Grant for Makers Guild expands offerings

Sep 30, 2017
Emily Jeffries and Baron Collins Hill perform during one of the 2017 The Makers Guild of Maine events.

Searsport — The Makers Guild of Maine received a $5,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation to support ongoing efforts to develop a Friday Maker’s Market; augment a rolling class program; and integrate more local music into the annual Fiber College of Maine.

Fiber College seeks to bring fresh audiences into Searsport when all is still lovely, but the tourist season has trickled down. Support from the Maine Community Foundation allowed expansion of the rolling class program, an affordable opportunity for everyone to take $20 classes in eco-printing, dyeing, knitting, spinning and fiber preparation, book making, rug hooking, felting, jewelry making and plasma cutting.

This new program allows access and exposure to those looking for a low cost/low pressure introduction to fiber arts, complimenting the 50-plus longer classes offered each year for more in depth study, said Creative Director Astrig Tanguay. And the free to the public Friday Maker’s Market attracted 50 local vendors and 300 shoppers.

“This year, the grant also helped us to showcase Velocipede, the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, Chris Brinn and many others during the weekend. By bringing the public and musicians together, the atmosphere was more energized and welcoming to all involved,” she said.

Fiber College of Maine, one of three programs the nonprofit Makers Guild of Maine organizes, has gathered people together at Searsport Shores Ocean Camping for 11 years. Already plans are being formulated for 2018 programs and dates have been set: Fiber College, Sept. 5 to 9; Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp, Sept. 14 to 17; and the Old Time Music Campout, Sept. 21 to 23.

The Guild’s mission is to bring artists, students and farmers together to celebrate our traditions while connecting with the outdoor environment. The Guild’s 10-year plan (2017-2027) is to reduce financial barriers and facilitate entrepreneurial development with an aim of reaching a broader market by offering classes (both teaching and participating), foods, performances and vending opportunities to rural artists and farms. For more information, email makersmaine@gmail.com or call Tanguay at 548-6059.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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