Northampton Arts 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 and Transperformance.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    Seeking community support to allocate ARPA funding to Northampton cultural organizations

    The Northampton Arts Council is encouraging our community to submit written comments in support of allocating 15% of Northampton's ARPA money to cultural organizations.

    In December the MA State Legislature passed their $4B ARPA spending bill, which includes $60M for a grant program administered by the Mass Cultural Council to support the recovery for the arts and cultural sector. Mass Cultural Council is seeking public input on how to allocate these funds. There is still time to submit written comments, you can do so until 5pm on February 7, 2022. You may read more in the MCC’s recent blog post.

    The Northampton Arts Council requests, on behalf of more than 20 arts and culture organizations listed below, that the City of Northampton set aside 15% of its Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) to help those of us at the heart of Northampton’s tourism industry recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

    The City of Northampton has long recognized the direct link between tourism and the creative economy, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) specifically identifies “aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality.” The guidance materials from the US Treasury state that the funding may be used to “provide aid to support safe reopening of businesses in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries…as well as aid a planned expansion or upgrade of tourism, travel and hospitality facilities delayed due to the pandemic.” The Treasury guidance gives municipalities quite a bit of latitude in how funds are expended, including a provision that allows direct support to businesses and non-profits to mitigate financial hardship suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In terms of how CLFRF/ARPA monies would be distributed to arts and culture entities in Northampton, we can imagine a grant application process like those used for Community Preservation Act grants or Community Development Block grants, with funding levels ranging from $25,000 to $200,000. The grants could fund special new performances, one-time programs, and shovel-ready projects that would reinforce and expand Northampton’s national reputation as a city where the arts and culture scene is vibrant, eclectic, and not-to-be-missed.

    We believe that Northampton has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a major investment in its creative economy, and that such an investment will reap short and long-term benefits.

    Laurie Sanders and Elizabeth Sharpe, Historic Northampton
    Dorothy Nemetz, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton Community Arts Trust
    Lisa Thompson, A.P.E., Ltd., Northampton Community Arts Trust
    Brian Foote, Northampton Arts Council

    Writing on behalf of:

    Academy of Music
    Anchor House of Artists, the New England Visionary Artists Museum
    Arcadia Players
    Bang Bang Body Arts
    Bishop's Lounge
    Down Right Productions
    Downtown Northampton Association
    Forbes Library
    Hampshire County Tourism & Visitor Bureau
    Northampton Center for the Arts
    Northampton Chamber of Commerce
    Northampton Community Music Center
    Northampton Jazz Festival Inc
    Northampton Open Media
    Oxbow Art Gallery
    Panopera Productions
    Pinch (artisan gallery/shop)
    Pine Box Studios
    Pine Box Studios LLC
    Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares
    R. Michelson Galleries
    Serious Play
    Signature Sounds/The Parlor Room
    The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought / A.P.E.
    Thornes Marketplace
    Young@Heart Chorus


    The Northampton Arts Council has decided to postpone its annual “Four Sundays in February” winter arts series until April due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

    “Four Sundays in February” traditionally kicks off with the Silver Chord Bowl, a regional collegiate a cappella showcase, on the first Sunday of the month. The series also includes various other indoor arts performances to combat the doldrums of winter, including KidsBestFest, a weeklong children’s film festival during school winter vacation. All events are being rescheduled to the month of April with specific dates to be announced shortly.

    If you purchased a ticket for any of the events listed in February, we will honor the ticket at the rescheduled date.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    2022 Art Angels Grant Cycle is Open

    WHAT: 2022 Art Angels Grant Cycle
    WHEN: Application closes April 2022.

    The Art Angels Grant Application is now open! In this grant cycle, we hope to fund artistic productions made by seasoned and emerging local fiscally sponsored artists & small to mid-size non-profit organizations that serve the Connecticut River Valley in Western Massachusetts. We support innovative, courageous, experimental projects that serve marginalized communities and promote the arts as a way to heal, feel, learn & transform.

    We’re doing things a bit differently this time around. In 2022, our grantmaking process is being led by a group of local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experienced artists who will work together to distribute funds.

    Meet this year's Grant Review Committee:
    Ella Alkiewicz, Nicole Young-Martin, Iréne ISHEA Shaikly, & Leila Zainab.

