Congratulations to LuJuana Hood, the Executive Director of the Pan African Historical Museum USA (PAHMUSA) for being awarded the William H. Carney Medal of Honor for Historical Legacy last month, during a special presentation by Stone Soul, Inc. at the Vibra Hospital Garden Room in Springfield.
Hood was among six honorees at the ceremony including Harold Bell, Barbara Gresham, Richard Devine, John B. Brown, and Major Margaret Oglesby.
Hood has remained at the helm of PAHMUSA for more than twenty years. The non-profit museum specializes in education, culture, career exploration and community service. Under Hood’s leadership, PAHMUSA serves as a material and human resource that seeks to present the history and culture of Africa and people of African descent in a dignified and accurate manner. Located on the second floor of Tower Square, PAHMUSA houses books, authentic and historical art and artifacts relevant to the African and African-American experiences.
According to Hood, one of the goals of PAHMUSA is to “work with schools, community centers and the general public to foster a clear understanding of Africa, her peoples and her enormous contribution to human civilization.”
“We believe in the power of Sankova, an Akan word, which means: We know our past so that we can move more effectively into the future,” added Hood.
Hood received the William H. Carney Medal of Honor in recognition of her many achievements through PAHMUSA including: taking urban youth of Springfield as Junior Ambassadors to Senegal, West Africa, producing Underground Railroad Walking Tours of African American citizens of Springfield, working with the YouthBuild program from the YWCA to profile the culture of children of the Diaspora, presenting Kwanzaa Children’s Sing-a-long, the Annual Black History Month Cooking Demonstration to name just a few.
The William H. Carney Medal of Honor is given to distinguished citizens who have made a positive impact in the community promoting African American culture and heritage. The honor is named after Sgt. William H. Carney of the 54th Regiment, MA Volunteer Infantry, who was the first African American awarded the Medal of Honor. Carney died on July 18, 1863, after saving the American flag in battle against the Confederates during the Battle of Fort Wagner in South Carolina. Even though he had been shot in the head, leg and hip, Carney managed to seize the flag from a faltering soldier and run it through enemy gunfire before handing it to a member of his own regiment. Handing it over as his comrades cheered, Carney cried, “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!” and fell to the ground in a dead faint. That “old flag” now hangs in Boston’s Memorial Hall.
Congratulations to LuJuana Hood of PAHMUSA and all of the honorees for receiving such a prestigious award.
We usually think of fidget toys as something that kids with ADHD use to help them focus, but kids aren’t the only ones in need of tools to help them with concentration. As a result the “fidget spinner craze” that hit the schools this year, is now taking adult work places by storm as well.
Retailers say that the hottest new fidget toy called the fidget spinner is in high demand among adults, who use them to help calm their frayed nerves.
“We’ve already sold several dozen to local office workers, who say that they stash their spinners in their desk drawers, and pull them out when they feel themselves starting to get overly anxious or unable to concentrate,” commented Ed Puchalski, owner of Lifetime Jewelry & Accessories at Tower Square. “We’ve added a variety of styles and colors to our spinner inventory to appeal to both professional adults and to students,” added Puchalski.
A fidget spinner is a small rotating disk that resembles a ceiling fan. You hold the flat center between your thumb and finger and tap the outer paddles to make them spin around. It operates on a bearings system, and can spin for quite some time. It is a quiet unobtrusive devise that is said to help soothe restlessness and promote focus.
How does such a toy help to soothe? According to researcher, Edward Hallowell, M.D., “People with ADHD, of all ages, have so much going on in their brains that there is a neurological spillover, an excess of neurological discharge that needs an outlet. This is where fidget toys can be invaluable. Instead of suppressing the overflow until the individual “explodes”, a fidgety person can find an easy outlet through a toy.”
If the word “toy” bothers you, then Dr. Hallowell suggest you try calling it a “neurological discharge overflow receptor and neutralizer”! That will sound much more impressive to your boss or employees when they walk in finding you using your fidget spinner.
If you know of a pencil tapper, a foot jiggler or a leg bouncer in your office, you might just want to consider getting them a fidget spinner…to help calm their nerves…and yours! You can find a wide assortment of fidget spinners at discounted prices at Lifetime Jewelry & Accessories located on the second floor of Tower Square adjacent to the food court.
