Claremont Creative Center Project Achieves Major Benchmarks


60% of Phase 1 Goal Raised to Date; $34k Needed to Unlock Byrne Foundation Challenge

CLAREMONT, NH – August 1, 2022 – Melissa Richmond, Executive Director of West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts, announced that the organization has hit several milestones in its bid to create a new home, the Claremont Creative Center. “The progress on this project has been thoughtful, detailed, and significant,” stated Richmond. 

In June, the organization realized a goal set by the Community Development and Finance Authority to sell $400,000 in tax credits to area businesses in support of the project. 14 area businesses purchased credits: AB Gile, A Division of the Rowley Agency, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, BioXCell, Casella Waste Systems Inc, Century 21 Highview Realty, Chinburg Properties, Claremont Glassworks, Claremont Financial Services, Clearwater Performance Group, Crown Point Cabinetry, Mascoma Bank, Novo Nordisk, LaValley Building Supply, and Sugar River Bank. Says Richmond, “The support from our local businesses is a testament to the impact of this project on our community.”

This summer, the organization is focusing on raising the remaining $34,000 necessary to unlock a $100,000 challenge grant from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. Says Richmond, “Realizing the Byrne Challenge grant is the next vital step that will allow the project to head into construction this winter. We can’t wait to open the doors to our new home to our community in Summer of 2023.” Phase 1 construction drawings have been finalized, and plans are underway for an open bidding process in late summer. 

The Claremont Creative Center project is a collaboration between the Claremont Development Authority and WCCMA to transform the long-empty Claremont National Bank Building located in the heart of Claremont into a nexus for arts education and performance, community gathering, and creative entrepreneurship to serve the businesses, artists, innovators, and students of the Upper Valley region. 

Tom Rock, Chairman of the Claremont Development Authority, states, “The Claremont Creative Center project will create jobs, increase investment, and improve educational opportunities for the community. In addition it will be a catalyst for continued economic growth & revitalization to the City Center. We are pleased to partner with the West Claremont Center for Music & the Arts on this important project in Claremont.”

When completed, the new facility will provide three floors of creative and educational spaces. Phase One of the project — activating the first floor — is slated for completion by Summer 2023 and will include a lobby / gallery space with box office area and coat room leading to an intimate and flexible 100-seat performance and event space. A flex space behind the performance room will be used for education programs, community events, and the incubation of small businesses. Additional spaces (restrooms, storage) will provide needed support for programs and activities. Energy efficiency, state-of-the-art equipment, and historic preservation are keys to the design plan. The future Claremont Creative Center is located in the heart of downtown Claremont at 56 Opera House Square, adjacent to the Claremont Opera House, city offices, and in direct relationship to area businesses, parks, and parking. 

To date, the project has raised $1.2 Million (60% of the Phase One goal of $2 Million) from government institutions, foundations, and individual donors. Phase One includes estimated planning costs to date, construction costs, campaign and construction administration, furnishings and equipment necessary to service the center, as well as funds for an operations reserve. Included in the funds raised to date is generous giving from New Hampshire’s Community Development Finance Authority, the Capital Regional Development Council, The Couch Family Foundation, the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire’s Our Kids Commission, The Hypertherm Owner’s Philanthropic Endeavours (HOPE) Foundation, Mascoma Bank Foundation, The Timken Foundation of Canton, and USDA’s Rural Business Development Grants. 

Want to help? Make a donation digitally or send a check to WCCMA, PO Box 902, Claremont, NH 03743 Memo: CCC

Founded in 2008, the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts (WCCMA) brings professional music and arts experiences, diverse musicians, and equitable educational opportunity to Claremont NH and the broader Upper Valley region. More than 50 world-class concerts, educational activities, and events are held annually for an attendance of 3,000 people per year. WCCMA is committed to offering all programs for free or low cost, with scholarships available. Our role is to bring great community to our art and great art to our community. To learn more about programs visit; learn about the Homecoming Campaign at

Limited Tickets: From Vienna with Love! with Sally Pinkas, piano

From Vienna with Love! with Sally Pinkas, Piano
Friday, Feb 3, 2023; 6:30pm
At WCCMA/Union Church Parish Hall
133 Old Church Rd, Claremont, NH 03743

By donation


Join us on a musical tour of Vienna with a few of the incredible composers who created there.  Pianist Sally Pinkas performs works by five great Viennese masters: Marianna Martines, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Alexander Zemlinsky. This concert will be presented to a limited audience in person, and live/on demand online. 

