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, February 17, 2020

Four Sundays in February 2020

Design by James Hindle

Welcome to the FOUR SUNDAYS IN FEBRUARY 2020 Winter Arts Series!

Four Sundays in February is one of the longest running community winter arts series in the country, the first Four Sundays being presented in 1993. The series traditionally takes place during the month of February at various performance venues in Northampton and is produced by the Northampton Arts Council. Our upcoming events include Overtures and Arias featuring Panopera Orchestra at Sweeney Concert Hall-Smith College, Blank - An Original Solo Play About the Truths of Adoption and Identity at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley Street, KidsBestFest 2020: A Film Festival for Kids and Their Adults and Back to the Baystate a one-of-a-kind event that features performances and stories from legendary Bay State era musicians paired with archived audio/video excerpts at the Academy of Music Theatre. This year we added another show, The Bachata Academy DREAM Project Performance, which is a live introduction to Bachata, a genre of folk music and dance from the Dominican Republic, featuring Grammy-nominated musicians Martires de Leon and Abel Martinez taking place at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley Street.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

KidsBestFest 2020: A Movie Festival for Kids and Their Adults

Design by James Hindle

When: During Winter School Break -  Tuesday February 18th, 2020 - Friday February 21st, 2020; Film Screenings start at 11:00AM // Doors Open at 10:30AM

Where: Academy of Music Theatre274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

KidsBestFest is a movie festival for kids and their adults with free admission during winter school break on the big screen at the Academy of Music Theatre! KidsBestFest, a part of the Four Sundays in February winter arts series, is presented by the Northampton Arts Council and the Academy of Music Theatre. We kick off the film festival on Tuesday February 18th at 11:00AM with one screening of Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird!, followed on Wednesday the 19th with one screening of Song of the Sea at 11:00AM, on Thursday the 20th we will show The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part at 11:00AM, and on Friday the 21st is Aya of Yop City at 11:00AM. As an added bonus we will feature a special screening before each movie of a short animated film from local animation studio Opertura, “Weird Healing.”

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Back to the Bay State

Baystate Hotel Illustration by Benjamin Spencer; Poster design by Philip Price

Back to the Bay State

Featuring performances and stories from legendary Bay State era musicians paired with archived audio/video excerpts, all on the Academy of Music stage. Come check out rare Bay State memorabilia including photographs and flyers, audio clips from classic concerts, and a firsthand look at interviews and stories from the upcoming Bay State Hotel Documentary.

When: Sunday February 23 – 2:00PM, Doors Open at 1:30PM

Where: Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

How Much: Advance - $13 Adults / $11 Senior 65+ & Students & Vets / $7 Kids 12 & Under; Day of at door - $15 Adults / $13 Senior 65+ & Students & Vets / $9 Kids 12 & Under

Ticket Outlet: Academy of Music Theatre Box Office -, (413) 584-9032, 274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

More info: With appearances from Mark Mulcahy, The Maggies, The Stone Coyotes, Steve Westfield, Aloha Steamtrain, Flower Thief, Mike Flood, Gobblehoof, Drunk Stuntmen, Spouse, The Lonesome Brothers, Matt Hebert, The Unband, The Figments, The Big Bad Bollocks, J Mascis, and more!

The venue provided, as one local writer in the ‘90s described it, “Your chance to see one of the area’s scrappy rock or pop bands in a setting visually better suited to blue hair and meatloaf specials.” Acts like Sebadoh, Scud Mountain Boys and New Radiant Storm King played some of their earliest shows and developed their sound at the Bay State, while an incredible array of alternative national touring acts and musicians such as Arthur Lee & Love, Morphine, Moe Tucker, Blonde Redhead, Royal Trux, and members of My Bloody Valentine joined local bands to play in a unique and intimate setting.

Join us for an afternoon of stories and songs from an influential era in the history of Northampton's music scene, before they're lost to time. Highlights from recently unearthed troves of cassette recordings, film footage, photographs, show flyers, set-lists & more will be presented in between performances from bands and musicians from the Bay State scene. The event will provide a time machine for audiences who experienced the era, as well as a portrait of the legendary scene for younger generations. Back to the Bay State will celebrate, save and preserve memories from the landmark venue at a critical period in Northampton’s musical history.

