Gabe Gregoire

Gabe Gregoire

Call for Volunteers

This summer, A Company of Girls (a local organization that enhances the lives of girls, with after-school programs in the culinary, visual and performing arts) is expanding their weekly summertime visual-arts outreach program, ‘Art in the Parks.’ The program will now serve three local communities: Kennedy Park, Riverton Park, and Sagamore Village. These neighborhoods are served by the Portland Housing Authority and have some of the highest poverty rates in the city of Portland. The only problem is, there’s a lot to be done, and volunteers are needed!

 

Last year, Art in the Parks turned boring summer afternoons into days of inspiration and creativity for hundreds of children, both boys and girls. Around 200 kids participated. Some of their art was displayed in Portland City Hall to reward their efforts. The visual arts were connected with literacy, by aligning projects with popular children’s books. For example, Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ propagated fantastic monster puppets, and ‘Elmer and the Rainbow’ by David McKee brought about patchwork elephants and, of course, such rainbows as to compete with the ones in the sky. Girls from A Company of Girls’ school-year program were given the chance to volunteer alongside adults, and together the volunteers logged 168 hours of work for Art in the Parks. With your help, even more can be done this summer.


Volunteers will assist with set-up, greet participants and manage sign-in, help supervise activities, and help with cleanup. Arts experience is welcome but not required. Adults who are interested in finding out more about can email Jen Roe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Published in Kids

A chance to support a place for kids

Do you ever have those moments where you feel like you should do more, like for the environment, or maybe the less fortunate, or wait a minute, I know, the kids! Well, now’s your chance. Attend the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine Auction 2016: Every Child is an Artist, at The Portland Company (58 Fore St.), on Friday, May 13 from 6 to 10 p.m.

In keeping with the theme "Every Child is an Artist," children’s art will be featured among the items up for auction. But don’t worry, you’ll still see all the coveted live and silent auction items that have been the hallmark of past years’ events. This year’s honorary chairs are Maine children’s author Chris Van Dusen and his wife Lori. Chris, a nationally recognized writer and illustrator, wrote Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, which inspired the Museum’s outdoor adventure exhibit, and The Circus Ship, which was adapted for the stage by the Museum’s own Reba Short and produced there last month.

Tickets to the auction are $50 per person or $450 for a block of 10. You can purchase them online at https://secure.kitetails.org/forms/auction/

Don’t miss the mix-and-mingle, the hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cash bar, the general fun and frolic, and of course, the silent and live auctions, with proceeds going to support the Museum’s exhibits, programming, productions, and scholarships for needy families. Get ready to bid!

The Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine may be reached at 207.828.1234.

  • Published in Kids

Competing canines in Scarborough

Do you eagerly await the airing of the Westminster Dog Show each year? Have you ever seen it live?
Experience Maine’s own version, at the Southern Maine Coastal Classic, a dog show event presented by the York County Kennel Club of Maine and Vacationland Dog Club Inc., to be held on May 19, 20, 21 and 22, beginning at 8 a.m. each day, at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco St, Scarborough.

Each of the four days will feature AKC All-Breed Dog Shows and Obedience and Rally Trials, as well as Junior Showmanship, with kids 9-18 years old judged on their ability to handle and present a dog rather than the dog being judged.

There will also be special events unique to each day:

On Thursday, the Maine Golden Retriever Club hosts a supported entry of its breed. On Friday, enjoy the Best Bred By Exhibitor Competition, a great way to see a particular breed and meet the breeder. On Saturday, see supported entries by the Pine Tree State Doberman Pinscher Club Inc., the Bearded Collie Club of America Inc., the Maine Golden Retriever Club, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America. Also on Saturday, older show dogs will be honored with a Best Veteran Competition. On Sunday, watch the four- to six-month Beginner Puppy Competition, which socializes young show dogs at a crucial stage and gives them a stress-free environment separate from the regular judging (instead they compete for points toward a Certificate of Merit).

Admission is $5 per car. Wassamki Springs Campground offers ample parking and snack bars. Vendors will be present, offering dog-related items of all descriptions. So come see some of the AKC’s 180 approved breeds compete for Best in Show!

