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.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Northampton Arts Council Seeks Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate

The Northampton Arts Council is proud to announce its search for a middle or high-school student for a one-year term as the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Northampton. The deadline to nominate or apply is June 15, 2021.

Applicants for the position must be entering 7th-12th grade as of September 2021; a resident of Northampton, Florence, or Leeds; attend school in Northampton, Florence, or Leeds or be homeschooled; and have a deep love of poetry and a willingness to be an advocate for poetry.

“There’s no greater voice for the power and popularity of poetry among young people than when a young person is the speaker,” said Karen Skolfield, Northampton’s current Poet Laureate. “Look at what Amanda Gorman, the national Youth Poet Laureate, has already accomplished - poetry at the 2021 presidential inauguration, poetry at the Super Bowl, an integration of poetry in life events. Youth poet laureates bring energy, enthusiasm, and joy; they make poetry real and meaningful to a much younger age group.”

With this appointment, Northampton will be the third city in Massachusetts to have a youth poet laureate, along with Worcester and Boston. A much larger number of cities and towns in Massachusetts have poet laureates. Youth poet laureate programs are starting up in dozens of cities and states nationwide, with youth poet laureates installed or in progress in Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Phoenix, Nashville, New York City, and elsewhere.

“This is an idea we’re excited to see implemented in Northampton,” said Brian Foote, Executive Director of the Northampton Arts Council. “A youth poet laureate is an excellent extension of the work the Northampton Arts Council does to raise the visibility and accessibility of the arts and writing communities.”

The inaugural youth poet laureate will receive a $500 stipend and mentoring by Northampton’s poet laureate; the YPL will have the option of publishing a limited-edition chapbook of their own work.

Duties of the inaugural youth poet laureate include serving a one-year term from August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022; promoting poetry within Northampton, Florence, and Leeds and the Youth Poet Laureate’s school or homeschool community; designing and completing one community- or school-based poetry project, and participating in at least two community poetry readings or performances.

For more information, to nominate someone, or to apply please visit and click on Youth Poet Laureate.

Arts Council Board Meeting 4.14.21


ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Program - Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

WHAT: ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Program

Funding Available:
If your organization works with artists, please share information about a new round of the ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Program. The program, in partnership with MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists, will provide $1,000 mini-grant opportunities for artists who currently live or have studio space in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties. This program pairs the mini-grant with opportunities for artist community-building, one-on-one coaching, and online financial and business resiliency workshops specifically focused on navigating a post-COVID cultural sector. The application deadline is May 10,2021.

If you have any questions or would like further information, don't hesitate to reach out to us

Monday, April 19, 2021

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Application - U.S Small Business Administration

Website to apply: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (

Who Can Apply:
Live venue operators or promoters
Theatrical producers
Live performing arts organization operators
Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
Motion picture theater operators
Talent representatives
Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Applicants must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. A venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount. Click here for more information about who can apply.

Venue operates can use their grants for:
Payroll costs
Rent payments
Utility payments
Worker protection expenditures, and

Click here for a full list of how venue operators can use their grants.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Northampton Community Music Center - Virtual Concert Series


WHAT: Northampton Community Music Center - Virtual Concert Series 
WHEN: Fridays at 7:00 PM - April 30th - May 21st - July 16th 

Orkestar Banitsa is a folk dance band specializing in the music of the Balkans: Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Albania and Greece. The band features Becky Ashenden on accordion and percussion, Addie Rose Holland on clarinet and vocals, Gawain Thomas on accordion, Barbara Blumenthal on Bulgarian tambura, and Joe Blumenthal on bass. Their music ranges from upbeat, high energy dance tunes to beautiful slow ballads, in a variety of exotic time signatures.

Mark Your Calendars!

NCMC is proud to present a series of fantastic online concerts this spring and summer. Donations benefit the Music Center's programs and scholarship fund.

Special thanks to the following sponsors for their support: UMASSFIVE College Credit Union, Northampton Arts Council, Northampton Open Media, Sleeper Cave Records, Massachusetts Cultural Council 

More Info:

Northampton Arts Council Announces Second COVID-19 Artist Relief Grant for Artists and Arts Producers

(Northampton, MA.) –The Northampton Arts Council (NAC) is pleased to announce its second COVID-19 Artist Relief Grant. Last year, with support from our local community, NAC distributed $42,570 to 129 artists. As need remains high in our community, NAC has decided to continue the COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund. In addition to funds allocated from NAC’s budget, the Council will subsidize the grant with community fundraising efforts.

This decision was made in response to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s most recent COVID-19 impact survey of the arts sector in Massachusetts. Since March 2020 working creatives in Massachusetts which includes individual artists, teaching artists, and scientists/humanists cite $30,403,616 in lost personal income due to the pandemic. In Western Massachusetts alone 558 artists reported lost income of $4,901,683. NAC is grateful to the many artists who are using this time to create and support our local community online. The Board would like to award as much money in artist relief as possible; to that end, we invite members of the community to donate to our artist relief fund via MightyCause.

All artists and arts producers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and contribute to the artistic vibrancy of Northampton, Florence, and Leeds are eligible to apply online at The application is due May 15, 2021. The Northampton Arts Council usually administers the ArtsEZ grant round in the spring to support local arts projects that take place in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. Since all public gatherings are on hold, and in light of the severe economic impact of COVID-19, the Board has voted to allocate $TBD to fund artist relief.

“Artists and arts producers play a vital role in making Northampton a great place to live and work. We want to ensure that members of our artistic community have the support they need to make it through this crisis and create beauty on the other side of it,” said Brian Foote, Executive Director of the Northampton Arts Council. “I’m grateful to the Northampton Arts Council Board for making the decision to allocate this fund towards artist relief and to the community for an outpouring of support for local artists at this time.”

The Northampton Arts Council remains committed to supporting arts in the City of Northampton. Our monthly board meetings will continue via Zoom, under the leadership of executive director, Brian Foote. All are also invited to join the Northampton Arts Council Facebook Group, which aims to create an online community for artists and arts producers or check out our COVID-19 Resource page. The Board will continue to seek new ways to bring our community together, even remotely, through the arts.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Northampton Neighbors LIVE! 2

WHAT: Northampton Neighbors LIVE! 2: Virtual Talent Show
WHEN: Sunday, April 18, 2021 7-8 PM.
WHERE: ZOOM LINK (details below)

Look to the Stars! Join us for an evening of song, fiddle, poetry and more.

Watch from the comfort of your favorite chair as our good neighbors step on the virtual live stage to entertain us.

We’ll “open the doors” at 6:45PM.
Family and friends are welcome.
NNLive!2 will be live-captioned and recorded.

April 18, 2021 6:45 PM ZOOM Room Doors Open
Meeting ID: 962 8993 2368
Passcode: 651047
Call in 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Tune in now Northampton Open Media (NOM) Channel 12 on Monday Wednesday and Friday at 6PM to see last year’s show or take a look on our NN YouTube Channel at 

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