Dear Friends and Members of the UMVA:

Money is not an easy thing for me to ask for.  But if the UMVA is going to carry on doing all the important things we do (see below) we need you to JOIN or RENEW your MEMBERSHIP today.  Go to  and you’ll see the JOIN/RENEW  button at the bottom of the page.  Or mail your check for our sliding scale membership ($45 to $25), whatever you can afford, to: UMVA, c/o Jackie Bennett, Treasurer, PO Box 51, Walpole, ME  04573.

I’m also announcing that we have a NEW PRESIDENT.  I was the head of the UMVA for more than 20 years; Thankfully, WILLIAM HESSIAN has stepped in to lead us. He has got everything it takes: energy, ideas, creativity, attitude…. and youth! He has been a remarkable member of the board and has led the Portland Chapter for quite a while now.  I will stay on the board as Emeritus and lend my experience wherever it is needed.

The UMVA has been connecting, supporting, and inspiring Maine artists since 1975. The time has come for Maine’s longest running  grassroots arts organization to ask for help.

The great American playwright, Arthur Miller, said, “… the job of the artist is to remind people of what they have chosen to forget.”  

I don’t know of another arts organization in the state that takes that quote more seriously than the UMVA. Our mission is to remind people of their essential humanity, their obligations to community, and the beneficence of beauty.  And, particularly today, we remind people that truth remains the central aspiration of the artist.

Here are some of our ongoing projects and programs:

The Maine Arts  Journal: UMVA Quarterly has produced one spectacular issue after another every quarter. There is no other visual or editorial art journal like it in the state in terms of ambition or quality. And subscriptions are free! But it costs US to keep it going. So PLEASE RENEW or JOIN to keep the Maine Arts Journal going.

The Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) has produced hundreds of banners and posters  for an enormous range of causes and events, giving those causes immediate visual identification and support.  Enthusiastic UMVA members paint the banners and can always use more help.

LumenARRT! has delighted and informed thousands of passersby with their nighttime urban projections on urgent topics ranging from Climate Change to Immigration. Some of their work has become interactive so that audiences can become part of the projections. Their savvy social media presence extends their work to a national audience.

The Maine Masters Project has released three new, award winning documentaries in the past few years on Jon Imber, Ashley Bryan and Fred Woell. They have been shown at film festivals, major museums, and theaters all over the US and in many places around the world.  New members get a free streaming.

The two UMVA chapters in Portland and Lewiston/Auburn are going strong. The successful UMVA Gallery on Congress St. has already planned exhibits for the entirety of 2019.  Money is needed for rent and curator stipends.

We want two things from you. First, we want you to join us. BECOME A MEMBER. Bring your energy and ideas to these projects.  Second we hope you will give an additional donation. The UMVA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit so your gift is tax deductible.

We do a lot, but we could do a lot more with your help because we are you. Thank you,

Robert Shetterly

Former President, UMVA