Breaking grounds

New England Coffee Festival comes to Laconia

A two-day celebration of specialty coffee culture, the New England Coffee Festival is packed with local speakers, workshops, vendors, samples and even a competitive “latte art throwdown.” The inaugural event will take place in downtown Laconia, kicking off with a networking mixer on Friday, May 20, followed by a full day of coffee-related festivities on Saturday, May 21.

Organizer Karen Bassett is also the co-owner of Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, a producer of small-batch house-roasted coffee blends with two cafe locations in the city. She said her plans to hold a regional coffee festival actually go back pre-pandemic, to the fall of 2019. Covid got in the way, but since then, support among the coffee roasting community has been positive.

“Our goal … was to have a community event that brings coffee professionals and coffee consumers together, and really to build relationships and get people to try locally made products,” Bassett said. “We want to kind of give awareness to what specialty coffee is, and how there actually really is a lot of really good high-quality coffee right here in New England.”

Defiant Records & Craft Beer is hosting the networking mixer on Friday night, which will also feature live music from Mike Loughlin. Coffee Festival happenings will then take place all day Saturday across several downtown venues, and there are both indoor and outdoor components.

The Colonial Theatre on Main Street, for instance, will serve as the festival’s “coffee education center,” Bassett said — a full schedule of panel discussions, Q&A sessions and workshops will take place there, covering all kinds of coffee-related topics and led by local industry professionals.

“Because we wanted specialty coffee to be accessible, we didn’t want these to feel like scientific lectures,” Bassett said. “We want them to be stories and conversations … and then the workshop series is a lot more hands-on, so we’re going to have brewing workshops, barista basics, a loose-leaf tea workshop … and a coffee cocktails workshop put on by Tamworth Distilling.”

Admission is broken down into a “choose your own adventure” format, Bassett said, with each workshop and panel discussion welcoming ticket-holders on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’ve brought in speakers with vastly different perspectives in the industry, to kind of share their stories,” she said. “We’ll also have a virtual interview with producers from Honduras.”

Outside the theater, Canal Street will be closed between Main and Beacon streets for the festival’s duration to accommodate some local vendors, games and giveaways — Nobl Beverages of Seabrook, for example, will be there giving out samples of its cold brew. More vendors will have booths just a short walk away inside the city’s historic Belknap Mill on Beacon Street.

“We have close to 30 vendors … so it will be coffee roasters and we’ve got some other non-coffee beverages, so some kombuchas and sparkling teas and things like that,” Bassett said. Also in the Belknap Mill will be two pop-up cafes, hosted by Chobani Oat Milk and Contoocook Creamery. Museum staff will be providing hourly tours throughout the day.

“It’s cool because it’s an old water plant and textile mill. … A portion of the ticket proceeds will also go toward The Water Project, which is based out of Concord,” Bassett said. “So it’s kind of neat to bring water back full circle, as it’s one of the top two ingredients of a cup of coffee.”

Outside the Belknap Mill, an “art walk” display will be held along Peter Karagianis Way and Rotary Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music and food trucks will also be featured all day long.

The city’s train station on Veterans Square will be home to an “outdoor adventure experience,” featuring booths and interactive offerings from local businesses and nonprofits specializing in various recreational activities. Laconia Local Eatery will have a beer tent, and other participating downtown eateries are planning to serve various coffee-inspired brews during the festival.

Toward the end of the event, at 3 p.m., Revelstoke Coffee of Concord will host a “latte art throwdown” inside the Colonial Theatre. Baristas will go head-to-head in a friendly competition to create the best latte art designs in various themed categories for the chance to win prizes.

Coffee Festival tickets can be purchased online, or you can get them inside the Colonial Theatre box office on the day of the event. Packages include a one- or two-day pass, which grants you access to everything the event has to offer that day, or you can get tickets to attend the vendor expo only. All outdoor activities on Saturday are free and open to the public, Bassett said.

“You don’t have to be an industry professional or own a coffee shop to try something new or to enjoy the event, and that’s why I wanted families to come and feel like they had something to do,” she said. “We’re expecting a great turnout [and] we hope to have it be a yearly event.”

