Kids Learn Technical Skills with MCC’s College for Kids

Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids summer programs are designed to provide kids, ages 8 to 15, with fun and challenging opportunities explore careers, gain new knowledge, develop new skills and boost their self-confidence. College for Kids runs July 11 through Aug. 18, on the Bedford and Lowell campuses and it’s not too late to register!

Most College for Kids programs are offered Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – with some exceptions, including half-day programs. All programs are taught by public school teachers or by professionals who are experts in their field and have experience working with children.

Kids can learn the fundamentals of flight in “ACE: Aviation and Simulation.” Co-sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, ACE helps kids explore aviation careers and meet experts in the field. Participants will build and test their own model aircrafts and rockets. Field trips allow students to experience first-hand airport operations and can even take an instructional flight.

MCC’s “LegoMindstorms” program helps kids learn the basics of robot building and programming. Kids work on teams and design, build and test robots in a fun, creative, and competitive atmosphere.

“Engineering Hovercrafts” introduces students to the basic concepts and fundamentals of engineering. Students will learn how to problem solve, brainstorm and design by using the engineering design process.

For the complete MCC College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

Dates Set for 30th Lowell Folk Festival

In celebration of the 30th Lowell Folk Festival, a new, fresh look has been added to this year’s festival to mark the occasion. The Lowell Folk Festival continues to provide the finest in traditional music, craft, floodways and more in downtown Lowell. This year, the theme of the festival is passing the torch. Numerous performers, who have signed on, continue to represent the finest in traditional folk music and their efforts to continue the tradition of performing and sharing their knowledge to the next generation.

“This year marks the 30th Festival in Lowell,” said Craig Gates, Executive Director of the Lowell Folk Festival. “The lineup will be a mix of new performers and returning favorites from the festivals 30-year history. This community has embraced a festival that has drawn millions of people over the last 30 years. We’re very excited to present the 30th festival this July.”

Look for the following performers to make the Lowell Folk Festival the place to be July 29 – 31, 2016.

Debashish Bhattacharya & Family – Indian slide guitar
Kolkata, India

Gibson Brothers – bluegrass
Upstate New York

Deacon John’s Jump Blues – jump blues
New Orleans, Louisiana

Rahim AlHaj – Iraqi oud
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY – traditional Sri Lankan dance
Staten Island, New York

Savoy Family Cajun Band – Cajun
Eunice, Louisiana

Lurrie Bell’s Chicago Blues Band – Chicago blues
Chicago, Illinois

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy – Cape Breton
Cape Breton by way of Ontario

King Sunny Adé & His African Beats – Nigerian jùjú
Nigeria

Plena Es — bomba y plena
Sunrise, Florida

Spencer Taylor & the Highway Q.C.’s — gospel

Washington, D.C.

Jason D. Williams — rockabilly
Memphis, Tennessee

Dennis Polisky & Maestro’s Men — Polish polka
Colchester, Connecticut

Old Bay Ceili Band — Irish

Baltimore, Maryland

Rebecca McGowan — Irish dance

Lexington, Massachusetts

Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera — Peking Opera

Woodhaven, New York

Charlie Walden — Missouri old-time fiddle

Evanston, Illinois

Oi Pontoi — Pontic Greek

Tewksbury, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tarniriik — Inuit throat singing

Ottawa, Ontario

To recognize the 30th Lowell Folk Festival, a new, special logo has been commissioned to mark the occasion.

At the Folk Craft Area, you can walk about and observe master craftspeople carving letter forms in stone, working clay, marbling paper, and carving fruit so stunningly it deters eating. Watch musical instrument makers plane a plank of spruce or insert a decorative inlay. Marvel at the material culture of Lithuanian mid-summer. Pose in one of the Crazy Hat Ladies Fiesta’s creations as you learn how one venerable tradition spawns a new one. You will even have the chance to sit down and personally experience cultural traditions of folk beauty that originate in Africa, India, and the American South.

To celebrate the Festival’s 30th Anniversary the Foodways area will be featuring cooks who have adapted their traditions ranging from small islands to regions of large

continents, and how they found their way to America, and to the Lowell Folk Festival! Make sure you stop by and have a “Taste of Tradition!”

