The public is invited to an opening ceremony and reception for “The Stories of the Land and Its People” Sunday afternoon, May 19. There will be a ceremony from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.; and a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. at Julia's Gallery for Young Artists at the Farnsworth Art Museum, corner of Elm and Union streets. Refreshments will be served.

Now in its second year, the “The Stories of the Land and Its People” project has expanded from 140 to 220 local students. Participants include fourth and seventh grade classes from Appleton, Islesboro, Lincolnville and Rockland. The year-long arts integration initiative in Midcoast public schools. Students work with museum educators, professional artists, classroom teachers, art teachers and community members to tell the story of their community through art.

Students worked with Education Project Manager Andrea Curtis and professional artists Charlotte Dixon, Reid Elem and Matthew Smolinksy in the classroom to connect aesthetic education to classroom learning. Final projects of this work will be on display at Julia’s, which is not wheelchair accessible, through the summer.

Rockland District Middle School participating teacher Rachel Campbell said she believes this photography project provides several opportunities to students.

“It incorporates art into their lives and they are able recognize their own artistic ability. They also are given the chance to learn more and appreciate their own communities,” she said.

For two years, the arts program Partners for Enrichment in Appleton, Hope and Lincolnville has supplied valuable expertise and resources for the project. “The Stories of the Land and Its People” project is generously supported by the Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust; Jane’s Trust; Chichester du Pont Foundation; Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Cascade Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Peter F. McSpadden; Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Campbell; and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Cabot.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or