Treasure Hunt 24/01/18

Dear Donna,

Can you help figure out what this register is from? It says W.C.F.I. on the side. Inside it’s all empty pages, lined. It’s 17” x 12” and extremely heavy. Any information would be appreciated.


Dear Alex,

Your heavy register book is from the early 1900’s. WCFI stands for the Williamsburg City Fire Insurance Co. in New York City.

Antique leather-bound registers aren’t hard to find, as so many were used. To find them empty and with paper still intact is harder. Yours, Alex, is a larger one but many are light and thin as well. So many of them out there. Interesting to read some of the contents. Also great coffee table books! The value on one the size of yours would be in the $100 range in good condition. Fun piece, Alex, and thanks for sharing it with us.

Kiddie Pool 24/01/18

Family fun for whenever

Movie afternoon

• See Happy Feet (PG, 2006) on Friday, Jan. 19, at 3:45 p.m. at all three area Chunky’s Cinema Pub (707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, Purchase $5 food vouchers to reserve a seat.

Game night

• Cheer on the Saint Anselm Hawks basketball teams on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium (73 College Road on Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester). The women’s team takes the court at 1:30 p.m. and the men’s team plays at 3:30 p.m. — both teams face off against teams from American International College. Tickets to either game cost $10 (kids 5 and under get in free to regular season games) and are available for purchase starting one hour ahead of game time at the Gymnasium ticket booth. See

Southern New Hampshire University Penmen basketball teams will face the Saint Anselm Hawks in games Wednesday, Jan. 24, when the women’s team plays at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 7:30 p.m. The games take place at Stan Spiro Field House (Southern New Hampshire University campus, 2500 River Road in Manchester); regular season games are free to attend. See

Art class

• The winter session of classes starts this week at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; with adult classes (in person and online) and classes for teens and kids. A series of “art after school” classes was slated to begin Wednesday, Jan. 17, and run for five weeks. On Saturday, Jan. 20, art classes for ages 5 through teen begin, including Art Explorers at 10 a.m. (ages 5 to 7); Pencil, Pen & Marker at 10 a.m. (ages 8 to 10); Drawing Adventures at noon (ages 10 to 12); Character Design for Storytelling at noon (teens), and Narrative Collage & Printmaking (teens) at noon, according to a press release. Go online for price and availability. On Thursday, Jan. 18, at 10:30 a.m. a “Homeschool Art Studio” session begins.

A year in the garden

As we begin 2024 I think it is good not only to look back but also to plan ahead. We can’t know if we’ll be facing hot and dry or wet and soggy this summer, or perfect conditions. But we can make plans and hope for the best.

For many of us 2023 was a disappointment. The summer was rainy much of the time. Vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes — vegetables that require lots of energy to build fruit or tubers — did not do well. Fungal diseases like late blight are most virulent with moist conditions, which we had in spades. And in my part of the world there was a late frost that spoiled the blossoms on our fruit trees — so no apples or pears. Sigh.

On the other hand, it was a great summer for newly planted trees and shrubs. I planted yet another pawpaw tree this summer, along with a fringe tree, an American hazelnut and a gooseberry. The soil stayed moist all summer from the rain, and all have done well.

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a native fruit tree that is common in the woods of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The fruit is almost tropical in flavor, sometimes compared to a mix of mango and banana flavors. The trees are rated hardy to Zone 5 (minus 20 degrees F), but I have had one survive much colder temperatures — and another that died in a cold winter.

I have one pawpaw tree that is now 20 feet tall and 10 years old or more, but I am yet to get any fruit from it, despite the fact that it has blossomed. Apparently they are self-sterile, so in the past three years I have been planting new trees from different sources. Pawpaws send up root suckers, but these are genetic clones and not suitable for pollinating the mother tree.

A few thoughts about planting trees: First, preferentially choose trees and shrubs that are native to New England — or the United States. These are best for our birds and pollinators. And no, that doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of the beauty of a Merrill or Jane magnolia. I just want to suggest a 90:10 or 80:20 ratio of natives to imported or hybridized varieties.

Secondly, if you plant trees in spring or summer, you must water during dry times. Fall is usually wet enough. A newly planted tree needs 5 gallons of water once a week distributed in a wide circle around it. A 2-inch layer of mulch will help minimize drying on hot August days and keep the mowers and string trimmers at bay. Mulch will also minimize weeds that compete for nutrients and water.

Some gardeners focus on growing vegetables, others on flowers. I want both. I started as a vegetable gardener, largely because there is little better in life than biting into a home-grown tomato warm from the sun. I grow heirloom tomatoes like Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Ox Heart, but I also plant hybrids like Sungold, my favorite cherry tomato, and Defiant, which is resistant to some diseases.

If you grow open pollinated (heirloom) tomatoes, you can save a few seeds each year and dry them on a paper towel. Store them in a cool dark location and they will serve you well if you want to start your own seedlings, starting indoors in early April. But don’t save hybrid seeds,. as most will not breed true.

One of my readers wrote me this fall reminding me of something I wrote long ago: “I will make it through another winter because I want to see what else did.” It’s true. I can’t let age catch up with me because I want to see the annual show: snowdrops blooming in March; my Merrill magnolia, which blooms each year with 1,000 double white blossoms on my birthday in April; and the Japanese primroses — 500 to 1,000 of them beginning in May and lasting until mid-June.

My advice about planting flowers is simple: Grow what you love. Grow what your Grammie and mother grew. Grow what stops you in your tracks when you see if for the first time each season. Plant more of your favorites each year, or divide them and spread them out to new corners of the property. But keep it simple: Don’t plant so much that weeding becomes a dreaded chore.

I love arranging flowers and keep a vase of my own cut flowers on the table from March until after Halloween. You can do this if you plant lots of bulbs for early spring, your favorite perennials, and very importantly, this: plant annual flowers. Annual flowers keep on blooming all summer if you keep them from going to seed.

