For the new manager, it’s like returning home.

LEWISTON – Dec. 13 marked the official reopening of the Franco-American Heritage Center at St. Mary’s after being closed for renovations for a year.

The center board of directors realized the importance of having a person on staff who would be responsible for events and programs and hired Richard Martin, who has an extensive background in the field of performing arts.

Not only did Martin devote the last 30 years of his life to the performing arts, but he was brought up in “Little Canada,” went to school at St. Mary’s and was a parishioner and altar server at the former St. Mary’s Church.

It was like going back home but for different reasons, said Martin of his new position.

Martin’s overall experiences over the years include event planning for local projects; production direction for major projects in the performing arts; design in many areas of production, particularly lighting; and drama adviser in the educational system,

Martin has developed a reputation for work in the performing arts at a professional, community and educational level.

Theater has been one of his primary interests. Some of these experiences include “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “The Crucible” as producer, director and designer with the State Master’s Company.

Community involvement and volunteerism have also played a role in Martin’s life. He has served as president and director of the Liberty Festival since 1997. He has also been the Drama Club adviser for Lewiston High School since 1990 and is on the L/A Excels Arts and Culture Committee.

Martin has been vice president of production since 1990 for the Community Little Theater in Auburn. His first-place win for best musical in the Moss Hart Award Competition, “Lewiston, A New Home,” has brought him recognition in the promoting of excellence in all divisions of theater throughout the community.

The board feels Martin’s addition to the staff will bring professionalism and knowledge to the performing arts center.

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