As a resident of Exeter for over 45 years, I appreciate all that Exeter has to offer. Exeter was a wonderful place for my wife and me to raise our children. Being a performing musician for over 50 years, I historically noticed a lack of musical and performance arts in our town until Scott Ruffner and his group began to pull together music and art events through their non-profit organization, TEAM, a clever acronym of Town, Exeter, Arts, Music.
I recently became aware that TEAM is experiencing difficulty in securing local venues, which I find ironic since they are the group that made these spaces relevant and desirable once again. There seems to be a serious lack of support from local bureaucracy for an organization that is accomplishing what many others have failed at over the last 20 years. In my years in town I have operated businesses in both Portsmouth and Exeter. Early on I realized that Exeter is not a destination. As we all know, Portsmouth is. For the most part, Exeter businesses and community programs depend on local residents. Likewise, local residents would like to shop and avail themselves to support local events. With the hiring of Economic Development Director Darren Winham, Exeter has taken a positive step in improving the local economy, broadening the tax base, and helping our town become a destination. TEAM compliments that effort. I think it is time for all of Exeter to embrace and encourage this group and their intentions of helping Exeter become a hub for homegrown talent.