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 First Night, Summer Concert Series, Transperformance and Silver Chord Bowl, and advocating on behalf of the arts community.

Founded in 1980, the Northampton Arts Council has an all-volunteer board, and staff, consisting of a director, a part-time events producer, one seasonal assistant producer, and one student intern from Smith College. Each fall, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, allocates money to all of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns through 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs), of which the Northampton Arts Council is one, in support of community arts activities. This is the largest decentralized program of its kind in the United States.

In addition to administering the LCC program, The Northampton Arts Council was the first cultural council in the Commonwealth to raise money for a second round of funding every spring, with only a few other LCC's following our lead. The ArtsEZ Spring Grant round is made possible by two major fundraising events produced by the Northampton Arts Council; first, Transperformance, an end-of-summer music festival at Look Park held every August, and second, the Silver Chord Bowl. In addition to grant programs, the Northampton Arts Council helps to program arts enrichment programs in the public schools, initiates public art projects and advocates for the arts in the city. We also produce or help produce many other events in Northampton including but not limited to Northampton Summer Concert Series, RETROFAIRE, Cinema Northampton, Bi-ennial Exhibit at Forbes Library, Northampton Film Festival, Northampton Print and Book Fair, and First Night.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RETROFAIRE Open-Air Market 2017

RETROFaire Open-Air Market

What: RETROFAIRE Open-Air Market with live vinyl DJ sets
When: Saturday September 9th from 10:30am-6:00pm
Where: Behind Thornes Marketplace, Armory Street Parking Lot.
1 Kirkland Ave, Northampton, MA

Facebook Event

The Northampton Arts Council invites you to the fourth annual RETROFAIRE Open-Air Market on Saturday, September 9.

RETROFAIRE features a bounty of vintage fashion, unique reclaimed and re-purposed jewelry & design, as well as hard-to find music gear and vinyl records. Come check out collections from local and regional vendors selling the finest vintage fashions, the freshest records and unique reclaimed & re-purposed designs.

Why not spend the day supporting art, buying art and wearing art, all while listening to djays play great records and enjoying the savory smell of fine foods wafting in the background.

Come to RETROFAIRE Open-Air Market and enjoy the search for hidden treasures.

All proceeds benefit the Northampton Arts Council’s BJ Goodwin Grant. A grant designed to provide direct assistance to a Northampton-based artist, writer or arts organization in recognition of exceptional work and to support the further development of artistic talents.

For more info visit:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Eighth Annual Chalk Art Festival Enhances Vibrancy of Downtown Northampton

“Arts Night Out” welcomes a record number of talented artists to create colorful masterpieces in chalk on the sidewalks of 13 (or more!) downtown sites during the eighth annual Northampton Chalk Art Festival on Friday, September 8. The competitive event kicks off a festive weekend that includes the Northampton Arts Council’s RETROFAIRE on Saturday, September 9.

Drawing takes place from 10 am until 4 pm on Friday. The public is encouraged to watch chalk art pieces develop and to view completed work in the evening while enjoying Northampton’s monthly gallery walk 5-8 pm. Cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 will be awarded by a panel of judges for the top three creations. Presentations are made by the Mayor on the steps of City Hall at 5 pm.

The public is also invited to an informal family free draw 5-7 pm. Participants will be asked to help “decorate” the RETROFAIRE site located in the area between Thornes Marketplace and the city parking garage. Plenty of sidewalk chalk will be on hand for anyone who wants to take part in the activity.

Individual chalk artists for 2017 feature former prize winners and seasoned competitors Linda Babcock, Jennifer Gutterman, Robert Markey, Chrissy Neithercott, and Sloan Tomlinson. They are joined by round-two veterans Erin Cleary, Jim DuBois, Rob Kimmel, and Sanket Sabnis. Team Bodalimadriguez, aka Stephanie Gerolimatos, Mark Bodah and Matt Rodriguez make a record-breaking 8th appearance! New to the event are artists Lauren Anderson, Corinne Cacioppo, and Nicole Singer.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Zea Mays Printmaking Residency Openings

Zea Mays Printmaking
320 Riverside Dr, Florence, MA

We still have some openings for Fall - Winter 2017-18 Residencies and we're expediting applications! Apply now and receive an answer within a week.

