The Maine Arts Commission hosts a forum for people in the performing arts on Monday at the Frontier Café in Brunswick. The day-long conversation is geared to producers and presenters in theater, music and dance and is the third of similar gatherings hosted by the commission in recent months, said Julie Richard, executive director.

The forum provides the “space and time for facilitated and informal conversations” among people in the field, Richard said in a press release.

The Performing Arts Forum, which runs 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., includes panel discussions, breakout conversations and time for networking. Panelists in the producers session include Brian Hinrichs of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Amanda Huotari of Celebration Barn, Caroline Musica Koelker of Opera Maine, Anita Stewart of Portland Stage Company and Lindsey Bourassa of Bourassa Dance.

Presenter session panelists are Matt Cahoon of Arts Presenters of Northern New England, Jennifer DeChant of the Chocolate Church in Bath, Mike Miclon of Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Aimee Petrin of Portland Ovations and Mitch Thomas of the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston.

The arts commission’s emphasis on the performing arts reflects its ongoing effort to pay more attention to the discipline. The commission has been criticized in the past for focusing too heavily on the visual arts. In addition to Monday’s forum at the Frontier, the commission hosted the Maine International Conference on the Arts and sector-specific forums.

Linda Nelson, the commission’s assistant director, said she hopes the forum becomes an annual event, similar to annual gatherings among performing arts groups in Maine that existed in prior decades. “We are all always stronger together,” Nelson wrote in an email to the performing arts community.

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Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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