West Concord is having a moment.
Friday, March 1, is World Day of Prayer 2013, and it will be celebrated locally at the West Concord Union Church. Women, men and children in more than 170 countries and regions will celebrate this year. Women of France have written the service around the theme, "I Was A Stranger And You Welcomed Me.” This year, the West Concord Union Church will host Concord's World Day of Prayer Service at 11 a.m., followed by a festive luncheon program which will celebrate French culture and the cultures of immigrants in France. There is no charge for the luncheon and reservations are not necessary.
The Concord Youth Theater is debuting its performance of “Pinocchio” on Friday, March 1 with successive performances on March 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10. The CYT is at 358 Baker Avenue. The Mainstage Company production is a “funky retelling of what it takes to be real.” Come join Pinocchio as he tries his best to tell the truth to Gepetto but keeps getting sidetracked by the Fox and Cat, Candlewick and their promise of dreams coming true at Paradise Park. Pinocchio will have to escape Fireater, the Evil Coachman and be sneezed out of the belly of a whale before he finally learns what it takes to be real. With an original pop and jazz score by Rene Pfister. Fridays March 1, 8, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays March 2, 9 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays March 3, 10 at 2:30 pm. Mainstage ticket prices are $13; Ticket prices are for all seats and all ages. To purchase tickets click here.
Granted, opening night is exciting, but for CYT Artistic Director Lisa Evans, going to the Oscars last Sunday was pretty terrific.
Evans, mother of Captain America himself, Chris Evans, attended the annual star-studded event as her son’s guest, and still has a hard time believing it was real.
“It was beautiful, wonderful, thrilling, exciting,” said Evans, taking a break from rehearsal.
She said she flew out to LAX on Saturday, got up early on Sunday for the big night, and flew back on Monday. But while she was there, she took it all in.
“We sat in the third row,” said Evans. “Ben Affleck was to my left. Everywhere you looked, there was someone famous.”
She said she started getting dressed at about 1 p.m. for their 3:30 p.m. departure for the Kodak Theater. She wore a long black dress from Lord and Taylor, and had her makeup and hair done by a friend of her other son, Scott.
“I just told her to spackle the forehead, grout the wrinkles,” said Evans. She stayed at Chris’ home in the Hollywood hills.
They pulled up and were surrounded by an army of valets and PR flacks.
“They help you out, people are screaming, you stand in line for the red carpet,” she said. “We were behind Michael Moore and in front of Robert DeNiro.”
Evans sat next to Christopher Plummer. Two seats away sat Steven Spielberg. “It was unbelievable,” she said. “Surreal.” She went to an after-party where she and Chris, “who knew everybody”, mingled with the stars. The one person she didn’t get to talk to but wanted to? John Travolta.
Elsewhere in West Concord, there’s the “cash mob” on Saturday, March 2 at the West Concord 5 & 10 at 106 Commonwealth Avenue all day. More on that below.
Also, there’s a Meet and Greet with the two unopposed selectman candidates next door at Reasons to be Cheerful, the ice cream and dessert shop, from noon to 2 p.m.
According to an ice cream shop press release, candidates Carmin Reiss and Alice Kaufman will be there to share conversation, answer questions, and have coffee and homemade ice cream.
Five and Ten store Manager Chris Curtis said the cash mob is a novel twist on the flash mob, but aimed at boosting local independent retailers rather than, well, coming together in one place. The effort will last for the duration of the store’s opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Cash Mob web page says, “With $20 in hand, members of a community come together to shop in a locally owned establishment to support the area economy. Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, and linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships.”
The cash mob has “gone viral,” Curtis said, on Facebook and in social media. He has alerted the neighboring businesses along Commonwealth Avenue too, “because you’re not going to drive down from Vermont just to buy something from one store and go home,” he said.
He expects anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people to throng to West Concord.
The annual Fenn/Nashoba Brooks collaboration titled High School Musical 4.0, which is being produced and directed at Nashoba Brooks this year, takes a look back at that experience by presenting a series of scenes illustrating high school life through dialogue, song, and dance.
The play, which begins its three-night run on Thursday, March 1 at Nashoba Brooks on Strawberry Hill Road, includes material from several well-known musicals, plays, and scene study collections. Directing the production is Rachelle Vachon with Susan Minor as musical director. Tiffany Toner, drama teacher at Fenn, has been working on choreography.
