The Maine-New Brunswick Cultural Initiative offers both Maine and New Brunswick artists and arts organizations access to information which will help demystify and streamline border crossing processes, foster and enhance exchanges of cultural information, encourage collaborative cross-border cultural projects, and identify new/or expanded cross-border business and/or cultural tourism opportunities.
An international cultural exchange taskforce composed of arts-professionals from both countries communicates regularly and meets annually to find ways of supporting cultural exchange in the region. This group is at the heart of keeping the initiative strong and growing. This is an active program, Taskforce highlights can be accessed here, as well as other New Brunswick partnerships which can be learned about here.
International discussion often focuses on issues such as transportation, infrastructure, energy, and the like. However, at a meeting in July 2010, Governor John Baldacci of Maine and Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick turned the conversation to arts and culture. They produced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the mutual benefits of Maine/New Brunswick cultural relations. A copy of the signed MOU can be read here.
A cross-border taskforce was assigned to study the condition of cultural exchange between Maine and New Brunswick and to find ways to encourage improvements. The taskforce focused on five key areas for the two regions to work within:
- Encouraging cultural business and tourism opportunities
- Enhancing cultural information exchange
- Streamlining the border-crossing process
- Collaborating in cross-border cultural projects
- Examining ways to capitalize on the lessons learned through previous cultural collaborations
A preliminary report, delivered on December 1, 2010, identified cultural collaborations that were already taking place. It also sighted many economic and social benefits that could be gained from enhanced cultural relations. A copy of the full report in English can be accessed here. The French version can be accessed here. Additional reports and studies can be found on the Publications Page of this site.
Resources are co-developed with the New Brunswick Office of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and can found at: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/thc/Culture/content/Maine-MOU.html
For more information please contact Kerstin GilgDirector of Media Arts and Performing Arts at the Maine Arts Commission207/ 287-6719 - firstname.lastname@example.org