After graduating from the UF School of Theatre + Dance in 2008, Brittany Parker (BFA Theatre Performance) moved to New York City. In 2013, Parker was approached to workshop a show at the Mohawk Arts Collective in Mount Desert Island, Maine. She did so and has been there ever since.
“Being here changed the nature of my game,” said Parker. “For the first time I felt more open to creating something of my own rather than just auditioning for other projects.”
The Mohawk Arts Collective (MAC) hosts a residency program for artists from a variety of mediums, including theater, dance, music and film, to spend time on site developing and performing their original works. The collective was started in 2008 by Andrew Simon and has held more than 100 events since then.
Parker is now the co-producer at the MAC and is responsible for coordinating the artist residencies, events and administrative work. The three types of summer residencies range from one week to over two weeks long, providing the space for artists to work on pieces in any stage of development.
“It’s easy to get tied up in the rat race of making art in a big city,” said Parker. “Here, artists can see ways they can work differently and their priorities are different. It's good to shake up your normal routine and put a new perspective on things.”
Parker said being surrounded by such a breathtaking environment at the waterfront performance space in Bass Harbor has a profound effect on the artists as well as the attendees.
“They are right at the edge of the water and it feels like the energy is so strong,” said Parker. “It has a profound effect on people coming from New York where there is building after building.”
MAC residencies run from June to August and are free of cost.