Native Arts Exhibit & Performance

October 23 - 7PM

Bingham Auditoirum, 45 Church Street, Gould Academy, Bethel

Tickets $15 - Students Free

Call 207-890-6386 to reserve, pay at the door, OR

purchase online by clicking here

A Celebration of Native Arts will culminate Oct. 23 with a rare exhibit of fine Micmac basketry of Richard Silliboy and the Nativemusic and dance the Burnurwurbskek Drummers and Dancers October 23,  at 7PM, at Bingham Auditorium on the Gould Academy campus. This event will kick off the Mahoosuc Arts Council 2014-15 Mountain Arts Performance Series.

This program is funded in part by a $5000 Arts Expansion grant from the Maine Community Foundation for a collaborative project between the arts council and the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce designed to shatter stereotypes and respectably celebrate our true founding local Native American culture. The project began in the winter of 2013 with an essay challenge at Gould Academy at Telstar High School led by Arla Patch of Maine Wabanaki REACH (reconciliation, engagement, advocacy, change, healing). The project continued last summer with presentations of the Burnurwurbskek Drummers and the work of Mr. Silliboy.

Before the performance at 5 PM, the public is invited to see the fine Micmac potato baskets of Mr. Silliboy who will present to ask questions. At 7PM the men of the Burnurwurbskek Dummers will join their sister dancers for a performance on the Bingham stage.

Since time immemorial the Penawaskewi (Penobscot) along with their neighboring brothers and sisters, collectively called the Wabanaki, have passed down their creation stories, traditional knowledge, heritage and songs to the subsequent generations.  Most of the to be songs performed by the Burnurwurbskek Singers are originated from medicine & individual vision quest ceremonies, casual and formal gatherings, blessing ceremonies for the annual harvests and their corresponding moons, for their warriors going out to battle, hunters leaving for their family hunting grounds, and also honor songs for their mothers and children.

The core group consists of Dean Francis, Nick Francis and his two sons, Ron Bear and his two sons, Nick and Cree Bear, John Neptune, Rob Dana and his brother Barry Dana. Traditionally hand and water drummers, they were introduced to the larger, western style drum back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Since then, they have been performing their traditional Penobscot and Wabanaki songs for audiences across Maine and many other states. Female dancers will also perform in striking traditional costumes. We are able to bring this group into the Mountain Arts Performance Series due to a Maine Community Foundation Arts Expansion grant awarded to the Mahoosuc Arts Council for a collaborative project with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

“….performer Dean Francis he said that they were ‘drumming from their toes…. Rather than clap, what the Burnurwurbskek Singers prompted me to was to….. reflect upon the strength and bravery of those who labor to help their children remain proud of their heritage and their community to stay together,” Dr. Patricia Pierce Erikson, Cultural Anthropologist


Mountain Arts Guide IS COMING SOON


Cover art by Lauren Head

Lauren Head has a BA in studio art, over 28 years of experience in art education and is the founder and director of the Gould Blacksmithing program. She has attended numerous workshops at institutions including: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, Center for Creative Imaging, The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center and Peters Valley Craft Center. Lauren has been responsible for coordinating workshops with visiting artists to support the art curriculum and the Sophomore Four Point Program. Her work has been commissioned for non-profit and private collections.  She currently teaches: Blacksmithing, Metal Design, Sculpture, Freshman Sophomore art and Design.
Along with being an art educator, Lauren is a former member of the United States Telemark Ski Team and a National Champion in Telemark GS and Moguls. Currently she is the head coach of the alpine ski racing development program and is a level 3 nationally certified coach.  When Lauren isn’t teaching or working in the studio she can be found spending time with her family; husband Robert Baribeau and son Alexander, climbing mountains, skiing, tending chickens and participating in activities in the outdoors.

Nonprofit Excellence

Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence

Recipent of the 2011 Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence, the Mahoosuc Arts Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting the advancement of the arts and humanities in the adult communities and schools systems of the Greater Bethel Area since 1986.

Council Executive Director Aranka Matolcsy (far left) and Board Chair Tera Ingraham (second from right) present Outstanding Service Awards to board members Melanie Ellsworth (left of center), Kathy Hodsdon (center) and Linda Stowell (far right)

We Are Proud Members

  • Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Bethel Nonprofit Collaborative
  • Maine Alliance for Arts Education
  • Arts Presenters of Northern New England
  • Maine Assication of Nonprofits