Bangor Arts Groups Announce New Joint Effort 

Eight of Bangor’s biggest arts organizations met Monday to announce that from now on, they’ll be working together. It’s an initiative they say will help show off the city’s rich culture and arts scene. They’re forming a consortium known as Bangor Arts. It includes the Bangor Museum and History Center, Bangor Public Library, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Maine Discovery Museum, Penobscot Theatre Company, River City Cinema, Robinson Ballet and the Umaine Museum of Art.And when those groups join together to make an announcement, they put on a bit of a show.”I think it really helps being able to market ourselves together, to help showcase the wealth of artistic opportunities that are in the city of Bangor,” says Scott Levy of the Penobscot Theatre, chair of the group.Levy lifted the curtain on a new logo for their group, meant to symbolize the energy of the arts downtown. They also showed off a new website and a Facebook page.”We compete, but really when we collaborate together I think we all get further down the road,” says Dana Lippitt with the Bangor Museum and History Center. “Rising tides lift all the boats.”Lippitt says their groups have long collaborated in many small ways, but this gives them more leverage.”When we’re looking for grants and things if you collaborate on those it increases our chances of success,” Lippitt says. The group is funded in part by the Maine Arts Commission and the City of Bangor. The folks here says it’s all about public engagement in the arts, which leads to economic development.”It’s an education mission, it’s a public access mission, it’s a community development mission,” says Michael Grillo with the River City Cinema.Levy says, in a way, Bangor now has its own arts council.”We meet regularly. We meet once a month. To be in a place where the executive directors of the arts organizations actually like each other and work with each other is a rarity. So that we’re able to do that,” Levy says, “is fabulous and in the end, helps the citizenry.”