Gov. Sununu: Rochester one of NH’s shining stars

During a special tour of Rochester on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu and the state’s Executive Council praised the city as one that has positioned itself well for growth and success across multiple sectors.

Sununu said Rochester has cultivated an impressive array of unique business partnerships, educational programs, arts and cultural opportunities, and economic development approaches. Wednesday’s visit celebrated Rochester’s budding revitalization, and Sununu used these things to outline why he believes the Lilac City is on the right track.

“Obviously, Rochester is moving and anything we can do at the state level, let us know,” Sununu told city officials and members of the public Wednesday, calling the visit an incredible opportunity.

The five-hour, three-stop tour highlighted many of the revitalization’s key drivers.

Arts and culture were the main focuses of a ceremony at the Rochester Opera House because of the way individuals and groups throughout the community have zeroed in on increasing access and opportunities for local residents. The ceremony included a reading by Rochester poet laureate Katie O’Connor and a vocal duet by Rochester Performance and Arts Center students Eloise and Madeline Ellis.

Sununu dubbed one of the city’s brightest stars, Matt Wyatt, as a “champion” of arts and culture during a special proclamation. Wyatt is the co-founder of the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, the creator of Rochester Pride and a leader of numerous other arts-focused efforts and entities.

“Every once in awhile, we have the opportunity to really highlight a few of those individuals who really exemplify ’603 pride,′ who really push their time and their efforts and make their sacrifices (to make the community better),” Sununu said of Wyatt. “I was given his resume. I thought I was busy. It’s really impressive.”

Wyatt was visibly moved by the personal praise, although much of his acceptance speech focused on how proud he is that the community has really started to embrace and stoke the arts — particularly because, according to Wyatt, many heavily doubted the MFA when they started it in 2011.

To Wyatt and many of the officials present Wednesday, the core of Rochester’s revitalization, and the way to expand upon the renewal more than ever, is the city’s culture. According to Wyatt, Rochester residents will continue to “not wait for anyone’s permission” to push the Lilac City forward.

“This honor means more to me today than I can imagine,” said Wyatt. “It means people are finally paying attention to what we’re doing and what volunteers are accomplishing here in Rochester. They’re not laughing anymore.”

by Kyle Stucker
Source: Foster’s Daily Democrat /

August 8, 2018

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