Art Presentation and Discussion on Creative Practices

Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-25 03:06Z by Steven

Art Presentation and Discussion on Creative Practices

University of Maine Museum of Art
40 Harlow Street
Bangor, Maine 04401
Wednesday, 2017-04-26 @13:00-14:00 EDT (Local Time)

On Wednesday, April 26 at 1 p.m., University of Maine Intermedia MFA students Alicia Champlin and Eleanor Kipping will present their work and discuss creative practices at University of Maine Museum of Art.

Admission is free. Audiences are welcome to bring their own lunch.

Alicia Champlin will discuss her recent performance installation, “MOTIVE,” in the context of a research-based experimental practice. The performance, which took place in December 2016, was intended to spark questions about the relationships between media and maker, between language and listener, and between truth and metaphor. Instead, like many experiments, the work led to some unexpected outcomes, but rather than discounting the effort as a failure, Alicia will share some of the resulting insights that continue to move her practice forward into the unknown.

Eleanor Kipping is a second year MFA student. Her work explores the contemporary black female experience as ‘other’ in America in light of identity, hair politics, colorism and racial passing. She draws heavily on popular culture, and personal, historical and political narratives to drive her investigations. In her talk Coming of Race, Eleanor will share her experiences as a mixed-race female growing up in the predominantly Caucasian state of Maine. While sharing how she has come to terms with her own identity as a black and white woman, she will discuss how her creative practice and use of photography, video, performance, and installation is used as a way to continue her own explorations as well as educate and facilitate discussion surrounding topics of identity…

The Intermedia MFA program is a creative studio-centered degree on the hybrid nature of contemporary art. The MFA focuses on the intersection of creative practice arts with other disciplines and areas of interest, technology, and social praxis to model a new direction and approach to teaching and learning in the creative fields. For more information, visit

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , ,

Public Radio Reporter Seeking Couples In New England For Story On Interracial/Mixed Marriage.

Posted in Autobiography, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-02-20 02:17Z by Steven

Public Radio Reporter Seeking Couples In New England For Story On Interracial/Mixed Marriage.

WGBH Radio
Boston, Massachusetts

Sally Jacobs

My name is Sally Jacobs and I am a reporter doing a project for WGBH radio in Boston on interracial marriage in connection with the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the practice. I am looking for couples in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) who have a compelling story of challenge, triumph, passion, hardship or adventure.

I am also looking for some particular experiences:

  • Interracial couples who divorced in the mid 1980s.
  • Couples who married before interracial marriage became legal in 1967.
  • Young/millennial couples who met on an interracial dating website.
  • Those with a compelling story from any time period.

If you live in any of the six New England states, please e-mail me a description of your story, long or short, at

Many thanks.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t portray this state I love as a hotbed of racial discontent

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-24 15:01Z by Steven

Don’t portray this state I love as a hotbed of racial discontent

The Bangor Daily News
Bangor, Maine

Trish Callahan, Special to the BDN

When I played high school basketball, we travelled up to The County to play a couple times. Because of the distance we would stay with host families, and we attended social events. Even though I had to be one of the only dark-skinned people to cross the threshold of some of those doors in the mid-1980s, I was treated like all the other players.

I did foul out of every game I played up there. My father and I would bet on whether I’d foul out in the end of the third or beginning of the fourth quarter. In the referee’s defense, we did play a more physical game than was the norm for girl’s ball, myself especially, so there’s no evidence that fouling out was race-related.

And that about sums up my experience as a mixed-race person in Maine since 1973: At the worst I might sense some slight surprise at the sight of someone different, but most Mainers treat me just fine.

Mainers are so polite; I can tell the ones who show that slight surprise are uncomfortable with their own reaction. I usually throw down a gentle good-natured poke at the whole race thing, and the discomfort becomes laughter. I like that about Mainers, and I don’t want that to change in light of the current and necessary discussion about race in our state and across the nation.

I also don’t want Mainers portrayed as racist because that just hasn’t been the majority of my experience. While I appreciate the sentiments of the protesters in Portland, I kind of resent the fervor reaching such a pitch that people outside our state might perceive Maine as some racial hotbed…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Only history maligns Malaga Island

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-09 22:33Z by Steven

Only history maligns Malaga Island

The Portland Press Herald
Portland, Maine

Dierdre Fleming, Outdoor Reporter

The Casco Bay island’s future needn’t be lost in a painful past marked by intolerance.

MALAGA ISLAND — The tragic story of Malaga Island has been told many times since the tiny isle off Phippsburg was sold in 2001 to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and archaeologists began to unearth the remains of its disenfranchised community.

But there’s still much pain for the descendants of Malaga Island, despite the fact this wild, pristine island in the Gulf of Maine is now visited by boaters and coastal hikers.

