Northampton Arts Council

The Northampton Arts Council is an 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.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Spring Webinars for MA Artists

Free Recovery-Focused Financial & Business Webinars

With the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on practicing artists, Assets for Artists has redesigned its business and financial education programming to provide artists with recovery-focused, distance-learning opportunities that largely retain the intimate cohort-focused style of our in-person workshops. Let’s come together to discuss current challenges, relief efforts, and opportunities for artists’ financial futures.

All workshops are FREE and held via Zoom, with pre-registration required to keep the webinar cohorts at a size that maximizes participation and peer support. 

Details for the workshops are below, and can also be found at:

“Taxes for Artists & Preparing for a Downturn”
w/ Hannah Cole

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Hannah Cole’s ever-popular tax workshop moves online, with special attention to the challenges artists are facing in the present moment. The founder of Sunlight Tax and an Enrolled Agent with the IRS’s highest certification, in addition to being a long-time working artist, Hannah has a unique vantage point for understanding the financial challenges of freelancers and small creative businesses during this particular time. In this webinar she will discuss the basic tax equation and tax issues specifically relevant to artists, followed by a Q&A period.

Suitable for artists of all disciplines.
Open to artists across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut

Register for free via Zoom.

Financial Strategies for Artists” w/ Amy Smith

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Financial shame gets imposed on artists by our socioeconomic structures. In this workshop, Amy Smith cuts through shame and covers the financial building blocks necessary for surviving a career as a freelancer, including personal finance topics such as debt management in a time of crisis, emergency funds, private and governmental safety nets, tax issues, and how to negotiate with lenders. Participants will leave empowered to combat the scarcity mentality and impostor syndrome ever present in the creative sector. Amy Smith is an educator and the Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater, a Bessie-award winning Philadelphia-based dance theater company.

Suitable for artists of all disciplines.
Open to artists across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut

Register for free via Zoom

“Inside The Performing Artist’s Studio: COVID Edition” w/ Billy Dean Thomas

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM

During this time of continued social distancing and gathering limitations, performing artists look to activate their own creative tools, expand their audience, and connect with collaborators and producers in new ways. Performing artists in this session will discuss what they have seen work well and how they’ve stayed motivated despite the limitations of the pandemic. The workshop will take a deep dive into a few artist case studies and hold space to troubleshoot challenges and collectively develop a list of current tools and resources. Artists will leave this workshop with immediate steps to develop performance setups and explore different revenue streams to continue building their practices and engaging with their audiences. Billy Dean Thomas is a Grammy-nominated hip-hop recording artist and composer whose polyrhythmic flows align with intersectional feminism and social justice.

Best suited for performing artists.
Open to artists across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Register for free via Zoom

“Making a Plan in a Time of Uncertainty” w/ Laura Baring-Gould

Thursdays, March 11 & 18, 2021 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM
(this is a TWO-part webinar experience)

Over two webinar sessions, artists will develop the building blocks for a strategic plan for their creative career. This highly interactive course will help artists examine their goals and values, inventory their skills, and practice budgeting with an eye to maximizing opportunity and stability in the midst of crisis. Laura Baring-Gould's practice includes award-winning installations, public artworks and small bronzes sold in galleries, juried shows and through private commissions.

Suitable for artists in all disciplines.

Open to artists across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Priority given first to 2021 A4A Capacity-Building Grantees.

Register for free via Zoom

“Staying Authentic While Marketing Your Work” w/ Daniel Callahan

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

They say 80% of life is showing up. How one shows up determines the rest. Whether it’s an interview, Google search, Pinterest post, TED talk or a conversation over tea, making sure the impression one leaves leads to interest, opportunity, and growth for both you and your audience is crucial. In this workshop, participants will learn some of the strategies and apply practical knowhow to promote themselves and their services with excellence and authenticity in both in-person and online spaces. Participants will leave the workshop with a fuller understanding of themselves and some tried-and-true methods for presenting and pitching their art and their practice. Daniel Callahan is an award winning transmedia artist, designer and filmmaker. In addition to running his own multimedia production company and art practice, he teaches film and video at Emerson College and The Institute of Contemporary Art.

