Community-based artist residencies are offered from time to time, in spring and/or fall, at Haystack and are organized by the school’s Community Programs Coordinator, Hannah Barrows. Past residencies have included the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, visual artist/ceramist/muralist, Eddie Dominguez, Maine-based knitter and sculptor, Katharine Cobey, and environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck.

Spring 2012

Liz Lerman. Photo by Lise Metzger.

Liz Lerman. Photo by Lise Metzger.

Our most recent Community-Based Artist Residency, occurred in 2012 with Liz Lerman.

Liz Lerman, one of the country’s leading choreographers, was in residence at Haystack’s Center for Community Programs from March 19-30. During her residency she gave talks and lead workshops focusing on creativity. She is also developing a new dance about the Civil War and did research for this at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society. Liz Lerman was based at the school’s Center for Community Programs in Deer Isle village where she also lead a workshop for teachers in the Deer Isle-Stonington Schools and movement workshops at the Island Nursing Home. Read the related March 20 Bangor Daily News article.

Liz, Haystack staff, and community volunteers partnered with residents at Deer Isle’s Island Nursing Home on two occasions. Movements were developed as a group, through stories and remembrances, and also as dances, prepared and performed by each set of partners. Lots of participation, lots of fun.


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Public talks were free and were held at Haystack’s Center for Community Programs. These included:

  • Looking at the Creative Process
  • Examining Research Tools for Artwork and Projects
  • Evaluating Work / Value of Feedback


On Sunday, March 25 One Sky – One World, a community gathering was held, hosted by the Community of Christ Church in Stonington. Liz Lerman’s work often focuses on the spiritual lives of communities and her presentation addressed this and other issues. Music for the program was provided by The Community Choir and Evensong West. Both were directed by Win Pusey. Refreshments and fellowship in the church’s community room followed. It was a great turnout with over sixty participants.

In addition to being a visiting artist at Haystack during the summer recently, Liz Lerman and her dance company worked with Haystack and Island residents, in 2001, to present the inaugural public performance at the Reach Performing Arts Center at the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School. She has been a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award and was one of fifty artists in the country to receive a United States Artists fellowship in 2011. Liz Lerman has recently published a book, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer (Wesleyan University Press, 2011), about creative process and was artist in residence at Harvard University in the fall. She attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, and received a BA in Dance from the University of Maryland and an MA in Dance from George Washington University.

Haystack’s residency with Liz Lerman was supported by a grant from the Island Education Foundation and from a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation.

While at Haystack in 2008 as a visiting artist, Liz Lerman choreographed Swan Lake, which was performed by session participants during an end-of-session auction.


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