Welcome!

All the events listed in this calendar are funded in whole or part by New Hampshire Humanities, and all are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Many of these events are Humanities to Go programs your organization can book, made possible in part by generous support from Consolidated Communications.

View a PDF of our quarterly publication, the Summer 2019 issue of Engage!

For previous editions of our newsletter, click here.

Our Humanities to Go Catalog is available online.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Chapin Senior Center | New London, NH

Telling personal and family stories is fun - and much more. Storytelling connects strangers, strengthens links between generations, and gives children the self-knowledge to carry them through hard times. Knowledge of family history has even been linked to better teen behavior and mental health. In this active and interactive program, storyteller Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories. Participants practices finding, developing, and telling their own tales.

Strawbery Banke TYCO Visitors Center | Portsmouth, NH

Join us for the fourth program in "Ideas on Tap," a quarterly series of pint-sized conversations about big ideas. On June 4th in Portsmouth, we'll explore the historical forces that have shaped income inequality in New Hampshire. What are the impacts of the creative economy and tourism on wealth in the Granite State? Join us for a discussion about the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. Cost is $15 per person and includes appetizers and one beverage (beer, wine, or non-alcoholic drink) in the relaxed atmosphere of the Tyco Center at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth.

Court Street Arts @ Alumni Hall | Haverhill, NH

The native Abenaki people played a central role in the history of the Monadnock region, defending it against  English settlement and forcing the abandonment of Keene and other Monadnock area towns during the French and Indian Wars. Despite this, little is known about the Abenaki, and conventional histories often depict the first Europeans entering an untamed, uninhabited wilderness, rather than the homeland of people who had been there for hundreds of generations.

Gilford Public Library | Gilford, NH

For more than 200 years historians believed that Darby Field made the first climb up Mount Washington in 1642. However, in the last several decades, questions have emerged about his use of Native American guides, about the likelihood of prior ascents by Native Americans, about the route Field may have followed on the mountain, and about whether Field actually made the ascent as claimed. Allen Koop examines how historians reconstruct the "truth" when given scant, vague, and even contradictory evidence.   

Meredith Community Center | Meredith, NH

Jo Radner shares a selection of historical tales-humorous and thought-provoking-about New Englanders who have used their wits in extraordinary ways to solve problems and create inventions. The stories are engaging and entertaining, but also may raise some profound questions about our admiration of ingenuity and about the ethics of pursuing discoveries without taking their potential outcomes into account. The performance will include discussion with the audience, and may introduce a brief folktale or a poem about inventiveness and problem-solving.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Kimball Public Library | Atkinson, NH

During the height of the Blizzard of 1978 the pilot boat Can Do, with five men onboard, set out from Gloucester to assist a lost Coast Guard boat and an oil tanker that was in a Mayday situation. Ten Hours Until Dawn tells the story of what happened on that awful night when the seas were producing monstrous waves of 40 feet and the wind was screaming at 100 miles per hour.Using slides of the boats, the men involved, and photos of the storm, Michael Tougias will take the viewer through this incredible night where many lives hung in the balance.

Rodgers Memorial Library | Hudson, NH

In this first-person interpretive program, Judith Black introduces American Lucy Stone, the first woman hired by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society as a public speaker and the "Shining Star" of the Abolition and Women's Rights Movements. The presenter dispels well-worn platitudes about the antebellum North by interjecting historic and personal truths about these social reform movements. Her presentation also paints a dynamic and detailed picture of what it takes to change the world you are born into.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hampstead Public Library | Hampstead, NH

Join New Hampshire Humanities staff Susan Hatem and Dr. Tricia Peone for an informal presentation about our work and resources for your organization. Librarians, nonprofit directors and education and programming staff; community volunteers; and human resource professionals will all find something useful. Bring your ideas and questions!

Please contact Susan Hatem at shatem@nhhumanities.org to host a session in your area.

Lincoln Public Library | Lincoln, NH

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called "founders," the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned.

Madison Library Chick Room | Madison, NH

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Hut System is a unique institution in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Allen Koop explores how the huts and the people who built, maintain and use them have formed a world apart, a mountain society with its own history, traditions, and legends.  

 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Campton Public Library | Campton, NH

Rebecca Noel explores the sometimes alarming, sometimes hilarious backstory of what we now know as gym class. Physicians worried since the Renaissance that the sedentary, scholarly life makes people sick. They focused on varying concerns over time: digestive woes, melancholy, tuberculosis, spinal curvature, reproductive weakness. The problem widened along with access to education during the Enlightenment and into the 1800s.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Plains Cemetery | Kingston, NH

Rubbings, photographs, and slides illustrate the rich variety of gravestones to be found in our own neighborhoods, but they also tell long-forgotten stories of such historical events as the Great Awakening, the Throat Distemper epidemic, and the American Revolution. Find out more about these deeply personal works of art and the craftsmen who carved them with Glenn Knoblock, and learn how to read the stone "pages" that give insight into the vast genealogical book of New Hampshire in this special "Humanities in Action" program.

