Posts Tagged ‘UMA’


Holocaust and Human Rights Center

July 28, 2017

UMA campus

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center is located on the University of Maine at Augusta campus in the Michael Klahr Center and are open from 10 AM – 4 PM, Monday through Friday.


We use the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and other genocides to combat prejudice and discrimination in Maine and beyond. We encourage individuals and communities to reflect and act upon their ethical and moral responsibilities in our modern world. 


Summer is a good time to visit places that you may want to consider tapping into for educational resources. The staff at the center is excellent and more than willing to work with you to support the work of educators.

At this time they have an opening for an Office Manager. Read the job information below.

Seeking Part Time (30 hours per week) Office Manager

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, located at the Michael Klahr Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta seeks an Office Manager – 30 hours per week, plus benefits, including health insurance, contribution to a health savings account, and paid vacation.

We are looking for an individual with great energy; high levels of motivation and organization; the ability to think creatively, multi-task, and remain calm when the occasional curve ball is thrown their way; a willingness to collaborate; a sharp eye for detail; excellent communication skills; and a good sense of humor.

The Office Manager is often the first person who visitors or callers meet, and should be friendly, outgoing, and a good listener. The HHRC is a small, three-person staff, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. We partner with numerous groups and individuals each year, so the Office Manager must be a team player who is comfortable meeting and working with a wide variety of people.

For more information about the HHRC, email Executive Director Elizabeth Helitzer at or visit us online at:

Office Management Responsibilities

  • Regularly interfaces with public;
  • Responsible for correspondence between center and donors;
  • Works to expand the income and reach of the center in conjunction with the Executive Director and Program Director;
  • Oversees communication with staff and faculty of the University of Maine at Augusta;
  • Oversees communication with outside organizations and project partners;
  • Maintains Donor database;
  • Inputs bills, processes checks for vendors, makes deposits, and oversees timely bill payments;
  • Works with Executive Director to effectively manage the human resources of the organization, including maintenance of personnel files and compliance with federal and state employment laws;
  • Serves as occasional docent/tour guide for day to day visitors, school groups and community members;
  • Assists Executive Director, Program Director, and Board to execute their mission.

The ideal candidate will bring the following skills and demonstrated experience to the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Demonstrated success meeting deadlines and achieving targeted goals.
  • Ability to interact with community members and donors from diverse cultural, economic, educational, political, and vocational backgrounds.
  • Proficiency with software, including Quickbooks, Microsoft Word and Excel, Mailchimp, and Little Green Light.

Compensation and benefits

  • Salary in the low-20s, commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include full health and dental insurance, contribution to health savings account, two weeks of paid vacation after six months of employment, and sick leave.

Additional Job Information

How To Apply:  Please email resume and cover letter to the attention of Elizabeth Helitzer, Executive Director, at Application Deadline: We will accept applications until the position is filled.


Created Equal

March 6, 2017

Theater production – UMA




Cony and UMA Collaboration

November 1, 2015

Digital Photography Course

University of Maine at Augusta and Cony High School are collaborating for the first time this fall by teaching a digital photography class that students enrolled in as college and high school students, known as duel enrollment. The course is supervised and team-taught by UMA’s Professor Robert Rainey with Jason Morgan, one of two visual arts teachers for Cony 7-12 grades. The Digital Photography Course is currently enrolls 22 Cony Juniors and seniors on Cony’s campus. This is during a time when art at Cony is struggling to reach all grades offering a comprehensive art program for students who want to pursue visual art careers. The collaboration provides a course in photography that hasn’t been offered at Cony and bridges both institutions preparing students for higher education. The course is 1 high school and 3 credits in college.  It is an Aspirations course available for junior and seniors.

