Get your tickets for MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View coming to Northampton, MA, this May. Tickets are now available!

Support Our Fundraising Efforts!

We have an active crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000. Please contribute to our fundraising endeavors to help make MICAfest 2024 a success. Read more here.

Calling All Visual Artists, Performers, Writers, Poets, and Storytellers!

Gain Month-long and City-wide Exposure By

Showcasing Your Art at Micafest 2024 in Northampton, MA

Submission Deadline: Extended to February 15, 2024!

Join us in creating a powerful and transformative artistic journey through the lens of m/otherhood.

Submit your work by February 15, 2024, for a chance to be a part of MICAfest 2024!

MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View 

Northampton, MA | May 2024 | month-long and city-wide |

MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View seeks bold and innovative submissions exploring the many facets of m/otherhood through art.

We invite you to push boundaries, challenge perspectives, and ignite conversations through your unique artistic vision.

Event Themes:

    • Beyond the Ideal: Deconstruct the traditional narratives of m/otherhood and embrace the complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions of this experience.
    • Unseen Stories: Give voice to the unheard narratives of m/others, including those marginalized or silenced by societal norms.
    • The Body Politic: Explore the intersection of m/otherhood with issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, and politics.
    • The Art of Care: Examine the emotional, physical, and spiritual labor of caregiving and its impact on individuals and communities.
    • Beyond Biology: Reimagine the concept of m/otherhood beyond biological definitions and embrace diverse family structures and experiences.

We welcome submissions in all mediums, including:

    • Visual arts: Painting, sculpture, photography, installation, mixed media, film, video
    • Performance art: Dance, theatre, spoken word, music, multimedia, poetry, story slam/jam.

    We are looking for works that are:

      • Provocative: Engage the audience and spark conversation.
      • Innovative: Push the boundaries of form and content.
      • Authentic: Reflect your unique perspective and experience.
      • Inclusive: Celebrate the diversity of mothers/others.

      Benefits for Selected Artists:

        • Exposure: Showcase your work to a wide audience of art enthusiasts.
        • Recognition: Gain recognition for your artistic talent.
        • Financial compensation: Selected artists will receive an honorarium.
        • Networking opportunities: Connect with other artists and professionals.

KEY Dates and Locations:

Performances:

    • Night of poetry (May 4th, Anchor House of Artists)
    • Night of dance/theatre (May 11th, Northampton Center for the Arts)
    • “Momologues” poetry, music, and story jam (May 17th, Anchor House of Artists)
    • MICA Mother’s Day Artist Reception (Spill the Tea Sis)
    • Night of music (May 31st, Northampton Center for the Arts)
    • with the possibility of more events throughout May!


      Unleash the Power of Your Artistry in “The Mom-ologues” Story Jam!

      Step into the spotlight with a groundbreaking narrative revolution at MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View. This is more than just a jam; it’s an upheaval of norms, a celebration of the diverse kaleidoscope of m/otherhood.

      Witness the cracks in the porcelain cradle as art shatters stereotypes, delving into the raw, the real, and the unspoken in m/otherhood. You are the artist, and your life is the canvas. Your story is the masterpiece waiting to be unveiled. Don’t just participate; be the avant-garde creator of your narrative. Explore the FAQs for more details and prompts – your moment in the spotlight awaits!

    Visual Art Exhibits:

    Confirmed locations include:

      •  Anchor House of Artists 
      • Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity
      • Northampton Center for the Arts
      • Rhynia, Inc.
      • The Sphere Incubation Lab
      • With more opportunities coming!

    Additional Events:

      • Arts Night Out (May 10th) in collaboration with the Downtown Northampton Association
        • Dive into Arts Night Out with live performances, trunk shows, or merchandise tables—a variety of community-friendly possibilities are within your reach!
      • MICAfest Mother’s Day Events (May 12th, Northampton Center for the Arts and Spill the Tea Sis Apothecary)
        • Save the Date – it’s chic, avant-garde, it’ll be surrounded by evocative art. Take the survey.
        • Block Party! Details are coming!

    Very Important Details:

    • Deadline: January 31, 2024—Priority
      • Extended to February 15, 2024.
    • Suggested Submission Fee: $15 (sliding scale $0-$30).

    Have Questions? Read our FAQs!

    Submission Forms

    Performance Submission Form

    Performers, poets, and storytellers, fill out this form to indicate which live events you want to apply to.

    ⇒submissions are now closed.

