Arts & Culture

• Check out our list of New Hampshire museums, galleries, performance venues & independent bookstores, sorted by region.

• You can also find art exhibits, book readings, live music and more on our Public Events Calendar.

A Taste of Bike Week

Jun 14, 2013
Abby Kessler / NHPR

The 90th annual Laconia Motorcycle Week has a distinct sound that revs and rattles throughout the Granite State during the nine day rally, but over the years “bike week” has also become known for its unique taste.

“We do a lot of eating at bike week,” Jennifer Anderson, director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said laughing.

During the event, vendors set up temporary stands along the Loudon racetrack, selling chicken tenders, soft pretzels, fried dough, sizzling pizza and seafood to patrons who watch sports bikes orbit the track.  

What To Do With Rhubarb When You've Already Made A Pie

Jun 13, 2013
harald walker via Flickr/Creative Commons

Last week we looked at what to do with rhubarb beyond the traditional (yet incredibly delicious) pie, and we asked for your favorite rhubarb recipes. And did you ever send us some good ones!

Want CSA Success? Get To Know Your Neighbors

Jun 13, 2013
Amanda Loder, NHPR

This week some NHPR staffers got their first weekly share of veggies from a nearby CSA – which stands for community supported agriculture.

The idea is that consumers buy a share of the year’s crops in advance – that gives them a weekly supply of produce, while farmers get a more stable income stream than what they might have selling just through farmers markets or farmstands.

Maple syrup production returned to normal levels in the Granite State this year.

That’s according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday.

The report shows that 124 thousand gallons of maple syrup were produced in New Hampshire this year.

Last year, the state produced only 76 thousand gallons, due to the unusually warm weather.

The yield per tap also more than doubled in New Hampshire this year.

Plimptonmovie.com

If there was ever a man who knew how to fail fabulously, it was writer, journalist, and editor George Plimpton.  Ten years after his death, and sixty since he helped launch esteemed literary magazine The Paris Review, Plimpton is probably best known for his amateur antics among pro athletes – taking hits from light-heavyweight champ Archie Moore, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and taking the mound at Yankee Stadium. His accounts of these stories, now acknowledged as the beginning of participatory journalism, effectively transformed Plimpton one of the greatest everyman writers in modern memory. 

For the new documentary Plimpton!, directors Tom Bean and Luke Polling combed through countless hours of footage to create a film posthumously narrated by its own subject.  Already out in select cities, Plimpton! opens Friday, June 21st at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

© Michelle Gienow

For many of us, rekindling a connection to our food means lingering a little longer in the organic produce section while trying to pick the perfect pepper. But the “hyper-local” and “slow food” movements have created a new demand for the old ways of connecting to food…food you can grow, catch, gather and even kill…D.I.Y. style. A wide range of workshops have cropped up all over the country that offer hands-on experience with identifying edibles in your own backyard. Our next guest took a decidedly more aggressive approach to connecting with his food.

Bill Heavey, editor at large for Field and Stream, is the author of a new book which chronicles his own “mis-adventures” in hunting and gathering: It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It.

In a new book called “Saved”, author Ben Hewitt explores a different way of looking at wealth. Rather than dwelling on monetary standards and what can be lost financially, Hewitt writes through experience of what can be gained when we prioritize personal relationships, community cooperation, and connectedness to the environment.

Guest

Ben Hewitt - Vermont based author. His new book is called "Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World"

Rhubarb: It's Not Just For Pie Anymore

Jun 7, 2013
harald walker via Flickr/Creative Commons

There are two things we all seem to know about rhubarb – it grows and grows, and you can make pies with it. But there's a world of rhubarb that goes beyond the (admittedly delicious) pie - in fact, it's a hot commodity among bartenders, who are mixing up cocktails and other tangy rhubarb-based beverages. And bakers might like to try a rhubarb upside-down cake.

New Hampshire's growing season traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, but if you haven't gotten many plants into your garden this year, it's not too late to start.

That's according to Henry Homeyer, and he should know - he's a longtime gardener who's written newspaper columns and numerous books on the subject. His latest book is Organic Gardening (Not Just) In The Northeast: A Hands-On Month-to-Month Guide.

Back in March, we spoke with Vermont novelist David Blistein, about his latest book, David’s Inferno. The book is part memoir, part brain research, part rough guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy…and it’s also, surprisingly funny. David will read from the book and talk with the audience this evening, June 6, at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. He spoke with us about the razor thin-line between creativity and mania, and how ricocheting between those extremes was how he thrived for many years career as an ad agency executive. Here is the earlier conversation with David Blistein, the novelist, essayist, and blogger.

Sarah VanHorn, Manager of NH Community Seafood / N.H. Sea Grant

  When we talk about local food in New Hampshire, most of us think of fruits and vegetables. But with our 18 miles of coastline, seafood has the potential to be a local food as well. This year’s big cuts to catch limits for fish like cod and haddock herald a rough year for New Hampshire ground fishermen. So they’re finding new ways to connect with local consumers to help them stay afloat. And their approach may be the first of its kind.


Logan Shannon

This past weekend, Funspot arcade in Laconia, New Hampshire, played host to the International Classic Video Game Tournament. Gamers from all over the world have been traveling to Funspot for the past 15 years to compete against each other, sometimes on video games that were born long before they were. For many, it's a chance to play rare games that they've only heard about. For others it's a great chance to connect with like-minded friends over a friendly, albeit competitive, game of Tapper.

The competition runs for four days as participants try to post the high score on each of the tournament games. Outside the cordoned-off area reserved for the tournament, the rest of Funspot's American Classic Arcade Museum is open to the public. Mixed in amongst the novice players, you're likely to see world record holders trying to beat their high scores in between their tournament play. I spoke to three gamers who have made the nostalgic trip to Funspot repeatedly, enticed by the pristine machines and the sense of camaraderie among the players.

