Arts & Entertainment

Handmade quilts currently on display in the AVH Auxiliary Art Gallery

BERLIN — Showcasing their talents with fabric and sewing, local quilters Ann Gosselin and Sylvia Charest will have several handmade quilts and quilted items on display in the cafeteria at the Androscoggin Valley Hospital for others to enjoy.

Gosselin and Charest became best friends when they went back to school to become registered nurses. Both had been licensed practical nurses for years and, after the grueling year of studies, vowed that the next class they would take would be something for fun. So, after graduation in 1988, they took a quilting class in Gorham and the rest is history. Shortly thereafter, the Berlin Quilting Guild, “Material Girls,” was formed. Both Gosselin and Charest have been very active in the local guild. Charest has served as president for many years, and Gosselin has given classes in applique and other techniques.

Both have attended many classes, starting with the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, in 2000. Later, they attended the Quilters’ Gathering in Nashua, for a number of years and, most recently, the Vermont Quilt Festival. Each has focused her quilting on different styles. Gosselin has done a lot of applique and prefers earth tones, while Charest does a lot of scrap quilting and loves fabrics with some sparkle.

The local guild does a lot of charity quilting and provides quilts for people in the local area. Some of the small scrap quilts will be donated to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital Women’s Services Department to be given to some of the local infants after this display is taken down.

The “Material Girls” meet for a business meeting on the first Monday of the month and have “sew days” at St. Kieran’s Community Center for the Arts on 144 Emery St. in Berlin every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have a quilt show every two years. The next show will be in September 2017. For more information on the Guild, contact Sylvia Charest at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out their Facebook page, The Berlin Quilting Guild Material Girls.

 Gosselin is an Androscoggin Valley Hospital retiree and Charest is a current long-term employee of AVH.

Artists interested in displaying their works of art in the AVH Auxiliary Art Gallery may contact Linda Morris, AVH auxiliary liaison and AVH volunteer coordinator, at (603) 326-5676.

quiltdisplayphoto1216Showcasing their talents with fabric and sewing, local quilters Ann Gosselin and Sylvia Charest will have several handmade quilts and quilted items on display in the cafeteria at the Androscoggin Valley Hospital for others to enjoy. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Make dancing your New Year’s Resolution with the Mount Washington Valley Stompers Square Dance Club

CONWAY — Want to burn 200-400 calories in one-half hour? Want to cover five miles in a single evening of dancing? Want low impact aerobic exercise? If you answered yes to any of these questions than consider Modern Western Square Dancing as your New Year’s Resolution.

The Mount Washington Valley Stompers Square Dance Club, now in its 45th year, is offering a new beginners class, this means “no experience necessary”, starting Monday, Jan. 23, at the American Legion at 6:45 p.m. in Conway. The first class is free and you’ll be treated to a pie social—yes, they’ll help you burn those calories. In addition to the health benefits listed above, square dancers find that the side to side movements of many dances strengthens your weight bearing bones like the tibia, fibula and femur and can help prevent or slow loss of bone mass, osteoporosis. If you’re recovering from heart or knee surgery, movement may be part of your rehabilitation. Dancing is a positive alternative jogging. It keeps the mind sharp and contains a social component that solitary fitness endeavors don’t.

If you can walk, you can dance and the caller will walk you through every call. The music is fun and you’ll find you’re dancing and maybe even humming along to a lot of old and new pop tunes! The dress code is casual. Singles are welcome and hearing enhancement is available. The weekly instructional classes are held at the American Legion on Tasker Hill Rd, Conway. In 16 weeks, you’ll be dancing like a pro!

Beginner’s class is held from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m., followed by Mainstream level continuing workshops for class graduates and seasoned dancers. For more information check the calendar of events on http://mwvstompers.squaredanceme.us/ or call: (603) 694-2080 or (603) 447-5266.

new classEd Solar and his wife Sue (back turned far left ) travel Conway, from Dummer to square dance. They're inviting new students and will carpool to Conway. Student Kaylee McLellan, (pictured far right) had no trouble catching on to the calls along with Norm Littlefield (green striped shirt). (COURTESY PHOTO)

St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts receives grant from the NH Charitable Foundation to support general operations

BERLIN — St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts recently received a $10,000.00 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The grant will help further art center’s mission to foster the growth and development of the arts and humanities in the greater Androscoggin Valley area while preserving the St. Kieran historic building. According to Executive Director, Monique Lavertu, the N.H. Charitable Foundation has been a long-time supporter of St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts. The funds help to bridge the gap between donations, admissions and fundraising revenues.

