No music grant for Gate City, but concert hopes remainBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent January 03. 2018 11:57PM
NASHUA — The Gate City, one of the finalists competing for a $25,000 music grant to bring a new summer music series to the community, has not been awarded the coveted funds.
Nashua was one of the top 25 finalists for the 15 Levitt AMP Your City Grant Awards, which went to cities including Trenton, N.J., Utica, N.Y., St. Johnsbury, Vt., and Woonsocket, R.I.
“We went out and had a good bit of hope,” said Paul Shea, executive director of Great American Downtown. “But, it was very inspiring to have everybody be supportive of bringing more music to Nashua, and there was a lot of energy around that, which was certainly not a disappointment.”
While $25,000 would have been incredibly helpful in expanding Great American Downtown’s efforts to bring more free outdoor concerts to Nashua, Shea said his organization is not giving up.
Shea has initiated a new online fundraising campaign geared to collect at least $3,000 in donations to help spearhead a new summer concert event.
Great American Downtown will continue to produce its spring Nu Muse Festival and its fall New England Roots Festival, and is optimistic that a summer music event can be initiated without the $25,000 matching funds.
This summer program, according to Shea, will be geared toward stimulating local music culture through a competitive music event. He said city departments have been very supportive in helping to get these new music programs off the ground.
“We are looking forward to continuing our music festival series,” Shea added.
He has already reached out to the Levitt Foundation seeking guidance on how to improve the city’s application for next year. Since Nashua made it to the final round this year, Shea is optimistic that the community might be successful in receiving a future grant from the organization.
“We will take another try at it,” he said on Wednesday.
Great American Downtown was hoping to use the $25,000 matching grant to produce a 10-week summer concert series featuring a diverse lineup of musicians along Nashua’s riverfront at French Park.