Collins Center offering online arts and cultural resources 

The Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine launched a temporary website to offer cultural resources while its physical stage is dark during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“For more than three decades, the CCA has been a beacon for cultural and artistic activity in our region,” says Danny Williams, executive director of the CCA. “But now — in the absence of face-to-face gatherings — and when people need it the most, we are here. As we do with our regular season program, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. We hope these resources will be educational, entertaining and most of all, fun.”

The site includes six sections with a variety of offerings: CCA Event Updates, Show Stuff, Maine Talent Showcase, Performances, Performing Arts Links, and Staff Picks. 

“CCA Event Updates” will provide regular updates to the performance schedule, including cancellations and postponements, for Collins Center and Bangor Symphony Orchestra shows. 

“Show Stuff” offers three-minute videos by staff and others about what goes on behind the scenes at the CCA. Williams created a video that explains the meaning of a ghost light, and another about the center’s Steinway D piano. Scott Stitham, CCA assistant technical director, takes viewers behind the stage and gives them a preview of future videos he will create. Other staff members and student employees will create videos to show people what it takes to put on a small or large event. Do you have a question, such as, “When am I supposed to clap at a chamber music concert?” or, “How do you tune a piano?” Questions can be submitted to and may be featured. 

“Maine Talent Showcase” is a virtual talent contest — the CCA invites people from Maine or who attend school in Maine to send in videos of themselves engaging in the performing arts. Performances could include singing, playing an instrument, dancing, performing a monologue, creating a comedy routine, reading an original poem and more. If music is included, it should be played with live instruments and not be pre-recorded. CCA staff will choose the top 10 finalists, and the public will choose a winner to be featured on the website. Thanks to a generous benefactor, there also will be a total of $1,000 in prizes — $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place. 

“Performances” includes a variety of links to performing arts shows for people to enjoy at home online, with content from sources worldwide, including the Met Opera and National Theatre Live. 

“Performing Arts Links” provides online resources for many topics related to arts and culture, including classes, educational opportunities, collections of plays and music, and an online musical instrument museum, as well as resources for families.  

“Staff Picks” features CCA staff members sharing what they’re watching, reading, listening to and learning while they work from home.  

The site overall offers entertainment and meaningful content for UMaine community members and the public to enjoy while awaiting the return of in-person events at the CCA.