By Leigh Welch, Staff Writer
The Emery Community Arts Center at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) is hosting a slew of events throughout the rest of the semester, including a professional musician, a sound poetry exhibition, and a comedy show.
Stan Spilecki, the resident scenic and lighting designer for the Emery Community Arts Center and the Alumni Theatre, and technical director of both facilities, is excited for what is to come. “The rest of this semester we are starting with Mass Appeal this coming weekend [Nov. 7 and 8], which is a theatrical performance with some of our students. We have the David Kim forte-piano concert,” said Spilecki. “We have a sound poetry exhibition or show that Gustavo Aguilar is leading and bringing in a professional sound artist. We have the Sketch Box student group doing a comedy show, the Clefnotes are going to be performing, and that is all before Thanksgiving!”
After the Thanksgiving break “We have a Folk Festival on the 6th[December],” said Spilecki. “Bust-A-Move beavers, and the student theatre ten minute scenes, which go up the week of the 9th [December].
The Emery Community Arts Center has hosted a variety of different events since it was built in 2011. “The Emery has hosted everything from One-man one-woman professional theatrical performances, to Sandy River Players theatrical performances. We’ve had Academic conferences; we’ve had poetry readings, student run variety programing (the café project and now the Sketch box), the Bust-a-move Beavers. We sometimes have professional musicians who are brought in by Western Maine Arts Institute. We had a folk festival this summer. We’ve had student theatre, student music, comedy shows, and a magic show. We’ve had meetings for various community groups. And that’s just the performance space,” said Spilecki. The Emery does “Anything. Anything and everything.”
Events at the Emery are open to the “community at large, as well as the community on campus,” said Spilecki. Most of the shows and events are free, and everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy. “We do charge for some performances because we pay for some the professional artists,” said Spilecki, “[and] some of them ask for donations, but it is not required.”
If anyone wants to use the performance space at the Emery they have to go through a proposal process. “Basically they say what they’re looking to do, when they’re looking to do it, and what they need. And Jayne Decker, the director of the facility, reviews it,” said Spilecki. “If there are technical aspects to review they are by her [Decker] and myself and my assistant Kelly. And then we determine what can be done within the time frame, and what may or may not work with other events that are already happening.”
Though the road ahead looks busy for Spilecki and the crew that works at the Emery Community Arts Center, Spilecki is enthusiastic about the rest of the semester. “So all the way up to the end of the semester we’re pretty active,” said Spilecki.