Welcome to 2018!

I am so proud of the work GSFABA has accomplished in the last three years promoting the business community in the Hilltowns. I'm pleased to be a resident of this vibrant region and look forward to seeing our businesses continue to grow and succeed.

But, all good things must come to an end—I'll be leaving this position on Friday, February 2, to do new things!

I've very much enjoyed working with so many great people and thank you for your friendship, support, and generosity over the past three years. The GSFABA board will soon announce a new, exciting strategic plan and then begin a search for an executive director to help them bring it to fruition. Look for updates in the next Business Bulletin.

In the last three years, we initiated the highly-successful Business After Hours program; expanded our marketing efforts, including the distribution of over 30,000 area maps last year; collaborated with The Art Garden and Phyllis Labanowski to create Hilltown Arts and Thriving Community Happenings (HATCH), which funded ten new community art projects; redesigned the and GSFABA websites; and established West County Arts and Culture, which produced the Fabulous February Fringe Festival in 2017, with the second Festival coming up very soon (see below).

Working with the business community and the towns in GSFABA's service area has been a fun adventure! I look forward to continuing to support the vitality of our special region as a private citizen and a performing artist.

It's been fun! Thanks, again, and all the best,

Carmela Lanza-Weil
Executive Director

The Town of Shelburne plans to renovate the Mole Hollow parking lot. Please plan to attend a community meeting to contribute your thoughts about the plan on February 8th at 5:30 pm in Town Hall. Mike Carter, the Engineer from GCG who is designing the lot, will be there to talk about the design and get your input.

Contact Terry Narkowitz, Town Administrator, at 413-625-0300 for more information.

quiltOne square from the 2017 "Ladies Moral Compass Quilt" made by community members in Charlemont and neighboring towns.Salmon Falls Gallery presents:

Remembrance of Our Past:
Inspiration From The 1800s Women Abolitionists For Our Times

Exhibit: January 7 - February 25
Hands & Hearts to Cloth: February 25, 2-4pm

Fifteen years ago, fellow librarians Mary Boehmer and Bambi Miller embarked upon a journey to illuminate the nineteenth-century story of the Dorsey family, freedom seekers from Liberty, Maryland, and the Leavitt family, staunch abolitionists of Charlemont. Through the efforts of over two hundred community members, echoing the footsteps of the nineteenth-century women and men, and the work they contributed towards the cause, Charlemont was awarded two designations from the National Parks Service "Network to Freedom."

This retrospective exhibit reflects how we became inspired to present our collective history in a format that would be illuminating and engaging. Through adapting nineteenth-century documents into a chronological scrapbook, crafting a story of the Dorsey and Leavitt families' connections, we have been able to share through public presentations the abolitionists' activities in Western Massachusetts. Inspired by the collected history and through books, part of the exhibit includes contemporary Underground Railroad quilts created during many quilting bee workshops, historical artifacts, and facsimiles used for our "Remembrance of Our Past" reenactments, African sculptures and created fabric angels. Further inspiration presented itself in the Sankofa symbol meaning "remembering our past, to protect our future.”

Please join us for this fifteenth year retrospective exhibit to be held at Salmon Falls Gallery during the months of January and February 2018. Hands & Hearts to Cloth will be Sunday, February 25 from 2-4 p.m. Charlemont librarians Mary Boehmer and Bambi Miller will trace the role local abolitionist women played in gathering petitions, public speaking, and creating quilts to generate funds for the support of the Underground Railroad movement. Inspired by the nineteenth-century ladies' activities, and following in their footsteps, discussion will revolve around the efforts of one hundred contemporary women and their quilting participation, bringing to light our community's past.

And the second exhibit:

doll"Jane," one of the Black Angels in the exhibit "Fly Away Home" by Belinda Lyons Zucker

Belinda Lyons Zucker: FLY AWAY HOME
An Exhibit Of Dolls And Figures From Black Folklore

Exhibit: January 7 - February 25

Fly Away Home ... an exhibit of dolls and figures from Black folklore. Tales in Black folklore tell of Africans that flew. Perhaps these stories were created as a desire to ease their weary lives; to dream of escape. Those left to work the fields remained slaves and told these fantastic tales with only their imaginations to set them free. They flew away… and disappeared.

Salmon Falls Gallery Hours:
Open every day
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am-6pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm is our regional tourism website and reached over 100,000 views in 2017!

Post one-time special events on our "Special Events" calendar, or longer events (such as a sale or gallery exhibit) on our "What's Happening in the Hilltowns" calendar.

Contact the office to grab your space today!


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