Best of NH 2021 Art & Culture


Editor favorites

Inspirational poet

Being the New Hampshire Poet Award Winner is more than an honor for you Alexandria Peary – it is an opportunity to bring about change in a part of our state that is too often underserved. Aiming to reach children in Coös County, their first North Country Young Writers’ Festival was held last May, bringing together student leaders, savvy student poets, and bright young writers through virtual workshops, games, activities, and more. The pandemic, which was originally supposed to take place in person at White Mountains Community College (a partner of the festival), resulted in a change of plan. The two-day event was free to New Hampshire residents and featured advice and input from bestselling authors, published poets, and more. In addition to running a brand new festival, Peary is the author of seven books (and working on more), teaches at Salem State University, and offers writing workshops. In addition, she published daily calls for letters in April to encourage local poets to submit their second volume of “COVID Spring”. You can buy volume one at purchase Hobblebush books.

Art for everyone

First of all, those Loading ramp isn’t really a loading dock. What it is might sound complicated – a collaborative multidisciplinary creative space for all ages – but the concept is pretty simple (and clever) really. This inclusive and welcoming space in Littleton is a place for music and art and is open to all. It’s kind of like a cooperative run by friends, volunteers, and bandmates, but it’s also available for event rentals. It plays host to touring musicians, artists, local bands, and community events from poetry readings to birthday parties. The 1,000 square meter room has room for 100 people, a full PA sound system and, yes, a loading ramp to make it easy to bring in and take out the equipment. Visit the website for a calendar of events or contact us to host your own concert or film screening.

Historical host

We decided Canterbury Shaker Village as the venue for this year’s, newly designed Best of NH celebration for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s a beautiful place. The nearly 700 acres include hiking trails that meander through typical New Hampshire countryside. And it’s not just the natural beauty you’ll find at this National Historic Landmark – the Shaker aesthetic is everywhere, from the 25 original and four reconstructed buildings to the iconic furniture; the style of simplicity permeates the terrain. Then there is the deep sense of history that you feel when you stand in a place that was founded almost 230 years ago. The connection to the past is rich here and there is a lot to learn. The Shakers are perhaps best known for their celibacy and simple life, but they were also the most successful community society in American history, developing and using new technologies to build industry after industry and reinvesting their revenues in the community. The Shaker brand became known for quality, integrity and reliability, so to speak. Shakers also believed in gender equality, caring for the poor, and using their resources to advance social well-being. Today the museum is ideal for quiet contemplation, a place to slow down and review a past that still has lessons to teach us.

The long journey

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American pop / hip hop artist Martin toe was born in West Africa and survived the Ivorian and Liberian civil wars before his winding journey to the Granite State. He grew up here and now thrives as a writer, community organizer, and leader. This detour has also given him a diverse combination of skills and experience that make up the carpet of his captivating, inspiring, and raw lyric poetry. Toe’s music, including his latest aptly titled “Civic Leader,” is a collection of Afro-Pop and R&B with touches of everything from Bob Marley to Pete Seeger. He was named Stay Work Play New Hampshire Civic Leader of the Year in 2020 – an honor reflected in it, illustrating how he engages audiences, communicates his message, and challenges and enlightens listeners.

Theater city

There must be something in the lake water around Laconia, because two historical theaters are about to welcome the eager audience again. Both Lakeport Opera House Founded in 1882, and the Colonial theater of Laconia, originally built in 1914, has undergone extensive renovations to bring these beautiful venues back to their former glory (with some modern updates, of course). The three-story opera house houses both the Wayfarer Coffee Roasters Café and The Laconia Daily Sun on the first floor, the theater in the middle and apartments on the top floor with original high ceilings. The Colonial will show its $ 14.4 million reconstruction (with lots of beautiful original details) starting in late July when comedian Bob Marley takes the stage.

Art educators

When lifelong lover and patron of the arts Carolyn Jenkins died in 1981, she donated her family home, the Kimball Jenkins Estate, with instructions for use for cultural and educational purposes, including “promoting the arts”. Today, this beautiful property is home to the Kimball Jenkins School of Art, which each year more than 1,300 students study drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, woodworking, glass, sculpture, and more. And now as the school continues to build on Jenkins’ vision, ballet and hip-hop (as well as other cultural dances and music) have been added to the list of disciplines thanks to a creative collaboration with Eastern Ballet and Vibes of Style.

Humor summit

New Hampshire is a fun place, which accounts for the number of nationally famous comics calling it home, but dig a little deeper for a taste of real local humor. We scouted the state with our comedy detector and selected two local humorists who tell funny stories as sweet as sugar on snow and as gritty as a bathing suit in Hampton Beach to hold the Granite State Humor Summit for our Best of NH -Party 2021. Northwoods “Moose of Humor” Rebecca Rule and Fred Marple of the semi-mythical village of Frost Heaves will unite their storytelling power in a tour de force presentation entitled “What’s So Funny About New Hampshire”. The comic book collaboration will make its debut (and perhaps its finale) at this year’s “Best” bash taking place on August 21 at the Canterbury Shaker Village rebeccarule.com and frostheaves.com and bestofnh.com for more.

Prefect of the past

RP Hale doesn’t exactly live in the past, although you may be wondering if he has a time machine hidden in a closet somewhere. As a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen, Hale describes him in his profile as “an interdisciplinary artist, scientist and teacher with several generations. He is a nationally known master calligrapher, medical illustrator, wood engraver, paper marbler, harpsichord maker and concert musician. ”He teaches in all these areas, they add. He studies Mayan cultures and leads workshops on traditional Mexican / Aztec cuisine. Oh, and he’s a regular player in the Celtic music sessions at Barley House in Concord, his hometown. Find out more or send him a message on Facebook: RP Hale / La Imprenta Azteca.

Deep grooves

Charge the evolutionists

Hip-hop culture exists in New Hampshire, but mostly in small doses – house parties, some basement concerts, and an increasing respect for street art to brighten up some downtown walls. Brand new band Fairy and the evolutionists stands for something rare in the local scene – continuity. Bill Fee and Ruby Shabazz played percussion and vocals in the insanely popular Ruby and the Groove, which has been based in the Nashua region since 2018. good vibes and audience participation ”and interweaves the familiar sounds of soul and R&B into a contemporary soundscape that is guaranteed to inspire dancing even in a room full of stoic New Englanders.

Reader’s Choice Winner

Art gallery

AVA gallery and art center
Lebanon
avagallery.org

AM radio station

WGIR 610
Manchester
wgiram.iheart.com

FM radio station

WZID 95.7
Manchester
wzid.com

Independent cinema

Red River Theater
Unity
redrivertheatres.org

Great music hall

Bench of the NH pavilion
Gilford
banknhpavion.com

meteorologist

Hayley LaPoint WMUR
Manchester
wmur.com

museum

Currier Art Museum
Manchester
currier.org

NH radio morning broadcast

Greg and the morning rush, WHEB
Manchester
wheb.iheart.com

NH radio talk show

“The Exchange”, NHPR
Unity
nhpr.org

Small music hall

Tupelo Music Hall
Derry
tupelomusichall.com

Theater / performing arts venue

The castle theater
Manchester
palasttheater.org

TV news anchor

Erin Fehlau WMUR
Manchester
wmur.com

TV news reporter

Ray Brewer WMUR
Manchester
wmur.com

TV sports announcer

Jamie Staton WMUR
Manchester
wmur.com


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