Donchess to meet with arts center reps

NASHUA – Mayor Jim Donchess is meeting next week with representatives involved with the Nashua Center for the Arts in a continued effort to keep the organization’s funding set aside for Nashua’s arts scene.

The meeting comes as several city organizations have filed objections in court to the Nashua Center for the Arts petition seeking to dissolve itseld and give the money to Manchester’s Currier Museum.

The Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, City Arts Nashua, Symphony New Hampshire and the Nashua Choral Society all filed motions this week seeking to stop the Nashua Center for the Arts from going anywhere. Like the city, which has previously filed an objection in the case, these groups want to see the Nashua Center for the Arts reconstituted and it’s $1 million in funding used to promote artists and arts organizations here.

The Nashua Center for the Arts board agreed late last year to disband and send the funding it received from the Edith Carter estate to the Currier after numerous complaints were made to the New Hampshire attorney general’s office by the Carter family. The Carter family members made complaints about the way the money was managed, and about the lack of board meetings, and their complaints sparked an investigation, according to court records. The ultimate resolution reached between the attorney general’s office and the Nashua Center for the Arts leadership was to disband.

According to the objections filed by the four organizations, the Currier is not the appropriate place for funding that was supposed to be used for Nashua arts. All of the objections were prepared by Nashua attorney William Barry and all used identical language.

“The Currier Museum of Art, while an asset of great value to New Hampshire as a whole and the City of Manchester in particular, is not well positioned to accomplish the intent of Edith Carter, and the purpose of (Nashua Center for the Arts) in Nashua,” the objections state.

Donchess has expressed optimism that something can be worked out between all parties. The case is pending a hearing in the Hillsborough County Probate Court in Nashua.