CONNECT 2023 featured culinary creations by CC & D’s Kitchen Market, installations created by MC2 students, and live music.

This year’s theme is:

Reimagining Communication

For millennia, humans have used voice, gesture, art, written word, and more to communicate.  Recently, letters are shifting to emails, telephones have become smartphones, and other forms of communication are constantly evolving at an ever increasing pace. Have we lost anything along the way? How can we reimagine moving forward?

At our 17th annual CONNECT event this year, we will explore the history of human communication and its impact on connection. CONNECT has always pushed the boundaries on traditional networking gatherings and will include interactive installations on different forms of communication throughout history.  Attendees can wander through and participate in the installations at their leisure while eating artful and innovative local food and engaging with other community movers and shakers from all over the country.

We will also have attendees share life updates reminiscent of old newspaper clippings to include in a newspaper tab produced by the Keene Sentinel and Franklin Pierce students to be distributed at the Radically Rural summit attendees the following day.

The food at CONNECT this year will represent more than just the common act of feeding one’s hunger and nourishing one’s body. It tells us stories. It defines culture and tradition. The non-ending variety of flavors and cooking methods form connections for families, friends and strangers as they gather around their tables to eat.  Come gather with us this year.

Those who have registered for the summit already have this event included in their ticket price.

Those from the community who would like to join just for CONNECT can purchase separate tickets.


Meet CC&D’s Kitchen Market

Good food made with love and laughs. Charcoal Charlie Pini, an award winning chef and BBQ pitmaster, Denise Meadows a catering powerhouse and passionate localvore. Together they share decades of experience, stories and scars in cooking between them, running kitchens and restaurants, creating magic, and taking care of their guests and yours.
CC&D’s Kitchen Market is your spot for mouthwatering take-out lunch, dinner, Charlie’s famous barbecue and a market stocked with grab & go items including local cheeses & charcuterie.
The Market is home to Charcoal Charlie Productions and Free Range Chick Catering for all your catering needs. It’s about remarkable food and happy faces, serving a neighborhood, a community and the Monadnock Region.


Meet MC2 School

Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2)’s vision is to ensure each child’s success by working together with families and communities to interrupt the predictive value of race, class, language, gender, and special capacities on student achievement in our schools and our communities. MC2 works effectively with families, community members, and social service agencies to solve real problems and enable each individual student to become empowered with the knowledge and skills to use his or her voice effectively and with integrity in co-creating our world. Students graduate from MC2 as stewards of the public global world. They have the will, skill, capacity and knowledge to contribute to the greater good, and are ready for college, career, and life.


Hannah Grimes Center and the Keene Sentinel came together in 2016 and 2017 to stage CONNECT, an event initiated by Hannah Grimes in 2007 to connect graduates of one of its business programs and grew to include graduates and participants in HG programming, funders, board members, and the local business and community.

The new approach and concept of CONNECT, to showcase the innovation and entrepreneurship in the Monadnock Region, drew crowds of 400 to network in a fusion of art, food and music. This success suggested something bigger was possible: A small town summit at which experts in the arts, downtowns, entrepreneurship, land use, clean energy, healthcare and journalism could gather and share thoughts on sustainable, thriving rural communities. Radically Rural was born with an emphasis, as its name suggests, on inventive, contemporary approaches that attendees could absorb and take home. Radically Rural has kept CONNECT as a key part of the event to this day.

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Sponsors