Rockland Museums will participate in the Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival


ROCKLAND — Two art museums in Rockland will participate in Indigo Arts Alliance’s third annual Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival, along with Portland and Lewiston.

Joining the Indigo Arts Alliance this year in its celebration of Black children’s books and their creators from across the African Diaspora, eight community partners are hosting events in three Maine cities over the weekend of September 17-18.

This year’s festival, honoring the legacy of black children’s book creator and artist Ashley Bryan, will feature a 4,500 book giveaway, acclaimed media production and live events in Portland, Lewiston and Rockland. Each featured book and event will provide opportunities for young readers of color to reflect on the literature created with them in mind and to interact with authors and illustrators as role models and storytellers.

Join Rockland’s Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum for an afternoon of read-alouds and art activities. Artist Veronica Perez will join attendees in the CMCA courtyard to read a selection of books, followed by artmaking workshops at the ArtLab and Gamble Education Center.

Galleries will open at the Farnsworth with the solo exhibition Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return.

Artists of all ages are encouraged to attend this free event, taking place Saturday, September 17, 2022, from 1-3 p.m. at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (21 Winter St.) and the Farnsworth Art Museum (16 Museum St.).

The Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival was founded in 2020 by Indigo Arts Alliance in partnership with I’m Your Neighbor Books and Diverse BookFinder and is produced with 2022 partners: The Children’s Museum & Theater of Maine, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Ridah Ridah, the Farnsworth Museum, LA Arts, and the Lewiston Public Library.

The Festival was created to honor Ashley Bryan, legendary and highly acclaimed children’s author and illustrator, whose award-winning picture book Beautiful Blackbird is a celebration of darkness. Ashley Bryan, from Maine, was one of the first black writers and illustrators of children’s books, opening doors for black bookmakers around the world to add their contribution to children’s literature and encourage the publication of other books. for kids for black kids. The Festival seeks to educate and entertain children, and draws attention to the critical need for more characters from the African Diaspora in children’s literature.


Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) is a black-led organization dedicated to the professional development and amplification of black and brown artistic vision and practice. Founded in 2018 and officially launched in 2019, the IAA is an incubator space whose mission is to create global connections by bringing together black and brown artists from diverse backgrounds to engage in a creative process through a artist-in-residence program. Visit indigoartsalliance.me to learn more and support their work.

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