Best suited for visual and media artists.
Open to artists across Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Register for free via Zoom

Taxes for Artists w/ Amy Smith

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM

For decades, Amy Smith has prepared taxes for artists, taught financial well-being workshops, and coached artists one-on-one. This webinar will cover the basics of taxes for artists, including separating personal and artistic finances, Schedule C filing, self-employment versus employment, and tracking deductions. This webinar will have a particular eye toward artists’ current financial challenges and the ways in which the CARES Act and more recent pandemic relief acts will change taxes this year. Amy Smith is an educator, professional tax-preparer and the former Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater, a Bessie-award winning Philadelphia-based dance theater company.

Suitable for artists of all disciplines.

Priority given to artists who live in Essex County, MA.
Note: If you do not live in Essex, your registration may not be approved until the week before the webinar, when we’re able to see how many Essex County artists have registered.

Register for free via Zoom

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Mayor David Narkewicz Will Not Seek Re-Election

NORTHAMPTON - Today Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced that he will not be a candidate for re-election to a fourth term as Mayor of Northampton in this fall’s municipal election. He released the following statement:

Serving as Mayor of Northampton has been one of the greatest honors of my life and I have enjoyed working every day on behalf of the residents of this great city. As I begin my tenth year as mayor, I am extremely proud of the things we have accomplished together as a community.

We’ve stabilized and strengthened city and school budgets, reorganized our government and departments, increased transparency, access, and communication, and made record investments in critical priorities like education, infrastructure, affordable housing, open space, our parks and recreation areas, and the arts. We’ve done this through focused and disciplined stewardship of our finances over the last nine years, steadily rebuilding the city’s depleted reserves year after year while increasing our bond rating from A to AAA+ during that same period. Twice we’ve presented multi-year budget plans to the voters of Northampton and twice they have affirmed them by passing general overrides in 2013 and 2020 by significant margins.

We’ve also worked to promote economic development, grow our tax base, and support local businesses in downtown Florence and Northampton, along the expanding King Street and Pleasant Street corridors, and at Village Hill. We’ve been regional leaders in protecting our business community from the potential negative impacts of casino gaming and we’ve been statewide leaders in welcoming the emerging medical and adult-use cannabis industry to our city. We’ve taken regional leadership roles in responding to public health issues from the opioid epidemic to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve responded to the existential threat of global warming by being a national leader in sustainability and working to advance renewable energy, alternative transportation, and climate regeneration and resiliency.

Finally, we’ve stood up for our values as a safe and welcoming community. We’ve rejected the politics of hate and division and worked to serve the interests of all residents whether that meant standing up for LGBTQ+ equality, protecting immigrants by declaring ourselves a sanctuary city, defending frontline workers against wage theft, promoting gender equality, condemning racism in all of its forms and declaring unequivocally that Black Lives Matter, or serving the houseless and other at-risk and marginalized people. These are the values that make our city great and they have been my compass as its leader.

When I first announced my candidacy for Mayor of Northampton back in March of 2011, I said it was time for “a new generation of leadership to move our great city forward.” Now, after what will be a decade of significant work and progress for Northampton, the time for new leadership has come again. Today I am announcing that I will not seek a fourth term as your mayor.

I have had the privilege of serving the City of Northampton in both appointed and elected roles for more than twenty years. Now I want to step back and let other community members bring their ideas and energy forward to address the important issues and challenges facing our city. Please know that I will continue working hard on those issues and challenges every day for the remaining months of my term, including leading our city safely through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, writing my tenth and final city budget, and completing several high-priority capital and planning projects.

I have been privileged to work with a skilled, experienced, and dedicated group of department heads who are committed to their agency missions and the larger team mission of delivering high-quality municipal services to the taxpayers. There is no better illustration of that spirit of teamwork and collaborative problem-solving than the city’s ongoing multi-departmental emergency response to COVID-19 over these last many months. I am grateful to them, the members of my staff, and all of the hard-working city and school employees that I have been honored to serve alongside and lead.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my wife and daughters for their love and support and the many sacrifices they have made to allow me to do this important work. My family has been my biggest supporters and my safe harbor during the many challenging times I’ve faced as mayor.

I love this city and understand the critical role of the mayor in its ongoing success. That is why I am making my political intentions known early in order to allow other city residents the opportunity to consider running and form campaigns. I pledge to work with whomever Northampton voters select to succeed me to ensure a smooth transition on January 2, 2022.

