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, February 23, 2023

Making Ground at 33 Hawley Workroom Theater February 22 - March 4

WHAT: Making Ground
WHEN: February 22 - March 4
WHERE: Workroom Theater at 33 Hawley St. Northampton, MA. 

From February 22 - March 4, A.P.E. will make available the 3800 sq ft. floor of the Workroom Theater at 33 Hawley for a public, participatory creative action -- Making Ground. Thanks to a federal grant awarded to the Northampton Community Arts Trust, renovations to the Workroom and 33 Hawley will begin in early March. These upcoming renovations of the Workroom offer A.P.E. a unique opportunity to integrate the expressions of artists and other community members into the very structure of an arts space. For the 11 days of Making Ground, the Workroom and the land on which it sits will be a site for personal and interconnected creative engagement with our relationships to land, community, space, imagination, and stewardship.

The Workroom floor will be the canvas upon which
​artists and the wider community are invited to create, reflect, and imagine together.
​All levels of art experience are welcome!
As renovations commence, our collective marks will be covered and preserved beneath a new sprung floor, and will remain–in perpetuity–as the unseen 'ground' upon which all future imaginings take form. PLEASE JOIN US for this rare opportunity to consider – personally and collectively – the traces we leave on the spaces and land we inhabit, and engage in creative interventions that might make new pathways possible.

Drawing materials will be provided.
Guidance and inspirations for participation will be offered.
​You only need to bring your attentive imagination!


- All events take place in A.P.E.'s Workroom Theater at 33 Hawley. Face masks recommended.
- All events are FREE ​unless otherwise noted
- If you are interested in participating at a time outside of these public events,
use THIS FORM to sign up for an 'Open Hours' time slot

Unwinding • Wednesday, February 22; 10am-11am
Inspired by art works of A.P.E. founder Gordon Thorne, the leadership of A.P.E. invite anyone to join them in a creative practice of ‘unwinding’. This inaugural event of Making Ground will include a movement and drawing meditation, opening the space for the creative activities to come. FREE!

Mark Making for Homeschoolers • Friday, February 24; 10am-12pm
Come engage with ideas and art as we consider land, design, and possibility.
Led by Mollye Maxner. All ages welcome (14 and under must be accompanied by an adult) FREE!

Catalyze: racial affinity spaces to explore place and belonging through creative practice & dialogue
Catalyze is a collaboration of two events designed to ignite personal alignment and collective integrity in relationship to place and the stewardship of land. Both events are racial affinity spaces and will use community dialogue and creative practice as entry points to investigate themes of home, land, ancestry, colonization, assimilation, belonging, and possibility. Together we will explore our own unique relationship to these themes, deepen our felt sense of interconnection as comrades in creative vision, and mark the floor with traces of ourselves in collective process. Whether you are new to this conversation or bring a deep fluency, please join us! These spaces are oriented towards adults, but young people are welcome to participate. Face masks are required and will be available. FREE!

Catalyze #1 • Saturday, February 25; 10am-12pm
People of Color Affinity Space held by Romeo Romero Sigle
Open to people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab/Middle Eastern, and/or Mixed Race.
RSVP for this event HERE. RSVP is encouraged but not required.

Catalyze #2 • Thursday, March 2; 6:30-8:30pm
White Affinity Space held by Jo Kent Katz and Lailye Weidman
Open to people who identify as White and European, including white Jews
RSVP for this event HERE. RSVP is encouraged but not required.

Community Activation Days • Saturday, February 25; 12:30-8pm + Sunday, February 26; 12-6pm
For these 2 days the wider community is invited to infuse the Workroom with their creativity and draw relationships to land, space, and belonging. Drawing materials will be provided. Guidance and inspirations for participation will be offered. All are invited to bring their attentive imagination! Drop in for 15 minutes, or stay for longer. No art experience necessary. Open to all ages. FREE!

SCDT offers LOVE LETTERS TO THE FUTURE • Monday, February 27; 6:30-8pm
with Jen Polins and others; as part of their Adult Beginner Modern class series
The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought is honored to join the mark-making rituals of A.P.E. 's Making Ground, with LOVE LETTERS TO THE FUTURE. These marks will be covered by the new spring floor, sealing in our collective practices, like love letters to the future imaginings of this wonderfilled space. Join us for somatic and improvisational practices honoring the subtle, unseen, less attended pathways of physicality and perception that strongly influence the shape of our lives. We will travel together to explore community, connection to self/other/space/place. At the end, our journey will be visible, our collective marks available, as we conclude our class sessions in the unfinished workroom and look forward to re entry in late 2023!
ALL ARE WELCOME, by donation. Register here (recommended but not required).
No one turned away for lack of funds

Winding In • Friday, March 3; 10am-11:30am
Join the A.P.E. leadership in a creative practice that begins to integrate the collective traces and considerations that have emerged throughout Making Ground and ‘wind them in’ to the future we all have imagined for this space. FREE!

Closing Celebration • Saturday, March 4; 12-4pm
Come explore and celebrate all that has been created by our community over the previous days. Refreshments will be provided. ​FREE!

Making Ground would not be possible without the wisdom and insight offered by our thinking partners in planning this project; our 'Ground Crew'. Deep gratitude to Javiera Benavente, Robert Eastman, Jo Kent Katz, Trenda Loftin, and Lisa Thompson.

Connect & Follow

Artist News

    Council News

      Search This Blog

      Blog Archive