New England Coffee Festival
When: Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21
Where: Various locations across downtown Laconia, including the Colonial Theatre (617 Main St.), the Belknap Mill (25 Beacon St. East) and the city’s train station (Veterans Square), as well as on Canal Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic between Main and Beacon streets.
Cost: $50 for a one-day pass or $75 for a two-day pass; includes access to all the educational workshops, panels and speakers inside the Colonial Theatre, as well as the “latte art throwdown” at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets to the vendor expo only are $20 per person and $10 for kids ages 12 and under. Purchase them online or inside the box office of the Colonial Theatre the day of.

Schedule of events

Information according to the schedule at

Friday, May 20

Networking mixer: 7 to 10 p.m. at Defiant Records & Craft Beer (609 Main St.)

Saturday, May 21

Speaker series: 40-minute events on the hour from 8 a.m. to noon inside the Colonial Theatre (617 Main St.) — topics include “Meet a Coffee Producer,” “Leveraging Coffee Shops as Community Gathering Places” and “Lessons Learned from 15+ years in the Coffee Industry.”

Workshop series: 45-minute workshops held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Colonial Theatre (617 Main St.) — topics include “Barista Basics,” “Loose Leaf Tea 101,” “Better Brewing,” “Coffee Cocktails” and “Jellybeans and Coffee: A Sensory Experience.”

Vendor expo: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Belknap Mill (25 Beacon St. East)

Art Walk: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outdoors on the grounds of the Belknap Mill (25 Beacon St. East)

Outdoor Adventure Experience: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Veterans Square train station (13 Veterans Square)

Live music: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rotary Park gazebo (30 Beacon St. East). Acts include Green Heron, Choro Louco, the Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio and River Sang Wild

Latte art throwdown: 3 to 4 p.m. inside the Colonial Theatre (617 Main St.)

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

The Weekly Dish 22/05/19

News from the local food scene

Taco Tour winner announced: Firefly American Bistro & Bar was crowned the winner of this year’s Taco Tour, the Greater Manchester Chamber recently announced. Firefly was one of more than 70 participating restaurants during the May 5 event, receiving thousands of votes for its seasoned chicken taco with cheddar cheese, Mexican rice and a hot and smoky chipotle crema that was served in a soft flour tortilla. The eatery received a special “golden taco” trophy designed by Manchester Makerspace, as well as $1,000 to give to Granite United Way, its nonprofit beneficiary of choice. “We appreciate the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from business owners, attendees and survey takers,” the Greater Manchester Chamber wrote in a May 10 Facebook post. “We hope to do it all again next year and all questions, feedback or sponsorship inquiries can be sent to to help us stay organized and plan an even better Taco Tour Manchester next year!”

Raw goat milk ice cream debut: Head to Little Red Hen Farm & Homestead (85 Norris Road, Pittsfield) on Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the debut of its raw goat milk ice cream, which will be available in 16 flavors. On March 18, Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 95 into law, allowing small raw dairy producers to make and sell their own ice cream and frozen yogurt for the first time. Under the new law, ice cream and frozen yogurt made with raw milk are limited to six-ounce containers and are required to be marked with an expiration date of 30 days from their manufactured date. Little Red Hen Farm & Homestead has been at the forefront of this legislation since late 2019 — according to its website, a bill had been passed in the House and set to go to the Senate just before the pandemic shutdown in 2020, but it was ultimately vetoed by Sununu after months of delays. State legislators reintroduced the bill in 2021 and it passed with amendment later that year. During the May 21 event, Little Red Hen Farm & Homestead will have an ice cream topping station and will also host appearances from several farm store vendors. Visit

Spirit of community: Now through May 30, Salem’s Fabrizia Spirits is partnering with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits for their “When Life Hands You Lemons” initiative, which has raised more than $113,000 for local nonprofits since 2010. This year’s beneficiary, according to a press release, is the New Hampshire Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, which is using the funds to establish a new program that reunites siblings separated while in foster and adoptive care. Around $15,000 was raised for the organization last year, while other nonprofit beneficiaries over the past 12 years have included Homes For Our Troops, the Crotched Mountain Foundation and the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. Visit

On The Job – Sara Tofanelli

Sara Tofanelli

Interior auto detailer

Sara Tofanelli is an interior auto detailer serving southern New Hampshire and the owner of Marine Clean Detailing Auto Interior.

Explain your job and what it entails.

