Around Amherst: Donations double value of $25 chamber gift cards

Staff Writer
Friday, November 25, 2022

AMHERST — Gift cards available through the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce will again have a holiday match through donations by local businesses that will double their value to $50.

The chamber will be selling 240 of these $25 gift cards starting Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. at the Amherst Visitor Information Center, 35 South Pleasant St., with a limit of two per family, and no advance sales.

Curran & Keegan Financial in Hadley is serving as the lead business in the match, making a $2,500 investment, while the remaining $3,500 match comes from Encharter Insurance, bankESB and the Amherst Business Improvement District.

Molly Keegan, co-owner of Curran & Keegan, said the pandemic has shown the importance of community. “We are happy to play a part in encouraging everyone to support their friends and neighbors by keeping holiday shopping local,” Keegan said.

Amherst Chamber Executive Director Claudia Pazmany said the $12,000 investment into local businesses is critical.

“They know how easy it is to get ‘distracted’ and shop online at the big box stores, so they are helping you choose local,” Pazmany said.

Previously, Curran & Keegan supported the chamber’s Winter Pivot Micro-Grant program.

Meanwhile, as the North Common gets decorated with lights in advance of the Merry Maple celebration on Dec. 2, Christmas trees are again on sale by the Amherst Boy Scouts from the southern edge of Kendrick Park. The trees were delivered Wednesday, with the sale beginning Friday.

Reproductive justice talk

Kate Glynn and Marisa Pizii, who co-chair the Abortion Rights Fund of Massachusetts, will do a presentation titled “Framing Reproductive Justice for Today” on Nov. 30, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Their talk is part of the League of Women Voters of Amherst Judy Brooks Conversation Series, named in memory of the late educator and community leader.

To get the Zoom link for the presentation, go to lwvamherst.org.

Mass Cultural Council appointment

University of Massachusetts Professor Barbara Krauthamer, historian of slavery and emancipation in the 19th-century American South, is joining the governing body of the Mass Cultural Council.

An Amherst resident, Krauthamer was recently named to the council by Gov. Charlie Baker.

“Her expertise in history and the humanities and her dedication to public service will guide her efforts well as we strive to develop policy and programs that invest and support a vibrant cultural sector in Massachusetts,” Nina Fialkow, chairwoman of the council, said in a statement.

Powerlands Extravaganza

Native American Heritage Month will be marked Dec. 1 at UMass with the showing of the film Powerlands, which describes the negative impacts of the energy industry on Indigenous communities on three continents, and a discussion.

The Powerlands Extravaganza will feature the film’s director, Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, a queer Navajo filmmaker who began working on the film when she was 19; questions and answers with university deans and faculty; and a dinner featuring Native American cuisine.

To register for the event, go to https://bit.ly/3AEZnE5.

The in-person screening of the movie, which can also be viewed through Amherst Cinema’s virtual films, takes place at the Carney Family Auditorium at Furcolo Hall, at the College of Education.

Glass bottles

The Amherst Historical Museum and Society will have local antiquarian Jim Thomas talk about old glass bottles, and the stories they can tell, Dec. 2 at noon.

The talk will be in the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library. Examples of bottles from Thomas’ collection will be on display that day.

Charcoal kilns

Leverett’s famed brick charcoal kilns will be the subject of a Leverett Historical Commission virtual exploration on Dec. 1, beginning at 7 p.m.

Part of the ongoing project, “A Sense of Where You Are, Finding and Interpreting Mill Foundations in the Landscape,” this event is funded in part by the Leverett Community Preservation Commission.

To register, go to https://charcoalkiln.eventbrite.com.

For more information, send email to Susan Mareneck at leveretthistoryinfo@gmail.com.


MONDAY: Amherst Housing Authority, 1 p.m., and Amherst Cultural Council, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY: Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, 6:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: Energy and Climate Action Committee, 4:30 p.m.