Northampton Arts Council

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 Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Creative Youth - Mass Cultural Council News March 2021

WHAT: Creative Youth - Mass Cultural Council Events, News and Opportunities  
WHEN: March 2021
WHERE: Online 

Register for Trauma & Arts-Centered Healing Workshops

Mass Cultural Council is offering two workshops focused on understanding trauma and supporting healing in our community.

Led by Dr. Tasha Golden and Renée Watson, these sessions will focus on how the arts can support healing, share and amplify the experiences of trauma and healing, and help transform policies and structures that perpetuate inequities.
An Introduction to Trauma-Informed Approaches: Considering trauma responsiveness, healing, and “do no harm” in arts-based programs and activities. (March 26)
Trauma, Social Justice, the Arts, and Healing: Discussion on the role of the arts in addressing trauma and supporting health through advocacy, storytelling, narrative change, and social connection. (April 9)

Read More

Watch Poetry Out Loud State Semi-Finals March 6-8, Finals March 14

Join us for the Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts broadcasts of:
Semi-Finals: Central & Western MA, March 6 at 10am
Semi-Finals: Eastern MA, March 7 at 10am
Semi-Finals: Boston, March 8 at 7pm
State Finals, March 14 at 9:30am

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest for high school students that celebrates the power of the spoken word and mastery of public speaking skills. Watch these students take poetry from the page to the stage.

Forum on Youth Art, Power & Peace

A Youth-Led Virtual Forum on Building Community and Healing through Art Making

March 19, 2021, 3:30-5pm

Join us as we explore themes of community building; processing and healing from trauma; and addressing the socio-emotional challenges of the pandemic through the lens of art making.

This forum will be facilitated by youth members of the Bloomberg Arts Internship Alumni Advisory Council and Mass Cultural Council's CYD BIPOC Alumni Council. It's co-hosted by EdVestors, the City of Boston Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and Mass Cultural Council.

Please note that Zoom information for the forum will be sent to registered attendees closer to the event.

Register Now

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Call for Teaching Artists - Meadowbrook Apartments in Florence, MA

Meadowbrook Apartments in Florence, MA is looking for volunteer teaching artists to lead fun and exciting workshops with the youth in our community during the summer of 2021. Artists across all mediums are welcome!

Please contact Brielle Ruth with your workshop idea and brief bio at or 413-584-8404.

Please note that Meadowbrook Apartments has the capacity to get art supplies needed and compensation may be available if the property can secure grant funding

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Historic Northampton March 2021 Programs

WHAT: Historic Northampton
WHEN: March 2021 Programs
WHERE: Online / Virtual 

Commandment 613
A 23-minute documentary film about Rabbi Kevin Hale and the Sacred Craft
of a Torah Scribe directed by Miriam Lewin.

In this short documentary, we meet Rabbi Kevin Hale of Leeds, a joyful sofer (Torah scribe) who restores scrolls that were saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah. As he goes about his sacred craft, this son of refugees from Nazi Germany reflects on his own path to a life of faith and practice.

Commandment 613 will make its Western Massachusetts premiere during the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival. Historic Northampton and Circles for Jewish Living are honored to co-sponsor these events.

Watch a virtual screening at home.
March 5 - 9, 2021

Attend a virtual calligraphy demo & class led by Rabbi Hall.
Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 10:30 am

Join the virtual film discussion.
Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Learn More | Register

Exile: Homelessness and Northampton State Hospital
Christopher J. Sparks, historian and writer
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

Christopher J. Sparks will compare 19th century thinking about the root causes of psychiatric disorders, which led to the establishment of the Northampton State Hospital, with 20th century ideas about mental health, which culminated with the closing of the hospital.

The program will explore two documents: Dr. Edward Jarvis's “Insanity and Idiocy in Massachusetts” from 1855 and video segments from Frontline’s “A Place for Madness,” produced in 1994, on the closing of Northampton State Hospital.
Learn More | Register

Rediscovering Northampton: Local History Viewed Through an Ecological Lens
Northampton's Parks: An Unexpected History
Laurie Sanders, co-director and naturalist
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

How did Northampton citizens respond to the idea of creating public parks? In Part 5 of the lecture series, Rediscovering Northampton, Laurie Sanders will describe the origins of the Northampton parks we enjoy today and tell the tales of those that were never created. It is no surprise that the establishment of nearly all of them was controversial.

Admission: Sliding scale $0 - $20
Learn More | Register

"Ladies Notice:" Dressmaking and Millinery on Main Street in Nineteenth-Century Northampton
Lynne Zacek Bassett, costume and textile historian
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

An 1890s article in the Hampshire Gazette inquired how Northampton's "excess of women" made their living. Indeed, in the decades following the Civil War, thousands of women across the country had to support themselves and possibly also family members after the loss of nearly 750,000 men in the war.

The needle trades had offered money-earning opportunities to women for hundreds of years. This lecture by nationally recognized costume and textile historian Lynne Zacek Bassett will examine the nineteenth-century millinery and dressmaking trades in Northampton, focusing particularly on the Dickinson family, who dominated the millinery trade in Hampshire County for most of the century, and dressmakers represented by extant dresses in Historic Northampton's collection.

