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, June 8, 2021

Transperformance 31 Unsung Heroes

Help us celebrate 31 years of bringing our community together to support music and the arts with Transperformance 31: Unsung Heroes at Pines Theater, Look Park Florence, MA on Tuesday August 17, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM. We will celebrate the deep catalogue of performances with all the acts who have NEVER been featured before - underrepresented artists, underground legends, bands unfit for past themes and others we haven’t even thought of! Based on the Arts Council’s records, no one has ever covered AC/DC, Patti Smith, Willie Nelson, Thin Lizzy, Wilco, Harry Nilsson, CHIC, The Modern Lovers, Booker T. & The MG’s, Rush….the list goes on!

If you would like to buy tickets right now please visit:

Tickets are available in person at State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, and AJ Hastings in Amherst (no fees).

Ticket Prices:

Adults 13 years and older: $11

Seniors 65 years and older: $9

Children 12 years and younger: $6

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Food will be available from Bueno y Sano, Barts Homemade Ice Cream, Ginger Love Cafe, and other local pizza restaurants including Joe's Cafe, Roberto's, Pizza Amore, and others. Per request of Look Park: No Pets, no Coolers and no Beverages please. Look Park charges a $10 special events vehicle entry fee for all vehicles without season passes.

What is Transperformance Live Tribute Music Fundraiser?

Each year the Northampton Arts Council and the Parent Teacher Organizations of Northampton’s public school system join forces to raise funds for arts enrichment in the schools and our community. Local musicians are asked to play cover songs from specific bands that fall under an annual theme determined by the Northampton Arts Council. This is the 31st year of Transperformance; The first ever iteration was Woodstock: The Performance Peace, where local musicians covered bands and songs that were performed at Woodstock in 1969. A portion of the proceeds support arts enrichment programs in the Public Schools of Northampton, Leeds, and Florence.

Headline Gold Sponsor: The City of Northampton

Media Sponsors: 93.9 & 101.5 FM The River, Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Republican/MassLive, New England Public Radio

Stage Bronze Sponsors: Delap Real Estate, A2Z Science & Learning Store

Northampton Summer Park Series 2021

Design by James Hindle

Northampton Summer Park Series 2021

Come out to enjoy long summer nights in Downtown Northampton with free live music in Pulaski Park! The Northampton Arts Council, in its sixth year of presenting concerts in the Park, continues a long-held musical tradition that dates back to the 1970's. Join us for live music and dancing in our beautiful park. We are presenting five shows this summer on Friday evenings in July and August, and one Saturday in September. Shows start at 5:30pm and go until 7:30pm.

All events will take place in Pulaski Park and admission is free for all!


*Friday July 9th 5:30pm Cloud Belly, Lisa Bastoni & Sean Staples

*Friday July 16th 5:30pm Jake Manzi, Izzy Heltai

Friday July 23rd 5:30pm Editrix, Thee Arcadians

Friday August 6th 5:30pm Live Salsa in the Park w/ KomboLoko

Saturday September 4th 5:30pm Salsa in the Park w/ Dj Bongohead

Our mission is to showcase the best music from the valley alongside top notch touring acts while bringing together the local community to enjoy the many benefits of our picturesque downtown. Outdoor concerts on summer nights in downtown Northampton is a tradition that dates back to the 1970s. Since that time, Northampton has been fertile ground for producing unique original music, often renowned on the national level. The lineup for the 2021 series reflects this trend and will showcase acts of varying age & style to each other and the community at large. This year, the Northampton Arts Council is producing the summer series in what promises to be the best summer yet!

*A2Z Science and Learning Store will there with their KidZone!

Headline Gold Sponsor: The City of Northampton
Media Sponsors: 93.9 & 101.5 FM The RiverDaily Hampshire GazetteThe Republican/MassLiveNew England Public Radio
Stage Bronze Sponsors: Delap Real EstateA2Z Science & Learning Store

The Rust Temple School presents Plant Identification and Wetland Ecosystems Virtual Class

WHAT: Plant Identification and Wetland Ecosystems - Virtual Class
WHEN: Saturday June 19th 10am to 12pm EST (rain date June 26th)

Join George Locascio in a 2 hour long class covering basic plant identification techniques using Newcombs Guide, as well as a discussion about wetland ecosystems and native plants. There will be ample time for asking plant related questions.

This class will be taught live, virtually in a wetland in Leverett MA on Saturday June 19th 10 AM to 12 AM EST with a rain date on June 26th

If you sign up for this class you will also receive a recording of the class and various links to plant identification resources.

George Locascio normally teaches courses about vascular plants Framingham University and will be guest teaching this class for Rust Temple School

If you signup for the class you will receive a link to the live stream on the day before the class happens.

Email if you have any questions.

The Rust Temple School is a virtual school based out of The Rust Temple in Easthampton, MA. Classes range from a variety of topics that are generally Art, Technology and Science related with a focus on practical useful skills. All classes aim to be financially accessible with free/sliding scale classes and recordings available via grant funding.

Supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council

Monday, June 7, 2021

Celebrate Pride Month with NCMC: Pride Chorus Unmasked

WHAT: "Pride Chorus Unmasked"
WHEN: Fridays in June 7:00pm

Join us at 7 pm each Friday in June
for a YouTube premiere event showcasing four different videos produced by
NCMC's Pride Chorus under the direction
of Mara Levi in celebration of Pride Month and our LGBTQ+ friends near and far.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

2021 Northampton Public Arts Festival Wraps Up

The third annual Northampton Public Arts Festival wrapped up on Thursday May 20th with brand new beautiful artist-painted murals on traffic light utility boxes, cement barriers and building walls across downtown Northampton. The Northampton Public Arts Festival is a unique event aimed at promoting public art through mural painting. For the third year in a row the festival brought local and nationally recognized artists to convene and create beautiful public art for the city of Northampton. Due to Covid-19, the format of the festival has been adjusted in 2020/2021 to avoid crowds, and to respect social distancing orders while still bringing together local and nationally recognized artists to create beautiful public art for the city of Northampton and the region.

