The Weekly Dish 21/01/28

News from the local food scene

Drive-thru Greek meals: Join Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (68 N. State St., Concord) for its next boxed Greek dinner to go event on Sunday, Feb. 7, from noon to 1 p.m. Now through Feb. 3, orders are being accepted for boxed meals, featuring Greek meatballs, rice pilaf, Greek salad and a dinner roll, for $15 per person. The event is drive-thru and takeout only; email or call 953-3051 to place your order. The church has a few other similar upcoming events planned, like a Greek beef stew and orzo meal March 7 and a baked haddock dinner April 25. Visit

Virtual wines: The New Hampshire Liquor Commission’s virtual 90 Days Around the World program wraps up this week, with a livestreamed interactive video session featuring former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. He’ll present and taste three selections from his Bledsoe Wine Estate line, which he founded with his wife, Maura. Then on Friday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. winemakers Dana Epperson and Renee Ary of Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley will present various wines of their own. Both sessions are free to tune in via Zoom or Facebook @nhliquorandwine. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission launched the virtual 90-day series back on Nov. 2 in lieu of its annual Distiller’s Week and Wine Week, which normally take place in early November and late January, respectively. Visit

Ready for kickoff: LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst) is offering a special catering menu for the Big Game on Feb. 7. Offerings include various starters and snacks, like jumbo soft pretzel sticks with wine-infused pub cheese, fresh guacamole with pico de gallo and chips, and vegetable crudités with creamy herb dip, plus wings (Buffalo or pineapple teriyaki) and sandwiches served on large focaccia loaves (one loaf serves four to six people; options include Italian, caprese or roast beef with a wine-infused garlic and herb cheese spread). The deadline to order is Feb. 3 at 5 p.m., with pickups available on Feb. 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visit

Wicked Good Butchah on the move: Bedford’s Wicked Good Butchah is moving to a new location a few miles down the road, in the space formerly occupied by Harvest Market on Route 101. The shop is closed while equipment and supplies are transferred between the old and new locations, with the target reopening date during the first week of February, according to a recent post on its Facebook page. Wicked Good Butchah features a variety of specialty cuts of beef, pork, poultry and sausage, plus specialty wines, craft beers, prepared foods and more. Visit

All about Chopped: The Dover Public Library will offer a virtual presentation featuring Chef Evan Hennessey, owner of Stages at One Washington, on Monday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. Hennessey will talk about his experience on the Food Network show Chopped. Hennessey is a three-time champion of the cooking competition show, in which four chefs from across the country battle to create the best three-course meal options using a random assortment of “mystery” ingredients. During the presentation he’ll also demonstrate a live Chopped challenge from his restaurant, and attendees will get to vote on the ingredients Hennessey will use to create an appetizer. The library is also sponsoring its own Chopped competition — mystery boxes can be picked up in the children’s room beginning Feb. 2, and photos with your meal entries will be collected through Feb. 8. Admission is free. Visit to register.

Downsized nuptials

Elopements and micro weddings are the next big, er, small thing

Dreams of elaborate weddings with hundreds of guests were dashed for many brides and grooms in 2020. As the pandemic took hold, social distancing restrictions made large gatherings impossible. And while some couples postponed their vows altogether, others reined in their plans and slashed their guest lists, opting for either an elopement, with no guests, or what has become known as a micro wedding, which usually includes about 15 people or fewer.

“Micro weddings definitely became a lot more popular [during the pandemic],” said Lauren Ingle, a wedding planner based in Manchester who ended up planning more than three dozen elopements and micro weddings last year and has 12 booked so far in 2021. “It’s definitely … the new norm at this point.”

“When Covid hit, a lot of people realized they didn’t want to postpone their wedding,” said Tatiana Cicuto, a justice of the peace and co-owner of Top of the Ridge Farm in New Durham, which just opened last spring and has since hosted several micro weddings and elopements. “Some decided, let’s get married now and have a [bigger] celebration later.”

For every wedding that was downsized that Ingle and Cicuto were part of, the end result was overwhelmingly positive.

“In my experience so far, [all of the couples] have been very happy to have something small and private,” Cicuto said.

“All of my micro weddings have been just as special and beautiful,” Ingle said. “Honestly, they seem even more intimate and beautiful.”

Elopement vs. micro wedding

“I think a lot of people have different ideas of what a micro wedding is,” Cicuto said.

To her, an elopement is two people and an officiant, and a micro wedding is, well, small.

“What that small means, the number, is really subject to interpretation,” she said.

She thinks of micro weddings as 10 or 15 people, though some venues in New Hampshire that offer micro weddings will include up to 25 people.

Ingle, who offers packages that range from elopement to extravagant, agrees that an elopement is typically just the couple and the officiant.

“It’s usually just exchanging of the vows and then the couple goes out for dinner, or goes up to a cabin up north [for the night],” Ingle said.

She said elopements can include elements like bouquets, a photographer, an arbor and Champagne so it “feels like something more than just going to town hall.”

Micro weddings, on the other hand, include almost all of the elements of a larger wedding but on a smaller scale — think sweetheart cake rather than a four-tier cake, appetizers rather than a four-course meal, and an amp that plays preloaded music rather than a live band.

Micro details

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to micro wedding details, though — if the couple still wants a live band or a four-course meal for their small group, that can be arranged.

Cicuto likes to work closely with couples so their micro weddings are exactly what they want them to be.

“This couple who got engaged, they decided to get married three weeks later,” she said. “They came to us and said, ‘We know it’s crazy, but can we get married [in three weeks]?’ … They wanted it outside on a Tuesday in July. … We said, ‘Yes, of course we can get it done!’”

Cicuto said the couple was very flexible and understood that in three weeks they couldn’t get, say, blue tulips in the middle of July. She worked with them to plan their music and their flowers and set up vignettes around the property, like an antique tub filled with ice and drinks. The couple brought in their own caterer and photographer.

“It was a very collaborative approach,” Cicuto said. “There were some things they chose not to have … but otherwise it was a normal wedding. It wasn’t missing anything critical.”

Likewise, Ingle created exactly the wedding that Rachel and Steele Hudson wanted (that’s according to the bride herself — see her wedding story on p. 22), even though they had to downsize from a 100+-person wedding in Jackson to a micro wedding with 12 people.

