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50th Anniversary Celebration

October 12, 2015

Celebrate with MAC – November 5

State Arts Commission to host public 50th Anniversary Celebration with noted speakers, entertainment, exhibits, giveaways and the launch of a new five-year Cultural Plan

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 8.13.27 AMAUGUSTA, MAINE–The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) is excited to announce that reservations are now being accepted for a special 50th anniversary event November 5, 2015, from 5 – 10 p.m. at the beautiful Point Lookout Resort in midcoast Maine. 2015 marks the 50th anniversaries of both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Maine Arts Commission. To celebrate these milestones, the Commission will present a full evening of dining and entertainment, including a concert featuring Maine’s Grammy Award winning pianist Paul Sullivan, the Choral Arts Society, and Vox Nova Chamber Choir; and culminating in a keynote address by former NEA chairman Bill Ivey, the launch of a new five-year Cultural Plan for the State of Maine, and the giveaway of two $2,500 awards to artists and arts organizations in attendance.

“This mid-century anniversary of public funding and support for the arts at the heart of American culture is a critical milestone for the U.S. and for Maine,” noted Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “We’re proud to lead the way, with this special evening and our new cultural plan, to continuing to strengthen Maine communities through the arts.”

The highlight of the event will be a keynote speech from Bill Ivey, a four time Grammy Award winning musicologist and the former chairman of the NEA. The evening will feature the unveiling of the Commission’s new cultural plan, and will conclude with a public drawing for two $2,500 awards to artists and arts organization in attendance that evening.

The evening opens with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m., with music by the Paul Sullivan Trio and exhibits showcasing the capacity and vitality of Maine’s arts communities, including Arts Education, the Traditional Arts, and Cultural Tourism, and includes a full dinner.

“The arts and sciences are essential to the prosperity of the state and to the ornament and happiness of human life. They have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.” – George Washington, first President of the United States.

On September 29, 1965, President Johnson signed the U.S. Congress’s National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, establishing the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As historian Mark Bauerlein has noted, the NEA was created “not to solve a problem, but rather to embody a hope.” The NEA and NEH were very different from the earlier federal arts projects of the Roosevelt administration, the Federal Arts Project and Federal Writers’ Project, whose mission was to produce art. The NEA was established, rather, to nurture American creativity, to elevate the nation’s culture, and to sustain and preserve the country’s many artistic traditions.

Concurrent with the founding of the NEA, Maine Governor John H. Reed created the Governor’s Council on Arts and Culture, which quickly recommended the establishment of a independent state agency, the Maine State Commission on the Arts and Humanities. This new state agency joined five other existing state arts agencies created prior to the NEA’s Federal-State Partnership Program in 1967. As a result of this program, all 50 states had their own arts councils, or “mini-NEA’s,” by 1974.

BILL IVEY served as the seventh Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1998 through September 2001. Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA. Ivey’s Challenge America Initiative, launched in 1999, has garnered more than $15 million to date in new Congressional appropriations for the Arts Endowment. Ivey is the Founding Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, an arts policy research center. He also serves as Senior Consultant to Leadership Music, a professional development program serving Nashville’s music community. His book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, was published by the University of California Press in 2008. He is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Album Notes category), and is the author of numerous articles on US cultural policy, and on folk and popular music.

Maine’s own Grammy Award winner PAUL SULLIVAN has enjoyed a richly varied and distinguished career as a composer and a pianist. As a soloist, with his trio, and as a member of the Paul Winter Consort, he has played concert tours in most of the United States and Europe, as well as Croatia, Israel, Costa Rica, and Japan. He has performed among the dunes of the Negev Desert, in Leonard Bernstein’s living room, and on the stages of many of the world’s finest concert halls. He has also performed with some legendary orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, the Boston Pops under both Arthur Fiedler and Keith Lockhardt, and several regional orchestras around the US. As a jazz player he has worked in some of New York’s most prestigious clubs, including Sweet Basil, The Village Vanguard, and Bradley’s. His 13 CDs have sold over 300,000 copies and have won 3 Indie Awards. His music has been broadcast internationally, as well as on all the major American networks, including National Public Radio. He received a Grammy Award for his work on the Paul Winter Consort CD, Silver Solstice.

The CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY’S CAMERATA is a 17 voice ensemble specializing in a cappella music from the Renaissance through the 21st Century. Camerata’s annual “Epiphany Celebration” has become a choral tradition for each holiday season. The ensemble also has performed Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore, the latter with the Portland Ballet Company.

VOX NOVA CHAMBER CHOIR, founded in 2009 on the campus of Bowdoin College, features singers from Midcoast, Southern, Central and Northern Maine. A mixed choir of 32-38 voices, the ensemble seeks to champion the expansive body of modern and contemporary choral repertoire and to expose its audiences to distinct and incomparable performances of new music. “Vox Nova, under the direction of Shannon M. Chase, specializes in contemporary vocal music, one of the brighter stars in the classical music heavens.”

POINT LOOKOUT RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER is situated on 387 acres of picturesque mountainside overlooking Penobscot Bay in Northport, between Camden and Belfast. Miles of hiking trails are fused with traditional resort-style amenities, including a bowling alley, billiards, and a state-of-the-art fitness and recreation center. Discounted overnight accommodations in Point Lookout’s authentic Maine pine log cabins are available with the code #MaineArts.

Make reservations for the evening today at http://mainearts.bpt.me. For overnight accommodations, please call Point Lookout directly at 207-789-2000 and use the code #MaineArts. Additional information about the event and the Commission’s new Cultural Plan can be obtained at http://www.mainearts.com or by calling the agency at 207.287.2724.

 
The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

2 comments

  1. Congratulations to Julie Richard, former executive director of MAC (Metropolitan Arts Council) in Greenville, SC! I will share this milestone with all of your arts friends in Greenville. It is so nice to be able to keep up with you on LinkedIn. Miss you!
    Claude W. Blakely (Administrative Director for Centre Stage – South Carolina)


  2. Thanks for your comment Claude! It is grape at working with Julie at the Maine Rts Commission!
    ~Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education



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