Sarah K. Benning is a featured presenter on the Arts Track at the Radically Rural Conference. A self-described rural nomad, she has found her place, for now, in Keene, New Hampshire! We’re so excited she is here with us, and we wanted to share a bit of her story with you.
A Historical Society that brings in innovative practices to celebrate history, culture, and community || by Rick Swanson || For 91 years the Historical Society of Cheshire County has been collecting, preserving, and communicating the history of Cheshire County. We do all the things that other historical societies do – from archives to re-enactments. But that’s not all we do. The museum world is changing and we are changing with it. We fully recognize that people will not return again and again to museums that are just repositories of “old stuff”. Today people support organizations where the public can come to make discoveries about local history and culture, form connections to the past, and create their own sense of place. Our partnerships with artists, writers, and musicians are key ingredients to make that happen.
Two hubs of the Monadnock Region are uniting arts and main street businesses to activate and enliven their communities by hosting arts activities, building partnerships with artists, and encouraging downtown businesses to stay open late every First Friday of the month! Arts are a great driver of tourism, economic activity, and community vibrancy. First Friday Monadnock in Peterborough and First Friday Art Hop in Keene are beginning to build a partnership in which the two groups will come together to co-market the First Friday events in both locations.
Arts education is an equalizer that gives kids in our community - all kids - the skills that help them flourish. That is something that the folks at MoCo Arts in Keene deeply believe in as they work to transform lives through movement and creative expression.
We recently had a chance to talk to their leadership about their programs and their exciting campaign - MoCo Moves: Building MoCo Arts’ Future Capital Campaign - for a brand new facility in Keene for the future of the organization, along with the architect and builders taking on the project. Please enjoy!
I am presently the Resident Artist at the newly formed Tisané Art Residency on a farm in hills of Marlborough. The opportunity to live in the natural beauty of the Monadnock Region is dream come true: a bike rider, hiker and artist dream come true. I feel quite fortunate to be in the political environment of Keene with their progressive commitment to sustainability and be in an area so engaged with the arts. I hope to connect with artists to share ideas and possibly collaborate in creating work related to environmental justice, recycling or material salvage.
Arts Alive! gathered arts leaders, audience members, funders, and community leaders at the Historical Society of Cheshire County on Monday February 12th for 2 hours to discuss access to the arts in the Monadnock region. The conversation was structured to address audience development and community-building.