May 26, 2022
Rochester, NH – What began as a casual conversation between two non-profit leaders several years ago culminated last Wednesday night with the dedication of the HRCU Main Street Stage at the Rochester Performance & Arts Center. HRCU made an additional $10,000 donation to help fund the many youth programs offered by RPAC. Board members and employees from both organizations, along with other community members, marked the occasion with a special event that included Rochester City Mayor Paul Callaghan as a guest speaker.
Starting back in 2015, HRCU President & CEO Brian Hughes and Rochester Opera House Executive Director Anthony Ejarque started talking about what they could do to help “bring back” the downtown. Their respective organizations both shared the same goal of revitalizing and strengthening the Rochester community. The Opera House wanted to expand its youth programming and was looking for additional performance and rehearsal space. HRCU was in possession of a building downtown that was sitting vacant. A partnership was formed that would see the empty storefront of 32 North Main Street transformed into the beautiful space that is now the Rochester Performance & Arts Center.
Hughes began his remarks thanking both Boards for their support of this community-minded partnership and expressed “it’s great to see that families are coming back to the downtown. This donation is to help RPAC continue to provide theater camps, music lessons, scholarships and recording opportunities to our local youth”.
Ejarque agreed with his sentiments echoing “downtown is now a hub of activity. We at the Opera House are very thankful for the support of HRCU. They helped us bring this new space back to life and offer the youth programming that is so vital to our community”.
President of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Opera House John McKenna said, “We certainly couldn’t have done this alone. Thank you to the City of Rochester and to HRCU for recognizing the impact of what we do and providing your continued support”.
Rochester City Mayor Paul Callaghan responded, saying “former Mayor Harvey Bernier recognized that the arts are a catalyst for economic revitalization and growth, and I want to congratulate these two organizations on their unique relationship. If the Opera House can be restored and the arts can be expanded, then people start to think that maybe anything is possible”.
The Rochester Opera House is a not-for-profit organization that presents an annual performance season of shows for children, teens, adults, and seniors. Their mission is to educate, engage, empower, challenge, and inspire a community of all ages by presenting extraordinary and culturally diverse theatre, performance art, music, dance, and film on the city’s foremost performing arts stage. http://www.rochesteroperahouse.com/
HRCU is a state-chartered and federally insured community credit union that has been serving the New Hampshire community since its inception in 1962. With several locations throughout the seacoast, HRCU prides itself on helping its members achieve their financial goals through convenient, up-to-date services and a compassionate, personalized approach. https://www.hrcu.org/
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