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, November 7, 2018

Announcing "Community Engagement for Artists" Workshops this Fall

Photo Credit: Conexión Américas
Are you an artist curious about creating public art or art for social change projects with your community? Join the UMass Arts Extension Service (AES) for a free, evening-long Community Engagement for Artists Workshop this fall (pre-registration required). Learn about the innovative community-engaged art projects happening nationwide, best practices, and the skills required to create an art project that engages your community.

Workshop Dates/Locations:

-- Westfield: Monday, October 1st 5:30 – 8:00pm at The Rinnova Gallery, 105 Elm St.
-- Amherst: Tuesday, October 9th 6:00 - 8:30pm at the Jones Library, Woodbury Room, 43 Amity St.
-- Easthampton: Tuesday October 16th 5:30 – 8:00pm at the Flywheel Arts Collective, 43 Main St.
-- Springfield: Wednesday, November 7th 5:30 – 8:00pm at the Community Music School of Springfield, 127 State St.
Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Pre-register by contacting AES at or 413-545-2360.

Community engaged art is on the rise! Artists and organizations from all genres – dance, theater, music, painting, sculpture, design, and more – are designing projects to build community and affect social change. Performers are amplifying the voices of Latina immigrants and promoting dialogue around issues faced by LGBTQ+ communities. Interdisciplinary artists are documenting and activating stories of crossing the U.S./Mexico border. Lakota youth and artists are teaming up with international graffiti artists to paint graffiti celebrating Lakota culture. And so much more! In the upcoming Community Engagement for Artists workshops we will be inspired by the abundance of community-engaged projects happening nationwide and beyond.

Community-engagement art projects, whether student designed murals, participatory installations or performances, or arts education opportunities for underserved communities, are excellent opportunities for Western Massachusetts artists to harness the power of art to bring people together across difference and have a broad social impact. Leading these projects takes special skills. In this evening long workshop, artists will receive a broad overview of how to: identify opportunities for public art and socially-engaged projects, begin collaborations and partnerships, and develop art projects that truly reflect the needs and interests of the communities involved.

Community-engaged art provides a unique opportunity for artists to expand beyond their comfort zones and historical artistic approach and to learn as much as to teach. These projects also reach new audiences and bring artists’ work new visibility.

Workshops will be taught by AES Lecturer Terre Vandale who brings a wealth of experience, both as a movement-based, interdisciplinary community artist and as an arts manager for renowned community-based artists and nonprofit arts organizations.

The Community Engagement for Artists Workshops are part of the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service’s Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative, which serves artists through intensive workshops on the business of art, courses, publications, and an internship program to connect UMass and 5 College arts and humanities students with individual artists and arts organizations. These trainings are funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Westfield Cultural Council, Amherst Cultural Council, Easthampton Cultural Council, Springfield Cultural Council, and UMass Amherst. Trainings are presented in partnership with Westfield on Weekends, the Amherst Central Cultural District, Easthampton City Arts, Flywheel Arts Collective, Springfield Central Cultural District, and the Community Music School of Springfield.

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