Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Should You Attend the Juice Conference?

Juice is a two day conference, November 4 & 5, in midcoast Maine that brings creative folks into dialogue with people from all other sectors: community development, government, business, technology and education. It provides a platform for the kind of cross fertilization of ideas and expertise that enriches any practice. Check out some of the offerings below and then visit to sign up today.

Internationally renowned artist Eric Fischl will be the Juice keynote speaker on Saturday, November 5. He will speak about the risks inherent in succeeding in the art world and discuss his latest adventure America: Now and Here, which is a cross-country journey of art and ideas.

Louisa McCall, co founder of Artists in Context (AIC) will be presenting the work of Maine artists addressing issues of social importance. AIC is a flexible, New England wide organizational framework designed to assemble artists and other creative thinkers across disciplines to conceptualize new ways of representing and acting upon the critical issues of our time.

Structured as a 10-year initiative, AIC is a timely and relevant endeavor to cultivate the visions, concepts, plans and projects of contemporary creative practitioners at an historic moment of transition and necessary change. The project initially leverages the intellectual, creative and activist underpinnings of four New England areas --Greater Boston, Rhode Island, Maine and the Pioneer Valley, MA– and organizes situations for conversation, research and artistic production among individuals involved in the arts, architecture, sciences, humanities, commerce and communications.

Ben Sawyer, who is the co-founder of Digitalmill, will be presenting at Juice. Digitalmill is a games consulting firm based in Portland, Maine. Since beginning his career in game development over ten years ago, Sawyer has pioneered major initiatives in the field of serious games and has become a nationally recognized leader within the games community.

For the past seven years, Sawyer has dedicated his professional life to discovering new ways to expand the use of games beyond entertainment. In 2002, he co-founded the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the U.S. Government's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following year, Sawyer organized the first-ever Serious Games Summit – a conference which now attracts 300-500 attendees annually, who meet to share best practices in the development of serious games. The Serious Games Initiative continues to serve as one of the leading organizations in the field of serious games.

Over a year ago the governor of Maine and the premier of New Brunswick signed a memorandum of understanding which effectively provided the recognition and support from our mutual heads of state for international cultural exchange. They formally acknowledged that culture was of benefit to all and should be shared, nurtured and grown. Our colleagues from New Brunswick as well as the New England Foundation for the Arts will be at Juice to share their work and initiatives for the future. This is a chance for you to learn how international exchange can be a benefit to you as an artist or a member of an arts organization.

There will be a panel discussion that will focus on the opportunities in accommodating persons with disabilities in arts and cultural venues and businesses; and the challenges in managing the risks. Sixteen percent of Mainers report some type or some level of disability, and the percentage will likely increase as baby boomers encounter age related changes. What are the risks of investing in accommodation and what are the benefits?

Universal design concepts provide opportunities for designers and entrepreneurs. How can your organization incorporate existing technology to improve universal accessibility?
What low cost strategies and improvements can your business or organization adopt right now and how can you fund it? How can Universal design concepts be developed and marketed in Maine?

These are just a demonstration of the breadth of arts offerings at Juice. There are so many more avenues to explore. This event features keynote speeches, workshops, entertainment, competitions and ample time to connect with your colleagues. Sign up today at

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