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Eileen Ivers to perform at the Chocolate Church Arts Center

Eileen Ivers

The Chocolate Church Arts Center will present a special Christmas performance from the Grammy-awarded and Emmy-nominated fiddler Eileen Ivers and her ensemble of musicians on Sunday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. The show, Eileen Ivers’ A Joyful Christmas, will mix traditional Irish songs, reinterpreted classical music and holiday tunes, and what Ivers affectionately calls “foot stomping and hollering roots music.”

Ivers, dubbed “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times, is the daughter of Irish immigrants, and grew up in the Bronx, where at the age of eight, she became active in the Irish traditional music scene. She went on to win nine All-Ireland fiddle championships, and a tenth on tenor banjo. From there, Ivers hurtled to international stardom, performing as a founding member of the acclaimed Celtic group Cherish the Ladies, as well as with superstars like Sting, Hall and Oates, and Patti Smith. Her recording credits include over 80 contemporary and traditional albums, and numerous movie scores, including Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

For over twenty years, Eileen Ivers and her ensemble have been celebrating the holiday season with A Joyful Christmas. The voices and over twenty instruments of the ensemble weave together a Celtic tradition with a contemporary sensibility, as Ivers uses a loop pedal to create unique textures with sensational virtuosity. This will be a tuneful, soulful celebration capturing the Christmas spirit and rejoicing in the magic of the holiday season. 

Tickets for Eileen Ivers’ A Joyful Christmas range from $38-$42 in advance or $47 at the door and are available at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling 207-442-8455. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office of the Chocolate Church Arts Center, located at 804 Washington Street in Bath.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols

First used in England on Christmas Eve in 1880, the Festival of Lessons and Carols celebrates the birth of Jesus. The service consists of nine short readings from the Bible, the lessons, accompanied by the singing of carols that focus on that particular aspect of the Christmas story. The service moves from lesson to carol with little extra, to allow the story to flow unbroken and to wash over the participants. The interplay of the lessons and carols draws the participants in to the Christmas story to hear it afresh and to enter in to it.

The story of Christmas told by these lessons and carols is more than just the familiar words of Jesus’ birth. Beginning with God’s first promise of this child given to Adam and Eve in Genesis, the Festival of Lessons and Carols follows the promise through the Bible to its fulfillment at the birth of Jesus that first Christmas morning.

This is the tenth year that Free Grace Presbyterian Church has been celebrating Christmas Eve with a Festival of Lessons and Carols. Located in the old Carroll’s Music Store on Canal Street in Lewiston, the service begins at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Mitch Thomas and Friends return to Auburn UMC with ‘Holiday in Lights’

 
Mitch Thomas will lead the Franco Center’s Annual “Holiday in Lights” cast on Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $10.

The annual “Holiday in Lights”, with Mitch Thomas and Friends will take place on Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 439 Park Avenue in Auburn.  The doors open at 6:30 p.m. 

Thomas, a local pianist/singer/songwriter who directs and performs at Community Little Theatre, will present several seasonal favorites, including some of his own compositions and arrangements, including “Light a Candle for Peace” and “The Friendly Beasts”. 

The event features several other local artists, including Tony Morin, local guitarist and singer; Voclaists, Hayden Thomas, Kristen J. Thomas and Nakesha (Kay) Warren. Also appearing are Elias Thomas; Mia- Angelina Leslie; Caroline Young Coffin and Justin Reid; bassist, Scott Powers; guitarists, Neil James and Paul Kinney; organist, Jon Whitmore; and drummer, Jeff Mayerson.

The Auburn UMC is handicap accessible. All proceeds will benefit the Summer Youth Programs at Community Little Theatre. Tickets for the show are $10 each and can be purchased at the door.

Auburn seeks community events for winter festival

The Auburn Recreation Department is seeking community groups and organizations willing to host an event during Auburn’s Winter Festival Weekend: January 24, 25, 26. This annual community event typically features various activities throughout the City, highlighting fun things to do during Winter in Auburn. 

Several partnerships are already confirmed for Winterfest 2020. Lost Valley will be offering special “deals” all weekend long, in addition to hosting Winterfest opening night festivities. The “Friends of Mount Apatite” group is teaming up with local snowmobile clubs and NEMBA for an open house at Mt. Apatite and a snowshoe hike. Baxter Outdoors will hold their annual “Packed Powder Series,” featuring their Winter Duathlon. 

To partner with the City on Winter Festival, call Recreation Director Sabrina Best at 333-6611 or e-mail sbest@auburnmaine.gov. 

