PSU Students Named “Young Preservationists” by the NH Preservation Alliance

October 24th, 2011 by CfRP

Photo from the Berlin Daily Sun

October 24, 2011PSU students who participated in the Brown Company Research & Development Building public mural project are being honored as the inaugural recipients of the “Young Preservationists” award from the NH Preservation Alliance.

The Alliance is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of events and the institution of this new award intended to honor contributions made by young adults that support, communicate, and highlight important  NH places, innovations, and other artifacts of cultural and historical significance.  The recipients are invited to participate in a number of events over the coming months.  Their specific contributions will be featured and celebrated at these events.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

The mural panels are the high-profile centerpiece of a trio of collaborative projects intended to feature the unique and powerful history of innovation of Brown Company in Berlin, NH.  Comprising twenty-four 4’x8′ painted panels, the exhibit is on display on the street-facing side of the building where it will remain until the restoration is complete.  After that, the panels will move indoors to become a permanent exhibit.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

The mural project came about when Jim Wagner (Northern Forest Heritage Park and Brown Research Building Rehabilitation Project) and DES representative, Keith DuBois, inspected the building and determined that a protective solution to the leaking windows of the building’s west wing needed to be implemented as soon as possible.  (The wing is slated for environmental remediation and historic rehabilitation, as was completed in the building’s east wing.)  DuBois had the idea of covering the windows with student art projects and an idea was born.

Wagner, who has collaborated with the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University on other projects in the past, saw an opportunity to involve PSU students in a one-of-a-kind project to educate the public and celebrate an important part of Berlin’s history.  He contacted Thad Guldbrandsen, who connected with faculty members Tom Driscoll and (now Dean of Arts & Sciences) Cynthia Vascak.  Tom offered to create a public mural course for the Spring 2011 semester and the planning phase began in earnest.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Students visited the site, interviewed content experts, developed and proposed multiple designs, and executed the final version—all within the bounds of a single semester!

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Involved in the project were: Olivia Benish, Michelle Boudreau, Brittany Connors, Nicole Copple, Nathan Cote, Katie Cotoir, Elizabeth Dalp, Meredith Gourley, Tara Krehbiel, Craig Maines, Kristin Sarette, and Sam Smart.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Kaleb Hart captured the project in progress with photographs (including those featured in this post) and is producing a video documentary.

The mural project required collaboration and support from a wide range of participants, including funders, off-campus organizations and suppliers, content experts, and others.  In addition to securing partial funding and networking to connect with supportive suppliers, Jim Wagner coordinated the off-campus participants and installation of the panels.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

PSU contributions included course development and execution (Tom Driscoll), project facilitation (Thad Guldbrandsen), content review (Linda Upham-Bornstein), design and execution (PSU students), and project proposal development/management (Alice Richmond).  The project was funded, in part, by the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation via the CfRP’s Coös County Outreach Initiative.






Experience Caravanserei in NH!

October 12th, 2011 by Alice

Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet brings Muslim art and artists to American audiences

October 12, 2011—The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (AANNH) will host Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet in a special activity-packed residency from October 16-22, 2011.  This year’s residencies feature the creative arts of Pakistan.  The AANNH residency hosts two musical groups: Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin & Brothers and the Tari Khan Ensemble.

Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin & Brothers are the direct descendents of the first choirs to sing in the Khusrou qawwali tradition, more than 700 years ago.  They are considered the present-day torch bearers of this transcendent form of Sufi devotional music.  The Caravanserai residencies mark their first appearances in the U.S.

The Tari Khan Ensemble is led by percussionist Ustad Tari Khan, internationally acclaimed as “The Tabla Prince of India and Pakistan.”  Tablas are hand drums that whose mastery results in a wide array of sounds and tones.  His mesmerizing tabla performance will be accompanied by additional percussionists playing dholis.  Dholis are double-headed drums worn suspended from a strap across the player’s neck.  The player holds a different kind of stick in each hand and plays both ends of the drum simultaneously while spinning.

In addition to the culminating concert, the schedule of events includes a vegetarian potluck welcoming reception, world music jam, an intergenerational drumming workshop, and two informal presentations (for schedule details, click here).  All events except the final concert are free and open to people of all ages.

Launched by Arts Midwest in 2010 (on behalf of the US Regional Arts Organizations) with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Caravanserai residencies provide  American audiences a unique opportunity to “experience the diversity of contemporary Muslim artistic expressions.”   The AANNH is honored to be one of only five organizations in America selected as a host for the 2011-2012 season.  Please attend one or more of these unique and enriching events!

(Click the images below for one-page PDF study guides about each of the artists!)

Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin & Brothers








Tari Khan Ensemble

Green Mountain Foliage Festival Celebrates the Weeks Act

September 26th, 2011 by Melissa

Head over to the Green Mountain National Forest to celebrate 100 years of the Weeks Act and enjoy the fall foliage at Sugarbush Resort at Lincoln Peak in Warren, VT on Sunday, October 2 from 1-5 pm.

