We are here in a somewhat surreal moment in history, in which a worldwide viral pandemic is intersecting with the growing and undeniable awareness of another deadly contagion –that of racism. We stand with a belief in democracy, in justice, and in love. And we mourn the rampant oppression of and violence against black and brown humans, as well as the escalating and polarizing language in both domestic and global political conversations. We invite you to boost your immune response to both of these types of contagion, by doing what you probably already do: share a meal with beloveds (even if only by Zoom!). Be of service in your community. Build bridges – especially with your cranky neighbor who voted for someone you didn’t like. Find common ground wherever you can. Stand up for what we all learned in kindergarten: be kind, share resources, advocate for fairness, don’t do to another what you wouldn’t want done to you, and remember to play.
As you may have noticed, the Montague Common Hall made the rough, but necessary decision in March to close its doors until such a time as it seems safe to reopen. The Hall seems very sad and empty without you all in it!
As you can imagine, the sudden loss of all of our rental income, has been a shock to our already thin margins. And while we keep hope alive that some time in the not too distant future, we will be able to gather within her walls again, we need to begin to put in place a way to keep the building standing and maintained, even through times when we are not able to spend time there together.
Please, PLEASE consider becoming a Sustaining Member. For as little as $5 a month* you will know that you are keeping this vital gathering place and community resource alive. Also, see below for how Mutton and Mead is making it even More Awesome for you to donate!
OR: If you have the ability to make a one time donation, you can either donate online or send a check the Montague Common Hall, PO Box 223, Montague, MA 01351. Honestly, if you have money to give away, you should send most of it to food pantries and other organizations who do direct service with our most at-risk community members. Please do THAT. But if you have a few bucks left over and want to send it to the MCH, we would gratefully accept it.
Here is the Bad News: The Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival, who uses the Common Hall extensively each spring for auditions and rehearsals, and who for years has donated generously to the hall; had to cancel the Festival this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has obviously had a huge impact on all of the actors, vendors, and myriad other folks involved in making the magic happen.
Here is the Good News: Because their donation will be missing from our budget this year, they are very kindly offering to help us with our renewed fundraising efforts in two ways:
1. They have given an incentive to sweeten the Sustaining Membership pot with tickets to the 2021 Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival, as a thank you. (Provided the festival can be held given all local and federal public health guidelines.) Here’s the deal. The first 20 people to become Sustaining Members for at least $5 per month, will receive 1 free ticket to the 2021 festival. If you choose a larger monthly installment ($10+ per month) you will receive 2 tickets to the festival. There is a total of 20 tickets available, so they will be given on a first come first served basis (the first 10-20 Sustaining Memberships will receive tickets, depending on monthly amounts chosen)
2. Mutton and Mead is also offering a $1000 Matching Donation!
If like me, you hate PayPal, and just want to send the hall a donation once a year, we welcome that as well. A donation of any amount is awesome. Mutton and Mead has offered to match all donations up to and including $1000. This means your donation will be worth twice as much until the $1000 dollars runs out. So give early to get the maximum benefit our of your donation. Thank you M&M!
We will be tentatively opening the hall to small rentals (10 people or fewer) once or twice a week. There will be stringent distancing and cleaning requirements, and no access to the kitchen or bathrooms downstairs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Opportunities to help in the garden, and see and converse with other actual humans abound!
As the growing season gets into full gear, the garden is getting wild and wooly. If you would like to participate in a distanced gardening morning once a month for the summer, let us know and we will put you on the notification list!
In light of the large number of people out of work and the growing need for healthy food to feed our neighbors in economic difficulty, our friends at Drawdown Montague are coordinating a weekly pick-up of garden surplus. Pickups are on Tuesday mornings around 8:00AM, delivering to the Food Pantry at the Survival Center in Turners Falls. If you're interested in helping out contact Susan Campbell at email@example.com.
Another big Thank You, and a very sad goodbye to Elaine Cuthbert, who passed away this winter. Elaine was a member of the Montague Grange #141 for many years, and a huge supporter of the Hall. She will be deeply missed, and remembered for her mischievous smile, her wry sense of humor, her kindness, and her deeply generous spirit.