It’s easy to buy six-packs of annuals in spring and plant them in your perennial beds as well as in your vegetable garden. Most like full sun or part sun/part shade. And don’t fertilize annuals in the garden — too much nitrogen promotes leafy growth but delays flowering. Potted annuals do need some fertilizer as the fertilizer in potting mix is water-soluble and gets used up or washes away.

Remember, as you ponder your plans for a garden while looking at a snowy landscape, that gardening should be fun. My garden is my respite. It’s where I go when the world is too much with me. So do some planning now. And dream.

Henry’s column will appear about once a month this winter. Reach him at or PO Box 364, Cornish Flat, NH 03746.

Featured photo: Gomphrena, an annual, is great in arrangements. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

The Art Roundup 23/01/18

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

OG Oscar winner: Here in the thick of the Oscar season for 2023 movies, check out one of the winners of the first Oscars. Emil Jannings, the first winner of a Best Actor Oscar, stars in the movie that got him the statue, The Last Command (1928), which will screen on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre (40 Main St. in Wilton), according to a press release. This silent film will screen with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis. Admission is free with a suggested $10 donation.

Exhibit layover: The “Flying Home for the Holidays” exhibit at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry;, 669-4820) will extend its run through Sunday, Feb. 4. The exhibit features World War II-era uniforms and large-format posters, according to a press release. The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 for ages 13+ and $5 for ages 6 to 12 and is free for kids 5 and under, 65+ and veterans and military.

The museum will also host Ken Perkins, a New Hampshire pilot who helped bring Charles Lindbergh to Hawaii in 1974 before his death, for a program called “Lindbergh’s Last Flight” on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m.

Closing the book: Portsmouth Book & Bar (40 Pleasant St. in Portsmouth), a venue for food, drink, music, art and poetry as well as a book shop, has announced that it is closing its doors on Sunday, Jan. 28. See for a schedule of events up until that final day, including Beat Night on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.; a musical performance by Tourist Attraction on Friday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m.; Taylor Marie Band with Andrew Kavanaugh on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m.; The Lion Sisters with Jim Prendergast on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.; singer-songwriter open mic night on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m., and Standup Night hosted by Jake Valeri on Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. A “Hello, Good-Bye: Send-off and Celebration Weekend” is planned for Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28. Some events are ticketed; see the website.

Art & Bloom
The Concord Garden Club and local artists present “Art & Bloom,” the annual show featuring floral arrangements paired with works by local artists, on display Thursday, Jan. 25, through Saturday, Jan. 27, at Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St. in Concord). The show comes together with club members, local florists and others picking a piece from a Kimball Jenkins exhibit and then crafting arrangements inspired by that piece, according to, where you can see a gallery of past arrangements with the works that inspired them. The show will be on display Thursday, Jan. 25, from 2 to 5 p.m., with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call for art: The Meredith Sculpture Walk is accepting applications to take part in the lakefront Meredith Sculpture Walk exhibit, a juried event with installation slated for mid-May through mid-June, according to a press release. The application period is open through March 31, with notifications to go out by April 30. Applications are open to new and returning artists with new pieces for up to two sculptures per applicant, the release said. See

Support for teen artists: Mosaic Art Collective (66 Hanover St., Suite 201, in Manchester;, 512-6309) has started an open studio for students from Manchester’s public high schools, according to a press release. The students have studio time, work on creative exercises and work together with mentor artists and will have an exhibition to spotlight their work at the end of the semester, the release said. Spaces are still available; contact

Commedia dell’arte: The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St. in Portsmouth; will present an original commedia dell’arte, I See No Arlecchino, running Friday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 11. Showtimes will be Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 and 7:20 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. According to a press release: “Jessica Miller, a cast member …, described commedia as a ‘highly physical slapstick comedy with a cast of stock characters … lovers, the old miser, etc.’” “I like to think of it as a live-action cartoon with a very thin, if at all existent, fourth wall,” Miller said according to the release. “It’s pure, raucous comedy.” Admission costs $28, $25 for students and 65+.

New show: Works by painter Sharyn Paul will be on display in the exhibit “We Are Water” through February at The Art Center (1 Washington St. in Dover; For a look at Paul’s work, see She will attend the Meet the Artist event on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Recycled returns: If you missed Recycled Percussion during their Palace Theatre run over the holidays, you can catch up with them in early February at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; The band will bring their blend of music, comedy and percussive theatricality to Nashua on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 3 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets cost $39.50 through $49.50.

Like Maestro but live: The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony (as seen in the movie Maestro) with the Plymouth State University and Keene State College Choral groups at performances in February — on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Plymouth State University Silver Center and two at the Seifert Performing Arts Center in Salem. The Salem performances will be Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. (with a livestreaming ticket option for the Sunday concert). For tickets (which cost $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $10 for students to the Salem shows) see

40 years of fun: The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover; continues its “40 Years of Play” exhibit through Thursday, Feb. 29, in Gallery 6. The exhibition includes artwork, puppets and other items that look back at the museum’s 40 years, including photographs, according to a press release. The museum and gallery are open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon; Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9 am. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon. You don’t have to pay admission to visit the gallery; to visit the museum as well, reserve a play slot online. Admission costs $12.50 for everyone over 12 months, $10.50 for 65+.

Art, music, winter: Winterfest Lowell will take place Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, in downtown Lowell, Mass., and feature ice carvings, fire sculptures, live music, magic, family activities, an art tent and a local vendors marketplace as well as food trucks, a chocolate festival on Saturday and a soup bowl competition (also Saturday). See

Lights, camera, action

New Hampshire Theatre Awards return to the scene

Returning after a Covid-induced hiatus are the New Hampshire Theatre Awards on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Professional, community and youth theater productions from the 2023 season will be awarded and parts of some of the shows will be performed.

“[New Hampshire Theatre Alliance] runs an adjudication process,” said Irene Cohen, the president of the organization and co-producer of the award show. “A theater company … will submit their works to be adjudicated … and [the adjudicators] complete a ballot and the ballot is scored. … Then we have an awards night for outstanding performance, very similar to the Tonys. … There was a group who spent time during the pandemic, about a year and a half, working on an entirely new ballot, so we’re excited about that.”

Adjudicated productions include Guys and Dolls by Weathervane Theatre, Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express by M&D Playhouse, Steel Magnolias by Carriage Lane Players, Disney’s Newsies at Ovation Theatre Company and Mean Girls: High School Version, also produced by Ovation Theatre Company. Awards will be given for outstanding actors and actresses in musical and play productions, outstanding supporting actors and actresses, choreography, lighting, sound design, costume design and outstanding professional, community and youth productions, among others. New this year is an award for playwriting.

“The theater community in New Hampshire is very vibrant and prolific. … Almost every weekend of the year you can find some type of community, professional or youth theater production,” Cohen said. “One thing that we’re excited about is that we’ve made a change in the awards to a non-gendered award name starting in the 2024 adjudication season and that decision came about with some feedback from our community. … it’s been very very well-received.”

According to Cohen, this change will set the New Hampshire Theatre Alliance apart from other theater organizations.

After the ballots are run, the top 10 finalists will be announced. Then, during the event, the semifinalists will be revealed, followed by the winner.

“The process and the organization … is all run by volunteers,” Cohen. “We don’t have a paid executive director, we don’t have paid staff. The adjudicators are going all over the state to adjudicate these shows and we wind up with this event at the end of all that based entirely on the volunteered time of this community. … I’m just in awe of the power and strength of this community of artists in New Hampshire.

19th New Hampshire Theatre Awards
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord
When: Saturday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
More info: get tickets at

Featured photo: Previous New Hampshire Theatre Awards. Courtesy photos.

Browse for Adventure

In Praise of the brick and mortar Bookstore plus recommendations for new reads and book clubs to join

There’s nothing quite like the experience of shopping at your local independent bookstore, and luckily New Hampshire has several. Here’s what those in the business had to say about the local book shopping experience and current reading trends.

Balin Books

Previously the Nashua location of Toadstool Bookshop, Balin Books introduced its new name in early 2023 (Balin rhymes with “gallon,” according to the store’s Facebook page). The store is still under the ownership of one of the original founders.

“We have a new name but … nothing else has changed about our business other than the fact that there’s a different sign above the door,” said manager Michael Joachim. A general book store, Balin Books is able to tailor its stock to what the community wants.

What do people get from shopping at bookstores that they don’t get online? What is that experience like and why do you think people seek it?

Balin Books. Courtesy photo.

It’s interesting because … there was a pretty big crisis following the rise of Borders and Barnes & Noble, which dramatically changed the landscape. Bookstores adjusted and they kind of survived that and then Amazon and other online purchasing came and that was another big crisis that reduced a number of stores, and the people that were left, I think, were the real survivors, the people who figured out how to be an asset to the community and to offer something that people actually wanted rather than just a bunch of companies that opened stores willy-nilly all over the landscape and didn’t really have a way to survive. I think there’s always … a foundation

… of people who, while they might buy books online, they want the experience of wandering through the store and actually seeing what’s available in front of them as opposed to poking on a screen, flip through a book, get a look at what’s actually in it, compare to what else is available in that same category and that same subject and make a decision right away and buy it. They just want to absorb what’s out there and you’re never going to get that online, and that’s very important to a significant number of people, so if you can create that environment where browsing is a pleasurable, informative experience, and have the right selection and the right services, you will survive and do well.

How have local bookstores, and yours specifically, fared with the times and trends of online shopping with sites like Amazon and big bookstores like Barnes & Noble? How have you adapted and changed?

I think you’ve got to be involved in the community. We do a lot of work with the local schools, there are educators that come to us and we help either provide books for the class or get discounts for kids who need it in their classes. We’re connected to the Nashua Public Library pretty well … You have to have a great selection. You [have] to have an inventory that matches what your community is looking to buy, looking to browse. You also have knowledgeable people who know how to help and have some experience and can answer some of those questions. A lot of people are intimidated when they walk into a bookstore because they don’t want to look dumb. They don’t want to ask questions that may make them uncomfortable. If you walk into … a bigger chain store like that where the turnover is more substantial, if that person doesn’t know what you’re trying to find and then you make the customer feel uncomfortable, the whole thing just gets a little weird. People love that when they come in here … [if they] don’t understand what it is they’re looking for we can help them get to the answer without making them feel uncomfortable.

Have you noticed any other patterns or trends of shopping at local bookstores?

I find a lot of people come in and say that they’re really pleased that we’re here. … When I started in the business … almost every town or every couple of towns had a local bookstore where people could come and get what they needed. That’s changed dramatically. You can go 20 miles without a bookstore now. I think for the bookstores that are still here, and the bookstores that are doing well and offer a real service to the community, a lot of people really appreciate that … they want to support a local, independently owned store and that’s gratifying.

When genres seem to be attracting the most interest from readers?

Historically it’s always been children’s books, which is a big age group anywhere from baby books to young adult. That’s a big chunk of our store because a lot of people want to buy books for their children, they want them to read [and] people buy them as gifts. For adults it’s fiction, biography, history. But then we have people who want … self-help books, cookbooks, but within the fiction genre, which is a big chunk of our store, we’ve got mystery, suspense, horror, science fiction, romance — all those things are a big part of what we offer.

Is there any type of book, whether genre or author, that has become popular in the last few years that has surprised you?

There’s been a very big boom in romance, specifically a couple of authors that figured out how to use TikTok to promote themselves and particularly a woman named Colleen Hoover … [who] I believe … came out of nowhere to be the bestselling author in the country two years ago … so it’s been interesting to watch how people can work the market place to promote themselves and how it actually works. … I think an independent store can react a lot more quickly to something like that … we can just jump on it right away, get some books in pretty quickly and respond to the community.

What was the most popular book of 2023 and what books are you excited for in 2024?

There’s a book called Fourth Wing, which was a fantasy book that, again, the author [Rebecca Yarros] did something online to promote herself and it was just a huge book. The sequel Iron Flame came out right around Christmas time and that was big. And Sarah J. Maas, who writes fantasy books, has a new book coming out next month, which should also be gigantic.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

I like the last Stephen King book, Holly. … That was a good book, that’s the one that’s sticking with me at the moment.

Balin Books
Where: Somerset Plaza, 375 Amherst St. in Nashua; 417-7981,
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upcoming author events:
Jeanne Dietsch, to discuss her report New Hampshire: Battleground in the Fight to Dismantle Democracy, on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m.

Five recent releases recommended by Balin Books
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
A Stroke of the Pen by Terry Pratchett
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray
My Effin’ Life by Geddy Lee
Gator Country by Rebecca Renner
Alfie & Me by Carl Safina

Bookery Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, along with her husband, Jeremy Hitchcock, opened Bookery, a bookstore, gift shop and cafe on Elm Street in Manchester, in 2018 with the goal of creating a venue for civic discourse, community and culture. A general bookstore, Bookery adjusts inventory to align with what the community is reading, and carries other merchandise like candles, socks, puzzles, cards and more. The store hosts events with authors, a monthly book club, weekly storytimes, live music, political talks, workshops and private events.

“We’re really just proactive at seeing what our community’s reading at this time, listening to their feedback on what they want and what they need and following that as our guiding star,” Hitchcock said.

What do people get from shopping at bookstores that they don’t get online? What is that experience like and why do you think people seek it?

I think the main reason why people go to a local bookstore is curation. Obviously I, just like anybody else, can go to Amazon and see … books and some of them have five stars and some of them have three stars, but in the end I want someone to tell me if I read this book then I might enjoy this book … There’s nothing better than someone who’s actually read the book telling you that it’s something that you may enjoy, so it’s really about the process of curation — hand selling is gigantic — and then obviously the ability for us to have authors come into our store to meet our customers is really important as well.

corner in bookstore with shelves against wall and fake fireplace
The Bookery. Courtesy photo.

How have local bookstores, and yours specifically, fared with the times and trends of online shopping with sites like Amazon and big bookstores like Barnes & Noble?

I think that in the end we are probably faring a little bit better than places like Barnes & Noble because we do have an entrenched community that we support and we love. I do think that Barnes & Noble is doing a better job at creating that community around them now that they’ve given more free will to the managers of the stores, but I think that we’re doing well even based on the circumstances of the economy and Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have you noticed any other patterns or trends of shopping at local bookstores?

Not specifically that I can name. We have seen growth year over year, which has been helpful especially with the rising cost of employees and buying books and shipping, so we appreciate that greatly. I think just really the part that still surprises me is adjacent towns that are still surprised when they see that we have a bookstore of our caliber downtown on Elm Street, so even still getting the word and making sure people know that we’re there, what we offer and that we love our community.

When genres seem to be attracting the most interest from readers?

2023 was a huge year for romantasy, a new hybrid sub-genre between romance and fantasy. Sarah J. Maas is a huge staple of this genre, but this year we have a new heavy hitter in Rebecca Yarros! Her two books Fourth Wing and Iron Flame both caused such a stir in the book world this year it was hard for bookstores to keep up! Fourth Wing centers on a dragon rider academy, with an enemies-to-lovers romance to boot with plenty of spice for those interested!

What was the most popular book of 2023 and what books are you excited for in 2024?

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang was a huge book for us this year. R.F. Kuang ended 2022 with a huge book in Babel, and her new literary fiction rode that high and then some. Yellowface is about two authors, one white, one Asian, working on their manuscripts. When the writer of color suddenly dies, the white author takes it upon herself to steal the late writer’s manuscript, finish it, and pass it off as her own under a pseudonym. A great commentary and satire on whitewashing in lucrative industries. [In] 2024 — We’re really looking toward Knife by Salman Rushdie, releasing in April! It’s a memoir from the author about his recently survived assassination attempt in 2022, 30 years after a “fatwa” was ordered against him by the Supreme Leader of Iran calling for his assassination. It promises to be an eye-opening read about his first-hand account of that day and what followed. Can’t wait!

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

I recently read and loved Prophet Song by Paul Lynch! The hype for this one was crazy, considering it won the Booker Prize in the U.K. before its U.S. publication (I was so excited to read it that I ordered a copy from the U.K. before it came out over here). It tells the story of a civil resistance in Ireland after a nameless government regime cracking down on unions and anti-state sentiments. It’s a harrowing universal tale about government and government overreach, and transcends borders given the exact causes and politics associated with the book’s uprising aren’t given. You really can picture yourself in this novel. [It’s] truly transportative!

Bookery Manchester
Where: 844 Elm St., Manchester; 836-6600,
When: Sunday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Upcoming author events:

  • Joe McQuaid, author of War Fronts Home Fires, on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m.
  • Joseph Carrabis will hold a workshop called “Write Your History, Change Your Life” on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m.
  • Matthew Jones, author of Wish I Could Love You: A Collection of Failed Love Stories on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m.
  • Fox Hollow, author of Heartstrings, on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m.

Gibson’s Bookstore

Founded in 1898, Gibson’s Bookstore is the oldest continuously operating retailer in the Concord area and the largest independent bookstore in northern New England, according to its website. Current owner Michael Herrmann bought the business in 1994, expanded the business twice including the move to its current location in 2013 and bought Imagination Village toy store to integrate into the store, which also has a cafe. At this general bookstore with a wide variety of interests, Herrmann said, “our inventory is designed with Concord in mind.”

What do people get from shopping at bookstores that they don’t get online? What is that experience like and why do you think people seek it?

Bookstores of all kinds are great gathering places. They’re community centers, they’re places that build community, and you can’t really can’t replicate that online. There’s also one thing you can get at a physical bookstore that you can’t get online, [which] is discovery. If you go online looking for something you’ll find it but if you don’t know what you want or you might be open for new experiences then the only way really to get that is browsing in the real world.

How have local bookstores, and yours specifically, fared with the times and trends of online shopping with sites like Amazon and big bookstores like Barnes & Noble?

We’ve always had the larger bookstores to contend with probably since the ’80s, and Amazon came along at the end of the ’90s, so … we’ve been getting used to it for a lot longer than other types of operations have, so the independent bookstores that are still with us are well-equipped to compete with online stores like Amazon.

Have you noticed any other patterns or trends of shopping at local bookstores?

Well, certainly our sales are increasing every year and new independent bookstores are starting every year. The channel has been growing since Borders went out of business in 2011. That was sort of like the asteroid getting the dinosaurs and we were the mammals so our channel has been expanding ever since 2011, and Gibson’s Bookstore’s business has been going up pretty much since 2013.

When genres seem to be attracting the most interest from readers?

Fiction. We’ve seen a lot of new interest in genres like genre fiction [such as] romance and horror, mystery, science fiction. We’ve seen a lot of growth in those areas.

Is there any type of book, whether genre or author, that has become popular in the last few years that has surprised you?

Gibson’s Bookstore. Photo by Ryan Clark.

There’s always room for surprise. You don’t want it to be … formulaic at all, that’s why we take a chance on a lot of different … new authors. Where some of the big box stores have scaled back on, for instance, books for young readers like ages 9 to 12, we continue to bring in a lot of new authors in that area just because some of them are going to be important in the future and we want to build relationships and sales with them as early as possible. And there’s always surprises like this holiday season, the big surprise was how well the book by Liz Cheney did [Oath and Honor]. We didn’t have that on our 2023 bingo card but her book really struck a chord with people and … you can’t predict that in advance. You really don’t know, you sort of have to ride the tiger when the tiger gets to you.

What was the most popular book of 2023 and what books are you excited for in 2024?

Ann Patchett’s book Tom Lake was very popular. We did very well with that. In nonfiction David Grann’s book The Wager was extremely popular.

[In 2024] there’s a new novel by Chris Bohjalian coming out that he’s very excited about launching called Princess of Las Vegas, so I’m looking forward to reading that. … [Also] the new novel by Tana French that’s coming out called The Hunter and then there’s a new book by Tommy Orange, who wrote the novel There There, called Wandering Stars and … that’s coming in March [and I’m] also really looking forward to that.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

The new Tana French [The Hunter]. I just finished it.

Gibson’s Bookstore
Where: 45 S. Main St. in Concord
When: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Upcoming author events:

  • Lloyd Sederer, doctor and author of Caught in the Crosshairs of American Healthcare, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m.
  • Joe McQuaid, author of War Fronts Home Fires, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Chard deNiord, poet and author of seven books of poetry, presented by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m.
  • Leila Philip, author of Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming releases recommended by Gibson’s

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson (April 30); The Women by Kristin Hannah (Feb. 6); Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrush (March 19); Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange (Feb. 27); The Fury by Alex Michaelides (Jan. 16) —recommended by adult book buyer John LeDonne

The Angel of Indian Lake (The Indian Lake Trilogy #3) by Stephen Graham Jones (March 26); Funny Story by Emily Henry (April 23); Love You, Mean It by Jilly Gagnon (April 30); Happy Medium by Sarah Adler (April 30); Kosa by John Durgin (New Hampshire author!) (May 17); Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman (June 25); American Rapture by CJ Leede (Oct. 15); Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay (June 11); The Pairing by Casey McQuiston (Aug. 6) —recommended by bookseller and marketing manager Ryan Clark

MainStreet BookEnds of Warner

Despite being rejected by the bank three times, Katharine Nevins, along with her husband, opened the doors to MainStreet BookEnds of Warner in October 1998 during the Warner Fall Foliage Festival. A community bookstore with toys and games set in a Pillsbury colonial homestead, MainStreet BookEnds is a general bookstore with particular strengths in the children’s, gardening and farming genres. In the attached barn is a gallery featuring the works of local artists.

“Warner is … an area where there are a lot of writers, a lot of musicians, [and] a lot of artists, so we’ve always tried to reflect that,” Nevins said.

What do people get from shopping at bookstores that they don’t get online? What is that experience like and why do you think people seek it?

Independent bookstores are extraordinarily important … for … the culture of the area …. Every single independent bookstore is unique. If you’re traveling and you kind of want to get a sense of where you are and who the people are, you track down an independent bookstore because once you get in there you’re in with all the locals, you’re in there with the things that are happening right there in that community. … If you can break the habit of the quick click, which is a hard habit to break, … you can go into the storefront and experience a community of readers who can recommend things to you or recommend things to your children. People who are experienced in books and can really make recommendations … can make a difference. … I’m fortunate because I have a front row seat of watching that every day and I see people talking with each other and saying, ‘My child had trouble reading and this is what worked for them,’ ‘My mother just died and I really found this book to be extraordinarily helpful.’ … Things like that happen all the time, so it’s really exciting. So you walk into an independent bookstore and you’re walking into, I believe, a piece of magic because you’re seeing exactly what that area has to offer.

How have local bookstores, and yours specifically, fared with the times and trends of online shopping with sites like Amazon and big bookstores like Barnes & Noble?

cafe area of bookstore with wooden floor and wooden walls, counter with bar stool on one side, racks with artwork for sale, framed painting lining upper part of wall
MainStreet BookEnds. Courtesy photo.

In 1998 the bank turned us down three times. They said there’s no way an independent bookstore is going to survive in these times, and Amazon had just started. Amazon has a ridiculous impact on independent bookstores [and] on every single neighborhood store, so the more you extract yourself from that kind of shopping, the more you’re supporting your community and the more you’re helping your community to thrive and survive … I think more and more people are getting tired of [the online] experience. I can tell you during Covid where we had to close the store for 15 months we kept going and we did curbside … and so forth, but that was when people really kind of woke up to how if we don’t support these little businesses right now, they’re not going to make it, and people came out of the woodwork, it was absolutely fabulous the support that we got. So I think the people … want to experience … being able to go into an independent bookstore and … and just that sense of turning everything off for a half hour, which is really important, and you can’t do that in many places but in a bookstore you can get lost in here for a while and that’s a very healing thing. Strange to say but there’s a lot of healing that goes on in an environment like that [where] people are just allowed to come in and relax and wander and who knows what’s going to happen.

Have you noticed any other patterns or trends of shopping at local bookstores?

We’re really having a return of younger people coming in and just really loving the experience of wandering and talking about books and holding books. … The feelings … that you get when you pick up a book that you read … all those feelings come rushing back to you as to where you were at the time, and you can only get that with a physical book, that’s the only way you can get that.

When genres seem to be attracting the most interest from readers?

We follow the New England Independent Booksellers Association bestsellers list. … We all contribute to what sells the best in our stores and that’s the list that we go by in terms of our bestsellers. … There’s a whole lot of interest in young adult and in graphic novels for young adults. … We have a … section on regional titles in terms of New Hampshire and hiking [that’s] just about sold out … . That’s [a] huge area. People [want] to pick up books about the area and about hiking and enjoying the outdoors … and children’s books are always very, very big.

Is there any type of book, whether genre or author, that has become popular in the last few years that has surprised you?

I think that the popularity is reflected by the times, right? … Right now people are wanting more and more escape and comfort … so when a particular author becomes really popular that surprises us it’s probably because that particular author is providing a really good escape for right now. … You [also] read to learn about other worlds so I think if we’ve had some surprising authors emerge in the last couple of years it’s just been reflective of what we need as a society to cope.

What was the most popular book of 2023 and what books are you excited for in 2024?

Well, books like Demon Copperhead, Barabra Kingssolver’s book, that was huge; Iron Flame [by Rebecca Yarros and] A Court of Thorns and Roses [by Sarah J. Maas]. … [For] what’s coming up, well, I guess we just wait and see what’s going to emerge next — it’s always kind of a surprise … and I know people are excited about some new ones coming out there so I think we just wait and see.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

In terms of my favorite reads from 2023, the fiction would be the latest from Sigrid Nunez, The Vulnerables. The nonfiction is The Long Field by Pamela Petro. Children’s picture books would be Thank a Farmer by Maria Gianferrari, and middle-grade novels would be the latest from Ann Braden, Opinions and Opossums.

MainStreet BookEnds of Warner
Where: 16 E. Main St. in Warner; 456-2700,
When: Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

MainStreet Recommends

Tana French has a new book coming out, The Hunter (March 5)
Sarah Maas’s newest will be huge, House of Flame and Shadow (Jan. 30)
A wonderful biography just out on Willa Cather, Chasing Bright Medusas (out now)
Sy Montgomery’s latest, Of Time and Turtles (out now)
Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go celebrates 50 years with a new edition (out now)

More book shops

Here are some additional independent bookstores in the area.

The Lost Page Found Bookshop
Where: 35 Main St. in Goffstown; 384-1390,
Hours: See Facebook for winter hours. Posted hours on are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Morgan Hill Bookstore
Where: 253 Main St., New London; 526-5850,
When: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

RiverRun Bookstore
Where: 32 Daniel St. in Portsmouth; 431-2100,
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Toadstool Bookshop
Where: 12 Depot St. in Peterborough, 924-3543;
When: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Water Street Bookstore
Where: 125 Water St., Exeter; 778-9731,
When: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Book Clubs

Gibson’s Bookstore
45 S. Main St., Concord
When: first Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
Next up: Feb. 5: The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

844 Elm St., Manchester
Book club
When: third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.
Next up: Jan 18: Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris
Romance book club
When: last Sunday of each month at 6 p.m.
Next up: Jan. 28: By the Book, by Jasmine Guillory

MainStreet BookEnds
16 E. Main St., Warner
When: Sundays at 4 p.m.
Next up: Feb. 4: How the Post Office Created America, by Winifred Gallagher

To Share Brewing
720 Union St., Manchester
When: second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.
RSVP to to attend
Next up: Feb. 8: Love in the Time of Serial Killers, by Alicia Thompson

Northwoods Brewing
1334 First NH Tpke., Northwood
When: Books and Brews meets on various Mondays
Next up: Jan. 29: Shark Heart: A Love Story, by Emily Habeck
Peterborough NH Area Silent Book Club
Find them on Facebook
When: The newly formed chapter was scheduled to have its first-ever meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at DiVine on Main (32 Main St., Peterborough); a second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m.
Next up: whatever you want
“Silent Book Club is a global community of readers and introverts reading together in quiet camaraderie. … At Silent Book Club, there’s no assigned reading. Instead, we’re inviting readers to grab a glass of wine, a tasty snack, a cozy seat, and a book of their choosing to read uninterrupted for one hour, with added time for socializing and discussing your book while making new friends,” according to the Peterborough chapter’s post on

Featured Photo: Gibson’s Bookstore. Photo by Ryan Clark.

This Week 24/01/18

Big Events January 18 and Beyond

Friday, Jan. 19

It’s opening night for Dancing Queens, billed as the Ultimate ABBA and Disco Tribute, which runs through Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588) with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, plus Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $28 to $49.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Catch Beatlejuice tonight at 8 p.m at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; Tickets cost $33. Find more concerts this weekend and beyond on page 38.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Come for the art, stay for the Bruce. The winter show (running through March) is up at the Sandy Clearly Community Art Gallery at the Nashua Center for the Arts (201 Main St. in Nashua; featuring photographers Brenda McDougland, Seth Dewey, Craig Michaud and Dan Splaine. Find more about the artists at Check out the exhibit and then stay for tonight’s 8 p.m. show Bruce in the USA (with Matt Ryan and musicians presenting a celebration of the music of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band); tickets cost $29 to $59.

Saturday, Jan. 20

It’s the third Saturday in January, which means it’s the annual winter Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire. Residents and non-residents can fish in any inland water or saltwater in New Hampshire without a fishing license (though season dates and bag limits are still in effect), according to, where you can find details about the day.

Saturday, Jan. 20

The 21+ show Life’s a Drag, described as a fiercely hilarious drag show, comes to Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Manchester (707 Huse Road; on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets to this approximately two-hour show cost $25 (plus fees).

Tuesday, Jan. 23

It’s nomination morning for the 96th annual Academy Awards (the Oscars, which will air on Sunday, March 10); the announcement usually starts during the 8 a.m. Eastern hour (see In this week’s film section (page 31) see reviews of some Oscar hopefuls (Poor Things and Wonka) and listings of where to catch other possible contenders.

Save the Date! Tuesday, Feb. 13
Spend Galentine’s Day with the ladies of the Rockford Peaches when Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St. in Concord;, 224-4600) screens A League of Their Own at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15. And remember, “There’s no crying in baseball!”

Quality of Life 24/01/18

Food Bank funds

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) raised a record $180,000 for the New Hampshire Food Bank at its 10th annual Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits. According to a press release, the event, held on Nov. 2, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown, is the region’s largest spirits tasting expo and featured over 1,000 guests sampling from 600 premium spirits. The New Hampshire Food Bank procured and provided more than 16.3 million pounds of food in 2023 to over 400 nonprofit food agencies. The funds raised at the Distiller’s Showcase will help provide thousands of nutritious meals to individuals and families facing food insecurity. The Distiller’s Showcase is part of the larger Distiller’s Week, featuring events and tastings across the state with celebrities and industry experts.

QOL score: +1

Comment: The NHLC has worked with suppliers and brokers over the past eight years to raise more than $4 million for various nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire and beyond, contributing to causes like Best Buddies New Hampshire, Easterseals New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association.

We beg to differ, WalletHub

In a recent study by WalletHub, New Hampshire was ranked as the 45th best state to start a business, out of all 50 U.S. states. This ranking was based on a comprehensive analysis of 25 key indicators of startup success, considering factors like financing accessibility, labor costs and office-space affordability. Despite being a challenging environment for new businesses, New Hampshire showed specific strengths and weaknesses in the study: It ranked 26th in the average growth of small businesses, but lower in other areas like labor costs (44th) and availability of human capital (48th). The state’s average length of the work week was ranked 32nd, with the cost of living and industry variety coming in at 41st and 34th respectively.

QOL score: -1

Comment: This ranking is part of a larger national trend where about 20 percent of new businesses fail within their first year. The challenges are compounded by factors like inflation and labor shortages.

It’s winter somewhere

Ice Castles in North Woodstock, New Hampshire, a popular winter attraction in New England, is set to open earlier than anticipated at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 20. According to a press release, the original opening date was planned for Jan. 26, but favorable colder temperatures have allowed for an earlier launch. The attraction, located in the White Mountains, features a range of interactive experiences, including ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones and a Polar Ice Bar. Additionally, visitors can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow tubing, a mystic light walk, and cascading towers of ice with color-changing LED lights. Tickets for the grand opening are available on the Ice Castles website at

QOL score: +1

Comment: Ice Castles was founded in 2011 by Brent Christensen, who developed the process to create these frozen attractions initially as a winter playground for his children.

QOL score: 48

Net change: +1

QOL this week: 49

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire?

Let us know at

Elvis leaves the building

The Big Story: After 24 years of mostly excellence Bill Belichick is out as head coach of the Patriots, something that until recently seemed unfathomable. Followed by the choice of Jerod Mayo, which we’ll have more on later.

Old-Timers Sports 101: Name the two QB’s involved in the shocking 1964 QB-QB trade between Philadelphia and Washington.

News Item – Coaches: Whether it was a firing, a push out, resignation or mutual agreements, last week was a landmark for coaches in football. This generation’s greatest pro and college coaches, Belichick and Nick Saban, are stunningly out in Foxboro and Alabama respectively. And they were followed out the door by Pete Carroll after 14 years in Seattle, the highly regarded Mike Vrabel in Tennessee and possibly Jim Harbaugh at Michigan if the (annual) rumors going around are to be believed. All will likely show up on TV or a sideline somewhere again. But it’s a sea change to be sure, which few expected when 2023 began.

News Item – Pats’ Jerod Mayo: The succession plan was already in place and Kraft lived up to it by hiring Mayo to replace Belichick; chillingly, if he hired a coach before he hired a new general manager, the new GM will probably come from the same pool of people who’ve been drafting so poorly for years.

News Item – Michigan Football: It was a good week for football in Michigan. First their U demolished Washington to win the national championship in college football. Then the Lions beat the Rams and their one-time star Matthew Stafford 24-23 for their first playoff win since 1992 while keeping their hopes alive to win their first NFL championship (1957) in 66 years!

And if you’re keeping score on the biggest QB-QB swap since the 1960s of Stafford for Jared Goff: No fewer than five key guys in Sunday’s win came to Detroit directly from L.A. or future draft picks from the deal. Including TD’s in the game from RB Jahmyr Gibbs and rookie tight end Matt LaPorta.

