Maine Speaks

Sharing expertise and lived experience in engaging ways.


Matthew Pettway

Application Dates

  • Fall: August 9 – September 10
  • Winter/Spring: November 7 – December 13
  • Summer: April 1 – May 6

Our dream is that everyone in Maine feel able to share with others those things that are most meaningful to them, things that are often hard won and of irreplaceable value – and that everyone in Maine might have the chance to listen to and learn from those people who are ready to share their gifts.

Maine Speaks supports individuals and organizations all over Maine who want to bring people in their community together to learn from and talk with a gifted speaker and event leader who will share their expertise and lived experience in engaging ways.

Maine Speaks event leaders draw on expertise and experience gathered through their work and lives to bring an idea, experience, or topic to life for the audience. Events may be structured in a variety of ways – as a talk, a workshop, a performance – but they all include both an opportunity for the audience to take in what the event leader has to share, and also to engage in discussion with them and with other audience members.

We are especially keen to support projects serving those who are most deeply isolated from each other and the wider communityand those whose work has public impact.

  • Organizations serving and led by members of communities traditionally under-resourced in the humanities are encouraged to apply.
  • These groups include people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people who live in rural areas, people with disabilities, people who identify as immigrants or refugees, and people whose first (or only) language is not English. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.)

What communities are saying about Maine Speaks

  • “Since this was a different type of program from what we typically offer, it attracted some people who do not normally attend our programs (and some of the "regulars" too.” :)


  • “The audience hung on to every word. They stayed after the program to ask many questions.”


  • “I think [the talks] were fabulous! I heard one member of the audience say, I never expected to hear a presenter of this high caliber at my local library.


New speakers

Virginie Akimana

Educator, Community Interpreter

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Wendy Allen

What if I dared to dream?

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Paul Buck

Historian, Educator

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Judith Casselberry

Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Bowdoin College

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Marpheen Chann

Welcome Home: My Journey Through Foster Care, Coming Out, and Reuniting With Family

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Rhea Côté Robbins

Founder and Director, Franco-American Women’s Institute

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Pamela Cummings

President, Board of Directors, Abyssinian Meeting House

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Carol Dana

Cultural Historian, Penobscot Nation

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Samara Cole Doyon

Magnificence as an Act of Resistance

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LaLa Drew

Poet, Writer, Organizer

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James Ford

Community Support Coordinator, Lewiston Public Schools

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Katherine Gaudet

Scholar of Cultural Narratives

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Cavenaugh Kelly

Occupational therapist, writer, teacher

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Namory Keita

Master Drummer from Sangbarala, Guinea, West Africa

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Larissa Malone

Race and Education, Critical Race Theory in Education

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Jefferson Navicky

Archivist, writer, poet

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Jo Radner

Storyteller and oral historian

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Arisa White

Who's Your Daddy: Writing Collectively Through Personal Absence

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