Photographer donates image to support cancer cure group

Award-winning photographer Donald Verger has donated a pink rose image valued at $1,000 to support the Pink Tie Ball, an annual event of the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The event was held Saturday at Holiday Inn by the Bay. Verger is founder and president emeritus of the Children’s Discovery Museum and Science Discovery Museum in Massachusetts.

“I hope ‘October Rose’ brings peace and good health to all who view it,” Verger said in a news release.

Verger has donated his photography to Mercy Health System of Maine’s Fore River Campus in Portland, where it is displayed in permanent, rotating galleries. His work also hangs in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland and the Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.

Attend clinic for a taste of design and architecture

The Portland Society of Architects will sponsor “10-Minute Architect,” a free design clinic, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bard Coffee, 185 Middle St., Portland.

The clinic is offered to homeowners and business owners who are considering when and how to use an architect for a project, or just want some design guidance. Members of the Portland Society of Architects believe this clinic will also allow others to see how architects play a valuable role in their community.

“We will have more than two dozen Maine-based architects available for consultation,” said Phil Kaplan, a member of the Portland Society of Architects. “While dubbing this our 10-Minute Architect, we do expect our members to spend up to 45 minutes with participants, discussing issues such as basic layouts, project budget feasibility and permitting issues.”

The PSA is a relatively new organization, founded in 2006, with the mission of promoting design excellence in Greater Portland.

Members of PSA include architects, builders and engineers from more than 40 firms in and around Portland. Part of the mission of the PSA is to assist in educating the community in understanding, evaluating, and supporting design excellence in architecture. For information, visit www.portlandarchitects.org.

Festival of the Book links Maine authors and readers

The fourth annual Maine Festival of the Book will be in Portland April 9-11, with a full day of free programs on April 10 at the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St. Programs are unticketed, with the exception of “Opening Night: An Evening with Tess Gerritsen and Anita Shreve” on April 9 at USM.

The festival is designed to appeal to readers with a range of interests, and gives the public the chance to learn what goes on behind the scenes when producing a book. The festival is presented by the nonprofit Maine Reads in collaboration with organizations statewide, and is chaired by Maine First Lady Karen Baldacci.

The festival’s goal is to encourage a dialogue between authors and readers. It begins at 7:30 p.m. April 9 with a program that involves a discussion with Gerritsen and Shreve at Hannaford Hall in the Abromson Center. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door, and may be purchased through the Maine Reads Web site, www.mainereads.org.

Free programming begins at 9 a.m. April 10 and runs through the weekend. For details, visit the Web site or call 871-9100.

Prize-winning play to open Good Theater’s ninth season

Good Theater, the professional theater in residence at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center in Portland, will open its ninth season on Oct. 14 with the New England premiere of “August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts.

The tragicomedy was a big hit on Broadway and won many major awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Outstanding New Play. The cast will include 13 actors. The show runs for three hours.

Also on the season schedule for Good Theater is “Moonlight and Magnolias,” opening Feb. 3, and “Bedroom Farce,” opening March 10. For the fourth show, subscribers will choose from two events: “Blueberries, Broadway and Brian,” a one-man comedy by Good Theater artistic director Brian P. Allen, opening Nov. 10, or a cabaret act opening Jan. 13 with a performer to be announced.

Season tickets start at $70 for four shows. Call 885-5883 for information or visit www.goodtheater.com.

‘Mainely Monologues’ puts women artists in spotlight

“Mainely Monologues,” a succession of eclectic female voices, will be heard Saturday at the Art Gallery at the University of New England in Portland. The performance marks Support Women Artists Now Day, which celebrates woman artists across the world. Maine’s celebration will be from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the University of New England Art Gallery, 716 Stevens Ave.

The show opens with Portland actress Jackie Oliveri performing excerpts from “Still Alice,” a novel by Lisa Genova. Oliveri also performs the only play on the bill that was written by a playwright from outside Maine, “7 Margaritas,” which depicts one overworked bartender’s unhinged fantasy, penned by Lindsay Harris Friel of Philadelphia.

The program closes with Linda Britt’s new play about Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.” Sally Jones plays the title role.

Other Maine playwrights whose work will be presented are Carolyn Gage, Danie Connolly, Wendy Wincote Schweikert, Marsha Coller, Linda Griffith and Laura Emack.

The audience will have an opportunity to peruse the current exhibit timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, “Celebrating Women,” on view in the gallery through May 20.

Auditions scheduled for comedy ‘My First Time’

The Old Port Playhouse will audition actors for the Maine premiere of the comedy “My First Time” by Ken Davenport. Directed by Janet Ross, the show will run Aug. 12-29.

“My First Time” features four actors relating stories about first sexual experiences. Roles are available for two adult males and two adult females. All actors receive a stipend.

Auditions will be from 5 to 8 p.m. March 28 and 6:30 to 9 p.m. March 29 at the Old Port Playhouse, 19 Temple St., Portland. Callbacks will be from 5 to 8 p.m. April 4. For information, call Ross at 415-8338 or e-mail her at [email protected]


New Durham school seeks public’s ideas for artwork

The Maine Arts Commission seeks artists to submit proposals to design, create and install artwork for the Durham Community School as part of the state’s Percent for Art program. The project has a budget of about $44,000 and a submission deadline of April 16.

The school will be in the town center, and is set to open in the fall. It will house students in kindergarten through eighth grade and serve the broader community for non-school -related events, including town meetings.

“The artwork selection process for the new school has brought our community together in a stimulating way,” Superintendent Will Pidden said in a news release.

The community is interested in artwork that acknowledges the rural setting of the school, and also indicates that the school is the dynamic center of its current and future community. The art selection committee seeks an artist or artist team cognizant of the range of groups that will experience the finished artwork.