Admission: Sliding scale $0 - $20
Learn More | Register

46 Bridge Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Our Truth Our Power Open Call for Art Submissions

WHAT: Our Truth Our Power Open Call for Art Submissions
WHEN: Submissions Open February 8th to March 15 2021
WHERE: Apply Here

Survivor Arts Collective is excited to announce our new art exhibition by survivors & for survivors: Our Truth, Our Power which will be launching during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (mid-April). Our Truth, Our Power hopes to cultivate the space for survivors to come together and celebrate their stories as a source of strength through art of all forms. Creators of all artistic mediums are encouraged to apply. Short stories, poetry, sculpture, painting, music, film, photography -- any and all works that honor and uplift the voices of Survivors & their stories.

The submission form for this exhibition can be found here:

Four Sundays in February 2021 Recap

The Northampton Arts Council wrapped up its winter programming this past weekend with the final event in our Four Sundays in February 2021 series. Starting in 1993, Four Sundays in February is one of the longest running community winter arts series in the country and didn’t even let a global pandemic prevent it from brightening up our winter with amazing art events in 2021. While the series has traditionally taken place during the month of February at various performance venues in Northampton, this year all programming shifted to virtual broadcasts to local tv and the internet.

The series kicked off with the 37th Silver Chord Bowl, a showcase and celebration of one of our most treasured local music groups: Northampton High School’s a cappella stars, The Northamptones. The retrospective concert celebrated the group’s 20th Anniversary and the release of their brand new album “Quaratones” recorded separately in isolation during the covid-19 pandemic. Audiences got to relive standout performances from past groups, hear insightful interviews with former members, witness the outstanding direction of Beau Flahive and become familiar with the newest group of ‘Tones. The students’ personalized videos, recording sessions stories and incredible singing voices represent all their hard work during this tough year and exactly why the group is such a special part of this community.

For a 2021 Valentine’s Day unlike any before, we presented: Dinner and A Show - Pizza and Songs with Henning and Lisa. This short video session brought you into the home of local musicians Lesa Bezo (The Fawns) and Henning Ohlenbusch (Gentle Hen, The Fawns) as they made pizza from scratch and sang original songs from the dinner table. Electric guitars, 12 string acoustic, casio keyboard, peppers, onions, basil and mozzarella all mix together for a home cooked evening of love and music.

KidsBestFest returned in 2021 with a virtual edition for families to view from home, instead of its traditional home at the Academy of Music. As always, the film festival was presented free of admission during February school vacation week. KidsBestFest showcased stories of challenges, triumphs, fun and adventure, all told through animation, documentary, comedy and more. Featured films from around the world included “Woolworld” and other selected shorts by Joanna Polak, “The Arctic Camels,” Opertura short films, My Name is Pedro,” and “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl).”

Presented in collaboration with Northampton’s The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT) and New England’s Motion State Arts, our third Sunday event featured an innovative collection of dances for film and artist talk. The SCDT Screen Dance Festival showcased Valley Artist Cynthia Mclaughlin's, Brangelina alongside international dance films from Omari Carter (UK), Dagmar Daucher: (AT), Jordan Fuchs (USA), Mistaya Hemingway & Clyde Henry Productions (CA), Ali Kenner Brodsky (USA), Shon Kim (Korea), Rebecca McGowan and Jackie O'Riley (USA), Ellen Oliver (USA). This beautiful display of a wide variety of approaches to dance and film were followed by an engaging artist talk with many of the featured performers.

We wrapped up our 2021 series with February’s Finest: The Best of Four Sundays 2014-2020 a video collection showcasing a mix of our most highly-acclaimed Four Sundays in February series shows, compiled and remastered with Northampton Open Media. This greatest hits style event allowed audiences to relive amazing moments from gifted local artists to visiting international stars featured at our most popular February presentations. Although many of these great shows were appreciated by packed houses on their debut, it was due time to let them be enjoyed by wider audiences through the internet. February’s Finest includes masters of Indian Classical music, incredible Opera singers, jazz/funk great Charles Neville, a teenage touring Bachata band from the Dominican Republic plus local stars like Mal Devisa, Mark Mulcahey, Spouse, The UnBand and many more! The compilation intertwined sensational scenes from our numerous February stage productions into a compellingly fresh narrative for video audiences which reaffirms the remarkable community we live in and the undeniable gift of art.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Arts Council Board Meeting February 9, 2021


Scarlet Sock Foundation’s Virtual Third Annual Gala

WHAT: Scarlet Sock Foundation’s Virtual Third Annual Gala
WHEN: Sunday March 21 2021; 7:00-8:00 PM EST
WHERE: Zoom / Online. Email: by March 19 to receive the link

We missed being together last year and want to update you on all the great work your support made possible during the last two years. Scarlet Sock Foundation had a banner first year funding social justice theater programming that made a difference across the Pioneer Valley. Then, despite a year that made live, in-person theater impossible, we were still able to foster curiosity, self-confidence and inclusion for students in the performing arts. That's what social justice theater is all about!

Come join us to celebrate our inaugural grant recipients and see excerpts from some of them including The Performance Project, WAM Theatre and Enchanted Circle Theater. We will also be highlighting 2020’s recipients including Serious Play! and The Drama Studio in Springfield.

Scarlet Sock Foundation was founded in memory of Laura DiPillo who passionately believed that all people deserve to be included and heard. That is why we support social justice theater, which aims to raise awareness about social issues through the performing arts.

During the program, which is free to attend, you’ll be invited to make a donation to Scarlet Sock Foundation.

Visit our website at to learn more!

Email: by March 19 to receive the Zoom link!

We hope you’ll join us.

Margaret Russo
Riley DiPillo
Emily Ditkovski
Kelsey Flynn
Heidi Haas
Leah Visconti

Can't join us, but still want to help? Donate here

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