Sunday, July 25, 2010

Meet the Neighbors!

It's true. In the winter I'm a bit of a hermit. I like to curl up with a good book by the woodstove and keep warm. Nighttime events require a certain motivation to attend. But in the bustling summertime season it's a different story! I want to take advantage of every  daylight -- and evening -- hour, and even then it seems there's just never enough time to do all the things I'd like to do. Along with swimming, gardening, porch sitting, farmers markets, festivals, long walks and having lunch with friends, my evening calendar is filled with wonderful theatre performances, gorgeous live music, and interesting programs and lectures. The list is endless. Check out our ArtsNorth e-calendar and see for yourself the variety of opportunities that are available.

Summertime is also when we realize what a wealth of creative energy has been generated by our neighbors who've also been holed up during the long winter months. With that in mind, I want to direct your attention to several events the Arts Alliance is presenting next month, all featuring North Country neighbors sharing their creative passions. I'm excited about these programs and the opportunity to share them with you because these are people I know and admire -- or would like to know more about. I hope you'll save the dates on your calendar and attend one or more of the events.

What do you do if you retire from an academic career and can choose where to live and how to spend your time? In the case of Don Wharton, former president of Plymouth State University, you live in the beautiful town of Landaff, and observe -- and write about -- the world around you. We're pleased to inaugurate our new "Meet Your Neighbors: A Salon Series"at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 3, when we partner with the Forest Society to host a reading and discussion with Don. He'll share some of the prose sketches from his growing collection of "Landaff Days," observations on friends, neighbors, wildlife, the woods and New Hampshire seasons. The reading will take place in the Program Center at The Rocks, Route 302, just off I-93 in Bethlehem. There is no charge; donations to support the series are appreciated, as are suggestions for future presenters (send an email to or call 323-7302).

Dancer Katherine Ferrier of Littleton is relatively new to the area, but she has a long list of dance credits around the country. She recently conceived the idea of bringing together a group of outstanding dancers to present a full day of dance, beginning with a series of  workshops (for everyone from young dance students to educators to professional dancers) and culminating in an evening presentation of both old and new works. "Cultivate" (presented in partnership with the Arts Alliance's "Extending the Dance Map" program) takes place on Saturday, August 14, at the White Mountain School in Bethlehem. Financial assistance is available for those who can't afford the modest workshop fees; no one will be turned away because of an inability to pay. Call 323-7302 or email us for additional details, and to preregister for the workshops and to reserve tickets for the evening performance.

Artists and arts supporters of all ages are invited to our next BYOP on Thursday, August 19, at Alumni Hall, 75 Court Street in Haverhill. The Bring Your Own Poetry, Performance, Painting, Presentation and Potluck is the third in our quarterly series this year. We had a great turnout at our first two - in Sugar Hill in February and Berlin in May -- and hope many more of you will join us at the August BYOP. It's a wonderful way to meet your artist neighbors -- both professional and amateur -- and learn what they are doing. We met painters, poets, photographers, dancers, multi-media artists, craftspeople, a comic book artist, a sculptor, musicians and a puppeteer at the previous BYOPs, where the artists presented and discussed their work. The evening begins at 6 pm with an informal potluck, followed by the presentations at 7. Children are welcome to attend, and to present. We'll supply the cold drinks. Emcees for the evening are writer Leah Carey and fiddler Patrick Ross (see below for more on each of them). The evening is free, with donations welcome. Preregistration by presenters is appreciated; email or call 323-7302.

Patrick Ross is a 5th generation fiddler who was raised in Canaan, Vermont, traveled the world, and now makes his home in Groveton. He has recently been interviewing and recording traditional fiddlers in their 80s all around the North Country, to make sure that their musical legacy is not lost. He's also always on the lookout for other young talent, and eager to share his discoveries with his friends and neighbors. Patrick returns to the Lancaster Town Hall stage on Sunday, August 22, at 7 pm, with the Bow Thayer Band, based in our neighbor state of Vermont. Ticket price of $10 includes a free CD.

If you know of other North Country neighbors -- including our summer residents -- who are artists engaged in interesting, creative or surprising work, please let us know. Send an email to or call 323-7302.