For my interior car detailing business, I restore your car back to better than when you bought it. I come right to your driveway for the most convenience.

How long have you had this job?

I have been detailing cars for about seven years now.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

I wanted a job where I could support myself and be my own boss … and the interior car detailing business allows me to bring my dogs.

What kind of education or training did you need?

You only need to have good attention to detail.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

I usually wear my business shirts that were made, but I can wear any casual outfit that I want.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

Detailing during the pandemic was easy for the most part because there is no contact between people.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

It is more than just a clean car for some people, especially when it is the car of someone’s loved one who passed away. It sometimes gives people the ability to move on and heal. It is not just a job to me.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

There is nothing major I have learned that would have been beneficial knowing sooner.

What was the first job you ever had?

My first job was assisting in a dog grooming shop with my mom’s friend. My first legal job was working at Market Basket when I was 14.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you have ever received?

Always be open to learning. You are never done. Even people new to the industry can teach old-timers stuff.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
PostSecret books
Favorite movie: Hacksaw Ridge
Favorite music: Alternative rock
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite thing about NH: People are willing to help

Featured photo: Sara Tofanelli. Courtesy photo.

Kiddie Pool 22/05/19

Family fun for the weekend

The younger moviegoers

• Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, has some events this Friday, May 20, for younger moviegoers. Shrek (PG, 2001) is this month’s“little lunch date” screening, when lights are slightly dimmed, at noon at Chunky’s in Manchester, Nashua and Pelham. Admission is free but secure seats in advance with a $5 food voucher.

All three Chunky’s will also hold a sensory-friendly screening of The Bad Guys (PG, 2022) at 4 p.m., when sound is turned down and lights are up. Tickets cost $5.99 each.

Happy Birthday, Ralph Baer!

• Celebrate the 100th birthday of inventor Ralph Baer, credited with being the father of the video game console, on Saturday, May 21. A program at Arms Park in Manchester will start at noon (with a food truck social hour) and at 1 p.m. feature speakers and presentations, including the unveiling of a new plaque for the sculpture honoring Baer in Arms Park. Starting at 2 p.m. the public will get free entry to SEE Science Center (200 Bedford St. in Manchester;, where there will be family drop-in activities (from 3:to 4:30 p.m.) such as pixel art making and playdough circuits; the FIRST Robotics Team 6763 Fusion from Manchester School of Technology and Manchester MakerSpace will introduce visitors to robots; and Saturday will be the exhibit closing event for Video Game Art Exhibit (the final display day is Sunday, May 22) and an opportunity to speak with the artists, according to the SEE’s website.


• The middle school students at High Mowing School (Pine Hill Campus, 77 Pine Hill Drive in Wilton; will show off their circus skills and tell the story of Winnie the Pooh at the 2022 Hilltop Circus: In the Hundred Acre Wood. The seventh- and eighth-grade students will present their show of juggling, acrobatics and more on Thursday, May 19, at 4 p.m.; Friday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 21, at 4:30 p.m. The event is described as family-friendly and is open to the public; bring a donation to the Wilton’s Open Cupboard Food Pantry and get a free bag of popcorn, according to a press release. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for kids.

• The Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts (for youth and teens) will presentCharlotte’s Web at the Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester;, 669-7469) on Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m.; Saturday May 21, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for 65+ and $10 for ages 17 and under (plus fees online).

• The Palace Youth Theatre will present The Little Mermaid Jr. on Wednesday, May 25, and Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588). Tickets cost $12 to $15 for these shows, which feature performers in grades 2 through 12.

Planting the vegetable garden

Every gardener has an opinion about when to start planting the vegetable garden. Frost-hardy plants like spinach, onions and peas should already be in the ground for most everyone, but tomatoes and peppers? I believe that waiting until June is right for my garden, even if we get no more frost.

Why do I plant later than many others? Tomatoes and peppers like warm soil. In fact, they’d rather be growing in Mexico than Cornish Flat. Yes, you can plant them early, but they won’t grow much. They’ll sit there and sulk. If you can get your hands on a little soil thermometer, check your soil down 3 or 4 inches. If it is 60 degrees or more, fine. Have at it.

Another way to decide when to plant is to ask an “old timer.” Ask someone in your neighborhood when it is safe to plant various crops. If she has been gardening in your neighborhood for the last 25 years or more, her advice is probably excellent.

