Northampton Arts Council

The Northampton Arts Council is a city board and a non-profit organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.


The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night, Summer Concert Series, Transperformance and Silver Chord Bowl, and advocating on behalf of the arts community.

Founded in 1980, the Northampton Arts Council has an all-volunteer board, and staff, consisting of a full-time executive director, a full-time arts events producer, one seasonal assistant producer, and one student intern from Smith College. Each fall, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, allocates money to all of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns through 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs), of which the Northampton Arts Council is one, in support of community arts activities. This is the largest decentralized program of its kind in the United States.

In addition to administering the LCC program, The Northampton Arts Council was the first cultural council in the Commonwealth to raise money for a second round of funding every spring, with only a few other LCC's following our lead. The ArtsEZ Spring Grant round is made possible by two major fundraising events produced by the Northampton Arts Council; first, Transperformance, an end-of-summer music festival at Look Park held every August, and second, the Silver Chord Bowl. In addition to grant programs, the Northampton Arts Council helps to program arts enrichment programs in the public schools, initiates public art projects and advocates for the arts in the city. We also produce or help produce many other events in Northampton including but not limited to Northampton Summer Concert Series, RETROFAIRE, Cinema Northampton, Bi-ennial Exhibit at Forbes Library, Northampton Film Festival, Northampton Print and Book Fair, and First Night.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

¡SATURDOOZY! An arts focused kids-night-out at STUDIO4

WHAT: ¡SATURDOOZY! An arts focused kids-night-out
WHEN: Saturday October 21st 6-10pm, ages 7+
WHERE: Studio4, 25 Main St, 4th floor, Northampton MA
COST: $30 / 6-8pm $20 [additional siblings half price]


STUDIO4, the vibrant community performance space and arts center located in the heart of Northampton, is launching a packed season of dance, music, film, and theater programs for all ages, and is proud to announce a new monthly event for kids only: SATURDOOZY!—an arts-focused kids' night out. Fun, safe, and supervised, SATURDOOZY! welcomes children ages 7 and up, and will feature a DJ and dancing, plenty of games, ping-pong, arts and crafts, karaoke, face-painting, and a movie, plus pizza and a bevy of fun snacks! Parents can opt for "valet service"—curbside pickup of their children at the end of the night.

SATURDOOZY! will take place on the third Saturday of each month, beginning on OCTOBER 21, from 6-10 PM. Admission is $30 (for 10pm pickup) or $20 (8pm pickup). Additional siblings admitted at half price. Preregistration is recommended, at or by phone: (413)570-4491.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


WHAT: SCDT’s visiting Artist Series Presents Taja Will’s BRUJA // FUGITIVE MAJESTY

WHEN: Friday Oct 27, 8:00pm

WHERE: STUDIO4, 25 Main Street, 4th floor, Northampton MA


RESERVATIONS: or 413 570 4491

THE SCHOOL FOR CONTEMPORARY DANCE AND THOUGHT (SCDT) proudly presents BRUJA// FUGITIVE MAGESTY with Minneapolis based- Taja Will. Will, named “One to watch, one to embrace” in Metro Magazine, shares a magical solo about the preservation of identity.

Bruja // Fugitive Majesty is an evening length solo woven from Will’s personal mythology as a queer, transracial adoptee. Bruja, meaning Witch in Spanish explores the archetypal characters of the Queen, Warrior, Lover and Healer. Will has come to know herself as a cultural fugitive, taking on personality as it fits; shape-shifting as way to escape displacement; this is the preservation of identity. BRUJA is supported by the Jerome Foundation and Foundation for Contemporary Arts and premiered in San Francisco at the Joe Goode Annex.

Monday, October 16, 2017

CLICK Music presents Keith Murphy

WHAT: CLICK Music presents Keith Murphy, an evening of traditional songs from Newfoundland and New England
WHERE: CLICK Workspace 9½ Market Street. Northampton, MA
WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2017. 7:00pm-9:00pm

CLICK Workspace continues its sophomore season of CLICK Music concerts at its 9½ Market Street home in downtown Northampton with an evening of traditional songs from Newfoundland and New England, showcasing material from Keith Murphy’s newest release, Suffer No Loss.

The program includes a mix of songs and ballads from Murphy’s native Newfoundland, as well as his adopted home of New England, where he has lived these last 20 years or so (currently based in the Brattleboro, Vermont, area). In particular, Murphy has revisited some of the most well-known, classic Newfoundland folk songs, songs he grew up with and now reinterprets after years of musical traveling. With simple yet elegant arrangements of traditional songs pared down to just voice and guitar, Murphy brings the focus back to the beauty of these texts. He creates a rich palette of textures using multiple open tunings and rhythmic ideas on the guitar, while also bringing in influences from French Canada, which has long been part of his musical profile. The addition of his mandolin, foot percussion, and chorus songs make for a well-rounded evening of music for lovers of traditional song.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

First Night Northampton 2018

The Northampton Arts Council is delighted to present our city’s 33rd annual New Year's Eve festival of the performing arts on December 31, 2017. This is the first year that the Northampton Arts Council will produce First Night. Arts Council staff are working closely with the Center for the Arts to ensure a smooth transition and to preserve the community’s New Year’s Eve tradition.

