This week, Somersworth became the first city in New Hampshire to raise the Juneteenth flag. Juneteenth, also called Liberation Day or the Day of Jubilee, marks the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation — two and a half years after it became law — in the final state of the union. Since it is also Pride month, and there are two flagpoles at Somersworth’s Citizen’s Place, the Juneteenth flag now waves next to the rainbow Pride flag, where they will wave together for a week (the Pride flag stays up all June long here in the Rainbow City).

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lift each other up

I had a vision a few years ago, while in a Kundalini yoga class. It wasn’t like an other-wordly revelation or anything, just an image that came into my head as we were in the meditation portion of the class. It was an image that simultaneously felt so profoundly truthful, while making little logical sense.

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As the publicist for the New Hampshire Film Festival, the festival weekend tends to be a complete whirlwind for me.This was my second year in this role for the festival, since joining Vital, the festival’s official marketing partner, in August of 2013. With 123 films screening this year, and over 100 last year, there are so many great stories to tell leading up to and throughout the weekend.

But this isn’t just an event about eating popcorn and watching movies. As NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg points out, there is something about the festival that makes the film experience so much more than pulling up a movie on Netflix. More than just bringing great independent film to the Portsmouth audience, NHFF also brings them the storytellers—and the story behind the telling.

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Prioritizations passed down
From leaders, peers and self
Trying to put in order
Of most to least likely
To cause a crisis
If ignored

But then I escape
That childhood secret refuge
Look up — up — up

Who am I to ignore
This tree’s priority
Of being looked at
Of being appreciated
For its gnarled bark
Its high, reaching limbs
Stretching — stretching

Who am I to say that
The contemplation
Of what caused
That bend — and
That knot
Is less crucial

Than anything sitting in my inbox

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