Celebrating 100 Years of Emma Blood French Hall
NHIA Gala Raises Over $300,000 for Scholarships
Manchester, NH (November 15, 2016) –For 118 years, the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) has championed the creative arts, and for 100 of those years, historic Emma Blood French Hall located at 148 Concord St. in downtown Manchester has been at the center of that activity. The incredible gift of this building to NHIA by Emma Blood French in 1916, ensured that future generations of New Hampshire residents would always have access to the arts.
To celebrate this legacy and the 100th anniversary of Emma Blood French Hall, NHIA hosted a Gatsby-themed gala on November 14, 2016. Attended by arts supporters from across New England, the evening raised $326,275 for student scholarships.
Over the years, thousands of Granite Staters of all ages gained their first exposure to the arts at Emma Blood French Hall. Whether that was watercolor or oil painting, printmaking or sculpture, photography or graphic design, music or theater, creative writing or literature, Emma Blood French Hall has provided a gateway into the arts for so many.
“The goal of this gala was to not only honor Emma, but her legacy,” said Kent Devereaux, NHIA President. “Hearing the stories of Manchester residents who took classes in this building from the 1920s onward, coupled with the stories of our current students who would not be able to attend NHIA without scholarship support drove home how important the arts are to our community and to our country. It is up to all of us to keep the arts alive for future generations.”
Event co-chairs, Terry Heinzmann and Theresa Dolloff, orchestrated an evening of fun and focus. An opening cocktail party held in the French Gallery was ringed by images of Emma Blood French alongside historic images and architectural drawings of her building. A sit-down dinner under the domed auditorium in French Hall featured a live band and Gatbsy décor that transformed the room into a roaring celebration. A lively auction, diamond raffle, and two short documentaries highlighting Emma’s impact on Manchester and how her gift will continue to provide inspiration for generations to come, made for an entertaining and inspirational event.
“Our gala committee had a lofty goal: to bring the same standard of excellence that the college embodies and that NHIA students demonstrate in their craft to the planning of this event,” said Co-chair Theresa Dolloff. “There were a lot of moving parts to the evening, but thanks to our committee of extraordinarily gifted and talented volunteers we were able to achieve that goal. And most importantly, we did our part to support NHIA’s students, present and future.”