Visit the event website at http://www.yckc.org/events/cluster-shows.html

  • Published in Pets

Mom and Baby Expo

Are you a mom-to-be, or a new mother with questions? Come learn about all the resources available to new families at the Portland Mom and Baby Expo, at the Portland Expo (239 Park Ave.) on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 (noon-6 p.m. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., respectively).

More than 80 vendors and exhibitors are scheduled to be offering their goods and services, all dedicated to the well-being of pregnant women and new families. The list of vendors includes Abbott Nutrition (of PediaSure fame), Coastal Women’s Healthcare, Juice Plus, Mom to Mom of Maine, Sacopee Midwives, Maine Cloth Diaper Company, and dozens and dozens more.

Free educational seminars will be offered throughout the event. A partial list: “Healthy Sleep, Happy Family,” “Ask the Midwife,” “Precious Cargo: Keeping Your Infant and Toddler Safe,” and “Mom and Baby Yoga,” among many others.

There will be a nursing area, yoga for kids, Slugger the Sea Dog will make an appearance, and there will even be a Diaper Derby to see which baby can crawl the fastest!

The Portland Mom and Baby Expo is sponsored by Babies ”R” Us, Birth Roots, and Mercy Hospital. Complete information may be found at www.portlandmomandbabyexpo.com

  • Published in Kids

Paws for a Cause in Yarmouth

Everyone loves our furry friends, and now it’s time to pitch in and help them out, with Paws for a Cause: Pet Food Drive & Storytime Event at Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth (215 Main St.). Donations may be dropped off for the rest of the week of May 2, and the storytime is on Saturday, May 7 at 2:30 p.m.

It’s a great time to support our friends at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, and to see what Yarmouth’s library, already familiar to some, has to offer. The day of the storytime, kids will be able to play games and do some coloring, in addition to listening. Among the books to be read, appropriately enough, is Dr. Seuss’ “What Pet Should I Get?”

A representative of the ARLGP will be present on Saturday to do a presentation on adoption and other pet-related issues.

Here is a partial list of acceptable items for donation: For cats: non-clumping and unscented clay litter, canned food, dry food, beds, snuggle safe heating discs, toys, brushes and combs. For dogs: Kuranda dog beds, kongs, nylabones, rope toys, enrichment and interactive toys, grain-free treats, grain-free dry food. For the full list, please visit www.arlgp.org/wishlist.

Merrill Memorial Library may be reached at 207.846.4763.

  • Published in Pets

Coastal Humane Society teaches fostering

Do you love animals and want to learn about fostering cats and kittens? The Coastal Humane Society, in conjunction with the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, is inviting those interested in learning about fostering to a Kitten Shower and Foster Open House, at 190 Pleasant St. in Brunswick, on Sunday, May 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

As you are probably aware, spring is the season when multitudes of new kittens are born, and unfortunately, not all of them have safe, loving comfortable homes to call their own. There is a crucial need for generous and kind families to provide shelter and support to these young animals and moms-to-be. Let this be the year you invite a temporary pet into your family’s home.

At the open house, participants will be able to take part in demonstrations, play games, and meet experienced foster families who can tell them what they need to know about this kind of rewarding experience. Knowledge will be shared about pregnancy and birth, raising orphan kittens, bottle feeding, common illnesses, medicating, and feral kitten behaviors, among other things. And of course, please enjoy playing and cuddling with some kittens before you go!

There will be a chance to win a $50 LL Bean gift card for anyone who brings along something from the CHS’s Kitten Wish List. The following items qualify: KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement), gel glucose, non-clumping kitty litter, litter boxes, dry kitten food, A/D wet food, animal-safe heating pads, food scales, fleece blankets, cat beds, stuffed animals and fabric cat carriers.

CHS asks that you RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Published in Pets

A Company of Girls brings stories to life onstage

Do you remember a certain pig that had a spider friend that made him famous? That’s right, Wilbur and Charlotte are coming to the stage, in A Company of Girls’ production of “Charlotte’s Web,” at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater (517 Forest Ave) on Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m. But wait, the Company is also putting on an adaptation of Louis Sachar’s funny youngsters’ mystery, “Holes,” at the same location, at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 29.

