What's Happening at Tower Square in June

  • There's a lot happening at Tower Square and along Main Street in downtown Springfield this June!  Be sure you don't miss the excitement!

UMass Amherst Moving Nursing Program to UMass Center at Springfield

UMass Amherst Moving Nursing Program to UMass Center at Springfield June-2017-Nursing-photo.png

An additional simulation senior apartment, such as this one currently at UMass
Center, will be part of the expansion to prepare for the Nursing program in the Fall.

More students are coming to Tower Square this fall! The UMass Amherst College of Nursing (CON) has announced that it will offer the accelerated bachelor’s in nursing degree program exclusively at the UMass Center.

“Moving these students, who come to us with prior experiences and education, to an urban campus perfectly poises us to take advantage of all the teaching and service opportunities among diverse communities in the Springfield area,” said Maeve Howett, assistant dean of undergraduate nursing education and clinical professor.  “This was also an exciting opportunity to expand and renovate our technologies, simulation center, and health laboratories to be ahead of a rapidly changing healthcare environment.”

Portions of the 26,000 square foot space will be renovated over the next six months to accommodate the program at UMass Center located on the second floor of Tower Square. The renovations include the conversion of several spaces to create another state-of-the art simulation laboratory (see photo). Current specialized classrooms, including the furnished apartment and the telehealth area, will help create a real-world learning environment for the students.  

“Incorporating telehealth and other technologies into our nursing students’ education will give them new insights into providing health care for Massachusetts residents and will also help shape the future of health care for our nation and globally,” said Stephen Cavanagh, dean of the College of Nursing. 

Designed for students with bachelor’s degrees in other subjects or for persons interested in a career change, up to 80 students will be accepted in the 17-month program each year.   Students enrolling this summer will be awarded a UMass Amherst degree in December 2018.  To learn more about the Accelerated Bachelor’s and other degree programs offered through the UMass Amherst College of Nursing, visit www.umass.edu/nursing.

White Lion Wednesdays

White Lion Wednesdays June_2017_DIG_-_White_Lion_Wed_-_B_21.jpg

Farmers Market Fridays Off to a Good Start!

Farmers Market Fridays Off to a Good Start! May_2017_DIG-_Farmers_Market_31.jpg

Okay you asparagus, radish and strawberry lovers, it’s time to hit the Springfield Downtown Central Farmers Market at Tower Square Park on Fridays to get your locally grown goodies!

The Farmers Market got off to a great start last month even though most locally grown produce was not yet in season.  While anticipating a good season for veggie and fruit crops, the market this month is expected to offer hearty produce ripe for June including:  asparagus, beets, carrots, greens, lettuce, peas, radishes, scallions, spinach, strawberries and turnips.    The selection of locally grown produce will continue to “grow” as the different varieties come into season.

Meanwhile, the market also offers a variety of other items including honey and honey products, maple syrup, artisan breads, organic teas as well as other non-consumable hand crafted goods.  You may also enjoy a bite to eat from Murphy’s Mobile food truck located at Tower Square Park during the Farmers Market.  (Murphy’s will also be in the park with their food truck on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.)

Next month look for the folks across the street to begin their Summertime Concert Series on the plaza at 1550 Main Street this year on FRIDAYS (instead of Thursdays) to coincide with the Farmers Market.

The Springfield Downtown Central Farmers Market is located at Tower Square Park at the corner of Main & Bridge streets, and runs every Friday through October from 11:30am – 3:30pm.

Street Pianos Coming to Downtown Springfield

Street Pianos Coming to Downtown Springfield Piano-Photos-for-article-2.jpg

 Artistically enhanced street pianos like these in Boston, will soon adorn the sidewalks of some locations
outside on Main Street in downtown Springfield.

What’s vibrant, artistic, makes music and is available to passersby along Main Street in downtown Springfield?  Street pianos, that’s what! 

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) and the Community Music School, street pianos will be placed in three locations along Main Street this month as part of the continued efforts to cultivate the walkability of the arts in downtown Springfield.

“When in Boston last Spring, testifying on Beacon Hill for an increase in arts funding, I ran across a decorated piano on the Common,” explained Morgan Drewniany, SCCD Executive Director. “While I didn't play it myself, I did see someone stop, put down their briefcase, and sit down to play a short song. This small musical interruption completely changed the feeling of the space to be inclusive and alive, and I was inspired to bring something similar to our own City.”