P.S. Our neighbors at The Morrison nursing home and assisted living facility in Whitefield will present a reading of their stories -- and a picture of their lives -- at 2 pm on Wednesday, July 28. Residents, family and staff participated in four weekly workshops under the direction of writer Leah Carey of Littleton as part of the Arts & Health partnership between the Arts Alliance and The Morrison. The program is open to the public and there is no charge. Call or email me at 837-2275 or if you need additional information.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A new chapter -- for me and the Arts Alliance

With this posting you'll notice a new title. I'll no longer be working as the full-time Assistant Director of the Arts Alliance, but am happy that I'll be staying connected with the Alliance - and with you - as Special Projects Coordinator.

Working as the Arts Alliance Assistant Director has been a wonderful experience for me, but I've reached a time in my life where I want to have more free time for myself. During the past year, I've met many of you in person, and have corresponded with many more of you via email. In fact, meeting and working with so many wonderful artists has stoked my own artistic imagination and caused me to rethink my life: I've come to realize that I want more time to practice my own mosaic art, and I can't do that while working full-time. I'm also planning to spend more time with my grandchildren (my third granddaughter, and fifth grandchild, was born a couple of weeks ago), and, this summer, I want to spend more time in the garden and at the lake.

In my new contract position with the Arts Alliance, I'll be focusing on - you guessed it! - special projects. First and foremost is the Arts & Health partnership that I wrote about in my last post. I'll also continue writing these eblasts on a regular basis, and tackle other projects as they come along. You can still reach me at or at 837-2275, and I hope you'll stay in touch and let me know what kinds of programs and services you'd like to see more of.

I won't be involved with the day-to-day operations of the Arts Alliance, but I will continue to take a keen interest in all of the wonderful programs the Alliance develops, coordinates and partners on - from hands-on, participatory programs and concerts at schools and community sites to workshops for teachers, artists and organizations, as well as regional initiatives (some exciting new ones are being planned for the coming year!). One of the things I like most about the Alliance is how we make possible, through partnerships with individuals, schools, businesses and organizations, an outstanding variety of opportunities for people all around our region - both locals and visitors - to participate in arts and cultural experiences.

As I move from one position to another I wanted to give you a quick review of several of the areas of the organization in which I've been most involved.

Programming is the most visible aspect of the Arts Alliance, and I've been privileged to work with many fine artists who have presented numerous workshops and performances in schools, town halls, churches, nursing homes and senior centers, as well as with the wonderful staff at these facilities who helped me schedule the presentations. Your response to our public performances and exhibits has been overwhelmingly positive, and we intend to continue bringing you the diversity of artistic and cultural opportunities that you've requested.
We know that some of you like to get your news the old-fashioned way, while others rely on your computers, and we've been working hard to improve communications across the spectrum - through regular press releases, timely updates to our website, e-blasts like this one, our ArtsNorth e-calendar, and postings on social media sites - check us out on Facebook,  and the Connections and Opportunities link on our website.

Volunteers are vitally important to any nonprofit organization, and our goal is to develop a cadre of volunteers to supplement the Arts Alliance staff. We have a hard-working board of directors who donate their time attending regular board meetings and serving on committees to help the Arts Alliance run smoothly. Many of you also donate time to hang posters, meet and greet guests at public performances, clip newspaper articles, and deliver brochures and other printed materials. Many businesses donate lodging, space for performances, and other in-kind services like electronic equipment. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available; if you'd like to help, we can find a job for you. Send an email to if you're interested in learning more.

The Arts Alliance is a membership organization. Check our website for a list of the organizational and artist members who support our mission: to promote, support and sustain culture, heritage and the arts in northern New Hampshire. You don't have to be a member to enjoy the performances we sponsor or the workshops we coordinate - but your support does ensure the continuation of the quality programming and the other services we provide. Our website has all the information you need to join.