The close of the school year marks the end of the UMass Center’s College Matters for U Program until the Fall. But you can still expect to see elementary, middle and high schools at the UMass Center from July to mid-August—thanks to Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) and the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM).
JAWM will host a 5-week program at the Center from July 10th through August 11th. The BEE Program is designed to introduce students to economic concepts and information about the world of work, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. The cost is $210 weekly, which includes breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. For more information, call 413-747-7670 or visit www.jawm.org.
As the BEE Program ends, the Girls Scouts will spend a week at the Center from August 14th-18th for the “College Matters for U – Girl Scouts edition.” This program for girls entering grades 3rd through 12th will include a variety of activities related to college and career exploration, life skills, and STEAM. The program runs 8:30-3:30 daily and includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Current Girl Scouts and non-members are welcome. For more information about “College Matters for U—Girl Scouts edition” including the registration fee, call 413-788-6277.
Founders of the non-profit Art for the Soul Gallery are celebrating the gallery’s legacy, by bringing together the various artists who have exhibited at the gallery going back years ago when it was operated as a for-profit consortium of artists called Artist Square Group Gallery to artists who have exhibited more currently at the present day Art for the Soul Gallery.
The new show, entitled “Coming Together: An Artist Collective”, will feature a wide array of artists, who have exhibited at the Tower Square gallery before including: Paul Midura, Larry Poncho Brown, Dean Nimmer, Richard Roy, Frank Frazier, Marlon Seymour, Kristine Crimmins, Timothy Champoux, Lorraine McAlpine, Gloria Acre and Glenn Rossi to name a few.
“The value of recognizing the artists of Artist Square Group Gallery cannot be overstated because of their loyalty, continued hard work and the devotion to their craft,” explained Rosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery.
“Since Artist Square is no longer in existence, I wanted to keep alive the concept of local artists who ventured with me in the opening of the group gallery, and give them an opportunity to come together as a group once again.”
The theme of this show is reflecting on the past and looking toward the future, says Woods. It will be an opportunity for visitors to see how the artists have grown in their various mediums. Some, who had not exhibited their works in a gallery format before, have since launched wonderful careers. The uniqueness of this show will also be seen in the scope of the artists, as some are local and some are renowned and internationally known.
The “Coming Together: An Artist Collective” exhibit will run through late-September, and will feature some special events including a silent auction, raffle, artist of month, music and open mic night. Look for event schedule to come at www.facebook.com/AFTSgallery/
Art for the Soul Gallery is located on the second floor of Tower Square adjacent to the food court.
On August 2nd, the Springfield Central Cultural District will be kicking of their summer round of Art Stop(s) with gallery openings and receptions for four different artists being featured at four different locations along Main Street in downtown Springfield.
From 4:30 – 6:30pm you are invited and encouraged to walk from one of the “pop up” art galleries to another, and enjoy specialty light fare and beverages at each location as well as live musical performers along the way….and all is FREE to the public.
The locations include UMass Center at Springfield, here at Tower Square as well as at 1550 Main Street, NEPR at 1531 Main Street, and a new location this time around at the TD Bank building at 1441 Main.
For more information about the artists to be featured, and the duration of the Art Stop(s) exhibit visit www.SpringfieldCulture.org
For the first time ever, Junior Achievement of Western MA (JAWM) will be offering a five week summer program entitled “Business & Entrepreneurial Exploration,” (or the BEE Program) for students entering 6th – 12th grades.
It will focus on positive youth development with both short and long term goals. The program combines JAWM’s most popular events, such as the Stock Market Challenge and Company Program, while using STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – programs to ensure students have fun while learning.
Students will be involved in hands-on activities and enjoy business ethics lessons, games, field trips and more!
The program, will be held at the UMass Center at Springfield from July 10 – August 11 from 9am – 3pm, and costs $210 per week (includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack). Scholarships are available for students in the Springfield Public Schools. There is also a discount for siblings. There is no registration deadline. Students are invited to attend for one week or as many as they like. To learn more contact Abby Ames at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413.747.7670 or visit www.jawm.org/summer-program/
JAWM is located on the second floor of Tower Square