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Weekly Arts News for Sept. 12-18

Maine Film Office sees increase productions

AUGUSTA — The Maine Film Office has certified 14 productions with an estimated direct spend in Maine of nearly $3.7 million. In 2012, there were eight certified productions and $1.5 million spent directly in Maine.

According to Film Office Director Karen Carberry Warhola, it all boils down to building relationships.

Although Maine cannot offer the same level of film incentives as other states, Maine remains competitive in the industry. Incentives are only a part of the complete package, Carberry Warhola said.

The Maine Film Office is working to market and promote the growth of the production industry, and has undertaken a variety of new initiatives to showcase Maine as a location. Those efforts include updates to the Maine Film Office website to make it easier for producers to find locations, skilled crew, local businesses that can supply needed goods and services, and film-friendly communities, Carberry Warhola said. She also meets regularly with filmmakers, reads scripts, attends film industry trade shows, local and national film festivals, screenings, and industry events.

The Maine Film Office is part of the Maine Office of Tourism within the Department of Economic and Community Development. Film, television and commercial production companies spending at least $75,000 in Maine may qualify for the Maine Visual Media Incentive Plan. The incentives are a mix of various rebates and credits.

“Last year the direct spend of the productions that filmed in Maine was almost $40 for every $1 paid out in the incentive program, an exceptional return on investment by any measure,” said Warhola.

Theater season to open

BANGOR — The Gracie Theatre will open its 2013-201414 season with the country vocal duo Steel Magnolia. The Academy of Country Music award-winning group and their band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the theater on the campus of Husson University.

Tickets for the concert and season shows range in price from $25-32 and are available at GracieTheatre.com or by calling 941-7888.

Arts Cafe launches new season

ORONO — The Orono Arts Cafe is back for another season of jazz, folk, pop, classical and world music, humorous and dramatic spoken pieces, and visual arts.  The new season launches at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Keith Anderson Community House on Bennoch Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $3.

Performers need not be a resident of Orono to participate, and are reminded that, whatever genre of music or spoken piece they choose to perform, they should plan programs to last no more than 10 minutes and that is appropriate for a family audience.

Because the cafe’s season opener takes place during National Arts in Education Week, the evening will feature a special exhibit of works created by Advanced Placement Studio Art students from Orono High School.

The Orono Arts Cafe is held on the second Friday of every month.  It is sponsored by the Orono Schools Coalition for the Arts, an organization of parent and community volunteers working to support arts education in Orono schools. Money raised through ticket, snack and beverage sales at the cafe are used to help fund arts programs and scholarships for students in the Orono schools.

For information about the Orono Arts Cafe or the Orono Schools Coalition for the Arts, visit oronoarts.wordpress.com or call 866-2578.

Photography contest

ORONO — Photographers young and old are invited to participate in the 2013 Images of Orono photo contest sponsored by the Orono Schools Coalition for the Arts.  In order to be eligible, pictures must be landscapes, street scenes or nature photos that have been taken in Orono within the past year, that do not have any people in them, and that have not been previously published. Although cropped photos are acceptable, the images may not have been digitally altered or enhanced. Photographers need not be residents of Orono to participate.

Photo submissions will be accepted in two categories: youth ages 5 to 18 and adult over 18. A panel of judges will select six winning images in each category. The winning photos will be included in the Images of Orono arts calendar for 2014.  Sales of the calendar will benefit visual and performing arts programs in the Orono public schools.

Contest entries will be accepted through Tuesday, Oct. 1. Rules and entry form may be found at oronoarts.wordpress.com.

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