Around Amherst: Event Saturday celebrates restoration of Poetic Dialog sculpture

AMHERST – Restoration of the metal silhouettes of poets Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost in conversation will be celebrated Saturday.

Beginning at noon, the Amherst Public Art Commission is relaunching the newly restored Poetic Dialog sculpture, at the intersection of Main and Lessey streets across from Sweetser Park.

Originally designed by Michael J. Virzi and Scot Charland, the sculpture, suffering from surface damage, was restored to its original condition by artist Kamil Peters.

Amherst Regional High seniors Linden Jimison and Rebekah Hong will perform their own poetic dialogue loosely following the spirit of the hundred, or collage poem. Each line of their script is taken from the poems of Dickinson and Frost.

Live music, performed by the Amherst College Madrigal Singers, will be part of the 30-minute program.

The event is one of several taking place in Amherst on Saturday. A community cleanup will run from 10 am to noon, with a community celebration at 1 pm on the Town Common.

At the weekly Amherst Farmers Market that starts at 7:30 am, also on the common, the Pubic Shade Tree Committee will be giving out free seedlings and tree information in honor of Arbor Month.

At Mill River Recreation Area at 11 am, author Jennifer Welborn and illustrator Rozillia MH will be launching their new book, “Dr. Rosie Helps the Animals. ”

Street hockey lessons

A retired Boston Bruins goaltender recently led a youth street hockey clinic during April vacation, aimed at fostering interest in the sport and keeping children active and healthy.

Andrew Raycroft was at Mill River Recreation Area as part of the Boston Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team, putting on one of four clinics, for children ages 5-12, presented by Mass General Brigham. About 50 children came to the Amherst Recreation Department event.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital was represented by Stephen Markey, a physical therapist, and Kierstyn Sullivan, an orthopedics and sports medicine practice administrator. “All of us had a blast doing this,” Markey said in a statement. “Keeping kids active and healthy and playing the fun and exciting game of hockey is what it’s all about.”

Each community center hosting a clinic is getting $ 1,000 in donated Franklin street hockey gear, custom Bruins and Mass General Brigham pinnies, banners and other team equipment.

“Being able to bring the excitement of the Bruins to many of our communities who might not normally get this chance, along with the vital care and health information, is a total win,” Scott Gassett, vice president of Sports Medicine at Mass General, said in a statement.

Civil Air Patrol at UMass

A youth squadron of the Air Force Auxiliary’s Civil Air Patrol recently began a meeting on the UMass campus.

Known as the Brigadier General Arthur J. Pierce Cadet Squadron, taking its name from a Greenfield native, it was welcomed by Matt Bachmann, director of Veterans Services, to Dickinson Hall.

The Civil Air Patrol handles most inland search and rescue operations for the aviation community, while the cadet program provides opportunities for youth to fly in the organization’s fleet of small aircraft.

Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson, commander of the Massachusetts Wing, said he is delighted by relocating to a central location. “We believe the move to Amherst will put us in a better position to serve Western Mass,” Nelson said.

Cadet membership is open to students between 12 and 18 years old. To learn more, send an email to the unit’s commander, Major Steve Lauzon, at

Broadway Melody

Unable to put on the annual musical at Bowker Auditorium the past two years, Amherst Community Theater is presenting Broadway Melody, a musical concert of Broadway songs.

Singers of all ages will be performing Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm, with both performances at the middle school auditorium.

Tickets are $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for children 10 and under and can be purchased by cash or check only at the door. Masks and proof of COVID vaccination will be required.

Climate rally

Over 50 Jewish activists from Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action joined Climate Action Now, Mothers Out Front, 2degrees and Abundance Farm last week in a rally in front of the downtown Bank of America demanding it end investments in fossil fuels.

The activists held up matzoh to demonstrate the urgency of their appeal. “Amidst an accelerating climate crisis, it is Bank of America’s responsibility not only to end their investments in Russian oil and gas projects that bankroll Putin’s war in Ukraine, but in all fossil fuel projects,” said Rabbi Benjamin Weiner of the Jewish Community of Amherst .

Web events

Dave Wattles, a state bear expert, and Carol Hepburn, the town’s animal welfare officer, will discuss bears in Amherst in a Zoom presentation May 4 at 6:30 pm

Then, Town Manager Paul Bockelman and Finance Director Sean Mangano will provide an overview and answer questions about the fiscal year 2023 budget and capital plan during a Zoom Cuppa Joe conversation on May 6 at 8:30 am


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