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School arts nonprofit Enchanted Circle pauses to regroup, refinance
07-05-2024 2:56 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Enchanted Circle, a regional arts nonprofit that has worked for decades with area school districts on integrating performing arts into their curricula, has announced it is going dormant for a year.The 48-year-old arts organization cited...

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Iconic children’s characters come alive in 4-story mural behind R. Michelson Gallery in Northampton
06-28-2024 4:51 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

NORTHAMPTON — Arthur, Paddington, Madeline and 26 other iconic children’s book characters are jumping off the page and onto the back wall of R. Michelson Galleries in a colorful four-story mural.The Northampton Arts Council sponsored the artwork and...


Weaving the fabric of life: Every Thread Handwoven in Williamsburg teaches the basics of an ancient craft
06-26-2024 4:42 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

WILLIAMSBURG — Ten large floor looms consuming most of the space in a room would normally bring an air of intimidation, but the Swedish looms at this weaving studio instead sculpt the room into cozy nooks, decorated with plants, seven day candles and...


Around the Hamptons: Digital Equity Plan in Westhampton, free shows in Easthampton; rail trail extension in Southampton
06-25-2024 1:41 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

WESTHAMPTON — Public feedback is being sought as officials are finalizing the town’s Municipal Digital Equity Plan. There will be a public meeting at Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for town residents to provide input on the plan and speak to their...


Arts Briefs: Lots of theater in Northampton, Indian poetry and music in South Hadley, and more
06-20-2024 2:47 PM

Pulling at the roots: Plays cover 3 centuries of city history — againNORTHAMPTON — Last August, Historic Northampton presented a new way of examining some chapters of city history by staging three short plays at the museum, including two that took...


Arts Briefs: A Sojourner Truth biographer comes to the Valley, a new take on a noted play, and more
06-06-2024 3:36 PM

Truth biographer comes to townFLORENCE — Historian Nell Irvin Painter, the author of an acclaimed biography of Sojourner Truth, will visit the town where the famed abolitionist once lived to talk about her newest book and about some of the ideas that...


Arts Briefs: The Paradise City Arts Festival returns to Northampton, the MIFA Victory Players perform in Holyoke, and more
05-23-2024 2:41 PM

Paradise by the fairground lightsNORTHAMPTON — One of the area’s largest artistic celebrations returns this weekend, as some 220 artists and craftspeople gather at the Three County Fairgrounds for the Paradise City Arts Festival.The biannual festival,...


Overlooked no more: Leverett artist’s woodcut prints celebrate remarkable women of the past
05-09-2024 4:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It started in early 2018 with a special New York Times series of articles, “Overlooked,” obituaries about notable people whose deaths had gone unreported in the newspaper, which first began publishing obits in 1851.Leverett printmaker and collage...


Around the Hamptons: City Arts to unveil Cottage Street sculpture
05-08-2024 3:49 PM

By Alexa Lewis

EASTHAMPTON — The Easthampton City Arts (ECA) Public Art Committee will host an unveiling on Saturday of its newest sculpture on the Nashawannuck Pond Promenade. The sculpture has been years in the making, with the initial idea proposed in 2019 by...


Historic murals restored at Victory Theatre in Holyoke
04-19-2024 3:17 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HOLYOKE — A $400,000 restoration of two 23-foot-tall murals at the Broadway-style Victory Theatre, created by Italian immigrant Vincent Maragliotti in 1942, is complete, another step in the process toward reopening the 1920 building that has been...


Spring brings new art: A look at what's on tap in April at selected local galleries
04-12-2024 2:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

April weather can be fickle, as this week, with some warm, sunny days to start, followed by a few days of clouds and rain, has shown.But if you can’t get out into nature as much as you’d like, you can still see plenty of artwork in the region, which...


Arts Briefs: An arts festival at Smith College, a theatrical version of an iconic 1920s novel, and more
04-12-2024 8:40 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Editor’s note: The performance at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery tonight with Fumi Tomita has been canceled. However, Tomita and Allen Fowler will be present for the artist’s reception at the gallery from 5-8 p.m.​​​​​​A new arts celebrationNORTHAMPTON...


Valley arts organizations win Mass Cultural funding: Awards are designed to mitigate casinos’ entertainment clout
04-04-2024 12:46 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

As part of a funding program for municipal and nonprofit performing arts centers, the Massachusetts Cultural Council is awarding over $150,000 to 10 arts organizations and centers in the Valley.The awards — part of $3.66 million in funding the MCC is...


Art is a vehicle for change: Power of Truths Festival returns to Florence to illuminate history of injustice, April 5-6
03-28-2024 3:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Can the arts help us reexamine our past and come to terms with injustice? Can music, film and other mediums become instruments for social change by helping us look differently at our history and our beliefs?Those are questions the Power of Truths Arts...


Valley Art Supplies finds right mix by adding bar to longtime Easthampton business
03-27-2024 2:41 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

EASTHAMPTON — Unlike most bar logs, the pages of the small black book found on the homemade bartop at Valley Art Supplies are filled with doodles and scribbles: a cat Statue of Liberty, a skull cocktail glass and platypus gyroscope lily...


Arts Briefs: Two-artist exhibits in Easthampton and Amherst, the South Hadley Chorale performs, and more
03-14-2024 2:40 PM

Artistic minds that think alikeEASTHAMPTON — City artists Ken Gagne and Adell Donaghue share a number of traits, from an inquisitive eye to a penchant for sketching surreal or humorous scenes in their drawings, yet that also engage viewers’...


Speaker for the whales: Indigenous artist interprets endangered right whale’s legacy and meaning
03-01-2024 3:57 PM

By NAILA MOREIRA

Two new exhibitions inspired by the life and skeleton of the whale Staccato — a grandmother North Atlantic right whale whose remains came to UMass’ natural history collection after her death in 1999 — are now open to the public.Indigenous artist...


New year, new look: Bombyx Center adds more varied arts programming to its lineup while making infrastructure improvements
02-22-2024 1:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

What a difference a year makes.Late last May, the Northampton Fire Department abruptly shut down virtually all music performances at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity in Florence, citing inadequate fire prevention measures at the venue.The move...


Still harmonizing after all these years: Silver Chord Bowl marks its 40th anniversary
02-08-2024 3:21 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The 1980s witnessed the start of what have become some longstanding artistic landmarks in Northampton: the Young@Heart Chorus, the downtown New Year’s Eve festival called First Night Northampton, and a good-natured competition involving collegiate a...


Arts Briefs: New exhibits and a gallery expansion in Easthampton, a musical cabaret in Amherst, and more
02-01-2024 3:08 PM

A grand reopeningEASTHAMPTON — With a dramatic increase in space, 50 Arrow Gallery will inaugurate its new locale Feb. 8 with a celebratory reopening and the unveiling of a new exhibit, featuring the work of Valley artist David Andrews.The gallery’s...


Staying in the game: Veteran actors and teachers Raye and Candace Birk are still involved with theater after decades of performance
01-25-2024 3:02 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Looking for some talented older actors who can play a wide range of roles? Who have decades of experience in theater, film and television?Raye Birk and Candace Barrett Birk are at your service.The Florence couple, relatively new transplants to the...

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