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ABOUT
THE CREATIVE GUTS TEAM

Founders Laura Harper Lake and Sarah Wrightsman began the Creative Guts Podcast in the spring of 2019, interviewing creatives of all different disciplines and releasing episodes for free. Observing a need for further events and programming that would serve the creative community in New Hampshire, and to create an organization that would live beyond the founders' tenure, Creative Guts evolved into a nonprofit in 2021. In 2023, Creative Guts was honored as the recipient for the 2023 NH Governor’s Arts Award for Creative Communities. The NH Governor’s Arts Awards publicly recognize outstanding contributions to the state’s arts and cultural life made by individuals, organizations, and communities and are given every other year. 

 

Creative Guts' mission is to awaken creativity within people of all ages by curating an environment for connection, collaboration, and the opportunity for gutsy creatives to share their stories with the world. Creative Guts’ program of work is rooted in creating opportunities for people to share their creativity, collaborate and connect with one another, and feel empowered and encouraged to explore their creativity.

 

Creative Guts serves practicing creatives of all disciplines by offering opportunities for them to share their work and tell their stories through the podcast, zines, events, tiny art exchanges, and more. The organization's goal is to strike a balance between curated opportunities (e.g., the zines and the podcast) and opportunities that are open to all (e.g. tiny art exchanges, open mics). 

 

Additionally, Creative Guts aims to serve those that don't yet identify as creatives by offering programming that aims to unleash the inner artist in all. Our goal is to welcome everyone to the Creative Guts' community and empower and encourage people of all ages to flex their creative muscles.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Laura Harper Lake

Laura Harper Lake

Co-Founder & 
Co-Chair 

Laura Harper Lake is an interdisciplinary artist, with a prime focus on painting, illustration, printmaking, and mixed media. She graduated with a degree in Studio Arts from Chester College of New England in 2007. Laura has exhibited her work in various New Hampshire, Maine, and Boston, MA galleries, as well as had her work included in publications. Laura is a permanent artist represented at the Art Up Front Street Studios and Gallery in Exeter, NH, and works under the name Artful Harper Studios. Laura is also the graphic designer and a business advisor for the Regional Economic Development Center, a non-profit focused on creating opportunities for small businesses in New Hampshire. Laura and her smoldering husband, Geoff, live in a quaint town in the New Hampshire seacoast with a plucky pup, named Max, and an omniscient feline, Rainer Maria.

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Becki Barsi

Becky Barsi

Vice-Chair 

Becky Barsi is a multimedia artist whose background is as varied as the artwork she creates. Coming from a family of artists and creatives, she approaches creation with experimentation and play. In addition to maintaining a studio at Art Up Front Street in Exeter, NH, Becky is the Chair of the Visual Arts Program at the Derryfield School in Manchester, NH, and is on the Executive Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Scholastic Art Awards. 

Sarah Wrightsman

Sarah Wrightsman

Co-Founder & 
Co-Chair 

While not a fine artist in the traditional sense, Sarah Wrightsman is a writer and storyteller who dabbles in embroidery and printmaking. By day, Sarah is the Community Engagement Coordinator at New Hampshire Housing. Sarah was selected for the Class of 2020 40 Under Forty by Union Leader; featured in New Hampshire Magazine’s 2019 “It List”; named a 2019 “10 to Watch” winner by Seacoast Media Group and Catapult Seacoast; and won the 2018 Civic Leader of the Year by Stay Work Play NH and NH Public Radio. Sarah is a graduate of the Leadership NH Class of 2020 and the Leadership Seacoast Class of 2019. Born and raised in Nottingham, Sarah is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire’s seacoast and a devoted lover of the Granite State. In her free time, Sarah loves hiking NH's mountains and playing ultimate frisbee with Seacoast Ultimate. Sarah lives in Newmarket with her husband and their pet rabbit, Luna.

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Karla Dillon

Karla Dillon

Treasurer

Karla Dillon brings over 20 years of accounting and finance experience to the team and her creative superpowers include the orderly capture and clear presentation of financial data. She is a passionate and active supporter of local art and her community. Karla is also well known by dogs and birds for providing affection, treats, and kind words to all.

