Music & Entertainment | Art Exhibits | Writing Workshops & Readings | Author Talks | Arts & Crafts

Music & Entertainment

Rotunda Rhythms
Sundays in the Central Library Rotunda

Afro-Latino Drumming with Cornell Coley
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 1 p.m.

This one-man, interactive program begins with an introduction of the concept of the body as instrument. Small folk instruments such as the musical bow, talking drum, bells, shakers, and the voice are introduced to explore the roots of African and Latin rhythms. Audience members may be asked to join in, and soon a spontaneous ensemble has emerged to make a finale, call-and-response jam session of music and movement! For more information, visit Cornell’s website.


Dúo Fusión
Sunday, November 22, 2015, 1 p.m.

The soothing strains of guitar and flute join in Dúo Fusión to make a pleasing yet exciting sound of Latin, popular, and classical arrangements. Good for all ages, Joe and Sarah play with such skill and heart that their music together becomes an instant pleasure, impressive for being both heart-felt and superbly executed. “The best music sometimes comes in the smallest packages. Take, for instance, Dúo Fusión.” – All About Jazz magazine. Visit them at their website.


Holiday Songs from Around the World
December 20, 2015, 1 p.m.

Celebrate the season with holiday songs from around world. The South Hadley Children’s Chorus will be joined by the newly formed Springfield College Community Chorus to offer an hour of song and celebration. As a special treat, the program will feature a recitation of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and more.


Skylarkz, Jazz with Pizzazz
January 24, 2016

Rev it up with the jazz music of Skylarkz! Sarah and Nick perform the American Songbook with style and pizzazz sure to please music lovers of all kinds.

Kat February 2016

Singer/Songwriter Kat Kennedy
Sunday, February 21, 2016, 1 p.m.

Kat Kennedy is a singer/songwriter who found her folk/pop sound while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. A solo acoustic artist, Kat performs original songs as well as crowd favorites by artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Her debut E.P., Perspective was released in 2015. Kat has shared the stage with many performing artists and opened for national touring artists. For more information, visit her website.

Art & Photography Exhibits

Mateo Violet July2015

Brighwood Gallery
October 1 – 30, 2015
Opening Reception: October 8, 6:30 p.m.

Throughout the month of October the Brightwood Branch Library Gallery, 359 Plainfield Street, will feature paintings by Miriam Mateo and Juan Rodriguez. Miriam is a dedicated amateur who works with acrylic and oils. Juan is an art teacher for the Springfield Public Schools.


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month there will be an Opening Reception on Tuesday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m. Stop by, meet the artists and talk to them about their work at this free event open to all. As a special bonus, one artwork will be raffled off to those in attendance. The free raffle and refreshments are provided through the generosity of the Friends of the Springfield Library.


Forest Park Gallery: Astonishing Inspirations: Artworks by Dr. Gloria Caballer-Arce
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Exhibit runs from October 15 – November 28, 2015

The Forest Park Gallery is pleased to present Astonishing Inspirations: Artworks by Dr. Gloria Caballer-Arce, a six-week art exhibit.

Gloria began creating works as a young child in New York City. Her bold works, which include geometric shapes, intermingled lines, and vivid colors, are open to interpretation by the viewer. She is a retired educator and has lived in Springfield for the past twenty-five years while continuing to create.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 15, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The reception will include a poetry reading by María Luisa Arroyo, Springfield’s Poet Laureate.

McKnight house A

At Home in Mason Square: Architectural History, Styles, and Influences
Thursday, October 22, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Mason Square Branch

Join us for a fascinating look at Mason Square’s architecture and history! Do you remember when trolley and train tracks crossed the Square, or when the library was on Catherine Street, and Buckingham Junior High was still standing? Former Winchester Square resident Charles Clark will present a collection of photographs depicting the many iterations of State Street throughout the last century. The collection, which Mr. Clark painstakingly researched, has been compiled in a book, and generously donated to the branch.

McKnight house B

Next, Springfield Preservation Trust board member Bob McCarroll will speak about the residential architecture in the neighborhoods surrounding Mason Square including McKnight, which has many homes of local and national significance. Learn about the different housing styles, influences, and trends that are represented in your community.

A short reception with refreshments will follow. Residents are encouraged to bring their own photographs of the neighborhood to share.

Throughout the month of October, beginning October 9, a selection of oversized, mounted photographs will be on display in the Mason Square Branch Community Room featuring Preservation Trust award winners from McKnight.

Writing Workshops & Readings

7 Minutes: A Literary Arts Spotlight

Central Library Community Room, Saturday, August 29; Sundays, September 13, October 18, November 15, December 13, 2015

Note: The Literary Spotlight has been rescheduled and is now being offered on Saturday, August 29, instead of August 8, from 1-3 p.m. in the Central Library’s Community Room.

In this literary showcase of local and regional writers, preregistered literary artists (18+) will share a seven-minute reading of their writing from ANY genre. The public (18+) is invited to come listen. Books and other literary materials will be available for sale and for autographs.

Springfield’s first Poet Laureate and award-winning, multilingual poet María Luisa Arroyo will host this monthly event. Please contact María Luisa ( for registration information.