David Narkewicz was first elected to a two-year term as the City of Northampton’s 44th Mayor on November 8, 2011. Following a charter change, Narkewicz was re-elected to the city’s first four-year mayoral term in 2013 and then re-elected again to his current four-year term in 2017.

Prior to becoming the city’s chief elected official, Narkewicz served three terms on the Northampton City Council. He was elected Ward 4 City Councilor in 2005 and re-elected in 2007.

In 2009, Narkewicz was elected Councilor at Large and his colleagues elected him City Council President. His council presidency included serving four months as the city’s Acting Mayor following the early retirement of Mayor Clare Higgins on September 9, 2011.

Before his 16 years in elective office, Narkewicz served as an appointed member of two Northampton boards and commissions. Mayor Mary Ford appointed Narkewicz to the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1999, where he served as vice-chair. Mayor Clare Higgins appointed him to the Transportation and Parking Commission in 2003, a newly created board Narkewicz would later go on to chair.

Mayor Narkewicz informed city department heads of his decision not to seek re-election at a meeting earlier today. Narkewicz appointed eleven of the seventeen current department heads during his tenure, including the historic appointments of women to serve as Police Chief and Director of Public Works.

Mayor Narkewicz has held multiple regional and statewide leadership roles during his tenure. He has served as Chair of the 24-community Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) Advisory Board since 2015. He also represents Hampshire County as an elected member of the Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, which allocates state and federal transportation dollars in the region. At the statewide level, he was appointed by Governor Baker to the Local Government Advisory Commission, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, is part of the leadership of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association, and is a member of the Cannabis Control Commission’s Cannabis Advisory Board.

When he completes his term, David Narkewicz will be among the city’s longest-serving mayors. Only Mayor David Musante (12 years) and Mayor Clare Higgins (11 years, 8 months) will have held the corner office longer.

The City of Northampton will hold its municipal election on November 2, 2021. If more than two candidates for mayor are certified, a preliminary election would be scheduled in September to narrow the field to two for the general election.

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at or 413-587-1249.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Public Forum: What streetscape improvements do you want for Main Street, Florence Village?

Public Forum: What streetscape improvements do you want for Main Street, Florence Village?

Wednesday January 6, 2021 5:30 PM

City of Northampton, Planning & Sustainability - Working for a sustainable & resilient future

REMINDER-- Please use corrected link below
OR for sound only (646) 876-9923 Meeting ID: 912 5567 8239

Over the past two years we have had several forums and conversations on Florence Center streetscapes and regulations.

The Mayor and City Council have allocated some funds to support streetscape improvements recommended by this process.

We heard a desire for:
more street trees
improved pedestrian warning at Main St./Keyes St. and Meadow St./Park St.
street furnishings (e.g., benches, newspaper boxes)
wayfinding signage
improved street lighting
improved accessibility for people with disabilities
We also heard a variety of more dramatic changes (curb extensions, traffic flow changes), although no clear consensus.

We have nearly completed the first phase of the project, surveying Main Street to identify opportunities for improvements.

NOW it is your turn again. Help us prioritize improvements.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Nontoxic Salt Water Electroetching for printmakers, artists and hobbyists

WHAT: Nontoxic Salt Water Electroetching for printmakers, artists and hobbyists
WHERE: Online (Virtual Workshop)
WHEN: 1/19, 1/21, 1/26 + 1/28. 6:00 PM 

This will be the first of many classes that will be taught virtually at The Rust Temple School in Easthampton.

Learn to be proficient in one of the cheapest, safest, easiest ways to etch different metals for art, signage, sculpture and printmaking.

From gathering materials and tools, to creating a finished piece that's ready to print, sell and or display, this workshop series will provide comprehensive instruction on how to etch different metals using salt water electro etching,

This series will also cover etching hardened steel to make custom metal punches, etching 3D objects and etching digital designs.

Start the new year with a new skill relevant to artists, metalworkers, printmakers and hobbyists alike.

$50 buys you access to all 4 live virtual classes.

$80 includes all 4 classes along with all the materials you need to get started sent to your address (power supply, ready to etch steel plates, pure salt, etching tank and sand paper)

The deadline for buying a class with materials is 12/23
and the deadline for signing up for classes is 1/15

Classes start on January 19th and will be taught at 6pm EST on

1/19, 1/21, 1/26, 1/28

Classes will be taught by local Hampshire College alum, electronics educator and artist, Wouter Schievink.