Special thanks to Derek Janiak for his help wrangling the elusive video gamers in their natural habitat.

lightplays via Flickr Creative Commons

Depending who you ask, the literary genre known as street lit began when Charles Dickens published Oliver Twist …or in 1969, when Iceberg Slim came out with Pimp. These gritty, slightly lurid, often violent stories focus on the underside of city life.

People like Wahida Clark, a New York Times best-selling author three times over, are becoming more and more successful as thug lit comes into its own. Other popular titles in the genre include Brother and the Dancer and The Ski Mask Way. Now, with several new imprints and tie-ins with the hip hop market, street lit is making a play for the mainstream market. Darren Sands is a New York based writer and a freelance reporter for the New York Observer, where he wrote an article called “Holler if You Read Me: African-American Writers -- and Readers – Fret Over the Future of Thug Lit.” We spoke with him about the state of thug lit and its rising popularity.

Chowder Festival Boasts Zero Waste, New Trophies

Jun 5, 2013
Ella Nilsen

On Saturday, June 1, the 29th Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival took place at Portsmouth’s Prescott Park.  The festival was zero-waste, courtesy of the partnership between the Prescott Park Arts Festival and seacoast business Eco-Movement.

“It’s a well-loved tradition,” said festival coordinator Ben Anderson.  “People come from all over.  The restaurants take it very seriously.”

Seacoast restaurants including Bob’s Clam Hut, Warren’s Restaurant, Newick’s Lobster House, and The Portsmouth Brewery competed with chowders of every type, including seafood, clam, scallop, and veggie.

Fatoumata Diawara, Nonesuch.com

West African singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has a backstory not unlike many of today’s cosmopolitan Africans. She was born in Ivory Coast to parents from Mali and now lives in Paris. She’s a stage and film actress, singer, and songwriter, all of which has given her a world of experience which shines through on her 2011 solo album Fatou. The album plays to her roots, but retains an infectious pop sensibility. Fatoumata is performing next Thursday, June 13th at the music hall in Portsmouth. We spoke to her last year before her performance at Dartmouth, just after the release of the album Fatou which is also her nickname, reflecting the very personal nature of its songs and production.

Measuring The Impact Of Local Food - Or Trying To

Jun 4, 2013

It’s the table farthest from the door at the Contoocook winter farmer’s market, but it's the one that catches my eye: asparagus stalks so big, you could play the drums with them.

The man who brought them, Jim Ramenack of Warner River Organics, says he's seen nothing but growth lately in local food.

The Audio Orchard For June

Jun 4, 2013

1.Postal Service, Brand New Colony

June 12, Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA

2.David Byrne & St. Vincent, I Should Watch TV

NHPR / Michael Brindley

So what is the real Taste of Milford?

Sean Trombly of Trombly Gardens believes he’s found it.

“I always tell people this is the true taste of Milford,” he said, as he served up a beef slider along Middle Street. “This is Milford-raised beef.”

What Is N.H. Food?

Jun 3, 2013
Brady Carlson / NHPR

This week on All Things Considered we’re kicking off a feature on local food, which we’re calling Foodstuffs.

Local food is growing in New Hampshire – both in its size and its popularity. But it can be difficult to explain just what makes our state's food unique. NHPR's Brady Carlson takes us on a quest to find the answer.

lancesbrewerytour.com

Meet Lance and Aaron Rice, whose project “Lance’s Brewery Tour” will be taking them across the country to some the best breweries in North America. Since launching “Lance’s Brewery Tour; A Beer Genius with Autism and His Dream.” on Kickstarter on May 13th, they have begun to receive national attention for the project.

Lance Rice is a brewery historian, who for forty years has been becoming an expert on all things beerish. He plans to write a book about North American breweries and their history, based partially on the trip he hopes to take with his nephew, Aaron. The kicker in all this is that Lance has autism.

Rebecca Zeiber / N.H. Sea Grant

We don’t often hear about seafood in our beer but it’s actually not new. Oyster stout was the traditional seafood beer in the 18th century when regular stouts were accompanied by oysters in local taverns and pubs. Later, oysters were incorporated into the brewing process which was first documented in the 1930s. That’s what we call “oyster stout” today. It fell out of fashion for a few decades but as craft beers become increasingly popular in New England, several brands are coming out with their own take. Harpoon did an oyster stout a few years ago and, last year, Dogfish Head made a very bitter chocolate lobster beer.


The Thing in the Spring Facebook

The Thing in the Spring is coming to downtown Peterborough, New Hampshire next weekend, June 6-9th. The quirky music and arts festival has over twenty bands playing in various venues around town and its own arts fair. The ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­founders of the festival, Eric Gagne and Mary Goldwaith came to give us the scoop on “The Thing.”

We have music from some of the bands who will be at the festival, under the cut.

Lost Albatross via Flickr Creative Commons

Backyard chicken raising is one of the fastest-growing facets of the local food movement. Cities and towns have been reforming land-use and health policies to accommodate raising chickens…a hobby many picked up after the 2010 outbreak of salmonella that led to the recall of 500 million eggs.

Discovering Expression Through Dance At MoCo Arts

May 25, 2013
Aldo Tapia / Flickr

MoCo Arts wants to change people's lives through creative expression and exposure to the arts. One of its students, Peter Fedrizzi, started dancing when he was 13, after a friend suggested he might have a natural ability for it.

Alex Giron via Flickr Creative Commons

Our favorite content, all in one spit-polished piece of ear candy. 

This week, a program pairs juvenile delinquents with Russian literature, a musician asking NYC commuters what inspires them, a play about traumatic brain injury, Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth, and the healing power of a special horse named Chester.

Pages