Arts & Culture

Holly McCabe

For a small state, New Hampshire has a plethora of private schools, each with a rich academic and cultural heritage.  Although the schools are private, many have art galleries that are open to the public.  Student and faculty art shows are on regular offer, but there is also compelling and unique work from both national and international artists.

Courtesy of The Bitter Pill

“The Bitter Pill,” a new musical featuring the songs of Billy Butler, is on stage at the Players Ring in Portsmouth through the end of October. NHPR’s Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss attended a preview of the show and send us their thoughts.

NOTE:  Please scroll to the bottom for a video preview.   

Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce

All around New Hampshire the leaves are glowing red, yellow and orange, but in Berlin on Saturday, October 15th, the Androscoggin River will be aflame.  Literally.

The annual RiverFire event, based at Heritage Park on Main Street, will bring a full day of activities to “the city that trees built.”

A long weekend calls for a road trip, and rumor has it the foliage in the western part of the state is glowing. 

Sean Hurley

An outhouse by the side of the road has created a little stir in Ashland.  It’s not the outhouses’ proximity to a farm stand – or that through its open door you can see two toilet seats side by side.  As NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, it’s what the outhouse is being used for that’s causing all the commotion.

We’re winding along the pumpkins and the freshly picked produce, Chris Owens and I, at his farm stand on Route 175 in Ashland.  I’m not here to buy corn or lettuce.  I’m here to find out about Owens brand new...amenity.

Library of Congress / Rare Book & Special Collection Division

With frost on the ground your thoughts may be running to the other Frost, the poet whom we claim as a “resident,” although he was actually born in San Francisco and grew up in Massachusetts. 

There are two former Frost homes in New Hampshire—one in Derry and one in Franconia.  The Robert Frost Farm is a National Historic Landmark, and a remnant of New Hampshire’s agricultural past in now-suburban Derry. 

Sean Hurley

Morphy the Corpse Flower came into bloom this past weekend at Dartmouth College and  NHPR’s Sean Hurley stood in line with hundreds of people eager to get a whiff of the smelliest flower in the world.

Feel like singing a forebitter?  Portsmouth is hosting its 17th Annual Folk Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 23rd through 25th. 

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is opening a new gallery space on Main Street in Hanover on September 16th.  The museum itself is closed until 2019 while it undergoes a major expansion project, but Director John Stomberg and his staff came up with a way to keep the Hood engaged in the community. 

Sean Hurley

November 29, 1964 is known in the Catholic Church as “the day Mass changed.” It didn’t take a day – more like five years - but by 1969 the vernacular “New Mass” had taken hold and the traditional Latin Mass, in place for 400 years, largely became a thing of the past.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, the Latin Mass is making something of a comeback here in New Hampshire.

For five years John Brancich fought fires in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota.

Sean Hurley

It’s the fourth year of the Squam Ridge Race in Holderness – a 12-mile run over Mount Percival and along the rocky ridge overlooking the Lakes Region.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley ran this year’s race and sends us this audio postcard.

Plan to head north this weekend? Take a side trip to Plymouth and check out the current exhibit at the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University. 

The endless summer is coming to an end, but there is still time to dial into the surf scene on the New Hampshire Seacoast.  If you are a gremmie or a grommet (inexperienced surf enthusiast), and want to avoid looking like a tourist or an inland squid, here is a paddle out primer.

Natasha Haverty

This week on Foodstuffs, our weekly look at food and food culture around the region, NHPR's Natasha Haverty visits Payao's Thai Cookin', a food stand at the edge of the woods in Northwood, N.H.

Meg Lessard via Flickr CC

The National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday on Thursday.  New Hampshire’s only national park is Saint-Gaudens, the home, studio, and gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, located in Cornish. 

Sean Hurley

Six years is barely the blink of an eye for the White Mountains, which have defined New Hampshire’s landscape for more than a hundred million years. But to a father, six years can feel like a lifetime - as NHPR’s Sean Hurley discovered while hiking recently with his son.

Monika O'Clair Photography

When Caroline Nesbitt decided to start a theater company in Sandwich in 1999 she was met with a little resistance.  People in town knew her as the woman who raised Connemara Ponies and gave riding lessons.  What they didn’t know was that Nesbitt was also a professional actress. 

Sean Hurley

Take a look at the covers of the dozens and dozens of motorcycle magazines out there - from Cycle World to Dirt Rider – and you’ll see…well, motorcycles…and often enough,  scantily clad women posing beside them.  Take a look at the most recent issue of Manchester’s indie motorcycle magazine Iron & Air – and you won’t see either.  

Sean Hurley

You may have heard of the Rails to Trails program – where old railroad tracks are cleared away and replaced by paths for walking and biking.  In Wolfeboro, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club has helped build something unique in the United States – a rail and trail multi-use path.

Sean Hurley

For some, the end of winter conjures thoughts of swimming at the lake or working in the garden.  For others, the warm weather means it’s time to put fresh batteries in the metal detector.  

Retired firefighter Mike Cogan from Long Island hoists a metal detector over his shoulder and heads down the dirt road with 40 other metal detecting enthusiasts from around the country.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

This Saturday marked what’s believed to be the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

But it was also thought to have been his 452nd birthday — and over at Saint Anselm College, a group of students, professors and others turned out to honor the playwright and poet in the best way possible, with a daylong reading of his work. (There was also, of course, plenty of birthday cake.)

A&E Coffee

That cup of coffee you had this morning came a long way before you poured it.

Certified coffee taster Emeran Langmaid has spent the past 15 years getting to know coffee growers in Latin America, and mastering the art of roasting coffee here in New Hampshire. She owns A&E Coffee in Amherst, and Manchester New Hampshire. 

Langmaid flies to Honduras to judge a coffee competition in a couple of weeks, but NHPR's Natasha Haverty caught up with her right here in New Hampshire as she sampled her latest batch.

Lois Hurley

In New Hampshire, male crickets start singing in July or August.  They stop singing when the temperature drops below 50 and they die when it gets too cold.  The death of the crickets is, in a way, a sign that winter has begun.  This year, as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports, the crickets stopped on October 17th with the first hard frost.

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.