2016 Lowell Folk Festival

Telling America’s Stories: Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

Lowell, MA – The National Park Service turns 100 years old on August 25, 2016! In celebration of the centennial, the Brush Art Gallery and Studios in partnership with Lowell National Historical Park is exhibiting contemporary art in a juried exhibit, held at the Brush Art Gallery and Studios.  Hours at The Brush are April 1 to December 31, Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. The exhibit runs from May 7 – June 10, 2016. Please join us for a reception on Sunday, June 5, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Storytelling has been a part of our shared cultural heritage for generations. It brings people together, imprints pictures on their minds, and fosters meaningful connections with history, culture, and the natural world around us. The unique treasures that make up our beloved National Park Service are as diverse as we are; from historic homes, trails, battlefields, and cemeteries to bustling urban centers, canal ways, recreation areas, and seashores. In response to the NPS Centennial “Find Your Park” campaign, we asked artists to submit their personal connections. Here is what “Telling American Stories: Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service” means to them! 

The exhibition includes the following artists: Susan Beers, Milford NH; Merry Beninato, North Andover MA; Amy Bisson, Lowell MA; Carol Boileau, Andover MA; Jerilynn Bush, Sheboygan WI; Lola Chaisson, Concord MA; Christiane Corcelle, Belmont MA; Michael delaVega, Lowell MA; Patricia Demers, Lowell MA; Linda Demers, Lowell MA; John Doyle, Arlington MA; Dave Drinon, Andover MA; Tom Fiorelli, Lowell MA; Claire Gagnon, Dracut MA; Vassilios “Bill” Giavis, Lowell MA; Patricia Gould, Albuquerque NM; Sandy Gregg, Cambridge MA; Deirdre Grunwald, Lowell MA; Donna Howard, Woburn MA; Cynthia Hughes, Chelmsford MA; Chrissy Theo Hungate, Lowell MA; Janice Jones, Methuen MA; David R. Jones, Methuen MA; James Keefe, Mattappoisett MA; Sue King, Lancaster OH; Michael Koerner, Carmel IN; Deborah LaFogg Docherty, Boynton Beach FL; Margo Lemieux, Mansfield MA; Maria Luongo, Newton MA; Richard Marion, Lowell MA; Katie Markson, Madison WI; Anne McNevin, Milford MA; Bobbi Eike Mullen, Weston CT; Suzanne Neusner, Rhinebeck NY; Vincent Parent, Lowell MA; Daniela Pasqualini, North Chelmsford MA; David Phoenix, Stow MA; Christine Predd, LaPorte IN; John Quigley, Lowell MA; Darcy Schultz, Groton MA; Lisa Shea, Sutton MA; Jim Shepka, Windham NH; Margot Stage, Westford MA; Don Sullivan, Lowell MA; Margo Thach (Mam), Lowell MA; Robert Thurlow, Lowell MA; Michal Truelsen, Lowell MA; Barbara Wauchope, Lee NH; Taryn Wells, Medfield MA; Bruce Wood, Groveland MA; and John Wren, Lowell MA.

PANEL OF JURORS

– Laurel A. Racine, Senior Curator for Research and Planning, National Park Service’s Northeast Museum Services Center (NMSC), Charlestown, MA.

– Ahmad Ward, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), Birmingham, AL.

– Gwen Strahle, Artist, Professor, and Senior Critic at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI. 

The Brush Art Gallery and Studios is located in the Lowell National Historical Park across the courtyard from the Visitor Center. The Brush is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. and on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 p.m. This dynamic and captivating place was originally founded by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, U.S. Department of the Interior in 1982. The Brush presents museum quality exhibitions, educational programs, and has collaborated with many other nonprofit groups. Artists occupy studio spaces to interact with and educate the public on a weekly basis. Currently, fourteen studio artists produce paintings, illustration, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, quilts, and handwoven items. Associate artists display work in the common area. The Brush Art Gallery and Studios is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. The Brush is supported by Lowell National Historical Park and Eastern National.

