BETHEL – SAD 44 is making the skills of area artisans available to others. The Creative Economy Education Initiative (CEEI), administered through Adult and Community Education, offers courses and workshops in fine art, heritage crafts, alternative health and culture taught by artisans and craftspeople throughout the region.

Courses include heritage crafts such as wool rug braiding and rug hooking, alternative energy construction such as strawbale houses, folklore and healing properties of crystals, a variety of health and healing workshops, as well as fine arts such as watercolors and experiential arts such as exploration of the creative process. More than 40 workshops are available.

“These workshops put students in direct contact with the artists,” said Reiki Master Kevin Pennell of Spiritwings in Bethel, who has offered classes in the fall and winter.

“Students contact the instructor directly to register and to find out more about the course or workshop. This is a great opportunity to bring creative workers and the community together,” he said.

All courses are taught by people who practice the arts and skills. Courses range from a few hours to a number of weeks and prices from a few dollars to $150. The courses are open to everyone regardless of the school district in which they live.

The initiative is part of a statewide program in Maine to give creative workers, artisans and alternative health practitioners a central point for reaching more community members. Other communities in Maine are discovering their own responses to developing their local creative economy.

The western Maine program began last fall and attracted participants from a wide area in Maine as well as New Hampshire. It is the only program initiated by one of the state’s Adult and Community Education offices. This winter the program has twice as many listings and nearly as many new instructors as the fall program.

Courses began mid-January. Start dates range from then through early March. A brochure with the winter courses and workshops is available by contacting the SAD 44 Adult and Community Education office at 824-2780 or by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]

Course registration is directly through the instructor and that information is available in the brochure. Contact SAD 44 Adult and Community Education for information on teaching during either the spring or fall sessions.


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