I can't wait to meet our new Assistant Director. It's a wonderful job just waiting for the right person! Our search committee is taking applications through July 31 for the position. If you're interested - or know of someone who might be - take a look at the job description that's posted on our homepage and send in your resume, or pass the information along to someone you think might be a good fit. It's hard work, but it's truly satisfying to see the results of our efforts in the faces of our partners and audiences, from preschoolers at our Arts in Early Learning programs to the elders at The Morrison.

Stay cool!

Eileen Alexander

Friday, July 2, 2010

Arts & Health Partnership at The Morrison Now Under Way

Last fall, I had the good fortune to witness dancer Jeanne Limmer conduct a movement workshop with a group of elderly ladies at a local nursing home. The 15 women were seated in a circle, most in wheelchairs. Many were suffering from dementia and some seemed unresponsive to what was going on around them.

Jeanne used simple movement exercises to engage these ladies in a wonderful hour of camaraderie, sharing, and a unique form of dancing. She began by throwing her arms in the air and saying, "My name is Jeanne. Tell me what your name looks like." Patiently, she went around the circle and asked that question: "Tell me what your name looks like."

One by one, each lady said her name and moved her body. Some made grand gestures, others made teeny, tiny movements with their hands or arms, and all but one of them participated.

Now that the ice had been broken, Jeanne asked them to tell a story with her. "Tell me about an important event in your life," she said. One woman said it was when she had married, and she clasped her hands over her heart. Jeanne had everyone mimic that movement. Another woman said that it was the birth of her child, and rocked an imaginary baby in her arms. Again, Jeanne had everyone mimic the movement. A third woman coyly batted her eyelashes and shrugged her shoulders in a gesture reminiscent of a teenage girl with her first boyfriend. "It was my first beau," she said. This movement was a little more difficult for everyone to pull off, but they moved their bodies and their faces in their versions of "first love."

By now, Jeanne had enough movements to construct a flowing story dance. Together, the women - seated in wheelchairs and chairs - moved their arms, hands, torsos and faces in a lovely dance depicting the special moments of love, marriage and birth that most had experienced many years before.

By the time the workshop finished, the women were smiling, giggling, reaching out to touch Jeanne and ask questions - and very much more lively than when they had entered the room. It was a unique and uplifting experience for all involved.

These kinds of moments - where arts and health intersect in a positive and even transformative way - are what the Arts Alliance wants to create on an ongoing basis at nursing homes and senior centers around the North Country.

Our early successes, like the one just described - as well as a growing body of research around the country - confirm our conviction that in-depth arts programming could have a beneficial effect on both our region's elders and their care providers. The Morrison nursing home and assisted living facility in Whitefield was eager to partner with us to develop an Arts & Health program for their facility, beginning with four multi-day residencies this summer and early fall. We applied for and received a grant for partial funding for the project from the Arts in Health Care program of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Irish harper, singer and dancer Regina Delaney of Exeter was the first of the artists in residence at The Morrison. She spent three days in June working with elders and staff in individual and group workshops. She'll return in August for another two days of training workshops, performances and visits with residents, demonstrating how easy and powerful it is to incorporate music in individual care plans - and to use it in public spaces.

On Wednesday, writer Leah Carey of Littleton held the first in a series of  writing and storytelling workshops for residents, staff and family members; she'll be back July 7, 14, and 21. The stories that are being told paint a picture of life at The Morrison and will be woven into a performance piece that will be presented in a public reading at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28. Staff from other facilities, along with family, friends and community members, are invited to attend.

On August 17-20, The Morrison will welcome Saori weaver Bobbi Herron of Penacook. She'll bring both standing looms and lap looms, and staff and residents will be invited to take a turn at the Saori-style of improvisational weaving that requires no predetermined patterns and allows even people with severe limitations to participate and feel a sense of accomplishment and community. A woven banner will be created as a permanent installation; it will be unveiled in a public ceremony on Friday, August 20.

September brings back dancer and educator Jeanne Limmer of North Conway, who will.lead simple movement exercises with residents and also provide daily movement and relaxation sessions for staff as well as reflection times when they can discuss integrating movement exercises into daily care routines.

