The Maine Highlands is a region of rural Maine rich in handcraft and artisan traditions. We invite you to learn more about our organization, our members, and our social mission.
Please call 207-564-0041
if you would like more information on our organization.
Who we are…
The mission of The Maine Highlands Guild is to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of The Maine Highlands for positive community and economic development. The Maine Highlands Guild is part of a 501(c)3 non-profit community and economic organization dedicated to providing educational, promotional and networking opportunities for artisans, and traditional producers in The Maine Highlands. The Guild will encourage more art entrepreneurs and teach them business skills. This in turn supports the creative economy and helps our local communities grow in a positive way that builds on our traditional cultural heritage. To become a member call 207-564-0041, email [email protected], or go to the membership page of this web site.
How we developed…
The Guild concept grew out of hearts and minds of local citizens wanting to promote positive economic and community development and from the grassroots cultural heritage development projects that the Eastern Maine Development Corporation and the Cultural Heritage and Eco-tourism Committee (CHEt) of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council completed over the past four years. Artists and artisans were a primary focus in CHEt’s community development projects. Local paintings, photos, songs, poems and traditional skills have all been used by CHEt to educate children about the community and spark discussion among citizens about what is meaningful and positive about the region. The Guild builds on CHEt’ s success in making the local communities more aware of the unique culture and heritage of our rural region of Maine, as well as the talented artists and artisans living here. The structure and offerings of The Maine Highlands Guild were determined by a steering committee of local artists and crafters. Guidance was also received from the staff of other marketing organizations throughout the United States. Initial funding for the development of The Maine Highlands Guild was received in January 2002 by Pentagoet Foundation. The Maine Arts Commission, Maine Community Foundation, and USDA-Rural Development also supported guild projects. Most recently The Guild placed first (medium growth category) in The National Social Venture Competition held at Columbia University.
What we are doing.…
Over the past few months The Guild has continued its community development work through educational programs involving artists in the schools and by developing a PR series in local papers featuring artists and heritage-based stories of the region. The Maine Highlands Guild has begun many promotional projects and attended or spoke at state and national conferences. The guild works on joint projects with other state and regional organizations including, The Maine Highlands Corporation, Mountain Counties Heritage and the Northern Forest Alliance. In order to teach members about marketing their work, we have brought member products to various national wholesale shows in Philadelphia, Denver, and Portland (ME) as well as various retail shows throughout Maine. We have created an educational folder to help promote The Guild’s mission. Guild member products have been displayed at The Statehouse in Augusta and in The Maine Products Marketing Program’s “Virtual House Tour”. The Maine Highlands Guild also hosts a series of workshops and networking events for artisan businesses.
Guild Board of Directors and Staff…
The Maine Highlands Guild staff and board of directors are focused on educating and creating new opportunities for local artisans.
Victoria Rattigan – Shard Pottery, Roger Merchant – Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension, John Wentworth – Moosehead Manufacturing, CEO, Gail Rae – Dunloggin Bed and Breakfast, Debra Irish – The New England Cupboard, Kerry Kier – Northern Penobscot Penquis CAP, Timothy Magee – Katahdin Capital, Managing Partner, Kimberly Chase Cavanagh – Attorney-at-Law, John Holden – Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Richard Brown – The Charlotte White Center, Executive Director.
Chris Shrum – Northeast Health, Director of Government Funding, Deborah Neuman – Target Technology Center, Director, Alan Bray – Artist, John Rohman – WBRC Architects, CEO, John Kikoski – Digitas Partners, Michael Montagna – State Planning Office, Economist.
Executive Director: Tracy Michaud Stutzman, Ph.D. , Administrative Assistant: Lisa Adkins
“I fully support The Guild as it is well organized, and has garnered support in its region through strategic planning and savvy judgment of the regional environment. The Maine Highland Guild most certainly merits acknowledgement from national sources, as it is a great example of how the Creative Economy is directly benefiting Maine people.”
– Governor John E. Baldacci.