The committee has identified several possible locations for the placement of artwork both on the interior and exterior of the school.

Artists with questions about the process should email Alison Ferris of the Maine Arts Commission at [email protected], or at 287-2710.


Simon Hutchinson to play a variety of instruments

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Hutchinson will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at Bates College, 75 Russell St. The performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For information, call 786-6135 or e-mail [email protected]

Hutchinson’s work spans multiple genres. He creates music integrating a myriad of media and influences and that explore themes of nature, humanity and global community.

Hutchinson earned a bachelor of arts in music from Bates in 2002, a master’s from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate from the University of Oregon.

Hutchinson spent several years in Japan studying a variety of traditional instruments and folk music forms. He regularly performs on shamisen, a three-stringed lute, with Japanese, American and Korean performers. He has appeared on the Japanese national public broadcasting station NHK and on the 2006 folk album “Tamashi no Hibiki” (“Sounds of the Soul”).

Also a bassist, Hutchinson has appeared on a number of albums, and is currently principal bassist of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

Theater group to celebrate Latin American women

Also at Bates, the Core Ensemble, a chamber group that uses theater to push the boundaries of its genre, presents a work celebrating the lives of three significant Latin-American women at 8 p.m. Friday at the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.

Featuring actress Georgina Corbo, the ensemble’s piece “Tres Vidas” (“Three Lives”) depicts Mexican painter Frieda Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist Rufina Amaya and Argentinian poet Alfonsina Storni.

The Core Ensemble is known for its efforts to commission new music for its combination of cello, piano and percussion. The ensemble has been the catalyst in the creation of several chamber-music theater works weaving narrative and drama into the chamber-music experience.

The Core Ensemble includes cellist Tahirah Whittington, pianist Hugh Hinton and Michael Parola.


Contemporary art center unveils plans for season

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art will reopen this spring on May 29 with its 2010 Biennial Juried Exhibition.

More than 650 artists submitted work for consideration.

Meanwhile, the financially troubled art center also announced that its recent annual appeal was the most successful of its 58-year history.

In other news, two new members have joined CMCA’s board: Dorothy Foote of Rockport and Mark Wethli of Brunswick. Foote is executive director of the Community School in Camden. Wethli is a painter, public artist and art professor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

Other plans for the 2010 season include three solo exhibitions by Yvonne Jacquette, Dozier Bell and Will Barnet; a sound installation by Nate Aldrich and Zach Poff; and the exhibition “Maine Photographers: Ten Years Later.”

Young artists are eligible for media workshop scholarship

Maine Media Workshops has launched a scholarship fund for Maine high school students attending the workshop’s Young Artists Program. Partnering with Camden National Bank, MMW has committed $10,000 for Maine Youth Scholarships in 2010.

The Young Artist Program takes place June through August, and provides opportunities for students ages 14 to 17 to study photography, filmmaking, multi-media and acting. More than 30 one- and two-week classes include introductory and advanced course work as well as specialized workshops in editing, screenwriting, animation and special effects.

Application is by letter of interest, evidence of financial need as demonstrated on the application form, and three letters of recommendation. Samples of previous work should accompany applications for assistance for advanced workshops; otherwise, no portfolio review is required.

The deadline for submissions is April 23. Awards will be announced in May. Visit www.mainemedia.edu for details, e-mail [email protected] or call 236-8581.


Learn all about arts festival at its redesigned Web site

The Norway Arts Festival Committee has redesigned its Web site in advance of the Norway Arts Festival, which will be July 8-10. The new site is available at www.NorwayArtsFestival.org.

The site features a slide show, video, venue map, applications for exhibitors and vendors, as well as a schedule of events, a history of the event and more.


Dibner fellowships to help students polish writing skills

Elisabeth Benjamin of Lubec and Mark Rowland of Naples are the 2010 winners of Martin Dibner fellowships in fiction.

The Maine Community Foundation awards the fellowships annually to promising Maine writers seeking to develop their writing skills.

A graduate of the University of Missouri, Benjamin received a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Montana in 2007. Her short stories have appeared in the Iowa Review, Meridian, Black Warrior Review and DIAGRAM. The Dibner award will help cover living expenses while Benjamin completes her first collection of stories.

Rowland is studying English and creative writing at the University of Southern Maine, where he is fiction editor for Words & Images, USM’s arts and literature journal. He received the Richard W. Carbonneau Jr. Scholarship to attend the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference last year. Rowland hopes to attend a writers’ retreat using his Dibner fellowship award.

This year’s judges were Ellen Booraem and David Fickett. Booraem is the author of “The Unnameables” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books), which was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her second book, “Small Persons with Wings,” is due out in spring 2011.

David Fickett is the author of “Nectar” (St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan). His short stories have appeared in Puckerbrush Review, the Peninsula Review and Wilmington Blues.

The Dibner fellowship alternates between fiction and poetry. Next year’s deadline, for poets, is Jan. 15. Guidelines are available at www.mainecf.org or by calling (877) 700-6800.


Public comments invited on arts commission programs

Donna McNeil, director of the Maine Arts Commission, begins the Maine Arts Commission Listening Tour at 6 p.m. Monday at Frontier Cafe, 14 Maine St.

The meetings, to be held across Maine, are designed to gather information and feedback and give input on the future direction of the Maine Arts Commission.

McNeil and the commission’s communications associate, Darrell Bulmer, will engage artists and community members in an open dialogue about the agency’s offerings. Everyone is welcome.

Goals of the meeting are to gather feedback about the services and programs the commission currently provides, and to receive input about potential future programs.

Their appearance coincides with the Five Rivers Arts Alliance member meeting.

For reservations and information, call 798-6964 or visit www.five riversartsalliance.org.





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