The enthusiasm of what is happening in Northport and East Northport through the The Northport Arts Coalition (NAC) has spilled into the surrounding communities of Long Island. More and more, people come into Northport and East Northport wanting to share in the arts and events offered by the NAC.

The NAC is an all-volunteer organization located in Northport. Established in 1998 with just ten members, NAC now has more than 400 participants. The members share a common bond, believing the arts are an integral part of a community. They have a vision to enliven the Long Island community and to bring residents together through the arts.

According to its Web site, the NAC aims to create a vibrant hub for the arts and the humanities. It inspires and supports artists as well as helps them make connections with other artists and the larger community. The NAC strives to incorporate diverse venues for writers, visual artists, musicians, actors and dancers. It embraces all art disciplines, welcomes everyone’s input and looks forward to planning and sponsoring artistic gatherings.

This past April, The Northport Arts Coalition sponsored The Northport One Act Play Festival in cooperation with the Northport High School & the Northport/East Northport Community Drug & Alcohol Task Force. Students produced and performed their own plays concerning substance and drug use and other issues facing today’s teens. The students gathered along with their families to view the plays and talk about their works with a professional panel. Local playwrights were also given an opportunity to present their works at the event.

Northport High School students are welcome to participate in other monthly NAC events and activities, such as the Reader’s Theater Group, Poets in Port and NAC Wednesdays. Reader’s Theater Group participants read the work of new playwrights. This gives newcomers to the field a chance to showcase their work for the public. Poets in Port encourages Long Island poets to get together and collaborate. And, on NAC Wednesdays, held at the Northport Library, different theme events expand the cultural horizons of people involved. NAC Wednesdays feature local artists performing in ethnic dances, presenting visual arts, hosting workshops and sharing poetry, music, opera and theater.

The Northport Arts Coalition also sponsors many other public events. With Sundays in the Park, visual artists, musicians, dancers and poets provide fun and entertainment. Classical music is the focus of Doing Music events held at the Northport Library. The Northport Wine Tasting Room & Cellar provides art exhibits, and with Plein Air, talented artists gather to do live painting along Main Street and the village park. They then have their work auctioned at a local gallery that donates its space. In the summer months, families congregate at the Village Green for Happenings on Main Street, which entails a fun night of live music.

NAC is mainly funded and supported by its growing membership as well as from grants and contributions from organizations. However, there has been a reduction in grant assistance for cultural arts organizations in the past couple of years. As a result, NAC especially needs membership support to keep it going strong. NAC has a monthly online newsletter that informs readers of free art events and allows members to post upcoming events. NAC also encourages artists to post their Web sites on the organization’s Web site. It has a professional, talented advisory board that works closely with the NAC executive board.

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