Arts events at UMM part of Downeast Pride Festival

The University of Maine at Machias is hosting several free public events in June as part of Washington County’s first annual Downeast Pride Festival, organized by Downeast Rainbow Alliance, and sponsored in part by Merrill Library and the UMM Division of Arts and Letters.

A film festival in the Performing Arts Center will kick off with the documentary From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet? on Thursday, June 20 at 6 p.m. A discussion will follow the screening.

Pride will be screened on Friday, June 21 at 6 p.m., followed by The Miseducation of Cameron Post at 8 p.m.

The UMM Art Gallery will exhibit a series of drawings of LGBTQ+ superheroes by Kevin Dutil, June 20–28. The gallery in Powers Hall is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. June 20 and 8 p.m., June 21.

The pride festival will offer fun and educational events for families, teens and adults, says Lois-Ann Kuntz, a UMM professor of psychology and adviser for the school’s LGBTQ+ club, 100% Society. “When rural young people are able to be their true selves in a safe and affirming environment, it can be a transformative experience,” she adds.

View the full schedule of Downeast Pride Festival events:

The film series will offer a variety of perspectives on the LGBT experience. From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet? (56 min.; 2016) explores the history of the LGBT civil rights movement, including the Stonewall Riot, a watershed moment in LGBT activism and the catalyst for the modern-day pride movement.

Pride (120 min., 2014) is a historical comedy-drama based on the true story of a 1984 British workers’ strike leading to an unlikely alliance between coal miners and the LGBT community.

Based on the 2012 novel by Emily M. Danforth. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (90 min., 2018) depicts one teenager’s experience with “conversion therapy,” a controversial practice that was recently banned in the state of Maine.