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.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Transperformance Live Tribute Music Fundraiser Theme Announced

The Northampton Arts Council staff has deliberated with local musicians, past Transperformance hosts and other creatives to determine this year’s Transperformance theme. On Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 Transperformance 31: Unsung Heroes! will be live at Pines Theater of Look Park. 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!

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 24, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM.

Last year we were not able to present Transperformance live in Pines Theater of Look Park. Instead, the event was live-streamed to social media and broadcast on public access television with the help of Northampton Open Media and all our dedicated performers and staff. We were still able to raise over $15,000 for arts enrichment activities in our community and the public schools specifically. If you missed it, don’t worry you can still watch Transperformance 30: Live Aid! Follow the link below to check it out:

What is Transperformance Live Tribute Music Fundraiser?

Each year in August 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. THE end-of-the-summer live tribute music fundraiser is held at Pines Theater in Look Park. 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.

If you would like to add your support, please visit this page to donate by credit card, paypal, or check:

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The City of Northampton Celebrates Arbor Day with Tree Whip Giveaway and Neighborhood Tree Plantings

The City of Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW), the City’s Urban Forestry Commission, and Tree Northampton volunteers are geared up for a celebration of trees this Arbor Day week. The City will be providing 500 free tree whips to the public in front of City Hall on Friday, April 30, 2021, from 8 am-2 pm and on Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 8 am-12 pm. Educational materials and facts about trees will be provided with each tree whip, and the giveaway will be held rain or shine. Additionally, dozens of volunteers are planting an estimated 65 new public shade trees in several areas of the city.

The free tree whip giveaway encourages residents to plant and care for trees. Five tree species will be available, including Persimmon, White Oak, Sweet Gum, Chokecherry, and Douglas Fir "Lincoln". Each of these species provides important ecological benefits, from reducing stormwater runoff and providing food for wildlife and pollinators to protecting pedestrians and motorists from the sun. The trees will help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Planting trees is a chance to express hope for the future, achieve canopy renewal, and focus people on the well-being of our community. These events give residents the chance to plant trees and to learn about how to care for the trees around them”, said the City’s Tree Warden, Rich Parasiliti, Jr. “I encourage residents to join us in this important initiative to transform our City’s urban forest”.

Tree Northampton volunteers, students from UMASS, and many residents have been working with the City’s DPW to plant a shipment of bare root trees, which arrived earlier this week. Bare root trees are highly economical and lightweight for ease of handling but require planting within days of arrival. Arbor Day plantings will take place on Industrial Drive, Maynard Road, Elm Street, Woods Road, and in the South Street area.

On Saturday, May 1, 2021, and on Saturday, May 15, 2021, there will be a neighborhood planting in the South St area which represents a collaborative effort between the City and South Street neighborhood residents. The City proudly celebrates Arbor Day by renewing and preserving the City’s urban tree canopy.

For Additional Information, contact: Rich Parasiliti, Jr., Tree Warden 413-587-1570 Ext. 4317

Regulations for Hosting Events in Northampton

 Here is the link to a PDF that outlines guidelines for hosting an event in Northampton. There are links on the PDF that bring you to the regulations for the specific type of event you would like to host. 


Fundraiser for the Survival Center

 What: Fundraiser for the Survival Center

Where: Florence Civic Center, 90 Park Street Florence, MA 01062

When: Saturday May 8th, 2pm-10pm

It's a fundraiser for the homeless. There will be music and and food. Call Cliff for more details - 413-427-1853

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

CALL TO ARTISTS: Northampton Public Arts Festival 2021 Application Guidelines

The Northampton Arts Council is looking for artists to submit work for consideration for the Traffic Light Utility Box Mural Program. The Traffic Light Utility Box Mural Program is designed to encourage community pride and beautify the streets of Northampton, Massachusetts. Murals will be installed in public places and must be suitable for viewing by all ages. The Commission anticipates selecting artwork for up to 7 utility boxes and The Northampton Arts Council will fund $350 per utility box, inclusive of all artist’s fees, paints and materials.

The deadline for the application is Monday May 3rd, 2021

This project is open to all artists. The Commission encourages applications from both new and established artists. Artists may apply as an individual artist or as a group. Group submissions may be for a single utility box. 

Selection Process & Criteria 
Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee from the Northampton Arts Council. Once the artwork is selected, the committee will send a notification by email.

Criteria used to select artists will be: 

• Evaluation of artistic excellence including quality of the art and artist originality;
• Creative and innovative concepts; and
• Appropriate regard for the nature of the space and the audience.

