New Hampshire has seen somewhat of a Renaissance when it comes to the arts and music. The first to lead the way was the Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth with a complete rehabilitation. Then came the Palace Theater in Manchester on Elm Street. Laconia‘s Colonial Theater got a recent boost during an extensive renovation, something that city officials hope will boost business in the Lakes Region City. Perhaps the most ambitious of the venues is being finished in Nashua. The Nashua Center for the Arts is nearing completion right downtown. Podcaster Roger Wood caught up with what’s happening in Nashua, speaking with long-time mayor Jim Donchess.
Now in his second term, Jim has been focusing on the economic growth of the community, on strategies to ensure that all of Nashua’s children reach their full potential, on a stronger municipal infrastructure, on steady progress toward a net zero Nashua, and on the cultivation of a 21st century arts, cultural, and residential neighborhood in Nashua’s downtown.
Jim graduated from Yale where he majored in Art History and played varsity football. After college, he earned a law degree from NYU School of Law with top academic honors. As a practicing attorney for many years in New Hampshire, Jim represented scores of plaintiffs in lawsuits involving claims of sexual harassment and employment discrimination based on gender, race, ethnic origin, age, and disability.
Jim and his wife Vicki have lived for many years in their home on Rockland Street. The other members of their family – daughter Caroline, son-in-law David, and two young grandsons live in Oakland, California.
Roger Wood is an award winning radio, podcast, newspaper and television journalist, with over 40 years of experience in the media. Roger has spent his entire professional career in New Hampshire. Roger currently serves as associate publisher and podcast producer at InDepthNH.org. In 2021 and 2022, he was recognized by the New Hampshire Press Association for his work in news podcasts. Prior to that he was honored for his work in broadcast radio news and public affairs. He has produced news and special feature reports for InDepthNH,
New Hampshire Public Radio, NPR, and other public and commercial radio stations. He also produced spot news for CBS Radio. He has produced and narrated some 50 audiobooks and has written three novels. Roger has also moderated political forums for Seacoast Area Chambers of Commerce in Senate, gubernatorial and congressional races. He has also facilitated public policy discussions locally and statewide. Roger and his wife Elaine, parents of three adult children, reside in Portsmouth with their cat Sebastian.