“light-painted selfies” on display at Harlow Gallery Nov 6-28

“light-painted selfies” on display at Harlow Gallery Nov 6-28

Recently, the photography students took a field trip to UMA’s photography facilities as duel-enrollment UMA/ Cony English students visited English classes and took a tour of the UMA campus including an artist talk by Professor Peter Precourt on his work currently displayed at UMA’s Danforth Gallery, “The Katrina Chronicles.”

The photography students participated in a four-hour workshop creating photograms in a traditional wet lab darkroom. Also, students photographed long exposure “selfies” in UMA’s studio lighting studio. Each 30-second selfie was a collaboration of five students lighting one another with the LED’s from their smart phones. Students held the pose on the floor for 30 seconds as participants outlined their bodies and painted whimsical swirls of lights, wings, and flowers. The “Exquisite Drawings” will be exhibited at the upcoming Harlow Gallery exhibition “Maine Artists Creating Art on Computers” opening November 6th, 5-8 pm and runs until the 24th.

The UMA/ Cony Photo students are out in the Kennebec Valley Community taking their newly learned or refined skills shooting events such as Cony’s Spirit week and exhibiting at Harlow’s, “Transforming Violence II.”

The images from the UMA Cony Day, photo student work will be on display at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, as part of their “Transforming Violence II” exhibit, November 6-28.

Cony students in UMA’s Lighting Studio preparing for “light drawing”

Cony students in UMA’s Lighting Studio preparing for “light drawing”


Cony students listen to Peter Precourt’s artist talk in UMA’s Danforth Gallery

Cony student, Jacklyn XXX listens to Senator Roger Katz speaking on legislation regarding domestic violence

Cony students listen to Senator Roger Katz speaking on legislation regarding domestic violence

Exhibiting Cony students with art teacher Jason Morgan in front of their painting, “Breaking the Chain” now on show at Harlow’s, “Transforming Violence II”Danforth Gallery

Exhibiting Cony students with art teacher Jason Morgan in front of their painting, “Breaking the Chain” now on show at Harlow’s, “Transforming Violence II”Danforth Gallery

Thanks to Cony art teacher Jason Morgan for providing this information. If you’d like to contact him please do so at If you’d like to share information on what you’re doing with your students please email me at



UMA Interactive Theater Project

May 30, 2014

Opportunity for students

Under the direction of Adjunct Theater Professor, Jeri Pitcher, the University of Maine, Augusta Interactive Theater Project is providing opportunities for college students who are turning around and providing learning opportunities for other students. This project involved creating an original piece of theater with five UMA acting students and bringing the theater piece to perform in classrooms at Cony Middle School. For more information on the UMA Interactive Theater Project, contact Jeri Pitcher, at

See the video, created by Zach Greenham, below that demonstrates the project.


So Long Bonnie and THANKS!

April 27, 2014

Fortunately for us!

During the past 4 months I had the good fortune of having Bonnie spend hours and hours working at the Maine Arts Commission as part of her required internship for a graduation requirement from the University of Maine, Augusta. Bonnie is an art major and in less than a month she will be graduating and headed to graduate school in California. She was absolutely fabulous to work with and attacked each task with gusto and confidence. There wasn’t anything Bonnie wouldn’t take on and hopefully she is walking away with new skills to add to her bag of tricks. I asked her to write a blog post as part of her internship and she gladly stepped up to do so. Bonnie was an enormous help with so many arts education tasks – I believe I benefited more from the experience, than she did. I know you’ll join me in giving a great big THANK YOU to Bonnie!!

My Time at the Maine Arts Commission

By Bonnie Lee

Boy, oh boy, working at the Maine Arts Commission was a whirlwind of paperwork and important people. Specifically the Arts Education department. I believe Argy Nestor organizes and works in her sleep because of the tremendous amount of work she does in such a short time. Not only does she juggle so many programs without dropping them, she is actually good at what she does.

I have much respect for the Education work that the Maine Arts Commission does. They provide bus funding for school children to visit Maine arts venues, educate teachers on how to better their assessment practices and creativity in the classroom (which is so important for the teachers) and they organized a huge competition, Poetry Out Loud. This competition allows students to integrate poetry, performance and recitation into a chance for a college scholarship.

