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PPL at 150: A leading non-profit

posted: , by Emily Levine
tags: About the Library | PPL150 | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors

Throughout 2017, some of our partners will share their perspective on PPL in honor of our 150th anniversary celebration.

Today’s contributor, Jennifer Hutchins, is the Executive Director of the Maine Association of Nonprofits. Jennifer is currently reading Voltaire Almighty: a life in pursuit of freedom by Roger Pearson.

MANP Executive Director Jennifer Hutchins


 

Maine’s future prosperity depends on advancing innovative solutions to address community challenges, connecting people to opportunities, and strengthening our social fabric through broader civic engagement.  This is the daily work of the nonprofit sector, aptly exemplified by Portland Public Library.

Step inside on any given day to find the Library connecting people to economic opportunities, nurturing innovative ideas, inspiring creativity, and fostering a joy of reading. This is all made possible by champions of a civil society in which free access and open exchange of ideas is valued and advocated. Our libraries are the repositories of the stuff that fuels our minds and souls, and I am continually impressed by the proactive ways my library colleagues share this deep well of knowledge and information with the community.

A true community center, Portland Public Library serves an impressive diversity of people. I am inspired by and grateful for this space where neighbors actually see and talk to one another face to face, given our evolving society that increasingly relies on virtual spaces for communication and dialogue.

The Maine Association of Nonprofits’ mission is to improve the quality of community and personal life in Maine by strengthening the leadership, voice, and organizational effectiveness of our state’s nonprofits. As a MANP member, the Library is part of a network of more than 800 nonprofits throughout Maine that are united around a common purpose: to advance the common good.

One of the larger nonprofits in Maine, the Library is part of a significant economic engine. In 2014, the state’s nonprofit sector employed 1 in 6 workers and contributed $11 billion to the economy. Portland Public Library is just one example of Maine’s approximately 3,000 public charities, sustaining dozens of jobs, while providing services and programs that make our community a better place to live and work.

Nonprofits are critical partners with government and business. Every day, they are hard at work, often with the help of hundreds of volunteers, weaving strong social fabric, cultivating civil society, and stimulating a healthy economy. Working hand in hand, we all can play a part in maintaining and improving the quality of life of our state.


Animation from Videoport and PPL

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

Animation provides film makers with a variety of styles and techniques for realizing their artistic vision. On April 1st, the Portland Public Library will make available the entire adult animation collection from Videoport, along with the animation we have been collecting over the years. Try searching the keywords “animation,” or “animation for adults,” and request the films you want to see.

Here’s a list to get you started.


Movie of the Month: Daughters of the Dust

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture

It’s women’s history month, and our featured film has lots of women and quite a bit of history–the well-researched and visually gorgeous Daughters of the Dust by writer/director Julie Dash.

Set in 1902 on St. Helena Island off the coast of South Carolina, the story is ostensibly about a family reunion that takes place just before a faction of the family moves North, but as the late great, Roger Ebert observed, in a review dated 25 years ago today, “…there is the sense that all of them are going…and all of them are staying behind, because the family is…a single entity.” Indeed, the ancestors are present at the picnic, as well as children yet to be born.

The Peazant family is descended from the Ibo people of West Africa, and like others on the Sea Islands, their isolation has allowed them to maintain many of their traditions and rituals. They speak Gullah, which is mostly English in vocabulary but West African in its cadences and intonations. Nana Peazant, the matriarch, fears that the language, the traditions, the family history will be lost when the family assimilates into mainland culture.

It is rare to find a film set in these islands, focused on these people. In addition, Dash has researched and recreated authentic period hairstyles and exquisitely detailed costumes, and used the device of a visiting photographer to create beautiful tableaux. Check out Daughters of the Dust, and enjoy a unique cinematic experience.

 

For more films about women, click here and here.

For an interview with writer/director Julie Dash, click here.

And click here to read Richard Brody’s New Yorker article entitled Forgotten Treasures of Black Women’s Cinema.

 

 

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