 

East Grafton Union Church | Grafton, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.   

Sugar Hill Meetinghouse | Sugar Hill, NH

Deborah Anne Goss appears as Abby Hutchinson Patton, recalling mid-19th-century U.S. and New Hampshire history and performing rousing anthems, heartfelt ballads, and humorous ditties sung during anti-slavery and early women's rights struggles. In the 1840s and 1850s the Hutchinson Family Singers strongly influenced the opinions of the era with their popular songs promoting healthy living and social justice-most prominently the abolition of slavery. Participants are encouraged to join in the singing on several choruses or read a poem or political diatribe of the time.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

First Congregational Church of Hopkinton Parish Hall | Hopkinton, NH

New England's colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities.  Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition" meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.  

Monday, June 10, 2019

Abbott Library | Sunapee, NH

On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor'easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Franconia Town Hall | Franconia, NH

Drawing on research from her book, Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire, the Present, the Past, and the Future, Rebecca Rule regales audiences with stories of the rituals, traditions, and history of town meeting, including the perennial characters, the literature, the humor, and the wisdom of this uniquely New England institution.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Stephenson Memorial Library | Greenfield, NH

Traditional songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, present the latest news from the distant past. They help us to interpret present-day life with an understanding of the working people who built our country. Tavern songs, banjo tunes, 18th century New England hymns, sailor songs, and humorous stories about traditional singers and their songs highlight this informative program by Jeff Warner. 

Quincy Bog Nature Center | Rumney, NH

Jose Lezcano presents a multi-media musical program that showcases the guitar in Latin America as an instrument that speaks many languages. Lezcano presents a variety of musical styles: indigenous strummers in ritual festivals from Ecuador, Gaucho music from Argentina, European parlor waltzes from Venezuela, and Afro-Brazilian samba-pagode. He also plays pieces by Villa-Lobos, Brouwer, Lauro, Barrios, Pereira, and examples from his Fulbright-funded research in Ecuador. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Seabrook Library | Seabrook, NH

As the federal government continues to address new national security issues in the wake of September 11, 2001, the uneasy balance between security and civil liberties is receiving renewed attention. Richard Hesse considers the trade-offs and considerations facing citizens and non-citizens alike. 

Barnstead Town Hall | Center Barnstead, NH

Drawing heavily on the repertoire of traditional singer Lena Bourne Fish (1873-1945) of Jaffrey and Temple, New Hampshire, Jeff Warner offers the songs and stories that, in the words of Carl Sandburg, tell us "where we came from and what brought us along." These ballads, love songs and comic pieces, reveal the experiences and emotions of daily life in the days before movies, sound recordings and, for some, books.

Hill Library | Strafford, NH

In 1837, teenaged Victoria ascended to the British throne, untrained and innocent. Those who would try to usurp her power underestimated this self-willed intelligent young woman whose mettle sustained her through her 63-year reign. Using Queen Victoria's diary and letters, this program reveals the personal details of a powerful yet humane woman, who took seriously her role as monarch in a time of great expansion. She and her husband, Albert, set an example of high moral character and dedication, a novelty in the royal house after generations of scandal.

Rochester Historical Society Museum | Rochester, NH

In their more than two and a half centuries of existence, members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, made ingenious contributions to diverse fields: agriculture, industry, medicine, music, furniture design, women's rights, racial equality, craftsmanship, social and religious thought, and mechanical invention and improvement.  Darryl Thompson explores some of these contributions in his lecture and shares some of his personal memories of the Canterbury Shakers.

Wilmot Public Library | Wilmot, NH

In one of the most famous reincarnations of all time, Arthur Conan Doyle killed off his world-renowned detective Sherlock Holmes, only to bring him back to life several years later. What caused Doyle's disenchantment with his creation and what led to his resurrection? Ingrid Graff discusses Doyle's life and writings and above all his relationship with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Peterborough Town Library | Peterborough, NH

Movies help us experience each other and the world around us, can educate and enlighten us, and can lead to meaningful and much-needed discourse. Lights, Camera, Civics! hopes to be a catalyst for such conversations. For that reason, New Hampshire Humanities has awarded a grant to the NH Institute for Civics Education for film screenings in all ten NH counties to generate multigenerational conversations about law, justice, and civics.  The film chosen this year is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Antrim Town Hall | Antrim, NH

