Folks at La Kermesse Mug for Downtown.pdf

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                                   The official newsletter of the Biddeford Heart & Soul Downtown Storytelling Project

INSIDE:                             V O L U M E       1 ,      I S S U E   1                                     J U L Y    2 0 0 9

    Welcome to
                        La Kermesse and Heart of Biddeford Together
     the first issue

                        Folks at La Kermesse Mug for Downtown
     of HoB’s
     Story Press

    What is Heart      June 2009 — This year‟s La               downtown from those who live          Central Theater, humdingers and
     of Biddeford       Kermesse included a new activity:        and work here (Read about the         hash at the Puritan, raising
     and the Heart      a booth where fair-goers could           Heart & Soul project on the back      families and meeting friends
     & Soul             share stories about what                 page of this issue). People           brought smiles to many faces as
                        Biddeford‟s downtown means to            reminisced about family traditions,   participants realized what the
                        them. Festival organizers Pris                                                 downtown had given to their
    Up-coming          Gagnon and Paul Gagne                                                          lives and what it could be for
     events—Don’t       collaborated with the Heart of                                                 their children and grandchildren.
     Miss Them!         Biddeford (HoB) to bring                                                           Scores of people and families
                        storytelling and downtown                                                      of all ages took time to write in
    How you can
                        traditions to Biddeford‟s annual                                               bold letters on large pieces of
     get in on the
                        celebration of Franco American                                                 paper why Biddeford mattered
     H&S initiative
                        culture this year. Located in the                                              to them. They then proudly
                        Writer‟s Tent on the fairgrounds,                                              stretched out their homemade
                        HoB organizers and volunteers            Kate McCarthy smiles for              banners for a snapshot. Using
                        asked passersby to take a                the camera at La Kermesse             digital technology, the photos
INSIDE                  moment and share their                                                         were printed in minutes. By
THIS ISSUE:             memories of downtown‟s past,             a farm store, dress shops, and        day‟s end, the Writer‟s Tent was
                        and their hopes and dreams for           even the family dentist who knew      festooned with these images of
Salt Institute      2   its future.                              everyone. Folks placed stars on a     hometown pride.
Grads                        The fairgrounds created a           huge map of downtown to show              These photos have been
                        festive setting for the storytelling     their favorite spots past and         turned into a video that will air
New Music           2
                        kick-off, HoB‟s newest effort to         present. Memories of first dates      on Public Access television in
                        learn the true heart and soul of         and courtships, movies at the         August.

                        Biddeford High Students Initiate Downtown Video Project
Memories to         2
Fuel the
                        Spring 2009 — Biddeford High                 Ms. Gosselin conducted                Three of Ms. Gosselin‟s
Story Circles       3   teacher Carolyn Gosselin                 classroom discussions on the          students (Michelle Lapointe,
                        created a powerhouse addition            importance of vibrant downtown        Jessica Caron, and Savannah
Main Street         3   to the Biddeford Heart & Soul            communities, and invited her          Brownell) produced digital
Matters!                Storytelling Project this spring,        students to explore what types        stories that portray nostalgic
                        led by      a group of talented          of communities exist in               moments shared by elders.
Bits o’             3   juniors and seniors enrolled in          Biddeford.          Students          Moving and endearing, family
Biddeford               her digital storytelling class.          brainstormed different ways in        members strolled down memory
                        Gosselin, a strong community             which lively downtowns bring          lane as the cameras rolled,
What is             4   advocate, developed an                   people closer together. Some of       delighted to describe Main Street
Heart &                 independent studies curriculum           the students interviewed parents      as it was in their time to the
Soul?                   that combined the students‟ love         and elder family members, while       captive young people behind the
                        for digital photography and              some researched other New             lens.
                        slideshow production with family         England mill towns that have              To see the students‟ work,
                        roots and community building.            experienced similar changes and       please visit us on-line at
                            The end result is breath-taking.     challenges.                 
                                                                                              Salt Institute Grads to Capture Biddeford’s Essence
              PAGE                                    2

                                                                                                  Heart of Biddeford has         interviews, and a culminating      These three have already
                                                                                              selected three recent              multimedia show. Their work,       begun to infiltrate the streets
                                                                                              graduates from the Salt            which will document what           and burgs of Downtown
                                                                                              Institute for Documentary          makes the downtown special         Biddeford, cameras in hand
                                                                                              Studies to lead a cutting-edge     to folks who live here, will be    and an ear to the pavement,
                                                                                              multimedia storytelling            presented throughout the           meeting folks and discovering
                                                                                              venture, an initiative of          course of the three-month          the unique and             friendly
                                                                                              Biddeford‟s two-year Heart &       project on the HoB blog            qualities that Biddeford
                                                                                              Soul Master Plan Project           (         neighborhoods present.
                                                                                              supported by the Orton Family      blog), and in a final show early       If you see one of the Salt
Check out the Salt Fellows’ blog for Biddeford