The free, rain or shine event will feature: live music by the Starline Rhythm Boys; foliage tours (by chairlift); environmental and conservation exhibits; a recognition ceremony; local premiere of “Legacy of the Weeks Act” film; nature tours; a discussion about heritage resources on the Forest; and other kid-friendly outdoor activities. Retail food and beverages will be available.

For complete details, please visit the Green Mountain Club’s website.

Lake Winnipesauke Museum Upcoming Events

August 31st, 2011 by Melissa

The Lake Winnipesaukee Museum announces several upcoming events during the month of September.

September 10th at 11 a.m. “Civil War”
Steven Class

September 17th at 11 a.m. “What Lies Beneath”
Hans Hug, Jr.

September 21st at 7 p.m. “Franklin Fire Department”
Andrew Nadeau

The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society was founded in 1985 with the goal of opening a facility dedicated to the rich history of Lake Winnipesaukee. In June 2004 the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum opened its doors to the public.

In 2008, the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society won the Finlay Foundation award for adding the most members of any non-profit organization in NH. The grand prize was $25,000. The Museum is now utilizing those funds to make renovations to the existing museum building which will more than double its meeting and exhibit space.

For additional information, news, and more about our friends at the Museum, please visit the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum’s website.

Weeks Act Centennial Festival = Great Success

August 4th, 2011 by Melissa

Campton, N.H., August 01, 2011—The White Mountain National Forest would like to thank all the exhibitors, partners, artists, and volunteers, for participating in the July 29, 2011, Weeks Act Centennial Festival. Your enthusiasm and energy truly made the festival a success and we appreciate your presence.

The event—commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act—attracted several hundred people (and over 50 retirees) to the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road to learn more about the National Forest, wood products, outdoor safety, water, and much more. Music, storytelling, and historical interpretations were entertaining and educational. Demonstrations from expert wood workers exhibiting their crafts were major highlights along with the hands on activities in the Family Pavilion.

“Having all our partners and friends in conservation and tourism along with the great group of retirees join us in this event was a clear statement of the legacy of the Weeks Act and the White Mountain National Forest,” reflected Forest Supervisor Thomas Wagner. “It’s in large part due to the Weeks Act that the White Mountain National Forest is here today, providing clean water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, forest products, and many other unique opportunities.”

For those who were unable to attend the festival, the Weeks Act made the creation of the National Forests east of the Mississippi River possible. This landmark piece of conservation legislation helped to create 41 National Forests in the Eastern United States. The Society for Protection of NH Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Plymouth State University, Weeks State Park Association, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, members of the Weeks family, and the White Mountain National Forest, will be providing several more activities and celebrations for the Weeks Act Centennial throughout the rest of the year. You can find a current list of events at

For more information on the White Mountain National Forest please visit or call (603) 536-6100.

Brown Company R&D Mural Unveiled: PSU Student Work Receives Rave Reviews!

July 29th, 2011 by CfRP


Berlin NH July 29, 2011—A series of twenty-four 4’x8′ mural panels depicting scenes that capture elements of Berlin’s scientific and cultural history were unveiled  this week as part of a trio of events celebrating the restoration of the Brown Company Research & Development Building.  An article in the Berlin Daily Sun tells the story in greater detail.  Click here to read more!

Photo from the Berlin Daily Sun

The mural project idea was fostered by a conversation between Jim Wagner (Northern Forest Heritage Park and Brown Company Research and Development Building Rehabilitation Project) and Keith DuBois (NH Department of Environmental Services) about the ongoing destruction to the West Wing of the R&D building resulting from twenty-four damaged windows on the street-facing side.  DuBois suggested the idea of having them covered with student art and Wagner, who has worked with the Center for Rural Partnerships on other projects, contacted us right away.  PSU Art department faculty member, Tom Driscoll, was enthusiastic about the project and created a course in public mural art for the Spring 2011 semester.

From there, the project grew to include substantial support from community businesses and an array of funding sources.  Wagner and Linda Upham-Bornstein provided cultural and historical expertise to guide the students in their design process.  PSU student, Kaleb Hart (2011), documented the process and installation in photographs and video.

The panels will protect the building during its restoration and then move indoors to become a permanent exhibit.

Public feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  At the unveiling, people volunteered that they altered their routes to come and see the panels and that the images make them feel proud.

The students involved in the project include: Michelle Boudreau, Tara Krebiel, Kristin Sarette, Olivia Benish, Katie Cotoir, Nathan Cote, Sam Smart, Craig Maines, Elizabeth Dalp, Nicole Copple, Meredith Gourley, and Brittany Connors.