“I hope as time goes on it becomes easier for people to talk about, because the island as a physical place does carry a lot of significance to the descendants,” said Kate McMahon, a doctoral student at Howard University, who gives historic tours on the island for the Heritage Trust.

“It’s really important to them. It’s important to them that the kiosk on the island … presents the history of the island in a respectful way, because it’s a living memorial to them. It’s the only thing they have left of the people that lived here.”

During the mid-1860s a small, racially diverse community inhabited the north end of the island to fish and eke out a living as many coastal communities did back then. The community grew to 40 islanders by the early 20th century.

In 1912 the state, in the interest of growing tourism along the coast, evicted the residents, who included black, white and interracial families. In addition, relatives buried on the island were exhumed and re-interred at the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded, now the site of Pineland Farms. Another eight residents were institutionalized there against their will.

A century later, in 2010, a ceremony was held on the island at which Gov. John Baldacci publicly apologized for his predecessors’ decision in 1912…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

‘Chinese, on the Inside’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-03-05 01:44Z by Steven

‘Chinese, on the Inside’

The New York Times

Liz Mak, writer and multimedia producer
Oakland, California

Catie and Kimberly were adopted from China by a couple from Maine, who attempt to pass on a culture they’ve never known firsthand.

About a decade ago, Barbara Cough adopted two girls from China, Kimberly and Catie. Barbara and her partner, Marilyn Thomas, are raising the children in Portland, Me. I filmed the family last year when the girls (who are not biological sisters) were ages 9 and 11.

More than 80,000 girls have been adopted from China by Americans since 1991. In recent years, China has made adoptions by same-sex couples, already difficult, nearly impossible.

But at the time the girls were adopted, in 2003 and 2004, Barbara and Marilyn felt that adopting girls from China afforded them more protections as parents than domestic adoptions would have, given the complex rules around birth parents’ rights in America.

For Barbara, it was also a way to reconnect with her own history: her great-grandfather Daniel Cough was the first Chinese man in Maine to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Though Barbara’s generation is only one-eighth Chinese, the family members proudly identify with their cultural heritage…

Read the opinion piece and watch the video here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tough lessons in CTC’s play about community destruction

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, History, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-16 01:13Z by Steven

Tough lessons in CTC’s play about community destruction

MPR News
Minnesota Public Radio

Nikki Tundel, Reporter

St. Paul, Minn. — A century-old story of discrimination is the basis for a world premiere production opening Friday in Minneapolis.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” is the Children’s Theatre Company’s adaption of the real-life events of a forbidden friendship during the social segregation of 1912.

It’s a dark tale. But it’s one the theater company believes should be shared – especially with school children.

Actress Traci Allen was a bit wary when she first heard of Minnesota’s Children’s Theatre Company.

“I’m thinking of puppets and, ‘Hello, boys and girls,'” Allen pantomimed before a recent rehearsal.

Her preconceived notion didn’t last long. Today, she is the lead in the CTC’s “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.” The children’s play wrestles with various adult themes, from economic turmoil to mortality.

Twenty-six-year-old Allen plays 13-year-old Lizzie. When afternoon rehearsal begins, she’s mourning the death of her grandfather in a song.

The story chronicles the forbidden friendship between Lizzie, who is black, and Turner Buckminster, who is white. It highlights the challenges they face in socially segregated 1912.

“Is there transition music there?” asks CTC artist director Peter Brosius, who directs the play.

The production is based on a Newbery Award-winning book [by Gary D. Schmidt], which in turn is based on the real-life history of Phippsburg, Maine. When the small coastal town was hit by an economic downtown, community leaders looked to the nearby island of Malaga to solve their financial woes.

“The idea,” said Brosius, “Was that the population that was on Malaga, which was a black and mixed-race population, should be removed from that island and that both the coastline and Malaga be turned into a resort. What happened, in fact, was the island was evacuated, people’s homes were moved.”…

Read the entire article and listen to the audio here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Through Russwurm’s Eyes: ‘The Conditions and Prospects of Haiti’

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, New Media, United States on 2010-03-07 03:58Z by Steven

Through Russwurm’s Eyes: ‘The Conditions and Prospects of Haiti’

Campus News
Bowdoin College

John B. Russwurm, the College’s first African-American graduate and thought to be the third African-American to graduate from an American college, delivered a commencement address in 1826 that resonates nearly 184 years later.

The speech, “The Condition and Prospects of Haiti,” was delivered 22 years after Haiti won independence from France

About John B. Russwurm

Russwurm was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, the illegitimate son of a white planter and a black slave. His father, John Russwurm, of a wealthy Virginia family, went to Jamaica after completing his education in England. He sent his son, John Brown Russwurm, to Quebec at age eight so that he might receive a good education. Soon after moving to Maine, his father married Susan Blanchard. Russwurm then came to live with his father’s family, where he was accepted by his step-mother as one of her own. Russwurm stayed with the family even after his father died, continuing his education at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine. His step-mother and her new husband helped him to enroll at Bowdoin in 1824….

