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, March 30, 2023

    Northampton Arts Council ArtsEZ 2023 Grant Round Application Opens Soon

    The Northampton Arts Council is pleased to announce the opening of our ArtsEZ 2023 SPRING GRANT ROUND on April 14, 2023, with a deadline of Friday, May 19, 2023. Individuals, schools, and arts organizations are encouraged to seek funding for creative projects to be held in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. The grants are funded by the proceeds from the Northampton Arts Council’s signature events: The Silver Chord Bowl, Performance, and First Night Northampton.

    This spring, the Northampton Arts Council will grant up to $12,500 to local artists, schools, and arts groups. Grants will be awarded in the following categories: dance, film/video, literature, mixed media, music, schools, theater, and visual arts. Individual artists and arts organizations will receive equal consideration for grants.

    To apply, please complete the ArtsEZ Spring 2023 Online-Only Application Form. The link to the application will be live on our website on April 14th. It is a simple form with short questions, a place to upload supporting materials, and a required project budget. Only one grant application per person or organization will be considered. Please review the Arts EZ Spring 2023 guidelines for criteria and eligibility requirements. Projects must start by July 1, 2023, and be complete by June 30, 2024. This local round of funding would not have been possible without the support of numerous local businesses, arts organizations, and artists who helped make our fundraising efforts successful. To find out more about the ArtsEZ Grant Round, visit the grants page on our website:

    Wednesday, March 29, 2023

    Monoprint Collage: New one-of-a-kind works by Betsy Feick, Kate Jenkins, Lynn Peterfreund and Rich Turnbull

    WHAT: Monoprint Collage: New one-of-a-kind works by Betsy Feick, Kate Jenkins, Lynn Peterfreund and Rich Turnbull
    WHEN: April 1-29, 2023. Reception: Saturday April 1, 3:30-5:30 PM
    WHERE: Forbes Library Hosmer Gallery 20 West Street Northampton, MA. 

    Monoprints are one-of-a-kind prints, sometimes made in series, usually but not always on paper, and often showing an immediacy of thought and gesture. In this collection of monoprint collages the artists have further increased the power and visual appeal of the print with cutting, tearing, pasting, layering, combining and sometimes making drawn or painted additions. Subjects for this exhibit range from real to abstract to whimsical. All four printmakers are affiliated with Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton.

    Gallery Hours:
    Monday-Thursday 10-8; Friday-Saturday 10-6; closed Sundays and holidays.
    See for any updates.

    Forbes Library Hosmer Gallery
    20 West Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
    (413) 587-1013

    Friends of Forbes Library Meeting & History of Downtown Northampton Talk 1887-1987

    WHAT: Friends of Forbes Library Meeting & History of Downtown Northampton Talk 1887-1987
    WHERE: Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30 PM
    WHEN: Forbes Library Coolidge Museum

    The Friends of Forbes Library's annual meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30 PM in the library's Coolidge Museum. It will also be live streamed on YouTube. After a brief business meeting, local history specialist Dylan Gaffney will present an illustrated talk about the history of Downtown Northampton from 1887-1987. "I chose this time period because it is well documented in our photo archives and represents a century of both constant change and lasting memories for those who lived, worked, shopped, and visited downtown" said Gaffney. In this talk you will learn about the businesses, architecture, economics, and cultural changes that have both shaped and been shaped by our unique city center. This program is free and open to the public. For more information contact the library at 413-587-1011 or email

    The Friends of Forbes is a nonprofit group that supports the library. Annual membership in the Friends is $20 for an individual and $35 for a household. Forms to join will be available at the annual meeting.

    Images available for use (credit Special Collections at Forbes Library) Press contact: Lisa Downing,

    Riven: A New Play in Development Conceived and directed by Marina Zurita

    WHAT: Riven: A New Play in Development Conceived and directed by Marina Zurita
                 Created in collaboration with performers Laila Garroni, Josanna Vaz, and Isabelle Bushue
    WHERE: A.P.E. Gallery 126 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060 
    WHEN: Saturday April 29th at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 30th at 2:30 pm
    Suggest donation $5-$20 at the door

    Riven is a new play in development based on interviews with Brazilian waste pickers, which investigates the intersections between motherhood and the accumulation of waste. The story of Riven centers the interweaving lives of Melina and Alessandra, two black Brazilian catadoras (waste pickers) working at a scrapyard in the city of São Paulo. As these two women sort through piles of waste in the predictable day-to-day of the scrapyard, they face the impacts of a chaotic and unforgiving world outside. Melina and Alessandra must sort through not only the accumulated discards of others, but through the accumulations of their own complex relationship. Meanwhile, there is Little Girl, a Chinese child who weaves ghost-like through the world of the play. She is a child waste picker rescuing objects from the piles of neglect around her – immersing them in her imagination and tracing a world of her own.