If you started seeds indoors, your tomatoes or broccoli may be tall and lanky. So tall that they will fall over when planted. The solution? Plant much of the stem in the ground, either in a deep hole for the root ball, or sideways in a shallow trench. Remove any low leaves to make it look like a little palm tree. Then make a hole for the root ball with a 6-inch trench next to it. Lay the tomato seedling in the ground, and gently turn up the top while covering the stem with soil. All the buried stem will produce roots. Broccoli or other brassicas I just plant deep if they are too tall.

Potatoes can go in the ground now unless your garden is still soggy. In fact, don’t plant anything in soggy soil. I have a somewhat soggy place for my garden, but I make raised beds, which helps with drainage. I have made two kinds of raised beds: raised mounds (30 to 36 inches wide) or wood-sided raised beds. I use rough-sawn hemlock planks that are a full inch thick and 8 inches wide. Pressure-treated wood is now said to be safe to use in the vegetable garden, but I prefer untreated hemlock, which I find lasts about 10 years.

Potatoes are started from chunks of sprouted potatoes, or from whole, small potatoes. Buy “seed potatoes” at your local feed-n-grain store, hardware store or garden center. Grocery store potatoes are likely treated to avoid sprouting, although organic potatoes are probably fine. Seed potatoes are sold as disease-free, which is important. If you cut large potatoes into chunks, make sure each has a couple of “eyes,” where they will sprout stems. Leave them in a shady, breezy place for a day or two to heal the cuts.

Loosen the soil well and dig a hole with a hand tool. You want the spud to be at least 3 inches deep when planted as the new potatoes need space to grow above the seed potato. Cover with just an inch of soil at first, but then fill the hole with more soil after the leaves and stems are up above the soil level.

Peppers and eggplants I plant as small plants in mid-June. To give them even more warmth at night I sometimes cover them with row cover (a thin agricultural fabric sold at garden centers). And I’ve been known to place dark-colored rocks near some special French hot peppers I grow to store heat during the day and kick it back at night. Peppers and eggplants can be wind-pollinated, but bees help too, so don’t leave row covers on once they start blooming.

Parsnips I plant by seed in mid-June, and they generally take two weeks or more to germinate. Most seeds are good for three years, but you must buy parsnip seeds every year. Like all root crops, parsnips benefit from having loose soil with few rocks (oh, sorry, Vermonters).

Be sure to thin all root crops in early July once they are big enough to grab onto. Give the carrots an inch to start, then a month later thin to 2 inches. You can eat the thinnings. Beets, same thing. And beet greens are delicious.

What about unusual veggies? I like to buy an artichoke plant at my local greenhouse. I have started them from seed, but it is a long process starting in February. Give your artichoke a 2-foot square of space, add lots of compost and a little organic fertilizer, and place it in full sun. Make sure it does not dry out. It will produce one good-sized artichoke at the top of the plant, and smaller ones as side shoots. The foliage is lovely, so you can plant one in your flower garden!

Swiss chard is pretty enough to sneak into your flower beds. Get Bright Lights chard, which has red, yellow and green stems.

Beans come as bush beans or pole beans. Bush beans all ripen over a three-week period and are then done. Pole beans, if you keep on picking them, will keep producing until frost. Kentucky Wonder is the classic pole bean, though Kwintus is my favorite. It’s good eating, even when large.

A word of caution about fertilizers: More is not better. Chemical fertilizers can burn fine roots. And too much organic fertilizer can push growth too fast. Compost is always a good addition to your planting hole.

I never use insecticides in the garden. Their side effects can be awful for you, your kids or pets. Just hand-pick bugs, or spray off little things like aphids with a stream of water.

Featured photo: Beans. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

Treasure Hunt 22/05/19

Dear Donna,

Would you know anyone with interest in used Legos? If so, any help with pricing?



Dear Lisa,

Legos are a memory from my childhood. Even though they were around earlier, they came to the U.S. in the 1960s.

I have to admit I’m not too familiar with them individually. I do know, though, that they would be worth having a toy specialist look at. Some can be of minimal value and others very high. This would all be depending on age, complete sets, original condition with box, rarity, and with no damage etc.

