Blog

Students create ‘We are Westbrook’ with street artist

Originally published on Keep Me Current on March 16, 2017. By Kate Gardner “The project was set up by the Maine Humanities Council, which awarded grants to eight schools so Pigeon could work with them.” Full article Read more

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Palace Walk book cover

Winter Weekend 2017

In Palace Walk, Naguib Mahfouz gives Arab literature a Dickensian portrait of a patriarch: 45-year-old Al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd Al-Jawad, father and husband, despot and lecher, a man who demands strict adherence to the tenets of Islam inside his home, though he is indiscreet and unfaithful to a great many of them outside. The story chronicles the… Read more

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What is a Criminal?

Originally published in the Portland Phoenix on March 5, 2017. By Tom Gillis “Titled “What Is a Criminal?”, the event was the first in a four-part series of panel discussions called “Policing, Protection, Community, and Trust in the 21st Century,” sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council and moderated by Samaa Abdurraqib of the Maine Coalition… Read more

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Hugh Manatee's BR Social Media

Hugh’s Book Registry

Hugh, like any good humanities mascot, loves Maine’s library programming. But he’s seen what it takes from the inside, too, especially with all those books. Each MHC Let’s Talk About It series needs book replacements—for damaged books or out-of-date books (or books that just don’t work with the series for which they were intended). And… Read more

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New Mini Grants | Winter 2017

    $1,000 for “Chart of the North Atlantic“– Great Cranberry Historical Society, Great Cranberry Island With design assistance from Willoughby Hastings, Archivist Anne Grulich will research, compose text and mount an exhibition of Great Cranberry Island’s 19th Century maritime history centered around its collection of ten 1855-1877 nautical charts used by Captain Meltiah Richardson and his… Read more

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Don’t let anyone tell you the humanities aren’t worth the cost

This Maine Voices op-ed by MHC Executive Director Hayden Anderson appeared in the Portland Press Herald on March 4, 2017.   The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities are again under fire in Washington, reportedly targeted for elimination in the Trump administration’s upcoming budget proposal. Let’s be clear: this move… Read more

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winter weekend poster

Winter Weekend 20th anniversary poster

  In honor of the 20th anniversary of Winter Weekend, we’re offering a limited edition 12″ x 15″ commemorative poster highlighting all the books we’ve read for the program. Order yours now for $20.     Read more

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Maine poet to be honored for giving voice to refugees, disabled and homeless

Originally published in the Bangor Daily News on February 15, 2017 By Beth Brogan, Staff Writer “In March, the Maine Humanities Council will honor Lawless, 65, for decades contributing to public humanities — bringing poetry and voice to refugee communities, veterans and developmentally disabled adults, among others — and bestow on him the 2017 Constance… Read more

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Looking Back on “Civil Rights Through Art & Law”

Portland’s Knack Factory has produced a series of videos on Civil Rights Through Art & Law, our summer 2016 partnership with the University of Maine School of Law and Portland Museum of Art. As part of  The 14th Amendment in American Life and Imagination, the MHC’s statewide programming that explored concepts of equality, citizenship, and… Read more

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Reza Jalali

Podcast | Demystifying Islam in “Palace Walk”

MHC Board Member Reza Jalali discusses the Winter Weekend 2017 text, Palace Walk, at Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth. A Muslim scholar, educator, and writer, he is the coordinator of multicultural student affairs at the University of Southern Maine and advises Muslim students at Bowdoin College. His most recent work includes the 2013 book Homesick Mosque and Other Stories… Read more

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Police car driving down a street

Think & Drink Portland: Policing

Join us for a fourth season of Think & Drink as we tackle policing in Maine, its intersection with race, and how our local experience connects with what we see across the rest of the United States. How does society define criminal behavior, and who is a criminal? What do we want from our police,… Read more

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Portland Seminar 2017

Register for 2017 Portland Seminar

  With Russia’s reemergence as a major actor on the world stage, this year’s Portland Seminar turns to great literature for a wider perspective on Russia’s past and the legacy of its Soviet era on the present. Two nonfiction works by Nobel laureates—Milosz’s The Captive Mind and Alexievitch’s newly translated Secondhand Time—investigate the appeal of… Read more

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Podcast | 20 Years of Winter Weekend

Listen to Winter Weekend founder and emcee Charles Calhoun reminisce about 20 years of Winter Weekend in our latest Humanities on Demand podcast. Read more

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Jim Bulteel WW

The Trickle-Down of Winter Weekend

  By Diane Magras, Director of Development Claire Moriarty and Jim Bulteel, members of Orono High School’s English Department (with Erika Dixon, Amanda Johnston, Don Joseph, and Chris Luthin), are among a group of educators who have, in various combinations, attended Winter Weekend for the past 15 years. For years, I’ve heard about these teachers… Read more

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Maine State Music Theatre to Present Children’s Interactive Programs

Originally published on November 28, 2016 on Broadway World. “Maine State Music Theatre will present “Magic Time: A Program of Story and Song” – combining classic fairytale literature with contemporary musical adaptations – on Friday, February 24, 2017, at 10 AM and 3 PM at the Morrell Reading Room at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick.”… Read more

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New Arts & Humanities Grants | November 2016

  $1,000 for “Acadian Coloring Book”– Greater Grand Isle Historical Society, Grand Isle The Acadian Coloring Book will focus on the home, family, and food in the daily life of Acadians from the 1930s to today. The Acadian Coloring Book will be approximately 48-52 pages in length. It will include a two-page introduction, forty two pages of… Read more

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“Race and Justice in America” Book Series

Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched A Hundred Years of Federalism  by Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips, Jr. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle  The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins by Brenda Stevenson Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by… Read more

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Gary Lawless

Maine Humanities Council honors poet Gary Lawless

Maine poet Gary Lawless will receive the 2017 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize from the Maine Humanities Council. A resident of Nobleboro, Lawless owns and operates Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick with his wife Beth Leonard. He is the editor and publisher of Blackberry Books and has had sixteen collections of his poetry published in the… Read more

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Special conversation aims to unify people following divided election

Originally aired November 16, 2016 on Fox ABC Maine. “A big turnout for a special discussion Tuesday night, aiming to not only understand the path of our county, but to unify the citizens following a divided election.” Watch full coverage Read more

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New Mini Grants | November 2016

  $1,000 for “Welcoming and Safe Schools Youth Conference”– GLSEN Southern Maine, Portland The Welcoming and Safe Schools Youth Conference generates a safe and affirming place for middle and high school youth, along with their mentors and educators, to come together and share what they are doing in their schools and communities to increase understanding and… Read more

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Student in class

Students: Enter the Letters About Literature Contest

Letters About Literature is an annual, national reading and writing program organized by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. To enter, students in grades 4-12 write a letter to the author (living or dead) of their favorite book, poem, or short story and describe how that book moved or changed them…. Read more

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Think & Drink Bangor

On “Think & Drink,” especially in Bangor

  By Meghan Reedy, MHC Program Officer   It’s a simple idea, really, to orchestrate a conversation about some important topic, with a few drinks and some experts. The format is easy to outline. An audience assembles in a friendly, sociable space that serves drinks, and they settle in. A moderator introduces a small panel… Read more

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Think & Drink Bangor

Rockland Think & Drink, Dec. 8

In American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, author Colin Woodard theorizes that the United States is composed of multiple “nations,” each with their own unique identity and customs.  Join our panelists as we discuss how to define community and membership within it, and how this idea of unique “nations” or groups… Read more

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Think and Drink audience

Think & Drink in Bangor, Rockland, and more

We’ve all had deep discussions with our friends while we’re out at night—why not add a couple of experts to the mix and really take it up a notch? That’s the idea behind Think & Drink, a happy-hour series in Bangor (Oct. 18, Nov. 15), Biddeford (Oct. 20), and Rockland (Dec. 5) that sparks provocative conversations about big ideas…. Read more

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Exhibit Explores the 14th Amendment

Originally published on centralmaine.com on September 15, 2016 “The exhibition, opening reception, and other associated programs are free and open to the public which is supported by the Maine Humanities Council through their broad and sure foundation program.” Full article Read more