“She ended up not getting many deposits back from some vendors, so it had to be pretty small and affordable,” Ingle said.

Ingle was able to take the elements of the Hudsons’ original wedding and scale it down.

“It was the most magical day,” Ingle said.

Less stress, less money

One of the benefits of a micro wedding (or an elopement, for that matter) is that it’s usually a lot easier to plan than a large wedding — for the couple who wanted to get married in three weeks, anything bigger than a micro wedding would have been next to impossible for Cicuto to plan in that amount of time.

Cicuto herself enjoyed a stress-free micro wedding last month, marrying Gino in December at their B&B with just an officiant and their two kids, who were holding up phones so friends and family around the world could watch.

“We had been together for such a long time, and my now husband said, ‘You know, 2020 has been such a crap year, let’s end it on a good note,’” Cicuto said.

They made sure the kids could come that Sunday and made a cake the day before.

Rachel Hudson wanted even less involvement in the planning of their micro wedding.

“She was sick of planning,” Ingle said. “She didn’t want to deal with the stress of re-planning a whole wedding.”

So Ingle and Hudson’s maid of honor took over and left her out of everything — including where the wedding was going to take place.

“She was actually blindfolded on her way up to the venue,” Ingle said. “She didn’t have to lift a finger.”

Aside from less planning, the day itself is less stressful too.

“It was seven minutes and done,” Cicuto said of her nuptials.

Hers may be an extreme example, but both Ingle and Cicuto have found that micro weddings have fewer high-blood-pressure moments.

“[The couple] can sit back and relax and enjoy their friends and family, as opposed to having to say hi to 150 people,” Ingle said. “[That] can be overwhelming. … With a smaller wedding, it’s just so laid back and relaxed.”

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of eloping or having a micro wedding is how much less expensive it is, mainly because you’re not providing food and entertainment for a huge group of guests, but also because the fancy, costly details are less important when you’re not trying to impress that huge group.

“A lot of couples have come to terms with the fact that some things are not needed,” Cicuto said.

Ingle said a lot of the couples she worked with were relieved once they transitioned to an elopement or a micro wedding.

“I’m saving so much money now, and I’m not having to invite all these people and plus ones that I’ve never met,” Ingle said. “Moving forward, I think these smaller weddings are going to be more popular.”

Wedding Packages

Large wedding
Average total cost
: $30,000+
People: 50+
Usually includes:
-Photo & video
-Hair and makeup
-Wedding planner
-Food & beverages

Micro wedding
: $5,000-$12,000
People: Usually 15 to 25
Usually includes:
-Food & beverages
-Hair and makeup
-Wedding planner

Elopement package
: $500-$1200
People: The couple only with officiant, no guests
Usually includes:
-Bridal bouquet(s) /
-Dinner for two at a local restaurant
-Local lodging accommodations for the couple
-Champagne for 2

A 2020 wedding story

Rachel and Steele Hudson and their wedding party. Photo by Novae Film and Photo.

Rachel Hudson (formerly Prescott) shares her experience of being a bride in 2020. She and her husband, Steele, got married Dec. 18.
I had always wanted a winter elopement, just the two of us, and then … a big party with friends and family after the fact. He wanted a summertime wedding with as many people … as possible. We ended up compromising and decided on a big winter wedding [at the] Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield. … Then Covid hit.
Over the months more and more guests dropped out. … It got to the point where I started to dread the wedding. I had nightmares about an empty ballroom and an even more empty dance floor. … When we got down to about 25 guests — including the wedding party — we decided to cancel. The venue couldn’t lower the minimum guest count any further, [and] too many of our closest friends and family couldn’t be there. We were desperately holding on to the few shreds of the big fun wedding we wanted, and we knew no matter what happened we wouldn’t be able to save it. … We canceled it nine days before the wedding.
[A day later] my maid of honor contacted Lauren and frantically put together a plan to save the wedding, without my knowledge. Lauren … found a venue that was willing to take us in on such short notice and made sure it was somewhere that was similar to what I had originally wanted. She worked … with my maid of honor and my photographer/videographer, Grace from Novae Film & Photo, to create a surprise wedding from scratch in a week.
[Meanwhile], I was researching a sad courthouse wedding. I was eventually told that there was a rescue effort and that I should still plan on a wedding. My husband and I agreed to it on one condition: We wanted to be completely kept out of the loop. We had already spent so much time, effort [and] money … [on] our original wedding that we literally couldn’t bear to make another one. …
I was blindfolded and brought to the location. My maid of honor dropped off some decorations and Lauren took off decorating while I was blindly escorted to a room to get ready. … I had never seen the spot; we never had a rehearsal. The first time seeing the area, the aisle, everything, was during the actual wedding. It was surreal.
It was perfect, every detail. Everything was heartburstingly perfect. Lauren found the best ceremony spot I could ever hope for [I later found out it was Lakeview Inn in Wolfeboro] and decorated it exactly how I would have wanted. It was tucked into a wooded circle, surrounded by fresh snow-covered pine trees. … The arch was simple and rustic, decorated with evergreens, antlers and juniper berries. There were lanterns with real candles lining the aisle that wound through the woods. There were only 11 of us total, which ended up being better than expected — just our closest friends and family. The reception was inside the Inn, and it was decorated like a big family dinner on Christmas, with a large single-family table and intimate lighting. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely. The Inn is family-run and they cooked for us and served us, their dogs and cats coming in and out for some pets and scratches. It felt so warm and cozy, fireplace going, wine pouring and conversation that you could actually hear and participate in.
It was better than anything I could have hoped or planned myself. Instead of compromising and making cuts and downgrading a big wedding repeatedly, they created a new micro wedding that wasn’t desperately trying to be something it wasn’t. … Being able to sit back and not plan or worry about the wedding took so much of a weight off my shoulders. … My husband and I will have a big party in a year or two so we can throw on the fancy clothes again, have a dance party like we wanted and invite everyone who missed out, but there is honestly nothing I regret about my mini wedding.
My dream wedding was a small winter wedding elopement; I was lucky enough to get that. My husband’s dream was a big summer wedding party, and now we get to plan that too. We both get to have the elements of our weddings that we wanted without having to sacrifice anything.

