Kids can learn about arts at Nashua millyard event

NASHUA – Nashua’s mill buildings were once home to a vibrant textile industry.

Today, they house a variety of unique small businesses, some of which have escaped public notice because of their location outside of downtown.

A group of these businesses at 5 Pine St. Extension is aiming to change this by hosting activities for children at Kids’ Day on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Rebecca Fredrickson, owner of Beck’s Arts Express and coordinator of the event, is familiar with the challenges of drawing people to the millyard.

Prior to having her art instruction business at 5 Pine St. Extension, she was involved with Gallery One at the Millyard, the now closed gallery of the Nashua Area Artists Association that used to be in the same building.

It was hard to get people to come to the gallery because it was “kind of off the beaten path,” she said.

Since the closure of Gallery One, the building has started to become an arts-focused space once again. Many of these businesses, Fredrickson noticed, are also child-oriented.

A day of artistic activities for children seemed like an excellent way to increase people’s awareness of the millyard and its offerings, and Fredrickson invited her fellow creative entrepreneurs to take part.

Other participating businesses include the Nashua Community Music School, The Dancer’s Loft and Millhouse Photographers Coop. That list could change before the event, as they decided to open it up to other kid-friendly, noncompetitive businesses that aren’t in the building.

“This is our first time, so it’s a little loosely organized,” Fredrickson said. “We’re considering making this an annual thing.”

The event is styled as an open house for the businesses with activities for the children, making it easy for parents to get more information on the activities their children enjoy. Everything is free, and refreshments will be available.

“We’re hoping it’ll be a great event and that the community will enjoy it,” Fredrickson said. “I think it’s good for people to know about these opportunities for the arts in Nashua. There are other places, but here, everything is all in one place.”

Teresa Santoski can be reached at 594-6466 or