Upcoming Events in Berlin Celebrate the Northern Forest Heritage Park

July 19th, 2011 by Melissa

Tri-County Community Action Program, in coordination with The Northern Forest Heritage Park and The Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University invite you to the unveiling of three exciting projects based on the Brown Company Research Building:

  • Student murals covering the west windows on the Research Building
  • A student film project documenting the research and production of the murals
  • An exhibition on Brown Company’s “Industrial Explorers

Please join us to celebrate this exciting and unique partnership and to help raise awareness about the Brown Company Research Building and some of the great things happening in Berlin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
5:00 p.m.
at the NFHP Bunk House
961 Main Street, Berlin, NH

R.S.V.P. Northern Forest Heritage Park, (603) 752 -7202
via email: or

For more information about the Northern Forest Heritage Park, please visit

Support for these projects was provided by Plymouth State University, Tri-County CAP, The Northern Forest Heritage Park, White Mountain Lumber, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, A. R. Couture Construction Corporation, the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and several volunteers.

Mark Your Calendar! July 29 Festival at Mount Washington!

July 19th, 2011 by Alice

On Friday, July 29, from 9am-3pm, organizations from all over are hosting a festival celebrating this historic event.  It will take place at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road.  (Click to view Google Map)  There will be music, hands-on activities, storytelling, and more!

This article in the Nashua Telegraph tells more about the history of the Act, its relevance today, and details about the festival.

2011 is the centennial anniversary of the Weeks Act, named for New Hampshire native John Wingate Weeks.  This act established the Eastern National Forests, of which we have a stunning local example: the White Mountain National Forest.

The July 29th festival is presented by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF), the Weeks State Park Association, and the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF).







For more information about the Weeks Act, events, and other resources, please visit:

Upcoming Events at St. Kieran Performing Arts Center

July 14th, 2011 by Melissa

Berlin-“Imagined” the critically acclaimed tour celebrating the Songs of John Lennon will be presented by the Nu-Utopians, a seven member folk/rock band at St. Kieran Arts Center on Thursday, July 21 at 7 pm. Tickets $12 adults, $6 students.

In a labor of love, celebrated folk/rockers Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Dean of Devonsquare have teamed up with Tom’s former band mate Alana MacDonald and a host of talented musicians to recapture the spirit of John Lennon’s legendary music.

The Nu-Utopians (formerly the John Lennon Song Project) is a unique and compelling 7-piece band that celebrates the genius and artistry of John Lennon, one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Created and led by Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Dean of Devonsquare, the ensemble gives remarkably fresh treatments to Lennon’s best and least known Beatles and solo songs that often inspire a whole new appreciation for John’s music.

The band’s live show features entertaining storytelling, and like their CD Imagined, superb lead singing and 3-part harmonies, plus a host of talented musicians on acoustic, electric and bass guitars, cello, violin, mandola, accordion, chromatic harmonica and light percussion. In a series of singles and mini-medleys, the band’s arrangements frequently involve weaving melody, lyric and song together in new and unexpected ways.

Rex Fowler and Tom Dean emerged as prominent folk/rock artists in the 1970s. Rex’s band, Aztec Two-Step, burst upon the scene with their self-titled debut album on Elektra Records in 1972. Tom Dean’s band Devonsquare was signed by Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary Chairman of Atlantic Records, after hearing Dean’s “Walking On Ice” from their self-released album of the same name.  Collectively Rex and Tom have toured worldwide, been reviewed in Rolling Stone, performed on David Letterman and shared stages with such musical luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and The Band.

When looking for a new name for this unique group touring project focuss“Celebrating the Songs of John Lennon” we went with The Nu-Utopians. It’s simple. It rolls off the tongue and it references Nutopia, the fictitious country that John and Yoko founded in 1973 as a symbolic refuge for themselves and like-minded people seeking world peace.

This program is sponsored by Woodlands Credit Union and is made possible with support of the NH State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation/North Country’s Art Ventures Fund, an Anonymous Fund, Libby Family Fund, North Country Region Community Fund and the Stanton and Elizabeth Davis Fund.

The 2011 Summer Series includes the spectacular mini-series: August “Celtic Mondays”: The Spinney Brothers, August 1; De Temps Antan, August 8; Ashlin, August 15; JJ Chaisson’s PEI Kitchen Party, August 22 and The Tartan Terrors on August 29.  Ticket are $15-20 and are available at the door. Seats are discounted $2 for St. Kieran Season Members.

For a full schedule of events contact the Arts Center at 752-1028, 155 Emery Street or visit

Brown Company R&D: “Industrial Explorers” Exhibition Online

July 13th, 2011 by Alice

The “Industrial Explorers” exhibition of panels tracing the origins and history of the innovative Brown Company Research and Development group is now available to view online and to download (see links below).

The Berlin, NH, company pioneered a number of innovations, driven by a desire to make better use of the forest as a resource for a wide array of products—from “aeroplane spruce” to “kraft” pulp/paper, and including some unlikely stops along the way (“Kream Krisp,” anyone?).

Below are links to two files and one web page. The first is to a file of the panels, themselves. The second is a transcription of the text on the panels. The third is a page on this website, where you can view images of the panels.  We’ll post a link to an online slide-show version of the exhibition in the near future.



JPEG Panel Images

Please contact Linda Upham-Bornstein, who did the research and developed the content of the exhibition, with questions or comments.  She can be reached best via email:

All of the photos used on the panels came from the Beyond Brown Paper collection, which you can view and annotate online at:

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