Our expansion project strengthens our community through:


The establishment of the Bowl in the Pines was a bold step taken in 1937 by a group of individuals with a vision for live music on the shores of Messalonskee Lake. In similar fashion, the leadership of the New England Music Camp has initiated a project to create a year-round arts education center, a state-of-the-art performance center, and an even more remarkable summer experience for generations of musicians and artists of all ages.

This project, the Snow Pond Center for the Arts, is already well underway. The year-round Snow Pond Community Music School opened its doors in September 2014 with 93 students and grew to 120 during the year. Community outreach programs provided 150 area children with music exposure and instruction. We have enhanced campus infrastructure, renovated buildings and increased scholarship funds.

Completing the project will take the generosity of a diverse community of individuals and organizations committed to the arts, especially NEMC alumni and families, local businesses and residents, Maine-based and national foundations. We welcome your participation.

All support is important, whether it’s referring a young musician, volunteering your time, donating an instrument, or making a financial gift at whatever level is comfortable for you. All financial gifts will help benefit the musicians and artists we serve.


Arts Education Impact

Impact_educationSnow Pond Center for the Arts provides an opportunity to strengthen the central Maine and the extended NEMC community through arts education. Arts education is closely linked to everything that we want for our children: graduation, math & reading skills, lifelong captivation through aesthetic experience.

Arts education enhances thinking, reading and math skills

A 2011 report from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities (Reinvesting in Arts Education) (1) states, “Decades of research show strong and consistent links between high-quality arts education and a wide range of impressive educational outcomes.” A 2002 compendium of 62 studies focuses on the cognitive capacities that are developed by learning in the arts such as thinking skills and problem solving as well as well as transfer of arts skills to reading and mathematics. (2)

And, of course, arts education and participation is not limited to children. All of our lives can be enriched by opportunities to learn, create and perform together.

Increasing the depth and breadth of arts educational opportunities

Snow Pond Center for the Arts is currently increasing arts education opportunities in central Maine in the following ways :


  • Drawing more and talented music instructors to central Maine
  • Opening a Community Music School in September, 2014.
  • Providing high quality acoustic teaching space for home-based instructors
  • Creating the groundwork for an accredited arts education secondary school focused on the arts
  • Establishing an adult orchestra and band
  • Develop and grow Youth Orchestra opportunities
  • Establishing a central Maine jazz group
  • Providing additional performance and rehearsal space for local college music programs
  • Expanding the NEMC curriculum into all performing and visual arts

1. Dwyer, M. Christine. Reinvesting in Arts Education. Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools. RMC Research Corporation, 1000 Market Street, Building 2, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Produced by The President’s Committee On The Arts and Humanities. May 2011.

2. Deasy, Richard J. Ed. Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. The Arts Education Partnership. 2002.

Arts_CultureThe completion of the Snow Pond Center for the Arts will further enhance the artistic and cultural impact for the NEMC camper community in the following ways:

  • Providing the best possible professional performance venue for aspiring musicians, challenging their performance and musical abilities
  • Attract an even stronger professional music and art faculty
  • Expand the available curriculum into areas such as sound recording, technical lighting, and stage design
  • Provide expanded and state-of-the-art teaching classrooms and venues
  • Attract regional and local performing artists for enhanced instruction

As stated in Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning, a research briefing from the Wallace Foundation, “The key to lifting demand for the arts may well lie in reversing the 30-year-long decline in arts learning, both in and out of schools. A number of cities have been tackling that challenge by using “coordinated approaches” that seek to have schools and other providers join forces in expanding access to arts learning.” The report goes on to say “individuals who experience and learn about the arts at a young age are likelier to reap those benefits over their lifetimes. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: there are troubling signs that demand for the arts is becoming less and less widely shared. And a likely explanation is that arts learning opportunities have been dwindling over the last 30 years, both in school and outside.” (1)

Snow Pond Center for the Arts will directly impact the creation, participation and support for arts and culture in central Maine in the following ways:

