A big Thank You to all the LA area artists, businesses, and residents that filled out the LA Cultural Plan surveys!!
L/A Arts and Arts & Culture Lewiston Auburn (ACLA) are embarking on an exciting effort to gather information about the creative and cultural resources in Lewiston Auburn. Because we believe the arts are essential to our quality of life, we are developing a plan—Cultural Plan LA—that will better connect the arts and culture to our community. To improve our view of this landscape, we’re looking for information and opinions from as many LA-region residents and employees as possible; we’d appreciate if you could take the time to share your thoughts!
If you’d like to get more involved in the Cultural Plan LA project, reach out to Tyson Pease, Program Coordinator at L/A Arts.
Much of the conversations about Cultural Plan LA mention the “creative economy”—but what is that? Not everyone has the same definition, but generally speaking, the creative economy is the collection of all sectors and industries impacting culture, heritage, creativity, innovation, and art-making. This includes advertising and marketing; architecture; crafts; design (of products, graphics, and fashion); film, TV, video, radio and photography; information technology, software and computer services; publishing; museums; galleries and libraries; music, performing and visual arts. (Thanks to the UK Department of Media & Sport for this list.)
Studies show that these creative industries are becoming increasingly important to communities’ economic and overall well-being. Read more about it here.
In Lewiston Auburn, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation account for over 8% of the workforce. These sectors have grown more over the past 10 years than almost any other sector in the region. Androscoggin County is currently home to 171 arts-related businesses that employ 885 people. The creative industries account for 3.2 percent of the total number of businesses located in the county. Arts and culture already have a strong presence in Lewiston Auburn; a well-crafted and -implemented cultural plan will help with this growth and ensure that arts and culture continue to enhance quality of life in the region.
Guidance and Steering Committees
We’re thrilled to be taking on this work in part because we’re partnering with an impressive collection of local leaders and representatives, with whom we’ve formed two crucial committees: a smaller guidance committee and a larger steering committee. Our ongoing contact with these committees, combined with data analysis of your survey submissions, will help the final draft of Cultural Plan LA be as realistic and impactful as possible.
Guidance Committee Members:
- John Holden: President and Co-Chair, Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council
- Mary LaFontaine: Councilor, City of Auburn
- Darby Ray: Director, Harward Center for Community Partnerships Director, Bates College; Harward Professor of Civic Engagement, Bates College
- Craig Saddlemire, Filmmaker; former Lewiston City Councilor
- Richard Martin, The Franco Center
- Jim Parakilas, Bates Arts Collaborative
Organizations Represented by Steering Committee:
- Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce
- Androscoggin Historical Society
- Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments
- Auburn City Council
- Auburn Public Library
- Auburn Public Schools
- Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships
- Bates College Museum of Art
- Bates College Olin Arts Center
- City of Auburn Economic Development
- City of Lewiston Director of Economic & Community Development
- Community Little Theater
- Downtown Handmade & Vintage
- Franco Center
- Kimball Street Studios
- L’Hommedieu Law Office, P.A.
- Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council
- Lewiston City Council
- Lewiston Public Library
- Lewiston Public Schools
- Linnell, Choate & Webber, LLP
- Maine Music Society
- Maine’s Lakes & Mountains Tourism Council
- Maine State Senate
- Museum L-A
- The Public Theater
- Studio A Architecture
- Wicked Illustrations
Cultural Plan LA Financial Sponsors
A huge “Thank you” goes out to our local financial supporters: Maine Arts Commission, the City of Auburn, and the City of Lewiston.
Do you or your organization have a potential site or space for future public art projects? We are gathering an inventory of potential sites. If you would like to add to this list please use the form below.