A Celebration of the Emerging Creators of Peterborough
Behind Peterborough’s staid brick facades, a new generation of artists are carrying on the region’s vibrant creative legacy with an eye to the future.
On Saturday, Aug. 10, from 7 to 11 p.m., a new event called Night Market, organized by Peterborough’s MAxT Makerspace, will shine a spotlight on some of the emerging creative energy that is coming to the surface of “Our Town.” The event represents the fruit of an ongoing, artist-led effort to rejuvenate the local art scene.
Peterborough has always supported a thriving arts community that far outstrips its small size. Institutions like the MacDowell Colony and Peterborough Players continue to go strong. Others, such as The Folkway and Sharon Arts Center have come and (sadly) gone – but over the past decade a new crop of theater, music and art venues have been planted and are beginning to grow.
Arts Alive!, the Keene-based nonprofit working to support the arts community throughout the Monadnock Region, has supported a number of the new groups of young artists that have organized in recent years.
“There is a lot of passion and drive in the younger artist community in our region,” said Arts Alive! Executive Director Jessica Gelter. “They want to be engaged, they want to find community, they want to make a difference.
“A lot of the public art, festivals and pop-up markets are being driven by a younger generation of artists that have found a home here. They want to be seen and share their work with the community.”
Finding your place as a young artist in a quiet, small town like Peterborough can be a struggle – the region has not always embraced what’s new and cutting edge. Arts Alive! and its partners are working on cultivating the ecosystem that can ultimately make life for the artists richer and more rewarding.
“Arts Alive’s resources are available to anyone in the region,” said Gelter. “Town staff curious about policies that impact the creative community or public art? Come to us — we support policy development and cultural planning.
“Artists want to toss around business plan ideas? Come to us — we coach and provide advice and connections. Want to form a group to work on a project, put on an event or start a nonprofit? Come to us — we offer financial and donation management so creative teams can do their work in communities.”
MAxT Makerspace is one example of a group that was incubated by Arts Alive! It offers affordable workspace, tools and equipment, technical training and business support services to creative people in the Monadnock Region from its 8,000-square-foot facility in Peterborough.
It has become an inclusive hub for a wide range of artists, musicians, craftspeople, builders and entrepreneurs — from retirees looking to share their knowledge to high-schoolers eager to learn. Now, it is turning its efforts to a common problem for its members: finding a welcoming venue for their work.
In many ways, the Night Market is just a fun street party — modeled after a traditional Asian Night Market, downtown Peterborough will be transformed with lights and sound and a spirit of the unexpected. It will include street food, music, art installations, circus performers, glow-in-the-dark games, a special movie feature and much more.
Night Market is also a night that will celebrate some of the talented artists who often do not get seen. Electronic artists Pine Grove and Moderately Supreme will provide the soundtrack; Fire jugglers from Flying Gravity Circus, the LED flow artist Chris McDonald and 30-plus art vendors and installation artists will provide the color; barbecue Mexican street corn and offerings from Aesop Tables and Cooper’s Hill Public House will provide the flavor.
Night Market is open and free to the public and will be held in the
Peterborough Community Theatre parking lot Saturday, Aug. 10, from 7 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 554-2459 or visit maxtmakerspace.org/nightmarket.