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Veterans Book Group

Words and the Divide: A Veteran’s Experience Facilitating Veterans Book Group

In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln questions whether words have the power to give meaning to the world. He argues that the company assembled at a Gettysburg cemetery cannot consecrate the ground because “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.” He… Read more

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Podcast | Maine’s Civil Rights Teams

On Monday, May 23, 2016, over 500 students and teachers gathered at the Augusta Civic Center for the Civil Rights Team Project State Conference. Hosted by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, the conference was the first event of its kind since 2010. In addition to schools attending from across the state, the event… Read more

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Think and Drink poster

Biddeford Think & Drink 2016

What does “equal citizenship” mean? In the face of economic disparities, displacement, and changing demographics, do all residents of Biddeford have an equal voice? Join our panelists as we discuss the traditional economy of Biddeford, gentrification, and more.   Moderator: Shay Stewart-Bouley, Executive Director, Community Change, Inc.       Panelists: Vassie Fowler, Community Builder, Community Partnership for Protecting… Read more

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BkCvr_TheEssOdyssey

How I Learned to Read the Odyssey

A colleague of mine once claimed that an epic poem is best understood as an extended meditation on a theme. I liked the idea and immediately tried to identify the themes of my favorites. Homer’s Iliad was easy: it’s an extended meditation on war. Virgil’s Aeneid can be read as an extended meditation on empire…. Read more

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Stories of Downeast Women Working for Equality and Enrichment of their Communities

Originally published on July 14, 2016 in the Bangor Daily News “In 1868, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing equality for all before the law. One central issue since that time has been the enfranchisement of women and their full participation and representation in politics—all the way to the highest office in… Read more

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Think and Drink poster

Think & Drink Bangor 2016

We’re psyched to get going with Think & Drink in Bangor! It may not get the amount of press that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War did, but this year is also the 150th anniversary–of the 14th Amendment, one of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that helped to reshape the United States’ political terrain. The 14th Amendment,… Read more

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poster of support in Chinatown post-9/11

Site Seeing: 9/11 Through Documentary Shorts

Following 9/11, artists, writers, historians, and the general public shared their responses through articles, novels, blog posts, films, performances, and other ways of expanding and contesting the accounts issued by political and military leaders. The result is known as “collective memory,”  the set of often-competing narratives that nonetheless bind us together in living through and… Read more

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“Violence and Belonging” Book Series

In examining the legacies of the Fourteenth Amendment for the nation’s literary history, this reading and discussion series looks at books that address issues of diversity, identity, and inequality in exploring how, for many Americans, the promise of citizenship falls short of their reality. Between the World And Me by Ta Nehisi Coates A Map… Read more

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New Mini Grants | August 2016

  $1,000 for “Third Thursday Talks Lecture Series”– Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk The Brick Store Museum’s Third Thursday Talks series features monthly lectures (on the third Thursday of every month at 5:30pm) given by area scholars on a variety of humanities subjects, year-round.   $1,000 for “2016 Annual Meeting ‘Into the Woods’ with Kate Braestrup”– Mahoosuc Land… Read more

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MMCN

Maine Military & Community Network gathers in Augusta

On July 21, 2016, MHC Director of Programs Lizz Sinclair and Program Assistant Leah Kuehn attended the 6th Annual Maine Military & Community Network (MMCN) Conference in Augusta, where over 250 people gathered from across the state. Working together with Veterans and Service Members, the goal of MMCN is to raise awareness about challenges faced by Service Members… Read more

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Portland discussion to view equality via law, art

Originally published in the Forecaster on July 25, 2016 By Colin Ellis, Staff Writer “Maine Humanities Council, the state’s affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities, will facilitate a conversation to explore civil rights through both art and law at the Portland Museum of Art. Hayden Anderson, executive director of the MHC, said the… Read more

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Seeking Refuge

Podcast | Seeking Refuge: Understanding the Refugee and Asylum Process

In February 2016, the Maine Humanities Council held Seeking Refuge: Understanding the Refugee and Asylum Process, a free, public, panel discussion that broke down the process here in Maine. Discussion touched on the screening that determines who can come to the U.S., the policies and laws supporting the process, and the everyday logistics of refugees… Read more

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14th Forum

Podcast | The 14th Amendment: A Living Document

This is a recording of our public forum The 14th Amendment: A Living Document, held in partnership with the University of Maine School of Law on June 1, 2016, at Portland Public Library. The event was moderated by Danielle Conway, Dean of the University of Maine School of Law, and features guests Kenneth W. Mack, the… Read more

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Patrick Rael

Podcast | Patrick Rael | Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States

Patrick Rael, professor of history at Bowdoin College, discusses his latest book Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865, which explores the Atlantic history of slavery to understand the exceptionally long period of time it took to end chattel bondage in America (you can read more about the project here)…. Read more

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How Maine did — and then didn’t — play a role in the 14th Amendment

Originally published on June 19, 2016 in the Bangor Daily News. by Patrick Rael “Patrick Rael is professor of history at Bowdoin College and a project scholar for the Maine Humanities Council. Throughout 2016, the Maine Humanities Council will offer ways for Mainers to talk with one another about equality and inclusiveness, in commemoration of… Read more

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Announcing 14th Amendment Arts & Humanities Grants | 2016

$1,000 for “Anything Helps God Bless”- Snowlion Repertory Company “Anything Helps God Bless” will explore the panhandler/median-strip controversy in Portland through actual interviews with sign-bearers, research into court rulings, documented public reaction to the controversy, and the ‘due process’ aspect of the 14th Amendment, woven together into a theater piece.   $1,000 for “Created Equal”- University of Maine at… Read more

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Isabel Alvarez-Borland

Podcast | Isabel Alvarez-Borland | Language as Theme in “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Isabel Alvarez-Borland, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities in the Department of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross, examines of the role of language and identity in One Hundred Years of Solitude at Winter Weekend 2016. Her books include Cuban-American Literature of Exile: From Person to Persona (1999) and Discontinuidad y ruptura en Guillermo… Read more

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Sikh Captain America with students at the Civil Rights Team conference

Maine Voices: A Captain America for Civil Rights

Originally published in the Portland Press Herald on May 29, 2016 By Vishavjit Singh I flew from New York City to the Portland airport last Sunday for my first-ever trip to Maine. The first curious eyes I encountered upon arriving were not on my turbaned and bearded countenance, but on my checked piece of luggage,… Read more

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Civil Rights Team Project

Students discuss, celebrate civil rights

On Monday, May 23, 2016, over 500 students and teachers gathered at the Augusta Civic Center for the Civil Rights Team Project State Conference. Hosted by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, the conference was the first event of its kind since 2010. In addition to schools attending from across the state, the event… Read more

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Collaborative Summer Library Program logo

Summer reading outlook looks bright with Collaborative Summer Library Program

Beginning in June, libraries across Maine will be encouraging their patrons to read. This is particularly important for school-age kids to prevent the literacy backwards slide from months of no reading. But it’s also a means for library patrons to model to their own children and grandchildren or other kids in the community the importance of… Read more

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Album cover for Beyonce's Lemonade

Unpacking Beyonce’s Lemonade

From Melissa Harris-Perry to bell hooks, scholars, activists, and critics are weighing in on Beyonce’s Lemonade. Shay Stewart-Bouley (blogger at Black Girl In Maine) and Brittany Lewis (professor at Bowdoin College) will lead us in an analysis and discussion of the video album and its artistic, cultural, and political significance. Although video clips will screen… Read more

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Maine Calling

The 14th Amendment on MPBN Maine Calling

Originally aired on May 17, 2016 Join guests Kenneth W. Mack, Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History at Harvard University, and Patrick Rael, Professor of History at Bowdoin College, as they discuss the historical and contemporary significance of the 14th Amendment on MPBN Maine Calling. Passed 150 years ago, the 14th Amendment ensures… Read more

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Hayden's 14th Bangor Daily News Article

