Video: Want to Keep Youth in Maine? Try Building the Arts

Apr 14, 2018

How does a community retain its younger population and engage them in its future? The central Maine city of Waterville is one place where nonprofits, local leaders, and educators are working to help young people build a path to their future through the arts.

We’re three Mid-Maine Technical Center students enrolled in the Mass Media Communications program, and we took a look at this issue for a documentary we produced for the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs as part of their Making It Work series.

Our video portrays Waterville’s efforts to recruit young talent for current opportunities in the arts, and to build a local economy where the arts plays a central role. Community leaders hope to involve youth in opportunities at the Waterville Opera House, Common Street Arts, and other groups, and want to foster the kind of growth that encourages people in the creative economy to make Waterville their home. They say it’s important for kids and teens to get involved with the arts because it brings out their creativity and gets them interacting with others and with their future.

We interviewed Shannon Haines, director of Waterville Creates, Karen Carberry-Warhola, director of the Maine Film Office, and Tamsen Warner, director of Waterville Opera House about their thoughts on getting youth engaged in the arts. We also interviewed one member of our team, Jasmine Lambert, a student at Messalonskee High School, about how the arts has impacted her and how it shapes her plans for the future. 

Roslin Desiderio, Molly Milligan, and Jasmine Lambert are students in the Mass Media Communications program at Mid-Maine Technical Center in Waterville.