Harmonist Duo Schmidt and Rogers Bring 2nd Annual “Every Day is Mother’s Day” Tour

LITTLETON: Activist singer/songwriting and folk music icons, Sally Rogers, Claudia Schmidt and Emma's Revolution join together for their second “Every Day is Mother’s Day Tour”, with a concert at First Church Unitarian on May 4 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door.  Visit https://tinyurl.com/EveryDayisMothersDay2024 to get yours.

This is the second year of the “Every Day is Mother’s Day Tour” to celebrate women’s voices (we ALL have mothers!). The performers are excited to share the stage again to create powerful four-part harmonies to, as Pat says, “Lift up mothers and foremothers, trail blazers and hell raisers of all kinds.” Sally adds, “The actions we can take and the songs we can sing to make this world a better place are the focus of our lives’ work and will take center stage in these concerts.”

Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers have been perfecting their craft of performing for over four decades, both as solo artists and as a duo. Claudia’s is a quirky and wonderful hodge-podge (her word!) of music, poetry, story, laughter, drama, and celebrating the moment. Work in clubs, theaters, festivals, TV, radio has added depth and dimension, and since she has always included her original work along with very personal versions of the work of others, what you get is a unique look at the world from someone who says what she sees with clarity, humor, and wonder. The San Francisco Bay Guardian said: “Schmidt's shows are a lot like falling in love. You never know what's going to happen next, chances are it's going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory and you know you'll never be the same again." More succinctly, Garrison Keillor said, "When Claudia sings a song, it stays sung."

Sally Rogers began her career as a full-time touring musician in 1979, after encouragement from Stan Rogers, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter.  That was followed by an invitation from Garrison Keillor to appear on A Prairie Home Companion.  She appeared more than a dozen times on that show, which launched her performing career.  Her travels have since taken her to Europe, China, Hungary and Poland, England and Scotland and across the United States.  Her concerts enfold the audience in the music as they are encouraged to join in throughout the evening.  Her gorgeous singing voice, boundless energy and good humor are welcomed from coast to coast.  Her songs are featured in the Unitarian and Quaker Hymnals and national school music textbooks. They are also sung by community groups in pub sings and by children on the playground.

Known for fearless, truth-telling lyrics and melodies you can’t resist singing, Emma's Revolution is the award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Now in their 22nd year, the duo writes songs about critical issues happening in the world, lending their voices to the movements those issues inspire and delivering moving, uplifting performances. Emma’s Revolution's songs have travelled around the world and have been praised by Pete Seeger, covered by Holly Near, featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Pacifica’s Democracy Now!, and sung around the world.

A feature documentary, KEEP ON MOVING FORWARD, is being made about Emma’s Revolution, their songs and their work on the frontlines of peace and social justice movements by award-winning independent filmmaker, Tom Weidlinger. Tom has been writing, directing and producing documentary films for 35 years; many of his films have won festival awards and 25 have aired nationally on public television. The film is expected to be released in 2026. For more information, visit emmasrevolution.com.

Littleton's Transition Program Students Give Back

LITTLETON: Littleton students in the District's Personalized Academic and Comprehensive Education (PACE) program have been participating in many vocational opportunities this year, including volunteering their time to local charitable organizations.

Students have made fleece blankets for Deb's Beds, a non-profit organization that builds beds and donates bedding for families in the Middlesex County area.
PACE students also help by cleaning the Littleton Community Recreation Center and Town Offices, and assist the conservation commission by helping keep local parks and trails beautiful.
Once a month students volunteer at The Wish Project in Chelmsford, which is a nonprofit that supplies families in need with clothing, basic home goods, and baby goods. Students assist in sorting and assembling donations that will be going to local families.

Kyle Musomba, who is working on his cake decorating and baking skills, combined his passion with community service by baking different desserts each week for the town's Neighborhood Suppers, which are sponsored by various local churches including the Congregational Church of Littleton, First Baptist Church of Littleton, First Church Unitarian, Blessed Trinity Parish-St. Anne’s Catholic, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These suppers are typically for people in financial need or seeking companionship.

"We always look forward to and appreciate the baked treats that the LHS Transition Students prepare for the Littleton Neighborhood Supper," said Ministry Leader Maggie Spalding of the Blessed Trinity Parish Neighborhood Supper. "The delicious desserts are a great addition to our Tuesday evening meals and our guests really enjoy them."

"Our Transition students put so much effort into their volunteer work at each organization. They love to see the smiles their help brings to people in our tight-knit community," said Transition Program Coordinator Catherine Johnson. "Not only do these volunteer opportunities allow them to build upon their vocational skills but they make lasting connections with community members and really make a difference."

Littleton Lyceum Hosts Last Program of the Season featuring Sugar Kings

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum presents its last program of the season, Sugar Kings, on April 26 at 7:30pm in Littleton High Schools’ Performing Arts Center, 56 King Street. This award-winning quartet performs R & B, rock, and reggae music and are known for their dynamic live performances, rich harmonies, and ability to transcend musical genres. Tickets are just $25 for a family; $8 for a single admission; $5 for seniors or students. For more information, visit littletonlyceum.org or follow them on Facebook.

Two Truths, One Lie, Three Pours: An Evening with Sam Adams

WESTFORD: Enjoy three stories about Sam Adams while sampling a variety of Samuel Adams Beers paired with savory appetizers prepared by Classic Kitchen Cafe. Westford Museum and Historical Society brings Colonial interpreter, Mike Lepage to share three accounts of the life of Sam Adams, two accounts will be historically accurate, one is a fabrication! Can you ferret out the fable from fact. Join this evening of "Two Truths, One Lie, Three Pours with Sam Adams (The Beer, the Man): On April 27 from 7:30-9pm.
Tickets are available at https://museum.westford.org/events/two-truths-one-lie-three-pours-2.

This event is sponsored by Enterprise Bank, The Don & Patti Mason Foundation, helping others through giving and Samuel Adams Brewery.
Moments with you

Artist-of-the-Month: Sara Eiermann Offers "See, Breathe, Be" Exhibition

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street, will be featuring Artist-of-the-Month Sarah Eiermann and her "See, Breathe, Be" exhibition, running April 1-28.  There will be an Artist's Reception will be held Sunday April 7 from noon-3pm. The Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon-2pm.  Visit pcawestford.org for information.

Sarah Eiermann creates mixed media oil and acrylic paintings, taking inspiration from natural elements and vibrant color. Her dreamscapes represent emotional resolutions and personal revelations. Sarah discovered her love for painting in her early teenage years. She experimented with various mediums in high school and went on to win a Scholastic Art and Writing award for her first batik. Sarah attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, studying painting. During her four years of college, she developed a love for abstraction and landscape painting. Sarah’s work is held in private collections throughout New England. She currently lives and works at her home in the oceanside city of Gloucester, MA. Experiencing the natural world is grounding and centering. “See, Breathe, Be” is a culmination of personal triumph and the effect nature can have on us all. This exhibition is intended to let the viewer search inward for their own power and connection to themselves. For more information, contact sarah.barbara.eiermann@gmail.com.

Huge Yard Sale to Benefit Learning Up

LITTLETON: Time for a spring cleanout and reuse at the annual Spring Yard Sale on April 20, 10am-2pm at the Littleton Historical Society, King and Rogers Streets. Drop off donations Friday evening April 19 from 4-6 pm and early Saturday morning to benefit Learning Up, a school in Ghana (501(C)3 organization). Bring your gently used household goods, lawn and garden items, tools, bikes, sporting equipment for all ages, books, kitchen gear, small appliances, lamps, knickknacks, useable rugs, tables and chairs, small furniture and bed frames in good condition, and best of all - those holiday presents that didn’t hit the mark. Many things will be accepted and sold EXCEPT for car seats, clothing, shoes, artificial Christmas trees and computer equipment. Visit www.learningupnow.wordpress.org for more information about the beneficiary. 
Macleod belsher

PEI Returns to Westford Courtesy of Fiddler Cynthia MacLeod & Gordon Belsher

WESTFORD: Mark your calendars for April 12, because the PCA Coffeehouse is bringing back a taste of Prince Edward Island (PEI) with fiddler extraordinaire Cynthia MacLeod, accompanied by Gordon Belsher! Tickets to this “Foot-stomping, hand-clapping FUN” show are $18 for PCA Members/seniors, $20 for non-members/in advance; and $25 at the door (if available).  The show kicks off at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm), at the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street. For ticket reservations and more information, visit pcawestford.org. For group sales, please call (978) 692-6333 to request a table (min. 4).

Cynthia MacLeod is one of Prince Edward Island’s finest ambassadors of traditional music carving a distinct style of fiddling that embraces both her local roots and her ancestral connection to the Scottish highlands. Since the beginning of her career as a young teenager,Cynthia has spent more than 15 years on stages on PEI, across Canada, into the U.S., and as far abroad as Cuba and Japan, astounding audiences with her entertainingly unique performance style. Live performances are where Cynthia truly shines. Her joyful, charismatic personality is exuded in her playing, and her natural way with audiences of any size turns strangers into instant fans. For more information about Cynthia MacLeod, visit her online at cynthiamacleod.com.

Gordon Belsher has been performing in Canada and around the world for more than 40 years. He is a fixture of the Prince Edward Island music scene and has toured across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe, Australia and Japan. His solo CDs have been up for and won PEI Music Awards and ECMA’s.

Do not miss your chance to catch this upbeat show that’ll keep your toes tappin’, your heels clickin’ and your body completely unable to stay still! Last year was a sell-out success! At the PCA, you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment.

