Arts and Culture Lewiston Auburn

Lewiston/Auburn, ME

Contact Name
Odelle Bowman
Project Dates
Workshop Leader
Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) 2013
Policy, Networking
Arts and Culture Lewiston/Auburn (ACLA) was created to strengthen and support the arts and culture in the Lewiston/Auburn area as a central component of furthering economic and cultural development and to enhance the quality of life for our residents. We are made up of 20 different organizations whose independant goals are focused around Culture and the Arts. L/A Arts is the initiator and the convener of ACLA.

ACLA meets monthly to strengthen our professional relationships,collaborate on joint marketing strategies,inventory and analyze performance venues and community needs,develop long term audience and advocacy strategies,leverage funding and resources through collaboration, and promote responsible community wide scheduling.These focuses will strengthen our Creative Economy.
Project Goals
What were the project goals?
Open lines of communication
Foster collaboration and trust
Promote the arts and culture of our communtiy promoting economic growth
Develop marketing strategies
Audience development
Streamline and foster more efficient scheduling of events
Address issue of need for more /larger performance spaces
Change the eprception of our communty outside our community
Have they changed over time?
Through the process we have deepened these goals, have established a website, are in the midst of developign joint marketing pieces, developed a logo, are in the midst of facilities assessment
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
Androscoggin Historical Society,Artwalk Lewiston Auburn,Auburn Community Band, Auburn Public Library,Bates Arts Collaborative,Bates Dance Festival,Bates Museum of Art,Community Little Theatre,Franco American Heritage Center,FRanco-American Collection at USM LAC,L/A Arts,Lewiston Auburn Film festival,Lewiston Public Library,Maine Music Society,Midcoast Symphony Orchestra,Museum L/A,The Public Theatre,USM LAC Atrium Gallery,Youth Orchestra Lewiston/Auburn,
Project Specifics
How was the project implemented? What were the steps taken?
L/A Arts outreached to all the Arts and Cultural organizations within the community and invited them to come togtehr to foster a positive future, through collaboration and dialogue. Through that process a meeting schedule and priorities of focus were established.
Have they been refined over time?
Yes as indicated earlier, priorties and intiatives have been established byt eh group thta are creating signifigant movement forward and long term impact.
What were your major obstacles?
Time and Resources to do the requisite work necessary
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
L/A Arts continued to state that we needed to operate as a group from an open-handed place, that we were not in competition with each other.
All members have kept a strong commitment to attending meetings and thus deepened their relationships and made progress possible. L/A Arts has done the work to establish the ACLA website, prepare for meetings, led by example, and as the local arst agency continues to do the bulk of the administrative work connected with the ACLA.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
To have patience, lead by example, be inclusive and transparent
Project Impact
How has this project contributed to creative community building?
It has establsihed a level of trust between community orgainzations that did not exist before that is fostering many collaborations and possibilities for the future.
Why do you consider the project successful, as related to your project goals above?
Through open and focused dialogue over an extended period of time there is a willingness to tackle things that everyone thought were unattainable:joint marketing,collaborative programming and funding, a supportive communtiy environment where before it was largely competitive.
Were there unexpected impacts?
City government is partnering more with and having more dialogues with the arts community as they are seeing the growth of collaborative programming and relationships.

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