To learn more about this and other park offerings of Lowell National Historical Park during this centennial year of the National Park Service, including the Junior Ranger program, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit, ranger-led tours, and upcoming special events stop by the Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, or contact Lowell National Historical Park at (978) 970-5000, or visit www.nps.gov/lowe.

Tourism to Lowell National Historical Park Creates Over $40 Million in Economic Benefits

LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 531,055 visitors to Lowell National Historical Park in 2015 spent $30,408,900 in communities near the park. That spending supported 453 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $42,983,200.

“Lowell National Historical Park’s original mandate to encourage economic development through historic preservation and cultural tourism is still working today,” said Superintendent Celeste Bernardo. “We are delighted to share the story of Lowell and the many experiences the park, partners, and city provides. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s an even more significant factor in our local economy. In addition to boosting visitor spending, funding for the national park and National Park Service programs, such as the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive program, has spurred private investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to help preserve and revitalize the city of Lowell. We appreciate the partnership and support of our partners and the community, and are glad to be able to give back.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.  The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Massachusetts and how the National Park Service works with Massachusetts communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/mass. To learn more about Lowell National Historical Park, visit www.nps.gov/lowe.

Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids Program

It’s not too early to start planning your summer! Registration is now open for Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids Program. College for Kids 2016 offers one-, two- and three-week summer programs for children ages 8 to 15 that run July 11 through Aug. 18 on the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

“College for Kids offers fun and engaging summer programs to provide children with unique opportunities to explore careers, learn new skills, and boost self-confidence,” said Marci Barnes, MCC Director of Lifelong Learning.

Most College for Kids programs are offered Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – with some exceptions, including half-day programs. All programs are taught by public-school teachers, or by professionals who are experts in their field and have experience working with children. 

This year, programs explore film production, aviation, computer coding, writing, science, veterinary medicine, technology, culinary arts, fashion design, digital photography, web design, LegoMindstorms, fitness and more.

For the complete MCC College for Kids schedule and registration information, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/collegeforkids/ or call 1-800-818-3434.

UMass Lowell Launches $125 Million Fundraising Campaign

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell today launches its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, a bold effort that aims to raise $125 million by 2020.

Building on the tremendous growth in size, scope and reputation that UMass Lowell has experienced in the past decade, “Our Legacy, Our Place” will provide support for student scholarships, faculty recruitment and research, campus improvements and the new Division I athletics program. It will support the goals of UMass Lowell’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which are guiding the university on its path to becoming one of the leading public research institutions in the country while providing a world-class student experience on a vibrant campus.

“This campaign will enable us to change lives,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. “By providing more support for student scholarships, it will enable students for years to come to experience the transformational education that UMass Lowell provides. By supporting research and economic development, it will have an impact that will be felt not only in our region, but throughout the Commonwealth and the rest of the country.”

Moloney is expected to announce at an event today that the campaign has already raised $78.5 million from advance donations that include a new $1 million gift from a prominent alumnus. The campaign opening event for students, faculty and staff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the University Crossing student-engagement center and will feature an “Opening Day” theme.

“The essence of UMass Lowell is in the people. This campaign will provide support for those who make us great – our outstanding students and our amazing faculty,” said John Feudo, vice chancellor for advancement.

“Our Legacy, Our Place” reflects UMass Lowell’s entrepreneurial approach to growth. Two decades ago, 70 percent of the university’s budget was supported by the state and today, that figure stands at 21 percent. Despite such challenges, UMass Lowell has successfully increased enrollment by 50 percent since 2007 while making significant gains in student success; opened 12 new buildings, including academic and research facilities, residence halls and student centers; and launched a host of new academic and applied learning programs such as expanded co-op and internship opportunities.

“‘Our Legacy, Our Place’ will enable us to provide more support for student scholarships while maintaining our fundamental commitment to high-quality, affordable education,” said Moloney.

Moloney introduced the campaign, which also focuses on alumni engagement, last night at the annual University Alumni Awards celebration. She also announced a new $1 million gift from campaign chairman and alumnus Robert J. Manning, chairman and co-CEO of MFS Investment Management and a UMass trustee.