“The center has been attracting new faces from various parts of New England and we would like to continue to grow and expand our audiences as well as our offerings. The funds from the N.H. Charitable Foundation allow us to do just that and we are so grateful for their continued support.”

St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts is a 501c3 non-profit arts organization that provides arts opportunities for this and surrounding communities. The goal of the center is to provide high-quality performances that appeal audiences from all walks of life.

“There is something for everyone here and we are certainly open to suggestions” claims Lavertu. The facility was built for sound and hosts about 20 performances each year. Lavertu is quick to add, “I’ve never heard a performer complain about the acoustics in the main hall and they all seem anxious to make a return trip.”

The website, www.stkieranarts.org, is the best place to find an up-to-date listing of upcoming events with information about the artists and links to purchase admission tickets.

The N.H. Charitable Foundation was created in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire, and is dedicated to strengthening communities across the Granite State. The Foundation manages a growing collection of 1,700 philanthropic funds created by generous families, individuals and businesses, and awards more than $30 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation invests charitable assets for today and tomorrow; works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving; supports critical work happening in New Hampshire communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call (603) 225-6641.

The American experience with Dana and Susan Robinson at St. Kieran, Saturday, Jan. 14

BERLIN — Dana and Susan Robinson will be bringing their guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, harmony-singing interpretations of the American experience to St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 14, starting at 7 p.m. 

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Dana Robinson, a native of the Pacific Northwest, relocated to New England in the 1980s where he discovered both a thriving songwriter’s scene and the deep well of traditional mountain music. Dana launched into full-time touring after the release of his 1994 debut CD, Elemental Lullabye, and after receiving a request to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Putumayo’s Shelter benefit project. Over the last 20 years, Dana has released 10 CD's, traveled over a million miles, and performed thousands of concerts across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Susan Robinson grew up in Vermont in a musical family and studied piano, oboe, and fiddle in her youth. In 2002 when Sue and Dana met, she took up guitar and banjo and studied old-time mountain music in Asheville, N.C. Sue and Dana have been performing together since 2003 and have recorded five CD’s together.

Tickets for the performance are available online for a minimal additional fee by visiting www.stkieranarts.org, at the art center office and/or at the door on the evening of the show, Thanks to a project grant from the N.H. State Council on the Arts, tickets will be $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for those under 18.

For more information about this community concert, to purchase a membership or loyalty card or to make a donation to the annual or capital improvement funds, please contact the Arts Center at (603) 752-1028; visit the website, www.stkieranarts.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stkieranarts.

Please join them for this performance and for these upcoming events:
Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. - Northern Sharks: Classic Dance Band
Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. – Cabin Fever Follies: North Country Talent Showcase
Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. – University of New Hampshire Choirs

Programming at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts is made possible by the support of community corporate sponsors, The N.H. State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the N.H. Charitable Foundation, The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, The Wyman Family Fund, and The Rydin Family Fund.

2017.01.14 Dana Susan RobinsonDana and Susan Robinson will be bringing their guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, harmony-singing interpretations of the American experience to St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 14, starting at 7 p.m. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Androscoggin Ranger District — Ski with a Ranger Program

GORHAM — The White Mountain National Forest, Androscoggin Ranger District, will be offering a series of Ski with a Ranger programs at Wildcat Ski Area this winter.

The Ski with a Ranger program is a free guided interpretive tour offered by the U.S. Forest Service, but participants must purchase a Wildcat Ski Area lift ticket, and have novice skiing ability. It is recommended that children are at least eight years old.

Beginning on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10:30 a.m. skiers and snowboarders will have a unique opportunity to ski alongside Forest Service Rangers, while learning about high elevation environments, local history, and the partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and Wildcat Ski Area. Programs will be offered at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning during the months of January and February.

For more information call the Androscoggin Ranger District (603) 466-2713, or contact Nick DiGiacco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wildcat Ski Area is located on the White Mountain National Forest. Wildcat owns and operates ski facilities on National Forest lands under a Special Use Permit, through which U.S. Forest Service oversees mountain operations and planning for future development. The partnership supports the New Hampshire skiing tradition and ensures high standards of environmental stewardship in managing and developing the land.

WildcatThe White Mountain National Forest, Androscoggin Ranger District, will be offering a series of Ski with a Ranger programs at Wildcat Ski Area this winter. (COURTESY PHOTO)