    Visual Artist Submission Form

    Two-dimensional, three-dimensional, digital & projected media artists, fill out the form to tell us about your art!

    ⇒submissions are now closed.

    “THANK YOU for all the time, energy, love, output, generosity, and care you gave for this Mica festival!!! WOW!!!…It was truly magical. I went and heard Vanessa Adel’s poetry on Saturday and it blew my mind and actually filled me with inspiration that I took into my own performance that night. The visual art brought me deep into my joy and my body and thirst for life! I loved the musical groups I saw and getting to hang out and talk with other artists.”

    —Rythea Lee, MICAfest 2022 performing artist

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Explore our compiled list of frequently asked questions below.

    For additional tips, check out our Additional Tips.

    If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to reach out to us via email at hello@experiencemica.org.

    Q: What does “m/other” mean?

    A: M/other is an inclusive term and an inclusive embrace of all primary caregivers, transcending conventional roles and gender identities.

    Q: What is the timeline for artist submissions?

    A: Here’s a quick summary:

    • Open: January 2nd – February 15, 2024
    • Notification: Mid-February.
      • We’ll reach out to everyone by the end of February!
    • Confirmation: You will have one week after notification from us to confirm your participation. 

    Q: What are the festival dates?

    A: MICAfest takes place throughout May 2024 with month-long exhibitions and a weekly “main” event; we will add smaller events, Arts Night Out opportunities, and artist talks, and don’t forget to save the date for Mother’s Day.

    Q: What types of artists can submit their work?

    A: MICAfest welcomes submissions from artists working in various mediums, including visual arts (paintings, sculptures, photography, film, etc.), performance art (dance, music, poetry, spoken word, multimedia), creative writing, and storytelling.

    Q: How do I submit my work? What are my options?

    A: We’re thrilled you’re considering sharing your creativity with us at MICAfest 2024! Here’s how you can join our celebration of artist mothers:

    Online Submission: Our primary and preferred method is through our easy-to-use online forms. Choose the form corresponding to your category—Visual Arts or Performance—and submit it by February 15, 2024.

    → Submissions are now closed.

    Alternative Methods: We believe in inclusivity and accessibility for all artist m/others. If you need a different way to submit due to accessibility needs, we’re here to help. We can provide a traditional paper form upon request.

    • Email Submission: You can also email your submission directly to us at hello@experiencemica.org. Please include your chosen category, a brief description of your work, and any relevant supporting materials.

    We’re excited to see your work and celebrate your unique contribution to the art world. Remember, each submission brings us closer to a more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive MICAfest. If you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out—we’re here to support you every step of the way.

    Q: Can I submit a work in progress?

    A: Absolutely! We celebrate the creative process in all its stages. As artist mothers, we understand that art—like motherhood—is an ongoing journey, and not merely a destination.

    Submitting a work in progress provides a unique opportunity to share your evolving ideas and artistic growth. It’s a testament to your dedication, resilience, and the transformative power of your creativity.

    When submitting, briefly describe your piece as it stands now and where you envision it going. This isn’t just about the final product—it’s about your journey as an artist and a mother, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

    Remember, every stroke, every note, every movement brings your vision to life. So go ahead and share your work in progress with us. We can’t wait to see your artistry unfold!

    Q: Do I need to fill out separate forms for visual and performance art submissions?

    A: Yes, please! We admire your artistic versatility, but we ask that you submit separate forms for each category to keep our selection process organized and efficient. This helps us categorize submissions and ensures each piece gets the full attention it deserves.

    Don’t worry; filling out both forms shouldn’t take long! We recommend copying and pasting your information between them to save time. We appreciate your understanding!

     Submit both by February 15, 2024.

    → Submissions are now closed.

    Q: How does MICAfest prioritize accessibility?

    A: We are committed to the full participation of people with disabilities in our programs and activities. We host events only in facilities that are accessible, we actively recruit artists with disabilities, and we provide reasonable accommodations on request. Further, we promote positive images and representations of disabled people and the movement for disability rights.

    Q: Is there a theme for the 2024 festival?

    A: Yes, this year, we are seeking work that explores the following:

    • Beyond the Ideal: Deconstruct the traditional narratives of m/otherhood and embrace the complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions of this experience.
    • Unseen Stories: Give voice to the unheard narratives of m/others, including those marginalized or silenced by societal norms.
    • The Body Politic: Explore the intersection of m/otherhood with issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, and politics.
    • The Art of Care: Examine the emotional, physical, and spiritual labor of caregiving and its impact on individuals and communities.
    • Beyond Biology: Reimagine the concept of m/otherhood beyond biological definitions and embrace diverse family structures and experiences.

