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gaaward2005 Governors Arts Awards

Individual Arts Patron Award Recipient
Joan Farrel, Concord

Joan Farrel has supported many arts organizations over the years, including the Concord Community Music School, the Friends of the Concord City Auditorium, the North Country Chamber Players, and the Capitol Center for the Arts. Farrel’s contributions, which not only take the form of financial support but also personal commitment to advancing local community by supporting its outstanding individual artists, have received both local and national recognition.

Farrel was the lead individual financial support of the Concord Community Music School during its capital campaigns in 1991-1994 and from 1998-2001. She has also been the lead individual donor in every annual fund campaign since 1986. Unlike many donors, she does not shy away from the recognition of her leadership role, using it instead as a platform to influence others to higher levels of financial support.

Farrel’s support is aimed at fostering organizational excellence, as she states, “I want Concord to have a wonderful faculty of exceptional musicians available for the community and I see that happening at the [Concord Community] Music School.” The first time the school made an impression on her was during the illness of her violinist husband 1986. She wandered into the waiting room and sat watching a six-year-old violinist come in for a lesson along with his baby twin brothers. Finding peace there after a difficult day, she continued to attend student recitals where she found comfort. She would often send complimentary notes to the students whose performances she especially enjoyed.

“At the [Concord Community] Music School, she has developed wonderful relationships with faculty, getting to know their children, attending their concerts, and enjoying roaming the halls and knowing people by name,” says Peggy Senter, Director of the Concord Community Music School, “Among New Hampshire’s visual artists, she has enjoyed a similar relationship. Joan has commissioned David Lamb of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters to make exquisite furniture for her home. As is her nature, she takes every opportunity to encourage her friends and guests to commission artists when they compliment her on the furniture and art in her home.”

“In 1991, when the people of Concord rescued the [Concord City Auditorium] from threatened conversion into office space and reinvigorated its use as the home of community-based arts and entertainment, Mrs. Farrel led the effort to return great music to the house. She preserved and restored the very grand and very neglected concord grand piano and provided an upright piano for the orchestra pit. Mrs. Farrel’s gift has created the opportunity for the affordable and accessible presentation of fine musical performances.” Merwyn Bagan, Treasurer of the Concord City Auditorium.

“Starting in 1996 when the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association was in its formative stage, Joan participated in a very significant way of being one of the first patrons…Being a patron is a very selfless endeavor. Although design input is part of being a patron, the willingness to fund something that is to be enjoyed by others for an extended time and provide employment to an artist-craftsman is, to say the least, exceptional.” David Lamb, New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association.

“Joan Farrel has been a leading light in her financial and moral support of artists and arts organizations through the years. She gives annual support to the Capitol Center for the Arts and is a shining example of someone who generously shares her resources, allowing artists to make a living and allowing arts organizations to grow and thrive for the citizens of New Hampshire.” MT Mennino, Director of the Capitol Center for the Arts.


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