About The Bay State Hotel Project:
The Bay State Hotel Project is documenting the Bay State music scene from 1992-2003 by conducting interviews and collecting flyers, photos, and recordings for use in a documentary film. This collection is part of a larger project to preserve vital documents, experiences, and existing footage and recordings of the Western Mass music scene in the Forbes Library’s archives. There is a dramatic urgency to capture these memories now so that the public can remember the stories behind this unique period in Northampton’s musical history.

Media Sponsors: Daily Hampshire Gazette, WRSI - 93.9 The River/WHMP/Hits 94.3/Pure Oldies 96.9, New England Public Radio, Northampton Open Media, Republican, Valley Advocate

Organizational Support: Massachusetts Cultural Council, City of Northampton, Academy of Music Theatre, Forbes Library, Signature Sounds Presents

Four Sundays in February/KidsBestFest are produced by the Northampton Arts Council

Portions of the proceeds for all shows benefit the 2020 ArtsEZ Grant Round administered by the Northampton Arts Council

Friday, February 14, 2020

Bachata Academy DREAM Project Performance

Design by James Hindle

Bachata Academy DREAM Project Performance

You are invited to an exclusive introduction to Bachata, an evolving genre of folk art that is quickly gaining international popularity as an alternative to Salsa. The Bachata Academy Dream Project Performance features Grammy-nominated musician Abel Martinez and a group of exceptional students from the Bachata Academy in the Dominican Republic. The Bachata Academy is the first and only program teaching Bachata in the world. Started in 2013, the Bachata Academy aims to enrich the Dominican community through song and dance and to share barrio culture internationally. This special event takes place on Friday, February 28th, 7:00 PM at the Northampton Center for the Arts Flex Space at 33 Hawley Street. Portions of the proceeds for this event benefit the 2020 ArtsEZ Grant Round administered by the Northampton Arts Council.

Ticket Information:

Advance Price General Admission All Ages - $15 (Available online or in person); Day of at Door Price General Admission All Ages - $20

Advanced Tickets Available Online - or by calling 1-800-838-3006; In Person at State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, or A.J. Hastings in Amherst.

Tickets will be available at the box office of 33 Hawley Street starting at 6:15 PM on the day of the event.

Headline Sponsor: Smith College

Media Sponsors: Daily Hampshire GazetteWRSI - 93.9 The River/WHMP/Hits 94.3/Pure Oldies 96.9New England Public RadioNorthampton Open RepublicanValley Advocate

Northampton High School Bachata

WHAT: Northampton High School Bachata
WHEN: Friday February 28, 2020. 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
WHERE: Northampton High School 380 Elm St, Northampton, MA

The Northampton High School Bachata event is a program meant to expose high school students to Bachata, a genre of folk music and dance from the Dominican Republic. Bachata is an evolving genre of folk art and is quickly gaining international popularity as an alternative to salsa.

For this program, Northampton High School (NHS) will be hosting students and faculty from the Bachata Academy- the first and only Bachata program in the world. NHS students will watch performances from the Bachata Academy students, participate in a workshop for a hands-on experience of this art form, and bring together the school’s Latin American community with the Bachata Academy students in a cultural fair-type meal.

The Northampton High School Bachata event will provide a hands-on experience that taps into learning about Dominican history, culture, and techniques of an art form directly from master practitioners. The workshop will allow students to use this art form to express themselves, deepen their connection with each other, and connect with people from outside of their culture.

Our program will work with the DREAM Project’s Bachata Academy program, which will enhance Northampton High School’s connections with global organizations. The DREAM Project, a Dominican Republic-based educational organization, aims not only to improve public schooling in the Dominican Republic but to enable all students to be empowered and educated equally. By participating in the Bachata Academy’s program, Northampton High School students will build their vocabulary for artistic expression as well as build new connections with Dominican students. February 27th is also Dominican Independence Day, and we hope to celebrate this important cultural event with a program that celebrates the unique history of the Dominican Republic. We look to provide Latin American students with an opportunity to celebrate their own culture and to involve all students in the learning and appreciation of other cultures.

