New Hampshire
Profile Type: Cultural Nonprofit
NEFA Grant Recipient
Cultural Nonprofit
West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts

The West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts’ (WCCMA) mission is to bring professional music and arts experiences, diverse musicians, and educational opportunity to the underserved and low-income community of Claremont NH, and the wider Upper Valley region. We are committed to offering performances and workshops without charge, enabling everyone in the community to access the arts and their benefits.



  • ...the arts build and bind our community by catalysing conversation, sparking imagination, and engendering empathy. 

  • ...arts education is central to developing a well-rounded citizenry.

  • must be accessible to all and it is our responsibility to remove the economic, physical, and perceptive barriers to participation.

  • ...Participation in the arts cultivates self-respect, encourages confidence and creates civic engagement.  



  • Passion: We present passion through our performances, artists, and educators in order to evoke passion in our students and patrons.

  • Community: We strengthen and engage community by bringing together citizens of Claremont and surrounding towns.

  • Excellence: We maintain a standard of excellence by offering community the quality of programming 
they deserve.

  • Access: We provide access to the arts for all, regardless of the situation, through an emphasis on 
free or low-cost programs.

  • Confidence: We offer educational programming that empowers everyone, especially youth, to find confidence in their abilities.

  • Diversity: We present musicians, artists, performances, and educational programs that represent a diversity of cultures, genres, disciplines, and life experiences.



  • … a thoughtful and compassionate Claremont Creative Center designed to serve as an arts incubator and a home for learning.

  • … programs and performances that gather people together to be part of something momentous and beautiful.

  • … a financially thriving WCCMA that provides jobs and serves Claremont and the Upper Valley Region for years to come.

  • … a culturally rich community that values and demands outstanding musicians, artists, performances.

  • … a prosperous Claremont driven by the creative economy.

  • … future generations of curious, respectful, confident, compassionate, fulfilled, and civic-minded citizens.


Since its inaugural concert series at Union Church in summer of 2008, WCCMA has consistently offered free or low-cost access to world-class musicians in an intimate setting via the professional Summer and Fall Concert Series, the only multi-season, local series to feature professional musicians performing classical, world, jazz, and new music. WCCMA serves as a home base for world-class musicians who can cultivate new work in a safe setting. Presenting artists are inspiring and award winning performers and composers in all genres of music. Admission is by donation so that everyone in our community can explore new or familiar emerging and established artists. These artists in turn give back to the community by offering master classes and workshops both in schools and at Union Church. 


Youth Arts Enrichment Initiative (since 2012): Arts workshops, music lessons, and services to the youth in our community, including matching underserved students with instruments they can borrow for free, and scholarships for lessons and workshops. It also provides student recitals, community ensemble opportunities, and small ensembles for students studying music, a key to developing as a musician and as a person.


    • Claremont HopStop (in partnership with Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College and Claremont Parks and Rec.)

    • School Residencies and Community Workshops with visiting artists

    • Art Therapy (collaborative program with West Central Behavioral Health)

    • Music Lessons

    • Ensembles

    • Scholarships


Bach Tree (since 2014):  Innovative music education intensive created by celebrated artists Dinuk Wijeratne, Nick Halley, and Artistic Director Melissa Richmond. This ground-breaking program teaches creativity techniques, training in rhythm, composition, and performance. Customized workshops for schools and educational institutions as well as to professional musicians and creatives across disciplines are offered locally and internationally.


Creative Community Building: WCCMA is committed to providing a place for artists to gather, cross-pollinate, and collaborate to engage bind our local community and grow our creative economy. We connect instructors with students, creative entrepreneurs to resources, and represent Claremont as an ever evolving creative force for North America. 


Additional Links: 

I Have Worked With

  • July 2016

    Qais Essar, international artist, composer, producer, educator and experienced live performer, carries on the traditional legacy of classical Afghan instrumentation.

  • March 2016

    Presentation of program of French trio music by award winning performers.

  • March 2016

    Performer in local artist programs, instructor of voice and harp.


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Cultural Nonprofit

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Executive Director
Mailing Address: 
PO BOX 902
Physical Address: 
c/o Union Church 133 Old Church Rd
Claremont, NH 03743
Last Name: 
Parent Organization/Affiliation: 
Union Episcopal Church


Profile Type: 
Cultural Nonprofit
Primary Discipline: 
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Folk
Design - General
Humanities - General
Humanities - Cultural Heritage
Media - Film
Music - General
Music - Band
Music - Chamber
Music - Children's
Music - Choral
Music - Composition
Music - Country
Music - Dance / DJ
Music - Ethnic / World
Music - Folk
Music - Jazz
Music - New
Music - Opera
Music - Orchestral
Music - Pop / Rock
Music - R&B / Soul
Music - Rap / Hip-Hop
Music - Solo / Recital
Music - Traditional
Theater - General
Theater - Musical
Visual/Crafts - General
Visual/Crafts - Ceramics
Visual/Crafts - Illustration / Drawing
Visual/Crafts - Sculpture
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Immigrant Populations
Incarcerated (or Formerly Incarcerated) Individuals
LGBTQ Populations
Native American Tribes
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Veteran/Active Duty Military Personnel
Institution/Business Type: 
Arts Centers
Activities and Services: 
Artist Market
Artist Representation / Artist Management
Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Arts in Healthcare
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Community Arts
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Film Showings
Performance / Concert / Reading
Professional Development / Training
Public Art Projects (In Free, Public Spaces)
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region
Multi-State Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Member of APNNE or NEP presenters consortium
I am a Creative Communities Exchange Presenter
Executive Director Melissa Richmond was the recipient of the NH Governor's Award for Distinguised Arts Leadership in 2015
Executive Director Melissa Richmond was part of Sullivan County's team selected to participate in the National Association of Counties' Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

Access accommodations for people who use a wheelchair and have limited mobility
Historical Building, has rear ramp for wheelchair access with same-level seating space in the multi-level building. Hall has a fully accessible lift. We do not have a comprehensive technical program of additional accommodations, but we do have hearing assist devices (so far never used), and do amplify artists comments for ease of hearing for all. We are always happy to accommodate additional needs as much as possible upon request. We are currently reviewing our digital presence to ensure that we implementing all recommendations for accessibility.