Schoodic festival inspires, empowers participants



WINTER HARBOR — As August sped by, so did the annual Schoodic Arts Festival. Staged by Schoodic Arts for All, the Aug. 1-14 festival encompassed 80 workshops and many lively evening and daytime performances and other events.

In a whirlwind of brushstrokes, spinning pottery wheels, toe-tapping choreography and more, two weeks celebrating the artistic spirit of Maine flew by. The workshops engaged all ages from school-age children to retirees.

The festival’s nightly performances included old favorites as well as new performers. Schoodic Arts for All’s Meetinghouse Theatre Lab did not disappoint with its performance of “Further Downeast,” a collection of hilarious vignettes depicting life Downeast.

New this year, was the one-woman show “Yo Miss! Transforming Trauma into Art” by Judith Sloan. In a funny, poignant performance, the New York performer used hip-hop and her own version of spoken word to illuminate her personal struggles as well as the stories of teenage immigrant and refugees whom she works with in New York.

As a way to reflect and celebrate two weeks of art and creativity, the festival closed with its annual Final Showcase held at Hammond Hall. Artists proudly displayed their finished pottery projects, paintings, felted creations, jewelry pieces and other crafts before enjoying performances from participants who took part in performance workshops.

Longtime performers shared the spotlight with those getting up on stage for the first time.

Students from Washington Academy’s Summer Program, who visited from Indonesia, amazed the crowd with their participation in this year’s dance performances. Along with performing stylings from the hip-hop and world dance workshops, the students sang a piece of music from their own country.

As always, the Schoodic Arts Festival was an important reminder to celebrate the artistic spirit of Maine. This year was a reminder to celebrate the artistic spirit that unites us from all around the world, too.

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