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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Young@Heart Chorus "Welcome to Your Life"

WHAT: Young@Heart Chorus "Welcome to Your Life"
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 8PM
WHERE: Academy of Music Theatre 274 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060

Buy tickets online or call the box office 413-584-9032 x105

On April 21st we perform the show "Welcome to Your Life". In the first half of the show we will preview the work that will tour to the Netherlands and Belgium. It features the re-interpretation of music ranging from the Talking Heads to Radiohead and Soft Cell to Sam Cooke. The second half of the show will be a very public celebration of Roz Cilman's 100th birthday (Born April 21, 1918!). Mrs. Cilman is the mother of Y@H Director Bob Cilman. The music of Laurie Anderson, Phil Ochs and the Specials will help put the frosting on the cake. The last time Young@Heart was able to celebrate a 100th birthday was for Anna Main back in 1995. 

Film Screening: A Place For Madness

​WHAT: Film Screening: A Place for Madness, PBS Frontline, 1994 (60 min.)
WHEN: Thursday, March 22, 2018 | 7 pm
WHERE: ​​Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060

This 1994 episode of PBS’s Frontline (60 min.) focuses on Northampton and the stories of families, individuals, lawyers, psychiatrists and caregivers as they dealt with the effects of the closure of Northampton State Hospital. It includes scenes filmed at Shaw’s Motel. According to PBS, this episode “examines the troubling conflict between protecting the rights of the mentally ill to live outside of the mental hospitals and safeguarding society from those who are dangerous to themselves and to others.”

Introductory remarks by and a follow-up conversation with Christopher Sparks, a local writer on Northampton State Hospital and dehospitalization.

Christopher Sparks is a lifelong Northampton resident who took an interest in the Northampton State Hospital shortly after it was abandoned. He researches and writes about the state hospital with the mission to analyze the history of Northampton State Hospital as a symptom of public intolerance of the mentally ill. Sparks is a web strategist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Group Sing Information Session at Forbes Library

WHAT: Group Sing Information Session
WHERE: Forbes Library - 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.  
WHEN: Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 PM

Anyone interested in participating in the fall community sing is invited to attend an information session at Forbes Library on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 PM in the Calvin Coolidge Room to learn more about the project and to provide feedback to help us shape the event.

Also here's the link that keeps you informed about Our Community Sing on the Forbes Library lawn in the fall of 2018 as it continues to develop:

Public Art Process for Artists Training

WHAT: Two-Day Intensive Public Art Process for Artists Training
WHEN: April 14th & 15th
WHERE: The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 
(MGHPCC) 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. 

Are you an artist interested in creating public art or community engagement projects? The Arts Extension Service will be offering a two-day intensive Public Art Process for Artists Training, April 14-15 at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke, MA. Open to artists of all mediums, this training explores public art from idea to ribbon cutting, focusing on three important segments: the business side of public art; understanding concept and fulfilling the proposal, engaging with the community or audience. This training will include several interactive components, information sheets, and plenty of time for Q & A. Read more about the workshop here.

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) is located at 100 Bigelow Street in Holyoke. The MGHPCC has ample parking.

A light breakfast, snacks, coffee and other refreshments will be provided; please bring your own sack lunch. Note: there is no refrigeration available.

Cost: $40. Space is limited.

Priority Registration Deadline for Holyoke-based artists: Friday, March 16.

General Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 11.

Contact or 413-545-2360 to register.

Prior to March 16, artists based outside of Holyoke may put themselves on a waiting list and will be sent a registration link once general registration opens.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

SUNDAY STAGE, 12 local musicians across 6 hours

What: SUNDAY STAGE, presenting 12 local musicians across 6 hours.
Where: Iconica Social Club, One Amber Lane, Northampton, MA 01060
When: Sunday March 11, 2018 starting at 11:00am
How Much: FREE
3:00 Lonely Whale - Indie Folk
3:30 Claire Dacey - Folk Singer / Songwriter
4:00 Kalyani Kortright - Gypsy Folk
4:30 Kat Alexander - Bohemian Folk
5:00 Burris - 12-String Music
6:00 Jim Gipe - Wind Powered Sound Hallucination
6:30 Jennifer Stuart - Singer/Songwriter
7:00 Nick Roche - "Horrendous Guitale Player"
7:30 Hannah French - Traditional Roots Banjo/Fiddle
8:00 Doug Pi - Classic R&B
8:30 Christine Mark - Indie Pop Guitar/Uke

