USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee

Current project supported by the committee

2013/2014 Focus on Art

Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

Contemporary Photography from Iran is an art exhibition of more than 60 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers. The exhibition is located in the Art Gallery on the USM Gorham campus, and the AREA Gallery located in the Woodbury Campus Center, Portland campus. Admission to each gallery is free.

The exhibition gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, while simultaneously addressing public concerns. Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota and toured by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C.

Click here for more information.

This program is sponsored by the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, and supported in part by grants from the ILEX Foundation; the University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment; and the Department of Art and Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota.


Also in 2013-2014

Samba at USM

Visiting professor Philip Galinsky, Ph.D. (ethnomusicology) will lead a 90 minute performance workshop that will provide USM students with a unique opportunity to experience samba through performing it under the supervision of an expert on Brazilian music.The workshop will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2013 in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus, and is is free and open to the public. Participation is open to USM students who attend.

Galinsky is the director of the well-known New York City group Samba New York!, which has performed on the Dr. Oz Show and the Today Show, among other venues. He has been traveling to Brazil for twenty years, as a researcher and performer, and leader of study abroad trips.

USM's Samba in Rio course is being offered in February 2014 by USM International Programs and led by Dr. Galinsky and USM's musicologist, Paul Christiansen. For more information about the winter course, visit:

This program is made possible with support from the
USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee and Bates College,
in collaboration with the USM School of Music.

Past projects:

2012/2013 Focus on Music

Da Capo Chamber Players Residency

Since its founding in 1970, the Da Capo Chamber Players has established itself as one of the foremost new music groups in the United States.  The group’s mission is to give new works the dedicated attention and exciting performances consistent with the highest musical standards in traditional repertoire.  Da Capo is a leader in building a strong heritage of present-day American chamber music: the group is known not only for exceptional artistry but also for the wealth of new compositions written for them.  Over the years, more than 80 chamber music works have been written especially for them by composers ranging from Philip Glass to Milton Babbit, Joan Tower, Jeffrey Mumford, and Su Lian Tan. The residency by this Naumberg Award-winning ensemble coincided with activities and events beneficial to students, faculty, and staff, and the general public.

This program was sponsored by the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, and made possible in part with public funds from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

In 2012-2013, the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs committee also supported the following Theatre project:

Acting With Archetypes

Ever present in classic mythology, literature, psychology, art, as well as in our own thoughts and memories, archetypes exist as energies and characters that have spanned time and culture. Utilizing breath, movement, voice, and imagination, participants explored several archetypes that enhance character development, deepen connection between text and action, and heighten intuition. The workshop culminated in a public performance of songs, stories, and activities that demonstrate this powerful work. Josh Chenard is an Assistant Professor of Acting at New Mexico State University.  Josh has taught workshops and classes all over the country from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York.  A certified instructor of the Michael Chekhov technique, Josh is also an Associate Teacher candidate of Fitzmaurice Voicework®.

The Archetypes Workshop and Performance was held on Saturday and Sunday. Then on Sunday evening the public performance was held on the Russell Hall Main Stage.

For more information, contact Emmanuelle Chaulet, (207) 780-5146,

This event was sponsored by the  USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee

2011/2012 Focus on Theatre

[Un]Spoken Maine"[Un]Spoken Maine" The USM Theatre Department, Add Verb Productions/UNE, USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, USM Campus Safety Project and USM Women & Gender Studies partner to sponsor [Un]Spoken Maine.

The [Un]Spoken Maine Project is a collection of student-written performances pieces about sexual health, communication, and safety. An ensemble of twelve actors will perform thirteen pieces that address such wide-ranging issues as first sexual experiences, domestic abuse, bystander intervention, and sexual identity. All of the actors are USM students.

Performances are free & one hour long

  • Monday, March 19, 2012 at 7:30 p.m, Russell Hall, USM Gorham campus
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at Noon, UNE Ludke Auditorium, Stevens Ave., Portland. 
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Noon, UNE Ludke Auditorium, Stevens Ave., Portland.

The [Un]Spoken Maine Project formed the core of a new education program for incoming students with the goal of promoting healthy relationships and preventing and better responding to interpersonal violence in the campus community.
Following each performance all audience members are asked to fill out a brief survey assessing the impact, effectiveness, relevance, and overall presentation of the show.  Community feedback, particularly that of students is key to crafting an effective orientation program.