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In Today’s News

October 23, 2014

Portland Press Herald

This following article was written by Bob Keyes.

Stuart and wife Susan Webster receiving the Maine Alliance for Arts Education Advocacy award in 2012

Stuart and wife Susan Webster receiving the Maine Alliance for Arts Education Advocacy award in 2011

DEER ISLE — Stuart Kestenbaum, director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for 26 years, will leave his position in May 2015.

He recently informed the school’s board and staff of his intentions.

Kestenbaum, a poet, will stay in Deer Isle and continue to work in the arts.

“I can’t imagine a better place to work than Haystack,” he said in a statement. “I am leaving to continue the investigations that the school has inspired in me – to write and speak about creativity, to explore connections between art and science, and to consult with organizations on how to develop and maintain dynamic programs.”

During Kestenbaum’s tenure, Haystack has become a leading center for the study of craft, creativity and culture. The school attracts international students and teachers, offers workshops for high school students, conferences, retreats, a writing series and residency program and a digital fabrication studio.

Kestenbaum is known nationally. The College of Fellows of the American Craft Council elected him an honorary member and the James Renwick Alliance awarded him a Distinguished Educator’s Award.

A national search for his replacement is planned, said Lissa Hunter, chair of the school’s board.

Haystack “is a world-class institution in large part because of the dedication, skill and creativity” of Kestenbaum, she said.

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