Flatbread pizzas will be served starting at 5pm.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Single Room Occupancy Opening Reception at Historic Northampton

WHAT: Single Room Occupancy: Portraits and Stories from Northampton Lodging 1976 - 2016
\WHEN: Opening Reception | Friday, March 9th 5-8PM Arts Night Out
WHERE: Historic Northampton 46 Bridge Street Northampton, MA

Northampton Lodging occupied an awkward place in town. Positioned just past Hampton Court, it marked the transition from the brightly lit storefronts, galleries, and restaurants of Main and upper Pleasant Streets to the less pedestrian friendly stretch of road that connects the city to the highway.

Initially constructed in 1967 as a dormitory for the now-defunct Northampton Commercial College, in recent decades, the property offered 58 single-room rentals with common kitchens and baths.

In the fall of 2016, the building was demolished and the newly constructed, yellow brick, Live 155 has risen in its place.

For the past two years, Cassandra Holden has been interviewing former residents of the Lodging and members of the community about what it was like to live in and/or interact with that place. The stories of camaraderie and mutual support stand in stark contrast to those found in the police blotter.

Photographer Paul Shoul got to know many of the former residents and captured thoughtful portraits of them just before they were relocated.

The exhibition, which will run from March 9th - June 10th, traces the waning years of boarding house living in Northampton and raises questions about how we enfold those at the edges of our community.

This project was made possible with the generous support of Way Finders, Northampton Arts Council, and Historic Northampton.

NCTV's 7 Day Film Sprint in the Starting Gates

WHAT: 7 Day Film Sprint -
WHEN: Monday April 2nd 7:00pm
WHERE: Northampton Community Television Studios, 380 Elm St. in Northampton, MA.

The annual 7 Day Film Sprint kicks off once again Monday April 2nd at 7:00 pm at Northampton Community Television Studios at 380 Elm St. in Northampton, MA. The studios are located in the same building as the Northampton High School, with an entrance around the far back of the building accessed by hugging the structure all the way around.

The Sprint calls upon teams of filmmakers, from aspiring to professional, to tap into their creativity and produce an entire short film of up to five minutes in length, from start to finish, in the span of just 7 days. Each team will be assigned a prompt or series of prompts for their film.

New works in all these genres will emerge over the course of the next week out of self-organized community groups. Some teams are as few as one person, but a typical team is 3-5 people. They are composed of students, of neighbors, of friends looking for a creative adventure. Teams have names like Sad Penguin Productions, Chaos Jello Visions, State Street Symposium, and Valleywood.

“People want to be creative. We believe that. They want to tell stories. They want to have fun and express and that is a healthy form of play that we don’t engage in enough in our culture. We want to invite the community to spend some time doing that.”, said Al Williams, Executive Director of NCTV.

This is NCTV’s fourth 7 Day Film Sprint, and this year the project includes partner Hadley Media as they revision their media center. Teams will hand in films on a one week deadline and a public screening will be held for them at The Parlor Room in Northampton at 7pm on Tuesday, April 9th.

For more information, contact Al Williams at 413-587-3550 or

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A.P.E Events on Arts Night Out March 9

WHAT: Arts Night Out at A.P.E 
WHEN: Friday March 9th 5:00pm-9:00pm 
WHERE: A.P.E. Ltd 126 Main Street Northampton, MA

5:00 pm: Group Sing
Come learn songs that will be part of a large community sing that will take place on the lawn of Forbes Library the fall of 2018. Learn More

5 - 8 pm: Exhibition opening: 6'1":Work by Luke Cavagnac, Jil Crary-Ross, Maclyn Milsark, and Kevin Pomerleau: Exhibition dates: March 6-31

8:00 pm: Big Dance Theater’s CAGE SHUFFLE starring Paul Lazar
Returns to Northampton for One Night Only!

$10.00 admission / Seating is limited:
Reservations recommended: 413 586-5553

Cage Shuffle is a 50 minute dance/theater solo. In Cage Shuffle Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score Indeterminacy, while simultaneously performing a complex choreographic score by Annie-B Parson.

