Libra Foundation will Support Two UMM Faculty Projects

The University of Maine at Machias has selected two UMM faculty projects for a total of $8,550 in Libra Foundation funding. The Libra Foundation is a private foundation that awards grant funding throughout the state of Maine. Both projects will take place in 2017.
The first project is proposed by Dr. Meghan Duff and is a screening of the film “Seed: The Untold Story.” This documentary follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 seed varieties have disappeared. A cadre of 10 agrichemical companies, including Syngenta, Bayer, and Monsanto, controls over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. As shown in the film, farmers and others battle to defend the future of food. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion with Jim Gerritsen and Gary Nahban, pioneers in heirloom and organic seed saving and preservation.  “Meghan Duff’s proposal will be of significant benefit to UMM and the local region,” President Sue Huseman stated. “It complements our environmental liberal arts focus and curriculum.”
The second project to be funded was proposed by Drs. Bernie Vinzani and Tessa Mellas and includes a week-long residency at UMM for Emma Sovich. Dr. Sovich’s work will include the creation of a chapbook of poems crafted with handmade paper. The night of the printing, the UMM Book Arts program – unique in the state of Maine – will host an open house in which the community can participate. In addition, Sovich will teach classes, host a workshop and provide a reading of her work.
Huseman said this residency will serve to enhance one of UMM’s signature programs, English, Creative Writing and Book Arts.