First Night Northampton continues to be a special opportunity to celebrate the cultural vibrancy of our community while sharing time with friends, neighbors and visitors. Because the event falls on a Sunday this year, it’s poised to be the centerpiece of a long holiday weekend, drawing enthusiastic crowds to the venues and streets of downtown Northampton. A First Night button—available at various locations throughout the Pioneer Valley and online—is your ticket to each performance at every venue, day and night. The Northampton Arts Council and their partners at PeoplesBank invite you to take part in this alcohol-free, family-friendly event. All are welcome.

As always, a spectacular display of fireworks can be witnessed at 6:15 p.m., visible from the heart of the city. As midnight approaches, revelers will gather outside the Hotel Northampton for a unique “ball-raising.”

First Night depends upon the support of our most important partner: the city of Northampton. The offices of the Mayor and Central Services along with police, fire, public works, and licensing departments are critical to its success. We also rely on the generosity of performance venues throughout the city and button-sales locations throughout the Valley. In the end, we benefit from the assistance of over 100 volunteers, who make a logistically complex operation run smoothly.

The Northampton Arts Council produces innovative arts programming, provides direct aid to artists/arts organizations/schools for arts enrichment, and conducts educational outreach to the community. Events that make Northampton great, like the Summer Concert Series, Transperformance, RETROFAIRE, Silver Chord Bowl, and KidsBestFest, rely on community support. Attending these events not only makes our community great, but it helps to support the the Northampton Arts Council’s mission of working to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton.

For the First Night 2018 Schedule (coming soon), to purchase buttons (coming soon), and for more information about sponsorship please visit: FIRSTNIGHTNORTHAMPTON.ORG

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Municipal Flu Clinic Provided by The City of Northampton Health Department

WHAT: 2017 Municipal Flu Clinic Provided by The City of Northampton Health Department
WHEN: Thursday, October 12th 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
WHERE: Municipal BuildingCouncil Chambers, 212 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

The flu vaccine is free to those who attend but please bring your insurance card or fill out and bring the attached insurance form so we may bill your insurance for administrative costs. This helps us to help subsidize the vaccine program.

Each year in the United States, on average, 5-20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications. The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccination. You must be 19 years old or older to receive the vaccine at this clinic.

Please contact Public Health Nurse, Jennifer Meyer, RN if you have any questions. or 413-587-1216

2017 Visual Arts and Poetry Biennial: A Juried Exhibition at Hosmer Gallery

Image by Priya Green

October 3rd - 28th, 2017
Forbes Library, 20 West Street, Northampton, MA
Hosmer Gallery Hours: Mon/Wed 9am to 9pm, Tue/Thu 1pm to 5pm, Fri/Sat 9am to 5pm

The Northampton Arts Council is proud to announce the 2017 Northampton Biennial. This is the second Northampton Biennial to include both poetry and visual arts.

Our opening celebration will take place in conjunction with Arts Night Out at Hosmer Gallery, Forbes Library on Friday, October 13th, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

For the 2017 Biennial, the Northampton Arts Council asked artists and writers who live and work in Western Massachusetts to submit their best work created in the past two years which most closely represents their personal artistic vision.

This is Japan by Photographer Chester Michalik at A.P.E

WHAT: Photographs by Chester Michalik
WHEN: October 6 -29, 2017
Artist Reception: Friday, Oct.13 5-8 pm
WHERE: A.P.E. Gallery. 126 Main St, Northampton, MA

Anyone who spends a good amount of time in Japan is inevitably asked: why Japan? What do you see in Japan? The more time spent the more difficult it is to provide quick or simple answers.

Photographer Chester Michalik has been going to Japan regularly for close to thirty years, as teacher, artist, researcher and observer, and his work reflects his deep interest and insights into ‘what is Japan’. With its many temples and shrines, beautiful scenery, and odd combination of old and new, east and west, Japan has long been considered a photographer’s paradise. It often presents a palimpsest of images, confusing at times, but revealing to the discerning eye that can capture the order (and disorder) of everyday life. As reflected in his photographs, Chester has visited cities, towns, and countryside throughout Japan, with the greater part of his time spent in the Kansai region of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Some of the sites of his photographs—a building, temple or shop—are identifiable; others could be anywhere in Japan. He finds his subjects by walking the streets and alleyways of cities and towns, its commercial centers and small neighborhoods, observant of the everyday life that Japanese often take for granted. What is Japan to Chester Michalik? The pictures tell the story.

For more information on Chester Michalik, go to

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