The PCA Coffeehouse Series is sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford. DirectTicket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/4-12-24-cynthia-macleod-with-gordon-belsher/158

Expect R&B, Americana & Rock When The Delta Generators Come to Town

WESTFORD: Winning awards and playing to sold out shows across New England and beyond, the Boston-based Delta Generators have made quite a name for themselves since hitting the scene. Their music brings together their diverse musical influences, drawing on the traditions of Blues, Roots, R&B, Americana and Rock to create a sound uniquely their own. You can catch their show at Parish Center for the Arts on April 13 at 8pm (Doors open 7:30pm)! Tickets range from $18 for Members; $20 Non-Member/in advance, and are available online at pcawestford.org.  For groups of 4 or more, call (978) 692-6333 for reserved seating. The PCA, located right on Westford Common at 10 Lincoln Street, is an accessible space to those with mobility challenges.  BYO food and beverages.

A wealth of talent and experience among them, The Delta Generators include front man, Brian Templeton (Radio Kings, Otis Grand Kings, The Proven Ones with Kid Ramos); Willie J. Campbell, Jimi Bott and Anthony Geraci, as well as brothers Charlie (guitar) and Rick O’Neal (bass), who individually have worked with Ben Orr (The Cars), Johnny A, Must. Jeff Armstrong (drums) and Charlie O’Neal also play for Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All-Stars. The band has had their music placed in TV and film, including their song ‘Way Down’ as the theme song to the Netflix series “Yankee,” and many more songs placed in the U.S. and all around the world.  The band has released four studio albums – “Devil In The Rhythm,” “Hard River To Row,” “Get On The Horse,” and “Hipshakers and Heartbreakers” (featuring original front man, Craig Rawding), and one live album, “Live At The Spire” (with Templeton).  Together, the Delta Generators have blended the best of their best to bring their fans an unforgettable musical experience.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/4-13-24-delta-generators-blues-roots-r-b-americana-rock-/109

For the past 25 years, the non-profit PCA has brought the arts alive for residents of Westford and surrounding communities. A fine art gallery, a concert hall, a dance hall, or a general purpose hall for your private recital or family event, the PCA offers many ways to celebrate the visual and performing arts in a convenient and family-friendly venue. Visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mark Your Calendars! Steve Zocchi Hosts "Man vs. Piano" Concert

WESTFORD: The Piano Heritage Series at the Parish Center in Westford presents Steve Zocchi, pianist/humorist in Concert on April 14 in a concert named “Man vs. Piano.” The humorous pre-concert talk at 3:15pm will give the audience hilarious insights into the life and struggles of the pianist. Zocchi’s family-friendly, piano-based humor will be followed by an exciting program of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Jazz and original works at 4pm at the 10 Lincoln Street facility. Tickets are available online at https://parisharts.square.site/shop/classical/3, or at the door for $15 PCA Members/Seniors; $18 Non-members; $8 Students; $5 Children 12 & under. 

Steve Zocchi is a pianist, composer, and music teacher from the Boston area. Steve’s primary musical focus is on J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Improvisation. After receiving his degree in Piano Performance, Zocchi studied Jazz Piano theory with the legendary Steve Hunt. He also studied Organ with the late Dr. John Ogasapian and served as assistant-organist at St. Anne's Church in Lowell from 1997-1999. Steve then served as Music Minister at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lowell from 2000-2014. He was Music Director at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford MA, 2014-2021. He is presently at Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church.

Zocchi served as president of the Greater Lowell Music Teachers Association from 2006 to 2012 and was awarded 'Music Teacher of the Year 2010' by Massachusetts Music Teachers Association. Steve maintains a thriving music studio in Groton where he teaches piano and guitar. Steve is known for his eclectic piano concerts juxtaposing Classical, Jazz and Original Compositions. A recording artist, Zocchi’s latest release 'Piano Works and Play' as well as his previous CD 'Compositions and Improvisation' include both music composed in the Classical tradition as well as improvised music in several genres. Steve lives with his wife, pianist/teacher/super-hero Meghan Zocchi, and their three young sons in Groton.
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Liberty Square Patriot's Day Ceremony

LITTLETON: Commemorate Littleton's participation in the April 19, 1775 by joining the Historical Commission on April 19 at 7pm at Liberty Square, at the corner of Taylor Street and Hill Road. This short ceremony will memorialize the activities of the day and the fight townsmen proudly joined. Words from Select Board and Commission representatives, a volley by the Boxborough Minuteman, and a soulful playing of Taps will set the tone. The ceremony typically lasts no more than 20 minutes, come and take a minute to reflect on what that day meant to the country as we know it today. Looking ahead, 2025 will mark the 250th anniversary of Patriot's Day. Only heavy rain will postpone the ceremony.

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

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

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

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

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

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to share that students participating in Littleton's Personalized Academic and Comprehensive Education (PACE) program are engaging in individualized programming to develop life skills.

The PACE program is a transition program within the District that assists students with disabilities aged 18-22 in preparing for the transition from school to post-school life. Participants focus on a variety of transition skills including functional reading and math, independent living skills, activities of daily living, and vocational skills. Through the program, participants can engage in a wide range of individualized activities, events, internships, and community service projects that meet their unique needs and interests.

Many of the program's ongoing activities involve partnerships with local organizations, allowing participants to form connections with others, practice social skills, and regularly get out into the community to help those in need and provide support. One such partnership allowed students to connect over a sweet treat.

Kyle Musomba has a passion and talent for baking and cake decorating. He has been using his skills and detailed cake designs to bake goodies for Littleton's professional development days and Littleton's offices this school year. Most recently, Musomba baked a specialty cake for members of Littleton Middle School's Playbook Initiative. The details on this cake were all handmade, including the lettering.
Musomba will also be contributing his delectable desserts to the Littleton Neighborhood Suppers, an effort sponsored by local churches to provide meals to those in need. Additionally, he volunteers his time at the Portuguese Club in Hudson, Littleton Meals on Wheels, Littleton Public School's mail and post office deliveries, Great Road Nutrition, school nurse supplies deliveries, the Community Recreation Center, Deb’s Beds, The Wish Project in Chelmsford and more.

"Our program is small right now with three students, but that makes it even better for individualizing services and worksites/internships to student's areas of strength and interests," said Transition Coordinator Catherine Johnson. "Having different community partnerships is essential to our transition program. It allows our students the opportunity to build their vocational skills and make community connections, while assisting businesses in the community with trained and motivated individuals. The participants in our transition program are very capable and our community partnerships give them the opportunity to showcase their talents and hard work."

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, which takes place in April, Littleton Public Schools will be sharing a series of stories surrounding the Transition Program's community partnerships.

J.T. Turner Becomes Robert Frost in “Light & Dark” Performance

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts is very pleased to bring the next feature in its Literature Live series - J.T. Turner in “Robert Frost: Light & Dark.” This one-man tour-de-force production will play April 5, 2024 at 7pm. Tickets are $15 PCA Members/In Advance; $18 Non-Members and $10 Students. (Recommended for ages 12+.) BYOB and snacks. For more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org or https://parisharts.square.site/product/4-5-24-j-t-turner-robert-frost-light-dark/106 (direct ticket link).

Robert Frost was described by a friend as "a good poet, but a bad man." America's great poet comes to life in this highly-praised one-man show in which Frost relates stories of his life, the tragedy as well as the humor. He reads some of his most popular poems, and for fans of Frost's work this is a remarkable and intimate journey through the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.
This production is presented in part by a grant from the Westford Cultural Council, a local agency, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

J.T. Turner is a professional actor on stage, film, TV, and audio. He's a director of plays and musicals, writer, touring historical re-enactor, expert storyteller and public speaker. In addition, J.T. is a choreographer of stage combat. His company (The Actors Company) offers shows on historical/literary characters, including Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Ben Franklin, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald. J.T. also teach internal arts such as Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation for all ages.

K.I.S.S. Contest #8: Featured Performers Announced

WESTFORD: All are invited to the Parish Center (PCA) for the Arts on the first Saturday in April for an amazing musical experience! A team effort between the PCA and Worldwide Hearing Room Radio (WWHR), the 8th Keep It Simple Songwriting (K.I.S.S.) Contest will be taking place April 6 from 7:30-10pm (doors open 7pm). Enjoy 18 different singer/songwriter combinations performing ORIGINAL music on one stage - all in ONE NIGHT!! General admission table seating. Tickets are $10 for Members/Seniors; $13 in Advance; and $18 at the door. For ticket reservations and more information online, visit pcawestford.org or https://parisharts.square.site/product/4-6-24-k-i-s-s-keep-it-simple-songwriting-contest-8/153 (direct ticket link).  For groups of 4 or more, call (978) 692-6333.

This is a unique opportunity to see local performers, in one evening,doing the best material they have. The songwriters in this event are vying for one of the cash prizes that will be awarded on this evening - including an audience favorite vote!  You will see (in no particular order) performances by Lois Holt, Julie Jules, Andrew Crowe, Shelby MacLeod, Jane Minasian, Diane Kordas, Tom Hanlon, Kenny Selcer, Larry Willis, Jim Franklin, Paul Belanger, Peter Potthoff, David Hardwick, Ryan Feeley, Harrison Borsh, Molly Ruggles, Matt Mayerchak and Adam Lavoie.