The Community Music School donated three pianos to the SCCD, which in turn contacted local artists to “beautify” the older instruments, and get them ready for their new outdoor homes.

To protect them from the elements, the pianos will be strategically placed in sheltered areas, and will have plastic coverings available for extreme weather events.

Street Pianos are a big hit in Boston, and just about every major metropolitan area around the globe including London, Paris and Melbourne.  So why not in the smaller city of Springfield too!

The pianos will be located at 1350 Main Street, the Shops at Marketplace and outside across from Tower Square at 1550 Main.

Local artists Robert Markey, Jack Devlin and Sheldon Smith will be working outside June 5 – 7 putting the finishing touches on their unique artistic works on the pianos using a variety of mediums.  After that the public is invited to sit down and play a tune whenever they walk past any of the pianos.  There is no age, background, class or musical talent requirement to play!  The pianos are there as community art.

Meanwhile, the SCCD has applied for funding and is also looking for sponsors to help program professional pianists to play the pianos off and on to help make downtown Springfield more lively throughout the summer months.

Family Fun Day at UMass Center

Family Fun Day at UMass Center June_2017_DIG_-_Open_House_-UMass_21.jpg

Delights for Dad!

Delights for Dad! June-2017-DIG---June-2017-2.jpg

Father's Day Finds!

Father's Day Finds! rsz_june_2017_dig_wonderland_4.jpg

VVM Looking For New Startups!

VVM Looking For New Startups! VVM-photo.jpg

After last month’s successful awards ceremony, where twelve startup businesses were recognized, with some finalists receiving up to $50,000 for their endeavors, the Valley Venture Mentors is now ready to start the search for the next round of startup hopefuls, ready to be mentored on to success!


Whether you are looking to be one of the teams accepted into the next VVM Mentorship Program, or you want to be a mentor and help interview and score those who have applied, you are invited to register for the VVM Screening Party scheduled for June 14 from 5 – 7:30pm.  The event will take place at the Valley Venture Mentors World Headquarters located on street level (next to Champions) at Tower Square at 1500 Main Street, Springfield, MA.


To register to apply as a startup or to attend as a mentor go to www.ValleyVentureMentors.org

Sunshiny Specials at SkinCatering

Sunshiny Specials at SkinCatering June_2017_DIG_-_Skin_Catering_31.jpg

Leadership Workshop at UMass Center

Leadership Workshop at UMass Center June_2017_DIG_-_Leadership_event1.jpg

JA Looking for Volunteers to Impact Local Youth

JA Looking for Volunteers to Impact Local Youth JA-photo.png

Are you interested in impacting today’s youth? If so, then volunteering for Junior Achievement of Western MA (JAWM), just might be a perfect fit for you.  JA’s goal is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

JA volunteers are passionate people inspiring kids to learn the economics of life through free enterprise education. JA enables caring adults to share their experience with students to show them what it takes to be successful in school and in life.

The volunteer time commitment varies according to the grade level and/or program chosen. Programs at the elementary level are 30-45 minute visits once a week for 5 weeks, requiring just 5 visits from the volunteer. Programs at the middle school level are 45 minutes a week for 6-8 weeks. Programs at the high school level are 45 minutes a week and typically last from 6-8 weeks to a semester.

Junior Achievement also hosts JA Day at several schools in Western Massachusetts. Unlike our traditional program, where volunteers visit a school several times over the course of 5-8 weeks, JA Day schools receive the entire program in one day. The entire school could participate in the program or one or two grades might participate. Some volunteers prefer this method as they will visit the school only once.

Some volunteer opportunities this month include:

  • Van Sickle Middle School in Springfield working with 8th graders on JA’s Economics for Success program on Tuesday, June 13 from 8 – 11am.
  • Fairview School in Chicopee working with grades K – 5. Wednesday, June 14 from 8:30am – 1:30pm (lunch will be provided.)

For more information about volunteer opportunities at JAWM, contact Abby at aames@jawm.org.

Junior Achievement of Wester MA is located on the second floor of Tower Square.

Red Cross Blood Drive

Red Cross Blood Drive June_2017_DIG_-_Blood_Drive_31.jpg

Dad Deserves It!

Dad Deserves It! June_2017_DIG_-_Lorilil_21.jpg

DREAM Studios Summer Camp

DREAM Studios Summer Camp June_2017_DIG__Dream_Studios1.jpg