Meet the recipients: 5th Annual Meri Goyette Arts Award Luncheon set for March 25

City Arts Nashua and the Nashua Arts Commission announce initiative to raise funds for Performing Arts Center Endowment Fund at luncheon.

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Arts Hero: Paul Shea, executive director of Great American Downtown. Photo/Allegra Boverman

NASHUA, NH – In addition to recognizing the contributions of those who have significantly supported the arts and helped to expand the vibrant arts community in New Hampshire, this luncheon serves as the main fundraising event for City Arts Nashua, allowing the organization to pursue its mission to enrich the quality of life in the greater Nashua region by providing leadership to support and strengthen arts and culture.

This year, proceeds from the Fund-A-Need Initiative will benefit the Nashua Performing Arts Center Endowment Fund. City Arts Nashua is the first organization in Nashua to donate such funds. There will also be a matching donation of up to $1,000 from Nashua City Alderwoman Mary-Ann Melizzi-Golja and her husband, Bogdan.

Two-way tie: Gail Moriarty of Colibri Designs, one of three recipients of the individual awards. Photo/Allegra Boverman.

“Each year, we choose a special project to be the recipient of our Fund-A-Need initiative at our Luncheon. We are very proud to announce that this year, all of the proceeds from our Fund-A-Need Initiative will support the Nashua Performing Arts Center Endowment Fund,” said City Arts Nashua board president Lisa Bissonnette.  “City Arts Nashua has been an enthusiastic supporter of the PAC and is delighted to lead the fundraising effort for the endowment. Alderwoman Mary-Ann Melizzi-Golja and her husband, Bogdan, have also very graciously offered to match a donation of up to $1,000.00 in support of the PAC. We are grateful for their support.”

Kathy and Mark Frank of Renaissance Glassworks and the Picker Arts Collaborative, share this year’s individual award this year with Gail Moriarty. Photo/Allegra Boverman

Bissonnette added, “We hope other matching donors will also come forward to help spur a grassroots fundraising effort for the PAC.”

A new performing arts center in Nashua would provide a new performing space, and therefore, new opportunities for community theater, music, dance and other groups of all genres from all over New Hampshire, and from out of state, to have another resource and location option for performances and programs.

The Nashua Board of Aldermen voted 14-1 in mid-February to acquire 201 Main St. — the former Alec’s Shoe Store — for $2 million, and voted 14-1 to issue a $15.5 million bond to pay for the acquisition, construction and equipment costs of the 500- to 700-seat theater. Before the bond is issued, a $4 million private endowment fund must be secured, and City Arts Nashua wants to start the ball rolling.

Recipients of this years awards (pictured above): Arts Hero Award: Paul Shea, executive director of Great American Downtown; Individual: Three-way tie for the three people who established the Picker Collaborative Artists, Gail Moriarty of Colibri Designs and Kathy and Mark Frank of Renaissance Glassworks. Small Business: Persian Rug Gallery; Company: Michael Timothy Dining Group.

Small Business: Sy, Janet and Fou Mahfuz, of PRG of Nashua. Photo/Allegra Boverman.


Each year, City Arts Nashua and the Nashua Arts Commission recognize contributions to the arts made by  non-artist individuals, small businesses and large businesses, at the Meri Goyette Arts Awards Luncheon. The event will also feature live entertainment, champagne, a three-course lunch, live and silent auctions, fun games and more. This year’s event takes its inspiration from the Greek Muses, featuring Greek-influenced foods, with a nod to the event’s correspondence with Greek Independence Day. Awards recipients will be named in the next week.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating the 5th Annual Meri Goyette Art Awards and Luncheon on March 25,” said Bissonnette.

“Meri [Goyette] is such an inspiration to all of us in the arts here in Nashua and we are so fortunate that she serves on our Advisory Board and partners with us to support CAN’s mission.

Company: Michael Timothy, of Michael Timothy Dining Group. Photo/Allegra Boverman.

“Particularly this year,” she continued, “with so much happening in the arts in Nashua, such as receiving the Governors Art Award for Creative Communities, and the Performing Arts Center advancing, this is an exciting time to be partnering with the Arts Commission, the City Boards and Administration, and other arts groups to share our vibrant city and its gifts with the wider community.”

Tickets are $55, click here for more information.


Live entertainment during the luncheon will include live painting by artist Kristen Wolfe, of Nashua, N.H., live illustration by illustrator Don Higgins, of Derry; dance from Gate City Ballet & Dance Center of Nashua; and Greek-inspired musical performance by Carol Coronis, of Portsmouth,  and more.


R.J. Finlay; Gate City Charter School; Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union; Allstate Crosby Agency; Intellisoft Group; Lake Sunapee Bank.


City Arts Nashua was formed in 2004 and is a volunteer arts services organization with a 501(c)3 IRS non-profit designation. Its mission is to enrich quality of life by providing leadership to support and strengthen arts and culture. City Arts Nashua helps expand and provide visibility for greater Nashua’s artistic and cultural community. It promotes, advocates, networks, produces events and projects, fundraises, and provides fiscal sponsorships. In addition, City Arts Nashua works closely with the Nashua Arts Commission, with local arts individuals and groups, community organizations, business, government and with State and national arts organizations. City Arts Nashua produces ArtWalk, Nashua’s most celebrated art event every fall, now in its fourteenth year, and the Meri Goyette Art Awards and Luncheon, recognizing contributions to the arts of non-artist community members, now in its fifth year. City Arts Nashua successfully led the effort to restore three important murals in Nashua, including, in 2016 Margaret’s View of Nashua by renowned artist Lucienne Bloch; in 2013, Vivian’s Dream, by Nashua mural artist Barbara Andrews; and, in 2015, the Yankee Flyer Diner by Nashua native and former Artist Laureate of New Hampshire, James Aponovich. In addition, City Arts Nashua is the fiscal sponsor of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium, now in its eleventh year, and the only such international sculpture symposium in the United States.

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