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22nd HOPE Festival coming to Orono

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ORONO -Creativity -- storytelling, art, poetry, puppets, sculpture, film will be popping at the 22nd HOPE Festival. The event takes place on Saturday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 11 am - 3 pm, at the Student Recreation and Fitness Center on the University of Maine campus. There will also be an Organizational Fair of more than 50 tables sponsored by progressive groups in Eastern Maine.

Crafts, youth hockey, and Adventure Yoga are on tap for the Children's Area. Children will be entertained with a puppet show by Turtle Dance Totems, featuring figureheads, sea junk puppets and sea junk boats. Fields Pond Audubon Center will guide kids in making books with illustrations. The Maine Discovery Museum has plans for children to make 'hope bottle necklaces,' with messages and images placed in tiny glass bottles worn around the neck. Nature Based Education will engage children in art projects made with natural materials, and Windover Arts Center will help youngsters make their own brightly colored hats. And juggler Zachary Fields will return to delight everyone.

Adults will have plenty of creative opportunities too. They can help create a sculpture with artist Wally Warren by attaching found and recycled objects to a six-foot frame in front of the Fitness Center. University of Maine art professor Constant Albertson and her students will give a short illustrated presentation of their community art service project 'Weaving a Story' and Festival goers will have the opportunity to help build a weaving themselves.

Documentary films on quinoa farmers in Bolivia and on Islamophobia, poetry readings by Antonia Carroll and Jim Mello and a performance by the LGBT theater group Out and Allied Youth will be among the offerings. Fast Food Prints of Portland will be on hand, creating T-shirts and posters on the spot with social change art selected by Festival goers. The Maine Solar Energy Association will be back again as well, showing people how to build their own solar cell phone chargers.

As usual, there will also be some great food, including locally sourced ice cream, salads and pastries, bread, sandwiches and Fair Trade coffee.

(The HOPE Festival is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine and the Peace and Reconciliation Studies program at UMaine. The Fitness Center is located at 22 Hilltop Road on the University of Maine Campus in Orono.)

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