Featured Photo: A previous Winter Fest in downtown Concord. Photo by Steven Lipofsky.

Kiddie Pool 21/01/28

Family fun for the weekend

Hike by the light of the moon

Beaver Brook (117 Ridge Road in Hollis; 465-7787, has hikes on the schedule this weekend. On Friday, Jan. 29, it’s a Full Moon Hike, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Definitely take the advice to dress in layers; admission costs $15 per person. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Beaver Brook also has kid-focused events during weekdays. See their website for information on multi-week programs, including the Kids Fitness Hiking Club, homeschool programs and events for the pre-K crowd.

More wildlife

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (23 Science Center Road in Holderness; 968-7194, has Wild Winter Walks on the schedule for the next few weekends. This weekend, the walks take place Sunday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The walks (recommended for ages 6 and up) offer an outdoor look at the center’s animals during the winter. The cost is $10 per person; register online.

Putting on a virtual show

Kids with theatrical dreams might want to check out the Palace Teen Company’s “Take Over Show,” with the teens performing their “Broadway dream roles,” according to, where you can buy a $15 ticket to this virtual show, happening Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m.

Crafting and bouncing

Cowabunga’s (725 Huse Road in Manchester;, 935-9659) is offering a String Art & Bouncing activity on Friday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. The craft is a string-art heart (materials will be provided) and kids will have a chance to bounce while waiting for part of the craft to dry. Tickets cost $15; see the website to reserve a spot.

Treasure Hunt 21/01/28

Dear Donna,

I have an assortment of older comics. They are not in the best condition, but I thought you might be able to provide advice as to a value, if any.


Dear Karl,

I have to start off by saying that comics is a very specific field, and even if I can give you my thoughts on them, you should do more research and or see someone who deals in them.

My experience with comics is that the closer they are to mint condition, the higher the value. Most are in very used condition from reading, so to find mint ones makes the value on some soar.

Collectors look for older ones, limited ones and specific issues. You can’t really group your comics without checking on each one individually. One rare comic can be worth more than $1,000 in mint condition. In poor condition the same one could be worth $50. That’s still a value that could add up with an assortment of them.

Common older comics can still have values from $5 and up, even in used condition. There is a specific scale used to judge the condition of them. This is why I suggest you do further research before assuming you just have a lot of used comics. Even if they are only in the $5 range each, it still adds up!

If you need help in doing research I could refer you to a person who could help you in this field. Drop me an email and I will put you in touch.

Say no to pesticides

Why growing — and eating — organic is important

I’ve been growing vegetables organically all my life. I use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. I don’t often think about the reasons I do so, any more than I think about breathing — it’s just something I do.

I recently picked up a book written by Maria Rodale called The Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe (Rodale Press, 2010) and it reminded me why I do so. I’d like to share some of the important points with you here.

In the introduction Eric Schlosser (author of the fabulous book Fast Food Nation) presented some stark facts: American farmers use 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides each year — four pounds for every man, woman and child. Some of these pesticides — the organophosphates — were first developed in Germany in WWII as chemical weapons. The federal government does not require reporting of usage, and testing is done by manufacturers, not the EPA or USDA. Most food has some pesticide residue — except for organic foods, which shouldn’t have any.

One of Maria Rodale’s reasons for eating only organic food might surprise you: It has to do with climate change. Soils treated with chemicals, including fertilizers, do not have robust populations of microorganisms. Organic soils do. Key among these living beings are the mycorrhizal fungi that coat the roots of plants in organically tended soils. These fungi sequester huge amounts of carbon, taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and holding it in the soil. But they are virtually non-existent in soils treated with chemicals. Grow organically? Eat organically? You are helping the environment.

Secondly, irrigation water for commercial agriculture, particularly in the West, uses large quantities of water, depleting aquifers and polluting ground water. When I traveled through the Midwest in the early 2000’s I was amazed that supermarkets designated entire aisles to jugs of water — no one wanted to drink from their own wells. And there is a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that is bigger than New Jersey caused by agricultural runoff of chemicals from conventional fields.

Children are particularly vulnerable to chemicals used in commercial farming. Rates of childhood cancers, asthma, diabetes, autism and other debilitating conditions continue to increase. Ms. Rodale attributes (with copious footnotes to scientific studies) many of these changes to the chemicals children consume. As she says, “Cheap food equals high health care costs.”

The “organic” label on food also means that no genetically modified organisms were used in producing your food. Back in 2010 when Rodale wrote the book, 91 percent of all soybeans and 95 percent of all corn produced in America was genetically modified to be tolerant of a weed killer called glyphosate, sold under the trade name Roundup.

There has been much controversy about Roundup, and whether it is harmful to humans. Ms. Rodale points out that Roundup cannot be washed off food: It has a surfactant that allows the chemical to penetrate the cell wall. And since corn and soy are used to manufacture many foods, from ice cream to baby food and ketchup, it is everywhere. The federal government does not consider Roundup a problem, though many scientists do.

Ms. Rodale never once, in this book, criticized conventional chemical farmers. Organic or conventional, she recognized their hard work and a desire to work their land and support their families. She recognizes that transitioning to organic farming takes time, money and education.

So what can you do? You may not be able to afford to buy nothing but organic food. But you probably can buy your meats from local farmers that do not use the feedlots of the Midwest that feed their cows and pigs antibiotics. And you can get eggs, as I do, from a local teenager who treats his hens well. (Thank you, Ian’s Eggs.)

For vegetables, you can probably grow some of what you require for vegetables in summer, or buy from a local farm stand. Many farmers are happy to tell you about how they grow their vegetables. The supplier of the local farm stand near me uses an approach called IPA or Integrated Pest Management. This method encourages farmers to use natural controls and to use pesticides only when a crop is threatened. They cultivate crops to root out weeds instead of spraying herbicides like Roundup.

But the bottom line is this: The more you grow organically, the better your soil will be. If you use only organic methods, you can avoid many chemicals in your food that might be present in grocery store foods.

I recognize that I cannot change the world with what I do. But I have learned to grow plenty of vegetables and to keep them for eating out-of-season. So think about a bigger vegetable garden this summer, and I will tell you about how to put food up for next winter when the time comes.