The conversation about equality in Maine is just getting started

Originally published in the Bangor Daily News on May 15, 2016 By Hayden Anderson “Equality is a bedrock American value, yet somehow it feels like we’re not very good at it. From the founding to the present day, we have always talked pretty well about equality while falling well short of the ideal. It’s worth… Read more

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David Driskell

Civil Rights Through Art & Law

Join the Maine Humanities Council, the University of Maine School of Law, and the Portland Museum of Art on August 11 for an intimate conversation between artist David Driskell and lawyer Melvyn Zarr, facilitated by Danielle Conway, Dean of the Maine School of Law, on the civil rights movement as filtered through the lenses of… Read more

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– MHC Public Events, May, 2016 –

1. “The Zany, Majestic Bard”  May 5th, 2016 | 1:00pm | Pittsfield Community Theater, Pittsfield “The Zany, Majestic Bard” is a one-hour performance-lecture created and performed by David Greenham. This lively, fun, and educational performance will delight and surprise audiences of all ages. The program includes history, a brief guide on how to read and understand the… Read more

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Inspiring Maine Students with “The Abolitionists”

  By Brian Baldwin and Nicole Rancourt We knew that a match lay in our future. That was apparent from the first time we met. In the summer of 2014, the Maine Humanities Council was brainstorm­ing the ways in which it could more effectively bring its work to Maine’s students. The Civil Rights Team Project, a school-based… Read more

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Arts & Humanities Grants | April 2016

  $850 for “Art in Exodus at MECA”- Maine College of Art  MECA plans to hold its second annual Art in Exodus exhibition in its flagship Porteous Building June 1-24, 2016, in recognition of World Refugee Day, which takes place every year on June 20 and will be celebrated this year in Portland at King Middle School… Read more

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Susanne Moser

Podcast | Susanne Moser | The Hard Work of Hope: Sustenance in Times of Climate Change

Speaking at the Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities on October 24, 2015,  Susanne Moser discusses the importance of hope in confronting climate change. Susanne’s work focuses on adaptation to climate change, vulnerability, resilience, climate change communication, social change, decision support and the interaction between scientists, policy-makers and the public. She is a geographer by… Read more

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Major Grants | 2016

  $4,500 for “Blood, Dust, and Mud”- The General Henry Knox Museum The General Henry Knox Museum is planning an exhibition, titled “Blood, Dust, and Mud” for the 2016 season. The exhibition will highlight the personal photographs of Beth Parks, an Army nurse who served from 1966-67 during the Vietnam War.   $3,000 for “Dawnland”-… Read more

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Thomas Tracy

Podcast | Thomas Tracy | Climate Change as a Moral Challenge

Speaking at the Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities on October 24, 2015,  Thomas F. Tracy, Philipps Professor of Religious Studies at Bates College, discusses moral challenges in confronting climate change. Professor Tracy’s research focuses on issues in philosophy of religion and theology, and to a lesser degree, on topics in applied ethics, particularly… Read more

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Matthew Pettway

Podcast | Matthew Pettway | 100 Years of Solitude: Reading Through the Invisibility of Race

Matthew Pettway, Bates College, deconstructs the classic Latin American novel “100 Years of Solitude” through the lens of race at Winter Weekend on March 12, 2016. Matthew Pettway completed his doctorate in Hispanic Cultural Studies at Michigan State University in June 2010. Dr. Pettway joined the faculty at Bates College in August of the same year… Read more

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Shakespeare

Sites announced for “The Zany, Majestic Bard”

In 2016, the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine State Library will join forces to offer a touring program aimed at turning the most quarrelsome Shakespeare hater into a bold-faced fan! “The Zany, Majestic Bard” is a one-hour performance-lecture created and performed by David Greenham. This lively, fun, and educational performance will delight and surprise audiences of all… Read more

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Winter Weekend 2016

Reflections on Winter Weekend 2016

After attending my first Winter Weekend, I was admittedly a bit more tired than I normally am at the end of a standard work week. With my drive into the office the following Monday morning, and with the task of listening through the collected audio recordings of the weekend’s speakers, I began to reflect on… Read more

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Historical pamphlet on voting and 14th amendment

The 14th Amendment: A Living Document

This event is now full. If you would like to place your name on a waiting list, please contact Karen at info@mainehumanities.org or 773-5051. Join the Maine Humanities Council and the University of Maine School of Law for a conversation about the Fourteenth Amendment between Kenneth Mack (Harvard) and David Blight (Yale), moderated by Danielle… Read more

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allen-wells-bowdoin1

Podcast | Allen Wells | The Banana Strike, La Violencia, and the Cuban Revolution’s Impact on García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude

A speaker at Winter Weekend 2016, Allen Wells discusses “Interpreting the Past through the Prism of the Present:  The Banana Strike, La Violencia, and the Cuban Revolution’s Impact on García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude”.  Allen Wells is the Roger Howell, Jr. Professor of History at Bowdoin College. His scholarship focuses on modern Mexican history,… Read more

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Esther Rojas and Marianella Rojas, Sudacas

Video | Sudacas | A Taste of Colombian Music

The band Sudacas, composed of Berklee College of Music students, performed a few songs and shared some background on Colombian rhythms and instrumentation on March 12, 2016, at Winter Weekend. Sudacas was founded by Marianella Rojas (Venezuela, voice and percussion), and Esther Rojas (Colombia, bass). The duet creates a fusion of traditional music from their native countries with… Read more

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Matthew Pettway

Video | Matthew Pettway | 100 Years of Solitude: Reading Through the Invisibility of Race

Matthew Pettway, Bates College, deconstructs the classic Latin American novel “100 Years of Solitude” through the lens of race at Winter Weekend on March 12, 2016. Matthew Pettway completed his doctorate in Hispanic Cultural Studies at Michigan State University in June 2010.  Dr. Pettway joined the faculty at Bates College in August of the same… Read more

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Ilan Stavans

Podcast | Ilan Stavans | One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Bible of Latin America

Professor Ilan Stavans gave the keynote talk at our Winter Weekend program on March 11, 2016. He is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College where his teaching interests include popular culture in Hispanic America, world Jewish writers, and the cultural history of the Spanish language.     Read more

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Ilan Stavans

Video | Ilan Stavans | 100 Years of Solitude: The Bible of Latin America

Professor Ilan Stavans, Amherst College, gave the keynote talk at our Winter Weekend program on March 11, 2016. Ilan Stavans, Amherst College, has taught courses on a wide array of topics such as Spanglish, Jorge Luis Borges, modern American poetry, Latin music,Don Quixote, Gabriel García Márquez, Modernismo, popular culture in Hispanic America, world Jewish writers,… Read more

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

Winter Weekend 2016

Widely acclaimed as a masterpiece of Latin American literature, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a classic example of magic realism that has inspired countless authors worldwide since its publication in 1967. (It helped García Márquez win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.) Within this text, García Márquez weaves a multi-generational story of the… Read more

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100 Years of Solitude book

Dinner in Macondo: Winter Weekend Recipes

One of the highlights of each year’s Winter Weekend is the Friday night meal evoking the culinary traditions of that year’s book. In 2016, we visited the mythical Colombian town of Macondo from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Bowdoin College’s Dining Services put together a delicious feast of Colombian specialties, the recipes for which… Read more

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Think and Drink poster

Think & Drink 14th amendment

We’re psyched to get going with Think & Drink in 2016! It may not get the amount of press that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War did, but this year is also the 150th anniversary–of the 14th Amendment, one of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that helped to reshape the United States’ political terrain. The 14th Amendment,… Read more

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Alexis DesRoches

The Magic (and Influences) of Winter Weekend

By Diane Magras If you’re a Winter Weekend regular, you know Alexis DesRoches. And you may have seen her name in a New Yorker article about the Dickens Project. Alexis has been a Winter Weekend regular since 2004 and has taken the event as an inspiration to become involved with and create a great many… Read more

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Maine National History Day

Maine National History Day 2016 Call For Judges

Do you love history? Do you support dynamic hands-on projects for students? Then we are looking for you! Sign up now to be a judge for the 2016 Maine National History Day competition, to be held at the University of Maine, Orono, on Saturday, April 9. Whether you’ve been a judge for several years running… Read more

