Arts & Culture Narrative
Our Local Cultural Council
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 were 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 Four Sundays in February Series which includes events such as the Silver Chord Bowl, KidsBestFest, and the Really Big Show. In addition to grant programs, the Northampton Arts Council offers 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.
Bylaws of Northampton Arts Inc: Article I, Section 2
The purpose of the Corporation is to develop, promote, and present arts activities and programs in the Northampton community, to stimulate public awareness and support for the arts, and to maintain and perpetuate the diversity of the artistic and cultural heritage of Northampton through the encouragement of ethnic, cultural and folk artistic expressions. It is the intention of the Corporation to carry out these purposes directly by the presentation of arts programs and performances within the community, and additionally to generate funds by such programming to supplement the municipal Arts Council’s financial support of local artists.