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Andy’s Playhouse recognized with resiliency award

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/28/2021 3:34:03 PM

Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton found a way to continue its mission of fostering young creative minds last summer through the Digital Renaissance Project. And on Monday, it was announced that Andy’s is the recipient of a Silver Lining Resilience Award through the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards.

A special category this year, the Silver Lining Resilience Awards will be awarded to one entity from each Executive Council district “to honor creative and innovative solutions that were implemented and supported as a way of offsetting challenges brought about by the pandemic.”

While many theater programs around the state were forced to shut off the lights and close the doors, Andy’s Summer Playhouse switched to an online model for the summer of 2020 and in turn connected with even more young art enthusiasts than ever before.

“The bulk of the kids were ones who couldn’t get to Andy’s during the summer so it broadened our radius,” said Jared Mezzocchi, Andy’s producing artistic director. A total of 70 young artists and another 91 professional creators took part in the 14-week program. The Digital Renaissance Project had a little bit of everything – from a movie reenactment challenge to fight scene choreography, 3-D design to coding. And as Andy’s sets to resume in-person theater next month, the summer of 2020 has proved to help the theater program move forward with new families making up 80% of those taking part.

“They were able to see what we can do,” Mezzocchi said. “And I think it’s because we maintained a resilient program all year and provided a space for people to be.”

Mezzocchi said there is a lot of great things happening in the arts community in this area of New Hampshire and to be recognized only furthers their pursuit of ongoing growth.

“To get that type of acknowledgment definitely puts us on a different platform,” Mezzocchi said. “It’s the next rung of the ladder we're trying to climb.”

Any award helps shine a spotlight on what Andy’s does, Mezzocchi said, and having a statewide group see what they were able to offer and accomplish during the COVID-19 pandemic, will certainly bring even more attention to the Wilton theater. 

The Silver Lining Awards were created by R.P. Hale, an interdisciplinary artist and state arts councilor. To be eligible for nominations, individuals must reside in New Hampshire or have made significant contributions to the arts while living in New Hampshire; nominated organizations, cities and towns must be located in New Hampshire.

“To know that others saw and recognized what we were doing, it really means a lot,” Mezzocchi said.

The New Hampshire 2021 Governor’s Arts Award celebration will take place at StudioLab in Derry on Oct. 26, beginning at 5 p.m. Gov. Chris Sununu is scheduled to host the ceremony, which will include both live music and videos profiling awardees. The free event will be livestreamed to reach the broadest audience possible.


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