Coming Spring 2011: The Music Hall Loft
The new creative learning and performance space offering the same high quality programs in a smaller, more intimate, recycled space
We recently interviewed Patricia Lynch, Executive Director
How long has the Loft been in the works?
Since 2004, and even earlier, the need for education, office and meeting space along with a smaller more flexible venue was identified. As our signature offerings flourished and our outreach and audiences grew, the need for a space like the Loft became very apparent. During the fall of 2009 and winter of 2010 a talented and multi-disciplinary group of board, staff, and community members, including strategic planners, banking and financial leaders, facility committee members, marketing experts, small business owners, food and beverage experts, curators, artists, and theater people came together over a period of eight months to flesh out the business plan and space layout for the Loft. Brown & Company awarded The Music Hall a year’s worth of work for the branding and rollout. TMS Architects, Studio J2 and Diane Hart Designs were selected by the Facilities Committee, which includes Quentin Stockwell, Staff Lead, and chaired by board member Doug Nelson, to carry out the collective vision along with general contractor DeStefano & Associates.
What should we expect to see in the Loft?
Master classes, writers workshops, meet and greets with artists, Opera Society discussions, art films, best of the local scene, emerging artists, discoveries, special events, creative learning opportunities for teens and kids and more. We will be working with community partners, sponsors and businesses for high quality rental events and festival offerings.
Any new signature offerings?
We will be leveraging our signature series and expanding them into the Loft. Expect more writers with our new partnership with RiverRun bookstore to bring Writers in the Loft to downtown Portsmouth, smaller more intimate author gatherings with fresh literary stars and A-list writers. Expanded Telluride by the Sea programming next year with shorts, documentaries, and restorations in the works, along with discussions. Live @ the Loft, a new collaboration with New Hampshire Public Radio, a live broadcast radio show in the Loft featuring national and regional singer-songwriters. These new signature offerings will be great for audiences, sponsors, and the community.
What about those offices?
Our current offices are cramped and expensive rental space with no places to gather. We are looking forward to a more creative and professional space to welcome partners and donors, and get the best work out of our talented staff and incredible board.
What do you think this means to downtown Portsmouth and the Seacoast?
The Music Hall is known for its collaborative spirit, economic impact, and high quality programs. The Loft is going to be a multiplier, bringing more people to downtown, offering more education opportunities and helping to cement Portsmouth as an arts and cultural capital for the region.
Have you raised all the money for this project?