All of us at WMPG are pleased to have the continued support of Portland Ovations. As Development Director I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the folks at Portland Ovations, and recently had the honor of a leisurely conversation with Aimee Petrin, Executive and Artistic Director. We talked about the mission of the organization and how that mission drives the work they do.
Here’s what the website says about the organization: Portland Ovations is a not-for-profit organization that brings a season of world-renowned classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater and Broadway national tours to Portland, Maine each year. Portland Ovations contributes to the cultural, social and economic well-being of our community by presenting an array of high quality performing artists from around the world and creating diverse educational experiences that bring the enjoyment, energy and enrichment of the arts to all.
“We are a multi-disciplinary presenter,” explained Ms. Petrin, “we have the flexibility and range to bring a wide swath of performing arts events to the community. And we’re passionate about doing that!”
“The arts surround us,” Ms. Petrin reflected, “and we are committed to the idea that this is not a passive experience for the community.”
Portland Ovations connects the artists they present to our community through Ovations Offstage, their program of arts based programs that take place around the community. Whether it’s an unexpected “art happening,” a workshop or masterclass with a visiting artist, a lively community discussion, or a pre-performance lecture, Portland Ovations strives to create more intimate arts connections for the public.
Portland Ovations is often associated with the Merrill Auditorium, and while Ms. Petrin allows that the Merrill is a rare treasure that Portland is fortunate to have, and will always be a home to Portland Ovations, there are other venues in the area that create the appropriate intimacy and atmosphere for particular performances.
Portland Ovations has recently presented performances at Hannaford Hall on the campus of USM Portland, Westbrook Performing Arts Center and South Portland Auditorium. Says Ms. Petrin, “The Merrill will always be a home to us, but since we don’t own a venue, we have the flexibility to travel about to other venues. And the good news is that the community seems to be following!”
For more information about Portland Ovations and a full list of the performances being presented this season, visit their web site @ Portland Ovations.