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.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

KidsBestFest 2019: A Film Festival for Kids and Their Adults

Poster Design by James Hindle

Winter School Break: Monday February 18th, 2019 - Friday February 22nd, 2019
Film Screenings start at 11:00 AM // Doors Open at 10:30 AM
Academy of Music Theatre274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

KidsBestFest is a film 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 Monday February 18th at 11:00am with one screening of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, followed on Tuesday the 19th with one screening of Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver at 11:00am, on Wednesday the 20th we will show Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) at 11:00am, Thursday the 21st is Lu Over the Wall, and we will wrap up the film festival on Friday February 22nd with one showing of Kubo and the Two Strings.

How Much?
FREE, donations encouraged.

Film Schedule?
Monday, February 18: The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (2017, Recommended Audience: Age 3+, English Dubbed (French), 80 Minutes, Animated)

Watch Trailer Here

From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated Ernest & Celestine comes another hilarious, heartwarming tale of animal misfits destined to become a classic. The countryside isn’t always as calm and peaceful as it’s made out to be, and the animals on this farm are particularly agitated: a fox who mothers a family of chicks, a rabbit who plays the stork, and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus. If you think life in the country is a walk in the park, think again! Directors Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert adapt Renner’s own acclaimed graphic novel into a delirious, delightful triptych of interlocking stories, with a pacing and visual spontaneity that harkens back to classic Looney Tunes shorts and slapstick two-reelers. But underneath the gags (and there are plenty of them), the three stories offer a sensitive and beautiful portrayal of family and the anxieties of modern life.

Tuesday, February 19Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (2019, Family Film, German with English Subtitles, 105 Minutes, Live Action)

Watch Trailer Here

Based on the bestselling novel by Michael Ende (The Neverending Story), this epic fantasy adventure follows a young orphan boy JIM BUTTON, his best friend LUKE and a magical steam engine called EMMA as they travel across the world in search of the truth about where Jim came from. Battling pirates and dragons, outsmarting make-believe giants, they must travel through the Forest of a Thousand Wonders, beyond the End of the World to find the hidden Dragon City.

Wednesday, February 20: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, Rated G, English, 98 minutes, Live action)

Watch Trailer Here                                                                                                                                                                                  A poor little boy wins a ticket to visit the inside of a mysterious and magical chocolate factory in his town. When he experiences the wonders inside the factory, the boy discovers that the entire visit is a test of his character, with a marvelous reward if he passes muster.

Thursday, February 21Lu Over the Wall (2017, Recommended Audience: Age 8+, English Dubbed (Japanese), 107 Minutes, Animated)

Watch Trailer Here

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame. Kai is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. His only joy is uploading songs he writes to the internet. When his classmates invite him to play keyboard in their band, their practice sessions bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose fins turn to feet when she hears the beats, and whose singing causes humans to compulsively dance – whether they want to or not.

As Kai spends more time with Lu, he finds he is able to tell her what he is really thinking, and a bond begins to form. But since ancient times, the people in the village have believed that mermaids bring disaster and soon there is trouble between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger.  Winner of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival and an official selection of Sundance 2018, Lu Over the Wall is a toe-tapping, feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.

Friday, February 22Kubo and the Two Strings (2016, Rated PG, English, 101 Minutes, Stop Motion Animation)

Watch Trailer Here

A young Japanese boy embarks on a journey to learn the truth about his missing father. Along the way, he battles the vengeful Moon King and two evil twin sisters with his shamisen, a magical stringed instrument.

Event Sponsored by?
KidsBestFest 2019 Headline Sponsors: A2Z Science & Learning Store, Greenfield Savings Bank, National Grid

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Northampton Jazz Workshop Features NYC tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart

WHAT: Northampton Jazz Workshop Features NYC tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart
WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 22nd from 7:30 to 8:30
WHERE: City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA

NYC saxophonist Grant Stewart will be the guest soloist with the Green Street Trio along with Claire Arenius filling the drum chair. One of my favorite interpreters of the American Songbook, Grant has a big, beautiful sound and a magical way of making those great melodies come to life. Grant is one our regulars dating back to 2010 and it's always a special treat.

