Arts and Culture

Arts and culture


In the thick of Vacationland’s summer season, many of us plan to spend some serious time sitting outside our local sandwich shops, enjoying the sun while eating an Italian sandwich.

Mark Vogelzang / MPBN

The population of Lisbon is expected to swell from 9,000 to nearly 50,000 this weekend for the Moxie festival. But this year, visitors will find the iconic old store — which birthed Maine’s peculiar state soda — closed.

The 100-year-old Kennebec Fruit Store, owned for decades by the Anicetti family, has been put up for sale after the current patriarch, Frank Anicetti, recently decided to retire.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine storyteller John McDonald is out with a new book that is described as "half-truths, stretched truths, and wry observations about life in Maine."  It's called Moose Memoirs and Lobster Tales. McDonald talked about the book with Irwin Gratz in our Portland studios last week.


Portland Science Center

Everyone knows the story of the RMS Titanic, the allegedly unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on the way from England to New York and sunk to the bottom of the ocean in April 1912.

Ayumi Horie

Walk down a city street, and any step you take could land you on a spot where something important happened in the past. Not necessarily the stuff of history books, but smaller events in the personal lives of those who walked there before you. In one Portland neighborhood, those moments have been quietly captured and embedded in the sidewalk.

State Library and Archives of Florida / Wikimedia Commons

“The Worst Mess in the History of Sports.” “The Phantom Punch.” In May 1965 Muhammad Ail fought Sonny Liston for boxing’s heavyweight championship title in a match that was moved from Boston to Lewiston.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

Kendall Morse has written a new book of Maine humor called “Father Fell Down the Well.” He has been storytelling in Maine since the early 1970s.

It’s been more challenging over the last 15 years, since cancer robbed him of his vocal cords.

Still, Irwin Gratz sat down recently with Morse in our Portland studio. Here’s a transcript of their talk:

PORTLAND, Maine - The same week the U.S. returned an early copy of a letter Christopher Columbus wrote to Italian authorities, the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine says it holds a copy of the letter.

The explorer wrote the letter five centuries ago to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Osher Map Library Director Ian Fowler says the edition at USM was printed in Basil, Switzerland in 1494, a year after Columbus wrote the letter to his patrons. Fowler says the edition the library holds is one of only 80 copies left.

QUEBEC CITY — A Maine boy’s guitar skills earned him a spot onstage with Pearl Jam.

Ten-year-old Noah Keeley of Bar Harbor, Maine, was invited onstage to play last week in Quebec City. He sat on a stool and played along with the Pearl Jam song, "Sad." Afterward, the band played a cover of Cheap Trick’s "Surrender" and dedicated it to Noah’s parents.

Lead singer Eddie Vedder had received an email from the boy’s parents requesting the song and included clips of Noah playing Pearl Jam hits.

WATERVILLE, Maine - The Colby College Museum of Art is acquiring a deluxe set of Pablo Picasso's Vollard Suite from 1939, a series of 100 etchings considered the artist's most significant cycle of prints.
The acquisition was a gift from Peter and Paula Lunder, philanthropists and longtime Colby College benefactors.
Exploring themes of mythology, identity, creativity and sexuality, the Vollard Suite is etched in a neoclassical style that Picasso adapted from his studies of classical sculpture.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

When the Lewiston High School Blue Devils won the state championship in soccer last fall, it was a victory not only for a team made up of Somali, Kenyan and Congolese players, but for their community.

The players and their coach will be recognized Friday night at the Emerge Film Festival with the screening of a documentary and after-party at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

Titled “One Team,” it could be considered a metaphor of the benefits of integration.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Emerge Film Festival has begun in the Lewiston and Auburn area, where the event will showcase dozens of movies.

The event began on Thursday and runs through Sunday. Emerge is screening 40 films, some of which recently screened at Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

The festival will include a Friday night screening of a Maine documentary about the Lewiston High School soccer team and the city's growing population of immigrants. The movie is called "One Team: the Story of the Lewiston High School Blue Devils.''

Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

The Auburn-born guitarist Lenny Breau was never a household name — at least, not outside of Maine.

The Portland-based Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, which closed last year, will relaunch in 2017.

Maine State Museum

Guns have played a big role Maine’s culture and history. A new exhibit at the Maine State Museum in Augusta — Inventors and Sportsmen: Maine Gunsmiths in the 1800s — looks at part of that history.