Art & Culture
Portland Public Library is the City’s cultural center and is the most visited cultural institution in Maine offering print, film, music, and online collections to showcase the arts and creativity.
We offer materials in the arts and humanities, a wide variety of programming in partnership with local cultural organizations, and a place where creative organizations and individuals can share their work with others. We celebrate the broad diversity of our community’s creative expression, and are committed to building awareness and appreciation of the arts around us.
How can we keep ourselves engaged, calm, and happy when we spend most of the day in isolation? Portland Public Library staff share some of their favorite websites and apps for learning a new skill, having fun in nature, and making each other laugh.
At this time, many cultural institutions and artists have been sharing content for free, online. We hope to curate links to free entertainment for you and yours. We will be updating this page as new content becomes available.
Portland Public Library’s knitting groups are open to adults who enjoy socializing and sharing projects, patterns, and ideas. Meetings are held every Thursday night from 6:30-7:30pm at our Riverton Branch, the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10:30am-12:00pm at our Burbank Branch, and the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30pm at our Peaks Island Branch.
The Portland Poet Laureate is an honorary position given every 2-3 years to a resident of the Greater Portland area who is both an accomplished poet and an excellent ambassador within the community. Portland’s current poet laureate is Linda Aldrich.
Founded in 1995, the Portland Conservatory of Music is a nonprofit community music school. They educate through musical instruction and concert performances. The Noonday Concert Series offers free access to performances by the Conservatory’s talented faculty, arguably among Maine’s most esteemed musicians. The weekly concerts are held in downtown Portland throughout the academic year. The series has always been an integral part of the Conservatory’s mission to provide equal access to quality music and highlight its talented faculty and students.
Page to Stage discussions are presented in partnership with the Portland Stage Co. The discussions are held at the Portland Public Library at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, in the Lewis Gallery two weeks before the show opens at Portland Stage.
Join us the First Friday of each month between 5:00-8:00pm for gallery receptions!
In addition to our ever-changing exhibits in the Lewis Gallery, PPL has a notable collection of donated and commissioned art pieces throughout our locations including the dazzling new installation The Feathered Hand by Alison Hildreth in our Main Library Atrium.
Descriptions of many pieces and information about the artists are available on PPL’s Digital Commons.
Shakespeare didn’t write to be read. His plays were meant to be performed. The speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. were beautifully written, but the experience of reading them cannot compare with the power of King’s delivery.
For more than two decades, PPL has been committed to offering the best of popular feature films, unusual indies, classics, animation, and world cinema, as well as documentaries, performances, and educational and instructional videos.
Museum Passes Available
Portland Public Library offers free passes to several local Museums and cultural sites including Portland Museum of Art, Portland Observatory, Southworth Planetarium, and the Maine State Museum. To request a pass for a specific date, with your Library card, call or visit the Lending Desk at any of our locations.
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