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

Upcoming Guest Artists: 
1/29 - Kris Allen on alto with Ben Bilello on drums
2/5  -  Michael Zsoldos on saxes
2/12 - Don Braden on sax and flute with Steve Johns on drums
2/19 - The Green Street Quintet
2/26 - Dominique Eade on vocals

For photos and videos of past NJW shows and related news, events and buzz, please see (and Like us) on FB at: 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Federal Shutdown Halts Some Environmental Conservation Efforts, Slows Others and More

Federal Shutdown Halts Some Environmental Conservation Efforts, Slows Others
Federal researchers in western Massachusetts study ways to protect migrating fish, backyard birds and urban trees. The government shutdown is keeping them home and away from their research.The researchers work for agencies like the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Learn More

An Exuberant Lamont: 'I'm Happy To Join The Governors' Club'
Edward Miner Lamont Jr., an unlikely Democratic standard bearer as a wealthy Greenwich businessman whose family tree includes titans of Wall Street and a left-wing philosopher, took office Wednesday as the 89th governor of Connecticut, a state buoyed by great wealth and burdened by decades of fiscal mismanagement.
Learn More

How Climate Change Is Affecting New England, And What's Yet To Come
Climate change is expected to hit the Northeast pretty hard, affecting crops, ski resorts and fisheries on the coast. Here are some of our latest New England reports on climate change -- from inland floods in New Hampshire, to a Connecticut forest, to a salt marsh north of Boston where there's an invasive plant that just won't quit.
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New Springfield City Council President Renews Call For Change At The Police Department
The new city council president in Springfield, Massachusetts, says he'll continue to push for change at the police department. In recent months, one Springfield police officer has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two others with unreasonable force. The department's narcotics unit is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department to see if a pattern of excessive force exists.
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Duke Ellington's Azure
"My brother David, who lives in Paris, took this photograph during a trip he made to Sardinia after Christmas," says Jazz à la Mode host Tom Reney. "His email subject line read "Azure," which immediately brought to mind Duke Ellington's song of that name." Read Tom's recent blog post on the impact of color, most notably blue, on Duke Ellington.
Learn More

ON THE EXHALE by Martin Zimmerman

WHAT: ON THE EXHALE by Martin Zimmerman
WHEN: Sunday Matinee, February 10, at 2:30pm (*with post show discussion) and Monday February 11 at 7:30pm
WHERE: A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA

Part of our ongoing initiative
Conversations for Our Times- A World in Progress Through Theatre
A conversation centered around current gun violence in America. Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents: Staged Reading of compelling new script discovered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August

Performed by Serious Play alumna, Elizabeth Solomon
Directed by Sheryl Stoodley, Artistic Director

*Post Show Discussion: following Sunday Feb 10, 2:30 staged reading led by Boston University Dept. of Medicine’s Dr. Bindu Kalesan

Tickets: $20 General, $18 Students / $24 at the door
Performances for 14 yrs.& up
Available starting Jan 11 at
Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating
Box Office opens half hour before staged reading at A.P.E Gallery

Contact: Sheryl Stoodley for more information
Call (413) 588-7439 or email

About the Play: After a devastating school shooting, a mother develops an obsession that begins to take over her entire existence.
“A startlingly original, and visceral examination of American gun violence.” NY Times)
Play written in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.

There have been 1,300 school shooting incidents in USA since 1970.
In 2018, there were 82 school shooting incidents in the USA, the highest there have
ever been since 1970.
2018 was the highest year for the number of victims killed, including the shooter,
with 51 killed. --- Facts from Center for Homeland Defense & Security

Elizabeth Solomon is a writer, creator, business owner, living in Florence MA, who performed with Serious Play Theatre Ensemble in the early years when Serious Play was first part of the A.P.E Artist Associates on the third floor art space of Thornes Marketplace with Gordon Thorne & Lisa Thompson. Not only did her time in the Serious Play Ensemble transform her adolescence, but it shaped the trajectory of her life. Driven by a lifelong interest in systems, psychology and communication, Elizabeth has put storytelling and human connection at the foundation of her career. Serious Play welcomes her back to share this important staged reading with our Valley community.

