Old Man of the Mountain: Substance and Symbol

March 5th, 2012 by Melissa

Join the Plymouth Historical Society in welcoming Maggie Stier to Pease Public Library on Tuesday, March 13th as she discusses the “Old Man of the Mountain: Substance and Symbol.”

The story of the Old Man of the Mountain is a story of New Hampshire itself, reflecting our history, arts, literature, As the multi-faceted story of this icon unfolds, the audience will be challenged to think about the different and evolving ways that this image has touched the public imagination over its 200 year history.  The presentation will include images of paintings, literary passages, souvenirs, and film clips of interviews with those closest to the Old Man, and conclude with a discussion of current efforts to memorialize the state symbol.

This presentation is made possible through a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council and is part of their Humanities to Go! program.

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

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: heritage@ncia.net or luphambornstein@plymouth.edu

For more information about the Northern Forest Heritage Park, please visit www.northernforestheritage.org.

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.

“Logging And The Weeks Act” on NHPR’s The Exchange this week

March 28th, 2011 by Alice

"Logging and the Weeks Act" on The Exchange on NHPR. Wednesday, March 30. Live at 9 AM, rebroadcast at 8 PM.

Continuing its series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act (the legislation that created the eastern National Forest system),  The Exchange on NHPR presents; “Logging and The Weeks Act”.

Catch it live on Wednesday, March 30 at 9 AM or when it is rebroadcast that evening at 8 PM.*  If neither of those times is convenient, you can visit the page later and either stream or download the audio file.  Past episodes of the series can be found here.

From the NHPR web page about the broadcast:

    At the turn of the 20th century, forests in the White Mountains were being clear cut and many were worried about the damage logging had done to the White’s.  The Weeks Act of 1911, helped protect these forests by the purchasing of land by the federal government.  Over time standards were set as to the amount loggers could log in the state.  Although they adapted, there have been challenges to the industry.  There has been the debate over logging in road less areas of the White Mountain National Forest as well as the change in industry in the North Country. Paper and pulp mills have been shutting down, while wood pellet and biomass plants have been popping up.  Today as we continue our look at the Weeks Act, we get an update on the logging industry, the challenges they face and what the future may hold for them.

*[Note: if you want to call in and participate, the morning show is the one you want!]

Check Out The Museum of the White Mountains Website!

March 4th, 2011 by Alice

The Museum of the White Mountains’ website is live!   Check it for up-to-date information about on-site and traveling exhibitions, related educational materials, exhibition catalogues, and  online galleries.  Also available are searchable collections, links  to related sites and articles, as well as details about the musuem’s mission and plans.

Paintings like this one by Alvan Fisher (1792-1863) – “Mt Jefferson, on route from Gorham to the Glen House” can be viewed in person or online.

 

The official opening of the Museum of the White Mountains is scheduled for February 2013 and will include gallery, exhibition, and classroom space, an auditorium, state-of-the-art digital learning resources,  interpretive trail, and meeting space.  Poised at the entrance to the White Mountain National Forest and benefitting from PSU’s educational, archival, and curatorial resources, the Museum of the White Mountains is uniquely suited to gathering and preserving important historical, technical, and cultural artifacts of the region for public and scholarly access.  The museum was established with the donation of a remarkable collection of artifacts by the late Daniel Noel of Intervale, NH.

Museum director Catherine Amidon has an extensive background in regional cultural arts curation and gallery direction.  The Museum of the White Mountains is of particular interest to her owing to both her New England roots and lifetime history of outdoor recreation in the White Mountains.

Lindsay Burke, collections assistant, has twin interests in exhibit design and installation, and collection organization, cataloguing, and care.

 

Some Things Really DO Require an Act of Congress…

February 15th, 2011 by Alice

On February 10, 2011, the 112th Congress of the United States of America passed House Resolution 84 commemorating the enactment and enduring legacy of the Weeks Act. The Weeks Act established public policy for formal collaborations between state and federal governments to manage forest land in the eastern United States, culminating in the establishment of the eastern National Forests. Initially born of conservation concerns for the vulnerable forested regions of the White Mountains and southern Appalachia, the eastern National Forest system has grown to include fifty-two forests in twenty-six states, comprising nearly 25,000,000 acres of land.

"...streams that were once filled with silt and debris now flow clean and clear, degraded habitats have been restored, and fish and game have returned..."

National Forests differ from National Parks in several ways, including how they integrate land use and conservation efforts. National Forests, for example, include the sustainable growth and harvesting of timber and other renewable forest products.

In 1911, much of what residents and visitors now experience as lush, beautiful forests and grasslands, was barren and battered, denuded by short-sighted harvesting practices. Precious top soil was exposed to harsh weather conditions and blew away. Run-off from the damaged land and other side-effects of poor forest management rendered rivers and streams increasingly inhospitable to plants and animals. John W Weeks viewed forests as renewable resources that could be managed to the benefit of their health and longevity, even while meeting the relentless demand for high quality timber, wood pulp, and other forest resources.

John W Weeks served the nation first as a Representative (1905-1913), then a Senator (1913-1919), and finally as the Secretary of War (1921-1925) in the Cabinets of Presidents Harding and Coolidge.  Understanding the context in which the Weeks Act was signed into law helps us to see that many things we might take for granted–such as the existence of the forests for recreation, economic gain, and scientific inquiry–are actually the result of one man’s visionary efforts to design and implement a system that would support effective conservation-oriented land management practices.  Though he died in 1926, scarcely fifteen years after the signing of the Act named for him, the forests for which he advocated with such dedication already showed signs of recovery.  H. Res. 84 honors his public service, inspired vision, and the present day results of his remarkable accomplishment.  To read the full text of the Resolution, Click Here.

To keep up with events, exhibitions, educational opportunities, historical and cultural information and other resources related to the Centennial Celebration of the Weeks Act, please visit www.WeeksLegacy.org and http://www.plymouth.edu/center-for-rural-partnerships/weeks-act/

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
MSC 68, 17 High St.
Plymouth State University

(603) 535-3275 (Voice)
psu-cfrp@plymouth.edu

Ben Amsden
Interim Director
blamsden@plymouth.edu
(603) 535-3276

Marylynn Cote
Administrative Assistant
mcote9@plymouth.edu
(603) 535-3271

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