New arts center, leader developing up Freeport’s cultural scene

The art scene in Freeport is having an infusion of electrical power with the the latest appointment of a new government director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport and the opening of the Meetinghouse Arts group accumulating house.

The arts centre at 40 Primary St. operates inside the historic Very first Parish Church. The congregation is leasing house to the arts and cultural alliance, which operates Meetinghouse Arts. With an artwork gallery where by area artists can clearly show and promote their perform and a efficiency place in the sanctuary huge more than enough to accommodate 150 people, Meetinghouse Arts will curate and host art exhibitions, tunes and theater performances, courses, workshops, lectures and other gatherings.

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

“My goal is to have this put brimming with exercise and booked to the extent we can manage it with a selection of functions,” mentioned Dana Legawiec, who commenced her responsibilities at government director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport in June. “Over time, it is about applying the arts to form the lifestyle of the city as a result of relationship to local community.”

Meetinghouse Arts is located in 1 of Freeport’s historic buildings. Created in 1895 to substitute a church that experienced burned, the Victorian-period First Parish was built with ornate stained-glass home windows, pews formed for the human overall body and the sanctuary by itself, and uncovered hand-hewn trusses supported by knee braces. There is also a pipe organ.

The congregation was established in 1789. To start with Parish is still energetic, though significantly less so than in the earlier. Looking for a prolonged-phrase tenant, the church and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport agreed to a 10-12 months lease. The congregation will carry on to hold Sunday companies in the sanctuary and neighborhood courses in the basement.

David Greenham, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, referred to as the arrangement exclusive and an example of resourceful difficulty-fixing, due to the fact it requires two corporations with distinctive missions and aims obtaining a way to support just about every other approach a long run that includes their mutual co-existence.

“This idea of cooperation is actually what is nice about this tale,” he claimed. “We typically get so siloed in our own corporation, there is sometimes not as much spirit of local community collaboration as there could be. This is an illustration of folks stepping out of their silos to come jointly.”

From left, Nicole Nappi, Stacey Lodato and Louise Rate hang operate for the opening demonstrate, “The Shade of Gentle,” at Meetinghouse Arts. Lodato, of Freeport, is the chair of the gallery committee although Nappi, of Brunswick, and Rate, of Freeport, are committee users. Brianna Soukup/Team Photographer

The gallery, which started displaying the function of regional artists in June, opened its second group exhibition, “The Color of Gentle,” final week. It is on check out as a result of Oct. 17. The alliance also has hosted an outdoor summertime concert collection in the parking whole lot out back. The final concert in the series begins at 1 p.m. Sunday with the folk-roots trio Reduced Lily. In addition to the live performance, the musicians will host a songwriting workshop.

Legawiec’s background is theater and making neighborhood by the arts. She did her undergraduate function at Princeton College and earned a master’s in arts in training from Harvard College. She teaches theater at Colby College and the College of Southern Maine. She also graduated from the Dell’Arte University of Bodily Theater, and has performed with Celebration Barn, Figures of Speech Theater and quite a few other theater companies throughout Maine.

She is keen to commence programming in the indoor place. As component of the renovation of Meetinghouse Arts, the alliance put in a new air flow program that is regulated by sensors centered on the quantity of people in the gallery and general performance location.

“We are thrilled to consist of Snowlion as the very first theater corporation on the calendar for a entire production in Oct,” she reported. “I am also hopeful we can make a selection of standalone situations starting up in September. We are having discussions with regional and regional undertaking artists, new music ensembles, theater businesses, and cultural companies concerning performances, workshops, recitals and lectures – and connecting these offerings to meeting the desires, pursuits and desires of the regional community.”

Margit Ahlin, Snowlion’s generating director, stated the theater organization needed a new dwelling with the closing of the Portland Ballet Studio Theater, wherever Snowlion offered quite a few of its displays. Ahlin knew Legawiec via the Camden Shakespeare Competition, which Legawiec sales opportunities with her partner, Stephen.

“It was sort of serendipity,” Ahlin explained. “We ended up on the lookout for a area, and they were wanting for another person to present demonstrates. I said, ‘We’re intrigued,’ and they said, ‘We’re fascinated, much too.’ ”

On Oct. 16, Meetinghouse Arts will host a touring generation of “The Wonderful Meep Island Adventure,” by the College of Southern Maine theater section. It will be a cost-free out of doors general performance for young ones and people.

Nancy Salmon, board president of Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, stated Legawiec’s choosing and the opening of the new house presents the alliance strong footing for the close to potential and for many several years to occur.

“This is a neighborhood gathering space, and it has been for a lot of decades,” Salmon said. “Dana knows how to convey the community in.”

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