October 19, 2006

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Concord Publisher's Note: A little bit of everything
By†Dan Szczesny

I wanted to use this space this week to highlight a few new programs and events in Concord that enhance the quality of life in the city and highlight the efforts of dedicated individuals working to make the community a better place.

First up is the monthly teen dance program at the Concord Recreation Departmentís Green Street Community Center. The monthly Coffee House event is open to high school students, is free, and features local bands. The idea is to give young adults a place to go thatís safe and more fun than sitting home watching TV, The city is sorely missing any kind of teen or recreation center for kids and this might be the beginning of a decent program Ė at least once a month. Considering the iron-fisted attitude the school district recently took regarding what they deemed to be inappropriate dancing, Concord teens have every right to be less than trusting of any dancing event put on by adults. But with luck the Green Street Community Center might be able to bridge that gap.

And if you thought teens had it rough in Concord, whatís a young professional to do? Any move toward the future of the Capital City is going to mean addressing the concerns of young professionals. Call them yuppies if you like, but they are the ones who will move downtown, buy condos, raise families and keep the city vibrant and strong.

To that end, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is kicking off the Concord Young Professionals Network. The key word here is network, and any organization designed to bring the cityís future business and cultural leaders together to plan and socialize can only be a good thing. Manchester launched a similar organization a while ago to great success ,and the fact that the Concord Chamber is putting its clout behind this newest group bodes well for the city. By the time you read this, the first meeting will have taken place, but call the Chamber for information on future gatherings.

And finally, what better entertainment for both young adults and young professionals than the 5th annual Somewhat North of Boston film festival, which takes place in Concord Nov. 7-11? This film series is an amazing showcase, not just for the talented filmmakers but for Concord as well.

This yearís festival will take place at five different venues across the city, including the Thompson Street Annichiarico Theater, The Barley House, The Holiday Inn, Concord City Auditorium and the New Hampshire State Library.

More than 65 films, designed for all styles and ages of movie-goers, will be featured, including Reaching for the Stars, a documentary on Christa McAulliffe, and Southbounders, a fictional account of a journey along the Appalachian Trail made by Exeter filmmaker Ben Wagner. And before you think the festival is all about new unknown films, John Wayne will be there as well in a showing of Stagecoach.

Donít underestimate the economic and social value of this growing festival. Itís one of the reasons those kids and those adults will want to make Concord their home.