This event is generously sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford.
Kristin obrien

Audience Votes for the Winner at PCA Comic Showcase & Contest

WESTFORD: Like a show where you can be apart without getting onstage? The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) has just the thing, and you’ll laugh a lot, too!  On March 22 at 7:30pm, the inaugural PCA Comedy Showcase & Contest will take place giving regional comedians the chance to win your vote.  Local comedian Auntie Kristin (pictured) will host,keeping things “in control” and “running smoothly” while each contestant performs a 5-minute set.  At the end of the evening, the audience will vote for their favorite and the winner will land an opening spot in the PCA’s Comedy Series during the 2024-25 season! Tickets are $15 for PCA Members; $18 for Non-Members; and $22 at the door (if available).  For more information, call(978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Host Auntie Kristin has been entertaining audiences in New England and Texas for 13 years. She has performed at festivals across the country including The Ladies of Laughter in NYC, Boston Comedy Festival’s “The Dirty Show” and Comcast’s “Trial By Laughter.” (Spring 2017). Auntie Kristin’s perspectives on marriage, children, and divorce will keep you in stitches! Competing for the prize will be ten very funny acts:

1) Pat Cogan is a Finance professional by day, occasional comedian by night. He has performed around Boston and the South Shore on and off since the last century.
2) Katy Coughlin is a stand up comedian from Lowell. Despite her sunny disposition, she is an angry Irish woman whose gross observations are sure to make you laugh.
3) Ajay Gallewale has performed on national TV for the PBS show “Stories from the Stage” (S3E1 summertime), and was selected to perform in "The Top 48 Funniest People in Massachusetts" in 2022.
4) Awais Hussain started his comedy Career in 2022. He threw in some jokes at his sister's wedding. You won't see him on Comedy Central or Netflix, but you can see him perform all over New England.
5) Alyssa Lou is a new comic based in Cambridge. Her style is like her favorite skincare products: cruelty free(except to herself).
6) Alex Mann's humor evolved from a childhood with family friction, neighbors who worked for the mob, fatherhood, divorce, dating over 40, working in TV/movies, and over 25 years as a Corrections Officer.
7) Viv Martin has been named Boston's Hottest Enby Comic Above 5' 10" from the Midwest, but they're not letting it get to their head. They co-produce a show for women and nonbinary comics called “Men in Comedy.”
8) Angel Micarelli is brand new to the stand-up scene. Soft-spoken and cheerfully subversive, Angel riffs on how life should be with keen observations, relatable stories, and a poorly concealed Boston accent.
9) Josh Ramirez began his comedy career in 2008 and quickly established himself as one of the strongest writers in the Worcester area. His unique observations and stage persona have won him many comedy contests and made him a favorite among audiences and fellow comics.
10) Freddie Scibelli brings his personal life experiences and dad humor to the stage. You can find him on a stage in Boston, at one of his monthly Spicket River Brewery shows or hosting his weekly MMA podcast The Barn Burner Breakdown. Wherever you catch him, get ready to laugh!

This event is sponsored by Denommee Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, denommeeplumbing.com.

DirectTicket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-22-24-pca-comic-showcase-contest/149

Littleton High School Students Recognized for Excellence at Massachusetts Science &
Engineering Fairs

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is proud to share that several Littleton High School students were recognized for excellence in their research at the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fairs (MSEF).

Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fairs (MSEF) holds high school and middle school-level science fairs that allow students to explore and manage an experimental project of their choosing. Students must follow a set of guidelines when choosing a topic and conducting their research. At the Fairs, they must present written lab reports, engaging visual displays, and a journal that outlines their research process, and they must demonstrate their knowledge of their project and scientific field to a panel of judges.

LHS students attended the MSEF Region IV Science and Engineering Fair at Tufts University in Medford on March 1. This was the 2nd year that LHS had students participate in MSEF. Six groups of LHS students presented their experiments at the Fair:
  • Grade 9 students Lasya Muthyala and Caitlin Stimpson presented "An investigation into how aqueous solutions of garlic, onion, and cinnamon influence the growth and viability of Escherichia coli"
  • Grade 10 student Anika Jacob presented "A Study on the Effect of Caffeine on the Growth and Development of Zebrafish Embryos Using Automated Quantitative Assessment of Morphological Changes"
  • Grade 11 students Finn Canning and Finley Pletcher presented "A study of water quality in Littleton, Massachusetts"
  • Grade 11 students Isabel McCurdy and Keira Rowe presented "Effect of a high sodium diet on the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans with and without a Marfan syndrome mutation"
  • Grade 11 student Michelle Muddasu presented "Exploring Piperine's Potential: A study on its effects on the lifespan of a C. elegans model of Alzheimer's disease"
  • Grade 11 students Areen Panda, Aum Patel, and Cainan Pletcher presented "A C. elegans Model for Heart Disease: How caffeine can affect the cardiovascular system"

A total of 193 students from 25 Region IV schools presented 127 projects. The top 40 percent from the Region IV fair are eligible to move on to present at the state fair in April.

Finn Canning and Finley Pletcher received the award for Outstanding Environmental Science Project. Canning and Pletcher, along with Anika Jakob, will be presenting their projects at the Massachusetts Statewide Science and Engineering Fair, which will take place on April 5 at Gillette Stadium.

Two additional groups of LHS students will also be presenting at the state fair. Grade 10 students Siddarth Padamati and Arohan Pathak will present "A study of the effect of greater wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) on the decomposition of plastic shopping bags," and Haaris Khan, Grade 10, and Samuel LeDoux, Grade 11, will present their engineering project "Magnetic Orthosis."

Dr. Valerie Finnerty is the STEM Research Club faculty leader and has mentored students conducting original science and engineering projects at the middle and high school levels for the last 23 years.
Students have been working on their projects since mid-fall, conducting and writing up background research, designing projects, and conducting and analyzing experiments. Many of them stayed after school and came in on weekends and during February break to work with Dr. Finnerty on their projects.

Dr. Finnerty noted that she believes the opportunity for students to conduct their scientific research helps them explore their interests in science and identify possible future goals while still in middle and high school. "These students are dedicated to pursuing scientific knowledge," Finnerty said. "They came up with original ideas for exploring real-life problems and learned a lot about the process of science during their projects. Each of these students is a scientist in addition to being a science student."

PHOTO: Littleton High School students at the MSEF Region IV Science and Engineering Fair at Tufts University in Medford. (Photo Courtesy Littleton Public Schools)

Contra/Barn Dances Return March 23 & 24

WESTFORD: Contra/Barn dances returned to 10 Lincoln Street on Westford Common this season with two events last November, and now two are upcoming on March 23 from 7:30-10pm (Dudley Laufman Calling), and Family Dance on March 24 from 2-4pm (Jacqueline Laufman Calling)! Dust off those dancing shoes and get in step! On Saturday, admission is just $10 per person; free to students.  On Sunday, admission is $10 adults; $5 kids; $20 max/family. Music will be played by the amazing houseband "OH! CONTRAire," led by Dave Fox. Refreshments will be provided. This is a PCA Community Event and all are welcome. Suggested donation is $5/person. Visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org.

Caller Dudley Laufman (born 1930) is an American contra and barn dance caller and musician widely credited with helping spur the revival of contra in the 20th century. Laufman attended his first dance as a boy while working at the Mistwold Farm in Fremont (NH) in 1948. In 1959, he moved to Canterbury. He was a founding member of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra in 1965. Dudley began calling and playing for dances, which became known as "Dudley Dances". He worked to spread the tradition, which ultimately caught on and has since spread across the United States and internationally. Beginning in 1978, Laufman started working with the New Hampshire Artists-in-the-Schools program, teaching contra dances to children. Laufman is a recipient of a 2009 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Learn more about Dudley Laufman at dudleylaufman.com.

For over 30 years Jacqueline has been playing fiddle for community social dancing. She calls out the traditional dance figures, such as do-si-do, swing your partner, or sashay as she plays the jigs and reels with her lively band of musicians. At festivals, schools, town hall, weddings and family get-togethers throughout New England and beyond, she and her band share the rich tunes and dances brought here from the British Isles. Laufman's prior work included being a school counselor and fiddle teacher. Always motivated to help others, Jacqueline co-created an educational publication to preserve the roots of traditional New England social dancing. This culminated in unique educational kit, “Traditional Barn Dances with Calls & Fiddling,” (published 2001), featuring an extensive instructional book with two CDs and a DVD. This resource is used in schools and colleges and is available globally. Jacqueline gives lecture-demonstrations, workshops and fiddle lessons. She leads in-depth school residencies in dance and shorter school presentations for all grade levels. She plays for youth and family camps, weddings, Elderhostel programs, festivals and conference sessions. Learn more about Jacqueline Laufman at jlaufman.org.

Spend an Afternoon with the "Bee Whisperer"

WESTFORD: On April 10 at 2pm, spend the afternoon with special guest Ken Warchol, a Massachusetts state Bee Inspector, who will share his heartwarming and engaging presentation on the honeybee. Warchol is a 6th generation caretaker of bees. His program “The Role of the Honeybee in Our Environment” brings you inside a beehive to better understand the mysterious social insect, challenges it faces, and the role it plays in humanity’s survival.  Ken also brings samples of a variety of his honey for everyone to taste. Find out why Ken is known as the “Bee Whisperer!” Door prizes and refreshments promise this will BEE a program you won’t want to miss! This free program will be held at the Cameron Senior Center and is sponsored by the Westford Women’s Club. Please call (978) 692-5523 to sign up.
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Basketball's First Black Professional

LITTLETON: Learn more about Littleton's front seat to the integration of sports as author Chris Boucher discusses his new book, "The Original Bucky Lew." This event is hosted by the Littleton Historical Society at the Congregational Church, 330 King Street, and will take place March 21 at 7:30pm. Free and open to the public.

Lowell's Harry "Bucky" Lew became basketball's first Black professional in 1902. And he didn't stop there. He further defied the segregated Jim Crow era and became the first Black executive and owner of an integrated pro team in 1915. Then, he went on to became the first Black coach of a major college when he took leadership of Lowell Tech (now UMass Lowell) hoops in 1922.

