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.
On Thursday nights in January, the Library presents films about the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement.
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.
This exhibit is generously sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council.
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.
Join us for a series of films based on banned books. This year’s selections include Jeannette Walls’s moving memoir “The Glass Castle,” a Coen Brothers interpretation of a Cormac McCarthy novel (almost as controversial as the novel itself) and a tribute to the late Philip Roth.
Portland Public Library’s knitting groups are geared toward 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, 1600 Forest Avenue. Knitters also meet on the second Saturday of every month from 10:30am-12:00pm at our Burbank Branch, 377 Stevens Avenue.
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 two weeks before the show opens at Portland Stage.
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.
Up Next at the Library:
From the PPL blog:
Newly available from the Videoport collection: Bollywood films More »
The 1968 Project aims to highlight some of the historic events of the year. More »
Introducing the Videoport pop music movies, now requestable from the Portland Public Library More »