Moving Up!


Next Steps @ 33 Hawley Street

Just drive by, and you can't help but notice the dramatic changes going on inside and out at 33 Hawley Street. The process of renovating and transforming the Arts Trust Building is well underway, and we are very excited about making the transition from old space to new. We now have use of a 1200 square-foot studio/rehearsal space on the lower level and a light-filled dedicated dance studio on the third floor. Feel free to call the office at (413) 584-7327 or email to learn about options for use, availability,  and rental rates. Take a look below for information on upcoming events. Click on the menu above for class and workshop offerings. Everything takes place at 33 Hawley Street. Entrance at the lower level, adjacent to the FREE parking lot!

An Intimate Evening with Lisa Leizman, Peter Blanchette and Company

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Friday, April 27 at 7:30 pm. sold out.

The Center for the Arts joyfully presents resident artists Peter Blanchette and Lisa Leizman together in concert for the very first time. The performance is followed by a festive dinner reception prepared by members of the Lisa Leizman Dance Company.

After a long, snowy winter, enjoy an intimate evening full of spring warmth and light. The program celebrates a debut collaboration of these long-time resident artists and takes place in the Center’s new home in the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street. Joined by fellow musicians Jamie Balmer, Kenny Butler, Joe Ricker, and Kirk Sanger, Blanchette will play "Metamorphosis 2" by Philip Glass and a duet for archguitar and violin. The dance company will present "Spiegel im Spiegel," set to music by Arvo Part and "the amen of calm waters," with music by Ludovico Einaudi. Musicians and dancers unite to perform "Evening Song" from the opera Satyagraha by Glass, arranged by Blanchette and choreographed by Leizman.

Proceeds from this long-awaited occasion benefit programs at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra Concerto Premiere

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Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 pm
Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College

Tickets: $15 general admission, $12 students and children. In advance at or at the the door (cash or check only).

The Northampton Center for the Arts is pleased to present composer, performer, and guitar innovator Peter Blanchette directing the critically acclaimed Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra (HVGO) in the world premiere of Blanchette's Concerto for Guitar Orchestra at Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College. This three-movement work, the first-ever of its kind, celebrates the composers earliest musical memories, fragments of pop and ethnic music, absorbed in countless, solitary sessions, teaching himself to play the guitar by ear. 

Steve Waksman,  Chair of the Smith College Music Department writes, "Peter Blanchette's Concerto for Guitar Orchestra is a wonderfully rendered fusion of rock energy with the discipline of contemporary art music, like the Rolling Stones meets Philip Glass, using deceptively simple riffs to develop complex structures. Blanchettes fine attention to the nuances of guitar tone really sets the piece apart. It takes an incredibly subtle ear to pull together the purest sounds of a nylon-string instrument and the overdriven bite of a solid-body electric without one overpowering the other, but here they sing in perfect harmony."

HVGO is an avant-garde music ensemble founded by Peter Blanchette in 2009, with a roster of 15-20 acoustic and electric guitarists from widely varied traditions.  Since its inception, HVGO has been a resident company of the Northampton Center for the Arts . It is supported by the DAddario Foundation, the  Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Frank Lucchesi Trust. 

Though known as a Bach specialist, Blanchette has a repertoire of unusual and celebrated musical arrangements that run from medieval to contemporary to ethnic styles.  He is a recipient of New England Public Radio Foundations Arts & Humanities Award for Outstanding Individual and is a veteran performer at Spains Cordoba Festival of the Guitar, Bostons Symphony Hall, NPRs A Prairie Home Companion, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Town Hall, New York City.


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JUNE 25-29, JULY 2-6, 
JULY 23-27, JULY 30-AUGUST 3

The Center for the Arts introduces a new and exciting summer program for youth ages 6 to 12 years. Artplay encourages kids to think of themselves as fundamentally creative beings with a fun, interactive, interdisciplinary approach. The program connects youth to local teaching artists through classes and workshops, as well as providing space and structure for youth-initiated performances and exhibitions. Kids will have the chance to experiment with dance, music, drama, visual arts, collaborative play, and more! It's all happening in the new Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street in downtown Northampton.