Featured Photo: Image courtesy of Henry Homeyer.

Icing things up

Winter Fest returns to downtown Concord

Winter fun is still on the schedule as The Hotel Concord and Intown Concord host their third annual Winter Fest on Friday, Jan. 29, and Saturday, Jan. 30, outside on the Statehouse lawn.

“The nature of the event — it being outdoors with people generally spread out — lent itself to having a safe version this year, so we thought it had some potential [to still take place],” said Jamie Simchik, a member of the Intown Concord board and Winter Fest committee and co-owner of The Hotel Concord. “Fortunately, Intown Concord and the city were interested and wanted to bring some activity back into downtown.”

The highlight of the event is its ice carvers, with ice carving demonstrations on Friday and a live ice carving competition on Saturday.

“People will be able to see the ice carvers in action as well as their final products,” Simchik said.

Five New England ice carvers — Eric Knoll, Dave Soha, Dennis Hickey, Michael Legassey and Alexander Bieniecki — will participate, which is the most Winter Fest has ever had.

“Many other ice carving competitions have decided not to move forward this year, which is unfortunate but kind of a blessing in disguise for us because as a result our ice carving competition got a lot more interest from ice carvers looking for an opportunity to compete,” Simchik said.

An award ceremony will close out the event on Saturday. The top four carvers will receive a one-night stay at The Hotel Concord, and the top three will additionally receive cash prizes — $100 for third place, $250 for second and $500 for first. After the event, Intown Concord will post a poll on its Facebook page, where members of the public can vote for their favorite carving to win the People’s Choice Award.

The sculptures will remain on display through at least Monday, Simchik said.

On both Friday and Saturday, Winter Fest will also feature games and activities like cornhole, warmup stations with s’mores and hot cocoa, music over a sound system and a Winter Shopping Stroll at downtown Concord’s restaurants and retail shops.

“It’s been rough, obviously, for the businesses affected by the pandemic, so helping them out is one of the goals for the event,” Simchik said. “Our vision is that we bring more people downtown in a safe fashion, and businesses take advantage of that.”

As for Covid safety precautions, mask-wearing and social distancing are required, and attendees are asked to register in advance, providing their contact information and the times they plan on being at the event.

“It allows us to get an idea of who is coming and who is there so that, if [a positive Covid case is reported], we can do contact tracing and notify people appropriately,” Simchik said.

Concord Winter Fest

Where: Downtown Concord. Winter Fest activities, the ice carving demonstration and the ice carving competition will be held at the Statehouse Lawn (107 N. Main St.). The Winter Shopping Stroll will include restaurants and retail shops on Main Street.

When: Friday, Jan. 29, from 3 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ice carving demonstrations will take place all day Friday, and the ice carving competition will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

Covid guidelines: Registration in advance is requested for contact-tracing purposes. Mask-wearing and social distancing as per state and city guidelines are mandatory.

More info: Visit or call 226-2150. Registration for the event is through Eventbrite (search “3rd Annual Winter Fest & Ice Carving Competition”).

Featured Photo: A previous Winter Fest in downtown Concord. Photo by Steven Lipofsky.

The Art Roundup 21/01/28

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Art by new NHAA member John Kessler, featured in “A New Day” exhibit. Courtesy photo.

Call for actors: Powerhouse Theatre Collaborative, a new theater program at the Belknap Mill and the resident theater company of the Colonial Theater in Laconia, is holding auditions for two upcoming play festivals it’s producing in collaboration with the Community Players of Concord. The Zoom Play Festival will be held virtually on Friday, April 16, and the Rotary Park Play Festival will take place outdoors at Rotary Park in Laconia on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30. Both festivals will feature short original plays by New Hampshire playwrights. “With the pandemic continuing to affect theater productions around the country, we have decided to give people the opportunity to get back ‘on stage’ in as safe a manner as possible,” Powerhouse producer Bryan Halperin said in a press release. Auditions are by video submission, and roles are open to college-aged through senior citizen actors. The submission deadline is Monday, Feb. 1. Instructions for the video submissions can be found on the Powerhouse Theatre Collaborative Facebook page or by emailing

Art by new NHAA members: Catch the New Hampshire Art Association’s exhibit “A New Day,” before it’s gone on Sunday, Jan. 31. Viewable online, in the front windows at the NHAA’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery (136 State St., Portsmouth) and at the gallery in person by appointment, the exhibit features work by 35 new NHAA members. “We are thrilled to welcome so many talented artists into NHAA and are happy to provide them opportunities to show and sell their work,” NHAA board president Renee Giffroy said in a press release. “The fresh perspectives they bring help everyone in our community continue to grow.” Among the featured artists are Carla Zwahlen, a landscape painter from Mont Vernon; John Kessler of Windham, an oil painter of landscapes and still life; and Howard Muscott, a nature photographer from Amherst. NHAA’s next jurying opportunity for new members is scheduled for March. “We look forward to having more local artists join us next year,” Giffroy said. Call 431-4230 and visit

Virtual author event: The Music Hall in Portsmouth presents a virtual event with award-winning author, podcast host and culture critic Rebecca Carroll on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., as part of its Writers on a New England Stage series. Carroll will discuss her new memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, which chronicles her struggle to forge her identity as a Black woman in America after growing up in rural white New Hampshire. Carroll will be joined in conversation by Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s All Things Considered and The Bookshelf, an ongoing segment featuring local and regional authors. An audience Q&A will follow the discussion. Tickets cost $5 for access to the event, which will be livestreamed on Crowdcast. Writers on a New England Stage will continue with author Diane Rehm, presenting her new book, When My Time Comes, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman presenting his new book, Arguing with Zombies, on Tuesday, March 2. Visit or call 436-2400.

Community exhibit: The Lane House Arts Center (380 Lafayette Road, Hampton) will have a community arts exhibit “Winter Blues,” on view in person from Friday, Jan. 29, through Saturday, Feb. 27. The exhibit features art in a wide range of media created by more than a dozen local artists. “Community art exhibits provide much-needed opportunities for area artists, while enabling us to invite a broader segment of the community into the gallery,” Karen Desrosiers, founder and curator of Lane House Arts Center, said in a press release. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Call 926-1111 or visit

The continuing adventures of NH’s comic creators

Artists and authors talk about their latest comic books and more

New Hampshire comics creators have faced plenty of challenges in the past year, like publishers and distributors shutting down, comic conventions being canceled and collaborative processes taking longer than usual. But more time at home has meant more time for creating, new inspiration for story concepts and themes, and virtual events that reach a wider audience. Nine local comics creators reflect on the past year — the good and the bad — and talk about their latest and upcoming projects.


