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, May 20, 2020

Easthampton City Arts (ECA) Artist Grants Initiative

ECA Artist Grants Initiative
Supporting Our Artists While Cultivating Community

Easthampton City Arts (ECA) is deeply committed to our community of artists and we are actively invested in the meaning, value, and impact that arts and culture have here in Easthampton and throughout our region. For 15 years, ECA has served our community in receptive, responsive, and innovative ways and in accordance with the evolving needs of our public. Within the context of this time of pandemic, we recognize that our community of artists is more economically vulnerable than ever before and that the financial circumstances that individuals are facing are broad, complex, and diverse.

In the spirit of our ongoing commitment to our artists and our community, we are pleased to announce Easthampton City Arts Artist Grants Initiative. This first-of-its-kind program at ECA will provide grants to individual artists in exchange for an event, workshop, or other arts-based activity — presented through a virtual platform — that serves to engage others and inspire community. This particular approach serves to activate our new, shared virtual platforms during this time of social distancing with the visual arts, poetry, music, performance, and educational opportunities that we all value and appreciate so much.

ECA extends our immense gratitude to all the dedicated individuals, local businesses, and community organizations that have contributed throughout the years to creating our community of arts and culture that we all hold dear. Creating this grants program is rooted in this longstanding foundation – and is an opportunity for ECA to join the larger ecosystem of artist relief efforts to help provide some assistance as we all work together to navigate this unprecedented time. We also acknowledge Mayor Nicole LaChapelle for her leadership, guidance, and support as we worked to develop the ECA Artist Grants Initiative.


Northampton Open Media: Focus Locus Double Feature Tonight

WHAT: The All New Focus Locus: Double Feature
WHEN: Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm

Focus Locus is back online! Focus Locus is an interactive streaming event for emerging moving image and media makers.

Join us this Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm for a live stream double feature of two past grant films:

Shelf Life (Liz Walber)

the stuff of your nightmares...a night you've always dreamed of (Clara Gainer & Thea Cohen)

Join us on

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

New Grants for Valley Artists from MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists and the Community Foundation of Western Mass

MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists is partnering with the Community Foundation of Western Mass for an amazing Rapid Relief Working Capital Grant for artists in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties! You get $1,000 + a bunch of professional in-kind support and educational opportunities. If you have already received a $1,000 mini-grant from CFWM’s ValleyCreates initiative, you’re unfortunately not eligible for this opportunity, but please share with others who might be.

We’ve also announced even MORE workshops specifically for Valley artists (with yet more to come). This includes one webinar about grant-writing in Spanish with Yara Liceaga. Please share all of these opportunities with your friends and colleagues.

Info on all of this is available here:

Friday, May 15, 2020

Love’s In Need Of Love Today | a multitrack extravaganza

Love's In Need Of Love Today | a multitrack extravaganza from Luke Jaeger on Vimeo.

In May of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 60 Pioneer Valley musicians came together to record a Stevie Wonder song of hope in an effort to bring attention to the plight of their fellow artists and a fund started by the Northampton Arts Council, where you can donate and help. We worked on our phones, home studio equipment and even voicemail. This is what we made ❤

Donate to Northampton Arts Council's COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund:

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Forbes Library - We're in This Together: The Library is Here with You!

We're in This Together:
The Library is Here with You!

Although our building is closed, library staff are actively working to connect our community with needed resources for learning, entertainment, relaxation, and more.

Free ebooks, magazines, audiobooks, movies & music via, or

Free wifi on library grounds--no password needed!

Virtual storytimes on Facebook, tech support, and book chats

Answering your questions by voicemail, email and text
Sign up for a library card online!
Sign up for our weekly newsletters.

What do you need from us now?
Please tell us:

We've missed seeing you in person! We know that this has been a challenging couple of months and will continue to be so for many of us. We're curious what would be meaningful and/or helpful to you.

Please reach out -- We look forward to helping you.

Connect with us via email, phone, text message, or via social media:
413-587-1011 (phone)
413-570-0444 (text)

Forbes Library
20 West St
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060


City of Northampton Releases $125,000 in Emergency Business Grants

For Immediate Release – May 12, 2020

City of Northampton Releases $125,000 in Emergency Business Grants

NORTHAMPTON - Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced today that the city is providing $125,000 in emergency business grants to 23 Northampton businesses that are pivoting to address the economic challenges of COVID-19. All of the funding comes from the city’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation.

“Even as we work to keep our community safe from COVID-19, we need to support our small businesses during this incredibly challenging time,” said Mayor Narkewicz. “I’m proud of our collaboration with Valley CDC to issue these emergency grants. It is only a first step, however, as the need is far greater than our limited CDBG funds could address. We are working to secure additional state and federal resources to hopefully expand the program.”

Mayor Narkewicz announced the grant program April 6, 2020, as part of the budget for $1.2 million in CDBG funds. These grants fulfill that promise. Grants are being made to local businesses as diverse as Dobra Tea, Strada shoes, Mill River Music, Coop Power, Jake’s Restaurant, and 18 other Northampton businesses.

Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning and Sustainability added, “I wish we could do so much more, but I am in awe of and inspired by the dedication of our local businesses. I will pay them back by shopping in our community whenever I can.”

"While listening to you… and my fellow business owners discuss a pivot, I stopped mourning what was gone. I started turning my energy towards what lay ahead,” said Anna Bowen, owner of Strada. “Since receiving the good news last week… [we] launched an ecommerce site and we have already made a few sales. Virtual shopping can't recreate the feeling of personal connection we strive towards, but it is a big beautiful step towards making sure we're still relevant when we reopen to the public.”

Allissa Jukiro, co-owner of Dobrá Tea, said simply, “When I got the email yesterday I literally burst into tears. Thank you. Thank you so much.”

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or

Back to The Bay State LIVE: Online Film Premiere

Join us on Friday, May 22nd at 7:00 PM for an online premiere of the full length concert film Back To The Bay State. Filmed live on Sunday February 23, 2020 at the Academy of Music Theatre Northampton, Massachusetts. The event and film are co-presented by the Northampton Arts Council, Northampton Open Media, Forbes Library and the Bay State Hotel Music History Archive. The broadcast will take place on the Northampton Arts Council Facebook Page with simultaneous streams on the Forbes Library Youtube Live Feed and the Northampton Open Media stream. Watching all of the streams will be free, but we will encourage donations to the Northampton Arts Council.

The concert film features performances and stories from legendary Bay State era musicians paired with archived audio/video excerpts, all on the Academy of Music stage. See footage from classic concerts, and a firsthand look at interviews and stories from the upcoming Bay State Hotel Documentary.

Performers include Mark Mulcahy, The Maggies, Steve Westfield, Lou Barlow, Aloha Steamtrain, Flower Thief, Mike Flood, Gobblehoof, Drunk Stuntmen, Spouse, The Lonesome Brothers, Matt Hebert, The Unband, The Figments, The Big Bad Bollocks, and more!

Please make sure to plug your audio into a set of speakers in order to hear the full spectrum of high-quality, multi-tracked sound engineered by the one and only Dan Richardson. Special thanks as well to David Newland of Northampton Open Media for his expert editing skills, cutting our lengthy live show into this feature presentation.

The Bay State Hotel 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 early 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 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine joined local bands to play in a unique and intimate setting.

Join us for this film premiere highlighting stories and songs from an influential era in the history of Northampton's music scene. The concert film provides 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 celebrates, saves and preserves memories from the landmark venue at a critical period in Northampton’s musical history. If you did not make it to the concert in person back in February, now’s your chance to witness the magic.

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