Rural Maine 
World Cultural Center
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For many years I have collected folk tales from around the world and ethnic cookbooks from all different countries. Since I was a youngster I have purchased all types of puppets at yard sales and thrift stores. After over forty years, I now have an amazing collection of over 1500 hand puppets and marionettes!

Behind all this collecting was a dream of someday creating a Rural Maine World Cultural Center where children and adults could gather to learn about the customs, literature, music, art, and foods of all different countries. The puppets would be available for individuals to perform some of the world folk tales. The cookbooks would be a resource for people interested in learning about international cuisines.

The Rural Maine World Cultural Center that I envision would be a gathering place in rural Maine that focuses on the contributions and cultures of all the countries that make up our world.  I am a currently-certified Maine 7-12 English and Social Studies

teacher who sees educational value in encouraging global awareness.

How gratifying it would be to have a welcoming place in a rural setting where people could come and listen to the stories of people who have come to our country as refugees and immigrants. Perhaps each month a different country could be highlighted with a speaker and a gathering where the country’s food, music, crafts, and art were celebrated?  Maybe day retreats could take place at this location where people would have the opportunity to meet people from all different countries and backgrounds and enjoy the outdoors?

Because many of the folk tales that I have collected focus on farming and nature I feel that I could tie this project into the Unique Maine Farms’ project when I begin to apply for grants. It would be incredible if in some way the project could benefit the efforts of the refugee and immigrant farmers who are working to farm in Maine. Perhaps visitors and area residents would enjoy helping to establish an international garden?

Because children in many Maine locations do not always have the opportunity to experience other cultures on a frequent basis I feel strongly that this world cultural center should be situated in a rural area. It could prove enjoyable to city dwellers and refugees and immigrants now living in urban areas who might appreciate some time in a rural setting.

If you are aware of  any physical locations that might be a possibility for a Rural Maine World Cultural Center, please let me know. Perhaps you will hear of a vacant farmhouse or community building that is no longer being used that would prove to be an ideal spot for this project?  If you ever learn of a building that needs to be relocated, please share my contact information.

If you can think of any organizations that might have an interest in the support of a Rural Maine World Cultural Center, I would love to be able to share information with them.

Thanks so much for any information or advice that you might kindly be able to provide

in regard to this dream of seeing a Rural Maine World Cultural Center come to fruition.

With appreciation,

Mary Quinn Doyle

Unique Maine Farms