Maria Arroyo Spr Poet Laureate2014 Award-winning multilingual poet and educator, María Luisa Arroyo has facilitated numerous poetry workshops, including at the 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington, DC, and has performed in various parts of the country and in Puerto Rico. Her publications include Gathering Words: Recogiendo Palabras (Bilingual Press: 2008), Touching and Naming the Roots of This Tree (self-published chapbook, 2007) as well as many poems in various journals. Contact her at: or


Inspirations: a Public Reading of Recent Writings
Sunday, October 25, 2015 starting at 1 p.m.
Central Library Rotunda

Writers from the library’s 2015 writing groups and others from Writers Spring Forth will share brief reading samples from their recent poems and prose. Enjoy their inspired creations in this public reading suitable for all ages. This program is partially funded by the Springfield Cultural Council.

Writing Workshops: Strengthen Your Writing’s Power and Effectiveness

** Fall at the Forest Park Branch Library in the Community Room
Saturday afternoons, September 19 & 26, plus October 3 & 10, 2015 from 1-2:45 p.m.

To register, sign up online on our calendar or call the Reference Desk at 413-263-6828 ext 213 or the Forest Park Branch at 413-263-6843.

writinggroup This is a series of four writing workshops, designed for would-be writers who dream of publishing a book, but see a need to develop their writing skills first. These personalized workshops focus on improving grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and other basic aspects of writing, and include workshops designed to help writers find their voice. The series is led by Phyllis St. George and partially funded by the Springfield Cultural Council.

1. Finding Your Voice: This is the first of four fun writing workshops perfect for the novice or more experienced writer. In Finding Your Voice, you’ll write free-form from visual prompts to find and enliven your unique voice as a writer.

2. Super Sentences: Strengthen your grasp on basic sentence structure, form, and grammar. Review standard syntax, and enjoy building a better writing style and vocabulary.

3. Editing Your Own Writing: In this interactive and dynamic workshop, participants will review the writing of one another and offer helpful and sensitive feedback aimed at increasing awareness of effective grammar, vocabulary, and style.

4. Reading to Find Your Own Voice: The best writers are also readers! Bring in a few pages of a favorite book, story or essay and, using the Amherst Writers Method as a model, write an imitation with your own characters. Feedback on the writing will focus on what is enjoyable and strong.

In the Fall (date to be determined) there will be a public reading at the Central Library of writing samples created by the workshop attendees.

For more information, call Matthew Jaquith at 413-263-6828 ext. 221.



The Artist’s Way: a workshop series for developing writers and artists

Forest Park Branch
1 – 3 p.m.
Thursdays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; November 5, 12, and 19; December 3, 10 and 17, 2015; and January 7 and 14, 2016, 1 – 3 pm

This is an in-depth exploration of the book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron in a thirteen-week series where each week participants will review a chapter and respond with writing and spoken exercises. The Artist’s Way develops new and aspiring artists by sharpening the artist-spiritual connection, and promises to be a highly personal and exciting journey. Workshops will be led in alteration by Phyllis St. George, Springfield editor, poet, and writing coach; Ellen Rivers, local actor/director; and Alice Kelly, a seasoned spiritual coach and exponent of The Artist’s Way.

Writers' Program Photo 5-20-14 (3)

Write and Publish Your Memoir

Come to the Mason Square Branch for a FREE two-part writing workshop led by local author, Haven Williams.

Part 1, November 21, 1-2:30 p.m.
Sign up online
Workshop #1: This first workshop will help to answer the questions: What is memoir? What is not? How does one get started in writing one? Students will complete practice exercises designed to help develop a focus in their writing.

Part 2, November 28, 1-2:30 p.m.
Sign up online
Workshop #2: In the second workshop, students will bring in samples of their writing and workshop one another’s work.

An Introduction to Self-Publishing
December 12, 1-2:30 p.m.

Sign up online
In this workshop, local author Haven Williams will describe the process of self-publishing from preparing your manuscript to setting a price, from considering publishing packages to exploring the various different platforms that one can use to produce their own book. Haven will cover the pros and cons of using e-books, print on demand, and subsidy publishing.

Author Talks


Suzanne Strempek Shea
Tuesday, October 13, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch

Sign up online

Join us for a talk and book signing with gifted local author Suzanne Strempek Shea. Suzanne will give fans of her splendid novels the latest news about her numerous writing projects and will also sign copies of her books that will be available to purchase.

After taking a break from authoring novels, she recently released her new, splendid ninth novel Make a Wish But Not for Money that does not disappoint. The heartwarming book tells of “Rosie Pilch, whose lifelong job as a bank teller is lost in the recession, and her subsequent depression ends only when a friend elopes, moves and leaves Rosie her palm-reading business at Orchard Mall, once a groundbreaking shopping experience touted as ‘Main Street Recreated,’ now a sluggish ‘dead mall’ in its last months of existence before the wrecking ball arrives.”–Jacket. You won’t believe what happens next in this fantastic and heartwarming story.

Don’t miss this special afternoon with Suzanne Strempek Shea.


Author Talk: The Books of Andrew Lam
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1:30 p.m., Sixteen Acres Branch Library (Community Room)

Sign up online

Join us for an engaging talk by writer and physician Andrew Lam. Dr. Lam is the author of the 2013 book Saving Sight, a fascinating work of non-fiction about pioneering practices in eye health and corrective surgery. His latest book, Two Sons of China, is a powerful novel based on a real life event from the close of World War II. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this accomplished local author! For more information on Dr. Andrew Lam, visit his website.

Arts & Crafts

The Springfield City Library offers occasional arts and crafts workshops throughout the year, including needlework coaching, pastel painting workshops, upcycling projects, and more.

Craft Groups

Are you interested in needlework? Visit any one of our knitting or crochet groups to hone your skills, make new friends, or swap great needlework ideas with other needlework fans. People new to needlework or experienced crafters are both welcomed!