Read the entire article here.
Read Russwurm’s entire speech here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Malaga Island: A Brief History

Posted in Anthropology, History, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Social Science, United States on 2010-03-06 19:50Z by Steven

Malaga Island: A Brief History

Compiled by the Students of ES 203 Service Learning Project
Bowdoin College

Adrienne Heflich

Anna Troyansky

Samantha Farrell

Malaga Island is located in Casco Bay, near the mouth of the New Meadows River, and is roughly a half-mile long by a quarter-mile wide in size. It sits approximately one hundred yards from the mainland of Phippsburg. Malaga Island, which means “cedar” in the Abnaki Indian language, is heavily wooded, and has been uninhabited since 1912. The island is rich in archaeological deposits from its past residents. Remains from the pre-colonial Indian and Malagaite mixed-race settlements are largely unexcavated and are believed to be remarkably intact. Currently local fishermen use the island for lobster-trap storage.

Malaga Island was a very unique community. The black and mixed-race population of individuals and families was an anomaly in a state over 99% white. The concentration of minorities in the Malaga Island community caused fear and uneasiness in neighboring white communities on the mainland. Drifters and outsiders of mainland communities, both black and white, settled there in the mid-1800s. By 1900 the population had peaked at 42 individuals and interracial marriages were common on the island. Save for its racial diversity, Malaga resembled most other poor fishing communities on the Maine coast.

The Malagaites’ main source of income was subsistence fishing and limited farming. Tensions rose over issues of resource use as the Malagaites’ fishing directly competed with the economy on the mainland. More importantly, their dark skin, questionable morals, and apparent idleness (all thoroughly exaggerated in biased local and regional press) aroused suspicion and antipathy. In efforts to address the Malaga “problem”, in 1903 a missionary family established an informal school on Malaga in attempts to “reform” the inhabitants. The school was funded at first by private donations, and subsequently subsidized by state funding.

Tensions between the mainland and the island rose significantly at the turn of the century along with the burgeoning tourism industry on the Maine coast; Malaga was an eyesore for the mainland. Harpswell and Phippsburg disavowed jurisdiction over the community and the island was identified as “No Man’s Land,” becoming a ward of the state. In 1912, Governor Plaisted evicted the community of Malaga from their land and homes. Resettlement was prohibited and many Malagaites lacking the means to move elsewhere, were displaced to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded in Pineland. Some Malagaites strapped their houses to rafts and drifted up and down the river in search of a safe port. However, they were unwanted and stigmatized by the events of 1912. Private owners eventually bought the island, and possession shifted hands numerous times before it was finally acquired by MCHT.

The diaspora of the Malagaites remains a dark chapter in Maine and local history.  Descendents still bear the stigma of their infamous ancestors. An unspoken code of silence still remains, perhaps out of shame, perhaps out of ignorance. Myth still surrounds the factual events. It is hoped that in the near future, the Malagaite and precolonial Indian archeological remains will be excavated, undoubtedly unearthing a very fascinating history.

Read the entire paper here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2010-03-05 18:12Z by Steven

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Clarion Books an Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
224 pages
Trim Size: 5.50 x 8.25
Hardcover ISBN-13/EAN: 9780618439294 ; $15.00
Hardcover ISBN-10: 0618439293

Gary D. Schmidt, Professor of English
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Winner of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor.

It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he’s a minister’s son, even if he doesn’t act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father’s-and the town’s-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine’s rocky coast. The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner’s father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie’s island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity. This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community’s destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change. Author’s note.

Read a book review by the 7th grade students at Bath Middle School in Bath, Maine here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Malaga Island’s place in Maine history preserved

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2010-03-05 17:57Z by Steven

Malaga Island’s place in Maine history preserved

The Times Record
Published: 2009-08-18, 18:08Z

Seth Koenig, Times Record Staff

PHIPPSBURG — The site of perhaps the most striking case of racial injustice in Maine history was the focus of a Saturday ceremony aimed at preserving the land and its lessons for future generations.

Malaga Island, off the coast of Phippsburg, has never been a lavish resort community. But that was what state leaders envisioned as a future for the island in 1911 and 1912, when they set forth a calculated plan to forcibly displace a community of poor, largely black or mixed-race people who lived there.

On Saturday, representatives of Maine Freedom Trails Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust joined archaeologists, historians and descendants of evicted island residents to announce that the 41-acre island has been added to the Maine Freedom Trails’ list of significant places…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,