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MICA

July 1, 2016

Maine International Conference on the Arts, Lewiston/Auburn

Inspiration, Networking, Learning & Arts Experiences offered at the Maine Arts Commission’s second statewide conference

AUGUSTA, MAINE–The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) is excited to announce that Early Bird registration is now open at www/mainearts.com/MICA for its second Maine International Conference on the Arts (MICA). The dynamic, activity-filled conference, in Lewiston/Auburn October 6 and 7, will focus on the intersections of Creativity, Industry, Art, and Innovation. Made possible by a statewide collaboration of Maine arts organizations as well as the Commission’s special international partnership with New Brunswick, Canada, MICA will be hosted by the Gendron Franco Cultural Center and Arts and Culture Lewiston/Auburn at the Franco Center and at the Bates Mill in downtown Lewiston. The Commission encourages creative professionals across all artistic disciplines, including artists, arts organizations, arts educators, and interested community members and policy makers to come together at the conference for inspirational presentations, networking, learning, and arts experiences.

“We create world class art in this state, and Maine has a deep culture and long history of driving industry and innovation through creativity. We need and deserve a world class arts conference in support of this,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission.

Leading the inspiration will be MICA keynote speakers Pam Breaux and Sherry Wagner-Henry. Additionally, Matt Lehrman, of Audiences EverywhereTM, and Crista Cloutier, The Working ArtistTM, bring their nationally renowned sessions to Maine for the conference. Add in an Idea Lab featuring five Maine artists, a dozen pop-up performances by a full range of Maine performers, 18 other breakout sessions, local food and drink picks, behind the scenes walking tours of Lewiston/Auburn, local evening entertainment designed specifically for conference attendees and a first-ever Maine Craft Apprenticeships Exhibition for a thrilling, action-packed, and art filled 30 hours in Maine’s second largest urban area.

Breakout sessions will be offered in five tracks that mirror the Commission’s priorities as outlined in its new Cultural Plan, “Fortifying Maine’s Creativity and Culture.” The plan culminates in Maine’s bicentennial in 2020. Each of the five tracks–Leveraging Investment, Increasing Visibility, Fostering Arts Education/Lifelong Learning, Encouraging Cultural Tourism, and Building Capacity–will include hands on, nuts and bolts professional development sessions such as The Life Cycle of an Organization, Strategic Social Media Partnerships, and The Economic Impact of the Arts: What Data Tells Us and How to Use It, in addition to a cross-discipline funders panel, innovative pitch sessions around cultural tourism, and workshops on Creative Aging/intergenerational programming, STEAM, and unlocking creativity.

The conference also represents a singular and remarkable opportunity to showcase one’s work and to share and book talent. The Commission will create two networking hubs at the Bates Mill, and the conference schedule in many ways prioritizes and creates informal opportunities for networking as much as it does for formal session attendance. Artists, agents, managers, talent buyers, vendors and other service providers will have the space and encouragement to connect with attendees and promote their wares. And audience members will have the chance to be delighted by the many pop-up performances that highlight Maine’s best talent.

Additionally, the Commission has partnered with the communities of Lewiston-Auburn and Arts and Culture LA (ACLA) to provide conference attendees with multiple opportunities to experience the vibrant cultural life and deeply creative industrial heritage of the twin cities. Attendees will have two opportunities during the day Friday for guided walking tours of the cities, and on Thursday evening will be treated to a specially-curated selection of community opportunities after the opening reception and keynote.
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana with a M.A. in English and folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, PAM BREAUX brings an intimate understanding of the celebration and sustenance of Franco culture in the U.S. to her position as CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). As CEO she works in collaboration with the NASAA board of directors to advance NASAA’s federal policy agenda. She has previously held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. Before working in state government, Pam managed southwest Louisiana’s Decentralized Arts Funding Program and was executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. She has served on the boards of NASAA, South Arts, the Louisiana Board of International Commerce and the U.S. Travel Association. She most recently was assistant secretary of the Office of Cultural Development at the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (CRT). She was also executive director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts. During her time at CRT, Pam led Louisiana’s cultural economy initiative and spearheaded the state’s attainment of UNESCO recognition of Poverty Point as a World Heritage site.

SHERRY WAGNER-HENRY is the director of and created the Arts and Cultural Leadership masters degree program for the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin Business School, the oldest and most respected program in the U.S. She came to the position, bringing extensive experience in arts administration and higher education, from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis/St. Paul, where she was director of graduate programs for the College of Continuing Education and faculty director of their Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL). Through her efforts, enrollment, scholarship support, and general revenue all increased. Previously, at the University of Minnesota, she was managing director, University Theatre and Dance, and executive director, Minnesota Centennial Showboat.
Speaking in regard to one of the day’s special workshops, Audiences EverywhereTM, one participant said, “Unbelievably honest and exactly what every organization needs to hear,” about the workshop’s “whole organization approach” to understanding and serving audiences.

“We’re re-invigorating Maine as the center for cultural exchange between New England, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada,” said Kerstin Gilg, the Commission’s Director for Media and Performing Arts and a member of the Maine-New Brunswick Partnership Initiative. “As attendees at the first MICA in 2013 noted, there is nothing else like this for Maine’s creative sector. We’re excited.”

Early Bird registration, which offers attendees a 25% discount on conference attendance, has been extended and closes July 15 at http://www.mainearts.com/MICA.

To see further presenter, workshop, and schedule details and to register for the Maine International Conference on the Arts please go to mainearts.com/MICA. To learn more about the Maine Arts Commission’s current and future programs please go to http://www.mainearts.com. You may also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @MaineArts.

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.

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