Fenn boys participating in the production are Max Gomez, Brendan Seifert, Tim Joumas, Gordon Hargraves, Odom Sam, Jon Stasior, Jackson Boyle, Carter Hussy, Kojo Edzie, Conrad Meier, Nick Moscow, Reid Shilling, Billy Adie, Tommy Girdwood, Zack Lisman, Austin Hoey, Patrick Crowley, Andrew Hughes, James Finneral, Ethan vanderWilden, Mike Demsher, Will Haslett, Bryce Dion (tech) and Steven Anton (tech).
Admission to the musical, to be performed at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, is free, but tickets, available at the front desk at Fenn or Nashoba Brooks, are required to ensure seating. A suggested donation of $5 per ticket to support programs in Malawi will be accepted. The schools are asking for canned food items that will be used in the “food drive” scene at the end of the show; these will be donated to the Concord Open Table Pantry.
In preparation for this year’s 23rd annual Musketaquid Earth Day, Musketaquid Arts & Environment is hosting a series of weekend workshops in March and April. These hands-on workshops provide instruction and materials for making large and small puppets, costumes, instruments and more as Musketaquid prepares for its Earth Day Celebration on Saturday April 27. The Parade Making Workshops, led by artist and environmentalist Morningstar Medaye along with the Musketaquid Parade Team, will be held from 1- 5 p.m. at Emerson Umbrella on the following Sundays: March 3, 10, 17, & 24. These workshops will prepare participants to join the Earth Day Parade with creative carryable or wearable items. Suggested donation for each workshop is $5-$25.
Turning toward spring, as March begins, Concordians with a green thumb can take advantage of the, dare we say, groundbreaking new Seed Lending Library, and learn about this first-in-the-state initiative. The mission of the Concord Seed Lending Library is to collect and share bio-diverse, locally-adapted plant seeds, cultivated by and for area residents. There is an active advisory board and a strong commitment to ‘grow’ the Seed Library starting this season with easy-to-grow varieties that thrive locally.
Related to the seed sharing effort, on March 14, four environmental groups are sponsoring a talk by Brian Connolly, botanist for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program for the state. Called The Seeds of Success, the lecture is presented by ConcordCAN!, Gardening for Life, the Concord Seed Lending Library and the Thoreau Birthplace. The talk is at 7:30 p.m. at the Thoreau Farm, 341 Virginia Road. See here for more information.
Connolly will talk about the how and why of saving locally adapted non-GMO (not genetically modified) seeds in the context of climate change. Connolly brings his experience as a field botanist, author of a Northeastern Organic Farming Association (NOFA) seed production handbook, homestead farmer and FEDCO seed saver. Free admission, though donations are welcomed. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of gardening, don’t miss out on a scholarship opportunity. The Garden Club of Concord is accepting scholarship applications for a students pursuing degrees or certificates in a gardening-related, environmental studies or agricultural field. The scholarship is available for students attending accredited colleges or universities, or for Continuing Education Programs. Applicants must have resided in Concord for at least one year, and demonstrate financial need. The deadline for the application is Friday, March 15, and the scholarship will be awarded in June 2013.
For a description of scholarship eligibility and the application, please e-mail Pam Hixon at email@example.com or call 978.287.4492. All applications must be postmarked on or before March 15, and must be submitted to: Pam Hixon, 73 Wayside Road, Concord.
Concord businesswoman and health care advocate Pam Ressler, owner of Stress Resources on Lowell Road, has written an online continuing education course on social media for nurses. It launched Feb. 28. Ressler said, “It is amazing that social media is now a large part of our lives and it is necessary for nurses and others to learn to use it effectively to communicate, collaborate and engage with colleagues and the public.” She said social media “has a bad name,” but with patients connecting through blogs, Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms, she feels nurses need to be educated.
“It’s a tool for patient engagement,” said Ressler. The nine-hour course took her about nine months to write. “We don’t hear the good useful side around social media,” she said. “I see great potential in communication and nurses need to understand social media to communicate better.”