                                                                                              Foundation.                        this fall.                         fellows with camera or mike in
                                                                                                  The three fellows —                Houston, Kammerer and          hand, don’t be shy!       You just
                                                                                              photographers Claire Houston       Schechter came to HoB with         might find yourself up on the
                                                                                              and Anna Schechter, and radio      portfolios of work and             Biddeford „big screen,‟ telling
                                                                                              producer Willa Kammerer—           collaborations that capture the    your story about the magic of
                                                                                              will create a series of            spirit and lightness of being      our Main Street.
                                                                                              photographs, audio slideshows,     that often go unnoticed in the         To learn more about Salt
                                                                                              montages of man-on-the-street      activities of everyday people.     Institute, visit

                                                          Quote from the
                                                                                              New Music Venue Opens Downtown
                                                                                                  If you‟ve been downtown        events to coincide with            cultural addition to the ever-
                                                                     Corrals -
                                                                                              lately, the new boutique called    Biddeford‟s Artwalks (last         growing creative scene there.
                                                            “...a season of                   loving anvil andMOR                Friday of each month). In          The hfs annex at 140 Main
                                                                                              undoubtedly has caught your        addition to their loving anvil     Street features a listening
                                                       amazing shows is                       eye (corner of Washington          pursuits, Coco and Gil Corral,     room for music, spoken word,
                                                                                              Street and Main). A shop that      along with daughter Chloe,         and film. Beer, wine, and tapas
                                                              lined up with
                                                                                              offers locally crafted products,   have been hosting eclectic live    are on the menu, as well as a
                                                              talent that is                  artful clothing and the            music shows at their home.         generous helping of good
                                                                                              proprietors‟ beautiful silver      But when popularity for the        company.
                                                    knocking our socks                        works and edgy paintings,          performances outgrew their
                                                                                              loving anvil has delivered eye-    Hogfarm Studio space, Gil and      To learn more, log onto
                                                                          off...”             popping         multi-media        Co co p ur su ed a spot   or
                                                                                              performances and fine art          downtown to host an on-going       better yet, come downtown !

Signs of
                                                                                                 HeartSpots: Downtown’s Memory Lane
    the                                                                                         This year at La Kermesse,        shenanigans. The stories that      tell their stories that make
  Heart                                                                                         the Heart of Biddeford           people shared were all             each HeartSpot unique and
                                                                                                asked people to mark on a        meaningful, and often quite        memorable. Stories that
                                                                                                map the places that held a       entertaining!                      describe values important to
soon be
                                                                                                special spot in their hearts.        In order to share some of      the downtown will help fuel a
gracing                                                                                         Folks reminisced about the       these stories with others, this    vision for the future of Main
   Main                                                                                         Puritan, the Central             fall the HoB will launch a         Street, Biddeford.
 Street.                                                                                        Theater, the Saco River —        special project called
                                                                                                places where they had a          HeartSpots. Signs will hang
                                                                                                first date or ate humdingers     along Main Street, identifying     To learn more, visit
                                                                                                and hash.      They talked       these special places of the and
                                                 Photo by Claire J. Houston, Biddeford 2009     about movies and laughed         heart, and will post phone         click on heartworks — and stay
                                                                                                about fashions, boys, and        numbers for folks to call and      tuned for more details!
VOLUME          1,   ISSUE        1                                                                                                       PAGE        3

Story Circles                              Shaping the Future of Biddeford
    The Heart of Biddeford and a        many for the future.                     map Biddeford‟s communities and
corps of story gatherers will be            HoB has been busy in the             learn from their
hosting a new type of get-together                          community,           stories     what
called ‟story circles.‟ Residents and   To create a         a s k i n g          m a y         b e
fans of downtown Biddeford are                              questions,           described as the
                                        story circle
invited to attend these gatherings                          meeting people,      Heart & Soul of
                                        with family,
for a time to share their personal                          and finding out      downtown.
accounts of Main Street. Whether        friends             where folks live     These themes
funny or sad, joyful or legendary —     or your             and how they„re      and     specific
the stories will be memorable…          neighborhood, connected            to    values will be
AND they will help to create a          contact HoB         downtown. By         used to inform
meaningful Master Plan that will        @ 284-8520          identifying these    the downtown                    Photo by Claire J. Houston, Biddeford 2009
guide decision-makers on what                               communities          chapter of Biddeford‟s
makes Biddeford‟s downtown              and the physical places they inhabit,    comprehensive plan when it comes
vibrant, necessary, and home to         HoB volunteers have been able to         up for revision next year.

