Norway Arts Festival Thanks
To the Editor:
Even though rains poured for the first three hours of the 43rd annual Norway Arts Festival, it remains an albeit soggy but successful day in my mind: We gave away $3,000 in artist cash and purchase awards, some exhibitors made excellent sales, the performers adapted like pros, the exhibitors and festival goers “loved” the street closure, the Thursday night lecture was wonderful and the Friday night street dance was amazing! The coordination committee also had the chance to work out the logistics of a huge challenge, working hand-in-hand with the supportive and patient Norway Police, Norway Road Department and the Oxford Fire Police to pull off a nearly seamless – and historic – closure of Maine Street which, I must say, was highly praised by all who were asked.
I would like to thank the special and important people and organizations who helped to make this large community event possible. First, to the two collaborating organizations Norway Downtown and the Western Maine Art Group. Many thanks to my committed and amazing partners in direction: Rijah Newell and Lisa Moore. Thanks to the rest of the hardworking Norway Arts Festival Coordination Committee: Andrea Burns, Brenda Melhus, Thelma Denlinger, Irina Kahn and Ann Seikman. Thanks to the volunteers, Steve Galvin, Carol Huotari, Marge Medd, Brenda Birney, Dawn Franke, Phyllis Dow, Bruce Cook, Tally Decato, Holly Young, Dr. Robert Kahn, Bruce Little, Derrick Martel, Keanu and Mako Newell, Tracy Ludwig, Ruby and Emma Day Branch, Travis Burgess and to all those who helped whose names I don’t know. Thanks to all the Norway Police, Oxford Fire Police and Norway Road Department personnel and volunteers. Thanks to the judges, Troy Jordan, Nancy Marcotte and Mark Silber. Many, many thanks to Super Volunteer Andy Smith for saving the day for countless people from end-to-end of Maine Street.
Thanks to purchase and other award sponsors, Mainely Properties, the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, Brenda Melhus and Norway Savings Bank. Thanks to other sponsors, including Oxford Hannaford for our delicious muffins, to NPC-TV, Creative Media, Western Maine Health, Gleason Media Services, Moose Pond Arts + Ecology, Café Nomad, Acme Lamprey, Advertiser Democrat, Healthy Oxford Hills and Bruce Cook. Thank you to all of the Merchant Raffle Award sponsor businesses.
Thanks to all the people and organizations who participated to make this a truly community capacity building endeavor including the Poets on the Porch, Rotary and Kiwanis, Mary Christine, the Norway Business Association, the 2nd Congregational and Universalist churches, the Masons, the Norway Historical Society, Key Bank, the Commons Art Collective, the Norway Memorial Library, Boxberry School, Trash-Into-Art, SAD 17 students and their art. Thanks to Blow Brothers and the town of Norway for keeping things clean. Many thanks to Anne Sheehan for beautifully announcing our wonderful arts festival to the world.
Thanks to the real troopers: the exhibitors and festival goers who had sun in their hearts and stuck it out to make sales and make memories. Finally, thanks also to all those who recognized the agonizing decision we had to make to call it off or make it a go and many thanks to those who will give the 44th Annual Norway Arts Festival a chance next year!
Visual Arts Director, Western Maine Art Group