Watch this space and area newspapers for information about community participation opportunities during the residencies. Family and community members, along with local artists, are invited to become involved as observers and volunteers.. Artists who might be interested in working with the elderly are invited to take advantage of mentoring opportunities with the visiting artists. Both The Morrison and Arts Alliance want to expand their volunteer programs and the artist series is a wonderful way to receive specific training in incorporating the arts in work with the elderly.

Staff development and training workshops will also be held for staff from other nursing homes, from senior centers, assisted living facilities, hospice and adult day-care programs, so that they can learn easy-to-incorporate tools and techniques for developing and sustaining arts-based programs that will have a positive impact on their elders' intellectual, emotional, social and creative development.

Anyone who would like additional information about the Arts & Health program or who might want to participate in one or more workshops or attend a performance can contact me at 837-2275 or We'll be posting our Arts & Health for Seniors at The Morrison informational brochure on the web next week.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend of festivals, parades, barbecues, fireworks, family and friends!

Photo: Irish harper Jeanne Limmer is accompanied by Morrison resident Esther Webb on the bodhran.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Check out these events -- and our ArtsNorth e-calendar!

Our ArtsNorth e-calendar is a great place to learn about upcoming cultural events in the northern New Hampshire region. You can subscribe to the e-calendar -- send an email to --- and it will show up in your box every two weeks during the summer months and every three to four weeks the rest of the year, or you can find a link on our website at Hundreds of events are listed each time the calendar is sent out -- broken down by region -- giving you plenty of opportunities to experience dance, music, theatre, festivals, church suppers, pancake breakfasts, farmers markets, lectures, demonstrations and much more all across the North Country. And, if you have an event that you'd like included send it to Keep reading to learn about several events listed in the Arts North e-calendar that take place this weekend and next. Maybe we'll see you there!

Great music at Graymist Fiddlefest: Pack a picnic, an umbrella and some lawn chairs or blankets and head to the GrayMist Farm on Brown Road in Groveton on Sunday afternoon, June 27, for the first annual GrayMist Fiddlefest. The action gets underway at noon in a field at the GrayMist Farm. Fiddlers of all ages are invited to participate. Featured performers include Hot Flannel, Isley Mist Ceili, the Gary Darling Bluegrass Band, and Scott Campbell with Rick Commo. Get more information and register to play at Emcee for the day is Lee Deyette of East Randolph, VT, who presided over the Stark Fiddlers Contest many times. Please do not bring any glass bottles or containers, as the field where the event is being held is used to feed Nancy and Gordon Gray's cattle, and many people will also be going barefoot during the festival. The event is rain or shine!

Member accomplishment: Late last year, when the Arts Alliance sent out a call to members for artwork for a series of notecards we are producing for our own use and as a fundraiser for the Arts Alliance, one of those who responded was Randy Ayer of Milan. His painting, "Fields of Gold," (above) was chosen for our first notecard in the series that celebrates the North Country and its artists. Sue Gradual, owner of the Old Mill Studio in Whitefield liked Randy's work so much that she has arranged for an exhibit of his paintings at her gallery, which is in the big red building to one side of the Common, just behind the fountain. An opening reception, where you can meet Randy and enjoy music and refreshments, will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, July 2. The exhibit will run through July.

One of Randy's paintings was also chosen for the Northern Light: Variations on a Theme juried exhibit this spring that was a collaboration of the Arts Alliance, the AVA Gallery in Lebanon and the Old Mill Studio, in conjunction with two concerts given by the Camerata New England chamber ensemble. Twenty-eight outstanding northern New Hampshire artists were chosen for the exhibit, which was displayed first at the AVA Gallery, followed by a month-long showing at the Fiddleheads Gallery in Colebrook. Dozens of people saw the show at both locations, and two pieces in the exhibit were sold!

Celebrate the 4th of July with Art, Music and Food: The Arts Alliance is proud to be a supporting partner of the Whitefield Arts Festival, Sunday, July 4, on the Whitefield Common, from 8 am-3 pm. Enjoy fine arts and contemporary and traditional crafts, demonstrations, food and music. Start the day off with pancakes, syrup and sausages at the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, 8-11 am. Artists, vendors or musical performers who'd like to participate can call Judy at 837-2436 or Sue at 837-8778 for more information.