“My wife, Donna and I are both graduates of UMass Lowell. We know firsthand that the university truly does deliver a transformational education. We are proud to support the ‘Our Legacy, Our Place’ campaign to help ensure UMass Lowell can offer the best to future generations of students while preserving the traditions that mean so much to us and fellow alumni,” said Manning.

The University Alumni Awards honor graduates for their outstanding personal and professional accomplishments. The 2016 recipients are:

Ciana Abdollahian ’09 of Nashua, N.H. (Recent Alumna Award), the new customer programs manager at Zerto, a Boston-based high-tech company, and an inaugural member of the new UMass Lowell Young Alumni Council, which ensures recent graduates stay connected to their alma mater. She holds a degree in business administration from UMass Lowell and has supported the Manning School of Business and several scholarship funds. During her time as a student, she interned with Empirix and Kronos and since graduating, has held positions with Oracle and SumTotal Systems, where she launched and led the company’s Customer Advocacy Program.

Stephen Burke Driscoll ’66, ’72 of Stoneham (Francis College of Engineering), a Department of Plastics Engineering faculty member since 1968 who has demonstrated unwavering commitment to alumni engagement and student success. The recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lowell Technological Institute, one of UMass Lowell’s predecessor institutions, he has encouraged fellow alumni and faculty to support student scholarships and established the Stephen Burke Driscoll Plastics Engineering Endowed Scholarship Fund. An early advocate for online education, he has taught hundreds of classes to students around the world and his numerous professional honors include serving as a consulting fellow to the United Nations.

Edward Gallagher ’84 of Windham, N.H. (Manning School of Business), who is senior vice president and general manager of sales for Comcast’s Northeast Division, which serves 7.8 million customers across 14 states, and served in management roles with Raytheon, Sprint, WinStar Wireless, TelCove and Level 3 Communications. He is involved in organizations including the Mass. Technology Leadership Council and the Windham Economic Development Council. The recipient of a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Lowell, one of UMass Lowell’s predecessors, he serves on the Manning School of Business Advisory Board and supports students through the Edward S. Gallagher Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Amy Hoey ’88 of Groton (College of Health Sciences), executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health. She previously served as vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer and was part of the clinical management of Lowell General projects including the Heart and Vascular Center. She is a supporter of the College of Health Sciences, a Health Sciences Advisory Board member and DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge judge. A board member for the Lowell Five, D’Youville Senior Care, New England Life Care and professional organizations, she has a bachelor’s degree in health education from the University of Lowell, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Salem State University and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University.

Kazeem “Dayo” Ibraheem ’02 of Lowell (Athletics), who is in his 14th year as a volunteer coach with the UMass Lowell River Hawks track and field team, during which time he has helped 23 jumpers and hurdlers qualify for the NCAA championships, three of whom were named All-Americans. He was an accomplished student-athlete in track and field and is a member of UMass Lowell’s Athletics Hall of Fame Committee and the Track and Field Volunteer Committee. He has supported the track and field program and the George Davis Endowed Scholarship Fund for student-athletes. Ibraheem, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Manning School of Business, is a solutions supervisor with United Parcel Service.

Patrick Kaplo ’04 of Bedford, N.H. (Graduate School of Education), an award-winning physics teacher at Windham (N.H.) High School who engages students through hands-on learning and more than 200 instructional videos on YouTube. He founded a program that encourages women to study science and a club that uses high-altitude balloons to collect data and photograph Earth from the edge of space. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, which he used to teach physics in India, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. He mentors UMass Lowell graduate students preparing to become science teachers. Kaplo earned a bachelor’s degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at UMass Lowell.

Paul Marion ’76, ’05 of Lowell (College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), a member of the UMass Lowell community for more than 40 years, most recently as executive director of community relations. Also well-known as a poet, author, archivist and historian, Marion has served as a vital connection to the local cultural scene, historic preservation community, neighborhood groups and economic development leaders. He secured a $500,000 endowment for the Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies, which brings internationally respected peace activists to UMass Lowell, including the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and has worked on projects such as UMass Lowell’s 9-11 Memorial and the Nelson Mandela Overlook. Prior to joining the university, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in community social psychology, his work for the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission included the Lowell Folk Festival, the Lowell Cultural Plan and the Jack Kerouac Commemorative. He was the editor of Kerouac’s “Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings,” and has worked on efforts including bringing the original “On the Road” scroll to the city.

