'Une Fete des Artes:' Bates College Leadership Academy, Twin Cities present community arts festival

In cooperation with the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, the Bates College Leadership Academy premieres Une Fete des Artes, a community arts festival taking place along the Androscoggin River from 10 a.m. to sunset Saturday, Sept. 28. This showcase for local performers and visual artists will be held at Railroad Park, Lewiston, and across the footbridge in Auburn at Rodney Bonney Memorial Park and Auburn Festival Plaza. Admission is free.

In case of rain, the event moves to the Lewiston Armory, Lewiston Middle School and the Gray Athletic Building at Bates.

“There is a deep and broad range of artistic work that goes on in the community,” said James Carignan, dean of the college at Bates and adviser to the Leadership Academy. Une Fete des Artes was envisioned as a way to celebrate and to affirm artistic talent in our own community.”

The event will feature local talent from the region at large, including local schools and Bates itself. It is seen as a way to “build community and underscore the growing connection of college and community,” Carignan said.

Among the attractions is a sidewalk art festival featuring more than 50 visual artists, including art professionals and students from Twin Cities high schools.

Performances include music, theater and dance. A large music stage will be located on the Lewiston side of the river, with acoustic acts and other performances in Bonney Park. Dance and theatrical performers will use stages in Festival Plaza and Bonney Park. Musicians, covering a broad range of styles, include folk musicians Steve Gensemer and Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick and rockers Slopchute Traffic and Todd Myers.

A variety of foods will be available, including a barbecue at the end of the day prepared by members of the Leadership Academy.

Primarily a student organization, the Bates Leadership Academy seeks to encourage reflection upon and discussion about leadership. Activities include regular meetings, lectures by nationally recognized scholars and a weekend of leadership development presented by Outward Bound in Newry.

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