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.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

"Memory and Aging” with guest speaker Brad Crenshaw

WHAT: Northampton Neighbors & Senior Center’s Speaker Series: “Memory and Aging” with guest speaker Brad Crenshaw
WHEN: February 20, 2019. 5:30 – 7:30
WHERE:  Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton
Free and open to the public.

 Ever forget where you left your keys or walked into a room and couldn’t remember why? Worry about a family member or friend’s increasing forgetfulness? Wonder if exercises can really improve your memory?

Guest speaker and neuropsychologist, Brad Crenshaw, will provide insights and answers to these questions, and many others, at the popular monthly Speakers Series sponsored by Northampton Neighbors and the Senior Center. He will describe what memory is, what it is not and how it works; how the various demands on memory affect its functioning over time; and what pathological memory changes look like. He will also discuss what we can do to improve our memories as we age.

Brad Crenshaw received his MFA and PhD in English from the University of California, Irvine. He later obtained a second PhD in Clinical Psychology and Neurosciences from the University of Massachusetts. He has worked as a neuropsychologist for many years in the Neuropsychology Service at Baystate Medical Center and then in the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

A Q and A will follow the presentation. The Speaker Series features entertaining and educational presentations by prominent local and regional personalities. It is free and open to the public.

Our Work and Why We Do It: Forbes Library Writer in Residence Series

WHAT: Writer in Residence Reading Series #3 -In the Offing
WHEN: Wednesday, Feburary 20, 2019 7:00 PM
WHERE: Coolidge Museum, Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton MA

The series features writers of prose, poetry, nonfiction, and memoir, and beneath these broad categories, constellations of subgenres and forms. The series is interested in exploring how writing relates to work, to a sense of a collective project that seeks to respond to the political and social forms that produce it. The series hopes to affirm the role of creative written work as a measure of response to the exigencies that shape our world.

Featuring:
Kelly Link is the author of Get in Trouble, Magic for Beginners, and Stranger Things Happen. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press, and has taught at several colleges and universities. She received a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2018. Link currently lives in Northampton.

Abbey Mei Otis is the author of the story collection Alien Virus Love Disaster, nominated for the 2019 Philip K. Dick Award. This will the first reading from the book in the Northeast!

Jordy Rosenberg is the author of the novel Confessions of the Fox, named a New York Times Editor's Choice selection, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and recognized by The New Yorker, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Kirkus Reviews, LitHub, Electric Literature and the Feminist Press as one of the Best Books of 2018. Jordy is a professor of 18th-century Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Critical Theory at UMass Amherst.

Art Middleton, the Forbes Library Writer in Residence, has been calling this reading In The Offing, an attempt to name a theme he feels captures the character these writers share. While diverse in formally adventurous ways, each carves a unique path toward futures portended in the murk and bright of the present or dredge different possibilities for histories buried in the past. They contain, in the richness of their visions and the lyricism of their articulations, a spirit that echoes Ernst Bloch in his demand for utopia: “that is why we go, why we cut new metaphysically constitutive paths, summon what is not, build into the blue, build ourselves into the blue, and there seek the true, the real, where the merely factual disappears…”

WHAT:  Writer in Residence Reading Series #4
WHEN: Wednesday, March 20, 2018 7:00 PM
WHERE: Coolidge Museum Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton MA

Our Work and Why We Do It is the Forbes Library’s new Writer in Residence reading series, which debuted October 2018. This series is interested in exploring the ways in which the written word may create and sustain social worlds through inquiry, practice, experimentation, story and lyric. The dynamic of the public library, open and variegated in its uses, is the ideal space for these questions, as it can so directly reflect the desires of a community that contributes to it’s thriving, operating as an archive of those needs. Regardless of genre, this series believes in the potential for deliberation that writing may produce, a space within the information saturated world we share where we might consider possibilities and deeper questions just beyond what we know.

The series features writers of prose, poetry, nonfiction, and memoir, and beneath these broad categories, constellations of subgenres and forms. The series is motivated by an interest in understanding how writing relates to work, to a sense of a collective project that seeks to respond to the political and social forms that produce it. Against dithering, the series hopes to affirm the role of creative written work as a measure of response to the exigencies that shape our world.

Art Middleton is a writer, educator, and parent interested in exploring the experience of work, time, care, and community, themes that have shown up in his zines, fiction, prose, performance, and curation. His work has been published and performed in many independent presses and spaces, most recently a collaboration with poet Nicole Trigg in the zine Macaroni Necklace out of Oakland, CA. In 2011, he organized the Magic Child Repository, a gallery exhibit celebrating small press and handmade book culture in Providence, RI. Informed by his experience as a nursing/personal assistant, adjunct professor, and food service employee (a wide but not entirely tangential resume), his fiction draws from the mundane and the everyday to ask questions about how individuals orient themselves in history and place. He currently works as a writing instructor and English lecturer with a focus on utopian longing in politics and literature.

