Camden Conference now offers travel experiences

The Camden Conference is partnering with the World Affairs Council, Philadelphia, to offer Conference members educator-led travel experiences. The trips are to regions of the world that tie-in with the Conference’s annual area of focus. This past March a group of Camden Conference members joined WAC’s trip to Morocco. The tour included Camden Conference Members Leslie and Bob Fillnow, Susan Deutsch, JP and Kaki Smith, Joanne and Michael Bander, Ina Lee Selden and Maurice Mandel. The next trip is to Tanzania, scheduled for Oct. 29 to Nov. 8. For more information call the Conference office at 236-1034 or visit

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New CMCA opens in Rockland to great fanfare

The new CMCA had its grand opening on Sunday, making Rockland, in the words of Bob Keyes from the Portland Press Herald, “where all the cool kids are.” From his article in the June 19 PPH: “The center of attention this summer is the new CMCA, which has moved from its longtime home in Rockport, a few miles up the coast. Executive Director Suzette McAvoy said the museum’s directors chose Rockland because it offered the best prospect for growth in the immediate and long-term future. By moving to Rockland, CMCA hopes to increase attendance from fewer than 10,000 visitors a year to 50,000, partly through increasing school programming and other community events. CMCA opens with an exhibition by Jonathan Borofsky, a sculptor with an international following who lives in Ogunquit. The 73-year-old sculptor hasn’t shown in Maine since he was a teenager, and his exhibition is considered a coup for McAvoy and…

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The Unity Foundation offers Camden Conference a Challenge Grant for 30th Year

The Camden Conference announced that Unity Foundation, Unity, ME has offered the Conference a challenge grant of $15,000 in support of the 30th Camden Conference in 2017: Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis. Founded in 2000, the Unity Foundation invests in building the capacity of nonprofits that serve both local and statewide needs.   Larry Sterrs, Unity Foundation CEO, notes “We view our support of The Camden Conference as a way to help our greater Maine populace, both adults and students, better understand world events. We’re fortunate to have such a well-respected nonprofit here in Maine.” One of Unity’s goals is to promote sustainability among nonprofits that reliably serve Maine communities. Sterrs points out that the relationship with The Camden Conference is one of the longest in Unity’s giving history, with 2017 marking 10 years of support. After three decades, the Camden Conference now has programs that involve dozens of…

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“Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter” at the Museum of Modern Art

More than 500 children live in the refugee camp at Calais, France, which is today a growing town at the mouth of the Chunnel. The majority of these children are unaccompanied by parents or guardians. Life in the so-called “Jungle” is painful and tentative for them: According to Help Refugees, 129 children could not be accounted for in April following the sweeping demolitions of homes in the refugee camp in March. The displacement of millions of people across the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe has given rise to permanent refugee communities in Dunkirk, France, and Lesbos, Greece, among others. The camps at Calais and beyond are home to a new kind of crisis architecture. The planning and stewardship of these camps has enormous, and sometimes deadly, consequences for their vulnerable residents. The architecture of forced displacement is the subject of “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter,” a forthcoming exhibit at…

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Tom & Mac’s 2016 History Roadshow Video Now Available!

Mac Deford and Tom DeMarco presented their patented 100-minute history extravaganza, Africa, The Very Complete History: A Million Years in a Hundred Minutes to packed venues in Belfast, Camden and Portland this past January in anticipation of the 29th Annual Camden Conference: The New Africa. ENJOY THE SHOW! *A note from the Conference The Tom and Mac Show was recently presented for the 10th year in a row prior to the Camden Conference titled The New Africa. The titles of these shows, including this one, have never been intended to be historically accurate or in any way “complete”. Obviously, African history is extensive and reaches back in richness and accomplishment much further than is covered here.

