Five new artistic bus shelters to be installed
Creative Portland (CP), in partnership with Greater Portland METRO and the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG), will oversee the installation of five new bus shelter designs next month, contributing to a total of nine artistic bus shelters along METRO routes. This expansion of the Creative Bus Shelter Initiative, which began in 2017, was made possible by a $25,000 matching grant awarded to CP in May 2021 by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the “Our Town” grant program focusing on creative placemaking. This is the second time the NEA has awarded CP this grant.
The 18-month Phase II project began in the spring of 2021 when CP approached local artists who have worked with the organization in different capacities. They also issued an open call. January marked the first meeting of a volunteer review committee of cultural leaders and arts community stakeholders, composed of Kat Violette of GPCOG, Denise Beck of METRO, Kelly Hrenko, chair of the art department for University of Southern Maine, Daniel Minter of Indigo Arts Alliance, Dinah Minot of CP, and local artist Ebenezer Akakpo.
Selected artists for Phase II include the team of Zenab Bastawala and Karen Merritt, Titi de Baccarat, Jocelyn Lee, Ben Potter and Carter Shappy. Their final drawings and designs will be revealed once installation is completed at the end of summer. A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Sept. 8.

Food bank gets grant to help bulk up supplies
Bishop Robert Deeley presented Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry’s Matthew 25 Award to St. Therese Lisieux Food Closet of Sanford on July 23. The award includes a $5,000 grant, which the Food Closet will use to “fill in gaps” by buying items like meat and milk to supplement allocations from the federal government.
Every Thursday from noon to 2 p.m., the Food Closet, located at St. Ignatius Gym,  provides food to those experiencing food insecurity in the local community. The ministry serves approximately 2,200 individuals a year, regardless of faith affiliation. Many are veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, and the unhoused staying at the neighborhood shelter.
Designed to support parishes in their efforts to serve vulnerable people in need, regardless of their faith affiliation, Matthew 25 grants help parishes expand the capacity to serve more people within a current direct service ministry or to help develop a new social ministry. Parishes across the state of Maine are invited to apply annually for the grant.

Sign up for annual lake swim
Registrations are being accepted for the 6th annual Length of Pennesseewassee (Norway) Lake Swim at 8 a.m. on Aug. 21. The swim is approximately 3.5 miles long, but two and three person teams are welcome to participate. This noncompetitive and untimed event celebrates the work that the Lakes Association of Norway does to keep our lakes healthy.
The swim honors the memory of Enid Dullea, who swam the length of the lake every day while training for the 1936 Olympics. Fins and wetsuits are allowed. Holding on to a support boat or getting out on a dock to rest is also OK.
The deadline to sign up is Aug. 18. All registrants must sign a waiver, be accompanied by a support kayak or canoe, and wear a visible float.
Cost is $20, with proceeds benefiting the Lakes Association of Norway.
For more details, call Susan at 617-833-0646 or email [email protected]

School awarded grant to support healthy eating

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School grants to 123 projects across the country, including to Fryeburg Academy. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in noncompetitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
The Fryeburg Academy has been awarded $49,693 for its Edible Garden Project, which represents an expansion of the existing edible garden, as well as related curricular and extracurricular agricultural education offerings that are currently available to grade 9-12 students as part of the science department and Outdoor Learning and Research Center.
Fryeburg students will grow and prepare vegetables in partnership with the academy’s Food Services Department, and will serve as ambassadors for the nutritious, local food that they grow. The collective agricultural programs are intended to provide opportunities for science, wellness, and vocational education, building on the existing program that is available to district middle school students, and connecting Fryeburg Academy students to local farms and agricultural organizations.

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