While Littleton's small size didn't make it an ideal host for big-time basketball, its location along rail lines and Route 2 gave residents easy access by train or car to games in the early basketball hotbeds of Lowell, Fitchburg, Marlboro, Boston, and so on. Sadly, Lew's achievements have largely been forgotten today. However, they were well documented in the newspapers of his era, and the digitization of those papers is bringing his fame back to light. And although the full integration of sports didn't happen until a generation after his retirement, evidence suggests some of the key players involved in that effort knew of -- and were likely inspired by -- Lew's stunning success.

Veterans on the Common

WESTFORD: Celebrate past and current Veterans this Memorial Day.  You can sponsor a sign on the Westford Town Common during the week preceding this year's Memorial Day, May 26, 2024.  Honor a family member either living or deceased, Veteran friends, or just donate to this charitable cause and you'll be paired with a Veteran to sponsor.  Each new sign is $100 and will have the Veteran's name, a photo (provided by you), and their branch of service.

Westford Remembers is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.  They will use your donation to fund the creation of your sign, with the balance being utilized to help Westford residents who need assistance getting through tough times.

After the Memorial Day holiday, sponsors can claim their sign, or Westford Remembers will retain it and display it again on future Veterans and Memorial Day celebrations on the Common.
For more information, visit westfordremembers.com, or email westfordremembers01886@gmail.com to get a sponsorship form.
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The Cannon Theater Proudly Presents “Blackadder (Returns)”

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

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

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

Mini-Golf at the Reuben Hoar Library is Back!

LITTLETON: The Reuben Hoar Library at 35 Shattuck Street will be transformed into a unique, custom-designed 18-hole mini golf course on March 15 and 16. From 6-9pm on Friday evening, a ticketed event for adults aged 21+ will include unlimited rounds of golf, food, and a silent auction. On Family Day, March 16 from 10am-3pm, participants of all ages can try their skills at the 18-hole mini-golf course for $5 per round. Details and tickets can be found at https://auctria.events/RHLminigolf.

On March 15, for $25 a ticket, attendees (aged 21+) can play unlimited rounds and enjoy a variety of hearty appetizers from Littleton restaurants, beverages, and desserts. The event ticket will include one beverage from Littleton’s own Dirigible Brewing Company, who will provide a selection of beer, hard seltzer, and non-alcoholic soda to quench your thirst as you play through the Library's creatively designed course. A cash bar will be available for additional purchases.
Tickets can be purchased at https://auctria.events/RHLminigolf.

On March 16, guests of all ages can enjoy 18 holes of library mini-golf for $5 a round. Tickets can be purchased at the Library on the day of the event. Littletown Coffee trailer will be on site to fuel you for your round.

Both days the course will feature 18 different tee markers, deflectors, obstacles and fairways between the library stacks to allow guests the opportunity to explore the library while scoring a hole-in-one.

Bidding for the silent auction will open on March 9, so even if you can't attend on Friday night, you can still bid on some great items donated by generous local businesses and residents by registering at the link below. However, final bids will be taken in person at the event, so be sure to join us for the best chance of winning your desired item.

Organized by the Friends of the Reuben Hoar Library, the Library Mini-Golf event will give patrons an opportunity to enjoy the library as well as to learn about the Library’s available services. This beloved community event will bring people of all ages together at the end of a long winter, as we await the promise of spring (and time on the links!).

American Classics Brings Cole Porter to Life This March

WESTFORD: It’s delightful… it’s delicious… it’s “DeLovely!”  American Classics will be coming to the Parish Center for the Arts’ Lounge to perform a “Wundebar” cabaret of songs and music by Cole Porter on March 9 at 7pm! Tickets range from $12-$18 are available online at pcawestford.org.  For groups of 4 or more, call (978) 692-6333 for reserved seating. The PCA, located right on Westford Common at 10 Lincoln Street, is an accessible space to those with mobility challenges.  BYO food and beverages, as you wish.

"What American Classics does is document people's dreams, and the way they've manifested themselves in the humble popular song over the generations. Nobody does it better." (Richard Buell, Boston Globe)

American Classics was founded in 1996 by The Camptown Ladies (Mary Ann Lanier & Sylvie Stewart), Benjamin Sears, Bradford Conner and Margaret Ulmer as a summer concert series at the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge. In 1999, they moved to the Longy School of Music, also in Cambridge where the group began a regular Fall/Winter seasons of three programs, eventually adding second performances in the suburbs. American Classics has been a leading presenter of classic musicals in concert format. Irving Berlin's first two Broadway scores, Watch Your Step (not seen in Boston since 1915) and Stop! Look! Listen!, along with an overview of his four Music Box Revues were among the group's early productions. The first revival of Berlin's World War I shows, Yip! Yip! Yaphank! (E.Y. “Yip” Harburg) was given in 2010, with a second production in 2019 for the show's 100th Anniversary. Other programs have featured salutes to songwriters, among them Jerome Kern, Alan Jay Lerner, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer and a special centenary salute to Sammy Cahn (recorded in concert for CD release). Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Ethel Merman are among the great performers celebrated in concert. For this performance, duo Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner will be joined by Cynthia Mork and piano duo Heinrich Christensen and Robert Winkley for some Porter favorites, rarities and arrangements for four-hand piano solo.

Cole Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Many of his songs became standards noted for their witty, urbane lyrics, and many of his scores found success on Broadway and in film. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, Porter defied his grandfather's wishes for him to practice law and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn to musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs. He is known mostly for his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate (Tony Award, Best Musical and Anything Goes. Porter's other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Can-Can and Silk Stockings. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "Begin the Beguine", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top". He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song "You'd Be So Easy to Love"; Rosalie (1937), which featured "In the Still of the Night"; High Society (1956), which included "True Love"; and Les Girls (1957).  

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-9-24-it-s-delovely-a-cole-porter-cabaret/146
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ParishCenterfortheArts
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PCAWestford
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pcawestford

SheGrooves Kicks Off Women’s History Month

WESTFORD: Kicking off Women's History Month'24, the PCA is presenting a concert with SheGrooves on March 1 at 7:30pm. SheGrooves is a female contemporary band, a powerful group of women musicians dedicated to elevating and celebrating the female experience. The band is made up of Berklee College of Music women presenting an eclectic mix of pop, rock, jazz and R&B. This family-friendly public event will explore how women historically have used their voices for positive change within the world. SheGrooves repertoire currently includes original tunes as well as covers of Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, as well as jazz greats, Nancy Wilson and Dianne Reeves. Tickets to this family-friendly event are $5 students; $10 PCA Members/Seniors; $15 Non-Members or At-the-Door.  Click HERE to reserve yours now!

This program is funded in part by the Westford, Littleton, Ayer and GrotonCultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Mass CulturalCouncil, a state agency.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-1-24-shegrooves-women-s-history-month-kickoff-concert/168

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Hot Skillet Club Brings Red Hot Vintage Jazz with a Western Swing

WESTFORD: The PCA Coffeehouse is going to be sizzlin’ on March 8 when The Hot Skillet Club brings their red hot vintage jazz with a western swing to Westford’s Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street. Tickets are $18 for PCA Members/Seniors; $18 in advance/Non-Members;and $25 at the door (if available).  For more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

The talented artists making up Hot Skillet Club are Liza Constable (Guitar/Vocals), Val Blachly (Bass/Vocals) and Ellen Carlson (Fiddle/Vocals) – just three voices, a guitar, a bass and a fiddle, but the richness of a pancake covered in sweet maple syrup.

Liza's strong alto and rhythmic ease brings the band right into its vintage jazz roots. A guitar player since childhood, her bands have been various, her interests eccentric, and her passions notable. Tex-Mex, Cajun, New England fiddle tunes, delta blues, she has the unusual talent to play many genres and leave you a believer. You may have seen her in performance with Les Flames D'Enfer, Chanterelle, Rumblestrip, The Sevens, BabaRay, Swing a Cat and/or The Blue Ox.

Val is a smooth one. She plays a stick bass, and finds those high harmonies. Raised in a family of classical singers, Val started off in the world of opera, which led seamlessly to bluegrass, and then vintage jazz. You have heard her informer bands including Sweet Hot and Sassy, Mink Hills Band, Swing a Cat and Honest Millie. Her upright bass playing and smooth vocals are a delight. She has five albums to her credit, one of which is all original songs for children.

Ellen comes from a family of musicians, learned traditional fiddle tunes, then explored different styles - including hot jazz while at the summer camp"Django in June," taking workshops with Jason Anick and Tim Kliphuis. You've seen her in Sweet Hot and Sassy, Honest Millie and her bluegrass band High Range. Ellen brings diverse playful playing to the Hot Skillet Club as well as her resonant alto voice. She has six albums with her own groups and numerous other recording sessions.

The PCA Coffeehouse Series is sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-8-24-the-hot-skillet-club/157

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Ride the Yacht Rock Waves with Mike Payette’s Three-Hour Tour

WESTFORD: Rock out and ride the yacht rock waves when Mike Payette brings his Three-Hour Tour to the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street on March 2 at 7:30pm (Doors open 7pm). Advanced ticketing guarantees you a seat - $18 for Members; $20 for Non-Members; $25 at the door (if available) - and you can bring your own food and drink for a complete evening of entertainment. For tickets and more information, call (978) 692-6333, or visit pcawestford.org.

This new band will entertain you with soft yacht rock music with 70's-80's smooth vibes, great songs, and tight harmonies - think Michael McDonald, Doobie Brothers, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, Toto, Steely Dan, Ambrosia and more. This new music project came to life when Mike Payette was subbing for a musician in the band No Static (a Steely Dan tribute band). During the break,he told the drummer Barry Lit that he'd like to put together a yacht rock show,to which Barry replied “I’m IN!" Mike gathered friends of kindred spirits to be part of this new band that includes keyboards, sax and trumpet, and background singers, and so began the Three-Hour Tour!

