“Invigorating the Arts in Western Maine”
The Emery Community Arts Center’s mission is to providesa vibrant environment in the greater Franklin area to cultivate various forms of art, music, performance and dance while inspiring members from community and campus through collaborative work in the arts.
“The rhythmic sounds of heavy machinery and power tools became a regular 7:00 A.M. alarm clock for many UMF students in the Fall of 2010. Art enthusiasts in particular peered out the windows of Merrill, anxiously awaiting the opening of a brand new building. The Emery Community Arts Center. What was once a space that contained nothing but coarse dirt and green grass is now, as of September 7th, home to the arts on campus and in the community. The feet of aspiring actors, poets, performance artists and musicians, among others, will now stand stage-under-foot below new lights. Art is expression – a form of expression that has no concrete boundaries. Since artistic gears turn in not just the heads of Farmington students, Emery welcomes performances by all members of the community and artists around the world. Esprimere se stessi. Express yourself.” - Hillary Tozier, Arts Administration
UMF is located in the midst of a lively arts community. The new 15,000-square-foot Emery Community Arts Center, which debuts on UMF’s campus in September 2011, is soon to become a key venue for creative expression in western Maine. Flexible performance spaces and multipurpose venues will offer opportunities for community and campus arts groups to create and perform for audiences of varying sizes, in settings that will be designed for maximum versatility. Emery is designed by designLAB architects of Boston and is made possible through a $5 million gift by a generous benefactor. It is named in honor of Ted and Marguerite Emery, arts enthusiasts and long-time Farmington residents.
Currently, UMF is seeking gifts to help fund a wide range of artistic events to stimulate creativity and collaboration, attract diverse audiences, and foster economic development in the region.
By supporting the Emery, you can be a part of an exciting artistic vision for western Maine. Your gift will help to inspire community arts groups, students, and faculty to participate in creating fresh, imaginative art in flexible, state-of-the-art spaces for all to enjoy.
Online giving is easy at www.umf.maine.edu/giving or contact Ms. Pat Carpenter, director of gift planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207-778-7091 for more information.
Emery offers dynamic opportunities for expression in the arts and is designed to complement Nordica Auditorium in Merrill Hall and Alumni Theater, creating a cultural center for the town and a welcoming doorway to the UMF campus. The arts complex includes three buildings and an outdoor performance space and opens a door to summer residencies for arts groups and granting organizations that wish to invest in the possibilities created by the new arts complex.
The state-of-the-art facility includes an array of new lighting, sound, and computer technology to support today’s multimedia interdisciplinary art forms. This technology-rich environment will enable students, faculty, and community arts groups to participate in creating fresh, imaginative art, such as experimental theater, electronic music, and poetry readings combining light sculptures and new music forms. The flexible spaces of Emery will also support more traditional art forms such as student art exhibitions, film workshops, dance recitals and chamber music concerts.
Emery features a 2,500-square-foot 160-seat multipurpose performance space, complete with barn doors which open onto an outdoor performance space. The barn doors can be open for large indoor/outdoor installations or closed for more intimate performances. On the upper level, Emery features a 1,600-square-foot wired gallery which creates an additional performance space. A dramatic interior corridor connects Emery with the existing Alumni Theater. The corridor is an attractive throughway that invites pedestrians to enjoy art exhibited in the former window openings of the Alumni Theater. Emery also provides much-needed lobby space and handicap accessibility for the adjacent Alumni Theater. The smaller, flexible spaces break down the traditional barriers between performer and audience or artist and the public. A fiddling workshop or an electroacoustic performance might perform in the flexible space gallery while an improv theatre group brings the surrounding audience into their performance and a sculpture installation encourages participants to walk through for interactive responses.
Barriers are also broken down across the traditional disciplines within the arts as UMF students, faculty and staff bring together the visual arts, creative writing, literary arts, theater, dance and music. The flexible spaces enable collaborations where art can be hung in the same space that a poetry reading is taking place, a video installation can be shown simultaneously as music is performed and sound art installation can be coordinated with dance movement.
UMF has been a leader in building environmentally-responsible LEED certified facilities. Like the University’s new Education Center, Emery will be constructed using advanced climate control systems and other environmentally-responsible technology. Emery opens in September 2011.