Talented painters, muralists and street artists from across the region joined us to adorn the city with fresh looks for building walls on Kirkland Avenue and Short Street, utility boxes adjacent to downtown traffic light intersections, as well as cement barriers lining State Street and Pleasant Street which provide space for outdoor dining in the streets of our City. From spray paint to acrylic paint, abstracts to landscapes, these artists have beautified our downtown cityscape with a range of unique patterns, characters, and creative designs. 

Special thanks to all the invited artists for their amazing work, visit the new public art downtown:

Althea Keaton / @alrkeaton
Box outside Spoleto (Hawley & Main Street)

Caitlin Hurd / @hot_dustpan_action
Box outside Florence Bank (Main Street/Pleasant Street)

Sabrina Dorsainvil / @oh_sabeedee
Mural on LimeRedTea Wall (Kirkland Avenue)

John Paul O'Grodnick (JPO) / @jpoart
Blocks in front of Sylvester's Restaurant (111 Pleasant Street)

BelowKey / @belowkey
Blocks in front of Sylvester's Restaurant (111 Pleasant Street)

Ramiro Davaro-Comas / @ramirostudios
Mural on American Farmland Trust wall (Short Street)

Cobragoose / @cobragoose
Box outside Hempest (Old South Street/Conz Street)

Monica Aguilar / @chasingtrailsart
Box at Old South Street/New South Street Intersection

Jill Strait / @jilldaisybanjo
Box outside Northampton Community Music Center (New South Street)

Blur / @blurstreetart
Box outside Old School Commons (Main Street/New South Street)

Marcus Austin / @marc_austin_is_crazy
Box outside Old School Commons (Main Street/West Street)

Kiayani Douglas / @_iamkaydouglas
Box outside Smith College Art Museum (Elm Street)

Barrett Capistran / @BarrettCapistran
Blocks in front of India House (State Street)

For photos of the new murals, visit this link

The artists greatly appreciated all the support from pedestrians, honking cars, and folks who stopped to take photos and chat. We hope to be able to expand our public art offerings with more community collaborations in the future. 

This project is made possible with support from Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural District Grant, Mass Festivals Grant, Jordi Herold and Jill Fortier of Icarus Wheaten and Finch, American Farmland Trust, Downtown Northampton Association (DNA), and the City of Northampton.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares presents: Román Díaz Rumba Ensemble

WHAT: Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares presents: Román Díaz Rumba Ensemble
WHEN: Sunday, June 13th, at 6:00pm at Valley View Farm
WHERE: 16 Walpole Rd, Haydenville, MA 01039

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares concludes its 9th season with a performance by the Román Díaz Rumba Ensemble: Román Díaz – percussion, voice; Sandy Perez – percussion, voice; Vanessa Ayaba Irawo – voice, percussion; Rafael Monteagudo – percussion, voice; Onel Mulet – sax, flute, percussion, voice; Abraham Rodriguez – voice, percussion; Clemente Medina – voice.

The concert takes place on Sunday, June 13th, at 6:00pm at Valley View Farm: 16 Walpole Rd, Haydenville, MA 01039. Tickets are $15 and available at

Doors open at 4:30pm. Limited indoor seating. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. No outside food or drink. Food truck and bar on site. Masks and social distancing observed.

Master percussionist, scholar and composer Román Díaz is regarded as a “living repository” of Afro Cuban music and has performed and recorded with Merceditas Valdes, Raices Profundas, Los Marqueses de Atares, Jane Bunnett, Juan Carlos Formell, Paquito D’Rivera, Oriente Lopez and Giovanni Hidalgo. As a member of the foundational rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo, he aided in the creation of the sound that has defined rumba since the 1980’s in Cuba and all around the world. As a producer, he has brought together some of the finest interpreters of Rumba from the island as documented on Wemilere. His release, L'o Da Fun Bata (Motema, 2016), “excels at being both a spiritual statement and essential work of art,” says NPR’s Milo Miles.

Román Díaz left Cuba in 1999 to come to New York. Since then he has been featured alongside Orlando “Puntilla” Rios in the critically acclaimed documentary Calle 54, and in Dame La Mano, a film that documents the life and music of the Cuban community of Union City, NJ. His mastery of Batá is present on countless recordings along with his rock-solid groove on congas. Díaz has been featured with the highly acclaimed pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba Ensemble, Francisco Mora Catlett’s Afro Horn, Danilo Perez’s Panama 500 project and Kurt Elling’s most recent recording, Secrets Are the Best Stories.

Román Díaz is a scholar of Afro Cuban traditions as well. In Cuba, he taught at the Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte (the Cuban National Academy for Arts Instructors). He has traveled around the world teaching master classes on Afro Cuban percussion and lately has dedicated himself to lecturing on the topic of the clandestine Abakuá society brought to Cuba from Calabar, West Africa (Nigeria) during the time of the slave trade.

Thanks to our shareholders and business sponsors: Davis Financial Group, Florence Savings Bank, Downtown Sounds, River Valley Market, Bueno y Sano, Barbara Ween: Visage, Hampshire College, Waugh Agency, Cortlandt Eye Care, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP, Icarus, Wheaten & Finch-Jordi Herold, and PV Squared.

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