Welcome, Jess Bunker!

We sat down with Jess Bunker, our new Membership Manager, to hear a bit about her experience,  lifestyle, and what inspires her about being a part of the Music Hall community!

Tell us a bit about yourself, your hobbies, your pets, any secret talents, etc.
I was listening to a great Wild Ideas Worth Living podcast where they said “You know how you have that friend you run with, the one you ski with, bike with, party with, do business with, and then…..there is that one unicorn of your friends that you do EVERYTHING with!!” … I’m a unicorn; I’m multi-fascinated. It’s my own made-up term but it captures how excited I get learning new things, trying new things, making new discoveries … my enthusiasm can be pretty contagious.

I have a Boston Terrier, Belle, who has an enormous personality squeezed into a pint-sized body. Belle’s my little partner in crime and co-pilot on just about all my adventures – including climbing 4,000-foot mountains. Everybody hiking gets a boost from seeing her on the hill; they think it’s especially hilarious when she pops her head out my backpack (yeah, I weight-tested my pack just for her in the event of treacherous terrain). I love playing in the woods/on the water. I’m working my way through NH’s 48 4,000-foot mountains and 52 With A View, as well as peaks in Maine, Vermont, and wherever I travel. I also really love paddle boarding and skiing and I want to try hockey this winter.

Hmmm secret talents. Well I have a knack for conjuring up a dance party … in my kitchen, in my car, even while hiking. My creative side really comes alive when I’m crafting personalized/themed notes, gifts, care packages, parties … especially if they’re a surprise. You know, bringing a little smile to people’s day! I’m always up for an adventure and can be ready in a moment’s notice; I have a Wonder Woman costume in my car – hey you just never know when you might need to be a superhero for the day right?!

What were you doing before joining The Music Hall?

I have a background in non-profit management and have worked with non-profit and for-profit organizations in New England focusing on everything from conservation to economic development. The common thread for me in all the work I’ve done is creating community; contributing to the elements and relationships that foster vibrant, livable, sustainable communities.

What are you excited to discover about downtown Portsmouth?

I’m SO excited to move to Portsmouth and immerse myself in the community!! Part of what drew me to the area is that its a nexus of art, history, and culture. I’m a foodie, I love live music, love meeting new people, and, and, and … Basically if there’s a parade, festival, food truck, craft show, ok just about anything, you can count me in! I’m on a quest to find the world’s best cup of coffee and perfect Eggs Benedict. I’m happy to say this is a life-long quest and in pursuit of it I’ll need to visit all the coffee shops and breakfast spots in town! I also really love New England history so visiting the Isles of Shoals is on my list for this summer. I completed my first century ride last summer and just tried sweep rowing for the first time this July, so I’m really excited to discover new road-bike routes and rowing spots near Portsmouth as well!!

Why do you think people should become a member of The Music Hall?
The Music Hall has such amazing breadth in its programming, there really is something for everyone. Music, literature, theater, comedy, movies, you name it we’ve got it! But I think what stands out to me most is that when you join The Music Hall you’re getting even more than access to the amazing shows and all of the member benefits. You’re really joining a family. This is the community’s theater and I think you feel that the moment you walk in the door and get to see The Music Hall team as well as friends from the seacoast area and beyond. The Music Hall family is welcoming, it’s inclusive, it’s caring, which is what makes it feel like home.

What upcoming event are you most excited about?
I’m really excited to watch the Women’s Adventure Film Tour and I can’t wait to check out Snarky Puppy for the first time, they had me at “funk”!