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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.

Dr. Katherine Gaudet, Assistant Director of UNH’s University Honors Program, will facilitate a discussion of Monica Wood’s ReadME pick “The Moth: 50 True Stories.” In partnership with the Maine Humanities council, we invite you to connect with other Maine Readers through this shared reading experience.


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Portland Public Library hosts nationally touring authors at the Spotlight Series.  Authors talk about newly released work followed by audience Q&A and a book signing.  The series is co-hosted by Portland Public Library and sponsored by the Press Hotel and Bangor Savings Bank.


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Each summer we screen this award winning documentary series about a wide variety of subjects with our partners at POV weeks before the films air on PBS.  The films are held on Thursday evenings at 6:30pm in the Rines Auditorium unless noted otherwise.

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Formerly known as the Brown Bag Lecture Series, our new Literary Lunch Series is held at noon the last Wednesday of each month. We host New England authors with recently-released work in conversation with a literary friend, colleague or critic. Bring your lunch and join us!

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Torres meets Tárrega: Spanish Guitar Music of Francisco Tárrega and contemporaries
Tuesday, July 11th at 1pm in the Lewis Gallery

“What’s so ‘early’ about Early Music?”
Tuesday, July 25th at 1pm in the Rines Auditorium

An Age of Invention: Music of 17th-Century Italy for ‘Cello and Theorbo
Tuesday, August 22nd at 1pm in the Lewis Gallery

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The Riverton Knitting group is for adults who enjoy socializing and sharing projects, patterns, and ideas. Meetings every Thursday night, except for the 2nd Thursday of the month, from 6:30-7:30pm at our Riverton Branch, 1600 Forest Ave.

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Portland Public Library hosts Community Events in conjunction with the 2017 Camden Conference

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Greater Portland’s only writing group dedicated to journal and memoir writing! Journalists will be encouraged to produce creative, reflective writing through the use of autobiographic and historic elements in PPL’s collections: this includes memoirs, archives, journalism, letter correspondence, and the history of writing in material culture.

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The Feathered Hand

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.

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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:
Read ME: Maine Calling Live Taping1:00pm - 2:00pm
Rines Auditorium
From the PPL blog:
Journaling in the Library- from Longfellow’s garden
PPL's Journaling in the Library group visits Longfellow's Garden- and writes!   More »
Summer Staff Picks: New Fiction!
PPL Staff members share favorite new fiction picks from throughout the library.   More »
Contact the team leader
Raminta Moore   Email »
Art & Humanities Librarian
207-871-1700 x725
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