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New Mini Grants | February 2016

  $1,000 for “Adaptation in the Arts: Theory and Practice, An International Conference”- University of Maine at Farmington  This international conference, co-sponsored by the University of Maine at Farmington, USA, and the Université du Maine in Le Mans, France, will feature presentations on the theory and practice of adaptation in the arts. Areas of particular focus… Read more

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a stuffed manatee with a skull

What a Piece of Work is a Man-a-tee

The Hugh Manatees are back! Last year, we sent Hugh, our manatee mascot, to libraries all over the state (more than 40!), where he joined book groups, did some knitting, got up to hijinks in the stacks, and more. Take a look at what Hugh did in 2015. This year, Hugh is all about Shakespeare, in… Read more

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Magnus Chase

Heroes of children’s literature

Heroes are an essential part of our lives but are especially key to middle grade and young adult literature. They populate the books that kids read, a welcome friend in often wild adventures. (Among my favorites are the girl who defends her family and community from a fearsome creature out of Haitian folklore, and the… Read more

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Pulitzer Centennial Campfires Initiative

Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Grant Winners

    $1,250 for “Bangor High School World Geography Symposium”- Bangor High School The Bangor High School World Geography Symposium will be held to create a forum for the exchange of ideas on geographic issues and challenges both within the State of Maine and across the world. Pulitzer crisis reporter Larry Price is invited to share… Read more

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Harland County. KY, 1946

Bananas, trains, and coal mines

  My knowledge of One Hundred Years of Solitude was limited before working at the MHC. Sure, I had heard of the novel and its author Gabriel García Márquez. I also knew that it was closely associated with a literary style called magical realism. But aside from that, I had to claim ignorance. The story… Read more

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Shakespeare

Shakespeare Was a Funny Man: A Program for Libraries

“The Zany, Majestic Bard” is a one-hour performance-lecture created and performed by David Greenham and offered to Maine’s libraries. This lively, fun, and educational performance will delight and surprise audiences of all ages. The program includes history, a brief guide on how to read and understand the text, the opportunity to hear some Shakespeare, and… Read more

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Reference This

Reference THIS! Episode 2

Join Nicole from MHC and Shannon from MSL as they explain the oh-so-intricate process of diving into your 2016 Collaborative Summer Library Programming Manual. Oh, the things you’ll learn! Episode 2: Finding your way through the CSLP manual   Read more

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Book, hand, and flag

Understanding the Refugee and Asylum Process

In this contentious election year, the refugee and asylum seeker process has been a hot topic in the news—and prey to plenty of misperceptions. Join us at Seeking Refuge: Understanding the Refugee and Asylum Process, a free panel discussion that breaks down the process here in Maine: the screening that determines who can come to the U.S.,… Read more

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Reference This

Reference THIS!

The MHC and the Maine State Library have joined forces to promote and support summer reading programs across the state. Shannon Schinagl, Emergent/Family Literacy and Children’s Services Consultant, and Nicole Rancourt, who heads library programing at MHC, are leading the charge. The catalyst for a new endeavor by the MHC and the Maine State Library was… Read more

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Coming On Home Soon

Hope in New Books, New Readers

Leah Kuehn, MHC Program Assistant, explores the titles of the latest  New Books, New Readers series   Hope, the newest series from New Books, New Readers, isn’t exactly what you’d expect from its title. It crawls into darkness and brings that darkness into the light for scrutiny. It begins with our understanding of the concept of hope,… Read more

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Reza Jalali

Podcast | Reza Jalali | Muslim in America

MHC Board Member Reza Jalali discusses the lives of Muslims in the U.S. and gives an overview of Islam, a faith practiced by many of our neighbors. This talk was recorded on December 16, 2015 at Portland Public Library. A Muslim scholar, educator, and writer, he is the coordinator of multicultural student affairs at the University… Read more

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Reference This

Reference THIS! Episode 1

Maine Humanities Council Program Officer, Nicole Rancourt and Maine State Library Early Literacy Consultant, Shannon Schinagl discuss the benefits of summer reading!   Episode 1: Why should I care about summer reading? Read more

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Gabe Ferris

Listen to Maine Student Read Award Winning Letter to Author

Gabriel Ferris, 13, of Waterville Junior High School, beat 21,713 national submissions to win first place in Level 2 of this year’s national Letters About Literature contest for his letter to Walter Isaacson, author of the biography Steve Jobs. Gabriel’s  letter poses a question highly relevant for modern culture: “Is excess a requirement for extreme success?… Read more

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MHCDoorstep

Doorsteps and the MHC

Doorsteps…the MHC sees a lot of those. The doorstep is where we wait for a few moments after a long car ride, our ears dulled from the hum of the road, and indulge in a stretch. A doorstep is where we kick off the snow from our boots. It’s the first place we walk before… Read more

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Allen Wells

Podcast | Allen Wells | Winter Weekend 2016 Preview: Gabriel García Márquez and One Hundred Years of Solitude

In this special “Humanities on Demand” we preview Winter Weekend 2016 with Allen Wells, Professor of History at Bowdoin College. Professor Wells discusses “The Writing of One Hundred Years of Solitude: Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia’s La Violencia, and the Cuban Revolution During the Cold War” This talk was recorded on October 2, 2015 at the Brunswick Inn Read more

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Artists in Maine make climate change personal

Published November, 1 2015 in the Portland Press Herald. Marina Schauffler, Ph.D., is a writer who runs Natural Choices.   ” ‘I sing now like the North American brown thrasher, who at one point in its song orchestrates four different notes: one grieves, another frets, a third prays, but a fourth celebrates.” GREG DELANTY, IN… Read more

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Winter Weekend

In Remembrance of Winter Weekends Past

  By Diane Magras Since 1999, Sharon Estell has attended Winter Weekend. She says she would have come to the first (in 1998) but she couldn’t get in—it was sold out at 100. But she’s what we call a regular, so I asked her at this last Winter Weekend to share her thoughts on the… Read more

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Maine's First Ship

New Infrastructure Grants | October 2015

$8,000 for “Beals Historical Society Lobster Boat Preservation Project”, Beals Historical Society, Beals The Beals Historical Society will construct a cold-storage building to house and display two historic lobster boats. Both boats provide a look into the evolution of lobster boat design, including the transition from oar-powered designs to the introduction of the internal combustion… Read more

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Beaver Dam Pond by Richard Estes

Communicating Climate Change: What Can I Do Next?

We asked the speakers at the 2015 Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science & the Humanities: Communicating Climate Change to share their thoughts on steps we could all take or resources to help us engage with the topic. Here’s what they said. Andrew Pershing Skeptical Science; a great source for information on the science behind climate… Read more

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Woman reading

Announcing the Winter and Spring Let’s Talk About It Libraries

The following libraries will be hosting a “Let’s Talk About It” series this winter and spring:   1. Roberta Morin at Albion Public Library  “Becoming an American: Struggles, Successes, Symbols” 2. Jackie Bennett at Bristol Area Library (New Harbor) “Crossing Over: Works by Contemporary American Indian Writers” 3. Janet Fricker at Brown Memorial Library (East… Read more

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Pulitzer Centennial Campfires Initiative

New Grants Available, $500 – $10,000, deadline Nov. 13

The Maine Humanities Council has received a grant of $34,300 from the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative. The award will fund a special grant category for Maine-based organizations seeking to use Pulitzer Prize-winning writing, journalism, photography, drama, or music composition in their 2016 programming. The awards will range from $500 – $10,000. For more information… Read more

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Maine French Heritage Language Program

The MHC awarded a $5,000 Major Grant to this project to support consulting fees for teachers, cultural associates, and evaluation work as the program expanded in 2012-2013. If you spend time talking with a member of one of Maine’s Franco-American families, you’re likely to hear a story of past cultural loss. Depending on the generation… Read more