Leary by Shiv. Courtesy image.

The Manchester comic artist who creates under the pseudonym Shiv has a portfolio full of standalone comic art prints and commissioned fan art, original characters and portraits, but has never released a full comic series. That’s about to change. The pandemic provided Shiv (who uses they/them pronouns) the push they needed to move forward with a sci-fi webcomic series. Shiv is co-creating the series with their partner and it’s been a long time in the making.

“That’s kind of been my big, looming comic project,” said Shiv, who preferred not to reveal their full name so as to keep their work as an artist separate from their day job. “Normally, I’ll find any reason to procrastinate, but … Covid life has changed … my motivation. I’ve found myself really on the ball artistically while being stuck inside.”

The series, which is “basically about a big treasure hunt in space with pirates and all that,” Shiv said, will most likely launch next month, and they will continue to add to the series over time.

“Who knows when the entire project will be done since it’s meant to be a series, but … my main focus right now is getting the webcomic up and running,” they said.

Shiv said the events of 2020 have been “very inspirational” for the absurdist humor that they often incorporate in their art, and that they’re interested in exploring that more in their future work.

“Who knows?” Shiv said. “Maybe I’ll make a comic that harnesses the strange and unfortunate emotions that were produced this past year.”

Check out Shiv’s work at, on Twitter @shivyshivon and on Instagram @ohnoshiv.

Ryan Lessard

Ryan Lessard of Manchester, creator and writer of the sci-fi comic series Sentinel, released the second issue of the series in the fall — but not without some setbacks.

Sentinel, second issue, by Ryan Lessard. Courtesy image.

In January 2020 the Kickstarter-funded comic was in the process of being colored and Lessard announced that it was on track to be sent out to backers in April. Then the pandemic hit, and his colorist had to work double time at his day job at his state health department, “squeezing in time to do colors when he could,” Lessard said.

“So it took a few months longer than expected,” he said. “You do your best estimating when people will get their books, but sometimes stuff happens, and a global pandemic happened to everyone.”

Set in a spacefaring future, Sentinel follows an alien reporter through the investigation of a terrorist attack that nearly killed her and set off a chain of events.

Lessard said he’s hoping to launch the Kickstarter campaign for the third issue in March. So far, his goal has been to have one campaign a year, but now, having completed the scripts for at least another eight issues, he’s looking at the possibility of doing more.

“As my audience grows, I may be able to increase the frequency of production,” he said, “like maybe making two books at once, for example.”

Lessard has also been brainstorming and writing scripts for some graphic novels and one-off comics. He has already recruited an artist for a one-off about a hitchhiking robot, which he anticipates starting production on later this year, and is more than halfway done with the script for a space horror graphic novel, which he said was inspired by Covid life. The story, Lessard said, follows a crew of eight people who, having been stuck on the same spaceship together for a couple of years, are “bouncing off the walls with boredom before things take a dark turn.”

“The original idea and its main twist came to me in a dream,” he said, “but the tone and feel and the idea of being cooped up — I’m sure that came from living in lockdown and quarantine for the better part of the past year.”

The first two issues of Sentinel can be purchased locally at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester. For updates on Ryan Lessard’s upcoming projects, visit and follow him on Kickstarter at

Stephen Bobbett

At the start of this year, Dover comics creator Stephen Bobbett launched Earth is the Worst, a new webcomic with a full-color four-panel strip added every Tuesday. The series largely follows two aliens living on Earth as they provide commentary on the absurdities of human culture.

“It’s inspired by a lot of the newspaper comics I grew up with in the ’90s, like Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side,” Bobbett said. “It even has a grainy print style as an homage to that era.”

Earth is the Worst, a webcomic series by Stephen
Bobbett. Courtesy image.

While some of his other comics “delve a little too deeply into world-building,” Bobbett said, he created Earth is the Worst to be more accessible and appeal to a wider audience in the same way that many of the classic “old-school” newspaper comics did.

“Since Covid has put us all in a state of forced isolation, I think it’s become more important to make art that people can instantaneously connect with,” he said. “With Earth is the Worst, I wanted to make a comic where the archetypes were instantly recognizable, where you didn’t have to read multiple pages to get the story, and — most importantly — where you might get a good laugh in the middle of a rough news day.”

Bobbett said he plans to continue adding to Earth is the Worst weekly for now. He’s also currently working on a dark comedy/sci-fi graphic novella series called The Big Crunch, which centers on an interplanetary city revolving around a black hole.

Two to three times a week Bobbett streams his art process on Twitch and answers viewers’ questions about comics and illustration. He’s been doing the streams for around five years now, he said, as a way of “turning visual art into an educational and social event.”

“But this year it took on special significance as a way to stave off people’s loneliness during quarantine,” he added. “It’s been a godsend.”

For more on Stephen Bobbett, visit or catch him on his Twitch channel at See the Earth is the Worst webcomic at, with a new strip added every Tuesday.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith of Bedford is currently working on a few comics projects; as of last week he was finishing up a four-issue graphic novel called 2nd Place, co-written with Ben Goldsmith. He’s also working on a monthly sci-fi serial strip and writing a book based on a story idea he had in high school.

“When drawing comics it’s usually a good idea to have as many irons in the fire as possible,” said Smith, who works professionally as a graphic designer but aspires to be a full-time comic book artist.

From 2nd Place by Ed Smith. Courtesy image.

2nd Place is about an intergalactic bodybuilding competition that takes place between aliens. The two main characters are best friends who wish they were living each other’s lives. Smith said it’s an introspective look at them examining their own lives.

“The whole thing is done in a mockumentary style, like The Office or Best in Show,” Smith said. “So even though the theme seems pretty emotional and dramatic, it’s got a lot of humor to it. … I [also] like to draw stuff in the background as little jokes and Easter eggs, so the readers can have more than just a quick page glance when they read it and get their money’s worth.”