Lisa, to give you pricing without knowing all that information would not do you justice. My suggestion to you is to do research either by using Lego books or looking online. This way you can narrow down exactly what you have there. I feel older or even modern ones would and could be worth the effort. Thank you for sharing, Lisa, and hope you have a treasure there.

Return of the Kids Con

A convention for the younger fans of heroes and comics comes to Concord

By Delaney Beaudoin

Emily Drouin’s childhood passion for art and reading led her to a successful career as a children’s comic book artist. As she traveled around the country attending large conventions dedicated to the artistry of illustration and all things comics, she began to notice the lack of events geared toward the younger generation.

“I realized that there wasn’t much for kids to do. So I started teaching workshops at various conventions throughout New England, running kids zones, where I taught kids how to do cartooning and how to create comics.” Drouin said.

in sci-fi character costume, posing with props
Kids Con New England. Photo courtesy of BNH Media.

Drouin’s workshops became so popular that she decided to create her own convention, Kids Con New England, which will be back for its seventh year on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Douglas N. Everett Arena in Concord.

Kids (and adults) in attendance will get the chance to interact with invited artists through a variety of individually hosted workshops.

Other available activities at the convention include a puppet show, a performance by the father-and-son rock band Clemenzi Crusaders, a sensory station, a magic show by Sages Entertainment, Lego building, Jedi and superhero training, and most popularly, a family cosplay costume contest.

The convention will feature artists from all over the country such as Mark Parisi of the Marty Pants book series, Tim Jones of the syndicated comic strip Sour Grapes, Dave London and Pete Chianca of the comic strip Pet Peeves, and Jim Lawson of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, in addition to several indie creators.

“Most of … [the artists] are from New England. It’s great to be promoting the local creators and they’re all mostly self-published,” Drouin said.

comic book artist signing copies of comics at convention table
Photo courtesy of BNH Media.

Drouin recruited many of the featured artists and creators by attending national conventions and also through her membership in the National Cartoonists Society. Both Drouin and Dave London of the comic strip Pet Peeves are members of the New England chapter. London has attended the convention in the past and is scheduled to host a 40-minute character drawing workshop on Saturday.

“We’ve had the ability to meet great families from all over New England,” London said. When asked about the importance of events such as Kids Con NE he responded, “It shows kids that if you have a budding talent or interest in art there are many things you can do with it… You don’t have to hate reading because somebody’s telling you to read a chapter book; you can get lost in the world of literature through graphic novels and comic strips.”

In addition to traditional comic book and strip artists, there will also be video game designers such as Jeff Black of “Little j Games” attending. During the convention, Black will be actively experimenting with the help of attendees.

“We’ll be designing an entire game from start to finish during the event and we’ll be giving it away as a print and play to anyone who wants it … with the idea being that this will create something that people will feel invested in,” Black said.

When asked about what she hopes attendees and the comic community get from their experience at Kids Con New England, Drouin said, “To bring the artists community together, but also to encourage the next generation of creators. … It’s great to have … geekdom brings all the geeks together.”

Kids Con NE

When: Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Douglas N. Everett Arena, 15 Loudon Road, Concord

Tickets: $12 online or $15 at the door for general admission (kids 5 and over and adults) $10 admission for seniors and veterans. Kids under 5 get in for free.

More info: See for a complete schedule of the day’s events and a listing of the artists and costumed characters who are slated to attend. Here, according to the website, are some of the scheduled events.

Creative workshops and arts & crafts: The creative workshops work on a first-come basis while seats and supplies last; breaking sketchbooks is encouraged. The lineup includes Cartooining with Tim Jones at 10:15 a.m.; a puppetry workshop with Homeslice Puppetry at 11 a.m.; Mr. Rogers Puppet Show with Alex Jordan at 11:55 a.m.; Create a Comic Strip Gag with Dave London at 12:50 p.m.; Draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Jim Lawson at 1:40 p.m.; Draw ALong with Scott SanGiacomo at 2:30 p.m.; Watercolor Painting with Sue Greco at 3:20 p.m., and Draw Peanizle with cartoonist Don Mathias at 4:20 p.m. Throughout the day there will be coloring fun, mask-making and a Yoda puppet project (as well as an art contest in the morning).