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Letters About Literature Winner To Meet Best-Selling Author At National Book Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information: Leah Kuehn, Maine Humanities Council, 207-773-5051 WINSLOW—Gabriel Ferris, 14, of Waterville Junior High School, a national winner of the Letters About Literature contest, has been invited to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., an event organized by the Library of Congress, to meet Walter Isaacson, author of the… Read more

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New Community Outreach Grants | August 2015

$1,000 for “Poetry as a Force for Social Dialogue: A Panel Discussion”, Belfast Poetry Festival, Belfast Poet Elizabeth Gordan McKim will design and moderate a panel discussion on “Poetry as a Force for Social Dialogue” at the 2015 festival. McKim will also lead a workshop and participate as a featured reader in the showcase events…. Read more

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Potshot by Gerry Boyle

New “Mysteries by Maine Authors” Reading Series

The MHC, in collaboration with scholar Jeffrey Aronson and librarian consultants Linda Wohlforth of Shaw Public Library in Greenville and Jeanne Benedict of Henry D. Moore Library in Steuben, has developed a new Let’s Talk About It series! The “Mysteries by Maine Authors” series plunges into the gritty underbelly of Maine as seen through the eyes of its talented… Read more

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Robert Frost

Podcast | John Ward | Robert Frost: The Impossibility of Interpretation

In this episode of “Humanities on Demand,” we join John Ward at the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford for “Robert Frost: The Impossibility of Interpretation.” This talk was held on July 15, 2015 as a Taste of the Humanities event. Scholar John Ward, formerly of Centre College and Kenyon College, reads and discusses a selection… Read more

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New Community Outreach Grants | June 2015

$1000 for “Representing the Irish Troubles on Screen,” University of Southern Maine, Portland. Irish documentary film-maker Maurice Fitzpatrick will give a series of workshops at USM and other southern Maine colleges on feature and documentary films made about the Troubles in Northern Ireland (1969-1998). He will discuss the politics, aesthetics and ethics of these films,… Read more

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Local Legendary Janet Lyons Larissa Vigue Picard

Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War, 2013-2015

By Janet Lyons, Consulting Project Coordinator, Maine Humanities Council It’s all over except for the paperwork and the reflection. For two years Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War, the National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded program, engaged Maine communities in their Civil War history. Collaborative project teams comprised of libraries, historical organizations,… Read more

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Letters about literature, LAL

ME Student Wins National Letters About Literature Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information: Leah Kuehn, Maine Humanities Council, 207-773-5051   June 22, 2015 WATERVILLE, Maine- Gabriel Ferris, 13, of Waterville Junior High School, beat 21,713 national submissions to win first place in Level 2 of the national Letters About Literature contest. He will receive $1000 for his letter to Walter Isaacson, author… Read more

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The Precipice book cover

Podcast | Paul Doiron | Murder on the Appalachian Trail

This episode is a recording of a talk held on June 11, 2015 at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine. We join Paul Doiron as he discusses the ethics of fiction writing and his newest book, The Precipice, in the talk “Murder on the Appalachian Trail.” The Precipice is the sixth novel in a series following… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Rockland

Hugh’s 45th, and FINAL, mystery site was the Rockland Public Library! From the library: “Hugh made a new friend in the children’s room, did some work at the reference desk, took a selfie to show his love for the library and visited the ornamental grillwork and more.” To submit a guess, please post as a comment on… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Machias

Hugh’s 43rd mystery site was the Machias Memorial High School Library! From the library: “Hugh has been sitting on our “New Books” shelf. Our town’s name is a Wabanaki word and it’s translation (Bad Little Falls) is the title of one of the books in Paul Doiron’s series about game warden Mike Bowditch which takes place here.”… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Windham

Hugh’s 44th mystery site was the Windham Public Library! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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Civil War Monologues in Rumford Conclude Local & Legendary Programs

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War. Thanks to Nick Waugh for taking the photos. June 3 was a busy end-of-school-year evening in the Western Foothills Regional School District, yet an appreciative audience of parents, peers, faculty, and community members gathered in the auditorium at Mountain… Read more

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The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress 3

On a Long-Lost American Masterpiece, and Why Public Museums Matter

Grants with legs: the MHC funded an Infrastructure Grant for the initial effort to restore the panorama and make a replica that could be shown to the public. The book described here is the latest step in the project. By Jessica Skwire Routhier, coauthor (with Kevin J. Avery and Thomas Hardiman, Jr.) of The Painters’ Panorama: Narrative, Art, and Faith… Read more

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Lily King

Podcast | Lily King | Euphoria

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcasts is a recording of a talk held on May 13th, 2015 at the Portland Public Library as part of their Brown Bag Lecture Series. We join Maine author Lily King as she discusses her book, “Euphoria.” She is introduced by Josh Bodwell of the… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Bath

Hugh’s 42nd mystery site was the Patten Free Library in Bath! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatee Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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Inspired Design: Fabrics and Fashion at Victoria Mansion

Picture the sumptuous, elaborate decorations that you associate with Victorian-era architecture and design. Now, picture work by modern designers. These two worlds seem vastly separate—in materials, motives, and tastes. But a recent partnership between Victoria Mansion and the Maine College of Art’s [MECA] Textile and Fashion Design department proved that one era of art can… Read more

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Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

“Maine Indian Basketry” at Maine Fiberarts

Housed in what was once a 1840s bank, the Maine Fiberarts gallery in Topsham forms a beautiful setting for their current exhibition, “Maine Indian Basketry,” supported by the MHC through an Arts & Humanities grant and a Community Outreach grant. Executive Director Christine Macchi described this exhibition as a departure from the usual fiber artwork… Read more

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Filmmakers, authors, historian highlighting speaker series

This coverage of a Maine Humanities Council grant project was published May 21, 2015 on Fosters.com. “ALFRED – The Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum (FASM) and the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society are sponsoring a series of speakers on four Sunday afternoons during the coming tourist season. The guest speakers include two authors, a filmmaker and teacher,… Read more

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Stepping Back in Time with the Washburns of Livermore

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Visitors to the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center may have felt like time travelers when they stepped out of their cars on the beautiful spring evening of Monday, May 18. Young men attired in 1860s garb directed community members… Read more

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Drama and Song Mark Bethel’s Local & Legendary Finale

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Gould Academy’s Bingham Auditorium was full on Sunday afternoon, May 17, for the Final Celebration of Local and Legendary: Bethel in the Civil War. The celebration began with the singing of songs of the Civil War performed by… Read more

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Scarborough Students Highlight Local & Legendary Finale

By Larissa Vigue Picard, Director of Education, Maine Historical Society   Twenty students in teacher Jessica Kelly’s Gifted and Talented class at Scarborough Middle School spent the 2014-2015 school year learning about the Civil War–nationally, and at home in Scarborough–through photographs, artifacts, and volunteers at the Scarborough Historical Society; reading a graphic novel about the war… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Rockport

Hugh’s 41st mystery site was the Rockport Public Library! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatee Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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“The Civil War in American Memory”: An Evening with David Blight

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Listen to the event podcast here. If historians were rock stars, Civil War scholar David Blight would top the Billboard charts. After three years of reading innumerable books and articles, as well as learning about Civil War history… Read more

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David Blight

Podcast | David Blight | The Civil War in American Memory

This episode is a recording of a talk held on May 7th, 2015 at the Portland Public Library as the culminating event in the three-year Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project run by the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We join David Blight… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Newcastle

Hugh’s 40th mystery site was the Lincoln Academy library in Newcastle! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatee Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Pittsfield

Hugh’s 39th Maine site was the Pittsfield Public Library!   Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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New Community Outreach grants | May 2015

  $1,000 to “Micmac Warriors: Duty, Honor, and Culture,” Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Presque Isle Micmac Warriors is a photographic exhibit hosted by the Aroostook Band of Micmacs featuring tribal members who served in the United States military during the 20th and 21st centuries. As representatives of a long and proud warrior tradition within Micmac… Read more

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Gary Rainford

Podcast | Gary Rainford | Swan’s Island Poetry

Welcome to the Maine Humanities Council’s ‘Humanities on Demand’ podcast series. This episode is a recording of a poetry talk by Gary Rainford, part of the Portland Public Library’s Friday Local Authors Series. This talk was held on April 17th, 2015. Gary Rainford lives on Swan’s Island in Maine year-round with his wife and daughter…. Read more

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Stephanie Yuhl Winter Weekend

Podcast | Stephanie Yuhl | The Resonant Strings of Remembering: The Visual Culture of Faulkner’s Plantation South

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s ‘Humanities on Demand’ podcast series is a recording of Stephanie Yuhl’s talk, “The Resonant Strings of remembering: The Visual Culture of Faulkner’s Plantation South.” This was recorded at Bowdoin College on March 7, 2015, as part of Winter Weekend 2015 with Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Dr. Yuhl, a specialist in… Read more

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Feminist References from The Feminist Project

Emma Watson’s U.N. Speech Student Humanities Ambassador Abi Hopkin’s program, The Feminist Project, was inspired by actress Emma Watson’s speech on feminism at the United Nations on September 21, 2014. Books and Magazines Websites Everyday Feminism Feminist Majority Foundation Feminist.com Women Online Worldwide Woman Source The People Project Organizations He for She Wellesley Centers for Women… Read more

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John Matthews Winter Weekend 2015

Podcast | John Matthews | Absalom, Absalom!: A Story of Stories.

