NOVA ARTS: A Collaborative Arts Initiative

A New Hampshire musician I’ve followed for years, Ty Ueda, recently posted online an upcoming live stream event he is performing for something called Nova Arts. The name alone drew me in, as an eternal space-lover, so I started rummaging around their website and social media and realized this was a very special gem, and I needed to know more. 

Nova Arts, located at 48 Emerald Street in Keene, is a collaborative arts initiative focused on emerging artists, underrepresented voices, and unexpected juxtapositions. They present and partner with creative individuals, organizations, and ideas. 

A Star Is Born

Nova Arts is an extension of Brewbakers & Terra Nova Coffee, owned by Jeff and Eliza Murphy. A few years ago, they began to coordinate shows in the back of the Terra Nova Roastery. The Murphy’s were friends with Eric Gagne, the person behind The Thing in the Spring in Peterborough, and they all put their heads together to build upon this. When Brewbakers had the opportunity to expand their space, they seized it and renovations included adding in a gorgeous stage and sound system. This allowed them to utilize Gagne as their programming director and put into motion new programming ideas. 

Out of This World Awesomeness

Prior to the pandemic, Nova Arts was booking shows, but that all changed in early 2020. Though some events had to be canceled, they began to develop ways to engage with the community remotely. 

Gagne started writing an essay series called the Listening Project, that discusses a particular album each week, asking folks to all put that album on together for collective listening. This series deals with all kinds of music, and Nova Arts hopes to be bringing in different writers soon. 

Photo courtesy of Nova Arts

When I spoke with Gagne, he was excited for the future of Nova Arts, saying

We have got some momentum, so we are always trying to figure out how to hang tough throughout this weird period. We know that once the vaccinations are up and it’s safe to go out again, we have got a beautiful spot and a lot of energy and opportunities to connect this community with other communities in the region and beyond.”

Nova Arts was able to present some in-person shows, with strong safety protocols, and are also presenting a livestream series. 

Live Streams: A Safe Space

I’m always looking for new creative things to check out, and live streams are such a great route to take while stuck at home, wanting to be physically distant. Dive into what events are coming up here

What is extra special about these live streaming performances is that they are “watch by donation,” which means they are available for any budget. This struck me as a wonderful way to bring arts to all, and I mentioned that the Gagne when we chatted. To that he said,

We didn’t want to have things behind a paywall. Accessibility is important to us, and the internet is so vast, we didn’t want to start out putting extra barriers between the things we were trying to connect, and our experience has been that folks will donate if they can.”

Reach for the Stars

The whole vibe from Nova is creative, well-crafted, hopeful, and inclusive. They are certainly on my radar now and I look forward to visiting them in person someday. In the meantime, their live streams will be just the thing for consuming some creative entertainment from my couch. Their Instagram and Facebook accounts are pretty fantastic to follow too. Lastly, want a taste of a live performance at Nova Arts? Here you go. 

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