Portland creativity groups hire new executive director

The Creative Portland Corp. and the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance have hired Jennifer Hutchins as full-time executive director, serving both organizations as of Dec. 1. The hire follows several years of planning by Portland businesses, cultural institutions, artists and city officials to invest in the development and promotion of the city’s creative economy.

Hutchins is director of communications and external affairs for the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School and is a co-author of the study “Maine’s Creative Economy: Measurement and Analysis,” conducted by the Muskie School for Gov. John Baldacci’s inaugural Blaine House Summit on the Creative Economy in 2004. Previously, she was marketing director of Portland Stage Company and an Artsave representative for People For the American Way in Washington, D.C.

Since its start in 2008, Creative Portland — made up of representatives of businesses, arts organizations and independent artists — has raised private financial support from individuals, corporations and foundations, and won a “Bright Idea” award from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Now a subsidiary of Creative Portland, PACA organizes Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, and this year inaugurated summer trolleys shuttling attendees to art spaces throughout the city. PACA has organized and supported many programs during its 25-year history, including Creative Conversations in collaboration with Space Gallery, and research initiatives with the Maine Arts Commission and Americans for the Arts.

Creative Portland is a nonprofit established by the city of Portland in 2008. Visit www.live workportland.com.

Publication invites entries for poetry excellence award

In celebration of its 41st year of publication, “Words and Images” will issue its first annual Betsy Sholl Award for excellence in poetry. Sholl is Maine’s poet laureate, and has had her work published since the early 1970s. Her work was included in the 2009 edition of Best American Poetry. Adrian Blevins, a poet and professor at Colby College in Waterville, will choose the winning poem.

“Words and Images” is also reviving its Andre Dubus award in short fiction. Local fiction author Dan Domench will choose the winner.

There is a $10 reading fee for entry in each of the contests, with a deadline for submissions of Dec. 31. A winner for each prize will be selected by March 1. Each winner will be awarded a $100 gift certificate to Longfellow Books in Portland. Winners will also be listed on the back cover of the journal, will be published within the journal, and will be invited to speak at the release party for the journal in April.

A complete list of contest guidelines can be found on Facebook at “wordsandimages2011.”


Bay Chamber Concerts picks Kelly for executive director

Monica Kelly of Camden is the new executive director of Bay Chamber Concerts. The announcement was made by Carole Brand, president of Bay Chamber’s board of directors.

Trained as a visual artist, Kelly is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received additional training at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is well-known as a painter, having exhibited locally and throughout the region. The founder of the Odeon String Orchestra, an organization that merged with Bay Chamber Concerts six years ago, she has served as Bay Chamber’s education director, director of development and, most recently, managing director.

Kelly will oversee a faculty of 10 at Bay Chamber’s Community Music School and an administrative staff of five. In addition, she will help create the programming and school curriculum and manage the logistics of almost 100 performers who come to mid-coast Maine throughout the year.


Artistic director in final year at the Theater at Monmouth

Theater At Monmouth producing artistic director David Greenham announced that 2011 will be his final season as the director of Maine’s Shakespearean theater.

“After 14 seasons, I’ve decided it’s time to step down,” Greenham said in a press release. “This is a planned transition, and I’m confident that (the theater) has a bright future.”

Greenham came to Monmouth in 1998 as managing director and was promoted to producing director two years later. During his tenure, he has produced more than 100 productions, including the well-known summer season of repertory, touring productions and several special projects. In addition, Greenham has been very active in the process to renovate and upgrade Monmouth’s historic Cumston Hall as a member of the Friends of Cumston Hall.

The theater’s 42nd season will include a spring touring production of “The Reluctant Dragon,” based on the Kenneth Grahame story. The summer season will include Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and “King Lear.” Other summer productions will include Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” and the 1937 Broadway comedy “Room Service” by Allen Boretz and John Murray, as well as a children’s production.

Greenham plans to stay in central Maine and focus on some other projects. He lives in Readfield with his wife, Jeri Pitcher, and their son Zach.

The theater has created a search committee to oversee the transition of leadership. The job announcement and application instructions are available at www.theateratmonmouth.org.


‘Art of the Boat’ juried show invites entries from artists

Artists in all visual media may submit works for a juried show with a boating theme at Penobscot Marine Museum. “The Art of the Boat” will examine the artistic aspects of boat design and construction, and will run from May to October 2011.

The exhibition will explore the boat as art and the boatbuilder as artist, said curator Ben Fuller. “We will look for the artist’s interpretation of the boatbuilder’s art through studies of shape, form, structure and details,” he said in a press release.

Artists may submit up to four pieces in any visual medium, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and other three-dimensional media, and multimedia. The deadline is March 15, and questions may be sent to [email protected]

A panel will select about 40 pieces for display by April 15. More information is available at www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.