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of John Matthews’s talk, “Absalom, Absalom!: A Story of Stories.” This talk was recorded at Bowdoin College on March 7, 2015, as part of Winter Weekend 2015 with William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Dr. Matthews is a Professor of English at… Read more

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“Reflections of the Civil War” in Pittsfield Draws 100

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Sunday, May 3, was a beautiful spring day in Pittsfield–a day for yard work and outdoor activities–yet about 100 community members gathered at the First Universalist Church forReflections of the Civil War: A Performative Celebration of Our Civil… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Hartland

Hugh’s 38th mystery site was the Hartland Public Library! Clues from the library: Hugh came to this library so he could work on his ‘tan’ while looking for an extremely large woodland creature in liquid form. Hugh likes a good Maine mystery and this is his favorite author. Don’t let his mild appearance fool you. Hugh… Read more

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Now Hiring Development and Communications Assistant

The application period is now over, thank you! DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT PDF Download  GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITIES The Maine Humanities Council (MHC) is a Portland-based nonprofit organization that serves the state of Maine. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people in Maine through literature, history, philosophy, and culture with programs, events, grants, and… Read more

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New Arts & Humanities grants | May 2015

$1,000 to “A Closer Perspective: Furthering Access to Native Culture,” Mahoosuc Arts Council, Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, Bethel The Arts Council, in partnership with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, will work to deepen community engagement in an on-going project to authenticate local native culture and provide community access to native arts and culture…. Read more

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“The Feminist Project” hits Machias

By Kate Webber Listen to the full event podcast here.  “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” British actor Emma Watson asked this question in a speech she made in September, 2014 as the United Nations Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. Her words inspired many—perhaps no one more so than Machias Memorial High… Read more

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The Feminist Project 2

Podcast | The Feminist Project

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of “The Feminist Project,” an event put on at the University of Maine at Machias on April 27th, 2015 as part of the Maine Humanities Council’s Student Humanities Ambassador program. “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”… Read more

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Don_Dearborn

Podcast | Don Dearborn: How Darwin’s Mind Worked

  This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of the talk “How Darwin’s Mind Worked,” by Don Dearborn. His lecture was part of the first annual Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities. It was held on November 15th, 2014, and focused on the topic… Read more

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Bernd Heinrich Why Darwin Matters

Podcast | Why Darwin Matters: A Q & A with Bernd Heinrich

  This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series features a Q&A with biologist, writer, and runner Bernd Heinrich. The talk was recorded during the first annual Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities, held on November 15th, 2014, at the University of New England’s Portland Campus. It focused… Read more

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Cedric Gael Bryant Winter Weekend 2015

Podcast | Cedric Gael Bryant | Reading Metaphor, Race, and the Problem of Knowing in “Absalom, Absalom!”

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of Cedric Gael Bryant’s talk, “Reading Metaphor, Race, and the Problem of Knowing in Absalom, Absalom!.” This talk was recorded at Bowdoin College on March 7, 2015, as part of Winter Weekend 2015 with William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Dr. Bryant… Read more

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Soldier’s Heart Discussions in Pittsfield

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Jeff Sychterz, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maine Augusta (Bangor campus), facilitated two energetic Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War discussions in Pittsfield this month. Community members, high schoolers at Maine Central Institute,… Read more

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Local & Legendary Book Discussions in Livermore

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Over the course of four weeks students in the “Our Hands on History” class at Spruce Mountain High School have participated in five book discussions. They began with two community wide book discussions at the Washburn-Norlands Living History… Read more

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Rumford Historical Society presents exhibit on local Civil War soldiers

Two members of the Rumford Historical Society on Wednesday presented their research on residents, including a nurse and a musician, who served in the Civil War. Society member Jane Peterson said she and member Nghia Ha spent weeks visiting libraries and historical societies throughout the state to get information. Their findings were uploaded to the… Read more

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National Library Week MHC staff

MHC Celebrates National Library Week!

April 12-18, 2015 is National Library Week! Our staff just had to celebrate, of course–Maine libraries are some of our best partners! We took a minute to think about what libraries mean in our lives, and we’d love to hear what they mean to you! Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Waterville

Hugh’s 37th Maine mystery site was the Waterville Public Library! “Here’s Hugh posing with our Director, Sarah Sugden next to the building dedication plaque.  Ours is one of the earliest Carnegie Libraries in Maine.” Hints from the library: “In one, Hugh is next to our unofficial library mascot — Dobby. Dobby was rescued from a dusty storeroom… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Portland

Hugh’s 36th mystery location was the Brown Library at Maine Historical Society!   The clue: “It drives me in upon myself and to the fireside gleams. To pleasant books that crowd my shelf, and still more pleasant dreams” Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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Busy Local & Legendary Activity in Rumford

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War The old saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” did not apply to this year weather-wise, nor did it apply to the Rumford Local & Legendary team. The beginning of the month… Read more

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Angus King honors Donald Soctomah

Senator Angus King recognizes Donald Soctomah’s work

Donald Soctomah is the recipient of the 2015 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize. Mr. Soctomah serves as Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township in Maine. In that and other roles, he has worked to steward and protect native culture and lands through resource management, policy-making, teaching, and the promotion and… Read more

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William Faulkner Absalom Absalalom

Winter Weekend 2015

March 6 – 7, 2015, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine Of all the major Southern writers, none is so indelibly linked with the Civil War and its aftermath as the Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner, inventor and “sole proprietor” of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. In his greatest work, Absalom, Absalom!, he tells the story of the biracial family of… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Belfast

Hugh’s 35th mystery site was the Belfast Free Library! Here’s their director, Steve Norman, with one of their unpaid staff members.   From the library: “If there wasn’t so much snow out there behind the fairy, you would be able to see our lovely garden area, which is generously maintained by our local garden club.” Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram… Read more

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William Ferris

Podcast | William Ferris | Memory and Sense of Place: William Faulkner and the American South

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s ‘Humanities on Demand’ podcast series is a recording of William Ferris’s talk, “Memory and Sense of Place: William Faulkner and the American South.” This was recorded at Bowdoin College on March 6, 2015, as part of Winter Weekend 2015 with Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! A widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music,… Read more

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Jason Read

Jason Read on Nostalgia in Mad Men

With its dapper suits, three martini lunches, and not a smartphone in sight, Mad Men is often understood to be a show about nostalgia, about a better workplace, if not a better life. Yet even the characters on the show who would seem to benefit most from these supposed good old days–the white men–fail to… Read more

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Charles Calhoun Winter Weekend

Podcast | Charles Calhoun | My Kinsman Thomas Sutpen: Reflections on the Southern Past

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of Charles Calhoun’s talk, “My Kinsman Thomas Sutpen: Reflections on the Southern Past.” This talk was recorded at Bowdoin College on March 7, 2015, as part of Winter Weekend 2015 with William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Born in Louisiana, Charles Calhoun is… Read more

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Educating for the Future Through the Past