Sparkle Saturday

Downtown Lisbon Street will be bustling with holiday activity for last minute shoppers at the 5th Annual Sparkle Saturday, December 14.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Poise Yoga Studio and J. Dostie Jewelers, 30 venues will be open with 45 artisans presenting their work in shops along the street. Jewelry; specialty gifts; collectibles; ayurvedic oils; skin care products; handbags; beer; wine; specialty teas; floral arrangements; paintings; photography; pottery; clothing; note cards; books; locally roasted coffee; stuffed animals; yarn; gift baskets; artisan oils and vinegars; shoes; wine tastings and more. And all ‘round joie de vivre!

Downtown Lewiston is experiencing a renaissance boom in office, residential and restaurant development. But retail is a different story. The growth of online shopping has changed the face of many downtown and mall shopping centers. 

Five years ago, three individuals, Sandy Marquis, Heidi Audet and Tammie Grieshaber, organized the first Sparkle Sunday, wanting to bring a flash of the historic retail excitement that brought hundreds to Lisbon Street many years ago. With feedback from vendors and shoppers, the event moved to Saturday in 2018. And this year the newly formed Downtown Lewiston Association has stepped up to coordinate and provide support for the popular event.

This one-day pop-up retail experience aims to recreate the hustle and bustle of meeting your neighbors on the street while holiday shopping. Blue Sparkle flags will mark each venue, where maps with vendor listings will be available. The following restaurants will offer Sparkle Saturday food and drink specials: Boba, Mother India, Sonder & Dram, Cowbell, Forage Market, Baraka Market, Mogadishu Restaurant, Global Halal, Taste of Heritage, and Simones Hot Dogs. Two Grand Raffle Baskets of gifts and gift certificates will go to two lucky shoppers who visits 20 of the 30 venues during the event. Parking is free in the Oak Street and Canal Street garages.

Grammy-winning Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers to play Christmas show at Chocolate Church Arts Center

Eileen Ivers

 The Chocolate Church Arts Center will present a special Christmas performance from the Grammy-awarded and Emmy-nominated fiddler Eileen Ivers and her ensemble of musicians on Sunday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. The show, Eileen Ivers’ A Joyful Christmas, will mix traditional Irish songs, reinterpreted classical music and holiday tunes, and what Ivers affectionately calls “foot stomping and hollering roots music.”

Ivers, dubbed “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times, is the daughter of Irish immigrants.  She grew up in the Bronx, where at the age of eight, she became active in the Irish traditional music scene. She went on to win nine All-Ireland fiddle championships, and a tenth on tenor banjo. From there, Ivers hurtled to international stardom, performing as a founding member of the acclaimed Celtic group Cherish the Ladies, as well as with superstars like Sting, Hall and Oates, and Patti Smith. Her recording credits include over 80 contemporary and traditional albums, and numerous movie scores, including Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

For over twenty years, Eileen Ivers and her ensemble have been celebrating the holiday season with A Joyful Christmas. The voices and over twenty instruments of the ensemble weave together a Celtic tradition with a contemporary sensibility, as Ivers uses a loop pedal to create unique textures with sensational virtuosity. This will be a tuneful, soulful celebration capturing the Christmas spirit and rejoicing in the magic of the holiday season. 

Tickets for Eileen Ivers’ A Joyful Christmas range from $38-$42 in advance or $47 at the door and are available at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling 207-442-8455. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office of the Chocolate Church Arts Center, located at 804 Washington Street in Bath.

Green Dot LA Quilt on view at LA Arts

Quilters Eileen Fair, Kitsie Claxton and Patty Weidler in front of the “KindSpring” quilt

LA Arts will host an exhibition of “KindSpring,” a quilt created by local Green Dot LA members in support and celebration of the Green Dot bystander intervention program, designed to help reduce threats and violence in the Twin Cities. The quilt will be on view December 12 through January 10, in the LA Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 to 4 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The exhibition is free, and the community is invited to attend.

As a local volunteer initiative committed to making the community a better and safer place, Green Dot LA offers strategies for safe and effective responses to hurtful and hateful words and behaviors. The quilt’s design conveys the program’s central image of positive “green dot” actions that people can learn in response to negative “red dot” incidents of harassment and violence. The quilt makers include Kitsie Claxton, Eileen Fair, Linda Matzen, Patty Weidler, Wendy Mitchell, Betsy Dorr and June Zellers.

The quilt showcases a central Green Dot tenet that “no one can do everything but everyone can do something.” According to the artists’ statement, “the larger spiral formed by circles suggests the way in which the culture of our community can grow – as our small individual actions gather force and strength over time—in the direction of kindness and safety for all.”

