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, June 24, 2020

Amherst Center Cultural District's COVID -19 ARTIST CONTEST


A Call for Artists, Musicians, Poets & Writers

The Amherst Center Cultural District is sponsoring a contest for artists in all mediums to express their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $4000 in cash and gift certificates will be distributed to winners in various categories. The ACCD has received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council last fall to develop this year’s ARTWeek programming, but we would like to distribute the funds directly to artists. The MCC is permitting its grantee organizations to repurpose those grants as they deem most appropriate.

The impact of COVID-19 continues to broadly affect every aspect of life around the world. Artists can best communicate, express and decipher complicated and challenging times. Where and how we live, eat, work, communicate, reflect, stay informed, vote, stay healthy, provide for ourselves and our family, stay sane and balanced and resilient are daily, even hourly concerns. We are experiencing this together, but every experience is not the same.

Our goal with this contest is to ensure all artists are seen and heard. The ACCD board recognizes that racism is a public health crisis. We also recognize that COVID-19 has greater impact on people of color, low-income individuals, the disabled and we encourage submissions from traditionally underrepresented communities.

Who Is Eligible?
You are eligible to apply to this contest if you fulfill the following requirements:

• You are an artist working in any discipline and you are aged 18 or older;

• You work or have worked in Amherst, and/or your creative work has been exhibited or performed in Amherst; and

• You certify that the virus has impacted the income you have expected from your creative work this year.

The Entries

Your artistic entry can be in any medium as long as it conveys your response to COVID-19.
We highly encourage artists who identify as people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled or from a minority or underrepresented demographic to apply.

The work must be able to be viewed or heard online for a virtual exhibition or performance in the fall. At an appropriate point, the ACCD hopes to exhibit or have the work performed “live.” Only one entry is allowed per artist. There is NO entry fee.

Please reach out if you need help applying.

The work could be any 2-dimensional art, photography, sculpture or art installation, musical performance, poetry, essay or other writing, or other creative response to the pandemic. Submission requirements are detailed below.

5 Categories:

● 2-dimensional art (painting, photography, chalk art, etc.)

● Sculpture or art installation

● Musical or dance performance

● Poetry or written word

● Other

Important Dates

June 22: Announcement of ACCD COVID-19 Contest

July 15: Deadline for Artist to fill out Application Form to enter contest

Aug. 22: Deadline for Submission of work

Sept. 7: Announcement of Winners

Sept. 15: Announcement of Online Exhibition

The Awards

Grand Prize - $375

First Prizes in 5 categories - $250 each

Second Prize in 5 categories - $175 each

Third Prize in 5 categories - $100 each

Honorable Mentions 20 - $50 gift certificates

The Jury

Decisions on all awards will be made by a subcommittee of the ACCD board of directors and creatives in the community appointed by the board.


• Visual art must be submitted in jpeg or png format with the longest side being 7 inches; resolution no less than 100 dpi.

• Video submissions (e.g. dance performances) must be either linked to YouTube or submitted in Vimeo format, no longer than 10 minutes in length.

• Filmed musical performances must be no longer than 10 minutes in length, linked and submitted via YouTube, Vimeo, BandCamp or
other platform with original lyrics (if any) submitted as accompanying Word document.

• Poetry & Writing must not exceed 1,000 words.

Submit entry using Application Form: by July 15th

Submit work by email to by midnight, Aug. 22.

Please use that email if you have any questions or need help submitting your application.

Information on the contest is on our website: Amherst Center Cultural District

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