William G. Rhodes III ’82 of Placitas, N.M. (Kennedy College of Sciences), senior manager of the Interdependencies and Consequences Effects Group at Sandia National Labs, which addresses national security issues. He has 30 years of experience in applying radiation protection, emergency response and physical security to national security challenges and has served as a member of the American Board of Health Physics, is a diplomat of the American Academy of Health Physics and is president of the board of the Children’s Grief Center in Albuquerque, N.M. The chairman of UMass Lowell’s Kennedy College of Sciences Advisory Board, he has supported the Edward Lawson Alexander Endowment Fund and founded the William G. Rhodes III Scholarship Fund for radiological sciences students. He has an undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in radiological sciences from the University of Lowell.

“Our more than 80,000 alumni are the living legacy of UMass Lowell and our eight predecessor institutions,” said Moloney. “We are who we are today because of the power of their example and their faith in our future, as demonstrated by their strong support during the quiet phase of our campaign.” 

More information about the “Our Legacy, Our Place” campaign is available at www.uml.edu/ourlegacy-ourplace.

Bringing the Park to the People

Lowell, Massachusetts. —   In celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday, Lowell National Historical Park is Bringing the Park to the People. Join us at a co-hosted series of community outreach events at neighborhood parks. You’ll find pop-up museums to discover more about this national park, neighborhood tours co-hosted by Dick Howe through Lowell Walks along with local residents, Made in Lowell’s Trailer Chat will engage community members in a dialogue of the meaning of being a “Lowellian,”  and a community weaving project made of fabric contributed by participants as residents of this historic city. 

We invite community members to bring a strip of fabric from their home expressive of who they are, their family, their culture and/or their heritage. At each event, participants will weave their fabric together with those from other community members. This assembled collection will then be incorporated with other pieces from series events throughout the City of Lowell. The community weaving project will be on display at the Lowell NHP Founder’s Day event on Saturday August 27, 2016. The project will then travel throughout the city through 2017. The goal of the project is to represent the rich history and diversity of the communities here in Lowell and celebrate the hometown of Lowell National Historical Park. 

April 23               New Year Celebration               Clemente Park

from 11am-4pm                                                     803 Middlesex St. 

May 21                 Friends of Tyler Park                 Tyler Park

from 1pm-4pm                                                        Highland Neighborhood                                                                                                                                                     51 Westford St.

May 26                 Peace in the Park                        Harmony Park,

3pm-6pm             Acre Neighborhood                    Marion & Cross St.

June 1                 Jambraree                                     Jackson Street.

from 4-7pm                                                             Hamilton Canal District 

June 11              ACRE Festival                             North Common Park

from 11am-4pm                                                     413 Fletcher St.          

August 20           Mill City Grows                         Eagle Park

from 1 – 4 pm                                                        Centraville Neighborhood                                                                                                                                                  95 Jewitt St.                 

August 27                  Centennial Founders Day       Boarding House Park

from11 am-4pm          Event 

September 10        Pawtucetville Citizens               Hawk Valley Farm

from 9-12pm         Council and Lowell Parks &    526 Varnum Ave

                              Conservation Trust                      Pawtucetville Neighborhood

September 24               Rotary Park Gardeners           Rotary Park

from 10am – 4pm        National Public Lands Day     16 Richmond St.

                                                Back Central Neighborhood                                                                                  

To learn more about this and other park offerings during this centennial year of the National Park Service, including the Steampunk Weekend, Junior Ranger program, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit, ranger-led tours, and upcoming special events stop by the Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, or contact Lowell National Historical Park at (978) 970-5000, or visit www.nps.gov/lowe .

