News & Notes 23/10/26

A graphic the shape of the state of New Hampshire, filled in with the New Hampshire flag made up of the crest of New Hampshire on a blue field.

City Arts Nashua closes

City Arts Nashua, a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the arts, will conclude its operations by the end of the year, according to a press release, marking the end of its 20-year tenure serving the greater Nashua community. Founded in 2004, the group’s core mission was to bolster the quality of life in the region through support and promotion of arts and culture. Over its lifespan, City Arts Nashua initiated collaborations with local artists, community groups and government entities, launching events such as the ArtWalk and the Meri Goyette Art Awards and Luncheon. Other notable projects included the ArtVentures program and the commissioning and restoration of city murals. The organization played a key role in nurturing other local arts entities until they achieved independence, including the Nashua Center for the Arts and the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium. “We have confidence that this wonderful work will continue, and Nashua will always be an amazing community that understands the importance of the arts for connection and community-building,” Lisa Bissonnette, the organization’s board president, said in the release. “Most of the areas we would choose to focus on are already well-established in our community. We could not be happier.”

Ed funds

The Education Freedom Accounts (EFA) program in New Hampshire has seen a growth of about 20 percent in its third year, with more than 4,200 economically disadvantaged students now enrolled, according to a press release. The program allows these students to direct state-funded education grants toward select educational programs of their choice. Currently, the EFA program is providing grants totaling more than $22 million this academic year, averaging $5,255 per student. This cost is significantly less than if these students attended traditional public schools. The program was expanded earlier this year to include families earning up to 350 percent of the federal poverty level.

Longtime service

The Better Business Bureau Serving New Hampshire (BBB) recognized its outgoing board chair Howard Brodsky and executive director Robert Shomphe for their instrumental roles in the organization over the past three decades, according to a press release. The event, marking the 20th anniversary of the BBB Torch Awards, took place on Oct. 19 at the Bedford Village Inn. Brodsky, who separated the New Hampshire chapter from the Greater Boston model, has been pivotal in the chapter’s growth since its inception over 33 years ago. Robert Shomphe, the first CEO of the New Hampshire BBB, has been associated with the organization for 25 years. The 2023 Torch Awards honored Conde Roofing and Construction, The Altos Agency, and Goedecke Flooring and Design Center in their respective business size categories. Six other businesses were acknowledged as finalists. In tribute to Brodsky and Shomphe’s contributions, future Torch Awards will be named the Howard Brodsky Torch Awards, and the annual scholarship program will be the Robert Shomphe Student Ethics Scholarship program.

Hospital award

Susan A. Reeves, Ed.D., RN, CENP, executive vice president of Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, received the Leslie A. Smith President’s Award at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) on Oct. 16, according to a press release.

Literary awards

The Biennial NH Literary Awards announced its 2023 winners on Oct. 21, with Laura Knoy, talk show and podcast host, serving as the master of ceremonies. Celebrating more than a quarter century of literary excellence, these awards spotlight works written about or by individuals from New Hampshire, according to a press release. Out of 58 books assessed this year, six emerged victorious across five categories, with the Children’s category witnessing a tie. The winning titles include Moss by Joe Pace (Fiction), Ciao Italia — Plant, Harvest, Cook by Mary Ann Esposito (Non-fiction), A Case for Solace by Liz Ahl (Poetry), Six Thousand Doughnuts by Thomas Tosi (Young Adult/Middle Grade), and both I Am Today by Matt Forrest Esenwine and Squashed by Thomas and Meaghan Tosi (Children’s Picture Book). The New Hampshire Writers’ Project manages these awards, while an independent panel comprising teachers, librarians and readers from New Hampshire oversees the judging.

Director departure

Canterbury Shaker Village’s executive director, Leslie Nolan, has announced her departure from the role in May 2024, after having led the organization for nearly four years, according to a press release. Despite her departure, starting from November, Nolan will remotely assist the Village on special projects, including grant writing and building key relationships for the upcoming Capital Campaign. The Village’s Board Chair and Trustee both acknowledged Nolan’s significant contributions, especially her leadership during challenging times like the pandemic and during intricate restoration initiatives. .

The 24 Hours of Lemons Halloween Hooptiefest is scheduled at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon for Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29. According to a press release, the event will feature over 120 teams from the U.S. and Canada competing in a 14-hour endurance race using cars valued at $500 or less. Teams participate in themed costumes, and those facing racing infractions may be sent to a penalty box where they must perform specific tasks to continue. The event benefits the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCCNH). Tickets are available online at

Dover Public Library is hosting Indie Author Day on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to a press release, the event will feature a panel of local writers discussing their experiences, along with speakers such as Dan Lawton, Greg Bastianelli, Autumn Siders, Jeff Deck and Steve Carter. The program is free for the public, and details can be found at

The Nashua Regional College Fair 2023 will take place on Monday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Nashua High School South’s Belanger Gymnasium, according to a press release. With about 200 colleges and universities in attendance, prospective students and their families can gather information on academics, courses of study, college life and financing options. This event is a platform for direct engagement with college representatives.

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