Museum fundraiser seeks to make exhibits more accessible 
The Brick Store Museum has launched a fundraiser to realize its goal of obtaining futuristic technology to help make its exhibitions more accessible, especially during the pandemic. The museum is asking for the community’s help to purchase a self-driving robot, to be set-up in the first-floor galleries and allow virtual visitors to navigate around the galleries from home, zoom in on artifacts, and even read text labels, as if they were standing inside the museum.
Museum director Cynthia Walker said the robot also is a huge help to the museum’s small staff, also noting that “even after the pandemic has passed, we always have a great need for technology to help homebound community members access the Museum’s resources.”
The museum is asking for donations to reach its $4,000 goal from community members to help it become one of the first small museums in the nation to offer museum visits via robot. Telepresence visits to exhibitions and outdoor walking tours would be offered throughout the year to those who are homebound. It would expand the museum’s ability to reach new audiences while addressing a longtime issue of access for those who cannot physically tour the space.
Donations can be made online at, by calling 985-4802, or via mail to 117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.


Crafts association announces new apprentices
The Maine Crafts Association, in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission, announced four 2021 mentor/apprentice pairs that it has selected for the Craft Apprentice Program (CAP). Those partnering include Lissa Hunter with apprentice Ashley Page for basket making; Karin Otto with apprentice Karin Eberhardt for monoprint-making; Tim Christensen with apprentice Aidan Fraser for ceramics; and Elaine X. Fuller with apprentice Sheridan Cudworth for ceramics.
The CAP began in 2016 to provide an in-studio educational opportunity for apprentices who demonstrate a commitment to further their abilities as craft artists; they accomplish this through a significant relationship with a mentor artist.
Applicant pairs apply jointly, providing clear goals supporting the apprentice’s growth, a plan for how goals will be achieved, and a budget for the apprentice’s stipend. Both mentor and apprentice submit images of current work and other supporting material. The apprenticeship focuses on the apprentice’s goals for their studio practice and craft career during 100 hours of one-on-one in-studio learning with a mentor craft artist. Both mentor and apprentice are awarded funding to support their time together.
To close the program in October, mentors and apprentices participate in an alumni gathering and a public reception and exhibition sharing and celebrating works created during the apprenticeship period. The location and dates of these activities will be made public later this year.
To learn more, go to


MaineCF offers over 650 scholarships to students
The Maine Community Foundation offers more than 650 scholarships that support students pursuing studies in music, journalism, teaching, horticulture, technology, the arts, and many other fields. The scholarships are available for students who attend secondary, post-secondary, and graduate schools, as well as non-traditional programs.
A complete listing of scholarships available for the upcoming school year is now online at the Maine Community Foundation website,

MaineCF land protection grant program awards $250,000
The Maine Community Foundation’s Maine Land Protection grant program has awarded $250,000 to eight nonprofit organizations across the state. Launched last year, the program provides grants for land acquisition or land conservation easement projects.
The 2020 grantees include: Downeast Lakes Land Trust of Grand Lake Stream, to acquire 2,025 acres in Lakeville to expand the Downeast Lakes Community Forest and create opportunities for outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry, wildlife habitat, and shoreline conservation; Kittery Land Trust Inc., to preserve 30 acres for use as an outdoor center for students, volunteers, teachers, farmers, and diverse members of the town; and to the Maine Farmland Trust of Belfast, to purchase an easement on the new home of Liberation Farms, a cooperative farm led by the Somali Bantu Community Association and their members.
The application for the next round of Maine Land Protection grants opens June 1; deadline for submission is Sept. 15. Guidelines, application, and a list of recent grants are available at
For more details, call Senior Program Officer Maggie Drummond-Bahl at 877-700-6800 or by email at [email protected]


Rotary donates $840 to Shields Mission Project
Lucky the Duck and West Bay Rotarian Leamon Scott recently presented a check in the amount of $840.06 to Shields Mission Project, a dedicated fund of the First Congregational Church of Camden used to benefit needy residents of Knox County and Lincolnville who do not qualify for assistance from various social services and governmental agencies. Its purpose is to provide direct financial aid to individuals and families in crisis.
Donations are currently being accepted by West Bay Rotary for New Hope for Women on their website at Checks also may be mailed to Rotary Club of West Bay Charitable Foundation, PO Box 1033, Camden, ME 04843. Please write: to benefit New Hope for Women in the check memo.

Ella Seymor (left) and Maeve Tholen honored in national writing contest. jpg.jpg

From left, Chewonki Elementary and Middle School Grade 8 students Ella Seymour and Maeve Tholen were honored by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.


Eighth-graders receive writing honors
Chewonki Elementary and Middle School Grade 8 students Maeve Tholen and Ella Seymour have been selected to receive honors from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious and long-running art and writing contests.
Seymour, of Dresden, received an Honorable Mention at the regional level for her memoir titled, “Yellow Joy,” a personal essay that explores a long summer of frustrations and a transformative moment at the beach, unlocking introspection and the power of positive thinking.
Tholen, of Alna, was selected to receive a Gold Key Award for the northeast region of the United States for her short story titled, “A Painted Seashell,” a powerful coming-of-age story about a young woman losing her beloved grandmother to dementia amid the struggles of the pandemic. Tholen will now advance to the national level for adjudication on March 17.
According to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the contest received more than 320,000 original works of art and writing in 2020. Students’ entries are blindly adjudicated by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts, including; Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Judy Blume, Billy Collins, Paul Giamatti, Francine Prose, Edwidge Danticat, David Sedaris, Lesley Stahl, Nikki Giovanni, Roz Chast, Wangechi Mutu, Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, Jill Kraus, Shinique Smith, Rashid Johnson, and Waris Ahluwalia. Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision.


Equine therapy center names new officers, board members
Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center elected officers and new board members at its January meeting. Newly elected officers include Board President Casey Etter-Bobb, Board Vice President Brandon Cohen, Board Treasurer Carissa Robb, and Board Secretary Lindsey Lombardo. Newly elected members include Tim Graham of Windham, the managing partner of Modern Woodmen of America; Shelby Poduch of Gray, associate content producer at IDEXX Laboratories; and Marisa Rossi of Casco, event planner II at IDEXX Laboratories. They join fellow board member Janis Childs of South Portland in leading the nonprofit, whose mission is to enhance health and wellness through equine assisted services.
For more details, visit or call 892-2813.


Unitil offering scholarships to incoming freshmen
Unitil is accepting applications from graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subject areas. Six $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to students within Unitil’s service territories in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Students eligible to apply for the scholarship are those who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and live and attend high school in one of Unitil’s service territories that include Auburn, Biddeford, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Eliot, Falmouth, Gorham, Gray, Kennebunk, Kittery, Lewiston, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, New Gloucester, North Berwick, Old Orchard Beach, Poland, Portland, Saco, Sanford, Scarborough, South Berwick, Wells, Westbrook and York.
Applications must be submitted through Unitil’s online portal on or before April 2, and recipients will be notified by April 30.
To check eligibility, visit To learn more and to apply, please visit Unitil’s website,

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