More Info:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Medley Writing Workshops Presented by Straw Dog Guild Writers Guild & The Northampton Center for the Arts

WHERE: The Northampton Center for the Arts - 33 Hawley St. Northampton, MA.
WHEN: Sundays in March (4, 11, 18 & 25th) 1-3PM  $5/WORKSHOP


Presented by Straw Dog Guild Writers Guild & The Northampton Center for the Arts
Held in memory of Eli Daniel Nemetz Todd, made possible by donations to NCFA in Eli's honor.

Finding the Voice of Your Story with Dori Ostermiller
March 4, 2018

There’s lots of talk these days about voice in narrative, but what is it, exactly? If the voice of our story is the doorway through which readers enter, how do we let them in? How can we consciously create a voice that is compelling, readable and true? In this one-day workshop, we will explore what factors go into creating voice, in fiction and memoir, study some examples of amazing voices in literature, do some writing, and learn techniques for crafting a memorable narrative voice—one that not only engages the reader but also invites surprise and discovery. There is nothing more exciting, for both reader and writer, than following a live, candid and curious mind on the page.

Dori Ostermiller holds a BFA in writing from the University of Redlands and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Dori has worked for over two decades as a professional editor, and has taught literature and writing at the University of Massachusetts, Westfield State College, Springfield College and Bay Path College. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Fellowship, a Tobias Wolf Fiction award and a Walker Gibson award, and is the founder of Writers in Progress, a literary arts center in Western Massachusetts.

Collage and Writing with Becky Jones
March 11, 2018

The workshop will provide images, paper, scissors, glue sticks and tape, though you are free to bring images of your own, if you would like. You provide your openness to the process of discovery, along with pen and paper. People will have the optional opportunity to share both their writings and collages.

Becky Jones has been leading bereavement writing groups for 17 years. In this workshop, we have the opportunity to use one of her favorite exercises that combines collage and writing. Originally intended to explore grief and deepen connections to departed loved ones, it can be used equally well to get in touch with characters in your writing or to gain insight into an issue that is niggling away at you.

How to Begin Writing 10-Minute Plays with Meryl Cohn
March 18, 2018

One of the most common questions about writing plays is how to get started. The germ of an idea for a play may present itself in theme, in situation, or in character. We will discuss various ways to enter the life of a play and do writing exercises to get started on a 10- minute play.

Meryl Cohn's play REASONS TO LIVE was named Favorite Play by The Cape Cod Times. Awards include The 2015 Eventide Arts Jeremiah Kaplan Award, The ATHE Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, finalist for the MCC Playwriting Award, and semifinalist (twice) for the O’Neill National Playwriting Award. Meryl’s work has been produced or developed at The Skylight Theatre, The Open Fist Theatre, N.Y. International Fringe Festival, The Provincetown Theatre, W.H.A.T., The Soho Playhouse, Counter Productions, The Road Theatre, and Smith College, among others. She earned her MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of the humor book DO WHAT I SAY: MS. BEHAVIOR’S GUIDE TO GAY AND LESBIAN ETIQUETTE, published by Houghton Mifflin. everal of Meryl’s recent short stories have been Glimmer Train Finalists, and she is just finishing (she hopes) her first novel.

Songwriting 101 with Pamela Means
March 25, 2018

There is no such thing as writer's block. Dubious? Come to the Pamela Means Songwriting Workshop and learn new tools, tips and tricks of the craft to tease out more brilliance from your brain. You will never suffer from blank pages again. Acclaimed songwriter, Pamela Means, will help inspire you to push the envelope, stretch and take risks as a writer. You will expand your lyrical menu through myriad exercises and broaden musical, melodic and chord choices with a teaspoon taste of music theory for songwriters. You will be pleasantly surprised with what comes up! Bring your instrument, notebook and a favorite writing utensil.

A multi-talented performer, singer, songwriter, composer and producer, Pamela Means's multiple honors include being named Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's "# 1 Most Wanted New Artist," "Wisconsin Folk Artist of the Year," "Wisconsin Female Vocalist of the Year," and her politically provocative album, Single Bullet Theory, was voted 2004's "Outmusic Outstanding New Recording." Her latest CD, Plainfield, was released last fall.

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