Island Institute hosts free summer lecture series

Posted 2017-06-23

By Staff / Penobscot Bay Pilot

The Island Institute will host a free lecture series this summer that will feature authors, artists, and experts sharing insights into life on the Maine coast, as well as their perspectives and reflections on the challenges of making it here.

Lectures begin Wednesday, July 5, and will be held every Wednesday through August 9, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Events will take place in the fourth floor conference room at the Island Institute, 386 Main Street in Rockland, and are free and open to the public.

The schedule for the lecture series is as follows:

July 5: Year-Round Island Communities of Maine
Island Institute Vice President of Community, and Vinalhaven resident, Karen Burns will offer an introduction to the 15 island communities in Maine with year-round populations.

July 12: The Enduring Inspiration of the Islands of Maine
Internationally acclaimed painter, and Port Clyde summer resident, Greg Mort will talk about the enduring inspiration of Maine’s islands and how they have influenced him as an artist. Largely self-taught as an artist, Mort is considered one of America’s foremost contemporary painters. Examples of his work and current exhibitions may be found on his website at

July 19: Our Unsettled Shores; Why Coasts and Coastal People are Different
Historian, author, Rutgers University Professor Emeritus of History, and Maine summer resident John R. Gillis will talk about the inherent differences of our coasts and coastal people. Gillis is the author of six books, most recently The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History (2012), a global environmental history of coasts and coastal peoples from prehistory to the present.

July 26: The Unavoidable Intimacy of Sharing an Island with a Thousand Other People
Vinalhaven resident, business owner, town selectman, and humorist Phil Crossman will talk about the unavoidable intimacy of sharing an island with a thousand other people. An island native, Crossman is a regular columnist for The Working Waterfront and has published two collections of humorous essays, Observations: A Maine Island and Away Happens.

August 2: Making It Here: Women’s Views, Women’s Voices
A panel discussion, moderated by Tom Groening, editor of The Working Waterfront, and led by island residents and writers Barb Fernald, Courtney Naliboff, and Sandy Oliver, who will discuss women’s views and women’s voices on the islands.

August 9: Island Energy: Transitioning to a Cleaner Future
Brooks Winner and Harry Podolsky of the Island Institute’s Community Energy team will talk about island energy challenges and options for transitioning to a cleaner future.

All Summer Lecture Series events are free and open to the public. Coffee and muffins will be provided. For more information, or to register for one of the lectures, visit For additional questions, please contact the Island Institute membership department at (207) 594-9209, ext. 113, or email