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/3-2-24-mike-payette-s-three-hour-tour-soft-yacht-rock-of-70-s-80-s-/169

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Deb o'connell

Winter/Spring Registrations Open; Vacation Workshops Announced

WESTFORD: Moms, Dads, Parents, Grandparents, Guardians... what are your kids doing after school this Winter/Spring? Perhaps a dash of creativity and artistic expression might be in their future?  The PCA’s Winter/Spring'24 Arts-in-the-Loft programs with Deb O'Connell have something for kids from 8+!  Do as much or as little as you'd like, and on May 13 from 7-8pm, class artwork will be on display during an special exhibition in the Main Hall (optional)!  To register online, visit parisharts.square.site/arts-in-the-loft, or for more information, call (978) 692-6333, email admin@pcawestford.org, or visit pcawestford.org.

Included in this semester's offerings are...
  • Explorations in Drawing: (Ages 13-21) - Mon., February 26-April 1, 2024 from 6-7:30pm. Pick the sessions you'd like, or sign up for the full 6-weeks. Participants will choose from a variety of drawing media and papers to create dynamic drawings using multiple techniques. Emphasis will be placed on good observational drawing skills as a focal point. Consideration will be given to composition, line, value, color, texture, pattern and unity. Famous and contemporary artists' works will be shared for inspiration and discussion. NOTE: Returning students will broaden their previous experiences with greater detail and challenges! Tuition: $25/session or $125 all six.
  • Arts After School: (Ages 8-12) - Tues, February 27-April 30, 3-4:30pm. Pick the sessions you'd like, or sign up for the 10-weeks. A wide variety of 1- to 2-class projects will be offered. Work in 2- and 3-dimensions. Lessons include themed portraiture, tunnel books, mixed media collage, multi-media drawing & watercolor painting. Lessons are inspired by artists - both contemporary & historical - and are used as a starting point. Students are encouraged to express their personal creative voice in a supportive environment of their peers. NOTE: Returning students will broaden their previous experiences with new projects and challenges! Tuition: $25/session or $200 for all ten.
  • Sculptural Book Making: (Ages 12+, 4-weeks) - Wed., February 28-March 20, 3-4:30pm. Gather favorite images, materials, ephemera, scrapbooking papers, photographs and ideas to create one of three types of sculpted books (accordion, star & foldout), step-by-step. Look to artists Akayo Sakanishi & Lizzie Buckmaster Dove for inspiration. Tuition: $100.
  • Pop Art Acrylic Painting: (Ages 9+, 4 weeks) - Wed., March 27-April 17, 3-4:30pm. A fun program of color mixing with paints using a value scale. Use a tonal underpainting along with techniques with brushes in the application of line, pattern, color, design and composition to create a Pop Art style image a la Andy Warhol and Romero Britto. Tuition: $100.
  • Sculpted Architectural Letters: (Ages 13-21, 4 weeks) - Mon., April 8-29, 6-7:30pm. Design an architectural letter through a step-by-step process creating a unique 3D form. Drawings will start the design, then the armature is built using a variety of construction materials and paper mache. As the structure dries decorative ideas will be considered and sketched, followed by completing the piece with finishing details. Tuition: $100.
Vacation workshops are fun, and creative... and WAY better than staring at screens in your down time! PCA programs are planned for February Vacation Week, Monday thru Wednesday from 10am-3pm!
  • Monday (2/19) Sculptural Book Making: (Ages 14+) - Gather your favorite images, materials, ephemera, scrapbooking papers, photographs, and ideas to bring to this fun workshop where you will built a one-of-a-kid sculpted books (accordion, star & foldout). These make beautiful gifts for yourself or someone you love. All basic materials will be provided along with additional decorative media (paints, ink, stamps, etc.)
  • Tuesday (2/20) Foam Plate Printing: (Ages 8-13) - A la Artist Annette W. Mitchell, create foam plate prints using water soluble printing inks with brayers and a variety of painted, colored and textured papers. Students will print a series of images and may choose to register a print using two or more ink colors. Using demonstrations and a step-by-step process, prepare the plates and print their images.
  • Wednesday (2/21) Family & Friends Story Quilts: (Ages 8-13) - Look to the artist Faith Ringgold for inspiration... participants will create an image of their family, loved ones or close friends in the center. In surrounding blocks, they will draw or find images that represent special memories and/or pattern designs. Pencil, marker, oil pastel, collage and watercolor resist will be used.

Pre-packaged snacks and water bottles will be available, but participants bring their own lunch. (No nut products.) Each day is $100/student (includes all supplies), and all works created will be featured in the Winter/Spring Arts-in-the-Loft Student exhibition in May (or, take home projects at the end of the day). For more information or to see your options, visit https://parisharts.square.site/arts-in-the-loft.

On Friday (2/23), there's also a terrific afternoon Family Concert by Grammy Award-nominee for children’s music Judy Pancoast at 2pm! Pancoast will be giving and afternoon concert for families, then will return in the evening at 7pm for her NYC “Carpenters” Revue.  Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-family-concert/155

The PCA is a non-profit arts center located at 10 Lincoln Street, Westford. They have a passion and a purpose to provide a forum for visual and performing arts for Westford and surrounding communities. For more information about this and upcoming exhibitions, concerts and events, visit pcawestford.org, call (978) 692-6333, or email admin@pcawestford.org.

Littleton Middle School Theater Students Set Record with "The Little Mermaid Jr." Production

LITTLETON: Superintendent Kelly Clenchy would like to share that Littleton Middle School students demonstrated their exemplary theater skills during a successful three-day showing of Disney's "The Little Mermaid Jr." A cast of 51 LMS students performed the stage adaptation of the Disney classic for the Littleton community on Jan. 19-21. But this was no ordinary middle school musical.

For the first time in LMS' history, the production sold a total of 1,400 tickets, setting a record for the highest number of tickets sold for a middle school show. The Sunday matinee, which is usually the least attended show of the three, ended up being the most attended.

The success of the production can be attributed to the enthusiasm of the theater students and their peers, who spread the word throughout the community to generate interest in the show. Many students and members of the community stayed after Saturday's performance to take photos with the cast.
LMS' Drama Director Tracey O'Neill, who grew up doing theater and watched her daughters perform throughout middle and high school, noted how productions like this foster an environment for community building.

"The middle school shows allow for high school students to return to their former stomping grounds to help out with the production. I've had students help with stage management, choreographing, rehearsal, and auditions," she said. "I really couldn't do it without them. They are a huge support system for me, and I am thrilled to support their goals and provide them with opportunities for involvement." O'Neill added, "This is my seventh show, and the casts just keep getting better. They work so hard, and it is my main goal to make sure they have fun. Thank you to all the parents, who provided immense support. A huge thank you to our Music Director Ashley Sheldon for all of her hard work, as well as the Fine Arts Boosters of Littleton, which helps to make our students' theatrical goals possible."

LMS theater students will take to the stage again in May for their production of Lucky Hudson and the 12th Street Gang. Tickets will be available at a later date at littletonmiddleschooldrama.com. 

Littleton Public Schools Students Foster an Inclusive Community through Project 351 & the Playbook Initiative

LITTLETON: Littleton Middle School students are driving to the basket and starting the conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Littleton school community by taking part in the Playbook Initiative. The Playbook Initiative, a partnership between Project 351, the Boston Celtics, and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS), is an anti-discrimination and bias-prevention program led by student trainers in communities throughout the state.

Interest in participating in the program at Littleton Middle School was significant. Out of nearly 50 applications, 30 LMS students who demonstrated their desire to foster a community of tolerance and belonging were selected to become "student influencers."

Littleton's Playbook Initiative 2024 Team Roster was soon solidified. Student influencers include Grade 6 students Madison Saunders, Aubrey McCarthy, Emilia Garrido, Nora Pasquale, Lana Yang, and Lauren Fitzgerald; Grade 7 students Nyla Jacob, Darsh Sharma, Sara Kerrigan, Drew Murch, Sophia Capoccia, Zach Ryan, Henry Young, Ruby Willis, and Abigail Muddasu; and Grade 8 students Caroline Nash, Adi Loan, Caroline DeChane, Aiden Donohue, Kyra Grant, Christina Rains, Makayla Rydwansky, Amby Harriman, Brianna Tucker, Janie Laferty, Eric Santos, Cassidy Forsberg, and Abak Maraial.

"Littleton's Playbook Leadership Team (PLT) has embraced this initiative and is committed to being architects of a more inclusive, responsive, and just school community," said Mary Cringan, Project 351 Educators Advisory Group Chair and Playbook Educators Coach. "The Littleton community will be enriched through inspiration, collaboration, and celebrating the voices of the students who are working hard to be change makers and bridge builders. It's a pleasure and privilege to work and learn from the PLT from Littleton."

As part of the program, student influencers meet during school hours to partake in two 90-minute workshops where they break the ice, open up to one another, and engage in discussions and activities surrounding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).

Workshops are led by Peer Trainers from Littleton High School sophomores, Lead Trainer Haaris Khan and Deputy Trainer Keirob Cherubino. Cherubino and Khan were motivated to become Peer Trainers due to a common desire to strengthen the Littleton school community and spread their knowledge of DEIB to the younger students.

"In teaching students the significance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as Belonging, I want to make them feel comfortable when they're discussing related events or issues, and not be discouraged to come ask questions," said Cherubino.

"As a Littleton student, I have seen first-hand how diversity enriches our community," said Khan. It is important to educate our youth in the topics of bias and discrimination and the significance of equity and acceptance to make every person within our town and the world beyond feel a sense of belonging."
The theory of the Playbook hypothesizes that if it is possible for athletes to prepare for games by studying and practicing “plays," then perhaps the same holds true for social situations as it relates to preparing students to confront bias and discrimination.

