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people from the cultural alliance of Maine

Evelyn Nitzberg, center, is flanked by Eklas Ahmed, left, and Mollie Cashwell, right, both of the Cultural Alliance of Maine.

Photo: Lee Burnett

By Lee Burnett, Submissions Editor

Some state arts program representatives visited Sanford last week to learn about local arts initiatives and to build public support for arts in town and across the state.

“We’re sharing the essence of Sanford, so our policy makers have a better idea where we are going to build Sanford as a cultural and arts community,” explained Evelyn Nitzberg, who hosted the meeting through Sanford Arts Commission, and fellow artists Terry Jellerson and Georgia Renfrew.

Joining them were Mollie Cashwell and Eklas Ahmed, co-directors of the Cultural Alliance of Maine, Danielle Moriarty, director of special projects the Maine Arts Commission, and Ann Thompson, a metalsmith from Biddeford.

They met at Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council offices, then took a quick downtown tour.

“We believe in helping Sanford tell its storytelling,” said Cashwell. She urged locals to invite political candidates to events. “It’s a photo op. It’s an election year,” she said.

Moriarty said the arts commission is becoming more “outward looking” as it searches for ways to build arts from the ground up in communities. “We want to support art that is by and for the community, specific to a place, recognizing your uniqueness,” she said. “Put art in places you care about.”

Sanford has seen an upswing in the arts in recent years with the opening of the Sanford Performing Arts Center, stepped up productions at the Nasson Little Theatre, and a monthly downtown art walk in the summer.

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