You can read a June 2018 Daily Hampshire Gazette article, “Forbes Library’s new Writer in Residence took a winding path back home,” about Art here.

ACADEMY OF MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS (IN)DEPENDENT: THE HEROIN PROJECT


WHAT: (In)Dependent: The Heroin Project
WHEN: Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm // Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7:30pm // Doors at 7:00pm
WHERE: The Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St, Northampton, MA

Northampton, MA – The Academy of Music is proud to present (In)Dependent: The Heroin Project, a new play by Kent State University students Emelia Sherin and Zach Manthey, directed by Linda McInerney (Eggtooth Productions) on March 22 and 23, 2019 at 7:30pm.

The drama is based on interviews with people who use heroin, counselors, and family members. It exposes the reality of the heroin crisis, and captures the physical, mental, and emotional issues that people who have experienced opioid use disorder, friends, families, nurses, policemen, and children undergo from primary and secondary interaction with heroin.

The Academy of Music Theatre has partnered with Hampshire HOPE (a multi-sector opioid coalition based out of the Northampton Health Department) and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office on this project to raise awareness about opioid use disorder, reduce stigma, and elevate the voices of those who are oppressed; to provide a deeper, more meaningful community engagement process which allows us to better understand the experiences of those impacted by opioid use disorder.  Performance evenings will begin with readings of the work that came out of the creative writing sessions led by Hampshire HOPE, where those affected by opioids, including friends and family of users, people in recovery and people actively using, wrote on the toll opioid use has taken on their lives. Select writing from these workshops will also be compiled into a FREE chapbook, along with the drawings of Marvel Comic, Marcus McLaurin, who has designed original artwork for this production.  They will be handed out at the performances and around the community.  The Academy has also given out over 200 free tickets to recovery centers in the area.

Tickets are available now. Tickets can be purchased by calling or visiting the Academy of Music Box Office.  We are open Tuesday- Friday 3:00PM-6:00PM and can be reached at 413-584-9032 ext.105.  Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting www.aomtheatre.com.

Ticket Prices:
$10-20 (plus applicable fees)
Where/ How Tickets Can be Purchased: 
Academy of Music Box Office Open Tuesday- Friday 3:00PM-6:00PM
Call: 413-584-9032 ext.105 (Service fees will apply with purchase)

Visit www.aomtheatre.com for online ticket purchases.

PRESS INQUIRIES 
Emily Curro, Development and Marketing Manager
ecurro@aomtheatre.com
413-584-9032 ext.101

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge


We are thrilled to share the news that the next round of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for high school students is now underway and accepting applications! 

In case you haven’t heard, the Songwriting Challenge is a national songwriting competition open to high school students who have a passion for writing songs of any musical style that could be part of a musical theater production. This year’s competition follows a successful inaugural year in 2018 that featured finalists from across the country. For this second year, the Songwriting Challenge will again pair six finalist songwriters (either single songwriters or duos) with professional musical theater artists to develop the students’ original song into a Broadway-stage-ready composition. 

For additional guidelines, timing, and details please visit our application portal. Students can also find additional video resources to watch and utilize as inspiration when applying.

Click here for more information on how to apply!

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts partnering with the American Theatre Wing and in collaboration with Disney Theatrical Productions and Samuel French, a division of Concord Records. The Songwriting Challenge is a national competition for high school students who have a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musical theater including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more.

Please help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity for our young artists!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

ARTWEEK MA is coming to Western Mass

A  week-long showcase of our "creative side"

ArtWeekMA 2019 is April 26 - May 5

ArtWeek MA is an annual festival that celebrates creativity through unique, hands on experience! First produced in 2013 in Boston by the Boch Center, ArtWeek MA is now gearing up for its second state-wide festival. Hampshire and Franklin County Regional Tourism Councils are proud partners of the event.

We invite you, our partners in all things artistic, to participate in hosting one of these interactive events during this year’s festival (April 26th – May 5th).

ArtWeek asks for unique experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative economy. Also, MDU Grants are available for free, music learning-based events. Learn more here.

There’s still time to submit your event application for ArtWeek 2019. Visit artweekma.org to apply by February 22, 2019.

Have questions? Need event inspiration? Contact the ArtWeek Western Mass team.

Stay tuned for more about ArtWeek in the coming weeks! Join the Ideas and Connections group on Facebook to sync up with others planning ArtWeek events. 

Apply now!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Northampton Jazz Workshop Features The Green Street Quintet

WHAT: Northampton Jazz Workshop Features The Green Street Quintet
WHEN: February 19, 7:30pm
WHERE: City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA

The Green Street Quintet is the trio of Paul, George and Jon with the addition of saxophonist Jason Robinson and trumpeter Don Anderson. For the last three years the quintet has been periodically presenting new compositions and arrangements and, as always, are excited to play new music to the great (and world renown) Workshop audience.

