I recently had the opportunity to do a little Massachusetts event photography in Amherst, MA. The Jones Library in Amherst hosted their second annual Sammy Awards at the Yiddish Book Center on the Hampshire College Campus. Amazingly, I had never been to the Yiddish Book Center before, so getting to photograph an event here was a real treat. Luckily, my assistant for the evening, Becky, is not only a volunteer at the Jones Library, but she’s also a docent at the Yiddish Book Center, so I was able to get a special tour and learn some more about the history of the Center before the event got started.
This year’s awardees were Peter and Pat Schneider and Julius Lester. Pat Schneider is a poet, playwright, librettist and author. She is also the founder of Amherst Writers and Artists, an international community of writing workshop leaders. Pat and her husband, Peter, have run Amherst Writers and Artists for over 30 years.
Julius Lester is the author of more than 40 books written for children and adults. He is also a photographer, musician, and he was a professor of African-American and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts for 32 years. Julius is the author of To Be A Slave, Day of Tears, and John Henry, to name a few. Fun fact – Julius wrote and performed the theme song for Going Deeper with Marcie Sclove. You can also check out Marcie’s two part interview with Julius at that link. He was one of the first guests on the series and was interviewed a second time during the Sammy Awards Going Deeper special.
I loved having the opportunity to do some Massachusetts event photography and hope to do more soon! Special thanks to Sharon Sharry, Matthew Berube, and Becky Sheridan at the Jones Library for their assistance throughout the evening. I had a lot of fun working with the various volunteers and library staff that evening. Congrats to the award winners! Check out some of the photos from the evening below.