    Click HERE for the grant application. To learn more about how to fill out the application, visit For any other questions, please contact Program Coordinator, Leila Zainab at

    Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    Assets For Artists: Spring 2022 Online Artist Workshops

    WHAT: Assets For Artists: Online Artist Workshops
    WHEN: Spring 2022

    Free Artist Financial & Business Online Workshops for MA, RI & CT

    We’re excited to offer several NEW workshops alongside some fan favorites this spring!

    All workshops are FREE and held via Zoom, with pre-registration required to keep the cohorts at a size that maximizes participation and peer support. WORKSHOP RECORDINGS AVAILABLE!

    In order to better accommodate artists unable to attend the live workshop, we now record the majority of our online workshops! To have access to the recording, you will need to register and be approved to attend the workshop as if you were attending live—this will allow us to send you the recording link plus any follow-up materials that the instructor wants participants to have. Registration will still be limited based on each workshop’s specific geographic area served (with A4A grantees and recent alumni of the Studios at MASS MoCA also receiving priority). And we will still have capacity limits on the number of artists able to register for workshops, so don’t delay your registration request! All registered participants will have 60 days after the live workshop date to view the recording on Zoom.

    Why wasn’t my workshop registration approved?


    Our workshops are open to artists who currently live in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Connecticut or are current/recent Studios at MASS MoCA artists-in-residence. In general, space is limited, and your registration is not guaranteed to be approved.

    Please be aware that priority will be given to:

    Artists whose practice best matches the focus of the training.

    Artists of color. A4A recognizes that the dire impacts of the pandemic have disproportionately affected BIPOC communities, and our 2021-22 programming is especially focused on supporting artists of color.

    Artists who meet additional geographic priorities due to partnerships with organizations in a given region. These will be specified with individual workshops.

    Learn about Assets for Artists’ accessibility/translation resources
    for artists who learn best in a different language
    or who live with impairments and disabilities.

    Upcoming Massachusetts workshops include:

    "The Ultimate Guide to Artist Publicity" w/ Ariel Hyatt & Maya Azucena NEW OFFERING!
    Thursday, March 10, 2022 | 2-4 p.m. | For Massachusetts

    “The Business of Writing: How to Successfully Research and Submit to Literary Journals, Publishers, and Agents” w/ Kristina Marie Darling
    Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | 2-4 p.m. | For Essex County (MA), Rhode Island, & Connecticut

    "Social Practice Art: Toward Individual Healing, Community Dialogue and Social Change"
    w/ Nancy Marks NEW OFFERING!
    Thursday, March 24, 2022 | 2-3:30 p.m. | For Essex and Berkshire counties (MA)

    "Decolonizing Your Creative Practice Retreat: Urgency" w/ Haus of Glitter
    Saturdays, March 26 & April 9, 2022 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | For Massachusetts

    "Portfolio Power / The Artist Portfolio" w/ Anabel Vázquez Rodríquez
    Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | 2-4 p.m. | For Massachusetts

    "Level Up Your Virtual Presence" w/ Todd Reynolds
    Friday, April 8, 2022 | 2-4 p.m. | For Essex County, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, & Connecticut

    "Taking Collective Action to Build Community and Fight Racism" w/ Daniel Park & Deen Rawlins-Harris
    April 13, 23, 27 & May 4, 2022 | For Massachusetts

    "The Art of Submission for Festivals, Museums and Beyond" w/ Catherine T. Morris
    Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 2-3:30 p.m. | For Massachusetts


    Call to Artists: A.P.E.’s Summer Program ARC (activate, research, create)

    WHAT: Call to Artists: A.P.E.’s Summer Program ARC (activate, research, create)
    WHERE: 126 Main St. Northampton, MA 
    WHEN: March 15 Deadline to Apply 
                  Projects take place June or July, 2022. 

    Open to all artists, curators, and creative thinkers, ARC is a summer program of 1-2 week projects in June and July that focus on artistic practice/exploration and public engagement. ARC was initiated in the summer of 2016 and has included performances, interactive installations, on-site making, workshops, exhibitions, and more. Learn about past projects HERE

    A.P.E. will provide free space, intern and staff support, administrative and technical support, and small grants (if funding allows)

    If you are interested in applying to this program,

    Please email your submission to:
    with the following:

    ● 500 word or 1-page written description/statement of the project, including details of how you plan to use A.P.E.’s gallery space and how your project will interact with the public (events, performances, regular hours, or something totally different).

    ● Please indicate whether you are requesting 1 or 2 weeks.

