BETHEL – Sara Wright, naturalist from Woodstock, will discuss her unique “Woman to Woman” Peruvian artisan project at the next gathering of Down Home Maine to be held on Thursday, June 5, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Gehring House, 77 Broad St.

Wright serves as local spokesperson for the artisan project, which empowers Peruvian tribeswomen to create and export unique handicrafts combining local cultural themes and renewable area resources. Major products include multi-colored wall hangings called “arpilleras” and one-of-a-kind Amazonian palm fiber baskets.

Wright, an instructor of English and Women’s Studies at Central Maine Community College and the University of Maine, is also a published author. Three years ago she received a grant to study medicinal plants in the Peruvian Amazon and while there she discovered its people and their art. Since that time she has been working with the tribeswomen helping them to create a sustainable economy by selling their baskets and wall hangings informally in Western Maine. All profits support the Indian families and provide health and educational opportunities.

Down Home Maine is sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College to feature presentations by unique, creative and adventurous Maine people. “Sara Wright clearly displays all these attributes,” said Peter Gartner, co-chair of the Senior College. “She is dedicated to helping the Peruvian women and will be bringing some of their wall hangings and baskets to the program for display or purchase.”

The program is open to the public without charge. However, voluntary contributions will be accepted to offset Senior College expenses. Light hors d’oeuvres, wine and beverages will be available. For more information, contact Peter Gartner at 665-2181 or Seabury Lyon at 836-2576.

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