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Art Walk to feature “Dîner en Blanc”

Franco-inspired folk music will accompany an all-white-attire Parisian pop-up picnic and party at the next Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn on Friday, June 29.

On that night, Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn (AWLA) will once again transform the downtown area into a hub of cultural activity. Beginning at 5 p.m., AWLA’s 16 locations, spanning Lisbon Street from Captive Elements Art House to J. Dostie Jewelers, will be open to the public to feature the work of local artists.

To mark the occasion, L/A Arts will host Lewiston-Auburn’s second annual “Dîner en Blanc” at Dufrense Plaza, across from the District Court building on Lisbon Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and will feature entertainment by Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Michele Choiniere. Center Street Dental is the sponsor of the event.

Dîner en Blanc is an international phenomenon where large numbers of people dressed entirely in white meet for a mass picnic in a public space. The phenomenon started in Paris in 1988 as a public reunion of 100 friends wearing white to distinguish the guests present; it has since spread to involve thousands of people in multiple cities across the world.

Traditionally, Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society. The location is given to invited friends and acquaintances at the last minute. The diners enhance the function and value of the event’s public location by participating in an unexpected spectacle that brings together people united by an appreciation of beauty, good taste, and fine companionship.

Those attending the event on June 29 are asked to dress in white and to provide their own folding tables and chairs, food and beverages; some tables will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests may set up their tables starting at 5 p.m.

In case of rain, the event will take place in Callahan Hall at Lewiston Public Library, where tables and chairs will be provided, but guests will still provide their own food and drink.

Michele Choiniere is an award-winning Franco-American folk singer from Vermont who performs in both French and English. Her lyrics and music focus on nature, romance and social issues connected to being Franco-American. Her performances blend traditional Franco-American and Quebec folk songs, original compositions, jazz standards, and an occasional French classic.

Choiniere has recorded an archival family collection of Franco-American music with her father and is featured on the 1999 Smithsonian Folkways CD, “Mademoiselle, Voulez-Vous Danser? Franco-American Music from the New England Borderlands.” In 2003, she self-released her debut solo album, “Coeur Fragile,” followed up in 2010 by the critically acclaimed “La Violette.”

Choiniere has been featured on TV5 International’s “Visions d’Amerique” and has appeared at several major folk festivals, including the American Folk Festival in Bangor. She is a juried performer and teaching artist of the Vermont Arts Council and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Heritage Award.

For more information about the event, call L/A Arts at 782-7228.

The mission of Art Walk Lewiston Auburn is to foster a sense of community and celebrate the vitality of the downtowns of Lewiston and Auburn by promoting self-guided tours of local arts venues. Art Walk Lewiston Auburn has again formed


In partnership with L/A Arts, Captive Elements Art House and the Lewiston Public Library, AWLA celebrates the extraordinary talent of visual artists in L-A and around Maine.

Once every month, from May through September, Art Walk Lewiston Auburn will turn the downtowns of Lewiston and Auburn into impressive arts districts. AWLA will fill multiple venues, including vacant buildings, with a spectacular array of art exhibits for all to enjoy.

There will maps showing locations of all the art venues, available at every art space, made possible by the 2012 season sponsor-Center Street Dental.

For more information regarding Art Walk Lewiston Auburn, to learn more about submission guidelines or to get involved through volunteering, please visit




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