Public Programs: Humanities Discussions

Period of Performance

9/1/2019 - 9/30/2021

Funding Totals

$100,000.00 (approved)
$93,133.00 (awarded)

Maine's Mid-Century Moment: A Bicentennial Celebration

FAIN: GG-266320-19

University of Maine, Augusta (Augusta, ME 04330-9488)
Lisa Botshon (Project Director: January 2019 to present)

Implementation of sixteen humanities discussions exploring the artistic and literary interpretations of Maine’s identity in the mid-twentieth century.

This project investigates the overlooked history of literature and art of the mid-20th century, when writers, artists, and entrepreneurs helped to construct a fresh, but enduring, vision of the state of Maine, one that marketed its rustic character. While some of the remarkable creators from this era remain in the public eye—such as artists Marsden Hartley and Andrew Wyeth—others have faded into obscurity, including then-bestselling writers Katharine Butler Hathaway and Louise Dickinson Rich, as well as the few native Wabanaki artisans who persisted with traditional arts even through severe economic and political challenges. UMA requests $250,000 to implement a two-year project for a series of 16 statewide humanities discussions and a digital humanities map that probe the ways in which this era was essential to the development of the Maine we know today.

Media Coverage

Community read of ‘We Took to the Woods’ kicks off yearlong program (Media Coverage)
Publication: Lewiston Sun Journal
Date: 1/7/2020
Abstract: The University of Maine at Augusta has announced a yearlong program of events exploring the artists, writers and innovators, who shaped and chronicled Maine’s mid-century cultural evolution. The series of events, “Maine’s Mid-Century Moment,” has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, UMA will partner with the Maine State Library on a community read focused on Louise Dickinson Rich’s bestselling 1942 memoir, “We Took to the Woods,” facilitated by scholar Candace Kanes at the Maine State Library.

Associated Products

Maine's Mid-Century Moment: A Bicentennial Project (Web Resource)
Title: Maine's Mid-Century Moment: A Bicentennial Project
Author: Lisa Botshon
Abstract: Describes overall project and includes links to recordings of some of the eleven events.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: