Arts & Culture

Susan Strickler, the director and CEO of the Currier Museum in Manchester since 1996, is retiring next June.

Under her guidance, the museum gained more than 33,000 square feet of space and added two large communal areas.

The museum has expanded its holdings of photography, prints and decorative arts, initiated a collection of craft and added major paintings and sculpture.

Sean Hurley

John Bolster has been a gardener for as long as he can remember.  After retiring eight years ago, he and his wife Mary moved from New Jersey to a house on the side of Welch Mountain in Thornton.  The only problem? His land wasn't suited for planting.  As NHPR's Sean Hurley found out, that didn't stop Bolster from finding a way to garden.

Paul Cecil at

There are actuarial tables and plenty of lists to help you figure out whether you've hit middle age.  Gray hair, inability to read your phone.  Failure to recognize every song on the radio. But as NHPR's Sean Hurley reflects from his home in the White Mountains, maybe middle age is simply noticing a shift in perspective. 

Sean Hurley

As construction in downtown Concord continues, a group of local filmmakers is making use of the transition from old to new in their fictional film, "Granite Orpheus," an updated and largely improvised take on the story of Orpheus, the musician and poet who tries and fails to retrieve the love of his life from the underworld. 

In the dusty, barely lit basement of Zoe & Company Professional Bra Fitters, Rick Broussard is getting ready for the third day of shooting, which takes places in the streets, alleys, squares, basements and rooftops of the capital city. 

Sean Hurley

As construction in downtown Concord continues, a group of local filmmakers is making use of the transition from old to new in their fictional film, "Granite Orpheus", an updated and improvised take on the Greek Myth set in the streets, alleys, squares, basements and rooftops of the capital city.  NHPR's Sean Hurley spent a night on the town with the film's cast and crew and sends us this.

"Let's power up the cameras. We ready to shoot the rehearsals?"

Tuesday nights in Portsmouth this summer are all about improv comedy.

Now in its 12th season, the “Stranger Than Fiction” comedy troupe puts on shows every Tuesday night at the Players’ Ring, coming up with material on the fly based on audience participation.

The Little Church Theater in Holderness is just that.  It's a little theater in a former little church.  While its current summer season is charged with familiar Broadway mainstays, the playhouse also does something a "little" different.  In this latest installment of our Summer Stock series, alongside the big familiar hits The Little Church Theater puts on original works by New Hampshire natives.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

Sean Hurley

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse got its start in 2004 as a store front theater on Weirs Beach.  In 2013, the theater moved to the former Annalee Doll factory in Meredith.  In this 3rd installment of his Summer Stock series, NHPR's Sean Hurley pays the playhouse a visit.  

Timothy L'Ecuyer, Education Director at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse says there are still remnants - in closets and unused rooms - of the "factory in the woods" as the Annalee Doll company used to be known. It can be a little spooky, he says -

Jason Merwin Photography

NHPR's Sean Hurley continues his Summer Stock series with a visit to the New London Barn Playhouse, a theater known for cultivating young talent.  The actress Laura Linney credits the Barn with her love of theater.  Broadway legend Steven Schwartz, creator of Godspell and Wicked, got his start there.  And as Sean discovered, there's even a well known NPR reporter who once graced the stage of the old Barn.

Sean Hurley

There's plenty to do on a summer day in New Hampshire.  Go to the beach, go to the lake, climb a mountain.  But what do you do on a beautiful summer night? Maybe some theater? In this new Summer Stock series, I'll be checking in with NH Theater Companies and finding out more about their summer offerings. First up, I'm off for Tamworth where rehearsals at the Barnstormers Theatre are already underway.

Kelly Swann

For the last few months students from The Center for Cartooning Studies have been meeting with veterans at the VA Hospital in White River Junction.  The hope is that a collection of veterans stories can be turned into an anthology of visual stories - comic strips based on the veterans' experiences. 

The Bookshelf: Poet Carol Westberg

May 29, 2015
Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's new series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered host Peter Biello will interview authors, cover literary events and publishing trends, and get recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves.

If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email - the address is

Peter Biello / NHPR

The year is 1842, and Christopher Robinson, a poor young man living with his family on an island just north of Scotland, has just been accused of stealing his father’s small savings. The real culprit is his brother, who has just fled their small town. As Christopher chases his brother, we encounter a world in which there is a vast difference between the haves and the have-nots, and a cast of characters seeking opportunities for better lives.

Photo by Jamie Murray

To hear Paul Violette of the New Hampshire Telephone Museum tell the story, anyone who thinks today’s communication technology is far beyond the old telephone system doesn’t understand how it all works.

“Most people feel like if they have a cell phone or a smart phone that it’s totally wireless. It’s not true. It’s not wall-to-wall coverage,” he said.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

  Jane Chu, the nation’s top arts leader, was in New Hampshire this week.

Chu is chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Her visit to the Granite State comes as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

NHPR Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley caught up with Chu during her visit to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

As you’re going around talking to people, what are you learning about the arts here in New Hampshire?

Next week Dartmouth College will showcase the work of its digital artists, from animators and game designers to those developing interactive pieces and even fashion.

Lorie Loeb is a professor in Dartmouth’s Computer Science department and director of its digital arts program. She joined Weekend Edition with a preview of the 4th annual Digital Arts Exhibition, known as DAX. It takes place Tuesday, April 28th from 7-10 pm.

Brent Moore via Flickr

There is a theme to New Hampshire This Weekend; Hippo Editor Amy Diaz offers a slate of events that celebrate hobbies.

For those who are just wild about scrapbookn’, there’s the CKC Manchester Scrapbook Convention Friday and Saturday.

Here Comes Mud Season

Apr 10, 2015
Sean Hurley

On March 20th, winter officially came to an end and spring began.  But in between winter and spring, as NHPR's Sean Hurley reflects, it's mud season.

Courtesy/Alyssa Grenning

A new home for 3S Artspace in Portsmouth opens this week.

The renovated facility will feature a music venue, an art gallery, artist studios, and a restaurant.

Chris Greiner is executive of director of 3S Artspace.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about the new facility.

You’ve talked about this new art space filling a unique niche that’s lacking on the Seacoast. Many already see the area as having a rich arts and culture scene, so what do mean by that?

Ever fantasized about living on a lush tropical island?  Would you settle for a long cold winter on a rugged rock 6 miles off the coast of Portsmouth?  For the last 18 years, photographer Alexandra De Steiguer has done just that as the lone winter caretaker of Star Island.  NHPR's Sean Hurley paid her a visit and sends us this.

On our first attempt to leave the harbor for Star Island, the muffler was frozen and the Miss Julie, a 29 foot lobster boat, wouldn't start.  

daisy / Flickr/CC

  Hippo Editor Amy Diaz joins Morning Edition to discuss some of the events in store for Granite Staters this weekend and beyond. 

Glitz & Glam

Still Life With Shovel

Feb 16, 2015
Lois Hurley

As we dig out from yet another winter storm, NHPR's Sean Hurley reflects on his life so far as a snow shoveler.  

The snow falls.  The storm ends and starts again.  I plant my shovel in the snow pile like a flag on the moon of winter.  Take my boots off, put them back on again. The plows shudder by and shudder by...on snow chained tires and spitting sand and I have no plans to lean the shovel in its summer spot behind the house.

I remember shoveling the family driveway in the blizzard of 78.  I was 11 years old and knew I was shoveling legendary snow.

Daryl Carlson/

Most people in New Hampshire associate Laconia with the annual summer Motorcycle Week Rally.

But another event, equally important to the city’s history, takes place this weekend.

The 83rd Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby has been around almost as long at Bike Week.

Trail Boss Jim Lyman, whose grandfather helped start the local sled dog derby in 1929, says Laconia’s sled dog event is one of the oldest in the country with ties back to the modern origin of the sport.

Grant MacDonald / Flickr/CC

  Hippo Editor Amy Diaz joins Morning Edition to discuss some of the activities in store for the hot and steamy Valentine's Weekend, which forecasters predict will be anything but hot or steamy.

Lets embrace the cold...

Erwin Bernal via Flickr CC

Create an album in twenty-eight days - that's the idea behind the RPM Challenge. Those taking part have to create ten songs, or thirty-five minutes of original material, all of which has to be written and recorded during the month of February. 

Library of Congress

A writer and community activist in New Hampshire will be honored today by the Martin Luther King Coalition.

JerriAnne Boggis is being recognized for her work to tell the often little known stories of African Americans in the state. Boggins is an activist and the director for the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail. She says on this holiday, she hopes Granite Staters will remember Dr. King’s ideals – and his actions.

Jack Rodolico

 In 2015, the City of Concord will honor its 250th anniversary. 

For centuries, the Merrimack River made Concord a prime location for Native Americans first, then European settlers later.

And in the 1800s, the city was famous for Concord Coaches – horse-drawn buggies that were manufactured to-order for customers around the world.

It’s Christmas cookie time. Hippo Editor Amy Diaz tells us about two big cookie tours in the Granite State- and how you (and the kids) can be the architect of your very own gingerbread village.

Hippo Editor Amy Diaz tells us how to get some holiday spirit in New Hampshire this weekend.