Wintergreen Arts Center Moving to Aroostook Center Mall
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Wintergreen Arts Center is moving to the Aroostook Centre Mall and is on track to open its doors at the new location on September 1, 2020.
“Wintergreen’s renovation project at the Aroostook Center Mall is a true community effort,” said Dottie Hutchins, Wintergreen’s executive director. “So many hands, minds, hearts, and souls have stepped forward and volunteered to help. It is heartwarming to see exactly what the Wintergreen Arts Center means to the people of Aroostook County.”
Support for the arts center’s renovation project is coming from longtime Wintergreen advocates and friends Rodney and Wendy McCrum, John and Heather Harvell, the Aroostook Partners in the Arts, MMG Insurance, former UMPI President Donald Zillman and Linda Zillman, and playwright and actor John Cariani.
Most of the physical work to renovate the space and prepare for the move is being provided by Wintergreen volunteers, staff, board members, family, and friends.
Over the past decade, the nonprofit arts center’s programming and determination to meet community needs have outgrown its current State Street location. Wintergreen staff often turn the space over two, three and even four times a day to accommodate a variety of activities including Under the Willow Tree, a creative preschool, Mini Open Studio (a parent-child drop-in class), group meetings and workshops, After School Arts Program, Summer Arts Camps, and evening functions such as First Friday Art Walk, Adult Art Night, Pizza ‘n Art for Teens & Tweens, fundraising events, and private party rentals.
At 5,309 square feet, Wintergreen’s new space at the Aroostook Centre Mall more than doubles its current programming footprint which allows the nonprofit arts center to better serve its mission and the people of Aroostook County.
“Over the past several years, Wintergreen has explored numerous location options with no viable results,” said Kim Guerrette Michaud, Wintergreen’s board chair. “We needed an affordable solution. So, after positive meetings with Bruce Brigman, the new Mall manager, Wintergreen’s Board of Directors decided the time is right for Wintergreen to come full circle and return to the Aroostook Centre Mall, our original home base in 2006.” Wintergreen Arts Center’s first renovation plans came together with the help of a talented general contractor prior to the COVID-19 economic downturn and included improvements which are now being put on hold such as a kitchen and second bathroom. Today, Wintergreen’s goal is to create a fresh, operational space on the lowest possible budget. How is this happening? Hard-working, community-minded volunteers and supporters who are passionate about Wintergreen Art Center’s ability to thrive as a valuable community asset and partner. Wintergreen is also working with several sponsors to renovate specific areas within the 53-hundred square-foot space. To kick things off, the Aroostook Centre Mall painted the entire Main Room.
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