Rack card is ready to go: We've just produced a handsome full-color rack card for 25 of our member organizations that are involved in the performing arts. On Stage in the White Mountains has listings for music, theatre, festivals, museums and more. We need volunteers to help distribute it throughout the North Country at member sites and at hotels, motels, B&Bs, and other places that tourists and locals visit. Please give me a call at 837-2275 or email me at if you can help, or if you'd like some brochures for your establishment - or know of other businesses that should have some on hand.

Farmers Markets want artists & musicians: Many farmers markets around the region are still looking for artists and musicians to add to their line-up. We've had a request from the Colebrook farmers markets for additional artists to participate and for some musicians who'd like to perform. There are two markets on Saturday mornings and one on Thursday afternoons, so there are plenty of opportunities here to sell your product or display your musical talents. Call Julie Moran at 237-8685 if you're interested.

Let me hear from you: As I mentioned in a previous post, we want to hear from Arts Alliance members who have a special event or program coming up that could use a little more publicity. We'll post information here and send a blast out on our Facebook page. We're looking for out-of-the ordinary programs or individual accomplishments, like Randy Ayer's art exhibit at the Old Mill Studio. We'd also like to hear about artists and entrepreneurs, and about businesses and creative places where you go for inspiration or services.

Happy summer!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Member Services, Cultural Rack Card, State Arts Survey

As a regional arts organization, we strive to provide a variety of services for our members, and are always interested in hearing what is most useful to you as a current member -- or a potential member. Read on to learn about a couple of marketing tools that we think you'll  find helpful in spreading the word about who you are and what you do.

New Member Benefit:  A  service the Arts Alliance is in the process of implementing this summer is a connection to our members via our new Arts & Culture Google Maps. These maps will show both guests and residents the locations of all member businesses and organizations, increasing their web exposure and reinforcing that arts and culture are alive and well in northern New Hampshire. The Google Maps link button will be located prominently on our home page.

The maps are just one of the services we offer members. If you're a member, take a moment to check your member listing to be sure it's current and let us know if any changes need to be made. (Be sure to give us your physical address if it differs from your mailing address.) If you aren't already a member or your membership has lapsed, we invite you to join (or re-join). You can learn about member benefits and download a membership form here.

On Stage in the White Mountains: We've also been working on our annual publication - this year a full-color rack card -- that will be available at state rest areas and the Granite State Ambassadors' desk at the Manchester airport, and distributed throughout the North Country at member sites and at hotels, motels, B&Bs, and other places that tourists and locals visit. We expect to have it printed in time for the 4th of July weekend, the official kick-off to the summer season.

Frumie and I have already spoken with many of you to invite participation, but I'm taking this opportunity to send out a broader call for listings, as we don't want to overlook any performing arts organizations or venues that would like to be included.
While many visitors to the area rely on the web, we know that there are still many people who like to get information in print. The rack card will include several inviting photos and a list of member organizations involved in the performing arts - theatre, music, dance, and other performances - that will help people understand the richness of the region and the variety of cultural activities available (both summer and year-round), and send them to your website for more information.

Your listing in the card will include your organization's name, address, phone number and website, plus a short tagline that highlights your uniqueness.
We hope you will take advantage of our collaborative marketing efforts by purchasing a listing; when you do, be sure to send high-resolution photos that you'd like us to consider for the rack card. Please call or email me at 837-2275 or by the end of the day on Friday, June 18 (we like to live on the edge here!), so we can arrange to include you, and so that I can provide any additional information you need and answer any questions you may have.

Arts Planning Survey: The staff at the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts needs your help in developing their Strategic Plan for 2010-2013. They want to have as much information as possible from both artists and the nonprofit organizations that present arts and cultural programming as they decide where to put their resources to provide the most benefit to the citizens of New Hampshire.

The Arts Planning Survey takes just a couple of minutes to complete. Click here to go directly to the survey.

Of Interest: Why do you support the arts? Is it because you're an artist yourself, have a family member or friend who is, or is it because you recognize the connection between the arts and healthy and prospering communities?

