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, March 3, 2021

Four Sundays in February 2021 Recap


The Northampton Arts Council wrapped up its winter programming this past weekend with the final event in our Four Sundays in February 2021 series. Starting in 1993, Four Sundays in February is one of the longest running community winter arts series in the country and didn’t even let a global pandemic prevent it from brightening up our winter with amazing art events in 2021. While the series has traditionally taken place during the month of February at various performance venues in Northampton, this year all programming shifted to virtual broadcasts to local tv and the internet.

The series kicked off with the 37th Silver Chord Bowl, a showcase and celebration of one of our most treasured local music groups: Northampton High School’s a cappella stars, The Northamptones. The retrospective concert celebrated the group’s 20th Anniversary and the release of their brand new album “Quaratones” recorded separately in isolation during the covid-19 pandemic. Audiences got to relive standout performances from past groups, hear insightful interviews with former members, witness the outstanding direction of Beau Flahive and become familiar with the newest group of ‘Tones. The students’ personalized videos, recording sessions stories and incredible singing voices represent all their hard work during this tough year and exactly why the group is such a special part of this community.

For a 2021 Valentine’s Day unlike any before, we presented: Dinner and A Show - Pizza and Songs with Henning and Lisa. This short video session brought you into the home of local musicians Lesa Bezo (The Fawns) and Henning Ohlenbusch (Gentle Hen, The Fawns) as they made pizza from scratch and sang original songs from the dinner table. Electric guitars, 12 string acoustic, casio keyboard, peppers, onions, basil and mozzarella all mix together for a home cooked evening of love and music.

KidsBestFest returned in 2021 with a virtual edition for families to view from home, instead of its traditional home at the Academy of Music. As always, the film festival was presented free of admission during February school vacation week. KidsBestFest showcased stories of challenges, triumphs, fun and adventure, all told through animation, documentary, comedy and more. Featured films from around the world included “Woolworld” and other selected shorts by Joanna Polak, “The Arctic Camels,” Opertura short films, My Name is Pedro,” and “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl).”


Presented in collaboration with Northampton’s The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT) and New England’s Motion State Arts, our third Sunday event featured an innovative collection of dances for film and artist talk. The SCDT Screen Dance Festival showcased Valley Artist Cynthia Mclaughlin's, Brangelina alongside international dance films from Omari Carter (UK), Dagmar Daucher: (AT), Jordan Fuchs (USA), Mistaya Hemingway & Clyde Henry Productions (CA), Ali Kenner Brodsky (USA), Shon Kim (Korea), Rebecca McGowan and Jackie O'Riley (USA), Ellen Oliver (USA). This beautiful display of a wide variety of approaches to dance and film were followed by an engaging artist talk with many of the featured performers.

We wrapped up our 2021 series with February’s Finest: The Best of Four Sundays 2014-2020 a video collection showcasing a mix of our most highly-acclaimed Four Sundays in February series shows, compiled and remastered with Northampton Open Media. This greatest hits style event allowed audiences to relive amazing moments from gifted local artists to visiting international stars featured at our most popular February presentations. Although many of these great shows were appreciated by packed houses on their debut, it was due time to let them be enjoyed by wider audiences through the internet. February’s Finest includes masters of Indian Classical music, incredible Opera singers, jazz/funk great Charles Neville, a teenage touring Bachata band from the Dominican Republic plus local stars like Mal Devisa, Mark Mulcahey, Spouse, The UnBand and many more! The compilation intertwined sensational scenes from our numerous February stage productions into a compellingly fresh narrative for video audiences which reaffirms the remarkable community we live in and the undeniable gift of art.





If you would like more information about our grant programs, please visit http://northamptonartscouncil.org. If you would like to learn more about upcoming arts events in downtown Northampton, please visit paradisedistrict.org.

FSF 2021 would not have been possible without the video mastery of Northampton Open Media and in particular Dave Newland.


Thank you to all of our sponsors:
Four Sundays Series Sponsor: UMASSFIVE College Federal Credit Union

Media Sponsors: Northampton Open Media, Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Republican, New England Public Media, 93.9 FM The River, WHMP 101.5 FM, Pure Oldies 96.9 FM, Rewind 94.3 FM

Organizational Support: City of Northampton, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Northampton Arts Council

Gold Sponsors: Commonwealth Registry of Nurses, Delap Real Estate, National Grid, Gage Wiley

Silver Sponsors: Greenfield Northampton Cooperative Bank, Fitzwilly's, Pinch!, State Senator Jo Comerford, Wohl Family Dentistry, Florence Bank, Marisa Labozzetta and Martin Wohl

Bronze Sponsors: Earthview LLC "New Book", Etheredge & Steuer, P.C., Broadside Bookshop, Maple and Main Realty, David Narkewicz Campaign Committee, Amherst Cinema, Downtown Sounds, Northampton Area Pediatrics

Events produced by the Northampton Arts Council; Proceeds benefit arts enrichment in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds

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