- October 29, 2018
In my role as director of Archipelago, the Island Institute's store and gallery, I’ve seen many artists come through the door wanting to know the nuts and bolts of starting or growing a business. Artists bring in their portfolio, product, or both, and want opinions on pricing, market, or feedback on their work. While this is great, sometimes I need to ask them to step back in order to move forward successfully. For me, one of the first things I notice is do they know who they are? Do they have a voice? For whatever product you’re selling and whatever business you’re starting or growing—you’ll need to find customers. Telling a good story draws like-minded customers to you, and that all starts with your voice.
- September 28, 2018
Recently, when talking about the Fellows program I was asked, “Just how do you prepare someone for a year of living and working in an island or rural community?” Since 1999, the Island Institute has supported over 120 Fellows, and in those years, we've learned a little about what it takes to support the work and life of a Fellow. Learn more about our process and goals, meet this year's Fellows, and read about the projects they're working on in their respective communities.
- August 30, 2018
With the upcoming election and impending change in the Governor’s office, it seemed like a good moment to reflect on the current state of one of the most important policy areas the Island Institute is working on— broadband. Our broadband policy work starts with the idea that in order for coastal communities to be connected at speeds that are above the national average by 2025, we need at least three things from the policy realm—an effective statewide broadband authority, support for the community broadband process in the regulatory realm, and funding from beyond the community.
- August 29, 2018
As the air starts getting cooler and the days grow shorter, we know that the dog days of summer are coming to an end—and that means students going back to school. For many students, their summers involved relaxation, catching up with friends, and not thinking about school, but four students in our MAP program gave up three of their summer vacation days to immerse themselves in all things college during our MAP Summer Leadership Intensive at Bowdoin College.
- August 6, 2018
It's no secret that Maine's coast and islands depend largely on two industries: the fishing economy and the tourism economy. With $4 billion in tourism spending along the coast, it's hard to ignore the potential for businesses and communities. Are dollars being left on the table? Is the spending happening in my community, or in my business? What can we do to better attract the tourists and visitors who contribute the most—not just dollars—to our local economy?
- June 21, 2018
During the 2017-18 school year the elementary, middle and high school students on Vinalhaven studied kelp, both in their science classes and an after school K-5 program. In addition to classroom based-lessons, students spent time at and on the water – collecting seaweed at low tide, growing and harvesting kelp, and learning all aspects of kelp aquaculture and related topics on Hurricane Island. Some students even got the unique opportunity to process Vinalhaven-grown kelp.
- April 30, 2018
Dr. Ross Greene, internationally recognized child psychologist and bestselling author, spoke to a packed house of nearly 300 educators, parents, and adults in early April. The free community event, hosted by the Island Institute and Lives in the Balance, offered guests the opportunity to learn how adults can help kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges (and all kids) navigate a highly complicated, pressurized world.
- April 21, 2018
On April 17th, the Maine State Ferry Service released a new fare schedule for service to the six island communities they serve. The new fare schedule is the first fare increase since 2009 and comes after the state ferry service backed away from a proposal to give Maine residents a discounted rate compared to non-Maine residents. Different communities will feel the impact of the fare changes in different ways, with Islesboro seeing a substantial increase. On Thursday April 19th, Islesboro residents organized a gathering to highlight the concerns the community has with the new fares.
- April 18, 2018
Island students and their families recently spent a Saturday together as part of the annual Induction and Send-off for our Mentoring, Access and Persistence program (MAP) participants. MAP is a college scholarship program for island students that emphasizes personalized wraparound services for both the student and their family, beginning at the end of a student’s junior year of high school.