Arts center plan gets a big boost

On Thursday, the proposed performing arts center in downtown Nashua gained a bit of ground.

Manchester’s Currier Museum of Art announced it wants to be a part of the new complex by creating a gallery space in the center.

The plan would have the Currier develop a space inside the facility to showcase not only historically significant pieces, but also contemporary art.

The lack of gallery space has been one of the major issues concerning the development of the arts center, which would call the former Alex’s Shoes building on Main Street home.

The Board of Aldermen are set to meet and vote on the issue at 7 p.m. Tuesday. At issue is a $15.5 million bond to fund the purchase and renovation of the building.

Current plans call for a 500 to 700-seat theater.

“We think it’s a terrific idea that will rejuvenate Nashua’s downtown area,” said Alan Chong, the CEO and art director at the Currier.

“I think the performing arts and the visual arts really go together,” Chong added.

We couldn’t agree more. The more offerings available at the center, the more likely people – from all over New Hampshire – would be to patronize the establishment. That, in essence, should be the goal: To develop a destination-type center that would draw in not only local residents, but tourists, too.

This move also would solve another dilemma.

Currently, the Nashua Center for the Arts is petitioning the probate court for permission to dissolve and send its $1 million trust to the Currier.

If this plan comes together, the trust still would be used for visual arts to directly benefit the people of Nashua, thereby keeping those dollars where they were intended to be.

This sounds like a win-win for all involved.