Movies help us experience each other and the world around us, can educate and enlighten us, and can lead to meaningful and much-needed discourse. Lights, Camera, Civics! hopes to be a catalyst for such conversations. For that reason, New Hampshire Humanities has awarded a grant to the NH Institute for Civics Education for film screenings in all ten New Hampshire counties to generate multigenerational conversations about law, justice, and civics. The film chosen this year is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Peterborough Town Library | Peterborough, NH

Movies help us experience each other and the world around us, can educate and enlighten us, and can lead to meaningful and much-needed discourse. Lights, Camera, Civics! hopes to be a catalyst for such conversations. For that reason, New Hampshire Humanities has awarded a grant to the NH Institute for Civics Education for film screenings in all ten NH counties to generate multigenerational conversations about law, justice, and civics.  The film chosen this year is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Bradford Old Post Office | Bradford, NH

Quilts tell stories, and quilt history is full of myths and misinformation as well as heart-warming tales of service and tradition. Nearly every world culture that has cold weather uses quilted textiles-quilting is NOT just an American art. Pam Weeks weaves world history, women's history, industrial history and just plain wonderful stories into her presentation. Participants are invited to bring one quilt for identification and/or story sharing.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bow Mills Methodist Church | Bow , NH

Following World War II, New Hampshire embarked on an extensive program of constructing new highways and improving existing roads to accommodate explosive growth in passenger vehicles and the need for better infrastructure to accommodate commercial traffic. Hundreds of millions in federal, state, and local tax dollars would be expended on this initiative over the second half of the 20th century and road construction would become an enduring part of the state's economy.

Gilford Community Church | Gilford, NH

Quilts tell stories, and quilt history is full of myths and misinformation as well as heart-warming tales of service and tradition. Nearly every world culture that has cold weather uses quilted textiles-quilting is NOT just an American art. Pam Weeks weaves world history, women's history, industrial history and just plain wonderful stories into her presentation. Participants are invited to bring one quilt for identification and/or story sharing.

Moultonborough Public Library | Moultonborough, NH

This program opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce during the telling. He transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to trace back with him the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Old Baptist Church | Salisbury, NH

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface.  

Londonderry Historical Society | Londonderry, NH

Glenn Knoblock explores the fascinating history of New Hampshire's beer and ale brewing industry from Colonial days, when it was home- and tavern-based, to today's modern breweries and brew pubs. Unusual and rare photos and advertisements document this changing industry and the state's earliest brewers, including the renowned Frank Jones. A number of lesser-known brewers and breweries that operated in the state are also discussed, including the only brewery owned and operated by a woman before the modern era.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Castle in the Clouds Carriage House | Moultonborough, NH

Northern New England is full of reminders of past lives: stone walls, old foundations, a century-old lilac struggling to survive as the forest reclaims a once-sunny dooryard. What forces shaped settlement, and later abandonment, of these places? Adair Mulligan explores the rich story to be discovered in what remains behind. See how one town has set out to create an inventory of its cellar holes, piecing together the clues in the landscape.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

South Congregational Church | Newport, NH

Quilts tell stories, and quilt history is full of myths and misinformation as well as heart-warming tales of service and tradition. Nearly every world culture that has cold weather uses quilted textiles-quilting is NOT just an American art. Pam Weeks weaves world history, women's history, industrial history and just plain wonderful stories into her presentation. Participants are invited to bring one quilt for identification and/or story sharing.

YMCA of Downtown Manchester | Manchester, NH

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called "founders," the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned.

Shedd-Porter Memorial Library | Alstead, NH

Stories speak to us of community. They hold our history and reflect our identity.  Rebecca Rule has made it her mission over the last 20 years to collect stories of New Hampshire, especially those that reflect what's special about this rocky old place.  She'll tell some of those stories - her favorites are the funny ones - and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own.  

Kimball Public Library | Atkinson, NH

This program opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce during the telling. He transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to trace back with him the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work.

The Stone Chapel at Proctor Academy | Andover, NH

The Starry Messenger, presented by Michael Francis, is a dramatic fun-filled adaptation of Galileo's short treatise "Siderius Nuncius." Galileo (dressed in 17th-century costume) arrives to present a public lecture on his most recent discoveries made using his newly-devised spyglass. As he describes those discoveries, Galileo's new method of observation and measurement of nature become apparent. Throughout the presentation audience members are actively involved in experiments and demonstrations. After the lecture, Galileo answers questions about his experiments, his life, and his times.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Stoddard Town Hall | Stoddard, NH

Hundreds of one-room schools dotted the landscape of New Hampshire a century ago and were the backbone of primary education for generations of children. Revered in literature and lore, they actually were beset with problems, some of which are little changed today. The greatest issue was financing the local school and the vast differences between taxing districts in ability to support education. Other concerns included teacher preparation and quality, curriculum, discipline, student achievement and community involvement in the educational process.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Pavilion at The Fells | Newbury , NH

Author,  historian, Concord Monitor editor emeritus, and former Pulitzer Prize Foundation administrator Mike Pride brings you along on John Hay’s mission to Florida during 1863 and 1864 in a lecture called “Stumping for Lincoln: John Hay’s Mission to Florida.” President Abraham Lincoln hoped to bring Florida back into the Union in time for the 1864 election. Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase, Lincoln's rival for the GOP nomination in 1864, had an alternative plan and sent a shady emissary to work on it.