Dr. Bindu Kalesan, MPH, PhD/ Post Show Discussion Leader is a clinical epidemiologist and a biostatistician at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Kalesan is interested in clinical and health outcomes research. Her work primarily explores cardiovascular and other long-term consequences in patients undergoing treatment for cardiac diseases, cancer, infectious and trauma. She also focuses on public health consequences of firearm violence in the US and the short- and long-term effects of firearm injury survivorship. Currently she is a faculty and the Director of Center for Clinical Translational Epidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research, department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Kalesan received her PhD in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics from University of Bern, master’s degree in public health and another in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Christian Medical College, India.

*Serious Play Artistic Director and Managing Director will join Dr. Bindu Kalesan and Bill
Newman on WHMP’s Bill Newman Show, this Jan 31, 9am, to discuss the issue of gun violence and survivorship in America and the play.

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble works toward reshaping society’s conversation on prominent social issues through the art of ensemble theatre.

Join Serious Play for this staged reading and the important Sunday Feb 10, post-show discussion.

Elizabeth Solomon- photo by Luke Johnson

Dr. Bindu Kalesan

Come Celebrate 10,000 Square Feet of Innovation Awesomeness!

WHAT: Western Mass Annual State of Entrepreneurship & Grand Opening of VVM's Valley Venture Hub
WHEN: Thursday, February 7, 4:30 Registration // 5:30 Formal Program // 6:30 Celebration
WHERE: 276 Bridge Street, Springfield, MA

The Western MA EDC Entrepreneurship Committee and Valley Venture Mentors are joining forces to showcase this year’s State of Entrepreneurship in Western Massachusetts and proudly celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Valley Venture Hub space. Join us to learn more about the progress we have made as a region to support entrepreneurs right here in the Valley and help our special guests cut the ribbon at VVM’s  new co working and innovation space!  The Hub will house startups and innovators coworking, mentorship, live events, meetups and workshops.  Parking is available on street or in nearby garages. Join us as we toast the community and learn more about how our entrepreneurial ecosystem supports new businesses, presented by some of our favorite Western MA startups and plans on the horizon for 2019!

(To Register…Please click above on RSVP by February 1. 2019)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Academy of Music Theatre presents Everybody’s Talking About Jamie filmed live from the Apollo Theatre in London

WHAT: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie filmed live from the Apollo Theatre in London
WHEN: Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm // Doors at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St, Northampton, MA

The Academy of Music Theatre presents a screening of the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie filmed live from the Apollo Theatre in London.

Inspired by a true story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the new award-winning five-star hit musical for today. Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. He is going to be a sensation.  Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

John McCrea, Josie Walker, Tamsin Carroll, Shobna Gulati, Lucie Shorthouse and Phil Nichol lead a twenty-four strong company and an eight-piece band that will ‘sweep you away on a tide of mischief, warmth and exuberance’ (Financial Times). With ‘songs that have the wow factor’ (The Times) by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and ‘hilarious’ book and lyrics ‘with delightful punch’ (Whatsonstage), by writer Tom MacRae, this funny, fabulous, feel-good, musical sensation has been thrilling audiences and critics alike.  Winner of 3 WhatsOnStage Awards including Best New Musical and nominated for 5 Olivier Awards.

‘This fizzing musical is a blast of fresh air. The songs have the wow factor.’ – The New York Times

‘A joyous punch in the air about following your dreams and being yourself’ – Time Out

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:
$7 (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)

Online Tickets:

Emily Curro, Development and Marketing Manager
413-584-9032 ext.101

Art for the Soul Gallery: Calling All Artists!

Art for the Soul Gallery is well on it's way to opening the doors for the Emerging Artists Program. The program is meant for artists of all ages, and art of all mediums. We are looking for artists who, though not yet established in their field, are committed to doing the work to jump start their career.

Interested? Know someone who might be interested? Fill out the applicant form in the link below, or share the link.

Emerging Artist Applicant Form

Let's get some fresh voices represented in the art community!

And yes, really art of all forms. Visual, theatre, poetry, etc.

More details to come!

Questions? Contact Art for the Soul Gallery at (413)301-6314

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