SummerWind Arts Fest back for second edition

WINDHAM – Organizers of the second annual SummerWind Arts Fest are excited for another edition of Windham’s only music and art festival, which takes place in North Windham on Saturday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

With the help of University of Southern Maine music student Brad Longfellow and sound engineer Neal Conant, the festival is featuring more artists and more musicians this year, many of them local.

“Brad knows a lot of musicians, is respected among his peers and he’s very creative,” said festival organizer Jennifer White. “So we’re looking forward to all the musicians that he’s bringing in the lineup.”

White, owner of A Joyful Noise Christian Day Care & Learning Center at the intersection of River Road and Route 302 in North Windham, also operates a Christian missionary organization based in Windham, Global Harvest Outreach, which is sponsoring the festival.

The festival, she explained, is not a Christian event, although some of the performers and artist vendors are Christians. White and the organizing committee realized two years ago that Windham needed a festival devoted to art and music and endeavored to launch one of their own.

“The purpose is to celebrate the arts in this area and to bring together some good music and some really creative and artistic talent that we have in the community,” White said. “It’s a great family day and family event.”

White and Longfellow have so far got promises from several artists, with some repeat performers and some new. Lisa Gallant Seal and the L Band, based in Standish, will once again grace the stage, which this year will be stationed close to Route 302 in the Joyful Noise parking lot in order to lure more visitors.

Also returning is Lamar Callahan, a rapper from Massachusetts and youth motivational speaker.

Mr. Moon, a bluegrass trio of sisters, Halle and Kati Pottle, as well as Richie Keyes, is coming from Waldo County to perform.

Bluesy acoustic singer/songwriter Bernie Tajonera of New Gloucester and Tamar Allen, an acoustic singer/songwriter from Raymond, will perform as well.

“We’ve got a good mix,” White says of the bevy of performers, which could increase by showtime.

This year will also feature more artists, each of which rent a 10-by-10-foot space on site and will be selling their art.

Vera Wainwright, a Windham resident and owner of On the Table Coasters in Windham, will have her tabletop coasters featuring nautical maps and photography.

Jeanne Merrill, an acrylic painter from Windham, will be showing, as will Tommy Truscott, a Windham photographer who just graduated from Windham High School.

White said Elizabeth LaChance, of Naples, will bring her recycled home furniture on which she paints whimsical designs.

Also in attendance will be handbag maker Linda Libby, from Cornish-based Stone Hill Creations, as well as several other vendors including representatives from Galaxie Salsa Co., based in Buxton, which sells homemade salsa.

Artists interested in taking part or musicians wishing to perform still have time to apply by calling White at 712-7371.

“It’s going to be really neat,” White said. “It’s a lot of music, a lot of different art vendors. Everything we can cram into the parking lot here. Eventually, I’d like to see it outgrow this space, and I think it will.”

The cast from the Windham Center Stage Theater’s production of the musical Seussical performed at noon during the event last year. The Cat in the Hat, performed by Jake Dunham of Lovell, tries to hear what only Horton (Matthew Ryder of Windham) can hear, a Who, during an ensemble song.    
Brenna and Catherine Ryder of Windham admire a colorful window painting by artist Marcia Schinella-Gibson of Saco last year.
Sound engineer Neal Conant of Mechanic Falls helps Jessi McKinnon prepare for her solo acoustic set last year.
LamarLisa Gallant Seal