Activities and performances: Greg Lato’s Create My Own World Concert at 10:10 a.m.; Jedi Training with Calm Passion for age 5+ at 10:40 p.m.; Sages Entertainment Magic Show at 11:30 a.m.; The Clemenzi Crusaders Rock Concert at 12:20 p.m.; Jedi Training with Rising Storm Training Academy for ages 5+ at 1:10 p.m.; superhero training at 1:50 p.m.; a magical sing-along and storytime with fairytale characters at 2:30 p.m.; kids and family costume contest at 3:20 p.m. and the Clemenzi Crusaders rock concert at 4:10 p.m.

Featured photo: Photo courtesy of BNH Media.

Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Haily Morgan

Actorsingers will present the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this weekend — the Nashua-based community theater organization’s first show since the 2020 shutdown.

The show was originally scheduled to hit the stage in May 2020.

“Originally we tried to do Zoom rehearsals,” said Actorsingers board of directors member Evelyn Decker. “Then they started closing theaters, so we actually could not perform anywhere.”

The theater group stayed afloat with the help of grants and savings, she said. Now, two years later, the show is back on.

“We reauditioned. There were a fair amount of people that were in the original try. We also got some new people, and we started over again,” Decker said.

Joseph director Angelica Forcier Rosenthal said she watched as many versions of the musical as she could to help her find her vision for the production.

“Saw a lot of things I knew I did not want to do. I also try to wait to make hard decisions until I know my cast. The actors add so much variety to what’s going on,” Rosenthal said.

The musical is a sung-through comedy with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and was the first Rice-Lloyd Webber musical to be performed publicly, according to a press release. The musical tells the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colors, the release said.

Actor Garrett Meyer plays Simon, one of Joseph’s brothers.

“As a collective whole the brothers are very antagonistic and they are the ones that set the play in motion,” Meyer said. He says all of the brothers feed off each other’s energy as well. “From a stage point of view, it is very fun to watch.”

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
When: Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, at 2 & 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m.
Where: Keefe Center for the Arts, 117 Elm St. in Nashua
Tickets: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students (plus a $2.50 fee), available at

Featured photo: Pictured Andrew Gibson (standing,) and Jesse Drake. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 22/05/19

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

Historic Manchester sculptor: The Manchester Historic Association has a new exhibit, “The People’s Sculptor: The Life and Works of John Rogers” on view now at the Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester). It celebrates the art of American sculptor John Rogers, who came to Manchester in 1850, and explores the influence that Manchester had on Rogers’ life and work. The exhibit will be up through September. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and up and college students, $4 for youth ages 12 through 18, and is free for kids under age 12. Call 622-7531 or visit

Art classes: The League of NH Craftsmen Meredith Fine Craft Gallery (279 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith) is offering a jewelry-making workshop, “Pendants in a Day,” on Saturday, May 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants will create a simple silver pendant by setting a cabochon stone into a silver bezel, and are encouraged to bring any of their own stones, beads, chains or neck cords they wish to incorporate into their pendants. The cost is $110, plus a materials fee of $10 to $40 for gemstones and $10 to $20 for necklace chains and cords, paid to the instructor on the day of the workshop. Space is limited, and registration is required. Call 279-7920 or visit

Made in America
The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra concludes its 2021-2022 season with its Spring Pops concert at the Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem) on Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m. The concert, “Made in America,” will pay tribute to film score composer John Williams in honor of his 90th birthday, featuring a compilation of his compositions. Other pieces on the program include “Summon the Heroes,” written for the 100th celebration of the modern Olympic games; Joan Tower’s Grammy-winning “Made in America,” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from his 1973 musical A Little Night Music and “Comedy Tonight” from his 1966 musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $8 for students. Visit or call 647-6476.