Western MA Tango at the Center for the Arts

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Weekly classes on Thursdays and Sundays

Milongas and special events on the third Saturday of each month. For up-to-date details about times and fees, see website. Or email

Western MA Tango is a dedicated group of tango dancers in Western Massachusetts with this mission: to collaborate with community members; to maintain a warm, welcoming tango family; to create opportunities for the exploration of this dance we love. Northampton gatherings take place in the downstairs studio at 33 Hawley Street. Please use the lower level entrance adjacent to the (free!) parking lot.

Radical Closeness for the People: Peer Counseling


A 9 week series taught by Rythea Lee and Samantha Burnell

Sunday nights april 8-june 3, 2018, 6-8pm
33 Hawley St, Northampton Center for the Arts

To register, go to:
$280 or $100 deposit by March 25th and $300 after that date. Limited group numbers so register early. Not a drop-in class.

INFO:  email, 413-824-2870 or 413-586-7390

This class series is for people who have taken either Rythea's or Samantha and Rythea's Peer Counseling intro classes or have had some experience with Re-evaluation Counseling or Co-counseling. We will build on the basic skills of compassionate listening, releasing emotions, and working on early material (childhood). We will learn more about what it means to be a grounded counselor with a solid tool-belt of skills who can also respond to the moment. We will learn what it means to take charge of our own healing as a client, to ask for the support we need in the moment, and to find safety to feel and express in our sessions. Peer Counseling is, most importantly, a practice that deepens over time, as connections develop into solid longer-term support. Our intention is to facilitate the growing of community of Peer Counselors in our area.

Our hope is to create a weekly experience that helps you move forward in:

1. Not feeling alone in your life
2. Allowing feelings to cycle through without getting blocked
3. Having new insights that move your life out of stuckness
4. Creating relationships that support you to have true intimacy
5. Waking up emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and creative avenues of expression


Happier Valley Comedy Show: Second Saturdays of the month in the downstairs studio

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Join us in our new home at the Center for the Arts where the doors at the lower level entrance open at 7:30 pm. Free parking with handicapped accessible space. Tickets are $13 and available at the door only.

The show features The Ha-Ha's and our special guest, ImprovBoston's Musical Improv Company! The Ha-Ha's will be performing their signature format "Shrink: Where Freud Meets Funny".

And stick around after the show for...

The "More Improv, More Better" After-Show is an open improv jam and showcase that runs from 10-11pm on the second Saturday of each month, directly following the Happier Valley Comedy Show. Play improv games lead by a Happier Valley Comedy School Jam Leader and watch a short improvised set featuring an up-and-coming improv group. This month's More Improv, More Better features Josie's Magical Flute! They'll lead an open improv jam for anybody and everybody who wants to get up a try out some improv games!

For more information about The Happier Valley Comedy Show, visit the website at

Laughter for Learning, featuring the Ha-Has!

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Saturday, April 28 at 7 PM - 9 PM
33 Hawley Street

An evening of fun and laughter to benefit North Star, featuring the legendary Ha-Has, a bombastic bouquet of local actors who have been performing the brave art of improv comedy since 2003. 

Bring your friends and relations! Every donation helps us make North Star's life-changing program available to all interested teens!

Donation: $15 Adult, $10 Kids (12 and under), $40 maximum per family.

Heart to Heart in Haiti


Friday, May 11, 6-8 pm

Join us for an Arts Night Out evening to learn about Haiti—its people, and the medical services provided by Valley residents through Partners in Development. There will be a short presentation of work with hypertension patients in Southern Haiti in addition to a presentation of photography by Ben Frey and a short video on PID’s clinic work in the Blanchard neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. A selection of Haitian art pieces will be on display and available for purchase.

Refreshments served. No entry fee. Donations requested. Please use the the lower level entrance adjacent to the parking lot.