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Things To Do In Portsmouth – Art & Music

Portsmouth, New Hampshire has lots to do year-round, keeping things fun and interesting for those who reside nearby, and especially for those visiting the Seacoast. On top of the growing city’s rich history and variety of shops and restaurants, Portsmouth has a lively music, culture, and arts scene, with plenty of options for anyone to enjoy. There are countless opportunities and experiences in Portsmouth, but here are just a handful of some of the best things to do centered around art and music during your visit.

The Music Hall

The Music Hall first opened in 1878, being one of the first places to jumpstart Portsmouth’s arts and culture scene. Now, for over a century, The Music hall has housed numerous performances and live acts and continues to be a hub of musical and cultural enrichment for the community. Come to The Music Hall to see live music, plays, and even stand-up comedy. For more information and to view the calendar for upcoming performances, visit https://www.themusichall.org.

Prescott Park Arts Festival

Not only is Prescott Park worth visiting for its gorgeous scenery from its gardens or Piscatiqua River view from the dock or Four Tree Island, there is also a stage for live performances, outdoor movies, and much more. Summer is the perfect time to come and experience the Prescott Park Arts Festival. The Festival happens every Summer starting in mid-June and going until the beginning of September. The Arts Festival features a live play every Summer with weekly shows from June to August. Additionally, the festival showcases several performers, with live music multiple times a week. There are also outdoor movies throughout the summer with a variety of options, multiple of which are kid-friendly. For additional information on the festival and all of the different events, visit https://www.prescottpark.org.

Seacoast Repertory Theatre

The Rep houses year-round productions of various live plays, and their goal is to create a more empathetic society while providing a space for performers and audiences to experience new perspectives and broaden their views on society. Within the productions each year are also multiple events and learning opportunities, such as the Red Light Series and the Portsmouth Academy of Performing Arts. Check out Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s upcoming shows and plays at https://seacoastrep.org

Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club

Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club opened September 30th in 2021 and has received lots of praise ever since. The club was designed and engineered to be what is considered a top “listening room” with a great atmosphere for performances. There are performances just about every night with dining and a full bar, and the club has quickly become a valued part of the Portsmouth community that is definitely worth a visit. To view upcoming events or to buy tickets, go to https://jimmysoncongress.com

Museum of New Art

The Museum of New Art, otherwise known as MONA, brings in contemporary art that involves the latest trends to the Seacoast area, located in central downtown Portsmouth. MONA showcases new exhibitions every few months, so the artwork is constantly evolving and changing to keep up with the changing trends over time. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds get to see the artwork of this generation and future generations to come for a truly inspiring experience. For more information and to plan a visit, go to https://www.monaportsmouth.org

3S Art Space

3S Art Space is an organization in Portsmouth that opened in March of 2015. They focus on showcasing a large contemporary art gallery, highlighting bold and up and coming art and entertainment. In addition to the art gallery, 3S also has their “Loading Dock Concert Series,” which has several live music performances every summer. To visit 3S Art Space or to buy tickets to a concert in the Loading Dock Concert Series, go to https://www.3sarts.org

Seacoast African American Cultural Center

The Seacoast African American Cultural center (SAACC) was founded to become a place to exhibit the contributions of individuals of the Seacoast community who come from African descent. The goal of the SAACC is to create visibility to African-Americans and their culture that exists in New England. Multiple exhibits have been showcased at the SAACC and they continue to present new artwork each year. For additional information visit https://www.saacc-nh.org

The New Hampshire Film Festival 

The New Hampshire Film Festival was founded in 2001 and now happens annually every October. The festival occurs over four days and presents talent in independent filmmaking over a multitude of categories. The festival works with a variety of venues in Portsmouth, including The Music Hall and 3S Art Space. With over 100 independent films and over 10,000 attendees, The New Hampshire Film Festival is not one to miss. For more information and to find out about this year’s festival, visit https://nhfilmfestival.com

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