The mission of The Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society is to stimulate the arts within the community and schools, provide a suitable space for the performing arts which is also audience friendly, provide work and display areas that enable a strong community and academic arts program, and promote life-long learning experiences for the citizens of Bucksport.
The Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society is an organization dedicated to support and promote the cultural and performing arts for Bucksport and surrounding communities.
The Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society was formed in the spring of 1999, following in the footsteps of Cultural Arts Auditorium Study Committee. This committee worked diligently together for 18 months pursuing all facets of enriching our community by bringing the reality of a cultural arts center into being. Ensuring the continued viability of such a project was also of importance to this group.
Meet The 2017 ~ 2018 Board of Directors and Board Members
In Memoriam Brian Leeman
ORLAND and BUCKSPORT – Brian C. Leeman, 53, died unexpectedly at his home Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. He was born in Bangor, the son of Robert W. Leeman, and Joyce A. (LeClair) Leeman Violette on July 6, 1960.
Brian graduated from Bucksport High School and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Prior to beginning work at Verso Paper, he was employed by New England Telephone Company.
Brian loved all things theater; was involved with Bucksport Community Theatre, and directed their production of Oklahoma. He also served as Vice President of BACAS (Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society), and was also very much involved with the development of the new Bucksport Performing Arts Center. He served as a member of the Bucksport Town Council.
Any person interested in supporting BACAS in its support of the arts may become a member. BACAS recognizes the importance of community involvement, and has set membership dues at very affordable rates.
All members are welcome to attend Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society Board of Directors meetings which are held on the last Tuesday of each month, except December. The meetings take place at the Bucksport Town Office at 6:30 p.m.
Brian also had a special talent and love of computers and electronics, being a certified repair technician on many levels, and having previously been a partner in his own Electronics sales and service business, Silver Street Audio, here in Bucksport. Brian also had a great love and knowledge of both music and history. While employed at Verso Paper Mill, he was involved in both the Safety program, and in developing of graphics and software programs in the Training Program. Brian was a member of Union 261, where he served as President, Treasurer and Shop Steward. read the rest click here.
BACAS | Who We Are
President Laurie Brooks
President Laurie Brooks was recently elected to the presidency. She is a transplant, originally from Gorham, Maine. She raised her two children in Sidney, just outside of Waterville, and now has grandchildren in Maryland and Pennsylvania. A middle school language arts teacher for 14 years and an art teacher for the past nine, she is currently the district Gifted and Talented Program teacher and coordinator for RSU 25. Laurie is actively interested in seeing Wilson Hall brought back to life. She serves as co-chair for the Bucksport Arts Festival, a yearly event held in August.
Vice-President Christopher Johnson
Vice-President Christopher Johnson recently became our VP. Retired from Eastern Maine Medical Center, Chris is a beekeeper, an avid gardener, and has sped up his involvement within the community. He is one of the main movers and shakers behind the birth of “Bucksport’s Heart & Soul” initiative, and is also active in the Bucksport Historical Society. You can often find him volunteering at the historical society’s museum during the summer months. A technical whiz, he is working hard to get the BACAS board up on “the Cloud.” Chris, and his equally active wife, Karen, are residents of North Bucksport.
Corresponding Secretary Valorie Shaffner
Secretary Valorie Shaffner is serving her second year in this BACAS position, and is an active member of Bucksport's Heart & Soul, serving as its recording secretary, and on the Communication & Publicity Team. Recently retired, Val has given her time and talents to her Bucksport community, and enjoys whipping up culinary delights for the monthly North Bucksport Church Suppers. A devoted mother and grandmother, Val lives in North Bucksport with her husband, Ray.
Recording Secretary Lisa Whitney
Recording Secretary Lisa Whitney shares: Thanks to my parents, and bloodhounds, I became a resident of Maine back in 1979, after living in Catonsville and Ellicott City, Maryland. After residing in Searsport and Hudson, I moved to Bucksport with my own family in 1986, and with two daughters in school, became involved in the local PTA and activities at St. Vincent de Paul's Church. Eventually, I ran for a seat on the Bucksport Town Council, and proudly served the community from 1992 until 2010, and as "Madame Mayor" for eight of those years. One of the greatest accomplishments of my time on the Council was seeing a personal dream come true: the building of the Bucksport Performing Arts Center.
What started as a study committee morphed into BACAS, and with the support of numerous like-minded citizens, members of the community, the town manager, and members of the Bucksport Town Council, the auditorium opened in October of 2003. I feel blessed to live in a community, and a part of Maine, that teems with so many artistically talented individuals.
Having taught in the Bucksport School Department, and currently teaching in the Glenburn School Department, I am thrilled to see past and present students sharing their time and talents, with other members of the community, at the BPAC. It is my firm belief that Bucksport and our neighboring communities are enriched, culturally and economically, by the presence of BACAS and the BPAC.
Sandi Blanchette is a musician and will sing, as her mother always said, "at the drop of a hint." She was born in Normal, Illinois, the only normal thing about her. She loves children, theater and music which is why she is our resident community theater director having done both full scale productions and the children's summer music theater camp. She lives with her husband in the home he built for her on the shore of Rocky Pond in Orland.
George A. Hanson was born in Bradford, Maine and has been associated with, worked, and/or lived in Bucksport since 1964. He worked several years in the engineering department at the St. Regis Paper Co. Mill before returning to the UM to complete my degree work in engineering. He then worked away from Bucksport for several years. He goes on to say, “My family moved back to Bucksport in 1988 and I’ve been here since.
I’ve served on the Bucksport School Board and was chairman for several years and currently serve as Chairman of the Bucksport Planning Board.Having three children pass through the Bucksport School System afforded me ample opportunity to sit in the gymnasium(s) and try to enjoy a drama production, a choral presentation or other non-athletic event with the added ambient sounds of squeaking bleachers, slamming doors and scraping chairs. When the Town Council reached out for volunteers to sit on an auditorium interest assessment committee, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in garnering support for building a performing arts center in Bucksport.
It was from this study group that the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society (BACAS) was born 18 years ago. I’ve served as the group’s president since its founding and have been fortunate to work with several dedicated individuals and members to not only see the dream of a performing arts center be fulfilled, but to enhance the cultural opportunities for the Bucksport area as well.” BACAS is extremely grateful to George for having served as its president since its inception in 1999.
Larry Wahl: A true Renaissance man, Larry is the owner of Wahl’s Dairy Port, a renowned and beloved specialty ice cream shop noted for “over 60 years of ice cream artistry” in the heart of downtown Bucksport. He is also a talented graphic designer, having designed the logos for not only his own shop, but for the “We Believe in Bucksport” campaign, as well as “Bucksport’s Heart & Soul” initiative. Larry is also into carpentry, and with two other gentlemen in the area, has helped stabilize the historic Wilson Hall while it awaits its new revival. The Buck Memorial Library’s renovation project is near and dear to his heart as well. BACAS is especially grateful to Larry for enthusiastically supporting BACAS with the 225 Celebrate Bucksport commemorative T-shirt dedication.