Online registration opens for first annual ‘Authors and Artists Festival’

  • As part of the children’s programming on June 6, guest speaker Deanna Cook will be discussing the craft of children’s cooking. Contributed Photo

  • Featured guest speaker JuPong Lin, a poet and peace activist, will host a performance folding cranes for peace on June 27. This will be immediately followed by a workshop where attendees can make their own origami alongside JuPong Lin via Zoom. Contributed Photo

  • Historian and author of “Mr. and Mrs. Prince,” Dr. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina will speaking during the Authors and Artists Festival June 20.

  • Vermont Mystery Writer Archer Mayor will be speaking as part of the Authors and Artists festival on June 13. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2020 8:49:21 AM
Modified: 5/15/2020 8:49:10 AM

The first annual “Authors and Artists” festival, which had been planned as a destination festival for Northfield, will now be held online.

Originally scheduled for a single day, the festival will be held online via Zoom video conference every Saturday throughout the month of June. By moving online, organizers say the free festival is now accessible to an even wider audience.

“We’re staying true to the original idea of having as much community involvement as possible,” said Lisa McLoughlin, a volunteer organizer for the festival.

McLoughlin said spreading the festival out over all four Saturdays in June, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will avoid concurrent programming, and allow people to participate in multiple activities. The festival will feature local authors and artists, a nature poetry event coordinated with Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, as well as readings and activities for adults and children each week.

Headline speakers include Vermont mystery writer Archer Mayor, National Poet Beat Laureate Paul Richmond, writer of African-American history Dr. Gretchen Holbrook-Gerzina, women’s rights activist and memoir author Dr. Lise Weil, peace activist-poet JuPong Lin, Abenaki author Cheryl Savageau, and Dr. Simone Alter-Muri hosting the discussion “The Body as Canvas: Tattoos and Healing.”

“This is not just a passive event, people can be a part of it,” McLoughlin said.

JuPong Lin will host a performance titled “Folding Cranes for Peace” on June 27. This will be immediately followed by a workshop during which attendees can make their own origami alongside JuPong Lin via Zoom.

“Writing the Land” will be held in collaboration with the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and the Authors and Artists Festival. Participants are encouraged to visit their favorite Mount Grace property. They can write a poem about or inspired by their visit to the area, and sign up to read the poem during festival June 27. All the Mount Grace properties allowing public access can be found at 

There will also be an online photography show, which was originally planned to be held in a Northfield location as a standard photo gallery. McLoughlin said photographers can submit up to three photos “of the natural world” to be featured online. The photos must be under two megabytes each and labeled with the photographer’s name, town/state, and what drew them to take the image. Images will be displayed on a designated page on the Authors and Artists Festival website.

Artists interested in participating in the photograph show or other aspects of the festival can contact McLoughlin at

The Dickinson Memorial Library helped organize reading events and children’s programming. Children’s activities will feature authors Deanna F. Cook, a children's cookbook author. She is known for baking and international cuisine and will be cooking over Zoom while teaching children at 1 p.m. on June 6.

Christina Uss is the author of “The Adventures of a Girl Called bicycle” a book inspired in part by her own experiences while biking across the United States. She will be speaking on June 20 at 1 p.m.

McLoughlin said local school Parent Teacher Organizations are working to hold arts events for children. The Northfield Kiwanis club will be sponsoring this event and providing art supplies for kids. Other sponsors include the Greenfield Savings Bank and the Deerfield Valley Art Association.

For a full schedule of events, visit Registration for the festival is open and can be accessed through the website or by going to

The “Authors and Artists” festival is funded in part by Massachusetts Local Cultural Council money from Northfield, Gill, Bernardston and Warwick; the Greenfield-Northampton Cooperative Bank; the Kiwanis Club of Northfield; and the Northfield Historical Commission.

Planning for this first annual event began last summer. McLoughlin said the vision for the festival went through “quite a few permutations” as time went on and it changed even further once the COVID-19 outbreak hit. Originally, the festival would have been held across several venues, including the Deerfield Valley Arts Association and the Centennial House Bed and Breakfast. The nature poetry reading would have been held along the Ames Trail at the Mount Grace Land Trust.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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