Concord, NH’s Cultural Capital, invites the world to see what’s new
There is a renaissance happening in Concord, New Hampshire and the budding arts scene is just a spark in Concord’s reawakening. Every few months there is a new locally owned shop or restaurant opening on Main Street and a boutique hotel will open downtown this summer. Concord now has all the amenities to meet the needs of connoisseurs and creators of art, music, and theatre alike. To share the good news, the Capital City’s chamber has launched a new website at www.visitconcord-nh.com.
The site is part of an ongoing effort to share the stories behind the city’s revival, offering articles and tips on arts, culture, dining, shopping and fun things to do. With its thriving arts scene, Concord NH enjoys the charm of a quintessential New England town with all the cultural assets of a big city and is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
For theatergoers, Concord is home to several venues. Catch a theatrical production, dance performance, or comedy show at the Capitol Center for the Arts, whose varied show offerings are right in the heart of downtown. The City Auditorium also offers a variety of productions, many of which are put on by gifted local arts groups. Hatbox Theatre entertains intimate sized-audiences with improv, magic, poetry, original plays and more. And a fourth stage venue is in the works for next summer.
For art devotees, Concord offers a diverse array of public art, galleries and studios. Here are three popular spots you won’t want to miss. The League of NH Craftsmen headquarters on Main Street hosts a permanent gallery and four themed exhibitions a year. It’s adjacent Craft Center offers classes for all skill levels in many mediums including fiber art, basket weaving, jewelry, wood, glass and more. Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden showcases original art and contemporary craft created by established and emerging regional and national artists. Its annual outdoor sculpture exhibit in the gallery’s tranquil gardens is a wonderful experience for all ages. Kimball Jenkins School of Art is home to two exhibition spaces and hosts contemporary artwork exhibitions, as well as group and solo exhibitions of the region’s finest practicing artists. It also offers classes and workshops for adults, teens and children.
For amateur and seasoned artists alike, Concord has specialty shops where you can find high quality materials and services from locally owned vendors. The Elegant Ewe is a premier destination in the fiber world and carries a wide selection of high quality yarns for a range of projects and tastes.
Instruction is available for knitters and crocheters of all levels. A trained art educator runs The Place Studio and Gallery and provides all the materials necessary for its diverse lineup of classes and drop-in art and craft activities available for all ages. Rowland Studio provides custom framing and digital printing services and creates hand-drawn maps of New Hampshire’s lakes for those who want to take a piece of the Granite State home with them.
Concord is home to some of the best jewelers in the state and whether you’re looking for a custom design or a unique gift you’ll find it here. Capitol Craftsman Romance Jewelers features talented artists and craftsman from around the United States through its handcrafted gift line. Gems First is known for its stunning sketches of one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. A graduate of Parsons School of Design owns Goldsmiths Gallery and the shop specializes in designing or selecting jewelry that complements a customer’s wardrobe and lifestyle. Kristin Kennedy Fine Jewelry is a League of New Hampshire Craftsmen juried member that specializes in working in high-end metals, precious gemstones and organic jewelry design. And throughout the summer there is a weekly arts market in Bicentennial Square each Saturday that features local artisans’ crafts and jewelry.
While in town, catch a movie at Concord’s very own non-profit art house cinema, Red River Theatres. In addition to featuring independent films, and hosting various film festivals, Red River Theatres often sponsors costume parties and film themed events. Amenities include the Indie Café that features locally made wine, beer, sandwiches, and candies.
Concord is blessed to have an abundance of talented musicians and live music can be found throughout the city. The nationally recognized Concord Community Music School hosts more than 200 public concerts each year including jazz, folk and classical performances, and its annual two-day Mandolin Festival draws audiences from all over the world.
During the summer months, True Brew Barista hosts outdoor concerts featuring local musicians every weekend in Bicentennial Square. Audiences can enjoy the cool New Hampshire summer air while sipping on local craft brews and listening to some of the best artists the Capital region has to offer. In June, Market Days, Concord’s three-day street festival, features many live bandsaround the city on three different stages as well asgreat vendors, artwork and food. There’s even an outdoor movie right on North Main Street. Did we mention that the entire festival is free to attend? So, grab your friends and family and start planning your trip to Concord today. It’s a perfect time to visit!