Deepening the Power of Place:


Sunday, March 12, 2023, 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm
Exploring our Cultural Crossroads through Story, Song and Spoken Word. Shea Theater Arts Center 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Crossroads Closing Event with Erica Wheeler and Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr.

Crossroads Closing Event with Erica Wheeler and Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr.

Singer/songwriter Erica Wheeler’s keynote concert celebrates our connections to Franklin County with a performance at the Shea Theater Arts Center. Wheeler believes “we can turn places we live, work, visit and play into places of belonging.” Her place-specific keynote concerts incorporate song, story, and audience engagement to help diverse groups find the stories that connect them to their sense of place. Her customized program will blend stories and songs gleaned from research and first-hand knowledge of Franklin County, beautifully tying together previous programs connected with Crossroads.

The program, “Social Songs & Spoken Word Poetry: The Confluence of Traditional Eastern Woodlands Social Songs and Modern Spoken Word Poetry,” composed and performed by Nipmuc Tribe citizens Andre Strongbearheart Gaines, Jr. and his nephews, Daishuan Reddeer Garate and Miguel Wandering Turtle Garate, will explore the common themes that connect ten-thousand-year-old traditional Indigenous social songs with modern day Spoken Word poetry. They will share stories about their ongoing relationships to the land, the persistence and resilience of the Northeastern tribes, differing world views, and ways they are able to maintain balance between the traditional lifestyle and values they inherited through their ancestors and functioning respectfully in today’s complicated world.

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America” will be on view at the Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A in Turners Falls from February 5 to March 18, 2023. The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Mass Humanities. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America” is a collaboration between the Department of Conservation and Recreation, RiverCulture, the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Montague Public Libraries, and New England Public Media.

We especially appreciate the additional support from the Local Cultural Councils of Charlemont-Hawley, Colrain, Erving, Leyden, New Salem, Buckland, Gill, Whately, Orange, and Rowe which is making this event possible.