With schools increasing their focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, it may seem like the humanities have no place in today’s classroom. Kymberli Bryant, head of the Language Arts Department at Spruce Mountain High School, disagrees. Her students are active participants in the Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project, jointly… Read more

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David Blight

David Blight to give lecture for Local & Legendary

David W. Blight will join the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society for an evening lecture on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at Portland Public Library’s Rines Auditorium, for the culminating public event in the three-year NEH-funded Local & Legendary: Maine the the Civil War program. Professor Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Winslow

Hugh Manatee’s 34th mystery visit took him to the Winslow Public Library! Fun fact from the library: “Our building was a roller skating rink in its former life.”   Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Bar Harbor

Hugh’s 33rd mystery visit was to the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor!   Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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The Civil War Comes to Pittsfield

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Pittsfield kicked off their Local & Legendary: Pittsfield in the Civil War program with back to back programs on March 12. A substantial number of community members and Maine Central Institute students turned out for a book discussion at… Read more

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One Book, One Community–a Weekend in Scarborough

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War The first weekend in March was sunny, with a taste of spring; at the Scarborough Public Library it was also all things Civil War. An author talk, three book discussions, and several fascinating speakers drew community members of… Read more

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New Arts & Humanities, Community Outreach Grants | March 2015

Arts & Humanities    $1,000 to “Arts On The Hill,” Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Camden Arts on the hill celebrates the synergy between art and the natural landscape in the setting of Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s Beech Hill preserve in Rockport, with the goals of inspiring creativity, engaging new audiences and demonstrating the value of… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Bridgton

Hugh’s 32nd mystery site was the Bridgton Public library! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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Local & Legendary: Bethel and Ambrose Bierce

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Starting in January, book lovers in Bethel braved the winter weather to meet monthly at the Bethel Library with facilitator Doug Rawlings to discuss Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War Stories, the town’s community read selection as part of the… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Falmouth

Hugh’s 30th site was the Falmouth Middle School Library! From the library: “Once upon a time, in a galaxy near to home, Hugh Manatee visited yet another library. He began his visit with a little view on the world of this one-room space – he shared tea and crumpets with Webster the library cat. While… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Carmel

Hugh’s 31st mystery site was the Simpson Memorial Library in Carmel! From the library: “Hugh arrived on a warm sunny day. He visited with Teddy Bo, one of the “locals bears” that live at the library. He enjoyed hanging out with Teddy and peaking out one of the front antique windows at the village. Hugh helped Abby pick out books in the Junior Nonfiction… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Dover-Foxcroft

Hugh’s 29th mystery site was the Muriel Philpot Watson Library at Foxcroft Academy!   From the library: “Hugh arrived, and was so happy to see green with all the snow we had he asked if he could hang out in the plants for a while.  I of course said yes, I do understand. Once Hugh… Read more

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Podcast Janet Browne

Podcast | Janet Browne: Darwin Revisited in the 21st Century

This episode of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcast series is a recording of the talk “Darwin Revisited in the 21st Century,” by Janet Browne. Her lecture was part of the first annual Dorothy Schwartz Forum on Art, Science, and the Humanities. It was held on November 15th, 2014, and focused on the… Read more

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Social Media Highlighted in Bangor Public Humanities Day Presentation

This January, the MHC joined the University of Maine Humanities Center for the Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day. Staff member Kate Webber presented as part of the kickoff event, a Pecha Kucha style presentation with a wide range of humanities professionals and enthusiasts. Kate discussed her role managing the MHC’s social media platforms, posing the question: “How are we interacting with the humanities… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Falmouth

Hugh’s 28th site was the Falmouth Memorial Library! From the library: “The area around our front sign has several feet of snow around it, so Hugh stayed inside during his visit.  He did enjoy the telescope as you can see in the photo.  Then he spent some time in our Teen Area looking at Manga.”… Read more

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Last Days in Vietnam poster

Last Days in Vietnam

In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind, yet there was no official evacuation plan in place…. Read more

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Donald Soctomah Donald Soctomah rows a birch bark canoe with his son, also named Donald. The canoe was built based on a 21-foot Passamaquoddy canoe dating from 1850.

Committed to His Native Roots: Soctomah to Be Honored for Contributions

Executive Director Hayden Anderson was interviewed for an article in Indian Country Today highlighting Donald Soctomah, 2015 recipient of the Constance H. Carlson Prize. This is the Maine Humanities Council’s highest honor, and is awarded to an individual, institution, or group in recognition of exemplary contributions to public humanities in Maine. Here is an excerpt from Alysa… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Augusta

Hugh’s 27th mystery site was the Maine State Library in Augusta! Hugh was lucky enough to meet Maine’s new State Librarian, Jamie Ritter! Mr. Ritter showed Hugh the state library’s very busy calendar. Hugh also checked out a Civil War display with Shannon Schinagl!   Some highlights from Hugh’s visit: “Hugh learned how to use the 3-D printer…. Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Acton

Hugh’s 26th mystery site was the Acton Public Library! From the library: “Our little one-room library used to be a one-room school house! We help carry the tradition of the Boston Post Cane, have a large, framed map of York County dated 1856 by J.L. Smith and Co. and George Washington hangs behind our circulation desk…. Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Springvale

Hugh’s 25th mystery site was the Springvale Public Library! From the library:  “Cat In The Hat Winter Reading Program fun with Hugh!” Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Bangor

Hugh’s 24th visit was to the Beal College Library in Bangor! From the library: “Hugh has had a wonderful week! He helped students choose their new year resolutions (better late than never), learned about his digital footprint, helped with a new book display and read some books about Mexico in hopes of warming himself up against… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Mechanic Falls

Hugh’s 23rd visit was to the Mechanic Falls Public Library! From the library: “The murals in our children’s section were done by two sisters, Whitney and Hallie Frost who were 14 & 11 at the time in 2012. The inner room is painted like a castle and the outer area is a sort of forest with… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Hampden

Hugh’s 22nd site was the Edythe Dyer Community Library in Hampden! Fun fact: This library was a private home with an indoor swimming pool before it was a library.  The pool has been filled in and is now the Children’s department. Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest   Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Paris

Hugh’s 21st site was the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum in Paris! Fun fact: “Our library and museum is housed in what used to be the county jail for Oxford county. The small model of the jail (our building!) that Hugh is next to in the first picture was a local child’s school project that they donated… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Carrabassett Valley

Hugh’s 19th site was the Carrabassett Valley Public Library!   Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Harpswell

Hugh’s 20th site was the Cundy’s Harbor Library in Harpswell! Library hint: Hugh is reading a book that was written about Hoover the Seal, who was rescued here in this town in 1971. Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in South Berwick

Hugh’s 18th site was the South Berwick Public Library! From the library: “Hugh Manatee is checking out Easy biographies on Rosie the Riveter and Nelson Mandela, visiting the children’s play area, and being creative with the Get Creative winter display!”   Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Brewer

Hugh’s 17th mystery site was the Brewer Public Library! Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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BOOK REVIEW| Nora Webster

Nora Webster takes place around Wexford, Ireland, an area I’m reasonably familiar with. (I kept a ‘Complete Road Atlas of Ireland’- like the Delorme Maine Gazetteer – open as I read; I like to try to visualize/imagine that way.) Taking place in the late 1960’s, I have no problem imagining that time (Nora’s older son… Read more

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Poets and Assassins

Announcing new play, “The Poets and the Assassin”

Maine Humanities Council, SPACE Gallery, and USM’s Center of Multicultural Affairs are delighted to present The Poets and The Assassin–Daughters of Iran in celebration of Women’s History Month. The play was written by MHC Board member Reza Jalali . Event information: March 12, 2015 | 6:00pm | SPACE Gallery, Portland Reza has provided the following summary of the play:  Although… Read more

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New Think & Drink series explores Disruption

Think & Drink is back! We were thrilled with the success of last year’s Networked World series and are excited to dive into our second round of happy-hour discussions. This year, we’ll explore—and practice—the theme of disruption: the idea that in many areas of our lives, technology or attitudes have started to disrupt the status quo in deep… Read more