Since 1973, LA Arts, the arts agency for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn Maine, has pursued a mission to engage and inspire a vibrant community through arts and culture. The agency works with governments, businesses, schools and local arts and cultural organizations to create opportunities for community members across the generations to experience, learn, and participate in the arts. LA Arts organizes arts programs and initiatives, supports the work of local artists and art organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community. Learn more at www.laarts.org.

Governor Mills: Don’t forget to visit CoverMe.Gov if you need health insurance before December 15

Health care you know saves lives, that’s obvious.

It shouldn’t be a luxury to have health care, or a privilege reserved for, you know, well to do people, but more than 106,000 Maine people still don’t have health insurance.

A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that in Maine, about 180 people between the ages of 55 and 64 who died in the years from 2014 to 2017 would have lived if they had had better access to health care. That is simply unacceptable.

Everyone gets sick at some point in their lives. Everyone needs to go to a doctor. As Governor, my top priority is to ensure that every Maine person can see a doctor, get preventive care and afford critical prescription medications, be healthy, work and care for their families.

While Washington politicians have attacked the critical health care services that we rely on, Maine has expanded Medicaid, known as MaineCare, and more than 42,000 people have signed up for health insurance under the MaineCare expansion so far this year.

One of those people is Kathy Stewart, a Waterville area hairdresser. She has emphysema and she has struggled to afford oxygen until now, when she finally got MaineCare coverage this year.

I don’t think any person should live with the constant fear of becoming ill or maybe even being unable to breathe because they can’t afford to go to a doctor, can’t afford to fill a prescription, or can’t afford to get life-saving care. Well like Kathy, now they don’t have to.

In this legislative session, in addition to Medicaid expansion, I also signed LD 1, “An Act To Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families.”

This legislation codified critical Affordable Care Act protections, including guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, a ban on lifetime and annual caps on coverage and allowing young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance, as well as coverage for essential health services such as ambulance services, prescription drugs, and pediatric care.

Our Administration is sponsoring a statewide campaign right now called CoverME to help Maine people including self-employed people and small businesses understand all of their health insurance options and to sign up for the coverage they need that’s best for them.

This campaign is funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant, not with state dollars.

Maine is pursuing a state-based marketplace to put the state–not the federal government–in the driver’s seat when it comes to health care, but you should know that private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is available now to all Maine people.

The enrollment period for Affordable Care Act plans is open now and goes until December 15. Almost 75 percent of Maine enrollees can find a plan for $75 a month or less. Of course, you can sign up for MaineCare insurance if you’re eligible at any time of the year.

If you need health insurance, or need to find a less expensive plan, please visit www.CoverME.gov to learn about coverage options for you and to get enrolled in an affordable and an effective health care plan.

The WLU Christmas open house and fair

The Women’s Literary Union Christmas Open House and Fair will be December 6, 7, and 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. each night. Admission is $2. Bring your camera on Saturday, December 7 to take photos with Santa from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Woman’s Literary Union has decorated the first floor of the historic Foss Mansion at 19 Elm Street in Auburn for a Christmas Open House and Fair. For sale will be gift baskets, holiday items and more. The grand staircase is decorated for the holidays offering an opportunity for your Christmas photos.

The festive holiday decor blends beautifully with the mansion’s architectural splendor. Built between 1914 and 1917 for Horatio G. and Ella May Fletcher Foss. The distinctive mansion is a landmark of the Historic Downtown Auburn District and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976.

The Woman’s Literary Union of Androscoggin County is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. For more information check womansliteraryunion.org or call Kathy Lawrence at 795-6134 or email at kmlawrence@aol.com

Chocolate Church Arts Center presents A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol

 The Chocolate Church Arts Center turns the holiday spotlight on family entertainment with a theater production of A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol. The cast of adults and children from Bath, Brunswick, and beyond will perform the show on December 12 to 14 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol takes on a new twist in this charming production, as the classic tale is told by beloved fairy tale characters – the big bad wolf takes on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, King Midas adopts Jacob Marley, and the show features appearances from the three little pigs, Mother Goose, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and more.

A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol will be directed by Michael Millett of Topsham, who recently appeared as the endearing King Pellinore in the Chocolate Church Arts Center’s fall production of Camelot. Billy Rankis of Brunswick takes on the simultaneous role of the big bad wolf and Ebenezer Scrooge, and Mother Goose will be played by Bath’s Deborah Patterson. Other cast members include Keith Libby, Carolyn Frederick, Charles McDonald, Jodi Rodriguez, and Shirley Bernier. 

A holiday theater production has become a tradition at the Chocolate Church Arts Center, and A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol is ideal for family members of all ages to soak in the festive spirit. Tickets for the show at the Chocolate Church Arts Center, located at 804 Washington Street, are available at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling the box office at (207) 442-8455.


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