Arts & Entertainment

One Million Pillowcase Challenge event at the Maker Studio in Berlin

BERLIN — Fran Wolf, the Fiber Subject Matter Expert at the WREN Works Maker Studio in Berlin, has set her sights on helping the Davenport School for Girls located in Jefferson by holding a One Million Pillowcase Challenge event at the Maker Studio.

When asked about the event, Wolf stated, “It’s a local charity and that will bring more people together to do the project.” It is the hope of Wolf and WREN that by doing something for the north country it will benefit the community locally even though the event is held nationwide.

The Davenport School is a place for at risk girls ages 11-18 to go to receive their education, to learn life skill, and even to have a safe place to live when needed. The staff of the Davenport School work hard to ensure that the girls in their care learn strong life skills and what it means to be part of a community through various volunteer opportunities. Wolf hopes that by doing this event it will “bring awareness to the [community concerning the] Davenport School for Girls and what type of school they are and what they do.”

The Davenport School currently has twenty girls who live on campus. As a thank you to all they do, Wolf is holding a One Million Pillowcase Challenge Event at the Maker Studio. The One Million Pillowcase Challenge, started by All People Quilt a magazine company, is a nationwide event that encourages people and groups to make pillowcases that can then be donated to the charity of their choosing.

Wolf is taking on that challenge. While she does not expect to reach one million or even one hundred by the end of the the event, she does hope to make a difference for the girls who reside at the Davenport School.

When called for comment, the Program Director of the Davenport School for Girls, Deborah Weeks, expressed her gratitude. As an alternative school, Davenport helps young women to find their place in the community through volunteer work. Weeks stated, “The girls give back to the community. If you have any volunteer opportunities for them, it would be much appreciated. Any learning experiences that can give them self-sustaining skills is highly desired.” She even informed the interviewer that this would be a great opportunity for the girls to come and participate in.

The One Million Pillowcase Challenge: Pillowcases for Charity will be held in the common room on the first floor of the Maker Studio on Saturday, March 18. This free event is open to the public with all materials provided. It does not matter whether you are new to sewing or a veteran seamstress, all are welcome.

For those who are just being introduced to a sewing machine, there will be a demonstration at the beginning of each segment along with available coaches to help with the threading of the machine and basic instructions on how to create a pillowcase. All materials and machines will be provided. However, Wolf is encouraging any who have a favorite sewing machine to bring those along, and fabric donations will be accepted.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as there are three different time slots with limited space available. Time slots include 10 a.m. to noon, noon to 2 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.

In addition to the free sewing, making items that go to a cause, WREN will be donating coffee and tea to all participants. Soups will be provided, and the participants are welcome to bring a dessert to share.

For further information, or to register, call (603) 752-0060, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on the web at www.wrenworks.org.

Fran 2Fran Wolf, the Fiber Subject Matter Expert at the WREN Works Maker Studio in Berlin. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Fun(ny) 5K and Kid’s Mustache Dash on April Fool's Day

GORHAM — Looking for something different and active to do this April Fool’s Day? Consider getting outside and walking or jogging in the Fun(ny) 5K starting and ending at Ed Fenn Elementary School in Gorham, on Saturday, April 1. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to wear unique gear like funny hats, colorful socks, interesting wigs, tutus, etc. in the spirit of fun! A pre-school age Mustache Dash, where kids will be provided with a sticky mustache before scooting around the school, will take place prior to the 5K. Registration will take place on race day from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m. with the 5K at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of a registration fee, non-perishable items will be collected for a local food pantry. The course is pet and stroller friendly. Visit Facebook page Run For You for up-to-date race information. 

Free Community Drumming Workshop on Saturday before Taiko Concert

GORHAM — Community members are invited to experience creating the powerful sounds of traditional Japanese drumming during a free workshop with Burlington Taiko founder and artistic director Sensei Stuart Paton. The workshop will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Medallion Opera House.

Suitable for all ages, the free workshop will include time for all participants to try their hand on the drums, and a question and answer period. No experience is necessary and all are welcome to attend. The workshop is part of a nine-day artist residency presented by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.

Following the workshop, Burlington Taiko will perform in concert at the Medallion Opera House at 1:30 p.m. using thunderous drums and graceful, athletic movement to display the strength and power of this ancient art. Concert tickets can be purchased in advance at www.aannh.org, the Gorham Town Hall, and White Mountain Cafe and Bookstore or at the door. All those interested are welcome to attend; those who can't afford the ticket price can pay what they can or come as guests of the Arts Alliance.

The workshop and concert, sponsored in part by Yokohama Family Restaurant and Taurus Financial Services in Gorham, are funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts as part of the NEA Regional Touring Program, with support from the six New England State Arts Agencies, including the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

Learn more about the Arts Alliance at www.aannh.org.

Burlington Taiko PatonSensei Stuart Paton. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Kirstan Knowlton: St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Some people wish for a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow, but right now I would be happy with some bright sunshine.

While I was knee deep in a blizzardy mess Tuesday night trying to shovel out my driveway, I recalled some vague memories of wearing sundresses and taking photos of flowers, and going for afternoon walks with the dog.

Although this weekend’s forecast doesn’t call for 75 and sunny, it does look like we might get a nice stretch of weather. This is good news for our outdoor loving friends who will be able to get out and enjoy all this fresh snow.

For those of us who prefer to stay indoors, there is also quite a bit going on this weekend, which might help your winter blues.

For starters, the Medallion Opera House in Gorham will be hosting three great events on Saturday, yes three!

Burlington Taiko, performers of traditional Japanese drumming will hold a free public workshop, starting at 10 a.m., where anyone can come out and try their hand at drumming.

Later in the afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., Burlington Taiko will put on a must see performance. I’ve heard really good things about them from past performances, so definitely worth checking it out.

Information for both of these events can be found on the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire’s website, www.aannh.org.

Then that evening, international guitarist Peppino D’Agostino returns to the Opera House for a live performance. Show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets will be available at the door.

In hockey news, the Berlin Fire Department will be battling the Northern N.H. Correctional Officers in a benefit hockey game for Make A Wish New Hampshire at the Notre Dame Arena. The benefit game will start at 1 p.m. Tickets for the game are just $8, and all proceeds benefit Make A Wish N.H.

If you are like me, and love to dance, one of my all time favorite New England bands, Last Kid Picked, is coming to the White Mountain Chalet in Berlin tonight.

I’ve come out to watch them play several times, and I’ve never been disappointed. I seriously even considered asking them to play at my wedding! Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show runs from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. This is a 21 and older event.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. I am hoping to spend some time with friends this weekend and catch up on things around the house. Gold House is back open, after a two-week vacation, so it’s time to get back into a regular routine.

It was nice having Jamie home in the evenings, and she even cooked us dinner, but I know many of you were waiting with bated breath for their return. Enjoy the sunshine!

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kirstan Knowlton: Dance the night away before springing forward

The past few weekends, our community events have been lining up perfectly. I love it when people can catch a dinner and a show, or in this case, dinner and a night of dancing.

Tonight there are two great community events happening, and you don’t have to drive far to enjoy either of them.

Getting a jump-start on St. Patrick’s Day, the St. Barnabas Church will be hosting a free traditional boiled dinner this evening. Dinner is open to anyone who would like to come. No tickets are required, and doors will be open from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with dinner being serviced until 6:30 p.m.

Once you’ve had your fill, you can work off those calories at the Contra and Square Dance at the Randolph Town Hall from 7 to 10 p.m. The Randolph Mountain Club is sponsoring the event, and money raised will go directly to benefit the club. Paul Cormier, Points North and Friends will provide music, with calling by Eric Rolnick. Tickets for the evening are just $8, and can be bought at the door.

I want to wish the Berlin High School Hockey team good luck in the finals as they face off against Kenneth High School in Manchester today. Go Mounties!

For more information about the dance in Randolph call Jenn Scarinza at (603) 631-0870. The Randolph Town Hall is located at 130 Durand Road in Randolph.

St. Barnabas Church is located on the corner of Main and High Streets in Berlin. The phone number is (603) 752-3504, and you can visit their website at stbarnabasberlin.org for more information about these and other events.

So before I let you go, I wanted to share a little funny story about the recent snowfall. On Wednesday afternoon I came home to a clean back porch. The snow shovels were put away, the landing had been swept and things were looking pretty good.

Jamie joked that because she put away the snow shovels, that it would likely snow again, and just as predicted it did. We thought it was too funny not share, but what we weren’t expecting was how many other people thought they had done the same thing.

A few of our friends had commented that they had just removed their winter tires, or finally taken the snow scraper out of their car. It just reminded me of the folklore and superstitions that we all have around triggering weather.

Also, just a quick note in wedding prep news. I decided to make an impromptu stop at Betty Dee's Bridal Shop in Berlin on Thursday to try on some dresses. Initially I wasn’t sure if a traditional white dress would be up my ally, but good news, I bought a dress! It is beautiful and fits perfectly, but best of all, it has pockets!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to set your clocks forward this weekend. I will miss the sunshine in the morning, but I know spring is on its way! It’s going to be a chilly one, and I also hear that some major snow might be in the forecast.

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..