Humanities / ME [2012]

The Denmark Arts Center is pleased to partner with the Maine Humanities Council to present Humanities/Me, a unique series of events that take a look at the past, present, and future of life in rural Maine. With these three projects, we hope to illuminate the living history of our area, and to shine a light on the inter-connectedness of the present and the past, the local and the global, and the individual with the communal. The DAC is pleased to host special guests for post-show discussions.

Presented by Director Bill Perna
7:30pm, $10 Suggested

Welcome to Lee Maine is a film about a small close-knit community in rural Maine; (pop 845) that must deal with devastating news that it has become the smallest community in America to lose two sons in the Iraqi War. Lee, Maine is a town with strong Christian, patriotic and traditional values that struggles to overcome it’s heartbreak. While many have very different views of the war, they are united in their support of the families and each other in their loss.  Join director Bill Perna after the film for a brief discussion and Q&A, moderated by DAC Artistic Director Jamie Hook.

Bill Perna studied film at NYU before beginning a 20-year career in Marketing and Advertising. He built his career working in New York for advertising agencies, Grey Advertising, Wells Rich Greene and Doyle Dane Bernbach. More recently, he worked for a time with legendary documentarian Albert Maysles, before moving to Maine.  He lives in Freeport, Me.

Presented by, and with a live score performed by Director Sumner McKane
7:30pm $10 Suggested

For over four centuries, the forests of Maine have fed the hunger of the great cities of the East Coast and beyond.   Sumner McKane’s incredible new documentary tells the stories of the Lumbermen who made modern Maine, documenting their hardships within the rugged beauty of the early 20th century North Woods.  Laying oral histories of surviving lumbermen over breath-taking archival footage and photographs of the worlds they inhabited, In the Blood brings the past to shimmering life.   Director McKane will present an expanded screening of In The Blood complete with a live score and supplemental photographs.  Join us after the screening for a discussion about Maine history, moderated by Denmark Historical Society president JoAnn Harbourt.

Sumner McKane is a musician and filmmaker based in Wiscasset, Maine.  Originally from Damariscotta, McKane became interested in the lives of turn-of-the-century Maine lumbermen after seeing a short documentary on the subject.

Performed by Storyteller Jo Radner
7:30pm, $10 Suggested

The stories we hear about our ancestors tell us who we are. What happens when we discover the stories that others have never told us?  Jo has unearthed troubling stories about her forebears and their Indian neighbors in colonial Fryeburg. This performance weaves those accounts with contemporary Abenaki legends and oral traditions to portray a “middle ground” where English settlers and Native peoples saw one another as defenders and trespassers, pursuers and refugees, kind neighbors and ruthless destroyers. Storyteller Jo Radner will present an evening of story, and will participate in a Q&A afterwards.

Jo Radner, of Lovell, ME, is a storyteller, oral historian, and folklorist who has performed and taught in venues from Maine to Hawaii.  Her stories favor characters whose lives defeat simple explanations; some of these are on her new CD, Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People.  She is past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network.