Northampton Arts Council

The Northampton Arts Council is a city board and a non-profit 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.


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 Transperformance and Four Sundays in February, and advocating on behalf of the arts community.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

10 Reasons to Support the Arts

1. Arts promote true prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.
2. Arts improve academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates—benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points higher on the verbal and math portions of their SATs than students with just one-half year of arts or music.
3. Arts strengthen the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $699 billion industry, which represents 4.3 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences) that supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
4. Arts are good for local merchants. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.
5. Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown steadily since 2003 (18 to 28 percent). The share attending concerts and theater performances has grown from 14 to 18 percent since 2003.
6. Arts are an export industry. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) grew to $75 billion in 2012, while imports were just $27 billion—a $47 billion arts trade surplus.
7. Arts spark creativity and innovation. The Conference Board reports that creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree. Their Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd” Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than average scientists.
8. Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. The arts are used by the U.S. Military to promote troop force and family readiness, resilience, retention and for the successful reintegration of veterans into family and community life.
9. Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
10. Arts mean business. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2015 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 702,771 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people—representing 3.9 percent of all businesses and 1.9 percent of all employees.


BJ Goodwin Award Recipient Jake Meginsky in Europe

Northampton-based sound artist and 2016 BJ Goodwin Award recipient Jake Meginsky performed throughout Europe this past month as a featured soloist at the Click Festival in Denmark as well as in a residency at the EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm, Sweden.

Northampton Jazz Workshop features vibraphonist Jay Hoggerd

Northampton Jazz Workshop features guest vibraphonist Jay Hoggerd on Tuesday, May 31st, 7:30 to 8:30 PM followed by an open jazz jam until 10:30 PM at the The City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A.P.E. Weekly

This Week at A.P.E.
One Night Only!

Hilltown 6: Extraordinary Clay

More info: 

Jan Ruby-Crystal "Toys: Yesterday and Today"

Jan Ruby-Crystal 
Yesterday and Today

Jan Ruby Crystal, Iza and Lucy In the Bath, 2016. 
(Handmade paper, fabric and water soluble oil paint  26 x 20.5")
Yesterday and Today
Jan Ruby-Crystal
Jan Ruby-Crystal has engaged in her childhood memories and her experiences as a teacher, parent and grandparent for this artistic journey interweaving Historic Northampton's collection and her own joyful imagination.
Jan Ruby-Crystal responds to toys from the Historic Northampton's ollection through oils, watercolor, charcoal and handmade paper. She has observed and photographed children at play, stepping back in time to her own childhood. "The spirit of play is not necessarily tied to one material, toy or timeframe, but can be experienced in a multitude of ways throughout our lives," she says. "With that in mind, I decided I would make my artwork or this exhibition into an exemplar of play. I opened myself up to working in as many materials and styles as I chose, opening the doors of possibility, just as play does."
Jan Ruby-Crystal is a Faculty Emerita of The State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania, where she was a professor of Art and Design at Shippensburg University. Since moving to the Pioneer Valley in 2013, she has been teaching art classes at the Smith Campus School, at her studio in Northampton, at Arcadia, as well as developing Arcadia's Art House and exhibiting her art throughout the Valley and New York City. She is the 2016 recipient of the Outer Cape Artists Residency in painting.

Architectural blocks, from the collection of
Historic Northampton

Opening Reception:  
Friday, June 10, 5-8:00 pm (Arts Night Out), with a performance by the A2Z Yo-Yo team

Panel Discussion on Creative Play:
Sunday, June 12, 2016, 2:00 pm 
Do today's toys develop lasting creative and social skills in our children? 


The Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton program is supported by a generous grant from the Art Angels Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
Opening Reception
Friday, June 10th
Arts Night Out
5 to 8 pm
Exhibition Dates
June 10 - July 2, 2016
Exhibition Hours
Wednesday - Saturday
   10 am to 4 pm
   12 noon to 5 pm

Infinite Possibilities, (inspired by a photograph by Dan LIttle), 2016.
(Water soluble oil paintArches paper, handmade paper legos,  30 x 23")
Jan Ruby-Crystal, 2016 (Photo by Ellen Augarten) 

Panel Discussion on Creative Play:
Do today's toys develop lasting creative and social skills in our children? 
Sunday, June 12, 2016, 2 pm

Free and open to the public  

Contemporary Art at 
Historic Northampton

A partnership of Historic Northampton, Northampton Center for the Arts and A.P.E. Gallery to exhibit the work of local artists who draw on Northampton history for theme or inspiration.

Historic Northampton
46 Bridge Street
Northampton, MA

Monday, May 23, 2016

Swamp Donkey Speakeasy

Swamp Donkey Speakeasy

Doors open at 5PM and the show begins at 7PM on both Thursday, May 26th and Friday, May 27th at the New City Brewery, 180 Pleasant Street in Easthampton. Visit for more information.

“Young devotees whose balance of spunk and funk keeps the heart of traditional jazz beating.”  ~ The New Yorker

On May 26th, the spirit of New Orleans will blow in from the south and take the Valley by storm. If you’ve ever set foot on Frenchman Street after dark, you know what I’m talking about; that foot-stomping, hip-shaking, musical vitality that seems to emanate from the cobblestone streets of the Crescent City.

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