The concert set starts at 7:30, followed immediately by the jam session until 10:30. $5 per person room charge for the concert set. City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA. 413-584-4830
Also of Interest:

Upcoming Guest Artists:
2/19 - The Green Street Quintet
2/26 - Dominique Eade on vocals
3/5 -  Samirah Evans on vocals and Don Anderson on trumpet for the annual
         Fat Tuesday celebration
3/12 - Tim Armacost on saxes
3/19 - Jay Hoggard on vibes - two shows with no jam session.
3/26 - Roseanna Vitro on vocals

For photos and videos of past NJW shows and related news, events and buzz, please see (and Like us) on FB at: www.facebook.com/NorthamptonJazzWorkshop


Double Edge Theatre to preview new solo performance SUGA March 6-10

WHAT: SUGA solo performance
WHEN: Open Rehearsals: March 6-7 // Previews: March 8-10
WHERE: Double Edge Theatre, 948 Conway Rd, Ashfield, MA


On March 6-10, Double Edge Theatre will preview its original solo performance SUGA, with the premiere slated for the Fall. The performance is conceived, created, and performed by Travis Coe and directed by Stacy Klein. Travis, a DE Associate Ensemble Artist, began working on SUGA in 2016 as he explored the Afro-Caribbean/Latinx history of his family, and their native lands spanning Belize, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico. Klein, DE’s Founder and Artistic Director, watched some of Travis’ early creative process and began working in dialogue together with Travis to develop the material and create this performance. It is an investigation of freedom, and the bounds—personal, artistic, societal, and political—one must break through to achieve that end. As a caretaker of a museum of memory, Coe touches/reveals/remixes all the aspects of himself—as Queer, Black, Latino, and American, to find the path to sing, fly, run - toward Freedom.

Joining the team of SUGA are DE’s longtime design collaborator Michal Kuriata and company artists Tadea Klein (costume designer) and John Peitso (music director). The performance is inspired by the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, the paintings and sculptures of Zdzisław Beksiński, and the life and work of James Baldwin.

Travis Coe’s Statement 
“When I was a little chitlin’ my mother told me, my brother and my sister that “we could be any color flower we wanted to be. And that one day we were gonna to grow big, strong and beautiful.” And my sister said, “I want to be a yellow flower, or maybe a blue flower or maybe a red flower. Like the ones growing in our garden." I knew this conversation was in a dream because we didn't have a garden at my childhood home in New Jersey - only dirt with scatterings of cinderblocks, wood and steel on top of it. And my brother cried out, “Gurl! Make up your damn mind already. Listen, I’m content being a rotten brown flower.” And when it came to me I said “I want to all the colors. I want to be a rainbow of colors. I want to be everything.”

Stacy Klein - who I asked to direct SUGA - recently said to me that I was “a caretaker of my ancestral memory.” I loved that! It gave me a new lens to look at this work and continue journeying through this history with a deep care. To not be afraid to revive, reanimate and ultimately remix these memories and turn them into the alchemical materials to unlock a century of healing. To provide the ingredients for me and my future family to live our lives in an ever-changing and growing garden of freedom.

SUGA
Conceived, created and performed by Travis Coe
Directed by Stacy Klein

Open Rehearsals: March 6-7
Previews: March 8-10

Double Edge Theatre
948 Conway Rd, Ashfield, MA

For tickets and information visit www.doubleedgetheatre.org
(413) 628-0277

About Double Edge Theatre
Double Edge Theatre, an artist-run organization, was founded in Boston in 1982 by Stacy Klein as a feminist ensemble and laboratory of actors’ creative process. The Double Edge Ensemble, led by Klein, creates original theatrical performances that are imaginative, imagistic and visceral. These include indoor performances and site-specific indoor/outdoor traveling spectacles, both of which are developed with collaborating visual and music artists through a long-term process and presented on the Farm and on national and international tours. Performance cycles include the Women's Cycle, the Song Trilogy, the Garden of Intimacy and Desire, The Chagall Cycle, and, currently, The Latin American Cycle, which is inspired by the music, dance and magic realism of the Americas. In 1994, Double Edge moved from Boston to a 105-acre former dairy farm in rural Ashfield, MA, to create a sustainable artistic home. Today, the Farm is an International Center of Living Culture and Art Justice, a base for the ensemble’s extensive international touring, with year-round theatre training, performance exchange, conversations and convenings, greening and farming initiatives, and a popular indoor-outdoor traveling spectacle which takes place alongside the hills, pastures, river, and gardens of the Center. The DE facilities include two performance and training spaces, production facilities, offices, archives, music room, and outdoor performance areas, an animal barn, vegetable gardens, and two additional properties: housing in the center of town for resident and emerging artists and DE’s Artists Studio; and a design house, with design offices, studios, costume shop, and set, costume, and prop storage. A vision of future facilities includes a public archive/gallery, a meeting space called Ohketeau (meaning to plant something, to grow), which gives primacy to the voices of Native youth, and a fully developed farm.

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