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Commission Member Bios


Charles Stanhope, Chair (Southwest Harbor)

Charles retired from his public service career at the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress. He served the library as assistant chief operating officer, working alongside Librarian James H. Billington on executive matters of congressional, legal, and public affairs, as well as private sector fund-raising and donor cultivation. These responsibilities supported the library's well-regarded exhibit, literary and poetry program, including the activities of the U.S. Poet Laureate. He is especially proud to have served on the library team that designed and established the National Book Festival, which annually draws over 150,000 lovers of books and reading to the National Mall.

A resident of Southwest Harbor, Charles graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor's degree in French and from the Catholic University of America with a master's degree in library science. At UMaine, he has established an endowment to support travel for research purposes for honors college undergraduates. His upbringing and education have instilled in him a love and value for the arts—fine art, performing arts, literary arts—and he has long supported and attended musical and theatrical endeavors in Washington, D.C. He serves on the board of the Maine Historical Society and the Southwest Harbor Public Library.


Kate Beever

Kate Beever has pioneered the field of music therapy in Maine. She grew up in Gorham and graduated from USM and got her masters in music psychotherapy at NYU, interning at Beth Israel Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before returning to Maine to open Maine Music & Health. Kate has done group and individual client work in over 20 towns as a board-certified music therapist and consults with major hospitals and arts organizations. She works with children and adults with cancer, brain injury, developmental disabilities, and dementia, as well as wellness settings. Kate keeps up an active schedule of speaking engagements and performances and founded the Maine State Music Therapy Task Force. 

Kate is a percussionist, singer, pianist, and guitarist; and loves stand-up paddling in the summer and skiing in the winter. She's been a lifetime maker, supporter, and believer in the arts; creating conversations and collaborations to connect the arts to other fields.


Paul E. Benjamin (Rockland)

Paul began promoting blues shows as a hobby in 1978 and has been fortunate enough to turn that passion into a full-time occupation. He is the cofounder of the award-winning North Atlantic Blues Festival and the owner of Benjamin Productions and North Atlantic Blues Records. He currently produces blues music shows throughout Maine, offers consulting services to festivals nationwide, and manages national touring blues artist Kenny Neal.

Paul has been recognized many times for his exceptional work and dedication to the music industry: he was awarded Mississippi Trail Marker for his 32 years of work showcasing Mississippi-born artists in Maine; he is one of eight such markers located outside of Mississippi. He was the first person elected president of the board of directors of the Blues Foundation that did not reside in Memphis, TN. He was music director of the 25th and 26th Blues Music Awards show in Memphis and was awarded Chamber Person of the year in 2003 by the Rockland/Thomaston Area Chamber Of Commerce. He has also been a guest speaker at a number of music conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Dr. James Conneely (Augusta)


Rick Fournier (Bangor)

Rick has over 30 years of banking experience Rick received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maine.  He also attended the New England School of Banking and Maine Development Foundation.

Rick is heavily involved in his community.  His community involvement includes past presidents of the Bangor Y, Maine Discovery Museum, past chair to the City of Bangor Planning Board and YMCA Alliance of Maine.  Rick currently serves as a member on the following organizations: Bangor Water District Board of Trustees, Acadia Capital Corp, American Folk Festival, BanAir Development Corporation, Bangor YMCA Foundation, Bangor Public Library and Four Directions Development Corporation.  Rick has been honored to receive multiple awards including the Dirigo Award presented by the Finance Authority of Maine, Paul Bunyan Citizenship Award presented by the City of Bangor, Lloyd Willey Award presented by the Bangor YMCA, America’s Promise Volunteer Award by the Maine Bankers Association and 2 Those Who Care Award presented by WLBZ 2 and the United Way.  Rick resides in Bangor with his wife Renee and two children Jayci and Nick.


Suzanne Grover (Norway)


Jonathan B. Huntington (Wayne)

Jon Huntington has practiced law in Maine for over 25 years. His practice is focused on intellectual property, representing individuals and businesses engaged in general commerce and many creative and artistic enterprises. He is widely experienced in trademark and copyright law in the U.S. and other jurisdictions including the creation and maintenance of trademark rights, registration in the United States and internationally including China and the European Union, licensing, and various adversary proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In his copyright practice, he represents mainly visual artists, authors, musicians, and other creative interests in the development and negotiation of performance and publication agreements, assignments, and licenses under the U.S. Copyright Act. His practice includes copyright and trademark infringement opinions and litigation in state and federal courts. He is a licensed attorney in Maine and Washington. He has chaired the boards of Spectrum Generations (Central Maine Area Agency on Aging) and the Androscoggin Yacht Club. He resides in Wayne.


Rowan Morse (Falmouth)

Rowan has been a real estate broker for over 25 years and a principal at Town & Shore Associates since 1993. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. degree in Psychology. Rowan began her involvement in the arts when the new wing of the Portland Museum of Art was built in 1983. She eagerly signed up for the museum docent program that was offered and served as a docent for a decade.

Rowan had no formal art education in college but over the years has taken numerous classes including a two-semester course in art history at USM and hands-on classes in drawing, painting, photography, calligraphy and others at MECA, SMCC and local community programs. Rowan and her husband moved to Portland in 1970 when the Old Port didn’t exist and MECA was a department store. Over the years they have witnessed an explosion of the art scene (with theaters, museums, galleries, festivals, architecture and music) which they support and participate in whenever they can. Rowan’s special interest now is art education through the schools as she had triplet sons and now seven grandchildren.


Cynthia Murray-Beliveau (Hallowell)

Cynthia has worked on developmental, educational, artistic and political endeavors for many years. Her artistic background includes experience as a production assistant for "Music From Maine," a program aired on National Public Radio, as a public school music teacher, as a member of the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and as the Chair of FORUM-A, an arts consortium between the University of Maine and local communities. She has worked in K-12 schools, both teaching and counseling and served on the boards of small liberal arts colleges and Maine’s University System. She has been an advocate for many causes for women and children, at the legislature, in public forums and as an international volunteer in Haiti, S. Africa, Honduras, and Kaoma, Zambia where she worked to support the needs of local residents in housing, food and health-care distribution systems.


Cynthia Orcutt (Kingfield)

Cynthia was instrumental in developing the Kingfield Artwalk and is a founding member and part of the leadership group for the High Peaks Cultural Coalition and the Franklin County Network of Networks. Cynthia is a professional photographer and is currently co-owner of the Schoolhouse Gallery in Kingfield. She is a Maine licensed landscape architect and, with her architect husband John, co-founded Orcutt Associates and, subsequently, Orcutt Consulting in Portland, Yarmouth and Kingfield ME.  Prior to forming the Maine firms, Ms. Orcutt was a Senior Associate with the firm of Sasaki Associates in Watertown, MA. She has received numerous awards for outstanding site design of projects including Village-on-the-Green at Sugarloaf/USA, the Samoset Village in Rockport, Maine and the Portland Public Market.


Laurence H. Rubinstein (Scarborough)

Larry Rubinstein has lived in Maine since 2003. He currently serves as president of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ and as president of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. He is also a trustee of the Portland Museum of Art, where he is chair of the development committee and the Bowdoin International Music Festival where he is also chair of the development committee. 

Larry has also served in a number of volunteer capacities at his Alma Mater, Columbia University. He earned both his master's and doctorate degrees from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he was ordained a Rabbi. He currently serves on the Board of Surprise Lake Camp, a not-for-profit camp in upstate New York. He was President of the camp board during its 100th anniversary and chaired the capital campaign associated with that milestone. Larry and his wife, Robin, live in Scarborough and have two daughters and three grandsons.