National Park Week at Lowell National Historical Park

Lowell, Massachusetts. —   Celebrate Spring in Lowell and Find Your Park during the National Park Service Centennial! Make Lowell National Historical Park your destination for free family fun during National Park Week, April 16 – 24, 2016. This week is filled with celebrations and events that can fill a school vacation schedule. Check out all that’s happening in Lowell in addition to PLAY-cation and National Park Week.

               ●       Kids Take the Lead: Students have a chance to be “teachers” when they bring their families  to the Tsongas Industrial History Center for Kids Take the Lead on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Join us from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

       Junior Ranger Day:  Saturday, April 16th . Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in a downtown scavenger hunt and earn a junior ranger badge and become a Centennial Junior Ranger. All day at the Visitor Center and through PLAYcation week, while supplies last.

       Fee-free days at Boott Cotton Mills Museum: April 16th to the 24th, bring the family, experience the feeling of an operational 1920’s era weaveroom & more.

       April PLAYcation: This year, families will enjoy an exciting variety of new programs, and returning favorites. There’s something for everyone, from toddlers to teenagers!  April 18 – 24. Events are hosted by several partner organizations and take place at locations throughout Lowell. Most programs are free, and many require pre-registration – so plan ahead and register early! The complete schedule of events will be available at www.lowellkidsweek.org.
       Celebrate Earth Day: with arts workshops Monday-Friday in preparation for UMASS Lowell’s big Earth Day celebration and parade on Saturday, April 23! Visit www.lowellearthday.org for a complete schedule of events.

       Every Kid in a Park:  Fourth grade students can still get their free pass to share with their family to access federal public lands through August 31, 2016. Check out https://www.everykidinapark.gov/ and bring your printout to the Visitor Center.

April PLAYcation is just one part of the exciting family programming planned during the National Park Centennial in 2016 at Lowell National Historical Park.  Find details for these and many other exciting programs during school vacation week at www.lowellkidsweek.org/. 

To learn more about park offerings, including Bringing the Park to the People series in neighborhood parks, the Junior Ranger program, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit, ranger-led tours, and upcoming special events stop by the Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, or contact Lowell National Historical Park at (978) 970-5000, or visit www.nps.gov/lowe .

Women’s Rights Activist is 2016 Greeley Scholar for Peace

LOWELL, Mass. – Human-rights champion Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, who works toward ensuring women and girls are safe from violence and included in global peace-building efforts, will visit UMass Lowell in April as the university’s 2016 Greeley Scholar for Peace.

The humanitarian is the co-author of a groundbreaking United Nations mandate that requires warring factions to prevent gender-based violence against women and girls, uphold their rights, include them in peace negotiations and consider their needs during reparations and resettlement. The first UN resolution to specifically mention women, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was unanimously adopted in 2000.

Naraghi-Anderlini works with the UN and around the globe to train governments and policy organizations in the peacemaking process. She co-founded and directs the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), a nonprofit organization established in 2006 that promotes women’s rights, along with peace and security in countries that are experiencing conflict and that maintain a closed political system.

Naraghi-Anderlini will talk about the challenges of building lasting peace during UMass Lowell’s annual Day Without Violence, a free event on Tuesday, April 5 for the public, students from area schools and the university community.

“We cannot take peace for granted anymore. We need a new, world peace architecture that goes beyond state-to-state relations and deepens its foundations within states, within communities and among people. The challenge of our generation is to ensure social cohesion while celebrating the most pluralistic societies globally in the history of humanity,” she said.

The Day Without Violence event will be held at 12:30 p.m. in UMass Lowell’s O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, on the university’s South Campus at 61 Wilder St., Lowell. Launched in 1996 to honor the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the annual event was created by the Peace Studies Association – of which UMass Lowell is a founding member – and is today observed by more than 100 colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Members of the public interested in more information about Naraghi-Anderlini’s schedule of public events should visit www.uml.edu/Research/PACSI/Day-Without-Violence.aspx or e-mail community@uml.edu.