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Maine National History Day 2015 Call For Judges

Do you love history? Do you support dynamic hands-on projects for students? Then we are looking for you! Sign up now to be a judge for the 2015 Maine National History Day competition, to be held at UMaine in Orono, on Saturday, March 28. Whether you’ve been a judge for several years running, or have… Read more

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Maine Humanities Council welcomes three leaders as new Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information: Hayden Anderson, Maine Humanities Council, 207-773-5051   February 2, 2015   PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Humanities Council welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. New additions include Victoria Bornheimer, a human resource professional; Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, the director of the Abbe Museum; and Reza Jalali, the Coordinator… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Berwick

Hugh’s 16th site was the Berwick Public Library! Notes from the mystery library: “We photographed Hugh by our newly acquired antique clock that was built in Berwick by Abner Rogers, a memorial statue to our former director Sandy’s late husband who started our Friends group, our new 3D printer, our traincar shelving, a castle built and… Read more

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Local & Legendary Activities Ramp Up in Scarborough

By Janet Lyons, Maine Humanities Council’s Consulting Project Coordinator for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War Sunday afternoon, January 24, was the kick-off for Scarborough’s Civil War-era Sunday film series. Bowdoin College Professor Patrick Rael presented “The Civil War in Film” to an appreciative audience of about 25 at the Scarborough Public Library. Rael… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in South Thomaston

Hugh’s 15th mystery site was at the South Thomaston Public Library!  A clue to our location: Hugh visited the local historical society adjacent to our one room schoolhouse library near the ocean. Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in North Berwick

Hugh’s 14th location was the D.A. Hurd Library in North Berwick! Fun library fact: “Our children’s librarian said that the first children’s “room” was a 4’round table in the center of the library with books on it. We now have a wonderfully colorful and fun-filled room that holds a collection of 11,645 books, movies, magazines, toys, and audio… Read more

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Podcast Brock Clarke

Brock Clarke: “The Happiest People in the World”

This episode is a recording of a talk held on January 14, 2015, at the Portland Public Library as part of its Brown Bag Lecture Series. We join Maine author Brock Clarke as he discusses his newest book, The Happiest People in the World. As Bob Keyes of the Portland Press Herald stated in his introduction to the talk, “Last week’s terrorist attacks… Read more

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Midway Through Local & Legendary, Cohort 2

By Janet Lyons, Consulting Project Coordinator for Maine Humanties Council On the surface, January is a quiet month for our Local & Legendary teams, but the reality is that they are hard at work organizing events and working on their Maine Memory Network exhibits. The dedicated volunteers in Bethel, Jay/Livermore Falls, Pittsfield, the Rumford area, and… Read more

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Time for Learning: The Dorothy Schwartz Forum

By Jean Potucheck Originally published on November 19, 2014 in the blog “Stepping Into the Future: A retirement journal.” Last weekend, I attended a day-long interdisciplinary forum on “Why Darwin Matters” sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council. The program included presentations by historians, literature experts, biologists, and artists, along with a musical performance and an… Read more

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Donald Soctomah

Donald Soctomah honored at 2015 Public Humanities Prize Luncheon

2015 Prize Luncheon March 30, 2015 | 12:00pm | Richard E. Dyke Center at Husson University,  Bangor. During an awards luncheon on Monday, March 30, 2015, the MHC will present Donald Soctomah, tribal historian for the Passamaquoddy tribe, with the Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize. The Prize honors an individual, institution, or group in recognition… Read more

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Successful launch of “Hooked”

January 22 was the launch of a brand-new MHC program, Hooked: A Critical Look At Shows We Love. About 40 people gathered at Guthries in Lewiston to discuss the theme of work in the show Breaking Bad with University of Southern Maine philosophy professor Jason Read. A group of avid fans led the discussion, all… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Presque Isle

Hugh’s 13th site was the Roland B. Andrews Library-Media Center at Presque Isle High School! Take a look at this map of all the participating libraries. Library hint:  “Hugh met some young patrons who showed him our painting by William Thon, then met a friend who took him tree climbing!  Afterward, they rested on our circulation desk. … Read more

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The world needs the humanities, and UMaine is responding

Originally published in the Bangor Daily News Jan. 21, 2015 By Liam Riordan, Special to the BDN For about two years, the University of Maine System has made headlines, almost always in the context of an economic crisis. There is no question that the global recession, increasing inequality and the still unclear possibilities of digital… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Caribou

Hugh was at the very creative Caribou Public Library! I think we’re all a little jealous of their cardboard cutouts. To submit a guess, please post as a comment on any of MHC’s social media sites. Correct responses will be entered into a raffle drawing for a set of books from MHC! This library got their city… Read more

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New Arts & Humanities, Community Outreach Grants | January 2015

Arts & Humanities   “Emma Lewis Coleman: Maine” $1,000 to Museums of Old York, York The Museums of Old York will present an exhibit of photographs by Emma Lewis Coleman (1853-1942) from the 1880s, including images of local tradespeople and historic buildings and landscapes. Picture Writing: In Island Voices $1,000 to Partners in Island Education,… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Orono

Hugh was at the Orono Public Library! Check out the map of all the participating libraries. Desk Clerk Alexis Dixon and Youth Services Librarian Louise Jolliffe in front of the donor wall. Hints from the library: “Our new library at 39 Pine Street was opened to the public in 9/9/2009.  The community raised funds to replace the prior facility, in… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Lincoln

Hugh’s ninth mystery site was the Lincoln Memorial Library! To see all the sites, check out this map of all the participating libraries. Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in New Gloucester

Hugh’s 11th visit was to the New Gloucester Public Library! Check out this map of all the participating libraries. Hugh with Baxter the Maine State Library cat! Here you’ll see Hugh checking out his travel plans, posing by an Ipcar painting, and helping a 4H group test their spaghetti and marshmallow bridges made by our 4Hers.  Everyone had to… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Sanford

Hugh’s 8th mystery location was the Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library in Sanford! Take a look at this map of all the participating libraries. Library hint: “The gentleman in the painting (the man our library is named after) believed in play as well as work…Hugh is doing just that…playing hard and reading hard.” Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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Hugh Manatees Chase Emerson Reveal

The Hugh Manatees in Deer Isle

Hugh was at the Chase Emerson Memorial Library in Deer Isle! Check out this map of all the participating libraries. Note from the library: “Here is a picture of Hugo bird watching out our window with a view of our fantastic cove. He spent the day searching for our resident great blue heron who has not ventured south… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Sullivan

Hugh was at the Frenchman’s Bay Library in Sullivan! Take a look at this map of all the participating libraries. Here is an interesting fact from Sullivan: “After a fire in 1959, this library moved to it’s present location. An old Jeep Cherokee was used to bring books to patrons who lived nearby. We continue this… Read more

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Last Local & Legendary Events of 2014

Originally posted in the Maine Historical Society Blog  December 19, 2014. By Janet Lyons As the year wound down, three Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War teams hosted major events related to their projects. On November 19 at the Rumford Public Library, about 60 Mountain Valley Middle School students gathered for the first culminating celebration… Read more

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New Major Grants | December 2014

Major Grants Maine is Home Profile Project $7,500 to Welcoming Maine, Portland Through the “Maine Is Home” profile project, Welcoming Maine will create five multimedia profile stories that will highlight positive cross-cultural relationships in the Lewiston/Auburn area. The project will bridge social boundaries between new Mainers and their native-born neighbors through interactive storytelling, thereby creating… Read more

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Maine Readers’ Choice Award 2015 Long List

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award screening committee has spent months reading submitted titles (approximately 125 titles) for the 2015 award. Three Maine authors have made the list this year. The shortlist will be announced in March. Happy reading!! The books are not listed in any particular order. The 2015 Maine Readers’ Choice Award Long List The Wind is Not a… Read more

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The Hugh Manatees in Calais

Hugh was at the Washington County Community College Library! We’re going to take a break for the holidays, but look for the next mystery site in January! For a hint on future sites, take a look at this map of all the participating libraries. Facebook Twitter  hashtag #HughManatees Instagram Pinterest Read more

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