2014-07-10 / Letters

Embracing change

To the editor:

As you know, Heartwood College of Art moved from its old location in Kennebunk to the North Dam Mill in Biddeford. We did this for a couple reasons: energy efficiency, a need for commercial studio space and the desire to be in a community with great potential for change. Although it was a tremendous effort to physically move seven art studios, it is remarkable what happens when you change one aspect of the equation. Our move to Biddeford has opened new doors and possibilities in these uncertain times.

Years ago we started a program called, “Artists in Service to Humanity.” It was a required undergraduate course for all college students at Heartwood. Since moving to Biddeford it has become more obvious that service is the real calling.

We started a new program using everything we had learned how to do in the last 20 years. It is called “Art to Heal,” art workshops designed specifically for cancer survivors and their caregivers. The commonality of cancer speaks to everyone and we have created this moment together as a way to think about it. Southern Maine Health Care donated seed money for a pilot project, which we completed in May. We also received a substantial grant from the Davis Family Foundation and sponsorship from the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute and York Hospital.

We continue to offer weekend workshops and summer classes as well as our very successful low residency MFA program. By relocating to an environment like Biddeford, which is also involved in redefining itself, we have moved in a new direction. We embrace change and the tremendous impact that art has to heal, and would like to invite everyone to visit us at our new location.

Berri Kramer, president Heartwood College of Art

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