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Who Are They?: Schoodic Arts for All, Part 1

May 13, 2015

Introducing: Schoodic Arts for All

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

safa_logo_blue_greenThis is the first blog post of the series highlighting the work of Schoodic Arts for All located in Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street in Winter Harbor. This area is called Downeast Maine and Schoodic Arts for All is at the intersection of Hancock and Washington Counties. Schoodic Arts for All is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering interest and involvement in the arts for all who wish to participate.

Mission

The mission of Schoodic Arts for All is to bring together and provide opportunities for people of all ages to experience and appreciate the arts. Since our beginning in 1999, Schoodic Arts for All has been an integral part of our community as an arts presenting organization. In addition, we also area centerpiece for the downtown renovation, a positive influence on the economic situation, a resource for the schools in our district and a venue for the community events in our town.

History

Schoodic Arts for All was born in 1999 as a grassroots citizen’s group (Schoodic Futures) to address the dire economic impact on the town due to the closure of the Winter Harbor Navy base.  The loss of $11.5 million dollars in payroll and another $9 million in losses to vendors of equipment, supplies, and services to the navy cut the population by half, leaving only 23 students in the school and 100 empty buildings in town. Our task was to bring back life and vitality through increased visitation and economic opportunity.

One early answer to the question of how to save the community was to hold a two-week arts festival. In a region with little industry, most of the people who live here are engaged in creative occupations. These include the visual arts, music, craft, writing, design, architecture, and organic agriculture. After that first two-week festival, and following a two-year planning and data gathering process, one wish of the community that consistently surfaced was to provide increased “live arts” opportunities for participation and performance.

The Schoodic Arts Festival is the best known program that we do – it’s our signature program and begins in a few weeks. This year we have 85 workshops and 26 performances in 14 days! It’s our flagship program.

Schoodic Arts for All Programs

Art Club

Our Afterschool Art Club activities connect children with local professional artists who’s experience and passion for their craft inspire our club members to aspire to a life in the arts.

Schoodic Summer Chorus 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.45 PMA multi-generational a capella community chorus devoted to nurturing musicianship and community, in residence at Hammond Hall. Directed by singer and composer Anna Dembska, the chorus is open to anyone who loves to sing.

 

Museum Field Trips  

One of our first participants had this to say about our January trip to The Farnsworth Art Museum: “Winter days are short.  This trip was a brilliant idea.  It recharged creative minds on many levels and was a good day long social event.”

Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) 

If you are interested in the arts, if you are an artist, if you have a friend who is an artist, or if you want to know about what’s going on in the arts community, come and join us. All are welcome!

Pandemonium Steel Pan Band 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.21 PMOur youth steel drum band, Pandemonium (intermediate), rehearses throughout the year and have performance opportunities annually at the Schoodic Arts Festival as well as at local school assemblies.

 

Schoodic Arts for All Meetinghouse Theatre Lab

The Meetinghouse Theatre Lab is dedicated to creating a yearly ensemble of performance artists who come together to excite the senses, push the limits, and explode the definition of “create” with the aim of growing as performers and enriching the humanity of all involved. The Theatre Lab has presented readings, staged readings, and full productions, both classic and contemporary.

If you have questions about Schoodic Arts for All please contact the Executive Director, Mary Laury, at marylaury@schoodicartsforall.org.

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