Letter from the Executive Director

Mary Lou Aleskie, Howard Gilman '44 Executive Director

Dear Hop Friends,

Most of us have at least one profound artistic experience that remains with us through our lives. We keep these moments close and draw upon them as life experiences pull us back into the emotions and ideas emanating from our memory of the art.

The act of gathering together in arts experiences creates lasting impact. It's what helps us better understand ourselves and each other, amplifying empathy while promoting joy and understanding among us. This is the unique power of the arts.

You will see throughout this season opportunities to be captivated by incredible performances whose power lasts even after the performance ends. With many artists visiting for longer than just a day or two, residencies give us opportunities to make memories, to get to know each other and to be transformed by sharing more deeply. Hop resident artists use their time in the Upper Valley connecting beyond the stage, engaging community, creating research and new works while lifting our common humanity.

This year we also begin thinking about the future of the arts and all the new Hop will bring to our community. Our journey through this season is an opportunity to think together about the future and the kinds of experiences we hope for once we return to the building.

Why is it important, particularly at this moment in time, to consider the future? How will we stay connected to the many communities we are engaging now across our region and around the world? What are our greatest aspirations for the arts in our community?

The arts have always been a way to lift spirits and open hearts and minds. The work of the Hop project has been focused on three very simple words that center our role in the Upper Valley. Welcome, Gather and Create focuses our efforts as we plan the future, consider how we make art more accessible to all and bring a sense of joy and belonging to our community in the process. We look forward to being together, as we share what is on our stages but also as we get to know each other and the artists who enlighten us. Let us know what moments you have experienced that matter and what your hopes are for the many shared moments to come.


Mary Lou Aleskie
Howard Gilman '44 Executive Director