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, March 16, 2023

Our apology

We apologize to all of those impacted by the cancellation of the 2021 Northampton Biennial and to those we excluded by failed outreach attempts, especially our local BIPOC communities. 

We also apologize to the artists, jurors, and Forbes Library for inviting you into a flawed process. To the artists, we apologize for taking away the opportunity to have your work on view. We acknowledge the time, effort, and expenses you put towards your participation in this event. We are also sorry for the last-minute nature of the cancellation. To the jurors and Forbes Library, we’re sorry that we didn’t find a way to include you in the planning and the conversation around the cancellation. We regret that our practice was not inclusive of your experience, expertise, and voices. 

We know that many were looking forward to viewing art together in public after the pandemic. We are sorry that we were unable to produce this event for the community because we realized so late in the process that this was not entirely aligned with our equity statement:

The Northampton Arts Council believes that art is for everyone. We strive to produce, support, and sustain arts and cultural initiatives that uphold all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically marginalized based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion. We affirm the need to redress historical inequities in the arts and cultural sector and commit to supporting equitable and inclusive practices through all aspects of our work.

We are committed to centering this equity statement. We will strive to ensure: 

  • continued conversations around the issues raised by this Biennial process

  • accessible, community-based, and inclusive arts programming   

  • equitable and diverse outreach practices

  • flexible timelines that accommodate feedback and collaboration  

  • transparent work processes and communication 

  • authentic and lasting relationships and partnerships

  • diversification and expansion of the voices on the Council  

We look forward to realizing this vision together. 



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