By Gail Burns
Don’t settle in to hibernate just yet! The pace is slower in January, but there’s still plenty to do.
Dashing Through the Snow: Whether or not there’s snow, Sweet Brook Farm on Oblong Road in Williamstown offers sleigh or wagon rides through the maple sugar bush and around the beautiful alpaca farm with Dave Larabee and his team of Belgian horses, Bob and Bud, all winter long. Rides, last approximately 45 minutes with a break for hot cocoa in a cozy cabin in the woods. Cost $18 adults, $9 children. Reservations are required, 413-441-4302.
MLK Day of Service: Gather at 9 am at the MCLA Church Street Center on Monday, January 18 to sign up for service projects and enjoy light refreshments. Participants will choose from projects onsite at MCLA – including making mittens, crevices, meal kits, and other projects – or going to local agencies such as the YMCA, Louison House, and winterizing at local homes. The day concludes back at the Church Street Center with a free community lunch, a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the presentation of the Peacemaker Award.
Free Art: The crowds are smaller and this month there are opportunities to visit our excellent local museums for free. Admission to The Clark is free from 10 am-5 pm on January 3, and MASS MoCA’s annual Free Day is January 30 from 11 am-7 pm. Admission to the Williams College Museum of Art is always free, and on January 28 from 5-8 pm the winter study class, Mapping the Museum, culminates in an evening of “petite interventions” curated by socially engaged artist and class leader Lexa Walsh.
Free Concerts at Williams: From January 7-9 the Williams College Department of Music presents I/O Fest ’16 – three days of adventurous new music from around the globe – at the ’62 Center. On January 24, at 3 pm in the Math-Stats Library professional harpsichordist Victor Hill performs the music of Bach, Scarlatti, and Jacques Duphly on the double-manual harpsichord of 18th century Franco-Flemish design custom-built for him. The Williams Opera Workshop’s culminating concert of operatic scenes will be at 7 pm on January 28 in Chapin Hall.
Dance the Winter Blues Away: On January 22 at 8 pm on the MainStage in the ’62 Center, iconic choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his dance company Evidence presents a program that will include “The Subtle One,” Brown’s extraordinary new collaboration with the renowned jazz pianist Jason Moran.
Strong January Line-up at MASS MoCA: On January 16 at 8 pm composer Daniel Wohl’s new album Holographic comes to life in tandem with Daniel Schwartz’s lush visuals in a work-in-progress multisensory performance. On January 21 at 7 pm there’s a screening of “Heart of a Dog”, Laurie Anderson’s touching tribute to her beloved terrier, Lolabelle. On January 23 at 8 pm FreshGrass presents Birds of Chicago, the mesmerizing husband-wife duo JT Nero and Allison Russell performing their soul-inflected, groove-based Americana. And finishing out the month on January 30 comedian Chris Gethard brings his stand-up act to Club B-10 at 8 pm.