Smith describes his work as very clean, emotive artwork that allows the reader to feel motion and emotion. It also transfers well from print to screen, he said, something he’s focused on since he read The Tick as a kid and then watched the TV show that was created based on the comic.

“It looked horrible to me,” he said. “I made it a mission of mine to create artwork that will go from the page to the screen and still look good.”

The serial strip that Smith is working on is for a sci-fi magazine; it’s written by Alex Collazo, as part of his Manalex novel series.

“It’s sci-fi meets martial arts swords-and-sorcery type of books,” Smith said. “I usually handle funny and cartoony styles and stories, so I’m doing my best to make sure that the … author is content with my perspective of his character. … “It’s given me an opportunity to stretch my artistic muscles and do something outside of funny pages.”

Smith is also drawing for The Life and Times of the Supertopian, a book about stories that take place across the lifetime of a superhero that really existed in this comic book universe, written by Rich Woodall. And he has a personal project in the works that he plans to self-publish, a book about a boy who grew up next to a town full of superheroes but was always too insecure to try to be one himself.

“It shows kids that if you have a dream or a goal for yourself, you should never give up. You should always follow it, because you’re worth it,” he said.

While everyone has had to navigate a Covid-19 world, 2020 was especially life-changing for Smith, who had a heart valve replaced at the beginning of the year. At first, he fell into a post-operative depression and reached out to a friend for support. Smith speaks fluent sarcasm and appreciated his friend’s response — something to the effect of, “Gee, it’s really tough for us artists who can use what we do as a way to emote.”

“I started putting out a lot more work and it started to get better,” Smith said.

The pandemic did affect his work, though. He’s explored artistically as well as emotionally through a lot of different story lines. He’s also become much more adept at connecting with his readers, and other artists, online.

“I was really inexperienced when it came to social media, so a lot of contact with my fans was at conventions or through Facebook or Instagram,” he said. “Now I understand social media more; I can interact with fans and post videos.”

Smith said he misses that face-to-face interaction at conventions, but staying in touch with fellow artists hasn’t been a problem.

“Artists are very emotionally raw, so we tend to support each other as much as possible,” he said.

You can find some of Smith’s work on his Facebook or Instagram pages, or on his website,

Meghan Siegler

Emily Drouin

As a full-time professional illustrator, children’s book and comic book artist, video editor and animator, Emily Drouin of Raymond is always creating.

Drouin is best known for her kids sci-fi action-adventure comic EPLIS, but with many comic conventions canceled due to Covid, she has turned her attention to commission work, some of which was new territory for her.

From EPLIS, a comic book series by Emily Drouin. Courtesy image.

“I’ve had more time to work with more clients, which has really opened up some doors for me and [provided opportunities to] improve my art and work on new skill sets,” she said. “That’s one of the things I love most about my job the variety of projects. I love the challenge of doing so many different things.”

One of her biggest jobs was doing the illustrations for two books in The Pumpkin Wizard series, a children’s anti-bullying fantasy adventure series written by Dover authors Derek Dextraze and Caitlin Crowley. Some of her other recent projects are illustrating a cover for a young adult book by a local author (she’s not at liberty to reveal the title yet, she said) as well as some coloring activity books, including one with notable figures from Black history.

Drouin also spent a lot of time reinventing last year’s Kids Con New England, of which she is the founder and organizer. Typically held in Nashua in June, the just-for-kids comic convention was converted to a free two-day virtual event in May, featuring creative workshops, special guest comic creators, book readings, sing-alongs and musical performances, a puppet show, tabletop gaming, costume contests, a coloring contest and more.

“We wanted to capture as many of the in-person events as possible,” Drouin said. “It was actually a more unique experience, because we were able to connect with comic creators and families from across the country, so we had even more people than we would have had at the in-person event.”

At present, Drouin is back to working on comics, including the fifth issue of EPLIS and a new horror comic.

“Children’s comics and children’s book [illustrations] have always been my thing, and this [horror comic] is about vampires and stuff, so it’s a totally new thing for me,” she said. “I’m excited to expand and do something different.”

Check out Emily Drouin’s comics and other work at Recordings from the virtual Kids Con New England event held last May are free to watch at

Marek Bennett

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Henniker comic artist Marek Bennett is finishing up the final draft of his contribution to The Most Costly Journey, a nonfiction comics anthology scheduled to be released in February that tells the true stories of Latin American migrant workers working on dairy farms in Vermont.

Marek Bennett works on his Freeman Colby series. Courtesy photo.

It’s one of several projects that Bennett is currently involved in, though he admits that the future is a little fuzzy right now.

“I have some plans that I was supposed to visit in 2020, and they’re on the calendar now for spring 2021, but honestly, there’s no guarantee,” he said.

The biggest upheaval in Bennett’s work has been his involvement with local schools; most years from January through May or June, he’s working in schools several days a week. He was in the middle of a residency in Epping when schools shut down last spring.

“[Those residencies] are 50 or 60 percent of my annual income, and that was just gone,” he said. “[But] If I focus on the money, it’s really stressful and depressing and it’s not why I got into cartooning.”

Bennett spent the rest of the spring trying to figure out how to reach an audience that he could no longer work with in person.

“I’m doing some regular live draws,” he said. “That’s really the bedrock of what I’ve been doing since the summer … and Zoom sessions.”

The live draws are every Monday and Friday, for anyone who’s interested but also for those school groups that he can’t otherwise connect with right now.

“If a classroom dials in, that’s one view or one share, but it’s 20 kids who get to draw that’s so much more valuable than selling a mini comic for a dollar,” Bennett said. “I’ve been doing as much as I can through Facebook live and YouTube live, just so it’s a little less prerecorded, [although there are] archived videos [too].”

Along with trying to maintain that connection, Bennett has used some of his newfound time at home to go back to his sketchbooks and do more creative, aimless doodling that leads to new ideas.

“Amidst all the upheaval and the uncertainty, having an excuse to be still … has helped a lot,” he said. “Quarantine and isolation is tough, but to a cartoonist, in some ways it’s kind of an ideal scenario to get things done.”

