Tuesday September 13, 2011 | 10:17 PM

Roughly 150 guests filled One Longfellow Square this evening for a launch party to formally announce the company's transformation from a for-profit into a not-for-profit organization. The new operating structure allows the Portland performance venue to seek grants, cultivate members and partner with other nonprofits. One Longfellow Square has already begun working with schools and youth development organizations to provide music-based education to students.

Also new is the interior design, which employs dark, rich colors and wall paintings by Patrick Corrigan to give the theater an urban, sophisticated feel.

The cocktail party continued this theme by offering up sushi from Pai Men Miyake and live music by Bob Hamilton.

After an hour or so of mingling, we were treated to a brief program, including comments from Board President Ellie Chase, above, Executive Director Rob Ellis and Managing Director Tom Rota.

The evening also featured two performance sets. The first by Putnam Smith and the second by Jonathan Edwards and Rex Fowler, above, who delighted the crowd when they played the classic Vietnam War protest song "Sunshine." Released by Edwards in 1971, the song went on to hit the number four spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I'll have more photos and details from the launch party in the Sept. 18 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

Avery can be contacted at 791-6297 or akamila@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @AveryYaleKamila

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