The Northampton Arts Council is a city board and a non-profit organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools. Over the years the Council has expanded its role to include arts advocacy, public art projects, biennial juried exhibits, and maintaining the diverse cultural heritage of Northampton. The Council is the only one in the state that still has two rounds of funding each year, thanks to its annual fundraising events Transperformance and Four Sundays in February. The Northampton Arts Council is governed by a volunteer board of directors, appointed by the city’s mayor, and is staffed by an Executive Director and an Arts Administrator.
For more information about the City Arts Council programs and staff or the volunteer Arts Council Board, visit their external website.
Northampton Arts Council
240 Main Street
Memorial Hall #5
Northampton, MA 01060
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Monday or Friday
Northampton Arts Council Board Members/FY12-FY13
Members of the Arts Council cover the following areas of expertise:
Arts and Finances: Josh Bedell - Josh is a financial advisor with Gage-Wiley in Northampton. His work focuses on investment and wealth management for individuals and families. Josh graduated from Hampshire College with a concentration in music and physics, and received his Master's from Brooklyn College in mathematics education. He taught high school mathematics in NYC public schools for 5 years before returning to the valley to pursue his current work.
Arts and Literature: Joan Axelrod Contrada - Joan Axelrod-Contrada is a playwright and children's author. As a playwright, she specializes in murder-mystery dinner-theater productions. As an author, she's written 15 nonfiction books for children about subjects ranging from poverty in America to the Lizzie Borden trial. Her young adult novel about a teenage singer-songwriter is due out in the spring of 2013. Joan began her career as a journalist, freelancing for The Boston Globe.
Arts and Finances: Robin Glenn – Robin was the President of the board of Friends of Lily Library from 2005-2008, Executive Director of Voices from Inside from 2008-2011 and is currently a volunteer organizer for the Edible Book Event starting in 2007. She handles promotion and marketing for local writers and is a discovery consultant for death penalty litigators.
Arts and Theater Education: Sarah Marcus - Sarah is a theatre artist and educator. She holds an M.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University and a B.A. in History from Tufts University. She has developed theater classes in schools and summer programs throughout New York City and currently teaches drama at The Bement School in Deerfield. Her solo show, The Company of Myself, premiered at the Emerging Artists Theatre in New York, and she has appeared in plays at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Cleveland Public Theatre, NY International Fringe Festival, and HERE Arts Center, among others.
Arts and Presenting: George Myers – George is the general manager of the Amherst Cinema. He has extensive knowledge of the Northampton Art Scene, night life and music scene. Booked national, international tours for musicians. Curates film series.
Arts and Graphic Design: Eric Olsson - Eric Olsson graduated with a BA in Finance and Operations Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has worked as a marketing and graphic design consultant since 1991 with clients throughout the New England area. He began working with Knowledge Matters in 1999 as the Creative Director. Eric has taught classes on graphic design and printing technology at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton, MA.
Public Art and Photography: Stephen Petegorsky -- Stephen is a professional photographer whose work has been exhibited nationally and is in numerous collections throughout the country. He has an M.F.A. in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has taught at Smith College, Hampshire College and at the University of Connecticut. Stephen served on Board of the Arts Council for six years and is returning after a two-year hiatus. He is currently an Associate Member of the Arts Council.
Arts and Community: Julie Robbins moved to the valley from NYC eight years ago. She was, and still is, a cultural connoisseur with theater being her passion. She served on the Board of New Century Theatre, and is currently setting up a healing center with her husband using neuro-feedback, vibro-acoustic sound, and other modalities to put a ceiling on stress.
Visual Artist and Book Author: Janet A. Ruby — Jan is a professional studio artist, specializing in painting, handmade books and enameling. She is a Professor of Art and Design at Shippensburg University, in Shippensburg, PA. Jan is currently writing an Art Appreciation textbook for Prentice Hall/Pearson ( Art Appreciation, the Creative Process, 10/ 2014.)
Arts and Community: Kathy Service (secretary) -- Kathy, our past co-Chair, has just returned to the Board after a year's break. She has long been an avid arts supporter and works not only for the Arts Council but also for almost every other arts organization in Northampton. This past year she was co-Chair of First Night, organizing over 150 volunteers. She works for the State Department of Mental Retardation and has involved many of her clients in our programs, as actors, volunteers and audience members.
Community and Exhibitions: Elizabeth Stone (Chair) – Elizabeth Stone is a contemporary realist artist who paints at her home studio in Florence, Massachusetts, USA. She began painting in the late 1990’s when she inherited her grandfather’s set of pastels. Still life, figure and portraiture are her favorite subjects. Her portraits are said to convey "emotional resonance beyond surface detail". Her current body of work includes a miniature series in oils of domestic objects.
Arts and Community: Ellen Augarten – Ellen has been a portrait photographer for over twenty-five years, specializing in fine black and white images of her favorite subject: people. She’s on the grant review committee and the exhibition committee.
Community and Schools: Mary Clark: Mary trained at the University of Texas, The Drama Studio in London, and in Paris at Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Focusing on concerts and original theater work, she has worked with companies in Europe, Canada, and the US. Mary is a Cabaret Symposium Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill
Arts and Society: Rick Fantasia -- Rick is a Citizen of Northampton and a Professor of Sociology at Smith College. The courses he teaches at Smith include "Urban Sociology" and the "Sociology of Culture." Additionally, Rick’s research and writing are on culture and on labor, on the interpenetration of culture and labor, both in the contemporary United States and in France.
Theatre and Dance: Lesley Farlow – Lesley is a performing artist, dancer, and educator. She spent over twenty years working in dance/theater creating her own works that have been seen across the United States. She is professor of Dance at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Literature: Alyssa Dee Krauss – Alyssa has been instrumental with her work as chair of the Poet Laureate of Northampton committee. She designs high-end jewelry and is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.