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is offering an online five-week class for adults, “Learn to Draw: Structure and Volume with Shading with Martin Geiger,” on consecutive Thursdays, May 26 through June 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Students will receive an overview of structural perspective and volumes and learn the basics of using shading to create volume and structure in their drawings. Lessons will cover how the direction of light and cast shadow is combined with linear perspective, and cross hatching with atmospheric perspective with finding light and shadow to communicate distance, according to the Currier’s website. Sessions will be held in real time over Zoom. Tuition costs $225 for museum members and $250 for non-members. Call 518-4922 or visit

Macabre tales: Bitter Pill presents Children of the Grimat the Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) now through June 5, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The show is inspired by writer, composer and director Billy Butler’s favorite macabre childhood stories and includes a combination of verbatim traditional tales, original tales written by Butler and nursery rhymes set to original music, performed on acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo and cello. “There are so many wonderfully dark, strange and bizarre tales from all over the world,” Butler told the Hippo last month. “These old and new tales are an important reminder to embrace the dark, because, without it, how do we find the light?” Tickets cost $28 for adults and $25 for seniors age 65 and up and students. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test are required. Visit or call 436-8123.

New gallery: The Hollis Arts Society celebrates the grand opening of its new exhibition space, The Gallery on West Pearl Street (100 W. Pearl St., Nashua) on Thursday, May 19. The gallery will showcase artwork in two-month rotations, with bi-monthly featured artists and opening artist receptions, and will host events in partnership with Nashua’s Great American Downtown, according to the art society’s website. Regular gallery hours will be Thursday, from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit or call 345-3462.



• “IMPACT! ABSTRACT! Exhibition featuring the abstract work of six local artists, including Ann Saunderson, who works in acrylic, mixed media, oil and cold wax and monotype; Daniela Wenzel, who does oil painting, assemblage, ink drawing, driftwood pyrography and improvised quilt-making; Kate Higley, who does printmaking; Ethel Hills, who works in acrylic; and Grace Mattern, who does mixed media collage. Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen). On view now through May 28. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 975-0015.

• “APPEAL OF THE REAL: 19TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD” exhibition features photographs taken throughout the Mediterranean to record the ruins of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through June 12. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit for more information.

• “WARHOL SCREEN TESTS” In the mid-1960s, American multimedia artist Andy Warhol had shot more than 400 short, silent, black-and-white films of his friends at his studio in New York City. Warhol referred to the films, which were unscripted and played in slow motion, as “film portraits” or “stillies.” The exhibition will feature 20 of those films, provided by the Andy Warhol Museum, in loops across four large-scale projections. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through July 3. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit for more information.

• “ARGHAVAN KHOSRAVI” Artist’s surrealist paintings explore themes of exile, freedom and empowerment; center female protagonists; and allude to human rights issues, particularly those affecting women and immigrants. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through Sept. 5. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit for more information.

• “THE PEOPLE’S SCULPTOR: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JOHN ROGERS” Exhibit celebrates the art of American sculptor John Rogers, who came to Manchester in 1850, and explores the influence that Manchester had on Rogers’ life and work. Presented by the Manchester Historic Association. On view now through September. Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and up and college students, $4 for youth ages 12 through 18, and is free for kids under age 12. Call 622-7531 or visit

• “NATURE AT NIGHT: PAINTINGS BY OWEN KRZYZANIAK GEARY” Two Villages Art Society (46 Main St., Contoocook). On display from May 27 through June 18. Visit or call 413-210-4372 for more information.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibition in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit, call 224-2508 or email for more information.

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET The juried outdoor artisan and fine art market runs one Saturday a month, June through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Market dates are June 11, July 30, Aug. 20, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Rollins Park, 33 Bow St., Concord. The first market will be held on Saturday, June 11. Visit for more information.

CRAFTSMEN’S FAIR The annual nine-day outdoor craft fair hosted by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen features hundreds of craftspeople with vendor booths, plus special craft exhibitions, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and more. Sat., Aug. 6 through Sun., Aug. 14. Mount Sunapee Resort, 1398 Route 103, Newbury. Call 224-3375 or visit for more information.



THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Presented by the Manchester Community Theatre Players. Manchester Community Theatre Players Theatre, located at the North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester). Showtimes on Fri., May 20, and Sat., May 21, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Masks and proof of vaccination are required to enter the theater. Visit or call 327-6777.

CHILDREN OF THE GRIM Presented by Bitter Pill. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Now through June 5, with showtimes on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $28 for adults and $25 for seniors age 65 and up and students. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test are required. Visit or call 436-8123.

THE BALD SOPRANO Produced by the Community Players of Concord. The Hatbox Theatre (located inside the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Fri., June 17 through Sun., June 26. Showtimes are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit or call 715-2315 for more information.


