Rural Arts Development Pre-Conference

Maine is the most rural state in the nation. Therefore, we have more unique challenges in our cultural sector with regard to sustainability, audience development, communications and connectivity. This Pre-Conference will provide hands-on advice, models to emulate and a space to have those conversations that are unique to artists and arts organizations functioning in our rural environment here in Maine. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Rural Arts Development Pre-Conference Agenda:

11:30 AM            Registration

12:00 PM            Lunch

12:30 PM            Welcome – Julie Richard, Executive Director, Maine Arts Commission

12:45 PM            Rural Arts: Where Are We Now?                 

                             Presented by Maryo Gard Ewell

1:00 PM              Making it Work: Sustaining the Creative Life in Rural Maine

                             Panelists: Margaret Rizzio, Michaela Stone, Matthew Clark, & Kathleen Fleury

Moderated by Kathleen Fleury, Editor in Chief of Down East Magazine, “Making it Work” will feature three young artists: furniture designer Michaela Stone, visual artist Margaret Rizzio and writer Matthew Clark discussing what it is takes to make a creative life in Maine including making a living, promoting work and developing and maintaining creative networks.

1:45 PM              Break

2:00 PM              Creative Practices in Rural Arts Marketing & Audience Development

                             Presented by: Matt Lehrman, Audience Avenue LLC

Looking for fresh, affordable & impactful approaches to arts marketing in rural communities? This fast-paced IDEA-GENERATING session is designed to spark new strategies and embolden innovative action whether you’re serving year-round locals, returning seasonal visitors, or tourists.  Led by audience development expert Matt Lehrman, Audience Avenue LLC.

3:00 PM              Creative Placemaking in Rural Maine: The Story of Monson

Presented by: Tracy S. Michaud, PhD.- Assistant Professor and Chair USM Tourism and Hospitality, Caroline Paras, USM Tourism and Hospitality Student, Michael Dart, USM Tourism and Hospitality Student, Stuart Kestenbaum - Monson Artist Residency Developer

A new arts residency program in Monson, Maine is looked at with hope as a means to transform the economy and bring more tourists to this struggling rural town. Learn about how a private foundation and University Students have worked with this community to help make this happen. Understand the key investments taking place in Monson and the connection of the arts to nature tourism.


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