Funded in part by NEF's Time Sensitive Grant program and in part by the Daniel S. Goldstein Fund for Arts in Northampton High School

Thursday, February 13, 2020

VHS (T.)A.P.E. Gibson + Recoder

WHAT: VHS (T.)A.P.E. Gibson + Recoder
WHERE: A.P.E. - 126 Main Street Northampton, MA
WHEN: March 6 - April 1, 2020
              Arts Night Out: Friday, March 14
              Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12-5: Friday 12-8, Closed Monday

Kinetic sculpture, light works, and paintings made using discarded VHS video tape, conceived during Gibson + Recoder’s recent artist residency at the Jentel Foundation in Banner, Wyoming. The title of the exhibition is a play on the Available Potential Enterprise (A.P.E.) of VHS video tape.

Gibson + Recoder have been exhibiting their expanded cinema installations and projection performances since 2000. Their works are in the permanent collections of major art museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, and Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany. They live and work in NYC.

126 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060

March 9 - April 3 in the Hosmer Gallery

Photographs by Christopher Curtis
Ceramic Sculptures by Immer Mowry Cook
Paintings by Susan Valentine

WHEN: March 9 – April 3, 2020
Reception: Monday, March 16, 6:00-8:30pm

WHERE: Hosmer Gallery, Forbes Library 20 West Street Northampton, MA.

Immer Mowry Cook
Artist’s Statement
I grew up in and currently live in Easthampton, MA. An interest in modern and contact improvisational dance led me to pursue the study of dance in college. While there I found my way to ceramics and have been committed to the medium ever since. I have been creating work out of a shared community studio in Florence for the past few years.

I use traditional hand-building techniques and occasional wheel thrown elements to create my sculptures. My work has generally always made reference to vessel forms, using the architecture of the vessel( foot, body, handle, spout), as a vehicle for self expression. One thread in my current body of work represents a departure from that focus. In this series I tried to develop a personal iconography which led me to a series of portraits and the incorporation of a pedestal element into my compositions.

Susan Valentine
Artist’s Statement
I’m endlessly fascinated by the play of natural light on a surface. In 2017 I began to direct that interest to my parents’ childhood marble collection playing in the afternoon sun on my windowsill. That became a three-year journey, which grew to include many more marbles photographed on sunny afternoons as reference for these oil paintings.

I begin with a sunny day, use my phone’s camera, crop and edit those photos and then grid and draw the smaller ones, pulling out the projector to draw in the larger, more complex compositions. Just a few layers of thin oil paint gets my intentions across.

Currently, I focus my attention to the beautiful forms of fruits and veggies. I include a smattering of the series, Sustenance, in this exhibit.

Thank you for your interest in this local art scene. I’m very proud to be a part of it. See examples of my work at

Christopher Curtis: Luminous Places
Artist’s Statement
I am interested in photographing landscapes where the bones of the earth are revealed, where there are big skies and wild animals moving freely, and where sunlight etches the features of the land. I am also interested in the sacred places where its ancient aboriginal man’s relationship with the land can still be seen. Many of these places are vanishing forever, just in the time that I have been on the planet. With these photographs, I hope to convey the sense of place and the extraordinary beauty and fragility of our planet.

My exhibit is titled “Luminous Places”, and includes images from wild places around the world. My photographs are large format color landscape images, some panoramas, beautifully printed on cotton rag paper. I have travelled the world in search of landscapes that are wild, spiritual and ancient, and that speak to me in an ineffable and timeless voice. These places connect me, with their compelling beauty, the deep silence, sweet scents, light and shadow, to a sense that god is present in nature, and that nature is a powerful and dominant force. My photographs include images of rare ecosystems on top of Mount Kenya, dreamtime rock art in remote Cape York, Australia, sunrise on the islands of the Sea of Cortez, shamanic petroglyphs in Wyoming, mists in the Hoh Rainforest, rainstorms over Canyonlands, Masai villages, and ancient granaries in the Grand Canyon.

I have been photographing for over 40 years, and studied photography at the University of Colorado. My work has been exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows, including at Porter Phelps Huntington House Museum, Greenfield Community College, the Vermont Center for Photography, Franklin County Arts Council, Northampton Center for the Arts, University of Nebraska, Greentrees Gallery, University of Colorado, Alfredo’s Photographic Gallery and other galleries.

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton MA 01060
413-587-1011 x 4529

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