    Q: What are the selection criteria for the festival?

    A: All submissions will be reviewed with careful consideration for this year’s festival themes (e.g., thematic depth and engagement with concepts like Beyond the Ideal or Unseen Stories) and chosen based on the following criteria:

    • Engagement: Does your work evoke strong emotions, spark thought-provoking discussions, or leave a lasting impression on the audience?
    • Innovation: Does your work push the boundaries of form and content, offering a fresh perspective on society and parenting?
    • Authenticity: Does your work reflect your unique voice and experience in a genuine and compelling way?
    • Inclusivity: Does your work celebrate the diverse perspectives and experiences of m/others, challenging stereotypes and promoting understanding?
    • Connection to themes: Does your work engage deeply with the festival’s core themes, offering new insights or interpretations?

    We strive for a fair and inclusive review process and are committed to mitigating potential biases. While we cannot provide individual feedback on all submissions, we encourage you to continue exploring your artistic voice and pushing creative boundaries.

    Q: What is "The Mom-ologues"?

    A: “The Mom-ologues” is a pivotal event in our MICAfest Art for Change festival. It’s a groundbreaking story jam (no competition!) encouraging artist m/others to share their unique journeys, shattering stereotypes and challenging norms. We’re seeking stories that explore our festival themes – Beyond the Ideal, Unseen Stories, The Body Politic, The Art of Care, and Beyond Biology. It’s an evening that promises to be as enlightening as entertaining.

    Q: How do I submit my story for "The Mom-ologues"?

    A: You can submit your story by filling out our performer artist submission form. We ask you to upload up to five minutes of video or audio for us to review. Please ensure your files are named correctly (lastname_firstname_micafest_submission) and numbered in the preferred viewing order if submitting multiple files. If you choose to provide a link, upload it in a Word document or PDF and include the timestamp for us to begin viewing your sample.

    Q: Do you have any prompts for The Monologues?

    A: Sure! We can get you started with a few ideas.

    Prompts for “The Mom-ologues” Story Jam:

    • Beyond the Ideal: Tell us about a moment when you shattered the ‘perfect mother’ myth and found power in your unique journey.
    • Unseen Stories: Share a story about a challenge or triumph in your journey as an artist mother that is often overlooked or misunderstood.
    • The Body Politic: How has your experience as an artist mother intersected with issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, or politics?
    • The Art of Care: Describe a time when the emotional, physical, or spiritual labor of caregiving changed you as an artist.
    • Beyond Biology: Share your experience of m/otherhood that goes beyond biological definitions. How has this shaped your art and identity?

    Your voice has the power to spark change, to inspire, and to empower. Submit your story and join us in rewriting the narrative of m/otherhood one story at a time.

    Q: Do submissions need to be from m/other artists?

    A: While MICAfest prioritizes submissions from m/other artists, we welcome work from anyone whose pieces align with our themes, even if the artist doesn’t have a direct parenting connection. We believe diverse voices can enrich the festival and spark important dialogues.

    MICAfest seeks bold, innovative submissions exploring the complexities and contradictions of m/otherhood. Push boundaries, challenge perspectives, and ignite dialogue through your artistic vision. Does that sound like you? Show us what you got!

    In our first MICAfest, the Performance Project, a youth theatre group from Springfield, MA, performed. Their piece, “Mother Tongue,” explored themes of cultural identity and family, connecting to m/otherhood through the lens of their heritage languages. We also had musicians who were fathers and non-parents contributing their talents.

    Q: My work isn’t directly about parenting. Can I still submit my work?

    A: Yes! Our mission is to support all artists, regardless of whether their work deals directly with m/otherhood. However, please look at the festival’s themes of m/otherhood, family, and human experience to ensure your piece resonates with the overall focus. We realize that performance pieces might be more subjective, so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the suitability of your work.

    Q: How can I, as a performer, connect to your themes?

    A: MICAfest isn’t about cookie-cutter m/otherhood stories –it’s not literal— it’s about ripping the apron strings and diving deep. Whether you’re a ballerina breaking stereotypes through pointe shoes or a beatboxer spitting the truth about societal expectations, we welcome interpretations that shake the cradle and make us think.

