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Arts awards recognize creative solutions during pandemic

July 31, 2021 GMT

An awards ceremony recognizing people in the arts in New Hampshire has a special category this year honoring creative and innovative solutions that were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, which is planning to honor individuals and organizations as recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards on Oct. 26, has created the Silver Lining Resilience Awards. The honor is going to one entity from each Executive Council district to honor ideas that came about as a way of offsetting challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Those awardees are the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network, Bethlehem, in District 1; N.H. Dance Institute, Keene, District 2; Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth, District 3; Theatre KAPOW, Manchester, District 4; and Andy’s Summer Playhouse, Wilton, District 5.

Among those being honored as individual arts champions are Jeff Johnston and Mark Stebbins of Portsmouth. Stebbins, who collaborated with Johnston to form the “Together 250 Challenge” that supported local arts programs, restaurants and hunger relief during the pandemic, was informed of the award before he died in June, the council said in a news release.