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

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