LEWISTON — What does the future of art and culture look like in Lewiston?

This month’s installment of the Great Falls Forum will attempt to answer that question, as a four-person panel representing Lewiston arts institutions and artists will convene at noon Thursday.

Shoshona Currier

The discussion, titled “The Future of Arts & Culture in L/A,” will feature Shoshona Currier, director of the Bates Dance Festival; Rachel Desgrosseilliers, founding executive director of Museum L-A; Adilah Muhammad, L/A Arts Downstage coordinator; and Sheri Withers-Hollenbeck, a public art advocate and owner of The Curio, according to the Lewiston Public Library.

Rachel Desgrosseilliers, founding executive director of Museum L-A.

The discussion will be moderated by Jim Parakilas, chairman of L/A Arts, and will take place in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library.

Library officials said the discussion will center on how to better serve “constituencies for the arts and culture” that are rapidly-changing Lewiston-Auburn.

“In this Great Falls Forum panel, participants will discuss ways that our cultural institutions need to adapt and are adapting to provide exciting opportunities for these constituencies,” according to Great Falls Forum organizers.

Sheri Withers-Hollenbeck, public art advocate and owner of The Curio.

“The members of the panel, representing several local cultural institutions as well as self-supporting artists, will explore the coming idea of cultural life as an enterprise in which individuals, families, municipalities, schools, businesses and civic organizations are constantly engaged with artists in renewing the looks, the sounds, the feel, and the thinking of their community.”

Parakilas will ask questions, followed by time for questions from the audience.

Adilah Muhammad, L/A Arts downstage coordinator.

Each of the panelists represents aspects of Lewiston arts that are growing. Desgrosseilliers has overseen a period of momentum for Museum L-A, which is on the verge of relocating to an entirely new space on the Androscoggin River. Currier leads a Bates Dance Festival that’s considered one of the most unique and important training opportunities in New England and beyond.

At L/A Arts downstage, Muhammad has overseen all-new programming, including regular musical performances. Between the Curio, a local shop offering art and craft food, and her work supporting public art in Lewiston, Withers-Hollenbeck has made art a priority for Lewiston’s downtown district.

Admission to all forum events is free and no reservations are required. This program is a bring-your-own-lunch event. Coffee, tea and bottled water will be available on site at the library.

The Great Falls Forum speaker series is co-sponsored by Bates College, Lewiston Public Library and the Sun Journal. The Lewiston Public Library is located downtown at 200 Lisbon St. at the corner of Pine Street. More information on Thursday’s session is available by contacting the Lewiston Public Library at 513-3135.


Subscribe to the Great Falls Forum Podcast via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts or wherever you download your podcasts. 

Listen to episode 1 here: Sarah Perry and retired State Police Lt. Walter Grzyb candidly discussed the 1994 murder of Sarah’s mother, Crystal Perry, in Bridgton and the subsequent investigation, ending in a 2006 arrest and eventual conviction of Michael Hutchinson.

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