Jeff “Smokey” McKeen of Freedom will be among the performers when the University of Maine Patrons of the Arts present this year’s Vincent A. Hartgen Award posthumously to Edward “Sandy” Ives, a UMaine English and anthropology professor from 1955-1999 and founder of the Maine Folklife Center.

The ceremony will be Friday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at Wells Conference Center. Keynote speaker for the event will be Tulane University Folklore professor Nick Spitzer, who produces and hosts “American Routes” on National Public Radio.

Spitzer is serving as honorary chair for fundraising in support of the Maine Folklife Center. He was a colleague of Ives and once hosted Ives for several days on a folklore tour of Louisiana.

Performers at the awards ceremony will include professional storyteller Joan Radner, emeritus professor of folklore from American University and former president of the American Folklore Society, Old Grey Goose, a Maine group that often features songs Ives collected in Maine and the Maritimes; and McKeen, a former student of Ives and a member of Old Grey Goose.

“It is fitting that the Hartgen Award go to a man who spent his whole life teaching students the value of collecting the songs and stories of the people of Maine and the Maritimes,” said Pauleena MacDougall, Maine Folklife Center director.

Ives, who left and archival collection for future researchers, died last year at age 83. His wife Bobby will accept the award.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to