Charlotte Davenhill works inside her new arts venue Old Number Nine in Waldoboro village. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
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By Dominik Lobkowicz
A partnership between a new nonprofit group and a new arts venue is looking to bolster arts of all kinds in Waldoboro and other area towns.
The venue is called Old Number Nine, located at 9 Friendship St. in Waldoboro.
Charlotte Davenhill, owner of the nearby cooperative Tidemark Gallery, is opening the space to provide the infrastructure for a partnership with the newly formed Medomak Arts Project.
The space is available for rent as a venue for art events but the location will also serve, at least initially, as an information center and activities center for the arts project.
The Medomak Arts Project, formed under a nonprofit sponsorship from the Medomak Valley Community Foundation, will seek out, promote, and facilitate the exhibition, performance, and education of all types of art in Waldoboro, Friendship, Warren, Union, and Washington, according to Davenhill.
As well as being the manager of Old Number 9, Davenhill is a facilitator in the arts project.
“This is a partnership between business and the public sector, and I, as a business, have come over and rented this space. I’m going to be operating an extension of my business here,” Davenhill said. “Part of my motivation is to see the stores on this street be filled with something. As a business person, I want a good business neighbor, even if I have to be that myself.”
The MAP group includes local art teachers, and there will be “a very strong collaboration with the schools, because this is about arts education,” Davenhill said. “Education is the thrust of it, but we probably wouldn’t use that word because it has kind of a stuffy connotation to it.”
A programs committee in the project will find out what is both available and wanted for both events and classes in the area. The information center will help connect the public to outside activities that might not work well in Old Number 9 – like a blacksmith teaching forging, Davenhill said.
Argy Nestor, the director of arts education for the Maine Arts Commission and formerly a 26-year art teacher at A.D. Gray and D.R. Gaul middle schools, is assisting the Medomak Arts Project and hopes local parents will be able to use MAP to augment and support arts education for their children.
“I broaden that to say not just kids but all learners,” Nestor said.
During the development meetings for MAP, Nestor said she “could feel the excitement and the energies, which I feel is the key to things flying.”
“The potential is enormous,” Nestor said. “There’s great hope that whatever comes out of it will evolve over a time period and will make a difference in the lives of young people or adults. We know that being involved in the arts adds richness to people’s lives, whether it’s a small involvement or a large involvement.”
According to Davenhill, the momentum from the Medomak Arts Project is already starting to breathe life into arts-related dreams. She pointed specifically to a planned Pecha Kucha event at the Waldo Theatre with a reception to be held at Old Number Nine.
Pecha Kucha is a style of presentation where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each and talks along with the images.
“Since the first time I saw that, I wanted to have [Pecha Kucha] here in Waldoboro. I’ve talked to people about it, and people say ‘Aw, forget it, that’ll never happen in your lifetime,'” Davenhill said. “It’s just gone from unreal to real. People can visualize it.”
For the time being, those interested in more information on Old Number 9 can call 832-5109. Use the same number for information on the Medomak Arts Project, or reach out to a member, including Miller School art teacher Brooke Holland, Holly Berry, Kat Logan, Susan Kellam, Richard Koubek, Bob Butler, or Susan Price.