This concert has very limited seating, and we encourage reserving your tickets in advance in order to guarantee a seat. By registering for the online concert you will receive the concert link in your email, and may watch live or on demand. Masks are welcome, and the space has BLUEair filtration systems to help prevent airborne illness transmission. 

About Sally Pinkas: Following her London debut at Wigmore Hall, Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has garnered universal praise as an eloquent and ardent performer. Pinkas shares her wide-ranging repertoire through her travel with enthusiastic audiences and young pianists. Equally at home in a recording studio, Sally’s discography features works by Mozart, Schumann, Fauré, Debussy, Gaubert, Martinů, Rochberg, Shapiro, Pinkham and Wolff, released on the MSR, Centaur, Naxos, Toccata Classics and Mode labels. Her most recent CD release of Sonatas by Shostakovich and Bridge was hailed as “…A mandatory purchase for all pianophiles: two major works, in performances of utter power… ideal melding of strength and emotional pliancy…” by Fanfare Magazine. A CD featuring Piano Quintets by Miguel del Aguila (with Cuarteto Latinoamericano) is forthcoming on Urtext Digital Classics. Pinkas tours regularly as member of Ensemble Schumann and the Hirsch-Pinkas Duo (with her husband pianist Evan Hirsch), and collaborates frequently with the Adaskin String Trio, the Apple Hill String Quartet and Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Pinkas holds performance degrees from Indiana University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Ph.D. in Composition from Brandeis University. Pianist-in-residence at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, she is Professor of Music at Dartmouth’s Music Department.

Celebrate with us!

The WCCMA and Claremont Creative Center‘s partner the The Claremont Development Authority invites you to join us in celebration:

Thursday, December 15th, 2022
3:30 – 5:00 PM
56 & 58 Opera House Square, Claremont NH 03743

The Claremont Development Authority (CDA) and partner-tenant West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts (WCCMA) have been working diligently to bring the long-held dream of converting the historic bank building at 56 Opera House Square into the new CLAREMONT CREATIVE CENTER, an intimate gathering/performance space and home for arts education in the heart of downtown Claremont.

We have much to celebrate: 
a new grant from a major national business and more! 

We’d love to get photos with all who have helped bring this project to this important juncture. Please join us for this photo opportunity and a special announcement outside 56 Opera House Square followed by holiday treats, entertainment provided by the students and artists of West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts, and project updates in the warmth of City Hall. Please join us in celebration of all you and our community have done to make this dream a reality!


To learn more about this project, please visit:

Claremont Development Authority:

Candace Crawford
Derek Ferland
Reggie Greene
Andre Lefreniere
Martha Maki
Robert H. Porter
Keith Raymond
Thomas Rock
Michael Satzow

Wednesday 6:20PM: Haven String Quartet take us Around the World

Haven String Quartet

November 16, 2022 @ 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at WCCMA at Union Church

The Haven String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence of Music Haven, perform a concert filled with interesting music and informational tidbits. Register in advance, click here. 

Join us for a performance by the Haven String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence of Music Haven. The performance will include interesting details and tidbits on the works they will perform, and will have us traveling around the world. This event is a part of a day-long residency for HSQ at WCCMA where they will work with students from WCCMA and the Upper Valley Music Center in Masterclasses and Workshops. This program is part of a partnered grant with Saint-Gaudens Memorials, and is funded in part by the NH State Council on the Arts and the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

ABOUT HSQ Featured in the New York Times and on NPR, and sought after for both their command on the concert stage and their mastery as teachers, Haven String Quartet has been described as “exquisite” by the NH Register. Its four members represent the world’s top conservatories and bring outstanding chamber music performances to New Haven neighborhoods and throughout the region with a full season of concerts, recitals, educational workshops, and performances for diverse audiences in public spaces. The Quartet serves as the permanent quartet-in-residence and teaching faculty for Music Haven, and spearheads the organization’s tuition-free strings program for youth, which has been recognized as a top 50 after-school arts program in the country by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities for six years. Each member of HSQ teaches a full studio of 15-20 Music Haven students in private lessons, group classes, studio classes, chamber groups, and an advanced chamber orchestra.

More information