SPRING POPS BROADWAY AND MORE The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra performs. Seifert Performing Arts Center, 44 Geremonty Drive, Salem. Sat., May 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., May 22, at 2 p.m. Visit or call 647-6476 for more information.

Open calls

THE RHYTHM OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SHOW CHORUS Women’s a cappella chorus is looking for female singers in the region to join. The group, an affiliate of the North American singing organization Harmony, Inc., performs a wide variety of music, including Broadway musical songs, patriotic songs, pop, jazz and seasonal pieces, for community and veterans’ events and private functions. Rehearsals are held weekly on Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 W. Broadway, Derry. Masks are required for singing, but both vaccinated and unvaccinated singers are welcome. Visit or email for more information.

Tomorrow’s auteurs

See the work of teen moviemakers at the NH High School Short Film Festival

By Hannah Turtle

In its 14th year, the New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival has received more submissions than ever before, totalling more than six hours of film from across the state. The films submitted were created and produced entirely by high school students.

The festival, free to attend this year at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Manchester, will show two hours of this year’s best student films, selected by a panel of 14 judges including teachers and industry experts.

Afterward, awards will be distributed to the top five films and the top two films will be shown at another festival this summer.

After two years of running the festival online, excitement for the in-person festival is particularly high. Mike Place, a veteran of the festival, spoke about what drove the high volume of submissions this year.

“Now that everyone’s back together, there was a big drive to work with other people, with classmates, to just make cool films,” Place said.

With the high volume of submissions this year, the competition was fierce, and narrowing it down was harder than ever.

“All 23 films that made it to the festival are definitely worth watching, they’re entertaining, they tell a story, some of them are just amazing. I even received a couple of phone calls from the judges asking if a few were done by professionals,” Place said. “Some of the films deal with common themes for teenagers — bullying, mental health — and some are just weird, David Lynch-style.”

Michael Shaughnessy, a film teacher at Merrimack High School, has 10 students involved in the festival this year, and is looking forward to having them share their work with the community.

“I want them to recognize that they are part of a larger community of people that create,” Shaughnessy said. “When they go to an event like this, they get to see all the different styles and ability levels. They can see where they have gifts and where they excel, as well as where they need work.”

Gabriella Faro and Tyler Kuslaka, seniors from Salem and Windham respectively, worked together on a film called Second Chances.

“The film is about a girl who gets murdered and gets a second chance in order to find out who did it,” Faro said.

“Our film, on a deeper level, is really about karma. We focused on making it have a deeper meaning than just a ‘high school short film,’” Kuslaka said. “I really hope the audience sees that. I was really inspired by Quentin Tarantino, by those endings that nobody ever sees coming.”

The students particularly enjoyed the filmmaking process, all remarking that the challenges of production helped them to grow as students and filmmakers. The students seemed keen on making the best films possible, hoping to distinguish their work from what one might expect from high school students.

“We put our whole heart and soul into the film,” Faro said.

As for their futures, both Faro and Kuslaka plan to study film in college. Faro will attend Curry College in the fall to study film and communications, and Kuslaka will attend Mount Saint Mary’s University to study film production as well as acting.

This was a common theme among students with work in the festival. Karen Robinson, a media production teacher at Londonderry High School with students in the festival, has four seniors this year, all with plans to pursue some aspect of filmmaking in the fall.

Robinson’s students, all part of a film club at LHS, submitted a film called Pressing Engagement, a comedy about two people who encounter increasingly strange circumstances on their way to a date.

Ahna Gainey and Joshua Truesdale, two LHS seniors, emphasized how much they enjoyed collaborating on the project.

“Our crew worked so well together. I’m just so appreciative of everyone on that team. There’s no way this could have been possible without everyone working together,” Gainey said.

Both Gainey and Truesdale are looking forward to the festival — though for different reasons.

“Last year, it was all on YouTube, which was disappointing. I’m excited to be in an environment with other student filmmakers, and to see everyone’s faces,” said Truesdale.

“Frankly, I’m just excited to see who won,” said Gainey.

New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival
When: Sunday, May 22, at 12:30 p.m. (doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
Where: Chunky’s Cinema Pub, 707 Huse Road, Manchester
Tickets: Tickets are free
More info:

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

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