Selected artists will be notified by May 8th, 2021 

Mural Specifications
• The artwork that is included on the application must resemble the art that will be painted on the box.
• Because the size of the box may vary slightly, be prepared to adjust your artwork to the size of the box.
• The City of Northampton, or its contractors, must have access to the components in the box at all times.
• Some boxes may have safety stickers, locks, and control panels that will have to remain free of any art image.
• Artists may want to block off the box to keep the public from brushing against wet paint, but care should be given to leave at least five (5) feet of the sidewalk open for pedestrians and compliance with ADA requirements.
• The levers/handles/keyholes on the boxes should not have any coating over them.

Painting & Materials 
Artists are responsible for their own materials and for painting the utility boxes. The Northampton Arts Council will contract to have the boxes cleaned and one coat of metal primer applied before Thursday May 13th, 2021.  

Artists are responsible for cleanup of their area and safe disposal of all paint materials.

Below is a comprehensive checklist of highly recommended supplies for the best painting outcome and your personal comfort. This may not be a complete list as all artists work differently: 

• Paint Stool or chair for comfort
• Bucket to hold water for paint brushes
• Paint brushes
• Painters tape, masking tape
• Drop cloth or plastic sheeting, newspaper for protecting surrounded area
• Biodegradable cleanser
• Rags and/or paper towels
• Shade/umbrella

Prepping Utility Box:
The boxes will be cleaned and one coat of metal primer will be applied onto the boxes before Thursday, May 13th, 2021. 

Insurance & Indemnification
Selected artists must sign a Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement. 

Artists may begin painting utility boxes on Thursday May 13th, 2021. Painting must be completed by Sunday, May 16th, 2021.

Repair and Removal
Artists will be contacted if graffiti is discovered to discuss options for graffiti removal. The Council cannot be held responsible for damage caused by graffiti removal.

The Council may remove a mural from a Traffic Utility Box, at any time, for any one or more of the following reasons: 

  • The mural or any part of it:

    • Requires excessive or unreasonable maintenance;

    • Is damaged irreparably (including vandalism or graffiti), or to an extent that restoration is unreasonable or impractical;

  • The utility box is damaged or needs maintenance, repair, modification, or replacement.

How to Apply

All materials should be submitted through the 2021 Public Arts Fest Application. Proposals will be reviewed by the Northampton Arts Council. All items must be included as part of the submission package or applications will not be reviewed.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Be Our First Northampton Youth Poet Laureate

Deadline to Apply: June 15, 2021

Writing Instapoetry? Getting (secretly) teary whenever Amanda Gorman takes the stage? Are you interested in being an ambassador of poetry? If so, you may be just who we’re looking for.

The Northampton Arts Council is seeking a middle or high-school student for a one-year term as the first Youth Poet Laureate in Western Massachusetts. The NYPL serves as an ambassador who will heighten the visibility and value of poetry by and for students and residents of Northampton, Florence, Leeds, and beyond.

To be eligible the applicant must:
· be a resident of Northampton, Florence, or Leeds;
· be in 7th-12th grade as of September 2021. The student may graduate before the appointment ends on August 31, 2022; and
· attend school in Northampton, Florence, or Leeds or be homeschooled

Use this google form to nominate yourself or be nominated by someone else. Finalists will be interviewed by our poetry committee.

Benefits of the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate:
· $500 stipend
· optional published chapbook of the YPL’s work
· mentoring by the Northampton Poet Laureate
· resume builder
· bragging rights

Requirements of the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate:
· serve a one-year term from August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022
· promote poetry within the Youth Poet Laureate’s school or homeschool community
· promote poetry within Northampton, Florence, and Leeds
· design and complete one community or school-based poetry project· participate in at least two community poetry readings or performances and read at occasional Northampton Arts Council events (may be virtual, as needed)

Questions? Please reach out to

Tonight: Downtown Northampton's Covid Rapid Recovery Forum

WHAT: Helping Downtown Recover from COVID-19 - Forum 
WHERE: Zoom /
WHEN: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 6:00 PM 

On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, the city will host its “Helping Downtown Recover from COVID-19” meeting as part of a $90,000 grant the city received under the Commonwealth’s Rapid Recovery Plan program.

Come join us as we plan on how to help downtown recover from the Covid catastrophe. This Commonwealth funded planning process will help us create a strategic action plan.

The April 27, 2021 “Helping Downtown Recover from COVID-19” will share output from the Commonwealth's Rapid Recovery Plan Program. The project is designed to support our business community through actionable, project-based recovery recommendations unique to the individual economic challenges and COVID-related impacts in our downtown. These plans, facilitated by the Commonwealth and standardized across communities, will be developed in coordination with the City of Northampton. The goal is to share the results of our Rapid Recovery business survey and discuss with you what comes next during a community meeting. 

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or

Join Zoom Meeting
OR call in
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 945 4910 1976

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