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NH Art News & Calendar Information  

Friday News Flash

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From October 2, 2009

At the Arts Council

Director Rebecca L. Lawrence Retires
After 22 years in public service for New Hampshire, Rebecca L. Lawrence of Concord has retired from her post as director of the state's arts agency, effective September 30.

A native of Maine, Lawrence graduated from Smith College and held positions at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Waipahu Cultural Garden Park in Hawaii, and the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts before joining the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts in 1987.

During her nine years as assistant director of the State Arts Council, Lawrence realigned the agency's generic grants activity to create specific constituency based programs: Artists’ Services, Organizational Support and Community Arts, which complemented the existing Arts Education program. She also organized a symposium, Beyond the Ramp, to help the arts and historic preservation communities understand and implement the then new Americans with Disabilities Act. As director, a position she held for 13 years, Lawrence oversaw international cultural exchanges, Governors Arts Awards galas, the commissioning and purchase of numerous pieces of art for state collections, and the staging of the New Hampshire program for the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C., and served on boards of regional and national arts organizations. She implemented new legislation calling for a New Hampshire Artist Laureate, developed the concept for a new arts magazine, published a history of the agency, and curated exhibits of work by major artists from the state – all while administering programs and initiatives that benefited the arts, artists, cultural nonprofits, and citizens of New Hampshire.

In speaking about her career, Lawrence notes that her motivation for working to broaden government support for the arts stems from the belief that the arts do have a place in everyone’s life and public support helps everyone, regardless of their circumstances, have access to a wide variety of arts experiences. “I think it’s very important to recognize that impulse that everyone has for beauty and sustenance through soul work, which is what art is, and honor that,” she says.

Lawrence has two daughters, Meghan O’Connor of San Francisco and Dena O’Connor of Istanbul. She is moving to Cape Cod, and plans to continue to advocate for the arts in her retirement.

Register Now!

ArtWorks-NH Artist Exchange happens November 6
Calling all artists, artisans and craftspeople: maximize your marketing efforts and expand your network. This year’s ArtWorks-NH Artist Exchange-South will feature a keynote address by New Hampshire humorist and storyteller Rebecca Rule. Sessions will include marketing strategies and financial fitness. The day will conclude with a presentation of the Artist Innovation Award and a roundtable discussion.

The workshop is scheduled for Friday, November 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester. Registration is $45 for MicroCredit-NH members or $55 for nonmembers. Some scholarships are available. The fee includes morning refreshments and lunch.

Call 800.769.3482 to register.  For more information, visit

The event is sponsored by the N.H. State Council on the Arts, Citizens Bank, St. Mary’s Bank and the N.H. Community Loan Fund.  ArtWorks-NH is managed by MicroCredit-NH, a non-profit program of the Community Loan Fund. 

Congratulations To:

Department of Cultural Resources Commissioner Van McLeod
Commissioner Van McLeod of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources has been named for appearance in the 2010 edition of Presidential Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers. McLeod has served as commissioner of the Department of Cultural Resources since 1992. Previously, he served as producing director at the North Country Center for the Arts, founded and acted as producing director of First Night Concord, and was involved in several other arts organizations throughout New England. In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards, and in 2008 the New Hampshire Film Festival created the annual Van McLeod Achievement Award in his honor. He has received several other accolades throughout his career.

Theatrical Stuff

Papermill Theatre Giving Away Items
North Country Center for the Arts/Papermill Theatre in Lincoln is planning to build a new year-round arts facility, Jean’s Playhouse. Theater staff have moved everything that they plan to use in Jean’s Playhouse out of the Papermill and into storage. However, there are many items that were not moved (set pieces, props, seats, etc). These items will be either donated to other theatres/organizations or thrown out. Interested people are invited to tour the Papermill Theatre and take anything that remains on Saturday, October 10 between 8 a.m. and noon. Please note that it is your responsibility to move and transport items that day.

For directions, visit


hat’s the story with the mosaic?Hopkinton mosaic artist Lizz Van Saun is seeking places to display a mosaic made during Concord’s Market Days.

New Hampshire’s sculptors of the Gilded Age

A column by Barbara Rimkunas, curator of the Exeter Historical Society


Last updated: October 2, 2009

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