Talk of the Towns 3/8/23: Cultural Alliance of Maine & Cultural Heritage Week

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:

While many individual organizations have cultural heritage as part of their mission, the new Cultural Alliance of Maine, begun in 2020, is highlighting the many aspects of culture in our state, including the celebration of Cultural Heritage Week in Maine, March 15-22.
-What is culture? And what are some of the more easily understood elements of culture in Maine? What elements are now coming into focus in our state, or those overlooked?
-What led to the creation of the Cultural Alliance of Maine?
-Who are the constituents of the Cultural Alliance of Maine?
-What is the work of the Cultural Alliance of Maine?
-Why is this work important, both to your constituents, and to the state as whole?
-How does culture intersect with business, health, community-building, education, quality of life?
-What is Cultural Heritage Week in Maine (March 15-22) and who/what will you showcase?


Molly Cashwell, Co- Director, Cultural Alliance of Maine, prior work with cultural organizations internationally and in the US, board member of MDI Historical Society and Jesup Library, Lamoine

Ekhlas Ahmed, Co-Director, Cultural Alliance of Maine, former educator, human rights activist, resettled to Maine in 2005, a refugee from Sudan, board member for Portland Public Library and Mayo Street Arts, Windham

Stu Kestenbaum, Steering Committee and co-founder, Cultural Alliance of Maine
Senior Advisor, Monson Arts, former Poet Laureate, former director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.