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The arts are alive and well in Concord

We salute the Monitor’s continuous attention to Concord’s creative economy. But, let’s not have the take away from its recent editorial be that if two galleries close, the future is bleak. Art is not a commodity that can be easily defined. If we look around our city we can see signs of good tidings. First, there are many successful stores selling all kinds of art on Main Street, from the League of NH Craftsmen to Capitol Craftsmen to Gondwana and others. And, we have seasonal offerings, from the Concord Arts Market to Concord Handmade.

Art is culture. Look at the success of the Capitol Center for the Arts, Red River Theatres, Concord Community Music School and the City Auditorium. And, don’t forget the coming new Bank of NH Performance Stage and the promise of a new performance venue at the historic Phenix Hall . To have this amazing array of cultural centers a mile from each other is unprecedented in a city the size of Concord. Look farther out and see the Hatbox Theatre, Kimball Jenkins School of Art, NHTI’s arts program at The Smokestack Center, and the new Crumpacker Gallery at St. Paul's School.

And, we appreciate the recognition for Creative Concord's partnership with the City of Concord to bring all kinds of public sculpture to Concord's Main Street . This art is indeed for sale, but most of all it is for the enrichment of our community. The program has enlivened the core of our community, and we hope to see it grow to include other parts of the city in the coming months.

Art is everywhere – and while we mourn the closing of two galleries, we are certain that with the blossoming of our new downtown core and the vitality that now defines Concord, new and exciting creative opportunities are just over the horizon. The state of art in Concord is healthy, and the future looks bright.

Jayme Simoes and Byron Champlin, co- chairs, Creative Concord

Tim Sink, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce

(Creative Concord is a standing committee of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce with the purpose of advancing the creative economy in the Capital Region)

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