Thursday, February 21, 2013

Announcing the Statewide Maine Arts Conferece

One of things that we hear when traveling throughout the state is that artists and those who work in cultural organizations would like more opportunities to meet with their peers and to have professional development workshops that are tailored to their needs.

This need is echoed statewide and in order to respond to this demand the Maine Arts Commission is working with several partners in order to develop a conference that will strengthen the core of Maine’s cultural sector.

You will be happy to hear that you can join more than 500 artists, arts organizations and community leaders at the Strengthen the Core cultural conference. This conference boasts development sessions, networking opportunities, artist showcases, and cross discipline collaboration opportunities. There is something for everyone.

The Collins Center for the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission and the Atlantic Presenters Association of Canada, have come together to work with Bangor Arts, L/A Arts and Creative Portland to develop a truly remarkable international cultural conference focusing on the arts.

The Strengthen the Core arts conference will be at the Collins Center, on the University of Maine campus in Orono, October 17 to 19, 2013. This conference will have an opening gala reception and over 30 professional development sessions, including workshops at the new UMaine Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center. Nationally recognized keynote presenters will speak each day of the event offering insights to central issues. On Friday night downtown Bangor will open its doors to conference goers and offer tours and workshops through its galleries, theaters, dance studios, museums and other cultural organizations.

We are finalizing the details of this conference and details will emerge shortly regarding the agenda and registration. If you are a performing artist and wish to be considered for one of the many showcasing opportunities then please visit the website today as the deadline is March 25.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Free Professional Development Workshops Continue in Maine's Communities

We are so lucky to be invited into so many of Maine’s communities. In the last month or so, Maine Arts Commission staff members have been asked to present valuable information in so many places, and we are enjoying it.

So far we have presented in places such as Portland and Presque Isle. We have three more workshops already lined up in Bethel, Bangor and the newly added Damariscotta.

River Arts in Damariscotta has asked us to deliver a workshop that focuses on website construction and the importance of analytical feedback. The event, which is free to attend, will take place at 5:00pm on Monday, March 25.

With so much of today’s messaging appearing online, there is an ever-increasing need to make sure that your online presence is the best that it can be. There are simple things that can be done to ensure the quality of your online representation. To help explain these methods, Darrell Bulmer and Steve Milligan from the Maine Arts Commission will share their expertise and experience in website development and marketing.

Some of the topics that will be discussed will be structuring your website and information in the most sensible way, and using free analytical tools to track this structure to ensure it is working. Analytics are powerful in that they allow the user to adjust layouts and content to derive the maximum of benefits. This workshop will consist of clear examples of successful website strategies, the dos and don’ts of design, an explanation and demonstration of free analytical tools and finally an extended chance for you to ask your questions that relate to websites and online marketing.

The workshop takes place at the new home of River Arts, at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta, Maine. You can contact Linda Morkeski at or by phone at 207/563-1507. Linda will answer and questions regarding registration.

Please take a look at our other workshops and, if you would like us to come to your community, contact Kathy Shaw at 207/287-2750, or by e-mail at If we do not have the expertise, we will try to find someone that does.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

The State Poetry Finals Are Here

After months of high school competitions all around the state, 40 students are left preparing for regional and state finals. Emerging from over 8,000 competing students, these school champions are ready to take to the stage in Ellsworth and Biddeford to showcase their poetry recitation skills. Ten finalists will go on to the state final in Bangor where one will be chosen to represent Maine at the national final in Washington, D.C., in April.

If you are someone who is interested in poetry, the spoken word, or simply enjoy hearing some of Maine’s most talented students represent their schools, then this is an event that you will not want to miss. All Maine Arts Commission Poetry Out Loud events are free to attend.

The Northern Regional Final takes place at 3:45pm, on Wednesday February 6, at the Grand in Ellsworth. The Southern Regional Final takes place at 3:45pm at the City Theatre in Biddeford on February 13. The State Final is in Bangor on March 20 at the Gracie Theatre.

The Maine state champion will be awarded $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship in April 2013. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Participants at the national level will be awarded a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends; a $20,000 award will be presented to the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

The program was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation as a way to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry – recitation and performance. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

For more information contact Darrell Bulmer at the Maine Arts Commission at 207/287-6746 or through e-mail at

Below is a comprehensive list of the students competing at the regional finals:

Northern Schools Emma Howard, Bangor High School Kobe Cancel, Carrabec High School Abby Waceken, Erskine Academy Christian E. Heath, Gardiner Area High School Gabrielle Brodek, Hampden Academy Emma Curnin, Kents Hill School Alexandra Ackroyd, Maine Central Institute Joshua Beckett, Medomak Valley Jai Aslam, Messalonskee High School Forrest Norcott, Mt. Abram High School Emma Michalowski, Presque Isle High School Abigail Abbott, Rangeley Lakes Regional School Brianna Housman, Searsport District High School Brennin Consalvi, Shead High School Brittany Pomeroy, Sumner Memorial High School Bethanie Brown, Waterville Senior High School

Southern Schools Skyler Gailing, Berwick Academy Anna Baumm, Boothbay Region High School Griffin Carpenter, Cape Elizabeth High School Julia Cornell, Catherine McAuley High School Iman Omar, Deering High School Molly Stewart, Gorham High School Meghan Vadeboncoeur, Gray-New Gloucester High School Samantha Toorish, Greely High School Katie Charlton, Kennebunk High School Hana Hassan, Lewiston High School Aaron Halls, Lisbon High School Skyler Samuelson, Merriconeag Waldorf School Monica Frempong, Morse High School Isabelle Fall, Mt. Ararat High School Charlotte Eisenberg, North Yarmouth Academy Emma Weissenfels, Oak Hill High School Ellen Tuttle, Saint Dominic Academy James Falconer, South Portland High School Morgan Wiggan, Thornton Academy Dyer Rhoads, Waynflete School Amelia French, Yarmouth High School

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