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Spring Block Party-style event proposed for downtown

Published: 12/4/2022 8:54:50 PM

AMHERST — A possible collaboration between the Amherst Business Improvement District, Downtown Amherst Foundation and the Amherst Cultural Council could lead to a new Block Party-like event next spring.

Amherst BID Executive Director Gabrielle Gould recently spoke to the Cultural Council about staging a “Block Party-esque” event, noting that there were over 7,000 attendees at the Block Party in September.

The Amherst Center Cultural District is getting a $15,000 grant to promote events that would draw people from 50 miles away. Gould said her vision might focus on art and culture, live music and wet paint, with the creation of a new art installation on site.

One suggestion is for the event to happen on Amity Street and in the lots near Amherst Cinema, and that a community mural would result.

“It could all culminate in this incredible mural being completed and put up and we could put everyone’s names on a plaque next to it,” Gould said.

The Cultural Council could be asked to provide funding in the $10,000 range to support an event, though Cultural Council Chairman Matt Holloway said if money was used for that, it wouldn’t go toward a recipient for other projects.

Cuppa Joe on the budget

Next year’s municipal budget will be the focus for a Cuppa Joe when Town Manager Paul Bockelman will be joined by Finance Director Sean Mangano and Comptroller Sonia Aldrich at the Bangs Community Center on Dec. 9 from 8 to 9:30 am

Residents are invited to come to talk to the town’s financial team about budget priorities, ask questions about town spending, and bring up other topics of interest.

The town’s Engage Amherst online page offers people a chance to provide rankings about budget needs, and there will also be public forums in the coming months.

Resident Aid program

A Resident Aid Assistance Program that launched during the summer to help residents with overdue rent, mortgage or utility bills has about $80,000 remaining.

Applicants must demonstrate financial hardships resulting from the COVID pandemic or its economic impacts. Grants will be a maximum of $3,000.

Residents interested in participating should download a form at and call Family Outreach of Amherst at 413-548-1275 to schedule an appointment.

Pilgrim trails of Europe

“Camino 101: An Introduction to the Camino de Santiago” is the title of a talk to be given by Joe Curro in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library on Tuesday at 7 pm

The Camino de Santiago is a collection of ancient pilgrim trails in Europe, all of which converge at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where the remains of the Apostle Saint James the Greater are believed to be safeguarded.


MONDAY: African Heritage Reparation Assembly, 2 p.m.; Cultural Council, 6 p.m.; and Town Council, 6:30 p.m

WEDNESDAY: Energy and Climate Action Committee, 4:30 pm; and Planning Board, 7 p.m

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