News Feature

Stonington
Originally published in Community News, February 27, 2014
Opera House Arts seeks participation in Bridge Project

Maine students draw inspiration from the Deer Isle-Stonington Bridge

Students drawing at the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge in Maine, in Fall 2013, as part of The Local Stories Project, an arts integrated learning project sponsored by Opera House Arts in conjunction with the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Reach Performing Arts Center to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts

Prior to 1939, Deer Isle and Stonington were isolated fishing communities facing the sea. On June 19, 1939, the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge was completed and dedicated, connecting Little Deer Isle with the mainland. How did the building of this bridge change life on Deer Isle, and in the surrounding mainland communities? In this 75th anniversary year, Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House is exploring that question in creative ways with students and adult community members on both sides of the bridge, and is hosting two community meetings the week of March 3 for ways additional organizations and individuals can participate in this project, according to a news release.

On Tuesday, March 4, at 3:30 p.m., a meeting will be held for those wishing to participate with OHA’s new musical, The Last Ferryman, commissioned from Grammy-winning composer Paul Sullivan. Director Judith Jerome and artistic director Linda Nelson will outline the project, talk about casting, and dream together with attendees about how the new performance might work.

On Friday, March 7, at 2:30 p.m., OHA will host a community meeting for groups and individuals interested in participating in a 75th anniversary Bridge celebration event at the bridge on June 21. This event will be organized around a parade across the bridge and can include whatever celebratory events groups wish to host at Bridge End Park at the parade’s finale. Current collaborators on this event include the Bridge End Citizens Initiative, the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, and the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and the Reach Performing Arts Center. All collaborators, existing and new, are asked to attend this organizational planning meeting.

Both meetings will be held in the Stonington Opera House. Please R.S.V.P. to Linda Nelson at lnelson@operahousearts.org, particularly if you are unable to attend but would like to participate. For additional information about any portion of OHA’s The Bridge Project, including the community meetings, the new musical, or the educational project, contact Opera House Arts at info@operahousearts.org, or 367-2788.

Connie Wiberg, granddaughter of the last ferryman between Deer Isle and Stonington, Maine

Connie Wiberg, of the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society in Maine, is granddaughter of the last ferryman Charlie Scott. She shows students a photo taken the day of the Bridge opening part of The Local Stories Project, an arts integrated learning project sponsored by Opera House Arts in conjunction with the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Reach Performing Arts Center to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts
Maine students draw inspiration from the Deer Isle-Stonington Bridge

Students drawing at the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge in Maine, in Fall 2013, as part of The Local Stories Project, an arts integrated learning project sponsored by Opera House Arts in conjunction with the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Reach Performing Arts Center to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts