Rodney Miller named New Hampshire Artist Laureate
Rodney Miller of Antrim has been confirmed at the next New Hampshire Artist Laureate by the N.H. Executive Council after being nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Miller is a master of New England fiddling, a distinctive mix of French Canadian and Celtic music styles that is played primarily for social dancing, including the regionally popular contra dance. He plays widely at dances and is known as one of the country’s finest dance fiddlers.
In addition to his skill as a musician, Miller also crafts violins. Most of his albums have been recorded with him playing instruments he has made.
“Art — whether the visual arts, the performing arts or literature — is critical to New Hampshire’s high quality of life, bringing people together to enhance our self-awareness and to better understand the human relationship to the natural world,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said. “I am pleased that Rodney Miller, a talented musician and skilled craftsman, has been confirmed as New Hampshire’s next Artist Laureate, and I am confident that his service will help New Hampshire’s arts community continue to strengthen our economy and enrich the cultural fabric of our state.”
“Traditional dance music has long been an important part of New Hampshire’s social fabric — it helps define us,” said Miller. “Serving as New Hampshire’s artist laureate is a great honor and I look forward to continuing to work in our communities as a fiddler and violinmaker, and to sharing this vital part of our culture.”
Established in 1997, New Hampshire’s artist laureate is an honorary position that receives no compensation. Previous N.H. artists laureate include master furniture maker David Lamb, painter James Aponovich, theater artist Marguerite Mathews, composer James Bolle, and potter Gerry Williams.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a publicly funded agency within the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding comes from state appropriations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund.
Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at www.nh.gov/nharts.