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Mike Durkee

Mike Durkee

Durkish Delights is Mike Durkee: a muralist and graphic artist based in New Hampshire. His work consists of vintage color palettes, photo collage, and often addresses social issues. Durkish Delights’ unique spin on collage incorporates images sourced from his collection of old books, found photographs, and snapshots from Google Earth.

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Toni Weinstein

Toni lives in Newmarket with her husband Josh and two teenage boys. Community involvement has been the focus of her life for the past 20 years. She currently serves on the board of the Newmarket Community Development Corporation and is a regular volunteer at the NCC Food Pantry, where she is focused on providing nutrition information and resources to her community. Toni served 9 years as a Newmarket Town Councilor and was committed to improving the quality of life in her town. Other work includes serving on the board of the Newmarket Community Education Partnership, the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Berwick Parent Committee.

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Angie Lane

Angie Lane serves as the Executive Director of Red River Theatres, a nonprofit independent cinema in Concord. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in communications, Angie brings significant experience in development, community relations, event creation and management, and marketing. Past roles include stints with New Hampshire Public Radio, the Concord Monitor, SiverTech, and Company C.

 

Actively engaged in community efforts, Angie currently serves as a director for the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and. She likewise serves on advisory boards for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Currier Museum of Art, and The Concord Coalition.

In 2016, Angie was named Concord Young Professional of the Year and in 2018 was honored as part of the New Hampshire Union Leader's Forty Under 40 initiative.

 

Angie grew up in Pembroke, N.H. and currently lives in Manchester with her partner Will and the cat of her dreams, Finn. 

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Jozimar Matimano

Jozimar Matimano is an NH-based painter. His gripping paintings depict contemporarily-relevant matters using a traditional approach to oil painting. Matimano was born in the East Democratic Republic of Congo, Butembo, where he grew up and moved to Uganda at ten. In 2016, Matimano moved from Uganda to Manchester, NH, as a refugee through the International Institute of New England program. In 2019, he began his BFA at the Institute of Art at New England College. He received an associate degree in Liberal Arts at Manchester Community College in 2023. Since, he has exhibited in the region, and is actively involved in community organizing and mural projects.

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Our Strategic Plan

In late 2021, the Creative Guts team embarked on a strategic planning process and developed this strategic plan to guide our work for the following three years.

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Gov Award

Creative Guts Received the 2023 NH Governor’s Arts Award for Creative Communities

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Creative Guts is honored to have been selected as the recipient for the 2023 NH Governor’s Arts Award for Creative Communities. The NH Governor’s Arts Awards publicly recognize outstanding contributions to the state’s arts and cultural life made by individuals, organizations, and communities and are given every other year. 

The New Hampshire 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony was live streamed via the Arts Council’s Facebook and YouTube accounts from StudioLab in Derry, N.H. on October 23, 2023. In addition to the award presentations, the event include video profiles of each winner and live music. You can watch the Creative Guts profile and the award ceremony on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts YouTube Channel

 

The N.H. Governor’s Arts Awards publicly recognize outstanding contributions to the state’s arts and cultural life made by individuals, organizations and communities and are given every other year. Awardees receive a sculpture designed and created by André Belanger of Berlin that echoes the N.H. State House Eagle, widely considered the first piece of public art in the state.

 

To be eligible for nominations, individuals must reside in New Hampshire or have made significant contributions to the arts while living in New Hampshire; nominated organizations, cities and towns must be physically located in New Hampshire.

We are humbled and honored to have been selected for this award. Receiving this award means a lot to us. We’d like to thank Governor Sununu and the NH State Council on the Arts for this award. We also would like to thank our partners, sponsors, guests of the show, participants of our events, and the listeners. You make Creative Guts what it is and we appreciate you. Creative Guts has been a labor of love — it’s been fun, but it’s also been hard work — it means a lot to know that our work matters.

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