Thanks to our Program Underwriting Sponsor!
October started off with optimism and our fingers crossed that COVID numbers would be kept at bay so that our class would be able to meet in person for our scheduled class date. Alas that was not to be the case and the Chamber had to pivot at the last minute to schedule our monthly meeting remotely over a 2-day period.
We began the first day by breaking out into Zoom groups to learn more about our fellow classmates and to discuss the What is New Hampshire report from the University of New Hampshire that we were assigned to read for homework. Many of us found the report to be pretty insightful as to the demographics of the state in addition to the economic challenges New Hampshire and its cities face. The conversations were a great way for us to segway into our presentations on the history and culture of Nashua where many of us either live or work.
Dean Shalhoup, Nashua’s town historian and writer for the Nashua Telegraph, started our morning session with an insight into the history of Nashua. As a past den leader and cub master for Cub Scout Pack 253 in Nashua, I was given the opportunity to learn about the origins of the Gate City when my den worked on their Webelo badges. Dean reminded me of the city’s rich culture and the numerous people and events that helped shape Nashua into the great city that it is today.
We heard from several business owners about their local businesses and the support they have received from the City of Nashua. Melissa Coppola spoke about her new business Vibe Yoga which opened recently on Main Street. Her enthusiasm for her business definitely motivated me to get my exercise plan in place for the new year! Cecilia Ulibarri who works for the City of Nashua as the Constituent Services & Cultural Affairs Coordinator and who is the co-founder of Positive Street Arts spoke about her role in promoting the arts in Nashua. Several of her organization’s paintings depicting the life of millworkers are proudly on display in the lobby of Millyard Bank where I work.
Our second day session started with another round of Zoom conversations with several other Nashua faces from the arts community. Sid Ceaser the owner of Sid Ceaser Photography gave us a snap shot into his world of photography while Lindsay Rinaldi, the Executive Director of the Nashua Community Music School, spoke about the role music plays in the arts. The school has adapted during COVID, like many other local businesses, to continue to serve the community by bringing music into the lives of its students. Who knows, she may have inspired me to dust off my piano and tickle the ivories harking back to the days of my grade school piano lessons.
My favorite part of the 2-part session was the Walking Tour of Downtown Art. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have driven by these beautiful art installations around town and have never taken the time to enjoy all the art the city affords us. We were led by Shaunae Nolet from City Arts Nashua to several art spots in downtown Nashua where she gave us a little history of the art pieces and the artists who created them. I can’t wait to walk the tour again with my 91-year-old father as soon as warm weather prevails. Make sure you go to www.downtownnashua.org on your smartphone to download the app which will give you an audio description of the artwork. I’ve taken walking tours in other cities and have really enjoyed them because you can walk at your own pace making stops along the way at various local establishments. If I am able to download the app, so can you. Hope to see you out and about in downtown Nashua soon!
Patty Whitman, Business Analyst, Millyard Bank, Leadership Greater Nashua Class of 2021