    ● Samples of past work and brief description of how this work relates to the proposed project

    ● Biographies and resumes of each artist/collaborator involved in the project

    We accept proposals on a rolling basis with a deadline of March 15 for projects taking place during June or July, 2022. Notification of selected projects will be made within one month of the deadline. If you have never been to A.P.E., we will be glad to send you more information and a floor plan.

    Thursday, January 13, 2022

    11th Annual Northampton Ice Art Festival: Call for Artists


    WHAT: 11th Annual Northampton Ice Art Festival: Call for Artists 
    WHERE: Downtown Northampton. 
                  Event occurs on Friday, February 11, 2022 

    The Downtown Northampton Association invites artists to carve ice sculptures or create other ice-related works of art for Northampton’s 11th Annual Ice Art Festival. 

    Organized by the Downtown Northampton Association, the 11th Annual Northampton Ice Art Festival takes place on Friday, February 11, 2022. Artists are asked to create an ice sculpture as part of the Festival, which will culminate in the public display of the final sculptures during Arts Night Out from 5-8pm on Friday, February 11. Carving will take place throughout the day on Friday, February 11 and finished sculptures will be on display throughout the weekend and as long as weather permits. 

    All participating artists will be paid a $200 stipend for their work, with checks handed out in person on the day of the Festival. 

    ● Artists must submit an Ice Art Festival Application, with a design sketch and a short bio to the DNA. Applications are currently still being accepted. 

    ● Selections will be made by the Downtown Northampton Association. 
    ● Submissions will be considered under rolling admission. 

    ● Artists will be notified if their designs are selected no later as soon as possible; additional Festival information (site location, parking information, lunch details) will follow.

    Design Guidelines 

    ● Artists will be provided with up to 3 blocks of ice. Each block measures approximately 40” x 20” x 10”. Blocks can be set up in two different orientations, selected by the artist. ● Design must be appropriate for public space. 

    ● Ice Blocks will sit on an illuminated pedestal base approximately 30” x 40” x 12” tall. Bases will be provided by the Downtown Northampton Association, for use during the festival. There are a limited number of illuminated bases; in the event we have more artists than we have bases, some artists may be asked if they would be willing to carve without an illuminated base. Bases will be provided in the order accepted design applications are received. 

    Ice Art Festival Application PDF Download

    Questions? Contact Amy at the Downtown Northampton Association at (413) 387-5145 or 

    Submit all required materials to: 

    Downtown Northampton Association or 
    99 Pleasant Street. Northampton, MA 01060

    Thursday, December 23, 2021

    First Night Northampton 2022 indoor festivities canceled

    Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in our area and across Massachusetts, Northampton Health Director Merridith O’Leary, with the full concurrence and support of Mayor David Narkewicz, has canceled all indoor in-person events for First Night Northampton on New Year’s Eve. First Night will now be a live-stream broadcast to social media and public access TV from Noon-Midnight on December 31, 2021.

    “I know how much time and planning has gone into creating this signature arts event for downtown Northampton, and I share in the disappointment that this decision causes for so many, particularly the artists scheduled to perform,” said Mayor David Narkewicz. “However, due to the exponential increase of the COVID-19 omicron variant infections, public health officials have acted swiftly to cancel indoor First Night activities. This will aid in halting the rapid spread of the infection in our city, and prevent our community hospital from being overwhelmed.”

    Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 7,817 new confirmed coronavirus cases which is the highest total reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The Northampton Board of Health scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday, December 28, 2021, to discuss other COVID-related measures in response to the spike in infections.

    Refunds are available for First Night Pin purchases, please return to the location you purchased your pin for a refund. Unrefunded pin sales will be considered a donation to First Night Northampton. Please note, all pin purchases directly benefit local arts enrichment activities, and the cancellation of in-person events will hamper our fundraising efforts.

    Live performances will stream from 33 Hawley, The Parlor Room, and Edwards Church. Schedule and links will be updated on very soon! The Fireworks at 6:15 pm from atop the downtown Northampton parking garage and the midnight ball raising in front of the Hotel Northampton will still take place in-person outdoors.
    First Night Northampton has filled our Paradise City with a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts since 1985. This signature New Year’s Eve event will feature memorable performances of your favorite artists. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit local arts enrichment. In light of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, there will no longer be in-person entertainment this year. Watch all of the performances from the comfort of your own space and the screen of your choice. Tune in at or on Northampton Comcast Cable channels 12, 15, and 23.

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