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Out & About: Hopkins Center for the Arts launches virtual events programs

  • Dartmouth Assistant Professor Don Glasgo leads rehearsal with the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, a group he has led for 40 years, at Hartman Rehearsal Hall on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in Hanover, N.H. The ensemble was set to perform one last concert on May 13, 2017. The group is now called the Coast Jazz Orchestra and viewers can watch a past performance on Facebook Live on Thursday, April 9, 2020. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News file photograph — Jovelle Tamayo

Valley News Calendar Editor
Published: 4/7/2020 9:18:08 PM
Modified: 4/8/2020 4:15:28 PM

HANOVER — The Hopkins Center for the Arts is going virtual.

Beginning this week, the nonprofit organization has started hosting online events including a live chat with filmmakers, a Coast Jazz Orchestra watch party and even a dance-off through its newly created Hop@Home program.

All events in the program are being offered for free and a schedule can be found at

“We hope that Hop@Home is a way for people to feel like they have a place to come together and share in the arts which is the whole mission of the Hopkins Center,” said Hop director Mary Lou Aleskie.

Technology allows people to still join together — albeit remotely — to enjoy the arts together.

“We’ve found that we can create a virtual stage,” Aleskie said. “It’s not going to be what it’s like live, but we’re trying our best. In these times, whenever we can, we need to figure out how to help each other.”

On Thursdays of each week, the Hop will send out an email listing the programs for the upcoming week, as well as posting the information to their website. This Thursday at 8 p.m., viewers can watch a past performance of the Coast Jazz Orchestra on Facebook Live while interacting with the musicians in the comments section.

“We’re trying to make sure that whatever content we have is a reflection of this community,” Aleskie said. “The idea is for people to feel like there’s a virtual gathering space that is interactive.”

The Sour Dough Dance-Off — named after the sourdough starter that has been embraced by many people socially distancing — is crowd sourced choreography project hosted by John Heginbotham and the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble that will take place over six weeks. Each Monday morning at 9 a.m. a “starter” choreography will be posted online. Viewers then have until Wednesday at midnight to submit a one-minute response video. Each Friday, three of those dances will be featured in a compilation video.

“In some ways, I feel like Hop@Home is giving us an opportunity to reach out beyond our local community,” Aleskie said. “We’re thinking about this as a glass half -full opportunity rather than a challenge and so far we’re excited that so many artists are interested in participating in the platform.”

Like other organizations in the area, the Hop had to cancel its spring performance and film schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of the events that we had to cancel we’re actually working to postpone,” Aleskie said. “One of the reasons were trying to do Hop@Home is because it’s an opportunity to pay artists work for they’re doing so people are not left high and dry.”

While some who bought tickets have asked for refunds, most people are waiting for events to be rescheduled. Others are using the ticket money to make a donation to the Hop.

“It’s an important ecosystem,” Aleskie said. “We all have to try to support each other.”

In this age of social distancing, we can no longer gather in person but plenty of organizations are finding ways to hold events online. Here are a few coming up in the next few days worth checking out:

Vermont Historical Society Trivia Night: Test your knowledge of Green Mountain State history at 7 p.m. on Wednesday via Zoom. Information:

Introduction to Angular 2 online course: Learn about the open-source web application during a massive online open course (better known as a MOOC) from staff at the Lebanon Public Libraries at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday via Zoom. Information:

■ Zoom Storytime: Thetford Libraries children’s librarian Emily Zollo will lead a children’s storytime at 11 a.m. on Friday via Zoom. Email for the link.

Please email Upper Valley-based virtual events to Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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