    Riven raises awareness and gives voice to the global community of waste pickers – an invisible community that expands beyond Brazil, accounting for more than 20 million people around the world. Waste pickers collect–from streets and landfills–materials to be recycled and, therefore, contribute tremendously to the conservation of natural resources. A community that lives at the fringes of society, waste pickers sort our discards and in doing so care for a future other than their own.

    This work-in-progress sharing will be followed by a post-show conversation. Join the creative team and, through dialogue, support the development of Riven.

    Riven is being workshopped as a part of the LAB at A.P.E. which supports the development of new work through residency, mentorship, and ongoing conversation with peers in the field of performance making. The LAB is a collaboration between A.P.E. and Serious Play Theatre Ensemble. 

    Monday, March 27, 2023

    The Bow Bow Ball - The J Scott Brandon Grant Fund Benefit

    A benefit concert for the Northampton Arts Council's J Scott Brandon Fund featuring a mix of NHS student musicians, ensembles, and local performers. Join us at JJ's Tavern for a night of music, celebration, and fundraising for a great cause. Our second annual event will feature Ms.Conception, Stickyhand, Dearth Toast and more. 

    The J. Scott Brandon Grant Fund was created to provide students at Northampton High School with financial assistance for music lessons and supplies for their instruments throughout their high school careers. Weekly lessons are provided by a musician at a local music school (Downtown Sounds or Northampton Community Music School - student’s choice). Ninth and tenth-grade Northampton High School students in need of financial support are eligible for scholarship funds to receive music lessons. Students are nominated for the grant by Paul Kinsman and Claire Williams. The Arts Council is pleased to support the opportunity for students, regardless of their financial resources, to be a part of an inclusive community of musicians.

    When: Friday, April 14, 2023, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    Where: JJ’s Tavern, 99 Main Street, Florence, MA 01062

    How much: FREE with Sliding scale donations at the door and online

    KidsBestFest 2023

    KidsBestFest is brought to you in part by Northampton Open Media and A2Z Science and Learning Store

    WHAT: KidsBestFest is a movie festival for kids and adults with free admission held during the spring school break at the Academy of Music Theatre. KidsBestFest is a part of the Four Sundays series. We kick off the free movie festival on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 11:00 AM, with doors open at 10:30 AM.

    WHEN: Monday, April 17, 2023 - Friday, April 21, 2023, 11:00 AM showtime, doors at 10:30 AM

    WHERE: The Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

    TICKETS: Free, First come, first served, general admission, balcony closed

    Thursday, March 16, 2023

    Our apology

    We apologize to all of those impacted by the cancellation of the 2021 Northampton Biennial and to those we excluded by failed outreach attempts, especially our local BIPOC communities. 

    We also apologize to the artists, jurors, and Forbes Library for inviting you into a flawed process. To the artists, we apologize for taking away the opportunity to have your work on view. We acknowledge the time, effort, and expenses you put towards your participation in this event. We are also sorry for the last-minute nature of the cancellation. To the jurors and Forbes Library, we’re sorry that we didn’t find a way to include you in the planning and the conversation around the cancellation. We regret that our practice was not inclusive of your experience, expertise, and voices. 

    We know that many were looking forward to viewing art together in public after the pandemic. We are sorry that we were unable to produce this event for the community because we realized so late in the process that this was not entirely aligned with our equity statement:

    The Northampton Arts Council believes that art is for everyone. We strive to produce, support, and sustain arts and cultural initiatives that uphold all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically marginalized based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion. We affirm the need to redress historical inequities in the arts and cultural sector and commit to supporting equitable and inclusive practices through all aspects of our work.

    We are committed to centering this equity statement. We will strive to ensure: 

    • continued conversations around the issues raised by this Biennial process

    • accessible, community-based, and inclusive arts programming   

    • equitable and diverse outreach practices

    • flexible timelines that accommodate feedback and collaboration  

    • transparent work processes and communication 

    • authentic and lasting relationships and partnerships

    • diversification and expansion of the voices on the Council  

    We look forward to realizing this vision together. 



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