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Northampton's Arts Night Out promotes creative artworks

GREATER SPRINGFIELD Arts Night Out is a collaborative event hosted by Northampton art spaces to promote creative works and community in downtown Northampton on the second Friday of each month. This monthly gallery walk offers the opportunity to enjoy a festive Friday night in town while experiencing exceptional visual and performing arts in a variety of galleries, studios and other locations.
In the spring of 2009, a working group of artists and representatives of Northampton art venues began planning and implementing a broad-scale revitalization of the monthly event that had first been developed by Alfredo's Gallery in 2005 and promoted with the help of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce. The current working group brings new energy to Arts Night Out from a passionate commitment to the growth and development of local culture.
"Our goal is to create a dynamic monthly event that highlights the unique character of the area's vibrant arts scene," said Julia Handschuh, co-director of Commonwealth Center for Change, who coordinates the current working group.
"Northampton is already noted as a mecca for arts and culture," added Penny Burke, director of the Center for the Arts. "Arts Night Out is a chance for everyone to explore and enjoy the diversity of arts in our community in one downtown stroll."
To that end, the working group began by first building connections and collaborations with local arts and art venues. Next, the group designed and distributed a new map of participating galleries, featuring Arts Night Out's new logo, and is currently working on a comprehensive brochure outlining venues and special events as part of a wide scale marketing campaign.
Finally, special events and performances are being scheduled to coincide with each monthly gallery walk. The working group is comprised of Lisa Thompson, APE Gallery; Penny Burke, NCFA; Julia Handschuh, Commonwealth Center for Change; Faith Kaufmann, Forbes Library; Jane Nevinsmith, River Valley Market; Diane Porcella, Northampton Arts Council; Amanda Schreyer; Dana Wilde; Annie Bissett; Alex Tasak; and Ben Swift.
Participating venues include A.P.E. at Window, the Artisan Gallery, Don Muller Gallery, the Dance Northampton Art Gallery, Guild Art Supply, Hosmer Art Gallery at Forbes Library, the Northampton Center for the Arts, the Old Courthouse Gallery, Oxbow Gallery, Pinch, the Quarry Caf at River Valley Market, R. Michelson Galleries, Skera Gallery, Smith College Museum of Art, StorefrontART @ Thornes Marketplace, Valley Hands Creative Space, Salon 241, Gare Garage-Open Air Art and William Baczek Fine Arts.
The next Arts Night Out is Nov. 13.
A complete list of exhibits and events can be found at www.valleyartshare.com. Arts Night Out takes place all year round, rain or shine.
For more information and to find out how to join as a participating member gallery or artist, contact Julia Hanschuh at Artsnightout@gmail.com, 585-0273 or visit valleyartshare.com.


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