In their first workshop, students used a "Playbook" to navigate through difficult conversations about students' own lives, as well as work through scenarios dealing with issues of bias and discrimination.
Student influencers shared their thoughts about the first workshop during the Littleton School Committee meeting that evening.

Madison Saunders, Grade 6, took to the podium to share her enthusiasm for the program and excitement to learn about the different perspectives of her classmates.

"My experience in the Playbook Initiative workshop today was very exciting. I got to hear a lot of people's opinions about the statements and scenarios we had in our Playbooks. It made me understand that this is what people go through from different religions and cultures, and I was very happy that people were open to telling us about their personal lives. I cannot wait to learn more about how to become a better leader."

Kyra Grant, Grade 8, shared an excerpt from her application, "I firmly believe that exposure to other people's points of view helps you grow a tolerance and understanding for others. The Playbook Initiative would be an incredible opportunity for me to learn how to build a community of diversity that is not only accepted but celebrated."

Advising the program are Director of Student Services and District Equity Coordinator Lyn Snow and Littleton Middle School Assistant Principal Matt Levangie, who shared their pride with the School Committee for the vulnerability the students have shown in their work so far.
"This is a powerful example of how important it is to elevate student voice," said Snow. "I'm beyond impressed by these students and I applaud their bravery and willingness to engage in these difficult conversations. This is a skill that many adults – myself included – find challenging."

"I'm so impressed by the number of students who wanted to be part of the Playbook Initiative," Superintendent Kelly Clenchy expressed during the School Committee Meeting. "Today, I witnessed a number of you come up to the podium and talk about things that are important to you. I have been an advocate for student voice for a number of years, and I believe that it is one way we can start the conversation about celebrating diversity. I hope that this is only the beginning for our students to talk about things that are important to them in our schools."

Tickets Now Online for The Wicked Pickers “Original Newgrass” Event

WESTFORD: The Wicked Pickers are your spiritual buddies for acoustic folk, jazz, Celtic, Latin, blues, R&B and soul, with bluegrass instrumentation and even some hints of classical and funk!  They're 98.6% genre-fluid and lovin' it!  On February 24 at 7:30pm, the Pickers are coming to the Parish Center for the Arts to play a range of new original songs and a few old favorites.  Tickets are $18 for PCA Members/In advance and $23 at the door. Seating will be cabaret style. Feel free to BYOB and snacks.  For more information, call (978) 692-6333.

Sarah Friedman heads up the vocals for the band.  She brings a background of R&B and Blue Eyed Soul to the Pickers fusion style. Joining Friedman will be Bill Morris on Guitar, a sideman with a number of bands since attending Berklee College in the late 1970s. Bill has developed a fluid, melodic playing style that crosses many styles.  Paul Green will be on Bass/Vocals. Since moving to Boston area, Paul has played fretless electric bass in the mini-Big Band "Feed the Meter", and Afro-Cuban jazz with JP Tropicale. On Violin will be Gordon Hill, who has taken his strong interest in blending multiple styles. Hill has performed at the Berklee Performance Center, Boston City Hall Plaza, and the Wilbur Theater among other venues.  Before joining the Wicked Pickers,George O'Connor played with the Boston-area bluegrass band Jumpin' Willie. In2007, George was a finalist in the WUMB Folk Festival Song Writing Contest for his song “By the Riverbank”.

Between them all, The Wicked Pickers feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, upright bass and percussion... so what do you call the genre of the band's music? Americana? Folk? Jazz? Soul?  Pop?  How about you call it “Original Newgrass,” but definitely don’t forget to call for your tickets for February 24.

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-24-24-the-wicked-pickers/137

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Spend a Day with Grammy-Nominated Judy Pancoast in Two-Show Event

WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is SO excited to announce that on February 23, nationally-known singer/songwriter and Grammy Award-Nominee Judy Pancoast will be spending the day at the PCA! Part of the PCA's Lounge Series, Judy will be coming to Westford with her musical director/accompanist Michael Pierce to present an afternoon (2pm) matinee Family Concert (all ages welcome!). Then, the dynamic duo will return at 7:30pm to present her personal and heartfelt cabaret show, "All My Best Memories: Built by The Carpenters." Love, laughs and lots of music for all ages - all in one day!

Judy Pancoast was born and raised in Waterville (ME), and went to college at University of Maine. She later got a master's degree in University of New Hampshire and performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, festivals and events nationwide. At the tender age of 11, in the summer of 1970, Judy Pancoast first heard the lovely, inimitable voice of Karen Carpenter on the radio. Thus began an obsession with the music of The Carpenters, the best-selling brother-sister musical act of the 70s, that has lasted until this day. "All My Best Memories: Built by The Carpenters" takes the audience into Judy's life as she recounts the stories of growing up a Carpenters fan and sings the songs closest to her heart. The show premiered at world-renowned cabaret club "Don't Tell Mama" in New York City to rave reviews from audience members, and has been invited back twice.

Well-known for her children's music for the last 25 years, Judy crafts clever songs with infectious melodies that delight the young and the young at heart, as evidenced by the 2011 Grammy Award nomination for Best Children’s Album for her one-of-a-kind CD, "Weird Things Are Everywhere: A Reading Road Trip with Judy Pancoast!" Judy is perhaps most well-known for her infectious Christmas hit, “The House on Christmas Street,” which can be heard each Christmas season at residential synchronized light displays and on radio stations across the country. In 2003, Judy released her debut album "Swimming in Jello" and later in 2005 she released two more albums - "The Tune Room" and "Are We There Yet".

Family Concert: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-family-concert/155
Carpenters Tribute: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-23-24-judy-pancoast-all-my-best-memories-built-by-the-carpenters/156

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Littleton Lyceum Presents Artist Barry Van Dusen

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum will present artist Barry Van Dusen on February 9 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center at 56 King Street. Van Dusen is an internationally recognized wildlife artist featured in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Yankee magazine, and various Audubon guides. His slideshow depicts his paintings, as well as photos of local wildlife sanctuaries, and is accompanied by his anecdotes and descriptions of his artistic process. Lyceum season tickets are available for families or individuals for $25, and single admissions may be purchased at the door for $8, $5 for seniors and students. For more information, visit littletonlyceum.org.

Isabel Stover Brings Some Valentine’s Jazz February 10

WESTFORD: “Elegant.” "An amazing range." "Continually evolving." These are just a few of the ways audiences describe Isabel Stover, performing a special “Valentine’s Jazz” concert on February 10, 7:30pmat the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street.  Tickets are $18 for PCA Members; $20 in advance; $25 at the door.  For more information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

Isabel Stover uses her richly textured vocals and mastery of phrasing thoughtfully and purposely as a way of delivering an authentic,heartfelt experience, fearlessly deconstructing musical compositions to their emotional core. At its heart, singing is storytelling with structure. It makes sense, then, that Isabel Stover, a vocalist with both a master's degree in architecture and credits on a national radio storytelling show, would be skilled at choosing stories to tell and at setting them in the right arrangements.

A consummate professional, Stover is a skilled entertainer and arranger with an ear for unlocking the full potential of jazz and Brazilian standards and beyond. Her debut album, Her Own Sweet World, went to #1 on the charts in the first week of its release. Stover's forthcoming album, includes standards like "On A Clear Day" and "Look For The Silver Lining" in fresh new arrangements, alongside original compositions, and newer classics like Paul Simon's "American Tune" and Stevie Wonder's"Sweetest Somebody I Know." Her arranging skills are on display throughout her recordings and in her live performances, too. On her albums, Stover draws larger ensembles to widen the scope of her musical adaptations,while in small group live shows she's able to use her fellow musicians to their fullest, building a larger sound from a small ensemble.

Stover’s passion for jazz was ignited after landing a spot in the Oakland Jazz Choir, a 30-voice vocal big band in the San Francisco Bay Area, with whom she regularly performed at the venerable Yoshi’s in San Francisco and many West Coast jazz festivals. She began taking classes at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and from there had the opportunity to study with many acclaimed vocalists and educators such as Madeline Eastman, Kitty Margolis, Sheila Jordan, and Ledisi. From here, technique became Stover’s focus and she moved East to Boston where she studied at New England Conservatory and Berklee School of Music.  Accompanied by some of the most creative figures on the Boston scene, Stover continues to perform in and around New England.

"We don't always have the tools to express the fullness of our inner selves," Stover says. "Music can bring forth something which is without sound or shape but is a shared experience; an emotional language which we perceive in melodies, lyrics, rhythms. I hope that my music can transform the human experience through this resonant energy and bring redeeming beauty to people."

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-10-24-isabel-stover-quintet-valentine-s-jazz-/100

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Calling All Loud Talkers, Church Ladies & PhDs… Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr. is Coming to Westford

WESTFORD: The PCA Coffeehouse Series is thrilled to welcome a special guest to the stage on February 9 at 7:30pm with none other than Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr.! Jones’ deep love for traditional African American and American music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate. Tickets are $18 Members; $20 Non-Members; $25 at the Door.  BYOB and snacks. For information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

This concert is generously sponsored by Enterprise Bank/Westford.

When you couple authenticity with the talent of a truly exceptional nature: songwriting, storytelling, multi-instrumentalist, award winning educator, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of African American folk music, including blues, spiritual, and slave songs … its players and styles … you get the Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr.  Jones is an inspirational singer, songwriter, storyteller and self-taught award-winning multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle using folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the history, beauty and power of shared culture. Acclaimed photographer James Fraher writes about Robert: “Perhaps the world’s most highly educated blues musician, an ordained minister, a longtime DJ, and a living encyclopedia of blues history, the Reverend Robert Jones is comfortable among juke joint loud talkers, fancy-hatted church ladies, and PhDs alike.”

Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/2-9-24-reverend-robert-jones-sr-/150

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tyngsborough Police Department Welcomes New Officer

TYNGSBOROUGH: Chief Rich Howe is pleased to announce that the Tyngsborough Police Department is welcoming a new police officer from the Municipal Police Training Committee's Lynnfield Police Academy.