Come out and support A Company of Girls, both to enjoy the plays and to help them continue to be an active, powerful part of the Portland community. Without this program, many young ladies would have a much harder time building their independence and confidence, gaining the skills they need in order to become successful women.


If you have a school-aged daughter and have thought about what a good after-school program would be for her, go to http://www.acompanyofgirls.org/ to learn what involvement in the arts (visual, performing and culinary) can do for a young woman and her community.

  • Published in Kids

Portland Trails' 25th anniversary at East End Beach

You may be under the assumption that dogs and cats just don’t get along. Well, in the case of Two Fat Cats and Planet Dog, they do! The two animal-loving businesses have gotten together with Portland Trails, who is sponsoring a fun-filled Pop-Up Puppy Party at the East End Beach, on Friday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m.

But wait! Before you go down to the beach with your canine(s), stop by Two Fat Cats between 2 and 5 p.m. for a bakery open house, and try some delicious treats. Samples of savory baked goods and the new signature cakes will be out, along with free coffee and iced tea. Unfortunately, due to health codes, dogs will not be allowed in the bakery, but Two Fat Cats is providing a place to tie them up outside, with bowls of water set out. Participants who pick up a sticker at the bakery will be given a free treat for their dogs as well, once they hit the beach.

Planet Dog will have other giveaways by the water, and dog owners will have a great chance to meet other animal lovers, enjoy the shore, and help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Portland Trails (and, of course, Earth Day)!

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, phone numbers are as follows: Portland Trails: 207.775.2411. Two Fat Cats Bakery: 207.347.5144. Planet Dog: 207.347.8606. Come join the fun!

  • Published in Pets

Vacation Fun at the PMA

It’s school vacation week. That means restless children. The solution? Portland Museum of Art’s April School Vacation Family Days, in progress until April 23, starting at 11 a.m. each day and going until 4 p.m.

The focus of Family Days for kids is to learn through playing games, with an emphasis on youngsters experiencing the art in the museum in new ways. The array of games is generally highly interactive and non-competitive, and is best for kids ages 7 to 15 (though shape and color activities will be provided for tots 2 and up).

Some of the games include Verbal Drawing, where your partner has to draw the picture you imagine, using only your description and instructions, with no peeking until the drawing is done; Story Circle, where you and your team come up with an inventive, creative story based on one of the museum’s artworks; and Twenty Questions, which is like the traditional game of the same name, except the answer has to be a piece of art you have secretly chosen. Alternatively, kids are invited to make their own sketchbooks with materials provided and draw amongst the works, or pull up a cushion and read one of the available storybooks.

After all that, attend a screening of the 1999 classic, The Iron Giant (Signature Edition) right in the museum, free for kids 14 and under. In case you don’t remember the film, Roger Ebert said this about it: "Imagine E.T. as a towering metal man, and you have some of the appeal of The Iron Giant, an enchanting animated feature about a boy who makes friends with a robot from outer space." Showings are at 2 p.m. on April 21 and 22, and 11:30 a.m. on April 23.

Admission to April School Vacation Days is free for kids 14 and under, with students getting a discounted price of $10. The Portland Museum of Art may be reached at 207.775.6148.

  • Published in Kids

Screen to stage, cats Included

Don’t you love it when you are vastly entertained, and still helping people or animals? "Kitty Critic Live 2" at SPACE Gallery (538 Congress St.) on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. is going to be one of those times.

Kitty Critic exists mainly on the Internet. Treat yourself to a few episodes, and you’ll see a fine balance struck between musicians’ artistry and Daily Show-type satirical humor. Last year, SPACE brought the whole thing from the screen to the stage, and it was such a success that a second installment had to be produced.

If you haven’t hit YouTube yet, here’s a rough sketch: Musicians make a house call to one of their fans and his or her cat(s) and perform for them. The fan is then interviewed by master of ceremonies Jim LeJames. Hilarity, rest assured, ensues.

Some of the acts you may see on Saturday: Sorcha, Spencer Albee, Cormac Brown, Dana Gross, and many others.

And the helping part? The whole thing is a fundraiser for HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team) of Maine.

Tickets are $10. SPACE may be reached at 207.828.5600.

  • Published in Pets
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