    Here’s a taste of the thematic playgrounds:

    • Beyond the Ideal: Ditch the saccharine lullabies. Think dance-theatre pieces exposing raw realities, interactive performances questioning societal myths, or musical collages juxtaposing lullabies with jarring dissonance. Make us squirm, shout, and see the cracks in the porcelain facade.
    • Unseen Stories: Amplify the silenced. Craft monologues that give voice to marginalized mothers, build powerful community narratives or use puppetry to give the unheard a platform. Shine a light on the untold tales, the whispers in the shadows, the experiences buried beneath societal norms.
    • The Body Politic: Move, speak, project. Explore the intersection of motherhood and social issues through physical theatre embodying the burdens, spoken word addressing inequalities, or multimedia performances highlighting stark realities. Show us the raw, the vulnerable, the politicized body of motherhood.
    • The Art of Care: Dive into the emotional, physical, and spiritual depths. Create immersive installations that simulate caregiving’s complexities, collaborative movement pieces portraying the interconnectedness, or sound art with visuals evoking caregiving’s delicate nuances. Make us feel the weight, the tenderness, the profound impact of nurturing.
    • Beyond Biology: Reimagine the maternal landscape. Drag performances challenging traditional definitions, intergenerational stories showcasing diverse family structures, celebrations of chosen families – the possibilities are endless. Let’s redefine motherhood, break the biological bounds, and create a vibrant tapestry of experiences.

    So, get out your artistic sledgehammers, creative paintbrushes, and soul-stirring voices. MICAfest awaits your unique story, ready to be jarred, moved, and inspired by the power of your artistic vision.

    Q: Does my artistic content need to be suitable for all audiences, including children?

    A: MICAfest welcomes bold voices and diverse perspectives! We understand that submissions may explore mature, challenging themes, as reflected in our focus on the complexities of m/otherhood and human experience. We encourage you to follow your artistic vision and trust your creative process.  If you have concerns, we encourage artists to consider using content warnings.

    Q: I participated in MICAfest last year. Can I submit new work?

    A: Absolutely! We welcome returning artists and love your continued enthusiasm. Please feel free to share this opportunity with your network. We also encourage submissions from new voices exploring this year’s themes.

    Q: What is the purpose of the suggested submission fee?

    A: We encourage artists to contribute a non-refundable Suggested Artist Participation Fee of $15. This flexible fee directly impacts supporting fellow artists and nurturing the vibrant creative community we aim to foster.

    We understand that different perspectives exist on fee structures. Some artists may not feel comfortable or be able to afford to pay with no guarantee of selection. That’s why we offer a sliding scale ranging from $0 to $30, trusting you to choose a fee that aligns with your circumstances. Your contribution, however small, makes a meaningful difference! Thank you for being a vital part of our mission!

    Q: Will I be compensated for my work?

    A: We understand the importance of fair compensation for artists and are actively working to finalize our payment structure for MICAfest 2024. We are committed to finding a solution that balances artist needs with our organizational resources. 

    While we cannot provide specific details, we are considering various options, including honorariums, sliding scale stipends, and ticket sales share. We will announce the confirmed compensation structure to the finalists and keep artists informed throughout the process. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to reach out with any questions.

    Q: How can I participate if I'm not an artist?

    A: We can use all the help we can get! We gladly encourage everyone with skills in performance, volunteering, production, marketing, or other areas to offer their help. Please visit our in-kind services page to learn more. We’re currently working on a volunteer form, but feel free to contact our team in the meantime!

    Q: What are your COVID protocols?

    A: We understand the concerns surrounding COVID-19 and strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. We will follow the venue’s rules and recommendations for each event and exhibition, guided by CDC guidelines. Masks and additional safety measures are always welcome, and you can share any concerns on your submission form.

    Q: I don't live locally. Do you provide a stipend for mailing?

    A: We encourage you to apply! We will work with you to find solutions for transportation and postage costs. Please feel free to email us with any questions.

    Q: I am a performer but don't live locally. Will you provide lodging and accommodations?

    A: We don’t have a travel stipend, but we can help you find affordable lodging and transportation options in the Northampton area. We recommend checking the Northampton Visitor Bureau website for accommodation resources:  Northampton, MA Visitor Information or considering platforms like Airbnb.

    Additional Tips:

    • Read the call for artwork carefully before applying.
    • Make sure your work is high-quality and represents your best efforts.
    • Be clear and concise in your application materials.
    • Highlight what makes your work unique and relevant to the MICAfest themes.
    • We encourage you to be bold and creative in your submissions!
    • We can’t wait to see your work!

    Who can I contact with questions? For any questions, please email us at hello@experiencemica.org.