Past Grants Given

Yarmouth Arts Council Report for 2016

Poetry at the Library received a $500 grant from the Arts Council last spring to support poetry events at the Yarmouth library. The following events were made possible with that money.

Wesley McNair, Maine's Poet Laureate opened the season in November with an evening focused on poems of thanksgiving. He wanted to read one more time at the Yarmouth Library before his term ended because he "loved the space and the people".

Naked Shakespeare returned in February with an evening of scenes and sonnets from Shakespeare themed for their Valentine's Day performance. This was their 4th yearly Valentine's event.

On April 27th four local poets gathered at the Library to celebrate National Poetry Month and the publication of the new "Take Heart: More Poems from Maine," anthology of poems by Maine poets. Gibson Faye-Leblanc, David Sloan, Richard Foerster and Rachel Flynn each read selections from their work.

All events were well attended and received. The Yarmouth Library is becoming known as a welcoming venue for poetry happenings and poets are now calling us to ask about doing readings there.

McNair event: $200
Naked Shakespeare: $375
April Take Heart: $250

Costs for these events not covered by the grant were contributed by the library and private donation.

Yarmouth Arts Community Grants


Yarmouth Arts has funded community art projects since 2004. While our grants are modest (up to $1,000), they have made possible great art experiences that have brought the community together in diverse and innovative ways.

2011 Grant Summary

Yarmouth Arts has awarded $7,200.00 in Community Grants for 2011.

The Yarmouth School Nutrition Program at Yarmouth High School was awarded $1000.00. A group of YHS students will assist a visiting artist create murals about Maine agriculture and "eating local". This grant is being matched by the Yarmouth School Department.

The Art Station, a proposed non-profit community art center, was awarded $5000.00 to support capital improvements and acquisitions. The art center will provide a place for meetings, workshops, and classes for children and adults conducted by local and visiting artists. The town of Yarmouth has approved the use of the Winslow Fire Station on Center St.

"Poetry at the Library", an ongoing program organized by Mary Dowd, was awarded $200.00 to support poetry readings and events to be presented at Merrill Library in the fall and spring of 2011-2012.

Portland Playback Theatre Co. was awarded $1000.00 for "Ghost House Tours" a program in conjunction with the Yarmouth Historical Society. The theatre company will portray historical figures using real life stories from Yarmouth history. These performances will take place in selected Yarmouth homes in October 2011.

Other past grants include the following:

  • Metal sculpture by Yarmouth High graduate Will Simons, which sits at the entrance to the town dump. On a single June weekend in 2007, Will selected metal debris from a dumpster and fashioned it into an intriguing sculpture.
  • Maine Youth Orchestra performance
  • Art and performance festival in a Yarmouth meadow
  • Poetry readings and displays at Merrill Library
  • Re-photographic project, which paired new photos with historic photographic images of Yarmouth taken from the same vantage points
  • Art gallery hanging system for the library
  • Set dancing performance and classes
  • Creative Paper hat sculpture workshop at a nursery school and displays
  • Expansion of the library's art and architecture collection

A closer look at one project:

This year, a $250 grant for wool and needles enabled the fourth-graders in Renee Rhoades' class at Yarmouth Elementary School to undertake a project that taught them skills that will last a lifetime, as well as a better understanding of their community. With the help of volunteer parents and grandparents, the children learned to knit and purl. They created two dozen brightly colored wool squares which they then sewed together into afghan.

As the children worked, Ms. Rhoads asked them to consider if they would like to work together to make a knitted project for a social cause. After lengthy discussion, the class selected "homelessness." Each student chose their favorite person or book character that related to this issue, and knit an eight-inch square that symbolized their story. Annabelle Adams-Beyea stitched a bright yellow sun on her white square, which portrays both the Sunshine Mission shelter where a real 9-year old girl and her family have taken refuge after living in their car, and the hopes the girl and her friends have for a better life. Sean Moore's solid gray square depicts the sidewalks where poor people are forced to beg for change. Olivia O'Halloran's pastel colors remind viewers that even babies can be homeless. Emilie Martin's muted colors speak to the emotions of a troubled teen who has run away from an abusive father. Roya Best's green square tells the tale of a family that finally leaves a crowded tenement for a house with a backyard. Ben Wheaton's colors are the same as the flag of earthquake-devastated Haiti, whose people are desperate for housing.

Several boys were moved by the plight of American veterans who have had a difficult time returning home from the battlefield. Ben Gleason's red, white and blue stripes honor veterans who have moved into renovated transitional housing. Henry Venden's camouflage colored square was created in honor of a homeless Navy veteran from Portland and all the veterans, Henry says, "who come back from war... [with problems] because of all the terrible things they've seen." Charlie Keefe's knit piece is composed of different shades of tan to honor a soldier who served in Operation Desert Storm and who now lets homeless veterans stay in his home.

The finished quilt in now on display at the library, and will be donated to an organization that supports people struggling with homelessness. Accompanying this exhibit is an online link to the children talking about their squares. Ms. Roads is also creating a documentary video about the project which will help other schools follow this model.

In addition, Ms. Rhoads tied the children's knitting work into her instruction on colonial life in Maine, stressing how people in 17th and 18th century had to spin their own wool from sheep on the farm - an important Maine craft even today. "The need to make frugal use of sustainable natural resources is a core lesson in environmental awareness. Knitting teaches the children to appreciate things that are made and crafted from what is around us. It helps them understand the amount of effort and dedication that goes into arts and crafts. It teaches an appreciation of process and of our cultural heritage. It also teaches patience and doing over to get it right!"

The project was selected for funding because of its potential to excite students about a new--to them-- form of artistic expression, but that the project's eventual scope and impact exceeded their organization's expectations. Renee Rhoads turned this into a fabulous learning experience that will continue to enrich the whole town for years to come. It really demonstrates what Yarmouth Arts is all about--using art to build a community.