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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

March exhibits at the Hosmer Gallery

Emily Tareila: A Score For Possibility
Emily Tareila is an artist, educator and facilitator based in Goshen, Massachusetts. She engages in long-term, place-based practices that reflect her lived experience, often evidenced in cyanotype photography, natural inks and dyes, plants, and writing. Her work is absorbed in the following questions: how might we learn to better care for ourselves, other people and the planet? How might we tend, mend and sustain this care? How we can support one another in the practice of being in and a part of the earth?
Emily has participated in projects and exhibited with Southern Exposure, National Monument Press, Monterey Peninsula College, The Nook Gallery, The Kadist Foundation, California College of the Arts, Herter Gallery, Eggy Press, Two Plum Press, IPRC Portland, Little Paper Planes, SFMOMA and Jupiter Woods, among others. She is currently a graduate fellow with the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Amherst and a member of UMass' Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship. She received a BA from Bennington College and will complete her MFA in Studio Art at UMass-Amherst in May 2019.

Lou Peugh’s exhibit covers six years of her work in collage. “I started experimenting a bit on my own and wanted to learn more collage technique. When I took classes with Alexandra Sheldon, I was exposed to a whole new way to create art. Collage was freeing- I could be messy, casual, make mistakes and sometimes end up with an image I was happy with.” Lou’s background is in watercolor and oil painting.
“I have two distinct areas of interest- abstract color/ composition and the natural world.” The beauty of western Massachusetts inspires much of her work.

Lou works as an academic counselor at Greenfield Community College and does art in her free time. 

Bonnie Sennott: Abstract Embroidery
Bonnie Sennott, an artist and knitwear designer based in Amherst, is exhibiting abstract, improvisational embroideries. Among the works shown is her yearlong daily stitch journal, “A Year in Thread.” For 365 consecutive days, she stitched on linen with a color observed in nature in her backyard. Rooted in the natural world and seasons of western Massachusetts, each of the 12 “Year in Thread” pieces was begun on the first day of the month and ended on the last day. “Daily stitching is a form of meditation that can be practiced even on the busiest of days,” says Sennott. “Abstract embroidery appeals to me because it combines the linearity of drawing with the color and texture of painting.”
Sennott has shown her work locally in solo and group exhibitions at Northampton’s Center for the Arts, the Burnett Gallery/Jones Library in Amherst, Gallery A3, and Hope and Feathers Gallery. Her work has also been exhibited in shows at the Wistariahurst Museum, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, and the Fitchburg Art Museum. A former member of Kingston Gallery in Boston, she holds an MFA from the University of Chicago.


In collaboration with other local non-profits, Historic Northampton has arranged three terrific events for this week (Thursday - Saturday).

Here’s a summary of what we’ve got lined up: 

  • A repeat performance of John Sinton's terrific talk about how the Mill River shaped Northampton's history.  
  • A presentation by Allison Bell and Maida Goodwin that tells the extraordinary story of two amazing women naturalists, a week-long hike in the White Mountains in 1902, alpine ecology, conservation success, secret codes, Northampton and modern archival research. (* Full disclosure: After reading Bell & Goodwin's new book Glorious Mountain Days, I've already begun planning to repeat the 1902 hike next year.)
  • A film screening of An Art That Nature Makes: The Work of Rosamond Purcell, which will include the opportunity to meet Rosamond Purcell and the film’s producer & Northampton native Alan Edelstein. (*Second disclosure: Since seeing this film, I’ve never looked the same way at discarded objects left outdoors or museum artifacts. It's expanding and inspiring.)

It's a rich, full and special few days of programs.
I hope you’ll be able to join us for all of them.

Laurie Sanders, Co-Director

Limited seating.  Reservations strongly encouraged.


at SCDT and 33 Hawley Street.

Classes & Workshops:  See the weekly schedule HERE
February 21-23: Historic Northampton: 3 Programs:  HERE

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.

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.


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

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 for online ticket purchases.

Emily Curro, Development and Marketing Manager
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 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!

Connect & Follow

Artist News

    Council News

      Blog Archive

      Search This Blog