Currier asked to show proposals

Programming in Nashua desired

Staff photo by Don Himsel Nashua's arts center is calling it quits and is looking to send what is left of its available funds to Manchester.

NASHUA — City groups fighting to keep the Nashua Center for the Arts, and its $1 million in funding, in Nashua want to know what the Currier Museum would do with the money.

Mayor Jim Donchess said representatives with the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, City Arts Nashua, Symphony New Hampshire and the Nashua Choral Society all met this week with representatives from the Currier.

“They wanted the Currier to try and come up with what it was proposing,” Donchess said.

The Nashua Center for the Arts filed a petition in probate court this year seeking permission to dissolve and give its funding to the Manchester-based Currier. The decision to disband came after conversations with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, and an AG investigation into the Nashua Center for the Arts.

The Center received significant funding from the will of Edith Carter in the 1990, and the money has grown to close to $1 million today. In 2015, members of the Carter family complained to the AG’s office about the way the money was being handled, prompting the investigation, and eventually resulting in the petition to dissolve.

However, the city itself, as well as Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, City Arts Nashua, Symphony New Hampshire and the Nashua Choral Society have all filed objections to the petition, seeking to revive the nashua Center for the Arts and keep the money to fund local art groups.

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 said there will be more meeting coming up, and he and the other organizations want to see if the Currier will fund programs in Nashua for the Nashua community, as was stipulated in Edith Carter’s will, or if the Cart money will fund programs in Manchester.

Donchess said it is not satisfactory if the Carter money ends up funding program in Manchester.