Wintergreen Arts Center thanks community for support

7 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Wintergreen Arts Center held its third annual Community Support Day this past Saturday to say thank you to community members who’ve helped the center enrich the lives of County youth through art. 

“The only reason we’re here is because of community support, that’s really how we established today is to thank people and give them a taste of what’s going on at Wintergreen,” said Kim Guerrette Michaud, chairman of the Wintergreen board.

The arts center opened its doors Saturday to anyone who wanted to inspect the past year’s work developed by the many students who attend the center. Visitors also were treated to work on an art project of their own.

Wintergreen’s students have been busy working on projects that spanned an average of six weeks, though some, depending on their depth took up to twelve weeks.

Over the past school year, children from kindergarten to middle school ages also helped produce and publish a book filled with individual stories and illustrations titled “Our Stories.” The book is available for sale on

Students put on two plays with help from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Younger students performed “The Ugly Duckling” on stage at UMPI’s Weiden Auditorium, while older students wrote and performed an original play called “Adventures in the World of Luster.”

A cast of 20 students spent twelve weeks working on the musical, “We are Monsters,” performed at Weiden this past April.

“We got a huge response for the musical because normally our classes get about twelve students and with this we had twelve in one class and sixteen in another and we had to turn about ten kids away and normally we don’t,” said Dottie Hutchins, executive director of Wintergreen.

Recently the arts center was approached by the city to create an installation for Presque Isle’s community garden on Birch Street. This led to the community fence project with Wintergreen instructor Kara Addington, working with almost 30 students who each painted a picket to display in front of the whole community.

“I would remind them that this really needs to be your best work because this is going to be on display and everybody is going to be able to see this,” Addington said. “You’re going to be able to come to the community garden and point to the picket and say, ‘I did that one.’ I think it’s rewarding in that way for the kids because they’re all excited to go and see their picket.”

Students from the center’s after-school program will install their pickets 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Presque Isle Community Garden during the Community Garden’s 2nd Annual Spring Fling on June 10. The garden is located at 37 Birch Street.

The community support day also doubled as an open house for anyone who hasn’t visited  Wintergreen.

“There’s still a lot of people that don’t know what the art center does or what we offer, so it’s just a way for the kids to take pride in their projects, for people to know what goes on here,” said Hutchins.

School aged children can get off the bus at the arts center after school and become involved in multiple sessions — there are six sessions throughout each year. There also are summer programs for children looking to stretch their creative muscles on a variety of projects.

“Art is expanding beyond just crafts,” Michaud said.