Other projects that Bennett is working on include a series of drawing activities created with a USDA grant that address toxic lead contamination in lakes and toxic materials in cosmetic and self-care products, and a series around federal sedition laws that explores the implications of current events.

“I’m taking those laws and drawing them out in very simple cartoons [and] making videos,” he said. “I get so stressed about the news, but creating art about it, there’s a sense of relief.”

Bennett is also working on Vol. 3 of The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, and he’s going to do more work with the Vermont Folklife Center, which is producing The Most Costly Journey. The next planned project is a book of comics drawn by New Hampshire and Vermont cartoonists based on the life of Vermont storyteller Daisy Turner, who was born in 1883 and lived until 1988 and whose family’s oral history reaches all the way back to early 19th-century Africa.

“There’s just an incredible body of lore there,” Bennett said.

Marek Bennett’s work can be found at or through, a website that allows fans to support their favorite artists in exchange for exclusive insider access to previews, future projects, workshops and more.

Meghan Siegler

Brian Furtado

As a creative writing and graphic novel storytelling instructor at New England College, Brian Furtado of Manchester found himself with a lot of unexpected free time when many of his classes for 2020 were cut due to Covid.

While the “weeks upon weeks of struggling with unemployment” were difficult, he said, the silver lining was that he had a rare opportunity to focus on his own comic series, Re-Verse, which has been years in the making.

From the upcoming comic book series Re-Verse by Brian Furtado. Courtesy image.

“It wasn’t exactly a stress-free writing retreat, but I did get a lot of work done,” he said. “I got a lot more work done on this comic in 2020 than I think I could have any other year.”

Furtado described the series as “an absurdist, satirical sci-fi comedy about a disgraced pop star turned private investigator who also happens to be an anthropomorphic duck.” It’s the first comic that he is creating entirely by himself, doing the writing, penciling, inking and coloring.

“It’s been a long and arduous task,” he said. “My experience and education are in writing. … Until this project, I never really considered myself an artist. I’ve had to teach myself a lot more new things in order to get the artwork of this book up to the same level of quality I’d expect from an artist I [would] commission to draw it.”

Furtado said he expects to have the artwork for the first issue of the seven-issue series fully completed within the next few weeks, “fingers crossed.”

“Now that I’ve developed my own art style and drawing habits, I should be able to crank out [the artwork for the] issues much more quickly,” he said.

Furtado has started the outlining and writing on a few other comics, which he plans to develop more once he releases the first issue of Re-Verse. For those, however, he’ll be commissioning artists to do the artwork; he’s got his hands full doing the art for the next six issues of Re-Verse.

“I think doing all the writing and artwork on multiple projects at once would actually kill me,” he said. “[Commissioning artists] will free me up to write scripts for other artists to work on while I do all the artwork on Re-Verse.”

Check out Brian Furtado’s art on Instagram @SuperBri64.

Joel Christian Gill

Joel Christian Gill of New Boston is best-known for his graphic novels that tell the lesser-known stories of Black history in the U.S., but his latest book, Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence, released in January 2020, tells a different kind of story.

“It’s a graphic memoir that chronicles my life growing up and is kind of about how kids deal with emotional abuse, sexual abuse and violence,” he said. “It’s definitely a departure from the books I’ve done previously.”

Fights, a graphic novel by Joel Christian Gill. Courtesy image.

Also in 2020, Gill created a series of humorous comic strips called S— my Students Say, which was published in The New Yorker.

His next book, the third volume in his Tales of the Talented Tenth graphic novel series, will be released later this year, he said. It tells the story of Robert Smalls, an enslaved African American man who stole the U.S. Confederate warship The Planter and sailed it to the Union army.

Currently, Gill is collaborating with Ibram Xolani Kendi, author and the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, to create a graphic novel adaptation of Kendi’s 2016 nonfiction book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Gill said the graphic novel is projected for release in 2023.

An associate professor of illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Mass., Gill has also been busy teaching remotely and presenting numerous virtual lectures, panels and workshops on comics.

“Not having to travel has given me the opportunity to say yes to things that I normally wouldn’t have been able to say yes to,” he said.

But having to do virtual events in lieu of the in-person book signings for Fights that he had planned has been disappointing, Gill said.

“Not being able to connect with people in the way that I’m used to has been the biggest hit for me,” he said. “Seeing people in real life and being in a room with them is just different, and I want to get back to that.”

Learn more about Joel Christian Gill’s work and upcoming events at

Rich Woodall

All things pandemic considered, work has been going well for Somersworth comics creator Rich Woodall. He lucked out last March when his comic book Kyrra #1 hit shelves on the last day of new comic book releases before the Covid shutdown brought comic book presses to a halt; and he got to create the first three issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin and is starting work on the fourth and fifth issues now. But his biggest achievement over the last year has been launching his own horror/sci-fi imprint.

The Recount, by Rich Woodall. Courtesy image.

Woodall and comic artist Joseph Schmalke, with whom he co-created, co-writes and co-illustrates the popular horror comic series The Electric Black, are the co-publishers of the imprint Black Caravan, which is housed under their series’ publisher Scout.

Starting out as a publisher during the pandemic had its challenges, though, Woodall said, the biggest one being that Black Caravan’s distributor had completely shut down.

“We had to change our distribution system entirely,” he said.

Woodall and Schmalke concluded that their only option was to take the distribution process into their own hands. It’s an unorthodox practice and normally frowned upon by retailers, Woodall said, but under the pandemic circumstances, retailers were more receptive.

“Covid really kind of forced their hand,” he said. “Not many comic [publishers] were putting out comics, and some had shut down for good. [The retailers’] shelves were empty, so they didn’t really have a reason not to work with us.”

Black Caravan has published eight titles so far — six of which Woodall has contributed to creatively through writing, coloring, illustrating, design work, character design or lettering — and there are more on the way.

“I think we have about 12 different titles under our belts now … and roughly 30 individual issues coming up,” Woodall said. “[Schmalke] and I have a lot of plans. We’re going to continue creating new stuff and building up Black Caravan even bigger and better.”