The arts contribute to our lives socially and economically, as numerous studies have shown. Arts Alive in the Monadnock region in southwestern NH recently published the results of an almost year-long study - Arts & Economic Prosperity - that concluded that the arts and culture are a $16.1 million industry that support 477 full-time equivalent jobs in that region and - not surprisingly - greatly increase the quality of life of residents and visitors. We know that there are comparable benefits here in the North Country.

Everyone benefits when the arts flourish. Artists, certainly, but also creative enterprises and entrepreneurs like architects, graphic designers, furniture builders, and floral designers, as well as all the other businesses and industries in a region: banks, hardware stores, supermarkets, insurance agencies, pizza shops, clothing stores, hairdressers, consignment shops, antique dealers, motels, landscapers, cobblers, etc. Artists and creative enterprises circulate dollars through the local economy both through the products and services they create and sell and by providing cultural opportunities for engagement and enrichment. 

Only a few days to go until it's officially summer!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To market, to market...

Remember this nursery rhyme? "To market to market to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig."

The rhyme has its origins in historical fact, when it was commonplace for people to buy their vegetables, meats and other farm-produced goods at fairs or markets.

When I head off to the local Farmers Market I expect to find many of the products our ancestors sought at their town markets, although probably not a fat pig! More likely my bag will contain an assortment of locally grown greens, tomatoes and beans, a loaf of chewy homemade bread, creamy goat cheese, fresh eggs, cider and perhaps even some homegrown bacon. During the last decade Farmers Markets and their supporters have wholeheartedly embraced the notion of selling and buying local. The food tastes better because it's in season and freshly picked, you're able to strike up a conversation and develop a relationship with the farmer who grows or produces the product, and you know the dollars you spend support the local economy.
Like their historical predecessors, Farmers Markets often offer entertainment - fiddlers, harpers, accordionists and singers -- and welcome artisans and crafters who enjoy the camaraderie of selling their wares in a highly communal setting. The Markets are great outlets for artists, artisans, and musicians to show off their products and talents, and the mix of agriculture, arts, crafts and music is a true reflection of what we mean when we speak of the creative northern economy. The Arts Alliance wants to spread the word about these talented people -- they are a great North Country resource worth supporting. Are you one of these artists or musicians (or do you know someone who is)? Send us your contact information and tell us what you do at

Support your local Farmers Markets

These northern New Hampshire markets are open for the season, or soon will be. Check out the NH Department of Agriculture's comprehensive statewide listing of Farmers Markets, or your local newspaper for locations, dates and times, as there may be others in your neighborhood that aren't on the list yet. All of them sell a variety of locally grown or produced -- including organic -- vegetables, flowers, fruits, maple, honey, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Most also sell a wide range of arts and crafts -- jewelry, quilts, stained glass, woven items, pottery, baskets, photographs, paintings, and more -- with something in every price range and taste.
Bethlehem: Local Works Farmers Market, Main St. Saturdays, 9-2.
Berlin: Local Works Berlin Farmers Marketplace, Mechanic Street (off Main or Route 16 north). July 1-Sept. 16. Thursdays, 3-7 p.m. This is a new market this year, and along with the standard offerings will feature Massage by the Minute, music & demos, Wool Fiber Day, Tomato Tasting Competition, 4-H Animal Day, and a concert series.
Bristol: Newfound Farmers Market, Lake Street, Bristol. Through October. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Campton: Campton Farmers Market, off Exit 28, Route 49. Through October. Fridays, 3-6 p.m.
Colebrook: Colebrook Farmers Market, 84 Colby St. July-October. Saturdays, 8-noon.
Colebrook: Main Street Farmers' Market, North Main St. (at Northern Tire). July-mid-October. Thursdays, 3-6 p.m., Saturdays, 9-noon.
Jackson: Jackson Farmers Market, next to the Snowflake Inn Field. July-October. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lancaster: Lancaster Farmers Market, Centennial Park. June-December, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon. November-December markets are the 1st & 3rd Saturdays in the Lancaster Town Hall.
Lisbon: Lisbon Farmers Market, Route 302, North Main St. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
Littleton: Littleton Farmers Market, Littleton Senior Center, 38 Cottage St. June-October. Sundays, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.
Madison: Madison Farmer's Market, Madison Community Market, Route 113. Tuesdays, 3-6 p.m.
Piermont: Piermont Farmers Market, Corners of Route 25 and River Road. June-September. Tuesdays, 3-6 p.m.
Plymouth: Plymouth Community Farmers Market, 263 Highland St. Through October 7. Thursdays, 3-6 p.m.
Sandwich: Sandwich Farmers Market, Samuel H. Wentworth Library ('Pines'). Through November. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon.
Tamworth: Tamworth Farmers Market, Unitarian Church in the Village. June-Columbus Day. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon. Holiday market the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday before Christmas. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Whitefield: Whitefield Farmers Market, On the Common. Fridays, 3-6 p.m.