Pontine Theatre | Portsmouth, NH

In their more than two and a half centuries of existence, members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, made ingenious contributions to diverse fields: agriculture, industry, medicine, music, furniture design, women's rights, racial equality, craftsmanship, social and religious thought, and mechanical invention and improvement.  Darryl Thompson explores some of these contributions in his lecture and shares some of his personal memories of the Canterbury Shakers. 

The Newbury Veterans Hall | Newbury, NH

The Starry Messenger, presented by Michael Francis, is a dramatic fun-filled adaptation of Galileo's short treatise "Siderius Nuncius." Galileo (dressed in 17th-century costume) arrives to present a public lecture on his most recent discoveries made using his newly-devised spyglass. As he describes those discoveries, Galileo's new method of observation and measurement of nature become apparent. Throughout the presentation audience members are actively involved in experiments and demonstrations. After the lecture, Galileo answers questions about his experiments, his life, and his times.

Jackson Public Library | Jackson, NH

Through traditional music Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki relays some of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish emigrants. The focus is on songs about leaving Ireland, sometimes focusing on the reasons for leaving (a man who is driven from his land by English persecution), sometimes revealing what happened upon arrival (an immigrant drafted into the Union army during the Civil War), and sometimes exploring the universal feeling of homesickness of a stranger in a strange land (a factory worker in London missing his home in County Clare).

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Nesmith Library | Windham, NH

Everyone knows that there's "something about lighthouses" that gives them broad appeal, but their vital role in our history and culture is little appreciated. Our early nation was built on maritime economy, and lighthouses were part of the system that made that possible. Due to automation, traditional lighthouse keeping is a way of life that has faded into the past. Jeremy D'Entremont tells the history of New England's historic and picturesque lighthouses primarily focusing on the colorful and dramatic stories of lighthouse keepers and their families.

Grantham Town Building | Grantham, NH

Stories speak to us of community. They hold our history and reflect our identity.  Rebecca Rule has made it her mission over the last 20 years to collect stories of New Hampshire, especially those that reflect what's special about this rocky old place.  She'll tell some of those stories - her favorites are the funny ones - and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own. 

 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Aaron Cutler Memorial Library | Litchfield, NH

Through traditional music Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki relays some of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish emigrants. The focus is on songs about leaving Ireland, sometimes focusing on the reasons for leaving (a man who is driven from his land by English persecution), sometimes revealing what happened upon arrival (an immigrant drafted into the Union army during the Civil War), and sometimes exploring the universal feeling of homesickness of a stranger in a strange land (a factory worker in London missing his home in County Clare).

Holderness Historical Society | Holderness, NH

On a frontier where individualism flourished, New Hampshire's consummate woodsman was just the leader to bring his men back safely from deep in dangerous country, even in stormy, freezing weather. "The famous Major Rogers" renown was such that he became perhaps the single-best-known American on both sides of the Atlantic. In October 1765, a private audience with young King George III led, eleven months later, to the launching of an expedition to find the long-dreamed-of Northwest passage to the Pacific - forty years before Lewis and Clark.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints | Wolfeboro, NH

Telling personal and family stories is fun - and much more. Storytelling connects strangers, strengthens links between generations, and gives children the self-knowledge to carry them through hard times. Knowledge of family history has even been linked to better teen behavior and mental health. In this active and interactive program, storyteller Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories. Participants practices finding, developing, and telling their own tales.

Pontine Theatre at the Plains School | Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth Poet Laureate Tammi Truax and writer Terry Farish will read with five immigrant writers new to the Seacoast in New Hampshire Humanities’ New Voices reading series at the Pontine Theatre on June 27 at 6:30 pm.

Horatio Colony House Museum | Keene, NH

What family stories do you carry with you? What story do you tell over and over? What landscape do you cherish the most? One of the deepest human instincts is to tell our life stories, to figure out who we are and what it means to be human. This interactive workshop led by Maura MacNeil explores how the landscapes of our lives shape the stories that we tell.

Center Harbor Schoolhouse Museum | Center Harbor, NH

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface.

Friday, June 28, 2019

East Kingston Town Hall | East Kingston, NH

New England's colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities. Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition" meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.