DEAR SUN SPOTS: Maine musicians and poets are being sought for Heartbeat of Home, a statewide music project.

The Maine Commission for Community Service is celebrating its 25th year by inviting Maine musicians and poets to be part of a new statewide music recording project that aims to celebrate the diversity of Maine communities and invigorate what is known today as civic engagement.

Organized by the Maine Volunteer Foundation and Volunteer Maine, Heartbeat of Home is an album that will feature original and newly recorded spoken word and musical numbers, as well as selected recordings any Maine artist wishes to submit for consideration to the project.

The project is led by Maine Celtic singer and producer Kristyn Murphy. Selections from the album will be presented Oct. 11 at the Waterville Opera House as part of the 25-anniversary gala celebration of AmeriCorps service and the commission’s work to foster volunteer service across the state.

The combination of music and words is an ancient way of uniting people in a way that motivates, inspires, and gives courage when ‘conventional wisdom’ might push in the opposite direction. Heartbeat of Home is meant to be a celebration of the Maine quality of life that volunteer and community service builds and sustains. The project is also meant to be a conversation-starter, an inspiration for those who want to solve a problem, but doubt they have the power to be the change.

Murphy believes that Maine is full of talent and said that this project is a fantastic way to highlight the different types of talent here in the state, while at the same time celebrating volunteerism and all that communities can do together. She is looking for interested artists to submit already recorded songs, poetry from Maine poets, and for singers and voice actors interested in recording project-specific pieces in the studio, as well as for youth to participate in a youth number.

Those interested in being part of Heartbeat of Home should contact Murphy at [email protected]. Submissions will be accepted through July 31.

— Kristyn, no town

ANSWER: Volunteer Maine and the Maine Volunteer Foundation work together to strengthen Maine’s volunteer sector through grants, training and technical assistance related to volunteer powered solutions to community issues. Any proceeds from Heartbeat of Home will support training and technical assistance for volunteer efforts in rural Maine communities.

Volunteer Maine, also known as the Maine Commission for Community Service, was established in October 1994 and has funded AmeriCorps programming in Maine for 25 years. During that time, just under 2,000 people have served in 35 Maine AmeriCorps programs that tackled health care, food insecurity, conservation, education, mentoring, energy conservation, economic development, child development, literacy and volunteer engagement. Present and past AmeriCorps members are encouraged to reconnect with MCCS and to follow the AmeriCorps alum Facebook page at www.facebook.com/maineamericorpsalums.

Murphy has a long history of partnering with nonprofits to coordinate musical fundraisers, whether recordings or live events. Her fundraiser projects feature Maine artists whenever possible. Her last project, a charity single she co-wrote and recorded for the UK charity, Riding Stars, featured the work of Maine composer Marianna Filippi and 17-year-old Maine singer Lydia Bradfield.

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