SCAI - Sunrise County Arts Institute logo

The Sunrise County Arts Institute

SCAI is the vision of two Milbridge residents, who've lived part-time in this community since 2008, and in 2014 relocated full-time from NY State, with a commitment to making a specific, needed difference within our DownEast community through the arts.

The Sunrise County Arts Institute The Sunrise County Arts Institute
SCAI's Center is on a nature preserve-like property with its own wooded Point and sand beach. Photos: Sunrise County Arts Institute

 

Who are we, and what do we do?

SCAI, founded in 2014, was incorporated in 2015 as a Maine public benefit corporation.  We currently offer at our scenic Center in Milbridge and other locations nearby and in the DownEast/Acadia region:

SUNRISE COUNTY ARTS INSTITUTE (SCAI) offers ongoing programs and special events in music, theater, writing, visual arts, and interdisciplinary arts, at its scenic Center in Milbridge, ME, and partner venues in the region.  

It also provides a venue for artists "from away" to get to know our region, as they come to complete concentrated creative work on retreat, or to share their gifts and experience through teaching residencies.  

Our mission: to inspire and foster the creative and performing arts in Washington County, Maine, and the wider Downeast & Acadia Region, for personal, community and regional development.

  • Private voice lessons (part-scholarship as needed)
  • Group lessons and workshops
  • Youth theater opportunities
  • Artistic support for school & after-school programs
  • Singing and writing groups
  • TLC's (Tiny Little Concerts) at the studio on Fish Point
  • Residencies by visiting performing artists and teachers, with public presentations
  • "Starry Nights" at Fish Point.  Use our telescope or BYO; we have deep dark skies & bright stars!  
  • Programs integrating the arts with nature, on SCAI's mini-nature-preserve property, and public resources in our glorious region. 

The next two years will see summer youth theater productions led by expert visiting directors; a summer weekend music festival in Milbridge; a longer fall/spring concert series; a regular drama club and a show chorus for middle and high school students; and residencies by visiting artists, writers, performers, directors, sharing their work in public and school settings as well as at our Center.  These expansions of our offerings require an influx of new financial support to bring them to fruition. 

Later, as our funding base develops, we plan to create subsidized, paid internship/apprenticeships in arts administration and voice teaching; and will expand the music festival and youth theater programs.  Our long-range vision includes a residential summer institute for talented young classical singers and pianists.

Our model is cooperative with existing organizations in our region, and we're happy to be working collaboratively with several of them.

 

See Some of the Milestones of Our First 3 Years

 

Meet the Co-Founders

Danielle Woerner, President and Artistic Director, is an internationally respected singer and recording artist, voice teacher and workshop leader, writer and songwriter.  Also an entrepreneuse with deep background in PR, marketing, award-winning journalism, arts administration, and the arts and mental health, she brings all those skills and attributes to SCAI. Photo: Michael Gold
Claude Johnson, Vice President and Executive Director, is now in his "encore career" at SCAI, having retired from a successful 4-decade career in information technology, in which he was responsible for IT development and for the management of businesses, products, and people.   He co-directs planning and activities, and oversees the Center's property and infrastructure. Photo: Johanna S. Billings

 

Location

The Sunrise County Arts InstituteOur Center, on its own private wooded peninsula with a sand beach, is situated on a quiet road just minutes from the center of Milbridge, a hub town in the dramatically beautiful seaside zone known as the Bold Coast. We're about halfway between MDI/Acadia National Park, and the Campobello Island/Eastport area at the far eastern end of the Maine coast. Our facility includes a large high-ceilinged studio with a grand piano for rehearsals, intimate concerts, and readings of plays and new literature; and a private ground-floor handicap-accessible apartment with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and its own kitchen, laundry and entrance, which is used for retreats, residencies and regular community events.*

In addition to the Center itself, larger-scale public activities are presented at several nearby churches, schools and community centers, which have enthusiastically offered to host these events.

Finally, a waterfront 3BR house on the other side of the bay is also used for retreats, and for residency presenters' housing.

*Note: when not being used for SCAI events and retreats, the apartment is available for vacation rentals. You can see details on VRBO and airbnb, and either book through them or contact us directly.  Both retreats and vacation rentals help support our operating expenses to make local programs possible. 

 

Support for SCAI

Washington County is a dramatically beautiful region — with a mostly agrarian/fishing, seasonal economy.  Most of our programs, including private lessons, need to be subsidized for about 80% of participants, so they can be offered free or for a modest contribution.  Founders/Administrators and Board members are volunteers.  So our fund-raising is for the programs themselves, AND for the people who want and need them and the enrichment they offer.

 

Please visit our "Get Involved" page to see many ways you might be able to help us fulfill our mission!  

Upcoming SCAI Events & Collaborations

See All Our Events    Join our mailing list