December 2, 2021


art requires creative

New arts heart, chief developing up Freeport’s cultural scene

5 min read

The artwork scene in Freeport is acquiring an infusion of energy with the recent appointment of a new government director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport and the opening of the Meetinghouse Arts local community gathering room.

The arts center at 40 Major St. operates in just the historic Very first Parish Church. The congregation is leasing room to the arts and cultural alliance, which operates Meetinghouse Arts. With an artwork gallery where by area artists can clearly show and market their function and a general performance space in the sanctuary huge enough to accommodate 150 men and women, Meetinghouse Arts will curate and host art exhibitions, tunes and theater performances, courses, workshops, lectures and other functions.

The art gallery is open, and the efficiency space has just been renovated. Snowlion Repertory Corporation will host the to start with enjoy in new house, “My Witch,” about the actress Margaret Hamilton, in late October.

“My goal is to have this position brimming with exercise and booked to the extent we can take care of it with a selection of situations,” explained Dana Legawiec, who commenced her obligations at govt director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport in June. “Over time, it is about utilizing the arts to shape the society of the city by way of connection to community.”

Meetinghouse Arts is situated in one of Freeport’s historic buildings. Created in 1895 to exchange a church that experienced burned, the Victorian-era Very first Parish was created with ornate stained-glass windows, pews shaped for the human physique and the sanctuary itself, and exposed hand-hewn trusses supported by knee braces. There’s also a pipe organ.

The congregation was established in 1789. Initial Parish is still active, however less so than in the previous. In search of a prolonged-term tenant, the church and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport agreed to a 10-12 months lease. The congregation will continue on to keep Sunday expert services in the sanctuary and local community packages in the basement.

David Greenham, govt director of the Maine Arts Fee, termed the arrangement exceptional and an instance of innovative trouble-solving, due to the fact it consists of two businesses with diverse missions and objectives getting a way to enable each individual other system a foreseeable future that requires their mutual co-existence.

“This plan of cooperation is really what is wonderful about this tale,” he explained. “We normally get so siloed in our individual firm, there is at times not as substantially spirit of neighborhood collaboration as there could be. This is an case in point of persons stepping out of their silos to arrive with each other.”

From remaining, Nicole Nappi, Stacey Lodato and Louise Price hold perform for the opening show, “The Shade of Light-weight,” at Meetinghouse Arts. Lodato, of Freeport, is the chair of the gallery committee even though Nappi, of Brunswick, and Value, of Freeport, are committee associates. Brianna Soukup/Employees Photographer

The gallery, which began exhibiting the operate of nearby artists in June, opened its second group exhibition, “The Shade of Light,” last 7 days. It is on view as a result of Oct. 17. The alliance also has hosted an out of doors summer concert series in the parking whole lot out back again. The last concert in the series starts at 1 p.m. Sunday with the people-roots trio Minimal Lily. In addition to the concert, the musicians will host a songwriting workshop.

Legawiec’s background is theater and making neighborhood by means of the arts. She did her undergraduate work at Princeton College and attained a master’s in arts in education and learning from Harvard University. She teaches theater at Colby College and the University of Southern Maine. She also graduated from the Dell’Arte College of Physical Theater, and has executed with Celebration Barn, Figures of Speech Theater and a lot of other theater companies across Maine.

She is eager to commence programming in the indoor area. As section of the renovation of Meetinghouse Arts, the alliance put in a new ventilation process that is regulated by sensors based on the quantity of people today in the gallery and effectiveness venue.

“We are thrilled to incorporate Snowlion as the initially theater corporation on the calendar for a whole creation in October,” she mentioned. “I am also hopeful we can create a assortment of standalone situations beginning in September. We are possessing discussions with regional and regional executing artists, music ensembles, theater organizations, and cultural corporations with regards to performances, workshops, recitals and lectures – and connecting those offerings to assembly the demands, pursuits and dreams of the area local community.”

Margit Ahlin, Snowlion’s generating director, said the theater company necessary a new residence with the closing of the Portland Ballet Studio Theater, where by Snowlion presented quite a few of its shows. Ahlin understood Legawiec by means of the Camden Shakespeare Competition, which Legawiec leads with her partner, Stephen.

“It was variety of serendipity,” Ahlin reported. “We have been seeking for a house, and they ended up on the lookout for an individual to existing demonstrates. I mentioned, ‘We’re intrigued,’ and they said, ‘We’re interested, also.’ ”

On Oct. 16, Meetinghouse Arts will host a touring generation of “The Wonderful Meep Island Experience,” by the University of Southern Maine theater division. It will be a absolutely free out of doors overall performance for youngsters and family members.

Nancy Salmon, board president of Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, explained Legawiec’s choosing and the opening of the new space presents the alliance potent footing for the close to upcoming and for several yrs to come.

“This is a group accumulating house, and it has been for a lot of years,” Salmon claimed. “Dana appreciates how to deliver the group in.”

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