The Numbers:

0 – Green Bay Packers voted to the NFL Pro Bowl game, compared to seven for Dallas, whom GB annihilated Sunday 48-34.

4 – times Celtics get a life Coach Joe Mazzulla told the media he watches the Ben Affleck-directed Boston heist film The Town each week.

Of the Week Awards:

Best Coach B Line – at his Press Conference: “I haven’t seen this many cameras since we signed [Tim] Tebow.

Fun Media Feud – Steven A. Smith vs. Jason Whitlock: It started with the Blaze provocateur calling into question the truth in Smith’s recent book, to which he responded by calling Whitlock a “fat b—–!” Two best shots were Whitlock calling him “Stephen A Myth” andSmith saying, “This is the dude that will have a funeral that ain’t got no pallbearers.”

Worst Sneakers – Giannis Antetokounmpo: Those chartreuse numbers he wore Thursday against the Celtics. You’ve got to be secure to wear a pair of those.

Thumbs Down – NBA Discipline Czar: For cutting habitual offender Draymond Green’s latest suspension to just 12 games. What are they going to say next time (and there will be one), “This time we really, really mean it, Dray”? Booooo.

Sports 101 Answer: Washington got future Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen while Philly got Norm Snead, who was later traded to the G-Men for another HoF quarterback, Fran Tarkenton.

Final Thought – Bob Kraft: Let’s just say I’m not optimistic that the decisions made last week were the right ones.

Moving Coach B out puts approval-craving owner Bob Kraft at center stage in the team’s reconstruction. After lucking into Tom Brady way back when and now not having Belichick to shield him from criticism when things go haywire, he’s now the one to look at over what happens going forward. And while it’s not quite the same, hopefully it’ll go better than for similarly credit-conscious Dallas owner Jerry Jones after his battle of egos with Jimmy Johnson led to JJ’s departure from Dallas after winning two Super Bowls. Because it’s 28 years and counting since the Boys have even been back to the NFC title game, let alone the Super Bowl, after the architect of their three SB wins in the 1990s left the building. And while it had to end sooner or later, it makes me wonder if that’s what’s in store for New England as well. Especially when Kraft picked a totally untested defensive guy to lead a 4-13 team crying out for a new age mind to fix the worst offensive team in franchise history.

And there’s an unsettling historical parallel with Butch Hobson, who Red Sox GM Lou Gorman elevated far above his capability to be his manager because Lou was somehow afraid he’d get stolen away by another team. Which sounds a lot like Mayo’s story.

Email Dave Long at

Show on pause

Andrew Pinard discusses the future of Hatbox Theatre

The transformation of Steeplegate Mall in Concord into a mixed-use development necessitates the relocation of several tenants, one of which is the Hatbox Theatre. Founded in 2016 by Andrew Pinard, Hatbox Theatre has been an active entity in the local arts community. The absence of a long-term lease now leads to the theater’s imminent closure, disrupting a season that was set to include 15 diverse productions. Pinard talked about the impact of this development on the theater, its future plans and the broader implications for the arts community in Concord. See for updates.

What exactly transpired with the closure of Hatbox Theatre?

The closure was abrupt. We knew there was a possibility of this happening when the previous owners evicted almost everyone without long-term leases nearly two years ago, but the actual timing was unexpected. The city has been pushing to get rid of the mall and replace it with housing, and they finally found a developer who bought the mall. This new developer plans to demolish the buildings and construct 625 market-rate apartments, along with a Costco and Whole Foods. Communication with the new owners was scarce, and we struggled to get information. We were assured at one point that we would have until May or June of 2024, but suddenly, in November, just before Thanksgiving, we were informed that we had to be out by the end of January. It was quite a shock.

What has been the community’s response?

There’s a lot of people who are very sad and very disappointed that we might close permanently if we can’t find another space to work in. Our audiences and the artists who have performed here are really supportive and enthusiastic about us finding a new space, and we’re grateful for them. I’ve had recommendations from dozens of people suggesting various spaces. The community’s reaction shows their deep investment in Hatbox and their concern for the future of local arts in our area. Unfortunately I haven’t been too optimistic about the elected, civic and business leaders in Concord. They acknowledge our work but haven’t fought very hard to keep us in the community. They never really made us feel like we were something special.

What immediate steps are you taking to manage this transition for Hatbox Theatre?

We’ve been evaluating a number of spaces for short-term and long-term use. We’re looking at Manchester, Epsom, Nashua, Bedford. We’ve looked at about 28 different locations so far and that includes both shared spaces and exclusive spaces. We’re looking at mid-March at the very earliest to launch programming in other nomadic locations. Our business model has always been that ticket sales cover the overhead of the space while allowing us to give 55 percent of the revenue to the production companies that are in the space. We are transitioning the organization to a not-for-profit to potentially expand our revenue beyond ticket sales, which could conceivably mean that we can purchase a location so that we’re not at the mercy of somebody kicking us out. That would also mean we could begin fundraising and things of that nature so that we can afford places like that.

How do you think this will affect Concord’s art scene?

It’s going to be a big loss for Concord, for the local artists and for the audience who regularly attend our shows. We’re in our ninth year now, and we’ve had over 36,000 people through our space since we opened in April 2016. We’ve hosted numerous world premieres and given a platform to local artists. Our venue was a place where smaller production companies and local artists could showcase their work. Many local artists got their start here, and without Hatbox there’s a fear that emerging talents might not find similar opportunities. The local arts scene will lose a unique venue that provided a space for experimental and avant-garde productions. Its closure could mean a more homogenized arts scene in the city. It’s not just about losing a physical space. It’s about losing a community hub for artists and audiences alike.

What are you looking for in a community to relocate to?

We want a community that really either wants us or needs us and really deeply wants to be involved. Ideally we’d find a community that has a space like a mill building or a fire station that they’re looking to repurpose to reinvest in their community. And we’re looking for a community that will support the community that has supported us.

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