The 21st century string band, Mr. Sun, was scheduled to perform for a sold-out crowd at One Longfellow Square (OLS), one of Portland’s premiere musical venues and listening rooms on Saturday, February 4. Unfortunately, due to unexpected flooding, an alternative venue was needed on the fly.

Thanks to the quick-thinking resourcefulness of Dinah Minot, Creative Portland‘s new powerhouse Executive Director, a series of emergency calls were placed to local Downtown arts venues to line up an alternative space. Minot, formally served as associate producer at Saturday Night Live for 73 episodes, and thus is no stranger to the age-old adage that the show must go on!

Maine College of Art was able to accommodate the musical performance, and through the support of OLS and MECA staff, as well as passionate members of the arts community, space within MECA’s Institute of Contemporary Art was quickly prepped for the show. Steve Drown, Program Chair of the Bob Crewe Program in Art & Music at MECA, assisted with audio set up, and the audience grabbed chairs from down the street and in MECA’ cafe to bring into the ICA.

Despite a few hiccups, the show started almost on time — and the sound and overall aesthetic of the performance was nothing short of incredible.  Composed of legendary fiddler Darol Anger, guitar phenom Grant Gordy, redoubtable mandolinist Joe K Walsh, and young bass virtuoso Ethan Jodziewicz, Mr. Sun gave the standing-room only sold-out crowd an inspired performance to remember.

One Longfellow Square is a staple of Portland’s music scene, offering a charming, intimate, and versatile space for live music, performing arts, and community events. Along with the collaborative mission of Creative Portland and the thriving arts community that it supports, Maine College of Art supports OLS’s mission and this act of collaboration perfectly encapsulates the essence of Portland’s art scene.