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September 18, 2017

Presque Isle’s art scene gets boost with downtown initiative

More than 20 artists are lined up to create an artists hub in Presque Isle in the third floor of the Key Bank building downtown.

Thecounty.me reported that local artist Lin Trombley kicked off the initiative as a way to promote the city's growing art community. She's in the process of securing grants to pay rent for space and other startup costs and will charge a per-month fee to artists.

Trombley said she wants to offer an affordable option for artists to establish themselves, share their work with the public and learn new techniques in a casual setting.

"Change starts when you're able to get your work in front of people and show your message and make them think and start conversations," she told the Bangor Daily News' outlet in Aroostook County. "I think starting those conversations in the community is imperative because that's where it starts, in small communities, and then branches out so it can spread."

The idea aligns with recent rejuvenation efforts in Presque Isle's downtown, which saw a decline fueled by downtown building deterioration, outward migration of younger residents, pedestrian-unfriendly streets, lack of area marketing and disjointed economic development efforts.

Recent entries toward reversing that decline comes with Allison Basye and Greg Doak opening a new café, Allegro, in a long-empty building, the Bangor Daily News reported. They told the paper they hope it will be the first of a trio of food ventures in the building

Other new entries to Main Street in recent years include Card Smart; the Olde Rustic Attic; Denise's Creative Touch; Bike, Board and Ski; and King Morton's Hall of Music. Some moved from the Aroostook Centre Mall.

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