The Free Soil Arts Collective’s mission is to create opportunities for BIPOC artists in the Merrimack Valley to invest in their craft, develop new work, and share with the public in the place they call home.

What is Free Soil?

We are an arts organization that amplifies and strengthens the voices of local artists of color. We lead these efforts by producing creative works, offering educational programming, and curating events that promote local artists.

Our Why

“The movement without storytelling, is like birds without wings.” – John Lewis

The stories that we hear and experience through the arts, should accurately reflect the richness of our community. We have an opportunity in the Merrimack Valley to cultivate a more diverse community of artists. When the narratives of marginalized communities are under-explored, they are also perceived as invaluable. Free Soil aims to do away with that notion, by creating opportunities for local artists of color to share their stories. 

Our Name

In the late 1800’s, a fugitive slave named Nathaniel Boothe escaped to Lowell, MA. A group called the Free Soil Party advocated for his freedom and safety. The motto of the group was “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men”, saying that those who work deserve to be free. It is our belief that those who come from communities that are underrepresented in the arts, have the right to tell their own stories.