Fall 2016 Retreat
Experience Maritime Maine
October 2016 Retreat Summary
Facilitated by Linda Nelson, Maine Arts Commission
Experience Maritime Maine is at transition point to its next leadership and phase. The partners seek to use their appreciated learning to resolve questions about the group’s structure, sustainability, and future goals and projects.
The purpose of this initiative is to develop a statewide project that documents, celebrates, coordinates and promotes Maine’s maritime heritage assets. This effort will highlight and brand Maine’s important cultural and natural resources to increase tourism, help support local economies and preserve traditional ways of life.
Participants identified the following key words that help to define/describe the Maine Maritime Experience:
Transformational Salt air
Sea Shanties Beaches
Gulf of Maine Sense of Wonder
Local People Discovery
Local Pride Ocean
Working Waterfront Traditions
Begin a group visioning exercise by identifying audacious goals for Experience Maritime Maine.
- Create a deeper experience for the visitor
- Effective community engagement in EMM that results in vibrant, adaptable, and sustainable working waterfronts/coastal communities
- Protect the resource
- Develop more partnerships
- Try new things, diversify destinations
- Encourage an experience that gets visitors off their phones
- All Maine kids have knowledge of their rich maritime heritage
- Build local pride
- Encourage stewardship of the resources
- Substantial state and national investment/recognition
- Develop innovative marketing tools
- Move visitors throughout the three EMM regions
- Four staff positions: marketing, product development, communities, manager
- Not foundation dependent
- EMM Guidebook
- Host annual conference
- Identify and promote learning-based travel
- Development of immersive experiences
- Development of voluntourism opportunities/programs
Breakout groups were charged with creating draft statements beginning with In the next five-years Experience Maritime Maine will..
In the next five years, Experience Maritime Maine will be an internationally recognized organization that encourages collaborative stewardship and sustainability of Maine’s coastal heritage and promotes transformational connections to residents and visitors alike.
In five years, Experience Maritime Maine will be a sustainable council of experiential programs that promote the vibrant maritime communities and encourage visitors and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of our maritime heritage.
In five years, Experience Maritime Maine is a dedicated collaboration of partners that engages visitors, residents and communities in the protection and promotion of Maine’s natural and cultural maritime heritage through a variety of transformational experiences.
Towards a sustainable organization, create a one-year work plan including action steps and roles.
The following steps were identified:
- Develop itineraries for market segments
- Marketing plan for Podcast
- Updates to website
- Community outreach
- Submit grant applications
- Create the sustainable collaborative council
- Decide on structure and process moving forward
- Rotation model
- Organizational plan
- Paid staff
- Non profit status
- Identify leadership
- Continue to connect with larger stakeholder group
- Clear roles for working group
The group shared a brief discussion concerning National Heritage Areas. A National Heritage Area is a common theme developed by partners for the purposes of marketing, promotion and protection. J. Kelly offered to help connect EMM with a colleague who might be available for one of our stakeholder meetings. This might be a good opportunity to learn about the model and structure.
There was not sufficient time to draft the 2017 timeline for work projects. It was determined and agreed upon that the next manager needs to be identified and in place by end of year.
Heather Anderson, Abbe Museum
Thierry Bonneville, Bonneville Consulting
Jeremy Gabrielson, Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Ralph Harvey, Midcoast Chamber Council Representative
Crystal Hitchings, Downeast Acadia Region and Bold Coast Scenic Byway
Jenna Howard, Maine’s Midcoast and Islands Region
John Kelly, National Park Service
Abbe Levin, Maine Office of Tourism
Liz Lodge, Penobscot Marine Museum
Meg Maiden, Maine Windjammer Association
Michael Maxim, Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce
Patricia Royall, Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce
Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant and Fisheries Trail
Theresa Torrent, Maine Coastal Program
Erin Quigly, Maine Island Trail Association