Mayo Street Arts Gets Green Light From City; First Event Scheduled for 2/13

By Carol McCracken (Post # 366) Technical Director: Mainemediapros.com

The planned Mayo Street Arts located in the Greater Munjoy Hill area, sailed through its approval process before the Zoning Board of Appeals at its meeting last night.  Blainor McGough, the lessee of the historic property at 10-12 Mayo Street, presented her vision for the community arts center and answered questions from the Board members.  Ultimately, her application was approved unanimously.

Board member, Gordon Smith, raised the most compelling issue which other Board members and a city staff member assured him was a moot issue.  The area is a densely populated residential area which prompted Smith to say:  “We consider there are neighbors there and we are concerned about loud music late at night.”  McGough responded:  “We don’t want to be bad neighbors.  We’ve talked about ending the performances at reasonable hours.”  There will be performances only on Friday and Saturday nights, she added.  Smith repeated his support for a time restriction in terms of “public assembly,” but McGough said she did not want time restrictions.  The St. Lawrence Arts Center does not have time restrictions,” she responded.

McGough is renting the building from wealthy businesswoman  Roxanne Quimby.  She’s had no communication with her directly, but saw the building advertised on Craig’s List for rent.  Her dealing were with Seaside Management exclusively. McGough plans on opening the doors officially on February 1 under her management.  Bill Milliken is her attorney.  He was instrumental is getting the St. Lawrence Arts Center up and running years ago.

Mayo Street Arts will be a space for art shows, musical performances and theatrical performances.  McGough expected her largest crowds will  be about 75 people every other week.  McGough also said that she has a number of artists studio available.  She’s be pleased to hear from anyone interested in renting  them.  Please email her at blaonir@hotmail.com for more on the studios or other information.   

Her first event is set for Saturday evening, February 13th.  It’s a fund raiser from 7:00 pm – until 9:00 pm – “Art With Heart Hootenanny.”  There will be a silent auction and it will be open to the public.  Stay tuned for additional listings of its events under Events on the Hill.

“Even during economic downturns, people need access to culural events.  We expect this will be a real asset to the area,” McGough said.