Ovations Commissions 5 New Works from Maine Artists
During and in response to the pandemic and the critical need to directly support artists, Portland Ovations invested in its own creativity community through the commissioning of five Maine-based live performance projects, which will be presented during our 2021-22 and 2021-22 seasons.
“It’s an honor and pleasure to be entrusted by these artists with their new work,” said Mary Allen Lindemann, Chair of Portland Ovations Board and co-founder of Coffee By Design. “Each artist expresses a unique voice and personal vision of how they define what home is for them. In this exploration, they allow us to be participants discovering what surprises and delights us!”
At a virtual press conference in October 2020, the artists shared what’s at stake for the survival of the performing arts, artists, and our communities. A recording of the livestreamed event is available here.
The initiative is an expansion of Ovations’ history of commissioning and producing new performance work, a history that includes most memorably the opera “The Summer King,” by Maine composer Daniel Sonenberg, which has gone on to productions in Pittsburgh and Michigan Opera Theater; as well as contemporary dance performances by Doug Varone, Sara Juli, Bridgman | Packer Dance; and musical works from composers Elliott Schwartz, Phil Kline and Tony Trishka.
Ovations invested $25,000 in commissioning fees and a total of more than $38,000 in this program in resources in addition to human resources/technical support. These funds will be paid out over the Spring of 2021 during the development phase of the commissioned projects.
Ovations’ Catalyst Fund supports the commissioning fees and is a revolutionary and visionary artistic initiative in support of projects rooted in commissions, co-commissions, and the creation of content original to Portland and Maine. The project was also recently awarded an Enterprise Marketing Grant from the Maine Office of Tourism to extend the visibility of these Maine artists and their work beyond the state’s borders as unique and critical components of Maine’s vibrant culture as an attractive destination and place to live and work.