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

Music & Entertainment

Liberty Winds in Concert


The 215th Army Band returns to Springfield to offer a free concert of chamber music by Liberty, their new chamber winds ensemble. Join them and your neighbors for a refreshing hour of delightful classical favorites and popular arrangements good for the entire family. Lemonade and cookies compliments of the Friends of the Library. Attend and earn a chance to win two free Tanglewood tickets. Saturday, August 8 from 1-2 p.m. at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library, 1187 Parker Street.


Dance Salsa! at Forest Park

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m., Forest Park Community Room
Sign up online

Dance teachers Dina DelBuono & David Bovat will present an introductory class in salsa dancing. Bring yourself, a comfortable pair of shoes, and get ready to have fun with invigorating and healthy dancing. Be prepared to move, and bring a friend, though partners will be provided if you do not have one. No prior dance experience is necessary. Good for 18+.

Art & Photography Exhibits

Forest Park Gallery: Changing Architecture and Landscapes

House in Forest Park photographed by Jim Sharrard.
House in Forest Park photographed by Jim Sharrard.

June 25 – July 29, 2015
Forest Park Branch Library, 380 Belmont Avenue

Along the River at Charming Forge by Janet Stupak
Along the River at Charming Forge by Janet Stupak

“Changing Architecture and Landscapes” is an exhibition of architectural and landscape paintings by Janet Stupak, displaying her range of styles and techniques, and photography by Jim Sharrard.

Janet Stupak, Library Community Relations Coordinator, is known for her abstract paintings and is also an accomplished realist painter.

Jim Sharrard is a photographer who lives in Forest Park. His work has been featured in the Springfield Preservation Trust’s calendar, and he has exhibited often in the Springfield area. Some of his works are posted here on Flickr.

Preservation Trust Award Winners: a Gallery of Springfield’s Historic Architecture

Single family mansion in McKnight.
Single family mansion in McKnight.

Forest Park Branch Library is happy to exhibit several of the photographs from this year’s awards, as well as some from previous years. The exhibit will continue in the Forest Park Community Room (on the lower level) through July 29. Please stop by!

The Springfield Preservation Trust Preservation Awards honor the people and organizations that are helping to restore historic structures in Springfield. Every year the Trust showcases exemplary properties that represent the best preservation in Springfield over the previous year. Awardees are presented with a plaque that includes images of their restored home and the reasons for the award. Preservation awards are commonly given to properties that have restored the historic look of a building by removing inappropriate siding, repairing or replicating original details, or generally bringing back a building that was in disrepair.


Writing Workshops & Readings

The Artist’s Way: a workshop series for developing writers and artists
Thursdays from June 4 – August 20, 1 – 3 p.m.
Forest Park Program Den

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

artistsway This is an in-depth exploration of the book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron in a twelve-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 alternation 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.

7 Minutes: A Literary Arts Spotlight

Central Library Community Room, Saturday, August 8; Sundays, September 13, October 18, November 15, December 13, 2015

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

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.


How to Write a Book

Thursdays, July 23 & 30, 6-7:30 p.m.
Mason Square Branch, 765 State Street

Two-Part Writing Workshop


Join us for two writing workshops led by Haven Williams, MSEd & author of Perforated Fiber, and designed for people interested in writing a book from start to finish. Both workshops will feature practical writing exercises to get the creativity flowing.

The first workshop (Part 1 on July 23) will focus on developing ideas, outlining your work, and organizing a story.

Part 2 (July 30) will focus on developing characters, setting, and story scenes.

Writers of all levels of experiences encouraged to attend!

Program will meet in the Children’s Workroom. Registration is required. Sign up online or call the branch.


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 Making 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.


Webster’s Dictionary of 1864: the Invention of the Modern Dictionary
Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Central Library Community Room

Sign up online

This is an hour long presentation given by John Morse, President and Publisher of Merriam-Webster. He will speak about this revolution in dictionary making and how it reflected the world in which it was created, the Civil War era United States. Mr. Morse will also speak about the lessons it has for today’s editors at Merriam-Webster as they once again take on the task of revising the Unabridged Dictionary.

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.

MS_reading-garden Mason Square Paints
Saturdays: July 11, and July 25 from 1-3:00 pm
Mason Square Branch Reading Garden

Patrons of all ages are encouraged to join us at the Mason Square Branch’s Reading Garden for a free painting and art making session. Keep cool under our umbrellas as you paint whatever inspires you, be it the garden’s new blooms, the branch’s collection of art books, or whatever you like! Comfortable Adirondack chairs and tables are available thanks to a generous grant.

Paper, watercolor paints, crayons, and collaging materials will be provided for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Gregs-cropped-single-poppy-257x300 Pastel Painting: Scarlet Poppies and Realism Made Easy

Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Mason Square Branch Library Sign up online

With Georgia O’Keeffe’s scarlet poppies as a guide, participants in this expressive and fun workshop will easily learn painting techniques used to recreate the style. All materials are being supplied by artist and teacher Greg Maichack.

Partial funding provided by the Springfield Cultural Council.


Fifteen Shades of Gray – A Drawing Class

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Central Library (Community Room)
Sign up online

Enjoy this art class for adults of all skill levels working on line drawing, sketching and shading techniques using charcoal and pencil. An art teacher–Mariza Graziano–will use still life arrangements as the subjects to draw. All art supplies will be provided.

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!