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, June 26, 2019

Katie Pearl's "OK, OK" at Ko Festival of Performance July 12-14

WHAT: Katie Pearl's "OK, OK" at Ko Festival of Performance  
WHERE: Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA
WHEN: July 12-14, 2019


In light of the growing awareness of race, politics, and history, do we have an obligation to look back on the habitat in which we were raised and examine what we once took for granted? Katie Pearl’s “OK, OK” is a performance reckoning with the racism of today through the lens of what she learned—and didn’t learn—about Oklahoma history while growing up in Tulsa, OK. “OK, OK” will be performed as part of the 28th Ko Festival of Performance, July 12, 13, and 14 in the Holden Theater at Amherst College.

Performed with a local ensemble of four, with Katie Pearl backed by an inter-generational Greek chorus of women, “OK, OK” weaves together personal biography and civic narrative to crack open closed surfaces and get at what’s underneath. At Ko, the chorus includes Sheila Siragusa, one of the area’s favorite actor/directors and a founding member of Ko; Laurie McCants, who closed last summer’s Ko Festival with her performance “Industrious Angels;” Carrie J. Cole, Ko Festival dramaturg; and Lindsay Barr, the youngest cast member, who is a Carnegie Mellon theater student and Ko intern. Hilarious, heartbreaking and informative, Pearl’s play reveals the truths and untruths we as a country tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. “OK, OK” was developed, in part, during a 2018 Ko Festival Rehearsal Residency. Deb O is the set designer and Ko Festival Artistic Director Sabrina Hamilton will design the lights.

Writer/performer Katie Pearl is a director, playwright, and social practice artist whose work is fueled by the belief that personal encounter and creative exchange are necessary in a humane world. Her projects range from plays to interactive installation to community-wide collaborations, and invite audiences and participants into radically imaginative situations that playfully challenge traditional structures and norms. As co-Artistic Director of PearlDamour, the interdisciplinary company she shares with playwright Lisa D’Amour, Katie has co-created, directed, and sometimes performed in a body of work spanning 20 years and 13 cities. PearlDamour’s recognition includes an Obie (“Nita & Zita” - which was a KoFest performance in 2005), a Creative Capital Award (How to Build a Forest), four Multi-Arts Production Fund Awards (“LandMark,” “Terrible Things,” “How to Build a Forest”), two NEA Our Town grants (“Milton”), and a NYSCA individual artist commission. For more visit

Performances are Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13 and 8:00 PM, Sunday, July 14 at 4:00 PM. KoFest performances take place in Amherst College’s Holden Theater, located behind the Admissions Office off South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Tickets are $22 Adults / $18 Students & Seniors and $10 for SNAP/EBT cardholders. Tickets and further information on the savings that come with the KoFest “Passes & Posses” program are also available at or by calling the box office after July 1 at (413) 542-3750. Before July 1, information can be found online or at (413) 427-6147. Call about a limited number of $8 tickets.

More information about the artists can be found at

The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!




TWITTER: @kofest

Funded, in part, by The Massachusetts Cultural Council, a stage agency, The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and by Art Angels.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Northampton Arts Council ArtsEZ Grant Round Awards $20,000 in 2019

The Northampton Arts Council is pleased to announce the awarding of 29 grants totaling $20,000 in support of a variety of projects from funds raised through event-programing within the Northampton community. Our signature fundraising events include the Silver Chord Bowl, Transperformance, and First Night Northampton. The funding of these projects would not have been made possible without our community members who continue to show up in support of our benefit events and the sponsors and donors who contribute time and again. Each year we are in awe of the outstanding applications we have the honor of reviewing, and unfortunately we were unable to fund many worthy projects. The Arts Council received 68 requests for almost $97,779 of funding. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Nyckelharpa presentation and instrument "petting zoo" at Forbes Library

WHAT: Nyckelharpa presentation and instrument "petting zoo"
with Earl Holzman, nyckelharpa builder
WHEN: Monday, July 1, 7 PM
WHERE: Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library at Forbes Library

The nyckelharpa is a Swedish folk instrument that has been played, in one form or another as it evolved, for more than 600 years. At least four different versions of the nyckelharpa are still played today. Earl Holzman, a full time Nyckelharpa builder from Eau Claire Wisconsin, will be giving an illustrated presentation on the history and development of the Nyckelharpa. There will be several instruments available for people to try after the presentation.

