CISA’s annual storytelling event returns in person


For the Recorder

Published: 04-28-2023 5:51 PM

NORTHAMPTON — For the first year since the start of the pandemic, the South Deerfield-based Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) will host its annual storytelling event, Field Notes, in person at the Academy of Music Theatre.

The event, which was first held in 2019, celebrates the ways local food and farming impact the community and individual lives. This year’s event, set for Sunday, April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m., features seven storytellers with ranging backgrounds, including a farmer and restaurant owner.

“Some of the stories are funny and just enjoyable,” said Lisa Goodrich, communications coordinator at CISA. “Some of the stories are thoughtful. Some of the stories are heartwarming.”

During the 2021 Field Notes, which was offered virtually, Greenfield farmer Meryl LaTronica told the story of when a newly built greenhouse was blown apart by the wind and the community came together to rebuild it. Other past stories have touched on topics ranging from parenting as a farmer, starting a business and even eating bugs.

One of this year’s speakers, Benito Torres, will tell his story in Spanish with English captioning displayed on the screen behind him. For audience members who would like to understand the entire show in Spanish, interpretation services will be offered.

In addition to language interpretation, listeners who are hard of hearing will also have the option to follow a link on their phones with captioning to read along.

“We really just want people to feel genuinely welcomed and warmly included to hear the stories about the people that grow our food, the people that make our food, the people that are out in the community standing up for others who might not have food,” Goodrich said.

This year, Christopher “Monte” Belmonte, former WRSI radio host and current host with NEPM, will emcee Field Notes.

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General admission tickets are offered on a sliding-scale basis at $10, $20 or $30, and can be purchased at the Academy of Music box office or online at