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.




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Our Local Cultural Council

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 Northampton, Northampton Summer Park 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 full-time executive director, a full-time arts events producer, one half-time production assistant, and two student arts interns from Smith College.

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 three major fundraising events produced by the Northampton Arts Council; first, Transperformance, an end-of-summer music festival at Look Park held every August, First Night Northampton, Northampton's New Year's Eve festival of the performing arts, and the Silver Chord Bowl, the legendary collegiate Acapella invitational.

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 and projects in Northampton including but not limited to Four Sundays in February, YouthFilm, KidsBestFest, Ice Art Festival, Retrofaire Open Air Market, Cinema Northampton, Northampton Print and Book Fair, Western Massachusetts Biennial Exhibit at Hosmer Gallery-Forbes Library, Northampton Film Festival, Arts Night Out Northampton, Chalk Art Festival, administer the Paradise City Cultural District, appoint and fund Northampton's Poet Laureate, administer our own BJ Goodwin Memorial Scholarship Fund, and administer our own Northampton Music Instrument Fund.

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.

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