Ask the Heart of Biddeford if Main Street Matters...
   This year the Heart of               Foundation) in Rockland, Maine.          interesting planning strategy at the
Biddeford‟s Executive Director             Weyand highlighted the many           Chicago conference!”
Rachael Weyand went on tour to          exciting things that are happening in
showcase the fresh energy and hard                                                  Heart of Biddeford is modeled on the Main Street Maine
                                        Downtown Biddeford, and how to
work behind Biddeford‟s                 go about nurturing innovative ideas         program, and seeks to present the downtown itself as a
downtown revitalization. Weyand
                                        and approaches for the                      destination, rather than one single business—creating a friendly,
presented at two major gatherings
                                        development of opportunities.               safe, clean environment for people to come and enjoy themselves.
for A m er i can Ma in St r e et
Communities:      The National             How did Biddeford rate among             Weyand sees Biddeford as well-positioned to benefit from the

Main S treets Conference                other cities featured at the                Main Street Maine program. “The mayor and city council are
(National Trust for Historic            conferences? Weyand had this to
                                                                                    really supportive, the town is beautiful and in great shape and the
Preservation) in Chicago, Illinois      say - “A lot of people expressed
                                                                                    Heart of Biddeford is well organized and funded. We have all the
and the Downtowns Matter!               that the downtown Heart & Soul
                                        project in Biddeford was the most           ingredients.” — excerpted from The Courier, February 2005.
Conference (Maine Development

Treasures, Bits, and Pieces of Biddeford
    What is your favorite thing         have a special artifact that you think   from you.
about Downtown Biddeford? Some          is key to Downtown Biddeford‟s           Please send
people love the old buildings. Some     history? An old poem about the           your ideas,
people love the rooftops. Some people   Saco River?       Spools from the        inquiries,
love the Clock Tower. Some people       working days at the mills, or an old     pictures,
love the Saco River…. Whatever it       yarn about the way things used to        stories,
is that you love about Main Street,     be?                                      photo s,
we want to hear about it!                   If you have something that you       poetry, and
    The Heart of Biddeford wants        want to share a few words about,         the like to
to see your photos, paintings, or       or put on display in our office, the                                    Is it a model? No! Zach Boston made our
drawings of downtown. Do you            Heart of Biddeford wants to hear           town mini with some trick photography!
                                                     The Heart of Biddeford is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to
                                                     revitalizing our downtown . We use a four-point approach:

                                                     1)Design, 2)Economic Restructuring, 3) Organization, and 4)Promotions.

                                                     The HoB was formed in 2004 and, since then, it's hard not to notice how far
                                                     downtown Biddeford has come. Come and check us out… we have unique
                                                     small businesses along Main Street, great food, coffee houses, plays,
                                                     neighborhoods, music, festivals, art and 2 million square feet of historic mills
     Heart of Biddeford                              being redeveloped!

     205 Main Street                                  To
     Biddeford, Maine 04005

     Phone: 207.284.8520

     Bringing communities
                                                                                                        Join our Facebook community!
                                                                                                             Search Facebook for
                                                                                                          „Downtown Biddeford‟ group

What is the Heart & Soul Project?
  The Heart and Soul Community            business space.     The Heart of           have  similar
  Planning project is a partnership       Biddeford is helping to fill vacant        experiences.
  between Heart of Biddeford (HoB),       storefronts downtown and promoting         We will be
  the City of Biddeford and the Orton     its vibrancy. Nationally, we are seeing    doing in-depth
  F a m i l y     F o u n d a t i o n     a trend toward resettling into once        documentary
  ( In the summer of       abandoned downtowns. This is an            work, working
  2008, the HoB and Biddeford             important and historic time in             with children, holding neighborhood
  received support from the Orton         Biddeford and the city wants to            meetings, engaging the University of
  Family Foundation to undertake a        include YOU in this process. After         New England… whatever we can do
  Heart and Soul Community Planning       all, a community is a special place full   to talk to as many people as we can.
  project. Over the next two years this   of stories about the people who live       FMI or to get involved, please email
  partnership, led by a citizen           there. Collectively, these stories are — thanks!
  committee, will be engaging the         a big part of the community‟s
  community (YOU) to find out what is     character: its heart and soul. In a                 When a community takes the time to
  important to community members          way, planning is like writing the next                get to know itself, it gains a sense of
  and apply this to a more formal         chapter in a community‟s story.                         identity and purpose that informs
  Master Planning process to map out          We want to reach as many people              decisions and planning. Through Heart &
  how we will grow for the future.        as we can. We will explore ways to                  Soul Community Planning, the Orton
     Biddeford is currently               connect with different communities in             Family Foundation helps towns plan for
  experiencing a transformation in its    Biddeford, and will be setting up story                         their most vibrant future.
  downtown. Vacant mills are being        circles and asking folks to share their                     —Lyman Orton (founder of the
  converted into housing and small        stories with us and others who may                             Orton Family Foundation)

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