Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

Maine arts and cultural organizations and their audiences spent more than $150 million in the 2015 fiscal year — and supported the equivalent of almost 4,200 jobs, according to a new study from the national group Americans for the Arts.

In Waterville, one of five Maine communities highlighted in the report, total spending by the nonprofit arts and culture industry was almost $6.3 million.

BELFAST, Maine - The University of Maine is hosting an art exhibit called "The Art of Climate Science'' featuring works by faculty, staff and students at its Climate Change Institute.
 

Jessica Burstein

Americans of a certain age will remember Slim Goodbody, a man in a unitard painted with internal organs who appeared on Captain Kangaroo and other programs as an advocate for good nutrition.

The man in the costume is John Burstein, who now lives in Lincolnville and still takes the character on tour promoting good health. Burstein has also created a new musical comedy currently running at Portland Stage.

In “The Night Kitchen,” the pots and pans, wine and cheese, and knives and spatulas come alive after the chefs have left for the evening.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Art students in Maine are planning to liven up the downtown area of their capital city with a series of murals, with support from community organizations.

The Kennebec Journal reports that Augusta officials hope the diverse slate of artwork will bring vibrancy to a downtown area in order to help stimulate economic development through arts and culture.

Experts were invited to Augusta in 2013 to critique what was needed to spur economic and community development. They noted that downtown lacked public art.

The spiritual, as a musical form, was born in America. It emerged from pain and despair, but over time would become a gift to the nation. This weekend in Falmouth and Brunswick, a Maine-based chorale will accompany a world-renowned countertenor in a concert production called “Amazing Grace: The American Spiritual.” The multimedia performances are designed to convey how the music helps to tell the story of the nation itself.

If you listen carefully to a recorded performance of the spiritual “Precious Lord,” it might surprise you that the singer would be a guy like Reginald Mobley.

Wikimedia Commons

The sounds of spring. Peepers, songbirds, revving engines.

Producer Matt Roberts stopped by opening day at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, recently and filed this audio postcard.

islandzeromovie.com

Camden-based author Tess Gerritsen is best known for mystery novels, including a string of books that inspired the TV series “Rizzoli and Isles.” She is now branching out into film, or as she proudly describes it, low-budget horror.

The author of the popular philosophy book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” died Monday at his home in South Berwick. Robert Pirsig was 88.

Before Robert Pirsig got the idea for a book, he got the idea for a title. In a BBC interview from 2012, Pirsig said inspiration came to him while he was riding a motorcycle with a friend.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine poet says she hasn't read much about dementia in poetry but she's changing that with a heartfelt poem dedicated to her husband.
 
Lee Sharkey's "Letter to Al,'' tells of her experience with her husband's memory loss. The Portland Press Herald reports that it's a finalist in an international poetry contest.

LEWISTON, Maine - Best-selling author Tess Gerritsen is springing onto the big screen with a low-budget horror film based on a Maine island.

"Island Zero'' will be screened Saturday at the Emerge Film Festival.

The Sun Journal reports that the movie is about what happens to residents of a Maine island when the ferry stops coming. Much of the filming took place in March 2016 in Camden, Rockport and Islesboro with a mostly Maine crew.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Students of theater, music, and art at the University of Southern Maine may share similar areas of creative interest, but they tend to focus on their own media. In the past few months, that’s changed.

BRUNSWICK, Maine - A Bowdoin College professor's book about her abusive father who had sex reassignment surgery at 76 nearly won her a second Pulitzer Prize.
 
Susan Faludi's "In the Darkroom'' was one of three nominees in the autobiography category that was won by Hisham Matar, author of "The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between.'' The prize was announced Monday.
 
Faludi teaches in the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies program at Bowdoin College.
 

When Maine author Ron Currie started working on his new novel a few years ago, he couldn’t have known how timely it would be when it came out in the spring of 2017. In an era when absolute truths seem increasingly difficult to grasp, “The One-Eyed Man” concerns K., an average guy who loses his wife to cancer.

After a review that included a public meeting, the Portland Water District Board of Trustees has decided that a wall near the East End Wastewater Treatment Facility will continue to be available for public art.

There were calls to end the practice in September, when a depiction of Gov. Paul LePage as a KKK grand wizard, and later with Mickey Mouse ears, appeared on the wall.

Water District spokeswoman Michelle Clements says more than 50 people attended the public meeting.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Every year Francophonie Week in Maine recognizes French heritage and culture with a series of films, discussions and musical performances around the state.

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