Northern New Hampshire is defined by the Northern Forest. From the White Mountains to the notches, from the deep woods, lakes, and rivers to our historic downtowns, farmhouses, and covered bridges nestled in the mountains, valleys, and woods of Coos, Grafton, and Carroll Counties - creativity has long found a home in the vistas and places of Northern New Hampshire. From Abenaki craftspeople to landscape artists in the 19th century and summer residents to Franconia College students who settled in and seeded arts and culture organizations throughout our towns, longtime residents, newcomers, and visitors alike have long found this region fertile ground for inspiration. Northern New Hampshire has plain air painters, nature illustrators, and photographers venturing into the White Mountains to capture granite, trees, wind and light, long-standing summer stock and regional theaters throughout our towns, robust performing arts venues offering great live music year-round, summer festivals of all stripes, maker spaces and artist workshops galore offering class for adults and kids, galleries, River Walks, First Fridays, public art, and more. There's a DIY spirit in Northern New Hampshire that feeds artists hungry to create.


The Arts Alliance's Arts and Environment program, Groundwork, emerges from two keys areas in which we have a long history of experimentation and project-based work. 



STEAM integrates the arts into STEM education, leveraging the fundamental and indispensable ways that arts enable us to learn, practice, and cultivate the skills, proficiencies, and habits of mind that are becoming necessary for us in the 21st century, no matter our age: creativity, imagination, adaptability, entrepreneurial mindset, resilience, and skills in designing, building, making, visual thinking, storytelling.  

Our current STEAM initiative is Ground Beneath Our Feet, which will soon be ready to travel to schools around the region and the state. Visit Ground Beneath Our Feet to learn more. 



 From the White Mountain National Forest to state parks and community forests, arts and culture can and do provide creative ways for people to engage with our public lands. We often think of public art as having a degree of permanence - a sculpture, a mural, an installation - and while this is sometimes true with public art in our natural environments, public art on public lands may just as easily be dance, eco-art, soundscapes - or the practice of noticing. 

Our current public lands initiative is our partnership with the White Mountain National Forest for the annual summer Artist in Residence program.

The landscape of our Arts and Environment program is, like all landscapes, changing and evolving. Stay tuned in 2019 as we listen, learn, and grow. If you have an idea related to a STEAM program or an Art & Public Lands program, please reach out - we'd love to hear what's on your mind.