Artist Spotlight: Children & The Arts Festival

This month, we are pleased to spotlight this year's Children and The Arts Festival in Peterborough. Please enjoy!


Please explain the basics about Children and the Arts Festival (CATA).


The mission of the Children and the Arts Festival is to offer a free arts festival to celebrate art made by, for and with our children. We aim to provide an art event for every student from public, private and home-schooled groups, to provide an opportunity for local children’s art organizations to showcase talents, and to provide venues for professional artists, especially local, to perform and share their craft.


The Children and the Arts Festival started 24 years ago as the result of an arts grant.  This grant stipulated that the art created with the grant funds be shared with the greater community. Jeannie Connolly, Terry Reeves, and other members of the community have served to grow the Festival over the years to its' current scope. We now have Hands-On areas, concessions provided by local non-profit groups, artist performers, residencies in local schools building up to the festival, and a parade which showcases children and their art.  For the last several years, we have selected a theme and everyone rallies their creative output around that theme.

Please explain CATA’s commitment to the arts in the Monadnock Region.

The Children and the Arts Festival Committee is made up of artists, teachers, parents, community members and others who are passionate about arts and children.  We recognize the importance of art in our region and know that by sowing the seeds while children are young, they will carry this love of art into whatever their future brings. The Festival brings between 4-5,000 people to downtown Peterborough on the third Saturday in May.

Is CATA collaborative? How so? How does CATA work with artists & arts related organizations?

The Children and the Arts Festival Committee works with local and regional artists, hiring them to provide residency experiences, perform or assist with Hands-On activities. We also provide a venue for local student performing groups - dancers, singers, acting troupes, and others to perform for their community. We know that the stipend provided to our artists is just one small way of thanking them for investing in the future of the arts in our region. We bring performers here that many of our children would otherwise not be able to experience.

What is CATA’s vision for the arts in the Region and the surrounding regions? And, NH for that matter?! How will CATA work to make that happen?

The Children and the Arts Festival Committee feels that art makes our community rich.  Families have told us that the Children and the Arts Festival contributed to their moving here. Businesses and citizens step up each year with in-kind and financial contributions.  Folks who have grown up here talk about how they remember "the day that the town is turned over to the children"!

All events on the day itself are free to attendees. The Festival is funded by local donors, businesses, and foundations. If you'd like to donate or volunteer, click HERE.


We focus on youth in the ConVal School District. Programs, schedules, and addition information are on our website: or on Facebook.