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, September 7, 2023

ArtsHub - Building Community, Resiliency & an Equitable Creative Economy: A Day of Connecting Artists

The ArtsHub of Western MA invites artists and creatives, and arts managers of all kinds to join ArtsHub - Building Community, Resiliency & an Equitable Creative Economy: 

A Day of Connecting Artists, a day of workshops, panel discussions and community to be held on Saturday, September 23, 10 am to 2 pm at Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, 130 Pine St, Florence, MA.  

The registration link and bios may be found at  This event is made possible thanks to the City of Northampton’s ARPA Community Recovery Projects grant and creatives from Northampton, Florence and Leeds are given priority, but the event is open to all.  The Early bird registration cost is $15 plus a nominal processing fee through September 9th, then $30 plus processing fee through September 18th when registration closes.  Registration includes coffee and networking snacks, and lunch from Masa Mexicano. 

The morning session "Communication. Connection. Collaboration” will be emceed by Justin Beatty, artist, DEI Consultant for the ArtsHub, and owner of the Odenow Powwow, and will feature panelists Felicia Lundquist, principal of Think Again, which focuses on Social Justice trainings; Mollye Maxner, co-director of A.P.E. Gallery; and Iohann Vega, Director of Media Engagement at Holyoke Media. 

"Improving our ability, as artists, to express the world around us is often bolstered by developing relationships that help us gain perspective and knowledge. Dialogue across the talented and varied communities of artists in Western Massachusetts can help us individually become more insightful and accurate in expression through our respective crafts. How do we create this dialogue? What does the work to develop relationships look like at times? How can we be respectful of others while sharing our perspective of the world in our works?" asks Beatty.

The morning session will explore these concepts from a regional perspective as per the description: “As a community of artists, we communicate through our respective crafts. We create commentaries on the world around us through sound, movement, & visual representation. To delve deeper and be more accurate in communicating the world around us to others, we sometimes look to collaborate with each other. But how do we do this work? How do we develop opportunities and relationships with each other in order to create partnerships in our craft? How can we engage with communities and artists that may come from other experiences outside our own in ways that are respectful, honest, informative, and fun? Where are our blind spots? How do we connect & collaborate when our commonalities may be limited to our love of the arts? This panel discussion seeks to explore options, methods, successes, and complications of community building in order to provide us with tools to improve the collective knowledge around community & collaboration for artists in Western Massachusetts."

“Artist Nayana Lafond, best known for her #MMIWG series (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls), and I will lead the afternoon session, Creating Art, Creating Community explores how to incorporate the morning’s concepts into one’s own art or creative business, and asks: “How do we work together so our work and time is valued and recognized as the core of the creative economy? How do we understand and utilize the community’s assets so we can expand and take advantage of opportunities?” explains Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director of the Arts Extension Service at UMass Amherst and an ArtsHub co-coordinator.

“The discussion personalizes the morning’s exploration of working in community and in collaboration. We will ask how artists can best support themselves while supporting and working in collaboration with one another, share ideas on how to bolster their careers through community building, and ask how the ArtsHub can - besides financial - support their efforts.” said Boyle-Clapp. “The afternoon session will not be shy about confronting the unique needs and opportunities available to, and confronting, artists. It is exciting to be an artist or performer, however, as creatives we often need to work in isolation to make art, but to change an ecosystem, we will get farther together.” 

The ArtsHub of Western Mass is an online resource for the creative community in Western Massachusetts and includes a database of Western Mass creatives, funding resources, professional development opportunities, events, and feature articles relevant to the creative community. More at  The Arts Extension Institute is the fiscal sponsor for this grant and receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. 

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