Friday, April 24, 2015

Impulse Ensemble w/ Tony Vacca

Saturday May 2, 2015
Impulse Ensemble w/ Tony Vacca
Performance: 6:30 pm

In Conjunction with the 2015 Alchemy Fair
Dinner available prior to the show at the GCA Grille
A free-flow fusion of World Music, Jazz and Spoken Word

Tony Vacca: balafon, gongs, percussion, spoken word.
Jim Matus: electric laoutar (an instrument he created!), vocals.
Derrik Jordan: electric violin, percussion, vocals. 

Tony Vacca, Jim Matus and Derrik Jordan share a special interest in the converging traditions and innovations that are constantly redefining what it is to be an American musician.

They are passionate and mesmerizing performers on their respective instruments, equally at home in a written composition or in a totally free-form improvisation. They have each produced many recordings of their own music, and have traveled around the world in pursuit of their visions.

In creating Impulse Ensemble they are combining forces to make some truly extraordinary music which is based on influences from West African music, jazz, spoken word and whatever creative ideas are floating through their amazingly creative minds!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Envisioning an Art Park in Holyoke

Presentations & Exhibition
at GATEWAY CITY ARTS / 92 Race Street / Holyoke

Student Presentations: 4:00-6:00 PM
Opening Reception: 6:00-8:00 PM


7th FROM 11:00 AM-7:00 PM

For a senior “capstone” design studio, undergraduate students in the UMass Amherst Department of Architecture have been developing ideas for the creation of an “ART PARK” under the 391 Highway at Main Street in Holyoke. The city, in collaboration with Massachusetts Department
of Transportation is considering developing this underutilized area for a small arts-related park. This semester the students explored design ideas to realize a vision of an accessible, welcoming and vibrant public space. While full funding for this project has not been secured, this work represents some early ideas and images for redeveloping this space. We hope this student work will provide direction for additional community engagement and identify key concepts for the project when it is realized.

Join us to celebrate the student work and contribute to the vision of a community ARTS PARK in Holyoke.

For more information please contact:
Joseph Krupczynski / Associate Professor
Department of Architecture

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Site of Holyoke Hotel to Become Destination Retail Plaza, Including Two Restaurants

66 Holyoke LLC, formerly known as Shield Management, the owner of the Holyoke Hotel site, recently received approval for their plans to develop the property into a destination retail plaza. The plan, approved by the planning board on January 13, includes an Applebee’s restaurant and a second yet to be determined restaurant. The site will also include one fast food tenant, two retail tenants, and two hotels. Commercial Development Services Group, from Stafford CT, has been hired to begin the construction on the site.

“The Planning Board and staff have worked with the developer for over a year to structure a pre-approved master plan for this retail site, which would allow them to more easily attract anchor tenants and accelerate new development,” said Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City. “We’re very glad to see the development project reach the construction phase.”

This project will result in the creation of approximately 100 to 150 full-time equivalent job openings, at the hotel and the restaurants combined, and the creation of approximately 150 to 175 construction jobs. The project will demolish approximately half the existing hotel, while rehabilitating the remaining portion as one of the hotels on site. The second hotel will be new construction. The Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development will be working on the relocation of any temporarily homeless tenants with relocation as of May 1st.

The establishment of these new businesses will further support the retail environment of the surrounding neighborhood. Further, the project will increase tax revenue for the City of Holyoke. Currently, the City receives approximately $132,000 per year from this property. This amount is anticipated to increase to approximately $350,000 to $400,000 per year after construction is completed.

“This new development is great news for the surrounding neighborhood and for the entire city,” Mayor Morse said. “I commend Marcos, the Planning Board, and everyone at all levels of government who helped this project move forward. We expect that the site improvements will complement the commercial offerings in the Ingleside area, which already serves as a regional destination, reduce the appearance of blight and reduce the amount of police calls in the area. This project is a big win for Holyoke.”

Mayor Morse to Host Children’s Memorial Day

Mayor Alex B. Morse invites the public to join him, in conjunction with the Child Welfare League of America, in a ceremony that will memorialize children, advocate ending violence and declare April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month”. On Thursday, April 23 at 10:00 A.M. the Mayor will be joined in front of City Hall by representatives from dozens of social agencies, as well as state, local officials and children in recognition of Children’s Memorial Day.

Our community will be joining with countless others across the country to remember the thousands of children lost in the last year to violence. The symbol of this observance will be the presentation and display of the Children’s Memorial Flag. The flag is a simple, moving image—a red field depicting blue, paper-doll-like figures of children holding hands. In the center, the white chalk outline of a missing child symbolizes the children lost to violence.

We hope to see you at the Children’s Memorial Flag Day. Please show the children in your life that they are special and have the right to be safe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bohemian Quartet in Concert

This acclaimed Providence-based ensemble features the sounds of the violin, viola, cello, and bass and specializes in the music of the Romany or “Gypsy” tradition, along with other related Eastern European folk styles. A performance by the Bohemian Quartet is a door to another culture; their fast tempos, virtuosic playing, and the echoing of spry strings crying and dancing ensures a riveting experience.

Violinist Stan Renard, a composer and virtuoso player, assembled the quartet in 2005 hoping to preserve the Romany tradition and indulge in the virtuosic playing of the group’s classic music. Renard recruited his like-minded friends Dave Zinno on upright bass, Christine Harrington on cello, and Nancy Richardson on viola.

The performance will be preceded by a presentation by the quartet, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Admission is $15 general/$10 members. 

Tickets are available at or by calling the museum at (413)-322-5660

For more information about Bohemian Quartet please visit their website at

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alchemy Artisan Fair

Alchemy Events is pleased to announce the second annual Alchemy Artisan Fair, taking place at Gateway City Arts, located at 114 Race Street on May 2 and 3.

The Fair will showcase the work of over 30 local artisans as well as offering a variety of clinics and workshops including Yo-Yo clinics from A-Z Science and Learning, Hula Hoop Jams with Kimqi Hoops, Mini Comic workshops with My Monster Hat, Paint Your Own Pottery with The Celadon Studio, Food from the Holyoke Hummus Company and a Beer Garden featuring seasonal offerings from Paper City Brewery.

Tickets are $5 at the door, children under 12 free.View the complete artist lineup as well as workshop schedule online at

PassportHolyoke Seeks Community Input for Next Stop: Holyoke

PassportHolyoke is looking for individuals with enthusiasm and creative vision to join the conversation at ongoing Next Stop: Holyoke planning meetings, which continue on Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30 pm at the Holyoke Senior Center. 

Next Stop: Holyoke, a three-day citywide festival in October, will feature visual arts displays and performances, concerts, community meals, recreational activities, history programs, and more. PassportHolyoke hopes to engage artists, performers, restaurants, businesses, schools and youth, and community members in creating new events for Next Stop: Holyoke. Assistance with overall planning, including fundraising and marketing, is also welcome. 

Next Stop: Holyoke is a collaborative volunteer-led event that benefits from community involvement in all stages of planning. Planning meetings are monthly with increasing frequency as the event approaches. Join PassportHolyoke in making Next Stop: Holyoke 2015 a success!