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.

Performance Live Tribute Benefit Music Festival

 A community tradition of over 30 years, Performance is Northampton’s annual end-of-summer Live Tribute Music Benefit at Pines Theater in Look Park.

Jointly presented by The Northampton Arts Council and the Parent-Teacher-Organizations (PTO) of the four Northampton Elementary Schools, JFK Middle School and Northampton High School, proceeds from Performance are shared to equally fund arts enrichment programs in the public school and an additional second grant round administered by the arts council to support the work of many, many local artists and performing groups. 

Performance started way back in 1991 when funding for the arts took a dismal turn. The Mass Cultural Council went from a budget of from 20 million down to 3 million dollars. The Arts Council met with cultural liaisons from PTOs of local schools and decided to create a big event to raise money. Lookstock: The Performance Peace brought close to 2,000 people to Look Park, and we’ve been going strong ever since! Each year the festival is a near sell out, bringing our community together to rock out to their favorite local bands, dance in the sunshine, help raise funds for a good cause and strengthen our connections. 

The original concept for Performance was for local bands to transform into the persona of another established nationally recognized act and perform their bands’ style, based around a new theme for each year’s festival.  Examples include Performance 22 “Food Groups” (Heather Maloney as Amy Winehouse), Performance 20 “Body Parts” (King Radio as The Flaming Lips) Performance 13 “Southern Fried” (Mark Mulchahy with J Mascis as The Allman Brothers)

Past Transperformance Themes:
1991 – Lookstock: The Performance Peace

1992 – Beyond Karaoke

1993 – Dick Clark Look Park

1994 – Rock and Roll Heaven

1995 – Way Off Broadway

1996 – Night at the Opry

1997 – Tuesday Night Fever

1998 – Oy Vegas

1999 – Limeypalooza

2000 – Look Punk

2001 – Cali-Faux-Nia-Dreaming

2002 – Oh! Canada

2003 – Southern Fried Transperformance

2004 – Animals and Insects

2005 – New York: A Bite from the Big Apple

2006 – All in the Family

2007 – Color by Numbers

2008 – Letters and Numbers
2009 – LookStock
2010 – Body Parts
2011 – Nohobility
2012 – Food Groups
2013 – Beyond Bob
2014 – Off The Map
2015  – Look at The Movies
2016 – Labor Party
2017 – Rock N Roll Heaven
2018 – Amperbands
2019 – LookStock
2020 – LIVE AID

2021 - Unsung Heroes

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