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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: A chance to see art, up close and personal

March 19. 2017 11:20PM
Dancers from Ballet Misha perform beside a piece by sculptor Christina Pitsch. The dancers and Pitsch's work will be on display at an ArtFront NH pop-up exhibit at Brady Sullivan Plaza this weekend. (MATTHEW LOMANNO)

When people start dancing on furniture, it usually means the party is over. But at this weekend's inaugural ArtFront NH pop-up exhibit, furniture dancing is what the party is all about.

Confused? I think it's something we all need to see to understand, and we can see it for free this Thursday through Saturday, March 23, 24, and 25, at Brady Sullivan Plaza.

ArtFront NH was started by a group of people who want to see a bigger art scene in New Hampshire, making art more accessible and fun for everyone.

"We decided that the best way to see what interest the public has for what we're envisioning would be for us to just host an example of what we'd like to see happen regularly and see what the response is," said Joan Talarico-Brodsky, who started the group with Claudia Rippee, co-owner of Republic and Campo EnotecaJune Trisciani, designer at J. Ellen Design; and Bill Stelling, councilor on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

The group, which has spent five months planning its debut event, will bring together photographers, painters, sculptors, dancers and musicians in a ground-floor space at Brady Sullivan Plaza for the three-night event.

"Each night promises a unique adventure," reads

This weekend's show will feature the photography of Anthony Grassetti, the paintings of David Preston Wells, and the sculptures of both Christina Pitsch and Vivian Beers (an innovative furniture designer who won "Ellen's Design Challenge" on HGTV).

Dancing both on and among the visual artwork will be members of Ballet Misha and Boston-based dance company LCTC, along with Plymouth State University Dance Director Amanda Whitworth, Robin Marcotte and Alyssa Desrossier.

The Manchester Music School's Folk and String Ensemble under John Zevos will also be performing within the context of the show. 

Kudos to all the participating artists who are donating their talent, Brady Sullivan Properties for donating the space, and the Martignetti Companies for donating the beverages.

The public can attend any or all the nights from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Dancers from Ballet Misha perform on piece by award-winning Manchester furniture designer Vivian Beers. The dancers and Beers' work will be on display at an ArtFront NH pop-up exhibit at Brady Sullivan Plaza this weekend. (MATTHEW LOMANNO)

Sleeping Beauty

Everyone is talking about the big live-action "Beauty and the Beast" movie that came out over the weekend, but we have the opportunity to see a real-live fairy tale favorite with Southern NH Youth Ballet's upcoming performances of "Sleeping Beauty."

The two performances will be held at the Palace Theatre on Sunday, April 2, at 1 and 4 p.m. 

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 12 and under. They are available at the Palace Theatre box office.

Pedaling for St. Pat's

Have you always wanted to participate in the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade? The Bike Manchester group is looking for bike riders to decorate their bikes and bodies in green and then pedal down Elm Street to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and show their support of bicycling in the Queen City.

The parade is this Sunday, March 26, at noon. Participating bicyclists should RSVP on the Bike Manchester Facebook page and arrive at Brady Sullivan Tower, 1750 Elm St., prior to the noon parade step-off.

Welcoming women

Congratulations to the Interfaith Women of New Hampshire, who reported an attendance of more than 200 women at their recent I Am a Muslim Woman event. Manchester physician Masooma Athar, Bedford Realtor Munice Ulker, and Riman Dwiardi, a SNHU graduate student, spoke about Islam and living the faith as Muslim women in New Hampshire.

To learn more about this group and its next community event, visit

Celebrate NH artisans

Don't forget, this weekend is the Made in NH Expo at the Radisson. You can sample and buy all kinds of food, crafts and products made by New Hampshire artisans on Friday, March 24, from 1 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Tickets are $9 for adults; $8 for seniors; $3 for children 2 to 12 years old; and $3 for children under 2 who are in a stroller.

The nice people who run Made in NH Expo have provided me with a lovely tote bag filled with some of the wonderful products that will be available at the expo, along with two admission tickets. 

You can enter to win the bag by entering an online raffle at

I will draw the winner tonight at 5 p.m. Event of the Week

This weekend brings us the next big musical production by Manchester High School Central's Maskers Drama Club and the Central Community Players

"Fame The Musical" will be performed at Central's McAllister Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, at 6:30 p.m.

I really enjoyed seeing this group perform "Godspell" last year, and I hope to catch their latest production. 

The story follows the final class of New York City's celebrated High School for the Performing Arts from their admission in 1980 to their graduation in 1984. I expect we will see lots of leg warmers.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. They are $12 for general public or $8 for students and seniors.

You can read more about arts events at and the events calendar.

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