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Weekly arts news, Aug. 18, 2011

Bangor Book Festival

BANGOR — Award-winning journalist and author Colin Woodard will headline the fifth annual Bangor Book Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, downtown.

The Bangor Book Festival Committee announced that joining Woodard for the annual event will be 33 Maine and Maine-connected writers and illustrators, whose work includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, historical fiction, young adult and children’s books, sports and nature writing, mysteries, memoirs, travel writing and creative writing instruction.

“We are thrilled with this year’s lineup of wonderful Maine authors,” said Barbara McDade, director of Bangor Public Library and co-chairman of the festival. “For this fifth year of the festival, we will have more speakers than in any other year. Everyone will be able to find something of interest.”

Featured authors and illustrators will include Charlotte Agell, James Babb, Barbara Baig, Crash Barry, Ellen Booraem, Sarah Braunstein, Thomas Burby, Toni Buzzeo, Melissa Coleman, Susan Conley, Paul Doiron, Kathleen Ellis, Rebecca Emberly, Richard Foerster, Ardeana Hamlin, Hannah Holmes, Shonna Milliken Humphrey, Jennifer Jacobson, Carrie Jones, Margy Burns Knight, Kelly McClymer, Janet Mendelsohn, Thomas R. Moore, Dave Morrison, Eva Murray, Anne Sibley O’Brien, Maria Padian, Dawn Potter, Van Reid, Caitlin Shetterly, Christina Tree, Catherynne Valente and Wade Zahares.

Keynote speaker Colin Woodard is the author of four books, including “The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier” and “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America,” to be released this fall.

A Maine native and an award-winning journalist, Woodard has reported from more than 50 countries and is a foreign correspondent for the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Christian Science Monitor, and a contributing editor at Down East magazine.

A major partner for the first time this year is the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

“We’re truly proud to support this exceptional lineup of authors,” said Joshua Bodwell, executive director of the 35-year-old literary arts nonprofit. “It’s been a banner year for books in Maine, and this quickly growing festival is a great way to celebrate that!”

The 2011 Bangor Book Festival is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional sponsors of the 2011 Festival include the Maine Humanities Council, the University of Maine’s Fogler Library, the city of Bangor, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Cengage and others. For more information, visit the festival website,

At Fort Knox

PROSPECT — The Friends of Fort Knox will sponsor a granite-cutting demonstration by experienced granite cutter Shawn Costigan 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21, adjacent to the Fort Knox Visitor Center. The Fort Knox State Historic site, constructed of vast amount of hand-hewn granite, was built between 1844 and 1869. Costigan will demonstrate some of the techniques that granite cutters would have used during the fort construction period.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, ghost tours of Fort Knox will be led by members of the East Coast Ghost Trackers, who will take guests through the fort and use some of their paranormal investigating equipment. Tours will take place at 8, 9 and 10 p.m., at a cost of $10 each. Fort Knox was featured on the SyFy TV Channel’s “Ghost Hunter” program last April, in which one of the investigators said, “There is some serious activity going on [at Fort Knox].” Tickets for the ghost tours may be purchased in advance at the Friends of Fort Knox gift shop or by calling 469-6553.

The Friends of Fort Knox work in partnership with the Maine Department of Conservation’s Bureau of Parks and Lands. The Friends’ mission is to restore the fort and enhance its educational, cultural and economic value for the people of Maine.

E-reader demonstration

BANGOR — Interested in e-readers? Bangor Public Library will have an e-reader demonstration at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, in the Lecture Hall at 145 Harlow St.

The library owns six different types of e-books: the Kindle, the Nook, the Kobo, the Sony, the Cruz and the iPad.

Library patron John Atherton said, “I am an active reader and one who is only marginally comfortable with technology, but I found reading an e-book on my iPad to be quite easy and convenient.”

Staff members Patrick Layne and Christy Coombs share Atherton’s comfort with technology and will lead the e-reader demonstration. They will answer questions about the cost, color selection, battery life, Wi-Fi options and additional features of each e-reader.

Common problems will be reviewed along with standard solutions. The staff will demonstrate how to download a book from the library’s new downloadable library.

More than 140 Maine libraries have joined together to provide Maine InfoNet Download Library, an extensive collection of e-books available to the public free of charge. Anyone with a library card can have access to these books for their e-reader.

After the presentation, the audience will be encouraged to try out several machines to sample their functions. For more information, call the library at 947-8336 or visit http://

Film ‘Green Fire’

HOLDEN — “Green Fire,” the first full-length, high-definition documentary film made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Fields Pond Audubon Center. The film, with introduction by Jerry Smith, traces how Leopold shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. The event is free.

Canada geese

BANGOR — The Fields Pond Book Discussion Group, led by Joyce Rumery, will discuss “The Geese of Beaver Pond,” by Bernd Heinrich, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at Bangor Public Library.

Heinrich, a naturalist and author, raised a baby Canada goose to adulthood, at which point she flew south with her compatriots. Two years later, she returned with a mate in tow and set up housekeeping near the author’s house. Heinrich describes battles over real estate, mate swapping and the tender attentions of parents to new goslings. The event is free.

Bangor Community Chorus

BANGOR — Members of the Bangor Community Chorus, along with conductor Joshua Schmersal and accompanist Colin Graebert, invite music lovers of all ages and voice ranges to come sing with them when the historic chorus launches its 42nd season.

Rehearsals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St.

Being able to read music or being an accomplished singer is not a requirement to join the BCC. A love of singing and having fun are all that is needed.

Organ concerts

BANGOR — The St. John’s Organ Society is holding its Summer Recital Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at St. John Catholic Church, 207 York St.

These programs continue the celebration of St. John’s E&GG Hook organ, Opus 288, the 150th anniversary of which was marked last October by “A Hook Holiday,” a four-day tour of historic organs in midcoast Maine attended by organists and organ enthusiasts from coast to coast.

Called by organ builder and historian George Bozeman “a truly magnificent ensemble,” the St. John’s instrument is the largest 19th century pipe organ in northern New England.

The schedule is:

• Aug. 18: Douglas Beck.

• Aug. 25: Kevin Birch, organ; Anatole Wieck, violin; Peter Handford, cello.

“A Hook Holiday” was the largest project to date of the St. John’s Organ Society, an organization dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of Opus 288. Founded in 1993, the society has sponsored regular concerts, including the summer series, as well as other forms of education and community outreach.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, contact Kevin Birch, director of music, at 942-6941, or visit

Summer music series

BANGOR — Bangor Public Library’s Summer Music Series features free concerts at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Peirce Park next to the library.

• Aug. 24, 7 p.m. Heart of Maine Chorus of Sweet Adelines International, local women sharing their love of singing in four-part harmony, barbershop a cappella style.

• Aug. 31, 7 p.m. Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Maine, performing the works of Gilbert and Sullivan since 1976. The singers share their love of the operettas from the 1800s.

The series is sponsored by Gross Minsky and Mogul Law Office. For information, call 947-8336.

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