating is capped at half-capacity to allow for  distancing – both from other audiences members and from the performers. Other Covid safety  measures include mask requirements, requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results,  and meeting union-mandated rules for maintaining The Umbrella as a "fully vaccinated  workplace".  

The rest of the season will build modestly from there – forgoing the large casts of previously  planned musical spectacles such as War Paint in favor of smaller, diverse and lesser known  productions, including a world premiere commission. 
The Last Wide Open runs in the Main Stage Theater144 at 40 Stow Street, from September 24 - October 10. Performance times are 8PM Thursday through Saturday, with 3PM matinees on  Sundays. See http://TheUmbrellaStage.org.

Concord Free Public Library Announces Children’s Author Talk with Lucia Van Bebber 

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CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library is excited to host a virtual author talk with children’s author Lucia Van Bebber on October 6 at 2pm on Zoom. Learn more about how she writes stories for children in the hope of inspiring them to learn more about wildlife and wildlife conservation. Lucia’s goal is to help educate young minds in order to save animals that are now on the endangered species list and are on the verge of extinction.

Lucia started The LVB Project to promote education about wildlife as well as wildlife conservation and the protection of animals in all countries. A portion of all proceeds received through the sale of all Life of Kai books and products on the LVB Project website will go to organizations that help protect endangered or abused animals.

Lucia currently lives in Gaborone, Botswana where she continues her passion of wildlife photography and writing children’s adventure books.

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

Concord Free Public Library Announces Fall and Winter Nature Connection Programs 

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CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) is teaming up with The Nature Connection for monthly programs and storytimes! Children are invited to a nature themed storytime where they get to meet an animal and explore nature hands-on. Programs will take place in-person at the Main Library.

On Tuesday, September 28 at 4pm, there be a special program for all ages exploring the theme of climate change. Storytime for pre-K children will be held on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:30am (October 12, November 9 & December 8). They will also offer a program for elementary students on the second Wednesday of each month at 2pm (October 13, November 10 & December 14).

We encourage families to register ahead of time on the CFPL website so that we can provide enough materials, but registration is not required! The Nature Connection designs programs to be accessible and inclusive for children of all backgrounds and abilities. We welcome all children to attend!

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.

" Art In the Time of the Pandemic "
Older Adults' Spirits and Talent are Alive & Extremely Well

CONCORD: The Concord Council on Aging (COA) closed its doors in March 2020 through June 2021.  During those 15 months, the COA concentrated on numerous drive-through activities and original programs on Zoom for all Concord residents age 60+.  The COA was aware that while it was working, many of its members were, too.

In July 2021 a call for sharing was put out in the Senior Spirit, the COA's monthly newsletter, asking for submissions of creativity produced during the rise and continuation of Covid19.   Lauren Barretta, Assistant Director at the COA, sparked the idea of Art in the Time of the Pandemic and offers “Isolation is really a matter of perspective. For some this time might have felt like a retreat, and a time to reconnect with their creativity. For others art was a way of finding a community while physically distant. We wanted to bring together the work of those that used art as a form of expression during this otherwise difficult year. And the results are fantastic!” 

Over the course of the remaining summer, projects, from writings to watercolor works to fabric/basketry work, trickled in.  Each submitter modestly made the point that they are not a professional artist but admitted to dabbling at their endeavor for years. In addition to displaying their pieces, everyone was asked, “What did your creativity during the pandemic do for you? " Answers varied but the unifying response was no surprise - creating during the pandemic brought, peace, stability and purpose.  Concord residents featured in the exhibit are: Reni Archibald, Linda Benua, Nancy Brown, Gerry Boyle, Nan Conway, Carolyn Gold, Kristina Joyce, Barbara Krebs, Barbara McKenna and Nobuko Yamasaki (pictured).   

Art in the Time of the Pandemic is currently being enjoyed by senior residents at the Concord Council on Aging in the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street through October.