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“Remarkably touching” -New York Times “Stirring…a most potent play” –The New Jersey Star Ledger “See. This. Play.” –Q onStage In Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, Christine—a middle aged, middle class, recently divorced mother—finds a cause in the Whole Foods produce section. Her “cause” is Gabriel, a Sudanese “lost boy,” who fled civil war in his own country to find himself in snowy North America. Christine invites Gabriel to live with her and her teenage daughter in their suburban house and the drama ensues. One woman’s straightforward desire to help becomes a story uncovering the difficulty of understanding others. March 1-20 only. For tickets and more information, please visit Portland Stage website. A very special event will follow the performance on Tuesday, March 15th. Sacred Stories by Color of Community will take place following the 6pm performance in the Studio Theater Light reception to follow. For more information, click here.

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Photos of East Africa on Display during February

To accompany the Camden Conference theme “The New Africa,” Cindy Beams will exhibit color and B&W images of East Africans in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library throughout the month of February. Beams is a documentary and fine-art photographer who has spent much of the last ten years working with education-related NGOs in the developing world. These images are drawn from her long-term involvement with Orkeeswa Secondary School, a partner of Groton School’s global education initiative. Orkeeswa School currently enrolls 225 students from under-served Maasai communities in the Monduli hills of northern Tanzania.   Cindy Beams divides her time between New York City and Camden, “where I am currently making work focused on both ends of the lifespan – childhood and aging,” she said. “A major reason for ‘retiring’ in Camden is its proximity to the Maine Media Workshops. In the summer of 2008, I casually signed up…

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Africa, The Very Complete History: A Million Years in a Hundred Minutes

Mac Deford and Tom DeMarco are back with their patented 100-minute history extravaganza, this time on the subject of Africa. Along the way you’ll meet adventurers, rogues and scoundrels, and even a few heroes. From Gondwanaland to Modern Africa with Manwa Sera, Lucy Australopithecus, Cecil Rhodes, “Uncle” Paul Kruger, Stanley and Livingstone, Muhammad Ahmad, Gen. Charles “Chinese” Gordon, Lord Kitchener, Leopold-II, Hugh Cholmondeley and the Happy Valley set, and the mysterious Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. The show, Africa, The Very Complete History: A Million Years in a Hundred Minutes, will take place Wednesday, January 27, 6:30 p.m. at the Portland Public Library, Friday, January 29, 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House and Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m. at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Tom DeMarco is the author of thirteen books (his sci-fi novel Andronescu’s Paradox is the most recent) and a Principal of The Atlantic Systems Guild, a technology think tank with offices…

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Seats are still available for the 2016 Camden Conference

Time to register for this year’s Camden Conference: The New Africa. The Camden Conference Program Committee has assembled a stellar group of speakers to address this important topic. The Conference is a great opportunity to learn more about what is still for many of us the “dark continent” in terms of our understanding. The speakers will focus on the “new” – what is changing, what is successful and the role of Africa in today’s world. Keynote speaker Ofeibea Quist-Arcton who is West African correspondent for NPR News will set the stage on Friday evening. Speakers represent many African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania and are well positioned to discuss their world. Topics will include climate impacts, human rights, health, business growth, elections, economics, and more. The Conference takes place February 19-21 and seats are available at all four locations: live at the Camden…

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Pathfinder International’s Judy Kahrl on Women of the New Africa

Judy Kahrl, Ph.D., joins us to talk about “Women of the New Africa” on Wednesday, January 6, at 6:30 – 8 pm, in the Rockport Opera House Conference Room.  Judy will share her experiences traveling in Africa for Pathfinder International, an international non-profit founded by her father, and speak about the history of the organization and its impact and influence in Africa over the past 60 years. This event is free and open to all. Julia G. “Judy” Kahrl, Ph.D. is a member of the Board of Directors of Pathfinder International.  A daughter of Pathfinder’s founder, Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, she is a former free-lance photographer, psychotherapist, and educator.  Her first career was as wife of Stanley Kahrl, and mother of four children.  She now has eight grandchildren (Note: only two for each of her children).  She has served on the boards of a variety of organizations, including La Leche League…

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