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.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Presidential Book Club Discussion of “Abigail & John: Portrait of the Marriage” by Edith B. Gelles

WHAT: Discuss “Abigail & John: Portrait of the Marriage” by Edith B. Gelles
WHEN: Monday April 29th, 7:30pm
WHERE: Calvin Coolidge Reading Room, Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton, MA

The Presidential Book Club of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum is off to a roaring start! After a robust discussion of George Washington and slavery, the subject covered in Henry Wiencek’s “An Imperfect God,” the club turns to the John Adams presidency and one of the most historically consequential marriages in presidential history.

On Monday April 29th, the Presidential Book Club will discuss “Abigail & John: Portrait of the Marriage” by Edith B. Gelles. The club will meet at 7:30 PM in the museum, which is located on the second floor of Forbes Library. Copies of the book are available at Forbes Library.

John Adams played a critical role in establishing American independence, and as president, he is most celebrated for courageously averted war with France. Abigail Adams is most known for her attempt to inject feminism into the 1776 Continental Congress, urging John to “remember the ladies.” How did John Adams shape America’s early years, and how influential was Abigail behind the scenes? We will explore these questions and more.

Every book club meeting will be free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to read as much of the featured book as they can, but anyone is welcome to attend and take part in the book club discussion. Meetings will take place every other month.

Area residents interested in the learning more about the new Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum Standing Committee are encouraged to contact Julie Bartlett Nelson at or 413-587-1014

Melody Fader, Pianist, in Concert

WHAT: Melody Fader, Pianist, in Concert
WHEN: April 14, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St., Northampton, MA 01601


Contact: Larry Fader (413) 397-3553; or Kelly Silliman,

New York City-based pianist Melody Fader, a native of Bloomfield, CT, returns to the Valley on April 14th to perform a 2:00 p.m. concert at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St. The New York Times calls her work “sumptuous,” “stirring,” “masterful” and has commented that she “plays with elegance.”

Ms. Fader will be performing music by Chopin, Bach, Schubert, Mazzoli, and Debussy. Tickets are $15 ($10 for seniors 60 and over) and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets: or at the door, one half hour before the performance. A reception will follow, and the Center has abundant free parking.

Melody Fader enjoys a busy career as piano soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist and interdisciplinary collaborative artist in New York City. She has performed in New York venues such as Alice Tully Hall, The Joyce Theater, The New York Times Center and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, as well as on tour nationally and abroad. Ms. Fader holds a BM degree from the Eastman School and an MM from Juilliard, where she was a student of Margo Garrett, former chair of the collaborative piano department.

Northampton Jazz Festival Featuring saxophone and flutist Erik Lawrence

WHAT: Northampton Jazz Festival Featuring saxophone and flutist Erik Lawrence
WHEN: Tuesday, April 2nd from 7:30 to 8:30 followed by the open jazz jam session
WHERE: City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA

It's always a treat to play with Erik. He is a wonderful improviser with a great sound on all his instruments and full of surprises. He is also very eclectic, having worked not only with many of the jazz greats but also for many years with the Levon Helm Band animist recently touring regularly with the band Little Feat. And, as I have said many times before, when Erik leads the band we also seem to go to some transcendent place, a rich and fulfilling place for sure.

Joining us on drums will be Erik's good friend Bob Weiner, a master of texture and space, not to mention swing, funk, Caribbean, Brazilian... It's going to be a blast so I hope you can join us for a fun night and perhaps stick around for the jam session as well.

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

Also of Interest:
1. The Vermont Jazz Center presents Helen Sung's "Sung with Words" on Saturday March 30, 2019 at 8 PM. This is a rescheduling of a show that was snow postponed in January.

Upcoming Guest Artists:
4/2  -  Erik Lawrence on sax and flute with Bob Weiner on drums
4/9   - Bennie Wallace on tenor with Bill Goodwin on drums
4/16 - Claire Daly on baritone sax
4/23 - Hendrik Meurkens on harmonica
4/30 - Stacy Dillard on saxes

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

Announcing the 2019 Juniper Literary Festival

WHAT: The 2019 Juniper Literary Festival
WHEN: April 12-13, 2019
WHERE: UMass Amherst campus

We invite you to join us for the Juniper Literary Festival, held  April 12-13, 2019 on the UMass Amherst campus.