Full Residency - including private studio and on-site accommodations
December 4-17, 2017
January 2-14, 2018
January 30 - February 11, 2018
February 13 -25, 2018

Mini-Residency - 6 days in the members' studio with on-site accommodations
September 19-24, 2017
December 5-10, 2017
January 9-14, 2018
February 6-11, 2018
February 20-25, 2018

You can do a residency at Zea Mays Printmaking in two ways -

A Full residency includes a private studio with our largest press (Takach 40" x 72" etching press), access to all of our etching, photopolymer, screen printing and monotype facilities and equipment and accommodations in our lovely on-site apartment. Price is $1500 for 2 weeks.

A mini-residency brings you into our members' studio where you get two work tables and share a press with our members. Mini-residencies are 6 days long and include access to the studio and all of the facilities and equipment during open hours, plus accommodations in the on-site apartment. Price is $600 for 6 days.

Read more about both types of residencies and apply!

STUDIO4 Fall Season Announcement


STUDIO FOR movement, music, art, film, STUDIO FOR performance, STUDIO FOR you!

STUDIO4, the vibrant community arts space located in the heart of downtown Northampton is proud to announce a packed season of DANCE, MUSIC, FILM and THEATER programs for all ages. STUDIO4 Fall 2017 programming launches some new series: SATURDOOZY- a kid’s night out on the 3rd Saturday of each month starting September 16th, COLLIDER- People STUDIO4 continues with dynamic interdisciplinary performance series that include HUT- 3 artists, 3 genres, 3 short sets on Saturday Oct 7th at 8 PM, and A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP- an experimental film series on Saturday Sept 22 at 8 PM. Tickets and details at Or at 413 570 4491.

STUDIO4 is the home to THE SCHOOL FOR CONTEMPORARY DANCE AND THOUGHT (SCDT) that offers movement classes for youth and adults, showcasing the teen dance company who recently performed at Jacob’s Pillow, HATCHERY. SCDT hosts space for local performers in WIP works in progress performance series and presents international artists for the fall season including local choreographer Michelle Marroquin, Italian vocalist and performer Massimiliano Balduzzi, and San Francisco based performance activist: Taja Will.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Transperformance 2016 Documentary

Departure Reading Series #3 at A.P.E

Departure Reading Series #3
Thursday, August 17 at 8 pm.
A.P.E. Ltd - 126 Main Street Northampton, MA

Friends! Come to APE gallery on August 17th to witness the writerly work of:
April Grayce
Nico Gomez-Horton
John Goodhue
Maggie Foley

Expect an instruction at the door. For what? You'll have to come to find out, my curious ones. We promise it to be poetic & not embarrassing, unless you want it to be.

Molly McBride's wildcrafted teas will be there, & we will be accepting donations for the Prison Birth Project.

Departure Reading Series is a monthly series curated by Nellie Prior and G.D Harkavy. Each month will find us in a new container somewhere in Western Massachusetts as we attempt to challenge accepted conventions of poetry spaces.

This event is funded by the Northampton Arts Council.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Big Dance Theater’s CAGE SHUFFLE starring Paul Lazar

Big Dance Theater’s CAGE SHUFFLE starring Paul Lazar

One Night Only!
Monday, August 14, 2017
8:00pm (running time: 50 min.)
$10.00 - No Reservations - Tickets at the Door
A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery 126 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

In Cage Shuffle Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score Indeterminacy while simultaneously performing choreography by Annie-B Parson.
The stories are spoken in a random order with no predetermined relationship to the dancing. Chance serves up its startling blend of inevitable and uncanny connections between text and movement.


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