Portland Symphony wins governor’s excellence award

The Portland Symphony Orchestra received the 2010 Maine Association of Nonprofits Governor’s Award for Nonprofit Excellence in the mid-sized organization category, which consists of organizations with budgets between $1.2 million and $3 million. The PSO is the first arts organization to earn first place in any of the association’s categories for the Governor’s Award for Nonprofit Excellence.

“We have been working diligently to instill new thinking in fiscal management while sustaining artistic excellence. After eliminating our debt and having stabilized our financial platform, we can now begin to explore strategic questions and community needs,” the orchestra’s executive director, Ari Solotoff, said in a statement.

The Governor’s Awards are presented annually by the Maine Association of Nonprofits, a statewide management support organization that helps advance the missions of Maine nonprofits through programs, resources and services that promote efficient and effective management practices.

The Portland Symphony Orchestra announced in fall 2009 that it had finished the year in the black following nine years of deficits. In March 2009, the Board of Trustees adopted a three-year sustainability plan and bridge initiative to restore fiscal health. The plan is part of the PSO’s approach to producing quality core artistic experiences and education programs, while operating within known financial limitations.


Shanghai quartet highlights Bowdoin summer program

Bowdoin International Music Festival director Lewis Kaplan has announced the festival’s 2010 program. Highlights include performances by the Shanghai and Ying string quartets; the Aeolian Chamber Players; returning favorites Glenn Dicterow, Liang Wang, Mikhail Kopelman, Joan Kwuon, Steve Doane, Yehuda Hanani, Emma Tahmizi? and Edward Auer; and the Bowdoin Virtuosi, five international prize winners who will perform at Bowdoin this summer.

The Bowdoin festival, a summer study program and concert series on the Bowdoin College campus since 1964, will celebrate Schumann’s 200th birthday with the Piano Concerto and several major chamber works, and Chopin’s 200th birthday with his 24 Preludes, Ballade No. 4, and Cello Sonata G Minor. Festival artists and guest performers will also present works by Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Schubert, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and others.

The festival will present more than 80 concerts in all, including a range of classical works in the Bowdoin Festival Extra and Artists of Tomorrow concert series, and a weekend of contemporary and classical works reinterpreted by the Juilliard Technology Center in the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music.

Performances begin June 30 and conclude Aug. 6. All Festival Fridays concerts take place in Crooker Theater. Wednesday Upbeat! and Monday Sonatas concerts, the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music and the Artists of Tomorrow concert series will be in Studzinski Recital Hall on the Bowdoin campus.

Bowdoin Festival Extra concerts are held throughout the southern Midcoast region.

Ticketed concerts cost $25 to $35 for adults; many concerts and other events are free. Details and ticket information are available at www.bowdoinfestival.org.


Bay Chamber Concerts announce 50th season

Bay Chamber Concerts artistic director and co-founder Thomas Wolf announced the organization’s 50th-anniversary season, which opens July 1 at the Rockport Opera House. Bay Chamber will host 25 events during the summer season. Tickets and subscriptions are available by calling 236-2823 or visiting www.baychamberconcerts.org.

Opening night will feature violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and pianist Peter Serkin. Ashkenasi played in Bay Chamber’s inaugural season, then went on to win major international prizes. Serkin played in the second season and has also gone on to an accomplished career.

In addition to the July 1 concert, there will be programs starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday in July and August at the Rockport Opera House. At 8 p.m. Wednesdays, the Strand Theatre in Rockland will host a series. Two concerts will occur at the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Wyeth Center, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Aug. 11.

Among those who will return to Rockport this summer are the international violin star Midori and pianist Menahem Pressler, now in his eighth decade of performing. The series will be anchored by Bay Chamber Concerts’ resident ensemble, the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Tickets to most of the events cost $30 and $40 for adults, and $8 for youths ages 18 and under.

Meanwhile, Bay Chamber offers the “Reading Music Workshop,” taught by composer Mary Anne Driscoll, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 28 and 29 at Union Hall, Rockport.

The course is designed for music students of all ages and abilities interested in learning how to read music and how the music manuscript translates into a performance. The workshop fee is $75, and includes all materials. To register, call 236-2823. For information about the summer schedule, visit www.baychamberconcerts.org.


Galleries form association to promote local art, events

Several galleries have joined together to form the Boothbay Harbor Fine Art Dealers Association. Allen Bunker, owner of the David Allen Gallery, is president of the new group. Among the group’s goals are to raise awareness locally and nationally of the concentration of galleries within walking distance through marketing and promotion, and to create a Second Saturday art walk.

The group would also like to create a scholarship fund for a student’s art education.

Other founding members include Priscilla Bunker and Mary Phelps of Coco Viva, Roger Milinowski of the Head of the Harbor Gallery, and Anita Roelz and Pamela Creamer of the Creative Turtle.

For information, call 633-0003.


Tess Gerritsen welcomes ‘Gold Mountain’ author See

Lisa See, an Asian-American best known for her book detailing the history of her family, “On Gold Mountain,” will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St. Her latest book is “Shanghai Girls,” in which she tells the tale of two sisters and their journey from war-torn Shanghai to Los Angeles in 1939.

Camden resident and best-selling author Tess Gerritsen will introduce See at Tuesday’s talk. Dessert and a signing will follow.


Area artists invited to show at riverfront exhibit June 26

Artists from the Augusta area and members of the Kennebec Valley Art Association are invited to participate in the third annual Hallowellness and Riverfront Art Show and Sale on June 26 at the Hallowell riverfront.

There is no cost to members of the Kennebec Valley Art Association or to members of the Hallowell Board of Trade to participate. For others, the entry fee is $20.

Artists and artisans of all types are welcome, and must register in advance by contacting the Harlow Gallery at 622-3813 or [email protected]

Along with the art fair, the Hallowell Board of Trade is hosting Hallowellness events all day, as well as “Green Scene — Appreciating Our Environment.” A Taste of Hallowell will follow in the evening.

The registration deadline is May 2. Reservations and information received by May 2 will be included in the Hallowell Area Board of Trade program and posted on the board’s Web site.


Spotlight shines on insects at Dorr Museum exhibition

Hissing cockroaches are considered kind of cute at the College of the Atlantic’s George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, which opens “It’s a Bugs’ World” on Thursday. The exhibition is on view through June 5. Thursday’s opening includes edible insect treats and a classic entomological horror film.

Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

As part of the exhibition, visitors can peer into the world of water bugs and take a look through the compound eyes of ants and bees, while discovering the roles that bugs play in our lives and in ecosystem.

The exhibition includes activities for children. For information, call 288-5395 or visit www.coa.edu/dorr.


Student-directed reading to be held at Opera House

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, readers from Deer Isle-Stonington High School will present “Nora’s Lost,” a one-act drama that explores the nature of memory and familial love, fractured by war and the onset of dementia.

The play, the fourth annual student-directed reading in Opera House Arts’ “Our Own” Community Playreading Series at the Stonington Opera House, was selected and will be cast and directed by junior Dylan Siebert.

In “Nora’s Lost” by Alan Haehnel, the lead character, Nora Blodget, is debilitated by Alzheimer’s disease and follows the vision of her late husband into the woods on a cold night. Nora’s life flashes before her, revealing her former life as a dynamic teacher, the caring wife of a war veteran and a loving mother whose son enlists in the Vietnam War.

Siebert has been active in theater, tennis and other activities at Deer Isle-Stonington High School, and will spend his senior year studying in Italy. He is a member of the Opera House Arts’ Community Advisory Board.

Tickets for the “Our Own” Community Playreadings are $6, available at the door the evening of the show.


Fiddlehead Center holding silent live auction on May 1

Several artists will offer paintings for “Palette,” a silent and live auction, May 1 at Fiddlehead Center for Art and Science, 25 Shaker Road, Gray. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the auction beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the center or at www. fiddleheadcenter.org. Participating artists include Johanna Flath, John Santoro and Tony Castro. Samples of some of their work are available at www.johannaflath.com and www.tonycastro.com.

Proceeds benefit Fiddlehad, which offers a variety of art and self-improvement classes, as well as after-school and preschool programs. For information, call 657-2244. 


‘Mill-ennial’ award winners named

Artists awards were announced at the opening reception for the 2010 “Mill-ennial” exhibition at the Saco Museum on April 2. Honors included a juror’s award of merit and three purchase prize or prizes, enabling works from the exhibition to enter the museum’s collection.

The juror’s award, selected by exhibition juror Frederick Lynch, went to Omer Gagnon of Dayton for his wood, metal and found-object sculpture “Carasoul of War.”

Purchase prizes, selected by the collections committee of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum, went to Pat Campbell of Saco for her relief sculpture “Mandala II,” made of rice paper and reed; Laura Lee Dobson of Saco for her black-and-white photograph “Rocky Hill Road”; and Kathy Angel Lee of Old Orchard Beach for her art quilt “Saco Mills.”

“The Mill-ennial” was conceived by the Saco Museum as an ongoing series of exhibitions showcasing new work by living artists connected to Saco, Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach.

The art represents a range of artistic media, from traditional painting and photography to assemblage sculpture. Large-scale and installation work is also on view in the Project Space at Biddeford’s North Dam Mill at 2 Main St. “Mill-ennial” is on view at both locations through June 13.


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