All readings and panel discussions, as well as the literary arts fair, are free, accessible, and open to the public!

The festival will also include a literary arts fair featuring pop-up readings, professional development opportunities for students with agents and editors, and information about internships with a variety of journals and small presses!

The fair will open 10:00am Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Exhibitors include:

Juniper Summer Institute
Fence Magazine
Massachusetts Review
Rescue Press

...and more!

Featured Readings:

 Horacio Castellanos Moya:
April 12, Old Chapel, 7pm

HORACIO CASTELLANOS MOYA is a writer and a journalist from El Salvador. He has published twelve novels, five short story collections, two essay books, and a diary. His novels have been translated into thirteen languages; six of them (Senselessness, The She-Devil in the mirror, Dance with Snakes, Tyrant memory, Revulsion and The Dream of My Return) are available in English. He was granted residencies in a program supported by the Frankfurt International Book Fair (2004-2006) and in the City of Asylum program in Pittsburgh (2006-2008). In 2009, he was guest researcher at the University of Tokyo with a fellowship granted by the Japan Foundation. The Government of Chile awarded him the Manuel Rojas Iberoamerican Prize for Fiction 2014, for his body of work. As a journalist, he was editor of news agencies, magazines and newspapers in Mexico, Guatemala and his own country for two decades. Currently he is associate professor in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.

Danez Smith:
April 13, Old Chapel, 7pm

DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award; they also wrote [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020. 

For the first time, a Reading by 5 College Writers:
April 13, 1pm, South College

SAMUEL ACE is a trans and genderqueer poet and sound artist. He has published several collections of poems, including Stealth, a collaborative work written with Maureen Seaton.
POLINA BARSKOVA has authored eight books of poetry and one book of prose in Russian. Three books of her poetry in English translation were published recently: This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press), Zoo in Winter (Melville House Press), Relocations (Zephyr Press).
ARDA COLLINS is the author of a collection of poems, It Is Daylight (2009), which was awarded the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize.
NOY HOLLAND is the recipient of the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
SHAYLA LAWSON is the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook PANTONE and I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean.

Reading by UMass Alumni:
April 13, 4pm, Old Chapel

Hannah Brooks-Motl is the author of the poetry collections The New Years (Rescue Press, 2014), M (Song Cave, 2015), and EARTH (Song Cave, 2019). She teaches at
Andrea Lawlor is the author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards.
Arisa White is the author of Perfect on Accident, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, Black Pearl, Post Pardon, A Penny Saved, and Hurrah's Nest.
Jung Yun is the author of Shelter, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.

To learn more about the Juniper Literary Festival visit us at

Directions & Parking

Request for Art Proposals: Temporary Public Art Installation

Attention Western MA artists,

HCG is accepting proposals from artists in Western Massachusetts for the temporary placement of a public art banner on the Old Courthouse site, 99 Main Street, Northampton, during the months of April, 2019, through July/August, 2019. The artwork will hang on high visibility scaffolding surrounding the Main Street entrance to the Courthouse.

 The project is contingent upon HCG receiving sponsorship equal to the cost of the project. HCG will cover the costs of printing and installing the banner. HCG is seeking a digital file of printable art of sufficient size and resolution to cover 50h x 40w feet.

For more information see enclosed or click here:

Upcoming Art Classes at Northampton Center for the Arts

Happy Spring! Join local teaching artists for new art classes at the Center! We are offering Let's Draw!, Create Your Own Visual World, Multimedia Art for Kids, as well as our ongoing Wednesday Drawing Group.

Let's Draw!
6 weeks Tuesdays, April 2 – May 7, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Cost: $150.00 due upon registration

Have you always wanted to draw but think you don’t have the talent? In this fun and invigorating class we will explore the elements of drawing and design as you build your creative and perceptual skills using a variety of drawing media. The class is open to adults and high school students who want to build a portfolio for art school application, or simply like to draw.

For more information or to register, click here!

Create Your Own Visual World

MARCH 26 to MAY 14, 2019: 1 to 3:30PM

FEE: $320.00 plus supplies

An important part of being an artist is to understand the immensity of art culture. Simply put, this class is about exploring possibilities - the use of various combinations of materials on any paper related products, from fine drawing rag to left-over cardboard, various materials, constructions, stencils, large format drawing wall-works and found objects. Take the opportunity to re-invent your visual world!

