RUMFORD – The Pennacook Art Center will host a talk by Lynn Thompson of the Maine Crafts Association at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Rumford Public Library.

Thompson will present plans for the new Center for Maine Craft currently being constructed on the Maine Turnpike and talk about other programs involving enhanced cultural touring; access to wholesale and retail markets; a new associates degree in traditional and contemporary craft in the community college system; and grants and low-interest loans to craft artists and organizations.

The Maine Crafts Association recently received a $123,500 grant from the Great Bay Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship to help the organization recruit small artisan business to participate in the Center for Maine Craft being built by the Maine Turnpike Authority.

The center will be located in a 2,500-square-foot building connected to the main Turnpike Authority service area building at the new West Gardiner travel plaza. It can be directly accessed from the turnpike and Interstate 295.

“The center will include a retail outlet to support hundreds of Maine artisans as well as provide a sustainable revenue stream for the Maine Crafts Association,” said Tracy Michaud Stutzman, MCA’s new executive director.

In addition, Stutzman said, “The center will be a base for cultural tourists to learn about craft-based events, studios, tours and exhibitions throughout the state, demonstration space, exhibition space for craft artists/organizations – and a place to showcase the work of individual crafts people and organizations from Maine.”

For more information, contact Thompson at 449-1362 or [email protected]

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