At the COA, take in the Gary Hylander Lecture series on The Roaring Twenties, “Flivvers, Flappers and Fitzgerald,” which covers the prosperous period in US history from the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression. The lectures are on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. March 5, April 2, 9, 23, and 30. This series is being presented free of charge through a generous contribution by the Concord Friends of the Aging.
There’s a new art exhibit at the COA. A new display of large, colorful photographs from around the world by journalist/author/photographer Robert Cooke, is now available for viewing at the Concord Senior Center, at 1276 Main St. The photos were taken in recent years during trips to exotic locations such as India, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, Iceland, Italy, northern Canada, and various parts of the United States -- including Concord and Sudbury. The Senior Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. There is no admission fee. The show will continue through April 4.
In political news, the League of Women of Voters of Concord-Carlisle (LWVCC) will host a Concord Candidates' Forum on Sunday, March 3, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Willard School Auditorium, 185 Powder Mill Road, Concord. Snow date is Tuesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
The Concord-Carlisle High School spring musical, “A Chorus Line,” begins six performances on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m., continuing on the 9th and 10th at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively. Shows continue on March 15 at 7 p.m.; March 16 at 8 p.m. and the final matinee on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
State Rep. Cory Atkins is holding a town hall constituent meeting on March 12 at the Town House to answer questions about past and future happenings on Beacon Hill and how they affect her district. It is one in a series of three meetings in the district.
Atkins said Gov. Deval Patrick wants to raise the state income tax by 1 percent to 6.25 percent, and cut the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. She said the revenue would be used for education and infrastructure.
“It’s not a question of whether taxes will increase, but rather a question of how and by how much,” Atkins said. “Before I take a vote on raising revenues, it is critical that I hear directly from my constituents on this issue.”
The first town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chelmsford Police Station, 2 Olde North Rd. Residents may park in the visitor lot or in street parking along Olde North Road. The second meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 12 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Concord Town House, 22 Monument Square. The final meeting will occur on Thursday, March 14 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Acton Police Station, 371 Main St.
You are invited to watch two new “Video Exchanges” from the Concord-Nanae Connection. The videos are a project between the Concord-Carlisle Sci-Fi Club and the Nanae (Concord’s Japanese sister city) High School English Club to create an ongoing video exchange. See the first one here. The video was created by David Nurenberg, Sci-Fi Club faculty representative. Visit Concordnanae.com to learn more about this intercultural program between sister cities. There is a second video here.
Join the Natural Resources Division staff at the second Community Meeting on March 13, at 7 p.m. in the first floor conference room at 141 Keyes Road to provide additional input and to ensure your visions are appropriately addressed in the 2013 Open Space and Recreation Plan.
The Friends of Minute Man National Historical Park is offering two lectures in March at Bemis Hall at 15 Bedford Rd in Lincoln, on Sunday March 10 and Sunday March 17 at 3 pm.
The March 10 Lecture will present speaker J.L. Bell who will speak on Washington's Spy Ring. Mr. Bell will discuss the challenges that General Washington faced in gathering intelligence on the British Military in Boston. The talk reveals secrets and names the names!
On March 17, Joan Walsh, the Director for Bird Monitoring at Mass Audubon, will look at the results of Mass Audubon's recent State of the Birds of Massachusetts and Breeding Bird Atlas II and discuss the role that our shifting land-use practices have had upon our native bird population.
The Emerson Umbrella is offering two intriguing events in March. On March 2 you can take in a wonderful evening of Old Broadway! Musicals from 1940 – 1970. It will be a perfect evening for the family or a night out with friends. Tickets are $15 and there will be a cash bar. This is a fundraiser for the Umbrella’s growing Performing Arts Program.
Also, the Umbrella presents Jesus Christ Superstar, which opens on March 28. Get your tickets now as they are going fast. See here.
In high school news, for the first time the Presidents Volunteer Service Award will be presented on Awards Night, May 16. Applications are due by March 15. 2Volunteer is currently accepting student applications for this prestigious award. If a student has compiled over 100 hours of eligible Community Service in one calendar year, in whatever venue(s) they have chosen, encourage them to apply. Learn more about the Awards and use the on-line application form at the 2Volunteer website, http://www.2volunteeronline.org/, also linked from the CCHS home page.
Betsy Levinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.