With so many wonderful markets available this summer, I'm planning on some good eating, and - dare I mention it --  an early start on my Christmas list! How about you? What are your favorite markets and what makes them special?

Friday, June 4, 2010

New faces, employment opportunities

Did you ever have one of those sad but happy days? I’m sad because my colleague Sasha Eisele has ended her tenure as our Creative Economy and Cultural Tourism Coordinator, but happy that she is developing her nonprofit consultancy business -- and that she will continue to work with the Arts Alliance.

Sasha brought vision, skill, an upbeat personality and a can-do attitude to her work with us and we wish her the very best as she pursues new adventures in the nonprofit world.

We'll be advertising her part-time position, funded in part by an ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) grant, this month. If you’re interested in learning more email us at Even in these difficult times there are a number of interesting arts and culture jobs available in the region; we're committed to keeping you informed about those (see below), and to welcoming some extremely talented people who have recently taken executive positions with our member organizations.

Mountain Top Music Center's (mountaintopmusic.orgnew Executive Director is Mike Sakash, who moved to the Mt. Washington Valley three years ago from Pittsburgh (the one in Pennsylvania!). His wife grew up in the Valley and they wanted to settle in a region that combined cultural opportunities with a slower pace of life. Mike, who worked as a college music professor and conductor, is a saxophone player. Since moving to New Hampshire he’s taught music on a freelance basis and at Fryeburg Academy, as well as at Mountain Top, where his priorities include reaching more students, developing an early childhood woods program, and supporting music programs in local schools.

The Mount Washington Valley Arts Association ( welcomes Executive Director Cynthia Melendy, a longtime arts supporter with an extensive background in development, fundraising, writing and organizing. Cynthia grew up on the shores of Lake Chocorua, and, after traveling extensively, has returned to her roots – settling in the Ossipee Mountains where she finds time to kayak, watch the birds and explore the woods. She has worked with the Maine Audubon Society, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Chebeague (Maine) Island Library. She has written about the Arts and Crafts community in Chocorua, and taught U.S., Women’s, Environmental and Architectural history at the University of Maine and other colleges.

Also newly arrived from Maine is Michael Desplaines, Executive Director of Castle in the Clouds ( in Moultonborough, who comes to the Castle after serving five years as E.D. at McLaughlin Garden in South Paris, Maine. Previous work included directing the Cranston (R.I.) Public School system's 21st Century Community Learning Center and directing programs for the YMCA of Greater Providence.

Teri Bordenave has been appointed as the new Interim Director of the Frost Place ( in Franconia. She served 20 years as President/CEO of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region in New York. 

If you're looking for an arts-related job, or have a cultural position that needs filling, check out our Connections and Opportunities site for information on these employment opportunities, or to to post your own: 

In northern New Hampshire:
• Gallery Assistant at Plymouth State University's Drerup Gallery
• Executive Director, Remick Farm and Museum, Tamworth
• Executive Director, Alumni Hall, Haverhill

and beyond:
• Executive Director, New Hampshire Writers' Project, Manchester
• Associate Designer for US Mint Artistic Infusion Program 

Connections and Opportunities is a new interactive site where you can find information about workshops, classes, meetings, conferences, employment opportunities, grant and funding announcements, exhibit and performance opportunities, and other arts- and culture-related resources. Please post your notices, help us keep the region informed, and let us know what's happening.