Email for any inquiries, access to the syllabus or if you are interested in taking the class.

For more info and links to other classes as they are available visit:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

First Night Northampton 2021

Design by James K Hindle

First Night Northampton 2021 

Live-streaming on Thursday December 31, 2020 from NOON to MIDNIGHT on

First Night Northampton has filled our Paradise City with a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts since 1985. This signature New Year’s Eve event features memorable performances of your favorite artists. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit local arts enrichment.  

In light of Covid-19 there will be many necessary changes to the celebration, most importantly there is no in-person entertainment this year. Watch all of the performances from the comfort of your own space and the screen of your choice. All of the exciting shows, the fireworks, and the ball raising will be broadcast online and on television for FREE! Tune in at or on Northampton Comcast Cable channels 12, 15, and 23.

Catch your favorite acts without having to wait in line! The Fawns, Kimaya Diggs, Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry as well as First Night newbies Mister G, Zoe Lemos, Priya Darshini + Max ZT. Don’t forget the entertainment for KIDS, ShowCircus Studio, Henry the Juggler, and The Yo-Yo Guy.

The lack of button sales this year will hamper our fundraising efforts to benefit local arts enrichment activities. Please consider donating to First Night Northampton. To show our gratitude for your donation, we will send you exclusive gifts to say thank you! Please visit to check out all the great items you can choose from.

R.S.V.P. on Facebook

Add this event to your calendar - iCal | Google Calendar

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Valley CDC Regional Small Business COVID Recovery Grants Program

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has been awarded federal funds through the CARES Act to support local small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Valley Community Development Corporation will act as Program Administrator for the application and selection process to award one-time grants up to $10,000 for businesses located in Agawam, Easthampton, Granby, Hadley, Hatfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Southwick or Westhampton.


Instrucciones de registro

Instructions d'inscription

Registration Instructions In English

PDF of Application Questions - Updated October 31st

View recorded webinar here.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) can be found here. If you have questions, send them to and check back on the FAQ page for answers.

These links will put you in touch with FREE local assistance to help your prepare your application:
The Center for Women & Enterprise:
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network


Applicants must be able to provide supporting documents to show eligibility in all four of the following categories:
“Micro-enterprise” businesses (5 or fewer employees including owner) that were established prior to the pandemic (business must have been operating prior to January 1, 2019).
Applicant must be able to show records that support a loss of income due to Covid-19.
Grant funds must be used to pay for or reimburse expenses in the following categories:
Working Capital – Business operating expenses such as rent, utilities and staffing.
Technology and Online Marketing or Sales Services – Software purchases or upgrades, website design, app development, transitioning to e-commerce, online ordering and payment systems and the training that comes with new technology.
Safety Equipment and Products – Extra costs for PPE, cleaning supplies, safety or other procedures to remain open and provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for employees and customers. Implementation, monitoring and maintenance of same.
Costs for Adapting to Operations During Pandemic – Examples might be new materials, supplies or inventory related to packaging or handling merchandise, reconfiguration of space to accommodate curbside pick-up, delivery options added, etc.
Business Advising and Support – Expenses related to modifying existing business model. This might include capacity building, accounting support, business planning, financial education or training to gain other necessary business skills

Please note there is also an Equal Opportunity Set-aside for business owners who are of racial/ethnic minority, women, veterans, persons with a disability, or LBGTQ.

Grants will be awarded on a basis of first-come, first-served, first-completed and determined eligible for each funding pool.

The online application portal will launch at NOON on November 2, 2020 here.

Application Form: Regional Small Business Grant Application Updated October 31

2019-2020 Profit & Loss Comparison Template: Excel PDF
Duplication of Benefits Form: Duplication of Benefits Certification for CDBG-CV
Certification of Minority Owned Business for Equal Opportunity Set Aside PDF


Sign up for email updates and application materials here

Frequently Asked Questions

Regional Program Criteria Grid

Funding made available through the Federal CARES Act with Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG-CV) as awarded to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).



Two new STATEWIDE programs were released on October 22nd:

NOTE: You can apply for Valley’s Program and these programs simultaneously, but you cannot receive grants for the same use of funds for the same time period. (See “Duplication of Benefits” in the FAQ)

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