WHAT'S HAPPENING IN FEBRUARY
Tower Square Kicks Off Black History Month with Stronger Than Pride Exhibition
“My creations are a reflection of my personal values and pay homage to the ongoing
themes of unity, family, and spirituality” – Artist Larry “Poncho” Brown
Nationally renowned artist Larry “Poncho” Brown will be at Tower Square for several events this month in conjunction with the opening of his Stronger Than Pride Exhibition at Art for the Soul Gallery in celebration of Black History Month.
A Baltimore native, Brown is said to be a true creative force in the contemporary African American art realm. He started his first business at the age of 17 as a signwriter, and he has been a full time artist ever since. His art, both fine and commercial, has been published nationally in Upscale, Ebony, Ebony Man, Essence, and Jet magazines. Brown’s work adorns the walls of the likes of Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Anita Baker, Susan Taylor, Ed Gordon and Bernard Bronner just to name a few.
Brown will be at Tower Square on Thursday, February 2 from 6- 8pm for an Artists Reception sponsored by the Association of Black Business and Professionals at Art for the Soul Gallery. He will also be here for two fashion show events on Friday, February 3rd featuring some of his art inspired apparel. Would-be artists will also have a chance to learn from Brown himself at a Poncho Paint Party in the food court at Tower Square on Saturday, February 4th. (See Stronger Than Pride ad below for all event details).
“We are just ecstatic to have Poncho and his works here at the gallery,” commented Rosemary “Tracy” Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery. “He is not only an extraordinary talent, but he’s also a gentleman, who continues to give back to the community. We are fortunate to have this caliber of work here on display in downtown Springfield.”
Brown’s exhibit is open and free to the public and will be on display at Art for the Soul Gallery through March 23. Event sponsors include: Association of Black Business and Professionals, Springfield Cultural Council, Pioneer Wealth Advisors, El Pueblo Latino, Smokey Joe’s Cigar Lounge, Surdoue Boutique Express, Something to Talk About, Ashley Zurc Pereira, CBRE/Tower Square Management.
Additional Black History events taking place at Tower Square this month include an African American Culture Cooking Demonstration prepared by Chef Lily Morales at the Pan African Historical Museum (PAHMUSA) on Wednesday, February 22 from noon – 1pm, which includes an historical narrative by PAHMUSA Director LuJuana Hood.
On Friday, February 24th, DREAM Studios will be performing a special theatre and dance presentation entitled “One Look Back: Celebrating Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” at noon in the food court.
Thunderbirds Coming to Tower Square During School Vacation
Looking for something fun, FREE and interactive for the kids during school vacation week this month? Then you will want to bring them to Tower Square’s Meeting Room on Wednesday, February 22 so they can enjoy Boomer’s Bootcamp with members of the Springfield Thunderbird’s Hockey Team!
From 2 – 3:30pm the Thunderbirds along with their mascot Boomer, will be here to work with youngsters at various interactive indoor hockey stations, followed by an autograph signing. There will also be face painting and raffle prizes. It promises to be a fun event for the kids, and a great way for families to support our Thunderbirds!
Boomer’s Bootcamp is sponsored by the Springfield Thunderbirds and CBRE/Tower Square Management.
Feel the JA Love and Show the Love This February - Support JA!
No date for Valentine’s Day? No problem! Volunteer with Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and we promise you’ll feel special and appreciated!
When and Where can you feel the love? Throughout February - Join us at Meadow Brook Elementary School, East Longmeadow MA to aid in 2nd grade activities once a week for 45mins-1hr. We will have one teacher and two volunteers per classroom, and tons of fun! Lunch is included. 16 volunteers needed, so bring a friend!
No time to volunteer? No problem. Come visit us at the JA offices at Suite 217 at Tower Square on your way to the café or office, and support our after-school Company Program, Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneurs (JAYE). The young women entrepreneurs are selling Valentine’s bears, bracelets or anklets, lollipop, and couples’ truth or dare cards for a package deal of $5!! The bracelets/anklets are handmade and each includes a charm (see below).
March 3, 9:30am-10:15am: Come visit JA students at the EnTEENpreneur Challenge, a pitch contest for middle and high school students, similar to the popular reality TV show about entrepreneurship and starting a business! This year, the Special Guest Judge will be Ryan Kelly from Ry's Ruffery; Ryan competed on Shark Tank Season 4 at just 11 years old and struck a deal with Barbara for $25,000 for 25% of the business. There will be Trade Fair Booths outside JAWM/UMASS Center Springfield Offices for viewers to peruse!
March 3, 7pm: Springfield Thunderbirds vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms game at the MassMutual Center hosted by JA Company Program students. Puck Toss donations will benefit JAWM. Also, it is DOLLAR NIGHT! $1 hot dogs, $1 sodas, $1 small popcorns from doors' opening through the start of the 2nd period. Drop by the JA office to get your DISCOUNTED tickets today!
Two Area Photographers Bring Cuban Culture to Valley Photo Center
The works of photographers Barb Krawczyk (left)
and Diane Savioli-Chase are on exhibit at the
Valley Photo Center this month.
Both Barb Krawczyk and Diane Savioli-Chase have combined their love of photography and travel to come up with a colorfully exuberant photo show featuring their travels to Cuba. That show, Entitled CUBA: Culture, Cars and Cigars, is now open and free to the public here at Tower Square at the Valley Photo Center.
Krawczyk, has lived in Westfield for 34 years and is a native of South Dakota. She is currently president of the Westfield Camera Club and has served as an officer and on the Board of the Springfield Photographic Society. She holds the designations of PPSA and EPSA in the Photographic Society of America and has won many local and international photographic awards.
Savioli-Chase spent many years documenting family travels to Mexico, Belize, Italy, London and France – first with film, then with a digital point and shoot camera – always upgrading to a more powerful zoom. She currently takes the majority of her images with her cell phone – an LGg5. Savioli -Chase has had solo exhibits in local libraries as well a group shows at the Valley Photo Center and the Robert Floyd Gallery in Southampton, where she has won awards at both.
Krawczyk and Savioli-Chase will be on hand to talk about their exhibit during a special Meet the Artist Reception at the Valley Photo Center on Thursday, February 2 from 6-8pm. The Cuba photo exhibit will be on display through the month of February. Gallery Hours are Monday – Friday 11am – 2pm. Visit www.ValleyPhotoCenter.com
Toastmasters Meeting at Cambridge College to Help
Those with Public Speaking Fears
While there is no surefire remedy for the millions of Americans whose #1 phobia is fear of public speaking, there is a group called Toastmasters that is dedicated to the mission of serving these individuals. Fortunately for downtown Springfield, they conveniently meet at Cambridge College right here at Tower Square twice a month.
While it is not a college course, Cambridge College hosts the Toastmaster’s meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from noon – 1pm. For those of you who want to challenge yourselves to become less fearful when speaking at business meetings, conferences, seminars, or even to a group of office peers, you are encouraged to give the Downtown Springfield Toastmasters a try. No commitment. Just show up! Come three times – then decide to join or not. Visitors are encouraged to attend. Newcomers may participate or not.
Members are novices and pros, teens and retirees, men and women. The single requirement is commitment to yourself (and with that comes commitment to the club). Membership fee is under $100 (paying approximately $50 twice a year), tax-deductible, and many employers encourage their employees to join along with paying the fee.
For information email firstname.lastname@example.org.