Cultural District

Pottery class with Molly CantorPottery class with Molly CantorIn 2012, the Village of Shelburne Falls was designated as a Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and received the Creative Community Award.

This rural pairing of two villages – Shelburne and Buckland – on either side of the Deerfield River joined by an historic iron bridge is a delightful surprise. Honored as one of the “100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” the towns are recognized as a nationally desirable cultural destination.

Ariadne's Dream by Jane Wegscheider"Ariadne's Dream" by local artist Jane WegscheiderShelburne Falls gets it all right – preserving its historic, small town character while being open to the best of modern life. It is a village with a thriving cultural community nestled in the heart of farms and country roads. Enjoy world class opera in Memorial Hall’s Met Live series; visit eclectic art and crafts galleries and studios throughout the village; enjoy the ambience of Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, offering live music year-round. The Bridge of Flowers, once a busy trolley bridge, is now a world famous garden. Visit the trolley museum, the candlepin bowling alley, or the curious geological potholes. Linger in local eateries, enjoy fun family-friendly fairs and festivals throughout the year celebrate the arts, culture, and nature of Shelburne Falls and the surrounding hilltowns.

The Shelburne Falls Mosaic Mural Project

The Shelburne Falls Mosaic Mural Project was a community wide endeavor to celebrate the beauty of our rural area. Together we created 10 3’ x 3’ mosaic panels that represent our hilltowns of West County as well as 2 larger panels, ‘The Deerfield River’ and ‘American Indian Portrait’.

In June 2009, mosaic artist Cynthia Fisher had an idea stemming from her desire to create public art that could be enjoyed where she lived. In laying the groundwork for the project, she enlisted the support and involvement of school officials, teachers, community leaders, and building owners. The venture first gained the support of town selectpersons and business leaders. The educational aspects of the project were very important to Fisher. She did extensive research on the history of our local area and involved third grade students in the local school district that had a curriculum unit on their local area, and in doing so the task of deciding content for the 10 hilltown mosaics was theirs.

Here are the 10 hilltown mosaics:

AshfieldBuckland Charlemont Colrain Conway Hawley Heath Plainfield Rowe Shelburne

Cultural District Events

Hands & Hearts to Cloth
Sunday, February 25th, 2018, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Salmon Falls Gallery

Hands and Hearts to Cloth
Salmon Falls Gallery

Charlemont librarians Mary Boehmer and Bambi Miller will trace the role local abolitionist women played in gathering petitions, public speaking, and creating quilts to generate funds for the support of the Underground Railroad movement. Inspired by the nineteenth-century ladies' activities, and following in their footsteps, discussion will revolve around the efforts of one hundred contemporary women and their quilting participation, bringing to light our community's past.

This event is free. Parking is available.
9th Annual Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival
Sunday, March 11th, 2018, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street in Shelburne Falls

“Pancakes and a Show!”
Celebrating the Sweetness of Spring with Piti Theatre’s
9th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival on March 11
Featuring Punschi by Vermont’s award-winning Sandglass Theater

Piti Theatre Company’s 9th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street in Shelburne Falls, on March 11, celebrates the running of the sap in New England maples. It begins with a pancake brunch from 11 – 2:30, featuring a choice of local syrups, followed by a potpourri of internationally acclaimed performances for all ages, music, workshops, more syrup tasting . . . and free Real Pickles. Complete info at Piti Theatre's website.

Award-winning Sandglass Theater will perform their hand-puppet show Punschi at 3:45 pm. Punschi comes out of a European tradition of imaginative puppetry and entertainment and features international touring artist Jana Zeller. Ms. Zeller will offer a puppet-making workshop after the show for ages 6 and up.

Piti’s critically and child-acclaimed To Bee or Not to Bee musical theater performance at 2:30 pm inspires audiences to act on behalf of pollinators while telling the comic, tragic and ultimately hopeful story of farmer and beekeeper James Van Happen with puppets and audience participation. To Bee returns to Shelburne for the SYRUP Festival, kicking off a series of regional and national tour dates this spring and summer. The show’s French version has been seen since 2012 in Switzerland, and a growing number of New England towns have leveraged the performance to create a “Bee Week” full of pollinator-supportive activities. More at

To Bee features music by Piti musician-in-residence Carrie Ferguson, and SYRUP will also be Piti and Ms. Ferguson’s release party for their debut album, Greatest HBits, Vol. 1. In the making since 2012, the new CD collects favorite songs from full productions and mini-musicals like To Bee, Innocenzo, Olde Coleraine and The Time Capsule. Free performances by Ms. Ferguson and Piti’s Youth Troupe will happen at noon and 1 pm during the pancake brunch.

This year SYRUP moves to a new venue – Shelburne-Buckland Community Centerallowing the flexibility of two stages and table service in Shelburne Falls.


11 am – 2:30 pm: Pancake Party with blueberry and straight-up pancakes served by Piti Youth Troupe performers. Magic tricks and skits spice up their service!

2:30 pm: Piti Theatre’s To Bee or Not to Bee – an interactive theater production with live music, puppetry, and dance for family audiences, featuring local children. The play raises awareness of the plight of pollinators while giving children and adults tools for helping bees thrive in their communities.

3:45 pm: Sandglass Theater’s Punschi - Sandglass puppeteer Jana Zeller presents a collection of delightful and compelling short puppet pieces under an umbrella for adults and children, featuring hand puppets, ukulele, and lots of laughs!

4:45: Puppet-Making Workshop - Each participant will invent a character and create a tape guy puppet. These little puppets are made from recycled materials and are easy to recreate at home for anyone who would like to make a whole cast. Each puppet is attached to a chopstick and can be performed in a shoe box theater. Tape Guys is for ages 6 and up.

Tickets: $12 adults, $10 students/seniors; $5 children 12 and under. One ticket provides access to both performances. Email to reserve your place in puppet-making workshop ($7). Tickets can be purchased at 1-800-838-3006 or Piti Theatre's website. Tickets also available at the door (cash/check only), starting at 11 am.

This program is supported in part by grants from the Buckland, Conway, Shelburne, Plainfield and Rowe Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Special thanks to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association.

About Piti Theatre Co.

The Piti Theatre Company is based in Charlemont, MA and Les Ponts-de-Martel, Switzerland. Piti (pronounced "pea-tea") is an ancient Indian (Pali) word which translatable as joy or rapture. The company’s mission is to create new work for the stage lending itself to the happiness of artists and audiences. The company was founded in 2004 by a husband and wife team, Godeliève Richard and Jonathan Mirin. Richard is a Swiss choreographer, director and designer. Mirin is an American playwright, actor and director. Piti has been nominated for two awards and received a Ten Year Certificate of Recognition from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE). Piti Theatre is Shelburne Falls’ only professional touring theatre company.