What is Valley F.E.A.S.T.

Valley F.E.A.S.T., modeled after its many predecessors (See F.E.A.S.T. Nation for links), is a series of exciting and progressive community building events that support local artists in order to sustain and develop the area’s cultural vitality.

F.E.A.S.T. (Funding Emerging Artists through Sustainable Tactics) is a forward thinking concept which is quickly being picked up in cities small and large all over the globe.

Located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, Northampton, which hosts a massive artist population of its own, is also the cultural center for many of the surrounding cities and towns.  Despite Northampton’s reputation for being a cultural center, opportunities for young and emerging artists are limited, both in funding and exhibition.

Drastic budget cuts affect every city and town and Northampton is no different.  Here in Northampton, as in many other places, large pools of artists are vying for small sums of available grant funds.  A lot of good ideas don’t get funded.  Sometimes the projects don’t meet the criteria for government or privately funded grants, and for those that do, it still sometimes takes years to land the needed funding.

F.E.A.S.T. is a way to change seemingly impossible circumstances for young and emerging artists. It is the future of cultural sustainability.
At every F.E.A.S.T., the public is invited to come enjoy a fresh, innovative and locally sourced menu that is prepared by a special guest chef, to experience a unique line up of live entertainment and to also vote on proposals that are presented by artists who need funding.  Entry to Valley F.E.A.S.T. is set at a sliding scale with a suggested donation of at least $10.
At the end of the night, the winning artists take home the evenings proceeds with the community supported responsibility to go make their art, which is later presented at the next Valley F.E.A.S.T.
Valley F.E.A.S.T. is unique in that it is organized under the complete volunteer services of Portal Arts Group, Now.For.Art, local chefs, entertainers and donors, all for the sake of community development and supporting the arts.
A little bit of money in the hands of emerging artists impacts entire communities, the results make our cities and towns more exciting to live in and visit and brightens our daily lives in big ways.
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