  • cultivate year round performing arts events
  • attract local, regional and national performers and lecturers
  • rival with similar venues in Boston and NYC
  • become a nexus for recreation opportunities
  • offer a 750-seat concert hall, recording studio and rehearsal space
  • be shared with members of surrounding communities

“Arts and cultural programming provides education about the historical and cultural context of a community and opportunities for participation in community life through festivals, events and performances, interactive classes and workshops, and a variety of other activities. Programming initiates conversation about arts and culture and establishes a structure of happenings and plans that ensure that these activities will continue to flourish. This deliberate continuity will help strengthen creative ideas, inspire citizens, and offer hope that opportunities exist and matter to the community. This increases the likelihood of not only the implementation of arts programs but also their integration with other community plans.”

Hodgson, Kimberley. How Arts and Cultural Strategies Create, Reinforce, and Enhance Sense of Place (2011). Chicago, IL: American Planning Association

1. Wallace Foundation. Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning. June 2009.

kids_bench_community“For most people who participate in arts and culture, the experience involves community connections … These community connections represent “paths of engagement,” and a deeper understanding of those everyday connections can open new opportunities for arts and cultural organizations to build participation.” This is a key finding from Arts & Culture: Community Connections (1), a survey of 5 communities participating in the Community Partnerships for Cultural Participation (CPCP) initiative, funded by the Wallace Foundation.

The impact on community created by Snow Pond Center for the Arts will be significant. At the broadest level of community, the impact will be through:

  • Providing personal and communal inspiration and enjoyment through new, multi-purpose, shared public spaces
  • Strengthening the social fabric through the knitting together of diverse interests and individuals
  • Improving the community image perceived by locals, campers, teachers, tourists and non-residents of all backgrounds
  • Enhancing a sense of and connection to “place”
  • Countering demographic and educational trends such as young adult “out migration” and a declining investment in arts education
  • Providing opportunities to engage in constructive social activity
  • Creating opportunities for bringing people together, enhancing social connections and networks

(1) Walker, Chris. Arts and Culture: Community Connections. The Urban Institute. 2002.

More specifically, the impact on the NEMC and central Maine communities will be profound. Visit these links to learn more:

Numerous studies of the economic impact of arts and education consistently send an important message to community leaders:

“Support for the arts and education is an investment in economic well being as well as quality of life.”

In a 2011 report the New England Foundation for the Arts(1) concluded: “In aggregate, every $1.00 spent by a Maine nonprofit arts and cultural organization became $2.00 in sales for businesses in Maine, and every job provided by a Maine non-profit arts and cultural organization became 1.4 jobs for workers across the state.”

The study The Economic Impact of Non-Profit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences. Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (2) states: ” leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. … Communities that draw cultural tourist experience an additional boost of economic activity.”

The economic impact for New England Music Camp by developing Snow Pond Center for the Arts on the existing campus will:

  • Provide a significantly upgraded performance and rehearsal venue for youth, college and adult campers
  • Expand the breadth and depth of instruction to include theater technology, musical theater, dance and the visual arts
  • Strengthen the operational base of the camp by expanding the working season into early spring and late Fall
  • Provide increased marketing reach and awareness for NEMC to secure future enrollment

Snow Pond Center for The Arts’ economic development impact in central Maine will be through the following activities:

  • Draw more residents and out-of state visitors to the area, increasing revenues of local businesses
  • Create new jobs and teaching opportunities for arts educators
  • Create close-to-home opportunities for Maine youth pursuing arts careers
  • Employment generated by the construction project
  • Exclusive use of Maine professionals, contractors and suppliers for the construction project
  • Ticketed performances by a wide range of nationally-recognized and local performers, lecturers and arts educators
  • Host public events promoting the arts and serve as home to community groups
  • Attract meetings, conferences and retreats to central Maine
  • Create new jobs associated with the management and operation of the Snow Pond Center for the Arts
  • Generate an overall economic ripple effect

1. New England Foundation for the Arts. New England’s Creative Economy: Nonprofit Sector Impact. September, 2011.
2. Americans for the Arts. The Economic Impact of Non-Profit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences. Economic Prosperity IV: National Statistical Report. 2012.