Talk of the Towns 3/13/24: Revitalizing Maine’s Civic Halls

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

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
– What is the history of civic halls in Maine?
– What role did the Grange play in rural America in the 19th and early 20th century?
– What gave rise to the Maine Civic Halls initiative and what is the role of Maine Preservation?
– What role did Greenhorns play in raising the present profile of Maine’s civic halls?
– How are civic halls being repurposed and taken care of today? As an example, how does Lamoine Community Arts collaborate with the Lamoine Grange?

Severine Welcome, Founder/Director of Greenhorns/Smithereens Farm.
Tara Kelly, Executive Director, Maine Preservation.
Carol Korty, Lamoine Grange and Lamoine Community Arts.

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.