Find Rich Woodall’s comics and Black Caravan publications at

Quality of Life 21/01/28

Inspiring teen gets a book deal

Thirteen-year-old Brayden Harrington of Concord will write a picture book called Brayden Speaks Up, to be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, according to a Jan. 20 article in the New York Times. Harrington got national attention when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention, after meeting President Joe Biden at a campaign stop and bonding with him over their stuttering. According to the article, Brayden Speaks Up will be published Aug. 10 and is part of a two-book deal; next year, he plans to write a novel geared toward kids ages 8 to 12. Brayden also spoke at Biden’s inauguration, reading aloud a passage from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address.

Score: +1

Comment: “What got me through and helped motivate me was knowing I could be a voice for other children who stutter as well as anyone else who has faced challenges,” Brayden said in a statement following the Democratic National Convention, the New York Times reported. “I only hope my story provides a little extra support and motivation for those that need it.

Only 424 days to go…

That’s how much time will pass, as of Tuesday, before Manchester will be able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with its annual parade, which was canceled last year and now this year as well. The decision to reschedule the 25th annual parade until Sunday, March 27, 2022, was announced on the event’s Facebook page on Jan. 14. The counter on the event’s website,, was recently reset to count down to the new 2022 date.

Score: -1

Comment: A message on the event website encourages locals to support downtown Manchester restaurants, which lose revenue when major events like the parade are canceled, by purchasing gift cards to use at a later date.

Blizzardly fun

The annual Blizzard Blast, a winter obstacle course race put on by the United Way of Greater Nashua, is going to be different this year (isn’t everything?). What has in the past been a one-day event in Mine Falls Park will now be a multi-day event with 5K, 10K and half-marathon options, according to a press release. It will take place throughout the city, and runners will stop at one or more of the 21 participating nonprofits, like the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, that serve the greater Nashua area. At each stop, runners will have to do non-running exercises like burpees, squats, lunges and army crawls. The event starts Saturday, Jan. 30, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 6, with runners choosing the course and time to run. Sign up as a runner, team or sponsor at

Score: +1

Comment: This year, proceeds from the fundraiser will support United Way’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

More space for people in need

Two facilities owned and operated by Families in Transition-New Horizons (FIT-NH) in Manchester have been renovated, allowing the nonprofit to better respond to space and operational limits caused by Covid. According to a press release, funds for the renovations came from the CARES Act, and the project included moving the organization’s food pantry from 199 Manchester St. to a new property at 176 Lake Ave., across the street from the organization’s Family Emergency Shelter. The former food pantry was renovated to create additional sleeping quarters for people experiencing homelessness, the release said.

Score: +1

Comment: Joseph Campbell, president of North Branch Construction, which completed the renovations, said in the release, “[Those] struggling with food insecurity are able to visit the Lake Avenue food pantry for assistance, and 40 people experiencing homelessness on another cold winter night now have a safe and warm place to sleep tonight in the adult emergency shelter.”

QOL score: 54

Net change: +2

QOL this week: 56

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Down to a science

Volunteers needed for youth STEM learning program

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is currently looking for new volunteers for its STEM Docent program, which provides opportunities for youth to engage in STEM activities and exploration. Program coordinator Megan Glenn discussed the program and what its volunteers do.

What is the UNH Cooperative Extension’s STEM Docent program?

It’s a program for K through 12 learners, so we work both in schools and outside of schools at libraries and the YMCA and those types of places. We train adult volunteers in the best practices of working with youth and teaching science, and we train them on a variety of specific content modules … like engineering and computer science. We coordinate collaboration between our volunteers and teachers to come up with projects or challenges for the kids, and our volunteers will bring all the materials. … We also focus a lot on building community and creating a space that’s comfortable for kids to try out an idea [that may] fail, and then try again.

How was it created?

It’s a fairly new program; our first training was in 2016, but the idea for the program started being worked on a few years before then … when [Sen. Maggie] Hassan’s task force on K through 12 STEM education put out a report that recommended that there be more opportunities and programs to inspire youth in the STEM field. … At the same time, UNH had a strategic initiative to increase the number of graduates in STEM fields. … The program was really prompted by those two things.

What are the short- and long-term goals of the program?

[Short-term,] we’re trying to create a safe space for kids to connect with other kids, connect with a caring adult … and [develop] critical thinking and problem-solving [skills] so that when they run into a problem or issue, instead of just throwing up their hands and giving up, they really look at it and examine it and try to fix it or solve it. … One of the big-picture goals of the program is to create a more science-literate society by increasing science literacy among youth … so if this program sparks a kid’s interest and somewhere down the road they go into a STEM field, that’s awesome.

Why do you think this program is needed?

I don’t think there is a shortage of STEM programs … but I think our program is unique for a couple of reasons. One, we work a lot with our volunteers and offer a lot of training so that they’re very highly specialized in science teaching. … Another thing that makes our program unique is that it’s not just a one-and-done thing. It goes on for a series of weeks … [allowing] our volunteers to really build a rapport with the kids … and [giving] kids a chance to try something, examine it and make it better. … In classrooms, teachers are really pressed for time, so kids may not be getting that opportunity to work on a single project over time and really figure it out.

What does being a volunteer entail?

[It requires] 20 to 30 hours of training and then around 20 hours for one full program over several weeks. … All of our volunteers go through an application process that includes a background check and [checking] references. Once they’re accepted, they go through a foundational training that’s really focused on positive youth development. If you’ve got 10 kids in the room, how do you make a cohesive group out of those kids? How do you build a community? How do you build a space where the kids respect each other and respect you and can collaborate and share ideas? After that, the volunteers go through a module training, which is training on the actual content they’ll be teaching. … We also have monthly get-togethers with the volunteers to check in and see how things are going … and I typically bring in speakers to talk about different science topics.

Who would be a good fit to volunteer?

Anyone who is interested in STEM and wants to work with youth. We have a lot of industry members, like engineers and computer scientists and teachers. Some are currently working, and then there are some who have recently retired and just want to share what they love and pass on their passion for the industry to the next generation.

Become a STEM volunteer
Virtual information sessions for prospective volunteers will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27, and Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 5 to 5:30 p.m. RSVP at To apply, visit Applications are due by Feb. 18. Mandatory training for volunteers will be held virtually on Thursdays in April from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Program coordinator Megan Glenn can be reached at 641-4391 and

Featured photo: Megan Glenn. Courtesy photo.

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