The nyckelharpa has wooden keys that act like frets to stop (shorten) the melody string to make different pitches. It has bowed strings and sympathetic strings that vibrate on their own, creating a unique resonance. If you've never heard one, check out this nyckelharpa being played at

Earl's web site:

Faith Kaufmann
Head of Arts and Music
Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton MA 01060
413-587-1011 x 4529

Lyra Music Festival Guest Artist Spotlight: Astrid Schween Cello in Recital with Pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion

WHAT: Lyra Music Festival Guest Artist Spotlight: Astrid Schween Cello in Recital with Pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion
WHEN: Sunday, July 21, 2019 4:00 PM
WHERE: Sage Hall Smith College Northampton, MA

Astrid Schween | Cello
in Recital with Pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion
Sunday, July 21, 2019

Debussy: Sonate for Cello and Piano
Cassadó: Suite for Violoncello Solo
Popper: Hungarian Rhapsody
Schumann: Fantasy Pieces
Franck: Sonata for Cello and Piano

Astrid Schween | Cello Masterclass
Sunday, July 21, 2019 | 10:30am
Go Behind-the-Scenes with
Advanced Cellists from the Lyra Music Workshop

Astrid Schween
Cellist Astrid Schween has gained a rich following and enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber artist and teacher. Since joining the Juilliard String Quartet in 2016, she has appeared at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, Yamaha Hall in Tokyo, and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Greece, China, Spain, Scandinavia and throughout the US, with concerts at the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, New York’s 92nd Sreet Y, Ravinia, Tanglewood and the Kennedy Center. With degrees from the Juilliard School, Astrid Schween received her training under the guidance of Leonard Rose, Harvey Shapiro, Bernard Greenhouse, Ardyth Alton and Dr. H.T. Ma, and was mentored as a young cellist by Jacqueline Du Pré and Zubin Mehta. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, the William Pleeth Cello Master Classes in Aldeburgh and made her debut at the age of 16 with the NY Philharmonic.

Recent solo engagements have taken her around the US, with a performance of the Elgar Concerto in Boulder, CO. Other concerto appearances have included performances with the Memphis Symphony and at the Peninsula, Interlochen and Sewanee festivals. Astrid Schween was recently featured in Strings and Strad magazines, on various NPR programs, and was a guest speaker on Women in Music at the Library of Congress. She also appears on Classical music internet platforms such as “Living the Classical Life,” The Violin Channel and CelloBello. Her current collaborations include frequent appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, recitals with pianists Victor Asuncion, Randall Hodgkinson and a soon-to-be-released CD of Romantic cello sonatas with pianist Michael Gurt. Recent collaborative releases appear on the Sony, Centaur and JRI labels. Next season, Astrid Schween will appear as special guest artist at the Cleveland Cello Society and in Minneapolis at the 20th Biennial Suzuki Associations of the Americas Conference.

Astrid Schween is a member of the cello faculty at Juilliard and the Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island. She was for many years, senior cello faculty at Interlochen, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mount Holyoke College. She was also cellist of the Boston Trio, a frequent guest with the Boston Chamber Music Society and a longtime member of the Lark Quartet, with whom she earned the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lockenhaus, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and other prestigious venues. Additional recordings appear on the Arabesque, Decca/Argo, New World, CRI and Point labels. She is represented by Thomas Gallant of General Arts Touring.
Victor Santiago Asuncion

Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” Filipino-American pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Mei Ann Chen, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Jordan Tang, and Bobby McFerrin.

A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, James Dunham, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, Giora Schmidt, the Dover, Emerson, Serafin, Sao Paulo, and Vega String Quartets. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons. Festival appearances include the Amelia Island, Highland-Cashiers, Music in the Vineyards, and Santa Fe.

