! Open Call for The Busker’s Ball !

April 6th, 2011  |  by Published in C3 news, featured, Uncategorized  |  6 Comments

Drawings by Chelsea Granger







Want to hit the streets of Northampton for a springtime Saturday with your latest creative masterpiece?

Want to show a work in progress on, gulp, THE STREET?

Want to try busking for the first (or fiftieth) time?

Want to make a project on the grungy sidewalk with anyone passing by?

Want to talk to members of the Northampton community about art, about the weather, about whatever strikes their fancy?

Want to shake off your winter blues and shake it in your springtime news?


The Busker’s Ball is a one day street art event to be held in downtown Northampton on

Saturday, May 21st 2011.

read on… and hang in there, it gets nitty-gritty fast:

A variety of local and touring artists will perform, install visual work or host a community art project in designated (by the city) locations on Main Street.  Each artist will have one or more time slots and locations, and volunteers will hand out maps and schedules that will lead passersby to all locations and performances.  Artists and projects will be selected by representatives from the two hosting organizations, The Royal Frog Ballet and C3.

Selected artists will also present during Saturday evening in a cabaret style show at the Dynamite Space in the downstairs of Thorne’s Marketplace.  Interested artists may also be able to perform that morning at the Northampton Farmer’s market

Who we hope will present:
Musicians, puppeteers, story tellers, dancers, performance artists, jugglers, hula hoop-ers, clowns, living statues, vaudevillians, painters, sculptors, collage-ers, interactive projects (like finger painting, face-painting, bubble-blowing), sing-a-longs, and anything that we haven’t thought of! Propose to us and we’ll consider it!

Proposals should be family-friendly but not necessarily created for children.

Schedule/Performance opportunities: On Saturday, May 21st  from 12:00-6:00, artists will begin showing work in 5 locations on Main Street in Northampton. Each artist will have at least one ½ hour or hour slot in one location.  Artists may have more than one slot or location on the schedule, based on number of overall artists participating in the event, and in their flexibility in location.  Some artists will perform during a cabaret on Saturday night and some may be able to perform on Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market.

Audience: Passersby will be given a map of the performance locations and an hourly schedule of the shows.  A volunteer will be at each site to help the performers hawk their show, collect money, set up, break down, answer audience questions and hand out maps.

Pay: Pay for each performance on the street will be based on the performer’s ability to BUSK.  Evening performers would be will be paid a cut of the door. Please let us know if there are costs that are prohibiting you from participate and we will see what we can do to help.

Licensing: Each performer must have their name on a street performance license issued by the Northampton Department of Public Works, and have this license on them during their performance.  Up to 12 performers can be listed on a single license, so we encourage you to pair up with other folks in order to cut costs.  Licenses cost $25 dollars and are valid until the end of that calendar year (so you can keep on busking!), and can be obtained at 125 Locust Street, Northampton, MA.  Make sure to be extra nice to the ladies behind the desk.

If you’re coming from out of town, but can’t get here in time to get a permit your self, let us know, send us your address and we will see if we can get you one.

Evening Cabaret: Some performances will be selected to perform Saturday evening during an indoor Cabaret.  The intention of the Cabaret is to provide an opportunity to show works to folks who may work during the day, collect money to cover the cost of organizing, and have a chance for performers to see each other’s work.  Please let us know if you are interested in performing at the Cabaret on your application form.
Performers will have up to 20 minute slots during the Cabaret, with a maximum 5 minute set-up and break down. The Cabaret will run from 8-11:30.

Rain plan: Currently, in the event of rain, it rains on our parade.  We’re working on some alternatives.  If you have a brilliant idea, let us know!

What’s in it for the community? We hope to benefit the community in and around Northampton by enhancing the vibrant arts culture of downtown, contributing to the celebratory nature of community events and spaces like the farmers market or the sidewalks, and by offering both finished performance works and works-in-progress that are enjoyable, engaging, lively, unique, thought-provoking, affordable, and inviting to Northampton audiences.  We see street art as a way to open up a dialogue amongst members of our community about art (or whatever that art sparks in people) right there on the street in real time!

We also hope to benefit the community by providing opportunities and spaces for our local artists to present work, collaborate with each other, and get immediate feedback about the kind of work they are making from their community. We also hope to enrich the diversity of performances in the city by inviting and collaborating with artists outside of our community, and to expand our collaborative connections.

We also hope to do our part to stimulate some small change local economy!

What’s in it for you: Fame. Glory. Busking money. Fabulous community interactions. Awesome inter-artist inspiration. A celebration of The Day and The Street. Free dinner….That’s right…freeeee dinner….

*If you are interested in performing or presenting an interactive creative project, please:*
Contact us by email at theroyalfrogballet@gmail.com with the subject: Busker Artist!

*If you are interested in volunteering on the day of in the organizational aspects of the event please:*
Contact us by email at theroyalfrogballet@gmail.com with the subject: Busker Volunteer.


If you have questions about whether or not your project will work on the street, feel free to email us and we’ll brainstorm with you!

Who’s hosting: The Royal Frog Ballet and  C3  are excited to be teaming up for The Busker’s Ball in their first co-organizational collaboration!

The Royal Frog Ballet

We are a performance collective based in Northampton/Amherst interested in creating performance works across disciplines in non-traditional performance spaces (community centers, town greens, farmers markets, sidewalks, barns) as a way to engage in community dialogue in community spaces, to create art that exposes its process, its place, and is accessible in its creation and affordability.   We incorporate music, dance, puppetry, poetry, painting, projection, sculpting, sewing, stilting, clowning, masks, found and recycled materials, and whatever else strikes our fancy and our fingertips in the creation of original work.  www.theroyalfrogballet.com


C3 is a volunteer-run creative community collective based in Northampton. C3’s mission to to generate and support creative and innovative programming in underutilized spaces in Northampton that engages, challenges, and excites our community. We believe that art and creativity are necessary components of a culturally vibrant and healthy community. Through activating our imaginations and enabling our collective resources, we believe we can co-create a more meaningful, just, and fun world! www.C3northampton.org


  1. Seth says:

    April 7th, 2011at 1:29 pm(#)

    This is amazing. My head is brewing with ideas. Gotta let them simmer and then go for the best one. Great collaboration between C3 and The Royal Frog Ballet.

  2. Kevin says:

    April 16th, 2011at 8:55 pm(#)

    I’m so excited to see this kind of thing happening in Northampton! This is exactly what has me looking forward to moving back to the Valley! Hope to see some of these performers and artists at F.E.A.S.T. on April 30th.

  3. Bob Hepner says:

    April 23rd, 2011at 11:14 pm(#)

    What is F.E.A.S.T.? I’m excited to apply to the Buskers’ Ball.

  4. Alisa Klein says:

    April 25th, 2011at 1:06 am(#)

    I’d love to see the Connotations perform!

  5. Michelle says:

    May 17th, 2011at 9:20 pm(#)

    It will be on my 40th birthday! What a nice way to celebrate. Where should I look downtown? Where can I get a map of venues? I’ll be sure to bring lots of ones. Good luck and thanks for making this happen.

  6. Haley says:

    May 18th, 2011at 6:14 pm(#)

    Hey Michelle! Happy Birthday! There will be maps available on Saturday, all around town, pointing out the different locations where things are happening! The four main locations where there will be performances are in front of First Churches, on the corner by United Bank across from Raven Books, on the Corner of Strong Ave and Main St by Moshi Moshi, and behind Thornes Marketplace by the parking garage! The cabararet will be held in the Dynamite Space in the bottom of Thornes! See you this weekend!

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