The workshops provided by the MAC on Arts Education help the teachers of PreK-12 arts classes tremendously by giving them networking possibilities and helps them reinvent their class assessments to compete with today’s new graduation processes and available technology.

The entire experience was exciting and educational for me because I witnessed the inner gears of the Maine Art Commission and what hard work goes in to all of these programs and projects that are offered to the residents of our great state.

I am grateful that there are people in Augusta hard at work to better the lives of our children and us!




Community Supported Arts Project

April 19, 2014

A collaborate project and much more

Susan Bickford is an adjunct professor at the UMA. Recently she did a most interesting collaborate project that challenged students in a unique way. You’ll learn about the project in this post along with Susan’s story.

Susan’s most recent project

1560699_479914208779321_552558491_nThe Collaborative Portrait Project began in my 2-D classroom four years ago. I wanted to develop a project that required a group effort, like the experiential education games that we played on Cow Island at Ripple Effect. I wanted to translate that group leadership dynamic to art making. At the same time I had to deliver the value studies lesson. I was also mandated to work both digitally and manually. So in this project I begin by asking the students to research and nominate a hero, “give me three good reasons why I should vote for your candidate”. At first they suggested movie stars and pop idols, like Micheal Jackson, Hugh Jackman, and they were all male. I hinted that they could go deeper and choose people that were more meaningful to them, more relevant of the present time, and more deserving of an epic portrait. Now we are getting nominations like Malala Youzefsai, Amelia Earhardt, Edward Snowden and the Dalai Lama. Each time I do the project I figure out a better way to do a certain aspect of it. The students give me suggestions.

1495476_480294335407975_371321812_nThe most recent iteration of the Collaborative Portrait Project is the Farmers Edition. Over the course of making a video documentary of a growing season on the Goranson Farm, farmers in general had become my heroes. In this case I nominated the farmers that I had worked with in the CSA: Community Supported Arts Project with the Harlow Gallery. Ten of the farmers that participated in that project agreed to be subjects for the portraits. I solicited Allison McKeen to take photographic portraits of the farmers, applied a coded matrix and digital filters. Now all I needed was a group to help me make the 360 panels. Deb Fahy who helped to find funding for the project connected me with the education committee at the Harlow Gallery through which 10 teachers committed to doing the project with their classrooms. I taught the teachers the methods at workshops and distributed the panels. Our first meeting was in April, the students made the panels during the Fall semester and we showed the portraits at the UMA Danforth Gallery in January. We even got materials donated by local businesses: Artist and Craftsman Supply and A.C. Moore. Ten four foot portraits of farmers from Maine, made collaboratively by 10 teachers and their 250 students. Each panel is lovely, it is amazing how they all fit together. You can see them now on the website at Epic Portraiture throughout most of history has been reserved for monarchs, religious leaders, and the very rich. Images of the few, commissioned by the few, made by a master. They reveal the dominant paradigm of their time. Andy Warhol utilizing mechanical reproduction shifted the subjects of portraits to include ordinary people and cinematic moments. Chuck Close magnified virtuosity and mastered imperfection as beauty. In contrast, making portraits in collaboration, redefines how we see ourselves as a group. This is a radically different model, many with many, not icons but locals, not virtuosity but inclusiveness. My colleague Robert Rainey designed a gorgeous documentary book of our process with a DIY section which you can view and purchase on blurb.


What are your next steps with the collaborative project?