Officer Travis MacMurdo graduated with the 4th Recruit Officer Class at the Lynnfield Police Academy on January 4, and is now assigned to a 12-week field training program with Tyngsborough Police. He will patrol for 12 weeks under the supervision of a more senior officer before patrolling on his own.
Officer MacMurdo is a native of Tewksbury. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College.

"Chief Howe and I are excited to have Officer MacMurdo join our department and we have no doubt he will have an immediate positive impact in our community," said Deputy Chief Shaun Woods.

Officer MacMurdo was one of 69 officers to graduate from the MPTC Lynnfield Police Academy's 4th ROC. Graduates successfully completed over 20 weeks of intensive, standardized training in all aspects of law enforcement and will now serve as full-time officers representing 31 police agencies across Massachusetts.
As part of the MPTC’s commitment to academic excellence and world-class police training, the Recruit Officer Course provides over 800 hours of course curriculum designed to prepare student officers for the safe and effective performance of their duties. In keeping with mandates established by the landmark 2020 police reform law, the MPTC curriculum includes de-escalation training based on new use-of-force policies and regulations. Student officers also receive uniform training based on best practices related to essential modern-day policing needs, including effective communication skills, victim-centered and trauma-informed incident response, missing persons and human trafficking investigations, mental health-related emergency response, active shooter and hostile event response, patrol duties, and officer safety and wellness.

Upon successful completion of the Academy, student officers have met all training requirements to be eligible for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission certification.

Friends of the J.V. Fletcher Library Book Sale

WESTFORD: The Friends of the J.V. Fletcher Library Inc. will hold a book sale on February 9, 10 and 11 in the library’s Meeting Room, 50 Main Street. February 9 is a Friends Members Only preview sale from 6:30-9pm. Memberships are available online now. You may also join at the door. February 10 is the Public Sale, from 10am-5pm. Most items are $1 or $2. February 11 is a Bag Sale from 2-4pm. Attendees must purchase a reusable bag for $10 to enter, and can then fill it with items. Scanners may not be used on February 9, but are welcome on Saturday and Sunday.

The sale will include thousands of gently used books plus CDs, audio books, blu-ray discs and DVDs. Credit card payments are accepted, in addition to checks and cash. This sale is a fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Friends of the JV Fletcher Library. The Friends support the library by running innovative programs for all ages, providing museum passes for discounted entrance fees, supplementing the Library’s digital and hard copy collections, and updating furnishings and décor.
Memberships support the Friends and are good for a whole year. It’s $10 for students/seniors, $15 for and individual, or $30 for a family.

Item donations are still being accepted for the February sale. Please consider giving your unwanted books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs. These materials can be dropped off at the left-hand door just inside the Library’s rear entrance. If the Library is closed, just drop your donations in the collection box that is located near the back door of the Library. Tax deduction forms are available at the library’s main desk. Approximately 95% of the books offered at these sales are donated by Westford residents.

The Friends of the J.V Fletcher Library appreciates your support.
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Buy Sweets for a Good Cause at St. Mark’s Chocolate for Charity

WESTFORD: St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 75 Cold Spring Road, will again sell delicious boxes of homemade chocolate desserts to raise money for local hunger relief organizations during the 2024 Chocolate for Charity event, a renaming of its long-running Chocolate Festival. Boxes homemade chocolate desserts can be purchased online (www.st-mark.org/chocolate) and then picked up at the church on February 10 from 1-4pm.

As usual, local businesses are stepping up to donate prizes for the Chocolate for Charity raffles. The premium raffle ($5 per ticket) offers a chance to win a Weekend Out in Westford, with a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn and gift certificates to two local restaurants; a Night Out in Groton, including an overnight stay at the Groton Inn with breakfast and a $50 gift certificate to Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton; an 18-hole round of golf for 4 at the Nabnasett Lake Country Club; and a day sail on a private 40-foot
sailboat from New Bedford Yacht Club in South Dartmouth. The general raffle ($2 per ticket) includes more than 25 prizes donated by other local businesses. For a full list (updated daily with new prizes), visit www.st-mark.org/pages/chocolate-festival-raffle-prizes.

Winning tickets will be pulled at 4:30pm on the day of the festival and broadcast on Facebook Live.

All proceeds benefit the Westford Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry at Devens, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell, and St Mark’s building fund, which supports low-cost community use of its facilities. For more information, visit www.st-mark.org/chocolate.

Ukulele Play Along at J.V. Fletcher

WESTFORD: There will be a Ukulele Play Along for Adults January 6 at 2pm in the Meeting Room at the J.V. Fletcher Library. Join Julie Stepanek and other players for a ukulele play along! A play along is participatory music at its best. Julie will prepare song sheets (lyrics and chords) of songs and lead participants in playing those songs, offering tips and encouragement as you play, sing and have a good time. Please note: this is not a beginner teaching class, though Julie will offer tips and all skill levels are welcome! A limited number of ukuleles are provided. However, you are welcome to bring your own! Register online atwestfordlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/ukulele-play-along-for-adults.
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Back by Popular Demand! Get Your Tickets Early for Dueling Pianos

WESTFORD: Who doesn’t love a rockin’ good time out with friends being completely ridiculous and silly? Well, Parish Center for the Arts will once again provide that vehicle for all that do when Dueling Pianos returns to 10 Lincoln Street on January 26 at 7pm. Dueling Pianos is a huge "to the top of your lungs" sing-along with all your friends! Two grand pianos are center stage with a team of outrageously talented pianists that seem to know every song ever written! 7pm show (doors open 6:30pm) Tickets are $22 for PCA Members/Seniors; $25 Non-Members; $30 At the Door (if available).  BYOB and snacks. For information, call (978) 692-6333 or visit pcawestford.org.

(12/31/23 UPDATE: Only 4 seats remain.)

Every Dueling Pianos show is different because it's all by request. You and/or your friends might even get called up on stage for a bit of good humored fun and some unforgettable moments! Think YOU won't sing along? Just TRY not to! Soon you’ll be pitted against all of your friends to see who comes out on top! There are no boundaries. Dueling Pianos appeal to all ages, creeds and colors…no one is safe… and it’s incredibly fun!  Get your tickets early. Direct Ticket Link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/1-26-24-dueling-pianos/37

For more information, visit the PCA online at pcawestford.org, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

PCA Gallery kicks off 2024 with a "FIRE  |  light" Exhibition by Artist Juliette Mount

WESTFORD: PCA  Gallery is pleased to present "FIRE | light," an exhibition by artist Juliette Mount running from December 30-January 28.  There will be an opening reception on December 30 from noon-3pm. The Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon until 2pm.

American artist Juliette Mount is known for her nature-based encaustic paintings and photography full of movement, passion and vibrant colors. Mount pursued art early in life, encouraged by her mother who was an influence on her early work. She achieved her BFA in Drawing and Painting from SUNY Oswego then worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer for years before shifting into professional roles in high tech and achieving a Master’s in Systems Design from Cornell College of Engineering. Mount learned and developed encaustic techniques, now her favorite painting medium. The combination of the art and science, and the alchemy of the process is fully immersive & her works show it.

FIRE | light is the first exhibition of her encaustic work, combined with Mount's photography and focused on the beauty of nature and fantasy, the FIRE of passion and the light of inspiration. In loving memory of her parents, 10% of all profits from this show will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more information about the PCA Gallery, visit www.pcawestford.org.
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Inter-Generational Game Night at UU/Littleton

LITTLETON: Families of all kinds, singles, retirees, teens and anyone in between are invited to a monthly potluck and games night on December 8, 5:45pm at 19 Foster Street. Bring something good to eat and your favorite game to play after this friendly inter-generational event, that includes a foosball game. The Unitarian Universalist community welcomes the GLBTIA-plus community of all ages. Sunday School and youth groups are based on acceptance toward all, that reflects their seven principles of justice, and respect the earth and people of all races and gender orientation.

Unitarian Universalist is a non-dogmatic denomination in which members are free to follow their own path, with or without a deity. They come from more than 20 towns in the region, offering Sunday services at 10am, either in the building or on Zoom. For more information, email memberreach@fculittle.org, and visit www.fculittle.org to view videos of weekly services.

Littleton Police Department Promotes Two Members

LITTLETON: Chief Matthew Pinard is pleased to report that the Littleton Police Department promoted two members of the department on November 1.

Lt. Douglas Landry is the department's first lieutenant in approximately 15 years, since former Chief Matthew King served in the position before becoming a deputy chief. Edmond Bussiere was promoted to sergeant. Lt. Landry was appointed to the department in May of 2013, and previously worked with the Nantucket Police Department. He has served as a sergeant since December of 2014. Since his promotion in 2014, Landry has worked the 11am-7pm and 7am-3pm shifts, and served as the department's firearms instructor and armorer, and as a use of force and defensive tactics instructor. Landry also serves a member of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT Team.

Sgt. Bussiere has served with Littleton Police since September of 2006, and previously worked with the Pepperell Police Department. Sgt. Bussiere has served as the department's Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement instructor, Breathalyzer Instructor, and as a Drug Recognition Expert. Sgt. Bussiere also assisted the department throughout the process of being accredited by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

"The knowledge and experience of both of these men has benefitted every member of our department, and I am pleased to see both earn promotions this week," said Chief Pinard.

