Soaking up the Arts in Concord

Amanda Flitter

With Southern New Hampshire’s proximity to Boston and a thriving arts scene on the Seacoast, other pockets of the state sometimes get overlooked for their arts and culture contributions. Fortunately, that is no longer the case for Concord, which has plenty of quaintness and art to go around. When you need something smaller and closer than the big city, Concord gives a hefty dose of arts and charm with half the drive.

Business NH recently dubbed Concord a “City on the Rise,” due in part to its thriving art scene. Concord has even gone so far as to create affordable housing for artists at Mennino Place in an effort to keep talent local and close to downtown.

Capitol Center for the ArtsOne of the most notable fixtures on Main Street is the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 South Main Street). This theater is not to be overlooked, both in the volume of events it puts on (over 200 a year!) and the variety. They have a bit of everything: live music, dance productions, broadcasts of performances from the Metropolitan opera, local comedians, and tours of nationally-recognized theater productions.

 

League of NH Craftsmen StoreDown Main Street is the gallery for the League of N.H. Craftsmen (36 North Main Street). The League encourages and preserves fine contemporary and traditional crafts, and it’s made up of over 750 juried craftspeople. A walk through the gallery spotlights handmade jewelry, pottery, woodwork, fiber arts, and more – and all are locally made. If you’re looking for a high-quality gift for someone who is hard to shop for, you’re sure to find something here. Plus, they often have live craft demonstrations throughout the year.

 

Red River TheatresRed River Theatres (11 South Main Street) is a great alternative to the big chain movie theater. Featuring smaller films and documentaries, it’s a good spot for when you feel like watching something a little off the beaten path. This time of year they often feature the latest Oscar-winning films, so if you are a film nerd, keep your eyes peeled. They also have community-focused events, from “quote-a-longs” of cult classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show to group discussions after hard-hitting documentaries. Did we mention you can get a local beer there to go with your popcorn? You can also feel good when you buy your tickets, because Red River Theatres is a nonprofit.

These three spots are just a few of Main Street’s offerings. Wander further and you’ll find plenty of window shopping and restaurants to top off your day of taking in the Granite State’s arts scene.

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