AUBURN — The Twin Cities’ newest cultural promotions group made its public entrance a few weeks ago, according to events coordinator Michael Dostie.

Museum L-A set up a display outside of Dostie’s downtown jewelry store for the Downtown Art Walk. There was no fanfare made, but Dostie said Thursday it was a sign of things to come.

They saved the fanfare for Thursday. Dostie and a group of Twin Cities officials and business owners touted the new group for the Maine media at a news conference outside of Auburn’s Hilton Garden Inn.

“Our potential for the future is virtually limitless,” Dostie said. “This type of collaboration opens doors for larger partnerships, larger marketing efforts and larger grant opportunities.”

The new organization brings 18 regional arts groups together to plan, help promote their events and guide one another.

Member groups include Androscoggin Historical Society, Bates Dance Festival, the Franco-American Heritage Center, the Maine Music Society and the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, Museum L-A and both municipal libraries.

“Something like this has not existed for quite some time,” said Dostie, a member of the L/A Arts Board of Directors and one of the founders of the Downtown Art Walks.

The group’s new website,, serves as a calendar of all of the cultural events in the Twin Cities, from concerts at the Franco-American Heritage Center to performances at Auburn’s Community Little Theatre and Lewiston’s Public Theatre.

Dostie said the group has multiple goals, which include making the Twin Cities creative efforts more visible and boosting their economic impact.

Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said it’s a huge improvement from days when Lewiston and Auburn were considered a cultural desert.

“As this community’s economy was transitioning, people were trying to figure out how to express who we are,” LaBonte said. “How do we express what we want for the community, how we want other people to experience our community? I think the launch of Arts and Culture Lewiston-Auburn is really the culmination of this community really grabbing its future.”

Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald, straying from his prepared speech, said the effort will go a long way toward spreading new positive messages about the Twin Cities.

“I’ve seen, every Friday with the Art Walks, what this can do to these two cities,” Macdonald said. “This will attract a lot of people, and Lewiston will really become a destination, not just a place on the map.”

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