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Tree City Arts adds to Berlin's blooming art scene

Tree City Arts Board of Directors (L to R) John Trumbull, Thomas Frew, Kathy Trumbull, Judi Calhoun, Tricia Wells, and Lane Strahan (missing from photo is Kendall Strahan). All board members are either musicians, writers or artists. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
May 30, 2019
BERLIN — Tree City Arts, located at 112 Pleasant St., is the latest in a string of new art organizations to open their doors in Berlin in recent years. The newly-formed non-profit is a grassroots organization focused on enriching and enhancing the community by promoting public involvement in the arts. The board of directors aims to draw artists from not only northern New Hampshire, but western Maine and northeast Vermont as well.

According to founder Kathy Trumbull, one of many goals of Tree City Arts is to build synergy between the current art-related businesses in Berlin and those planned for the future.

"We have four arts enterprises within six blocks of each other," said Trumbull as she discussed Assemble Makerspace and other budding entities.

"We've got some amazing talent here. We're all launching at the same time, and we all know each other," continued Trumbull.

She believes Berlin's burgeoning arts community will attract a more diverse population to the region.

Trumbull says the area has been in transition for more than a decade following the demise of the paper industry. She believes Berlin is populated with talented people involved in many artistic and historical skilled crafts and she founded Tree City Arts to add diversity for the tourists who increasingly visit the area.

"We've had to rely solely on motorsports and skiing," she added. "We're hoping to add a new dimension so people feel like there's something else here."

Trumbull, who said she is not familiar with more modern art styles, is personally focused on sustaining and preserving what she calls heritage crafts. She pointed out that such traditional activities as quilting, crocheting, tatting and rug braiding have fallen out of fashion.

"I am constantly on the hunt for people who can do these older crafts," she said.

"The real mission is a sense of community," continued Trumbull. "We want to attract people who might not seek the arts out on their own. We want to take our programs out into the community."

"We're hoping to connect with several local churches, mental health facilities and the senior center," continued Trumbull.

"We're also looking at religious art that will be non-denominational so we can have a more unified approach rather than having each church segregated. I've met with several denominations already, and I will be meeting with a few more. It's very exciting," she added.

Tree City Arts is actively securing a 501(c)3 non-profit status with the IRS. Plans include second and third-floor renovation in the building for individual art studios, and developing the empty municipal lot next door for an outdoor event and performance venue. A free "Meet and Greet" event is scheduled for June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will be able to sign up for classes and meet like-minded community members. For more information or to become a teacher, call Kathy Trumbull at 631-5983 or email TreeCityArts@gmail.com.

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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