With her selection as UMass Lowell’s Greeley Scholar, Naraghi-Anderlini joins an esteemed list of human-rights leaders who have also received the honor. Past scholars include 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, who organized a peace movement that helped end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003; Albie Sachs, who fought apartheid in South Africa and became an architect of the country’s democracy; John Prendergast, founder of the Enough Project, which strives to end genocide and crimes against humanity in nations like Sudan; Linda Biehl, who forgave the men who killed her daughter in South Africa and now travels with them to teach restorative justice and reconciliation; author and professor Padraig O’Malley, who works for peace in regions in conflict such as Northern Ireland; and Gavriel Salomon, founder of the Center for Research on Peace Education at the University of Haifa in Israel, who died earlier this year.

Naraghi-Anderlini was chosen for the honor by the Greeley Scholar Advisory Committee, a group of community leaders.

“This year, the Greeley Committee reviewed a long list of very qualified potential scholars. Our charge is to find a distinguished advocate for peace, noted humanitarian, or faith leader who will visit the campus and region to teach and engage in public discussions that advance the cause of peace and justice. An international advocate, researcher, trainer and writer on conflict prevention, the rights of women and the peace-building process, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini was chosen by a unanimous decision,” said Robert Gamache, who co-directs UMass Lowell’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute (PACSI) with Imogene Stulken, the university’s campus minister. Gamache is the associate vice president of academic affairs, student affairs and international relations for the University of Massachusetts system and a UMass Lowell professor of environmental, earth and atmospheric sciences.

During her residency at UMass Lowell, Naraghi-Anderlini will teach classes on human rights through the university’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program and will lead other free events throughout the region that will be open to the community.

“A particular beauty of the Greeley Scholar’s visit is that the impact is felt beyond one keynote speech,” Stulken said. “In a time when one-third of women worldwide still experience physical or sexual violence, it is important to welcome Naraghi-Anderlini as a woman whose work specializes in gender – in addition to equality and non-violence – because all are interrelated.”

Naraghi-Anderlini’s visit to UMass Lowell is presented by PACSI, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Political Science Department and the offices of the Provost and University Relations.

The Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies is selected annually in recognition of the honoree’s distinguished humanitarian achievements and ability to effectively promote peace and conflict resolution at the local, regional, national or international level. The honor is named for Rev. Dana McLean Greeley, an internationally respected advocate for peace, human and civil rights, and a longtime Unitarian Universalist minister from Concord. The program is funded by the Greeley Endowment for Peace Studies, established with a gift from the Concord-based Dana McLean Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice and a contribution from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via the UMass Foundation.

2016 Lowell Folk Festival Dates Set

30 Years of Tradition
The Lowell Folk Festival celebrates 30 years!
July 29-31, 2016

Lowell, MA – The Lowell Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016. Planning is already underway for the 30th Lowell Folk Festival, scheduled for the last full weekend in July. This annual celebration – featuring the best in folk and traditional music and dance, artisan crafts, and regional and ethnic foods – will be returning to downtown Lowell with a full lineup, beginning with the traditional parade of nations from Lowell’s City Hall Plaza to Boarding House Park. The family-friendly, free festival offers something for everyone, from all ages and backgrounds, all within the heart of Lowell National Historical Park.

The Lowell Folk Festival will feature five (5) stages, from the serene Saint Anne’s Stage to the full-throttle energy at Dutton Street Dance Pavilion. Fans of folk and traditional music can meet up with old friends at JFK Plaza, sit back in the cool grass of Market Street Stage, and party into the night at Boarding House Park. There are handmade arts and crafts at Art in the Courtyard, and special performances and family activities at the Family Fun Activity Area on Shattuck Street.

The Lowell Folk Festival is excited to announce the first group of artists who will be coming to this year’s festival: Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy (Cape Breton), the Gibson Brothers (bluegrass), and Lurrie Bell (Chicago blues), plus many more to come. Our Folk Craft and Foodways Areas will feature a best of past festivals. “30 Years of Tradition” will surely have something for everyone.

If you would like to contribute to the continued success of the Lowell Folk Festival, opportunities to make financial contributions and work as a festival volunteer are available. Contact Craig Gates for opportunities at 978-275-1764, or craig_gates@partner.nps.gov. Together, we can make this year’s festival one to remember.

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