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.