One of several Bangor Symphony Orchestra Kinder Concerts held at the Bangor Arts Exchange each year. Credit: Courtesy of Bangor Symphony Orchestra

For the fourth year in a row, the city of Bangor has named October “ARTober” — a month-long celebration of Bangor’s many visual, literary, and performing arts organizations and individual artists.

ARTober kicks off Friday with an event showcasing a number of Bangor’s performing arts groups, set for 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bangor Arts Exchange. Friday is also the last of the Downtown Bangor Art Walks for the year, set for 5 to 8 p.m. throughout downtown Bangor.

Andrea Littlefield, a member of Bangor’s Commission on Cultural Development, the city board that organizes ARTober each year, said one of the main goals of this year’s celebration is to bring local high school and college students further into the fold of the Bangor arts community.

“We’ve gotten sponsorship from local colleges in years past, and we have this year as well,” Littlefield said. “There’s a lot of involvement with area college students in a lot of elements of ARTober this year.”

The Downtown Bangor Art Walk will also highlight young visual artists in venues across town, including a pop up gallery at COESPACE on Columbia Street, featuring work from graphic design students at Eastern Maine Community College, and work from UMaine art students at the Bangor Arts Exchange gallery. A special tour of the University of Maine Museum of Art, geared toward high school and college students, is set for 4:30 p.m.

Performers at the ARTober kickoff event on Friday include an ensemble from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, members of the Bangor Ballet, spoken word performer and UMaine MFA student Monique Flynn, local improv troupe The Focus Group, and a staged reading of Maine playwright Randy Hunt’s short play “Wingtips,” the audience favorite winner at Ten Bucks Theatre Company’s 24-Hour Play Festival last month.

Other ARTober-themed events include concerts at the Bangor Arts Exchange all month, from bands including Weakened Friends, They Called Me Legion and Wait on Oct. 12, Sugarbush on Oct. 14 and Rustic Overtones on Oct. 20; a screening of a new installment in the long-running arts documentary series “Art21” at 6 p.m. Oct. 21, at the University of Maine Museum of Art; an array of jewelry making workshops all month long at Maine Jewelry & Art on Harlow Street; and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s fall KinderConcert, set for 4 p.m. Oct. 27, at the Bangor Arts Exchange.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.