PHOTO: (From Left) Littleton Police Chief Matthew Pinard, Lt. Douglas Landry, Sgt. Edmond Bussiere and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Patterson. (Photo Courtesy Littleton Police Department)

Jazz Concert at Littleton Lyceum

LITTLETON: The Littleton Lyceum is excited to present the Pamela Hines Trio on November 17 at 7:30pm in Littleton High School’s Performing Arts Center on 56 King Street. A prolific presence in American Jazz, as both a pianist and a composer, Pamela Hines has received national and international critical acclaim for her instrumental compositions and jazz originals for vocalist. Don’t miss this chance to experience quality music at affordable prices. Season tickets are available for families or individuals for $25, and single admissions may be purchased at the door for $8; $5 for seniors and students. For more information, visit littletonlyceum.org or follow them on Facebook.
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Sounds of Stow Fall Concert

STOW/LITTLETON: Join the Sounds of Stow Chorus & Orchestra for the opening concert of their 45th season. “Beauty in Birdsong” on November 19 at 2pm. The concert will be held at a convenient and state-of-the-art venue, the Littleton High School at 56 King Street in Littleton (just off I-495). For further information and tickets, please visit www.soundsofstow.org or email info@soundsofstow.org.

Under the direction of Barbara Jones, the chorus and orchestra will perform the area premiere of Christopher Tin’s important new work, “The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy.” The composer’s website observes that the work serves as a “musical memorial to bird species driven to extinction by humankind. Sweeping and elegiac, it is a haunting tribute to those soaring flocks that once filled our skies.” Drawing on texts by four 19th century women poets, “The Lost Birds” celebrates the beauty of birds and the natural world, while also warning of the tenuous existence of all living things. Tin has created a profound, timely, moving and beautiful work that will touch the hearts of all who hear it. Preceding this new work, the orchestra visits familiar works from the musical canon that are inspired by birds, including Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto “The Goldfinch,” Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” arranged for harp and cello, Margaret Lowe’s “Dawn Carol” for flute ensemble, and R.V. Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.”

Sounds of Stow is partnering with the Mass Audubon Society to highlight the importance of conservation as bird populations are declining across North America. Joan Walsh, chair of natural history and field ornithology at the Mass Audubon Society, will give a short talk at the beginning of the concert, and Audubon staff will be in the lobby to answer questions, provide informational material, and introduce some avian “wildlife ambassadors.”

Sounds of Stow is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as administered by the local cultural councils of Stow, Acton-Boxborough, Bolton and Hudson.
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Fall Nature Gardening Tip: Leave Leaves Alone

As a rule in nature and gardening, keep leaves in place whenever possible. Leaving the leaves alone is a good way to support native pollinators and other insects and wildlife.  These valuable insects rely on the habitat fallen leaves provide, especially over the winter months.  Dead leaves also decompose creating compost that can improve soil structure and fertility. 
This being said, leaves need to be managed in yards to see the most benefit. Leaves shouldn't simply go unmanaged. If nothing is done, layers of fallen leaves can cause damage by blocking out light and smothering plants which can kill them. Often a little redistribution of the leaf layer to prevent a thick mat of leaves from forming is all that is needed to prevent this type of damage. Excessively thick layers of leaves (greater than 6 to 8 inches) may need to be reduced or removed. Whenever possible move them to mulched garden areas with fewer leaves or create a compost pile onsite to keep all that beneficial organic matter in your yard.
Mow-mulching the leaves on the lawn has many advantages, including reducing noise and greenhouse gases, and enhancing the health of your yard. The shredded/mulched leaf material  creates valuable compost, which enriches the topsoil. Leaf mulching also limits spreading dust and contaminants into the air and saves you time and money. The benefits of mulching the leaves into the lawn are numerous and scientifically proven.  Mulching:
  • is quieter and cleaner than leaf blowing;
  • reduces the need for fertilizer and avoids water pollution by reducing phosphorus and fertilizer leaching;
  • reduces the safety hazard of piled up or bagged leaves on the roadsides and saves taxpayer money for municipal leaf collection;
  • improves soil structure, water retention and percolation;
  • encourages the grass roots to penetrate more deeply, improving grass health; and
  • makes the lawn more resilient to weather events like drought and flooding.

Don't blow... mow! 

First Church Unitarian Littleton Hosts Folk Festival’23

LITTLETON: First Church Unitarian invites you to Folk Festival ‘23 featuring The Sugarsnap Trio, a professional music trio from Burlington (VT). The Sugarsnap Trio is part of a larger touring band, The Tenderbellies who have travelled the country playing their inspiring music for many years. The Trio offers a mixture of folk, blues and more with original and familiar tunes. This is their first time performing for First Church live. This family-friendly event takes place November 11 at 7:30pm at 19 Foster Street. Tickets at the door are $30 per person; $35 for families. No one will be turned away for an inability to pay - put whatever you feel you can afford in the “Donations” jar (as no gift is too small). Proceeds go to First Church Unitarian Littleton to help them remain an active and vital part of their shared communities.

Westford Remembers Edgar Allan Poe with a New Sculpture by Westford Artist David Christiana

WESTFORD: Join the Westford Museum and Historical Society and the Parish Center for the Arts as they collaborate in unveiling David Christiana’s newest sculpture celebrating Edgar Allan Poe's time in Westford and the impact Westford had on Poe’s work. The unveiling will take place on October 29 from 2-6pm. Christiana will be on hand to discuss the sculpture, J.W. Ocker will introduce the unveiling, and Abner Serd will read “Nancy” and “The Raven.” There will be autumn-themed refreshments. 

Poe’s connection with Westford began in 1848 when he met Nancy Heywood Richmond in Lowell during a Poets and Poetry of America Tour. He later spent time in book club meetings at the Heywood house on Graniteville Road. Recently bereaved - his wife of eleven years had died four months earlier - Poe was in need of friendship and warmth. Conversations with Nancy, to whom he gave the nickname “Annie,” prompted his descriptions of Westford as Paradise and he planned to return. Sadly, Poe died in the following year.

Sculptor David Christiana created many of the historic pieces in town including the Fallen Firefighter and September 11th monuments in Westford Center, the Rajiv Paluri memorial in Whitney Playground and the Westford Knight sculpture on Depot Street. He is also recognized as a talented photographer and has designed Westford historic house signs.

J.W. Ocker, winner of Lowell Thomas and Edgar Awards, is the author of macabre travelogues, spooky kid’s books, and horror novels including A Season with the Witch, Twelve Nights at Rotter House, The Black Slide, and Cursed Objects
Rick Taylor, who performs and writes as "Abner Serd," brings history to life. He comes to us fresh from an extended storytelling tour of New Zealand where he entertained a wide variety of audiences with recitations of classic 19th-century poetry. He has also performed as an historical interpreter at Boston’s Old North Church.

The Westford Historical Society and Museum in the town center promotes understanding and appreciation of Westford’s unique history by providing programming that features aspects of the daily lives, activities and achievements of Westford residents and by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting documents, photographs, and objects historically significant to Westford.

The Parish Center for the Arts is a private, non-profit arts center located in a historic 10 Lincoln Street on Westford common. It offers many ways to celebrate the fine and performing arts in a convenient and family-friendly venue. Programs include many genres of music, theater, and fine arts. Visit pcawestford.org for more information.

Don't Miss Nashoba Players' “The Fourth Wall”

WESTFORD: The Nashoba Players open the end of this month with a clever play that fits in well with our current political situation, “The Fourth Wall” by A. R. Gurney. The play’s title refers to what is known in the theater as the fourth wall, or the imaginary wall between the actors on stage and the audience. The production runs October 27, 28 and November 3 and 4 at 7:30pm at Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street. Reservations are now open for cabaret seating at nashobaplayers.org.

The comedy finds that Peggy (Emily Goldfarb) has redecorated her living room and hubby, Roger (Kenny Meehan), hates it. Peggy’s typically superb taste has oddly failed. She’s rearranged the room as if it were a stage set. Everything faces one way, toward the fourth wall. Unable to deal and needing moral support, Roger first asks old friend, Julia (Diane Meehan), to fly in from New York. Then he calls in Floyd (Ken Golner), a local theater professor, to address the issue. Something strange is afoot, everyone feels compelled to behave like they’re acting in a play or even a Cole Porter musical. Besides the four actors, there are two more ‘characters’ or forces in the comedy. The fifth of course is the fourth wall, and the sixth is an on stage grand piano, a seemingly intelligent piano focused on Cole Porter songs. The piano seems to be in cahoots with the fourth wall.

Director Douglas Cooper points out that the revised 2003 script being performed with political overtones was first penned by Gurney in 1996. He even considered more recently tweaking it again to reflect our present day. In the end, Gurney’s 2003 revision leads us to reflect on our own challenges dealing with the current state of politics. It’s The Players’ hope that audiences will laugh a lot, and maybe see the function of theater in society. It’s important to consider our ethical responsibilities to ourselves and to each other as world citizens in a turbulent political climate.

Free Seminar: Energy Realities in the 21st Century

WESTFORD: Transitioning to clean energy is a huge undertaking that will have a lasting impact on future generations. To make informed decisions as we move forward, we need a better understanding of the details. Will the Massachusetts 2050 Roadmap succeed in getting us to 100% clean energy? Can solar and wind do the whole job? How is the Grid impacted? What role could nuclear power play? Which technologies are really green? Are rolling blackouts in our future? Are we leaving viable options on the table? Join Eco-Nuclear Solutions on October 24, 7-8pm at the Roudenbush Community Center, 65 Main Street in Room105 to learn more about the benefits, limitations and unintended consequences of all clean energy options.
Presented by Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a local nonpartisan group of scientists, engineers, educators and environmentalists who educate and advocate for nuclear energy. Take a deep dive into nuclear power. Learn the facts about radiation, accidents and waste. Decide for yourself how best to power the great electrification. Which path is really kind to the planet?
Get more information at www.eco-nuclearsolutions.org. Walk-ins welcome. If you’re not able to attend in person, you can request a Zoom link by sending an email to econuclearsolutions@gmail.com.