2020 is a big year for Maine and for the Maine Science Festival as we continue to focus on the remarkable science happening in Maine AND breaking down the silos that have built up between science and the arts.
One of the major areas of scientific investigation and expertise in Maine is climate change, with internationally renowned researchers at the forefront of climate change research worldwide. We are also “home” to a body of water that is warming faster than almost any other on earth: the Gulf of Maine. In recognition of Maine’s climate research leaders, the Bicentennial, and the impact of warming water to the Gulf, the MSF has commissioned GRAMMY award winner Lucas Richman to write a symphonic exploration about climate change in the Gulf of Maine: The Warming Sea. This piece will have its world premiere at the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s March 22, 2020 concert (Masterworks IV: Sounds of the Sea) that will double as the 2020 Maine Science Festival headliner event and is a Maine Bicentennial event.
For The Warming Sea, MSF Founder and Director Kate Dickerson has been coordinating interviews between Lucas and Mainers who have direct knowledge of climate change in the Gulf of Maine: Maine scientists and those who work in the Gulf. Our hope is that these interviews will help inform Lucas’ composition by providing him the insight of others who can explain what is happening in/to the Gulf of Maine; what it means to Maine and the Gulf to be under the immense threat posed by climate change; and what is being done to mitigate it as much as possible.
The MSF – arts partnership is not limited to the 2020 Headliner. We are also partnering with Penobscot Theatre Company for the Maine premiere of Safety Net, a play that addresses the impact of opioids on a small town. The MSF will focus on the science and research of addiction, working with Penobscot Theatre Company to bring scientists, researchers, and policy makers to forums, talk backs, and pre-talk sessions throughout the run of the show.
We are honored to be teaming up with arts organizations to better understand two of the most important issues facing Maine.