Projects, Partnerships and Initiatives
All of the projects, initiatives and partnerships that L/A Arts undertakes are the result of efforts of the community to realize its potential. The role of L/A Arts has been to employ the arts and the creative process in facilitating the realization of this potential. This role has been played through collaboration with business, social service, and government organizations. As the Local Arts Agency, L/A Arts seeks to meet the needs of the artists and arts organizations which serve the community and to foster the belief that: Art- It’s Everybody’s Business. In his article, “The Arts As Basic Skills,” Martin Engel from the National Institute of Education, wrote:
“The fact is that the arts are about what we know; they are about knowledge. They are symbolic forms which say very important things to us. It is not their pleasantness which make them essential to our lives. It is their essence; that is, the information which they contain . . . . We are surrounded by the arts to such an extent that were all the arts miraculously lifted from our world and our experience, we would be cast into a mental and physical solitary confinement worse than any prison. We would be reduced to mindless ignorance about ourselves, our society, our world, our reality, our beliefs, faiths and our imagination.”
Highlights of L/A Arts Supported Community Events over past 10 years
Festival of Arts and Lights
On a Saturday in December from noon to 5 pm downtown Lisbon Street will be filled with holiday cheer! The first Festival of Art & Lights featured fourteen locations and 38 high-quality artisans selling wonderful gifts such as jewelry, scarves pottery, wood working, fine art, lamps, photography, wreaths, poinsettias and more! There were activities for children, such as snow painting and snowflake making. Santa will be on hand for photos. Mellow jazz, an afternoon wine tasting and chair massages will be offered for the adult shoppers.
The Festival of Art and Lights is sponsored by L/A Arts, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Captive Elements Art House and Lewiston Public Library. It is a reminder of the booming retail center that Lisbon Street once was and is gradually returning to. During this summer’s Art Walks, hundreds of people enjoyed a sense of community, seeing old friends and neighbors, while viewing the creativity of local artists. The Festival is building on that community and joy of art.
Art Walk Lewiston Auburn Partnership
‘Art Walk Lewiston Auburn’ is a grassroots endeavor by community members, artists, and local businesses celebrating the extraordinary talent of visual artists in L/A and around Maine. Once every month, from May through September, Art Walk Lewiston Auburn turns the downtowns of Lewiston and Auburn into impressive arts districts. Filling multiple venues, including vacant buildings with a spectacular array of art exhibits for all to enjoy.
Lewiston/Auburn Film Festival Partnership
The second annual Lewiston Auburn Film Festival (LAFF) is going to be a three-day event, complete with opening night festivities, a full day of films in downtown L/A, awards show, brunch, and filmmaker panels.
Based on the success of last year’s event, where more than 1,000 festival goers attended screenings of 100+ films from all over the world, the staff at LAFF has been working hard to make LAFF 2012 bigger, better and on par with festivals found in larger, more well-known cities.
The Auburn Wall Painting Project
A repainting of the mural on the 692’ wall on S. Main St, Auburn by elementary, middle, and high school students and community members under the direction of resident artist Natasha Mayers.
A CD of traditional French Canadian songs sung in both French and English by local musicians Michael Parent and Greg Boardman, distributed, at no cost, to schools throughout Maine (produced by L/A Arts). more info/order CD
Cultural Heritage Chronicles
Middle school students developed stories about culturally significant places and people in their neighborhoods and then produced audio and video recordings based on what they learned.
14 ethnic groups and ethnologists celebrate the contributions of various group to the Lewiston Auburn community in a cultural cookbook.
A Frog Stuck in the Ice
A theatrical piece that provides an occasion for the Franco-American community not only to celebrate their culture and traditions, but to share them with the larger community. The work was commissioned by L/A Arts and written and performed by 3 Maine artists.
“On its way to Earth a drama about the Pentecost, co-authored by Shakespeare and St. Paul, gets quietly revised by its seraphic messenger — a budding playwright in unrequited amore who sees the script is light on comedy, with no roles for angels in love.” L/A Arts aided in the production of this theatrical piece that was written by a local playwright and initially performed by a cast of local actors.
A unique dance/multimedia piece, created by both a professional dance team and the whole community, that attempts to demystify and inform our perceptions of the last stage of life.
Love in Cactus Village
A Somali play written by Ohmar Ahmed and directed by Michael Parent, celebrating the rich cultural traditions of the Somali people in poetry, music and theatre/dance. The play is based an original Somali folk-tale told through music, gesture and dance, written and presented by the Somali community and L/A Arts.
Interdisciplinary Education through the Arts Institute
Area artists and educators from local schools came together for a week long “summer institute” where they developed arts integration strategies. Then, during the following school year, they worked in teams, developing teaching units that specifically incorporated these strategies. Finally they utilized these units in the classroom.
This summer music series includes free noontime concerts throughout July and August. These open air events are performed in two parks, one in Lewiston’s downtown district and the other in Auburn’s. The concerts entertain local employees on lunch break as well as attract tourists, summer visitors, and residents of the two cities to the downtown area. Each concert is performed by a different group of musicians.
A multilevel collaboration between L/A Arts and the Lewiston and Auburn Recreation Departments, sculptor Nantz Comyns-Toohey, and a number of community members and organizations. The objective was to create six 14’ high sculptures of indigenous wildlife to be installed in three parks in Auburn and three parks in Lewiston. The creative process involved community members of the neighborhoods surrounding the selected parks under the guidance of the artist.
The Source: Guitar and Arts Festival
A celebration of Lewiston and Auburn’s guitar and music legacy, as well as the quantity of Maine’s visual artists and the quality of their work, The Source is a day long event with continuous music presented on multiple stages as well as an Artist’s Village to view and purchase the works of over 50 artists and craftsman from all over Maine and New England.
Summer Youth Theatre
A summer theater program for youths ages 8 to 18, this theatre program began in 1996 and has steadily grown in popularity as a place where students can learn and experience the theater arts.
a youth-based theatre program which produced the highest quality theatre based on the cultural history of the community.