Thank you so much for asking me that question, you might think that after doing this project with 360 moving pieces and so many people that I would be exhausted but there is something about the group dynamic that is energizing me. You have to follow your flow, so I want to do this nationally. “100 heroes” is what I am calling the next iteration for this system of collaborative portraiture. I want to work with teachers across the country, teach them the project, have each group nominate a local hero and feed it into the system. We will all learn about what amazing things local people are doing all around the country. One thing I learned from the Farmers Edition was that the kids really enjoyed being part of a larger group. It inspired them to work really hard on their panels. To belong to this larger group was expansive and empowering. Another thing that confirmed to me by Carolyn Brown from Camden Hills Regional High School was that the digital filters assisted the students in their manual reproduction. The abstract nature actually facilitated the value study because it reduced the preconception of content. I want to highlight both of these discoveries in the national project. I am developing an online interface so that all of the portraits will be remotely uploaded to the internet, and the participants will be able to pick their panels much like you would pick an airplane seat. Then apply the filters, print them out and manually and reproduce them. Finally they will send them all, carefully coded, snail mail in a packet to the exhibition site. The collection of portraits serves to empower through involvement, and make visible an index of hope for the future. Can you imagine all these newly elected heroes, portraits traveling in pieces across the country toward their exhibition to be put back together like ambassadors of hope? It gives me chills.

What is your background?

As an artist I have always pieced my living together with lots of part time work. I grew up here in Maine, in Yarmouth. My fathers side of the family goes back seven generations in the Lisbon Falls area. When I graduated from college I worked doing environmental graphics in DC for a short time. But I soon moved back to Maine and started my own business making fine craft jewelry. I had big clients like Barneys and Nordstrom as well as many small galleries. I did wholesale trade shows for 15 years, as well as taught ceramics and metal smithing at North Yarmouth Academy and continuing education venues. Then I had my daughter Bella, which changed everything because I wanted to be with her all the time. When she was three, I started the MFA program at Maine College of Art (MECA) which really re-invigorated my art practice. My mom encouraged me to continue my studies. I studied at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the early eighties, now it was the new millennium and so much had changed in those 15 years. In the Masters program at MECA I was required to read and write, to think and articulate my thoughts. My artwork is systems of interactivity. Sometimes I make installation with projected video and sound that viewers can modify with their movements and voice. Other times I make projections for theater. I was the artist in residence at Ripple Effect on Cow Island for several summers, living in a tent, being a video instructor, making rings and environmental sculpture. Nature is a very important element in my work. Since 2003 I have been teaching at the college level within the University of Maine system, Augusta, Farmington, USM, and Orono and more recently at MECA. I teach 2-D, 3-D, Electronic Art and various seminars.

How did you get interested in art? 

I got my start in art because my Grandmother Vivian took me to art classes with her on Tuesday nights all through high school in the seventies. We drew with colored pencils, Mr. Matolchy and Lee Bean were my teachers, I wasn’t very good at drawing but I learned to see, make marks and the discipline of practice. Then my parents funded my undergraduate studies at RISD. I probably would not have gotten accepted if not for those classes. My Dad suggested I major in Industrial Design because it was applied, he was an engineer and liked that idea. It has served me well, I have a fond place in my heart for machines and manufacture, and well functioning, elegant objects. I like problem solving and design process. The jewelry that I made was modular and utilized all of that training. When I think about installation it is with a knowledge of three dimensional space and ability to build things.

What is your role at UMA?

Since 2003 I have been an adjunct faculty member at UMA. We have great art facilities there, for printmaking, sculpture, photography, painting, electronic art and ceramics. The faculty are really passionate about teaching and their media.  Most of our students are place bound and would not have the resources to travel to other locations to study so I feel we are providing a valuable service for Central Maine. In the twenty-first century everyone utilizes media so having some visual literacy is a skill employers are looking for.

For more information email


In Today’s News

July 19, 2013

Young musicians at UMA summer program

Students, ages 10-16 are having the opportunity to attend a week long summer music program at UMA. The program is sponsored by the Maine Academy of Modern Music. You can read the article in the Kennebec Journal written by Paul Koenig, and see a video of the students in action by clicking here.


Jazz Week at UMA

April 17, 2012

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