For more information or to register, click here! 

Multimedia Art for Kids!

6 weeks, Mondays May 6 — June 10
Time  4:00-5:30
Price  $150.00
Ages 6-12

In this class, students will play with a variety of materials and mediums. Creative expression and exploration will be encouraged. Possibilities abound!

For more information or to register, please click here!

Wednesday Drawing Group 

Wednesday mornings, 10:00am to 1:00pm
$15/session drop-in, $10/session if the month is paid in full in advance
Each Wednesday morning session begins with a nude model assuming a series of short poses that increase in length from 2 minutes to 30 minutes. Beginners and experts and all in between are welcome. No critique or instructions, just drawing. Tables, chairs, and easels are provided. 

For more information or to register, click here!

Art on Exhibit at 33 Hawley
Come visit the Center during open hours in March and April to see art by Lourdes Morales and Abbie Steiner! Open hours are Tuesday-Friday 2pm-6pm.

2019 Production Grants from Northampton Community Television

Production Grant submissions are officially open. This year we are accepting proposals for Short Films, Media Workshops to be held at NCTV, Mixed Reality, and Public Art. Submissions are due by midnight on April 7th, 2018. Go to for more information.

NCTV Production Grants support media creators in Northampton, MA. By easing the financial burden of production we aim to empower people in our region to tell stories and craft experiences that may not otherwise be possible. This grant’s purpose is to achieve a specific objective and enhance an artistic skill and talent of the grantee. 2019 will mark the sixth round of production grants distributed by Northampton Community Television.

When filling out the grant be sure to pretend we don’t know you, even if we do. A stranger should be able to read your application.

NCTV will endeavor to fund at least one grant for a youth project, meaning an applicant who is 18 years of age or younger.

Short Film
This grant is for short narrative, documentary or experimental films. All films should include a pitch at least one page in length (approximately 500 words). When applicable, such as in the case of narrative work, please attach a completed draft of a script.

Documentary submissions should include signed statements from major parties involved as to their participation. Also include a budget and timeline for your project. We do not fund music videos.
  • up to $2000 per project
  • narrative, documentary, or experimental
  • 10-30 Minutes
  • one page pitch required
  • script may be required
  • budget and timeline required
  • documentary films should include a commitment letter

Mixed Reality
Mixed Reality Grants will go to a recipient creating an immersive experience in VR, AR, or 360˚ video. A project outline of at least one page is required, that outlines the goals and parameters of the project.

A budget and timeline is required for the project. Any accompanying materials that the applicant feels are relevant, such as scripts, concept sketches, or flowcharts, should be included in an application.
  • up to $2000 per project
  • virtual reality, augmented reality or 360˚ video
  • budget and timeline required
  • accompanying materials as needed

Public Art Project
This grant is for a public art project that uses multimedia elements as part of its core messaging, medium, or experience. At completion the project should be performed or displayed publicly for free.

The project should also include some method of documenting that public performance or exhibition. A one page pitch, budget, and timeline are required.
  • up to $1000 per project
  • must have a multimedia element
  • one page pitch required
  • budget and timeline required
  • free public performance or exhibition
  • documentation of that performance or exhibition

Multimedia Workshop
We are lucky to be surrounded in our community by talented creators with extensive professional experience. As a way to leverage that resource and provide a learning experience for those looking to hone their crafts we are offering a grant to support a multimedia workshop at NCTV.

This workshop will span a period of at least 5 hours of class time over a single or multiple sessions with more hours required for larger grant awards. An outline of the workshop plan is required as well as an explanation of the instructor’s qualifications. A budget and timeline are required. Multimedia workshop topics could include but would not be limited to scriptwriting, 3D printing, makeup and hair, coding, cinematography, visual storytelling, blogging, animation, podcasting, etc.
  • up to $1000 per project
  • multimedia workshop to be held at NCTV
  • application should outline instructor’s qualifications
  • budget and timeline required
  • a workshop plan is required

Connect & Follow

Artist News

    Council News

      Blog Archive

      Search This Blog