His recordings include the complete Sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, Sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, the Rachmaninoff Sonata with the cellist Evan Drachman, and the Chopin and Grieg Sonatas, also with cellist Evan Drachman. He is featured in the award winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago. Mr. Asuncion is the Founder, and Artistic and Board Director of FilAm Music Foundation, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to promoting Filipino classical musicians through scholarship, and performance.

He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Victor Santiago Asuncion is a Steinway artist.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents: THE WALL

WHAT: Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents: THE WALL
WHEN: June 21st & 22nd 7:30 pm
WHERE: The Flex Space / A.P.E. @33Hawley, Northampton Arts Trust Building
                33 Hawley Street Northampton, MA

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents, our third production in our series-
This one is not to be missed!

As seen by Serious Play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August, this play uses
poetry, humor, and diverse characters through puppetry to give voice to an impossible
problem that can only be survived through increased humanity, paradoxical curiosity
and artful expression. Litwak has a unique perspective on the Occupation. She grapples with deeply felt paradoxes of heart & heritage, east & west, men & women, justice & peace.

Jessica Litwak is a multifaceted international theatre artist focused on theatre for social
change & community engagement. She is an award winning playwright, actress, and
educator. She received her BFA in acting from NYU and her MFA in playwriting from
Columbia. She often works creating theatre in the Middle East, Central Europe and the
U.K. She is a core member of Theatre Without Borders and Artistic Director of the
H.E.A.T. Collective and the founder of Artists Rise Up New York.
Let's talk about The Wall

Serious Play is so pleased to welcome local community members Rabbi Riqi Kosovske of Northampton's Beit Ahava Synagogue (June 22), and Rachel Weber of Jewish Voice for Peace (June 21), who will be joining actress/ playwright Jessica Litwak, for post show discussions following THE WALL.

Filmmaking Workshop for Kids 11-14 years old at Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative

WHAT: Filmmaking Workshop for Kids 11-14 years old
WHEN: Monday July 8th - Friday July 12th 10:00am - 4:00pm
WHERE: Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative 66 Allen Street  Pittsfield, MA 01201

Filmmaking Workshop for Kids 11-14 years old!
BFMC is proud to partner with Berkshire Community College to offer
a week-long workshop at BCC's south campus in Great Barrington.

Monday July 8th - Friday July 12th
10:00am - 4:00pm
Click here to REGISTER

Workshop will focus on creating an original short film as a team.
Learn about: story structure, character development, screenwriting, cinematography, sound recording, lighting, acting, editing, sound design
and marketing.
Special screening of the completed film on the last day!

(early drop-off and late pick up available)
Any questions or for more info:

Instructor: Filmmaker/Teacher Patrick Toole

Patrick Toole has worked professionally as an editor, director, and cinematographer. He teaches middle and high school students throughout western MA how to collaboratively make films with a high standard of professionalism and quality. His teaching philosophy has students learn by doing - letting them take on real roles on the movie set and directing them through a fun, energizing, and challenging experience. By the end of the session they will have the tools they need to go out and make their own films.

Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative
66 Allen Street 
Pittsfield, MA 01201

The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative creates educational, workforce and production opportunities in the film and media industry as an economic initiative for the Berkshire region of western Massachusetts.

The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization.

Recent Paintings by Christopher Bagg at Oxbow Gallery

WHAT: Recent Paintings by Christopher Bagg
WHERE: Oxbow Gallery 273 Pleasant St
WHEN: June 6-30, 2019
Thurs.-Sun. 12-5pm
Reception: June 14, 5-8pm

In the backroom gallery:
Elizabeth Meyersohn
New small Paintings
273 Pleasant St
June 6-30, 2019
Thurs.-Sun. 12-5pm
Reception: June 14, 5-8pm

The Oxbow Gallery is a collective gallery owned and operated by 44 artist-members. The Oxbow showcases a variety of fine art techniques and mediums including painting, sculpture and photography and installation. Shows change every four weeks.

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