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

Historic Northampton March 2021 Programs

WHAT: Historic Northampton
WHEN: March 2021 Programs
WHERE: Online / Virtual 

Commandment 613
A 23-minute documentary film about Rabbi Kevin Hale and the Sacred Craft
of a Torah Scribe directed by Miriam Lewin.

In this short documentary, we meet Rabbi Kevin Hale of Leeds, a joyful sofer (Torah scribe) who restores scrolls that were saved in Czechoslovakia during the Shoah. As he goes about his sacred craft, this son of refugees from Nazi Germany reflects on his own path to a life of faith and practice.

Commandment 613 will make its Western Massachusetts premiere during the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival. Historic Northampton and Circles for Jewish Living are honored to co-sponsor these events.

Watch a virtual screening at home.
March 5 - 9, 2021

Attend a virtual calligraphy demo & class led by Rabbi Hall.
Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 10:30 am

Join the virtual film discussion.
Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Learn More | Register

Exile: Homelessness and Northampton State Hospital
Christopher J. Sparks, historian and writer
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

Christopher J. Sparks will compare 19th century thinking about the root causes of psychiatric disorders, which led to the establishment of the Northampton State Hospital, with 20th century ideas about mental health, which culminated with the closing of the hospital.

The program will explore two documents: Dr. Edward Jarvis's “Insanity and Idiocy in Massachusetts” from 1855 and video segments from Frontline’s “A Place for Madness,” produced in 1994, on the closing of Northampton State Hospital.
Learn More | Register

Rediscovering Northampton: Local History Viewed Through an Ecological Lens
Northampton's Parks: An Unexpected History
Laurie Sanders, co-director and naturalist
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

How did Northampton citizens respond to the idea of creating public parks? In Part 5 of the lecture series, Rediscovering Northampton, Laurie Sanders will describe the origins of the Northampton parks we enjoy today and tell the tales of those that were never created. It is no surprise that the establishment of nearly all of them was controversial.

Admission: Sliding scale $0 - $20
Learn More | Register

"Ladies Notice:" Dressmaking and Millinery on Main Street in Nineteenth-Century Northampton
Lynne Zacek Bassett, costume and textile historian
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | 7 pm | via Zoom

An 1890s article in the Hampshire Gazette inquired how Northampton's "excess of women" made their living. Indeed, in the decades following the Civil War, thousands of women across the country had to support themselves and possibly also family members after the loss of nearly 750,000 men in the war.

The needle trades had offered money-earning opportunities to women for hundreds of years. This lecture by nationally recognized costume and textile historian Lynne Zacek Bassett will examine the nineteenth-century millinery and dressmaking trades in Northampton, focusing particularly on the Dickinson family, who dominated the millinery trade in Hampshire County for most of the century, and dressmakers represented by extant dresses in Historic Northampton's collection.

Admission: Sliding scale $0 - $20
Learn More | Register

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Northampton, MA 01060

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