Profile Type: Cultural Nonprofit
NEFA Grant Recipient
Cultural Nonprofit
Portland Ovations

Each year since 1931, Portland Ovations has brought a dynamic season of exceptional performing artists to Portland, Maine, including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway.

In addition to our live performances, we bring the exhilaration of the performing arts out into our community with season-long educational and outreach programs called Ovations Offstage.

I Have Worked With

  • February 2016

    Portland Ovations presented the revered Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in a residency that provided not only numerous points of engagement with our community, but that culminated in an exquisite and inspiring performance featuring the company alongside an octet of Maine musicians, and 13 dancers drawn from the ranks of local studios and colleges. Over 1,000 patrons came to see the program, “Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music." Not only was it an evening of incomparable contemporary dance, it also inspired lots of local pride. Local arts writer Christopher Hyde noted: “They had rehearsed for only a week, according to the program, but they might have been dancing this program for years. It made me wonder why other traveling companies do not also take advantage of the tremendous pool of talent available in Maine.” 

  • October 2014

    Inhabiting Portland's historic Victoria Mansion with its innovative program "Brownstone," the chamber musicians of the Metropolis Ensemble performed in the various rooms creating a musical score that could be enjoyed in parts in each room or as a whole from a central foyer. Two out of three of the interactive concerts were free, all during a First Friday Art Walk. Additionally, the artists gave a concert at a senior living community as well as a composers’ seminar at the USM School of Music. Our presentation of Metropolis Ensemble was the musical group’s FIRST tour. We were able to craft a regional tour and successfully leverage funding through the Expeditions program. We worked closely with the ensemble to arrive at an appropriate artist fee, devise a project concept and otherwise assist with logistics. This had a positive impact on the ensemble, which now has some “tour readiness” under its belt; our regional colleagues; and music lovers in New England who otherwise would not have experienced this innovative ensemble outside of New York City. 

  • May 2014

    An Ovations commission and world premiere, Daniel Sonenberg’s "The Summer King", an opera on the life of Negro League player Josh Gibson, met with wide acclaim and excitement by the local community. The staged concert was accompanied by multiple meet-the-composer events; a panel discussion co-hosted by Ovations, USM and the NAACP, and a pre-concert lecture. “The Summer King” marked the first time Ovations expanded upon our role as a presenter by working with local composer Dan Sonenberg to bring the production from written score to a live, professionally produced concert. It was a massive undertaking that pushed us out of our comfort zones, while also allowing the greater Portland arts (and higher education) community to rally around a project by one of their own. The project engendered incredible good will (the excitement on show night was palpable), a glowing review (“’The Summer King,” sails trimmed and fully staged, could become an American classic.”), and a future as a fully staged production: Pittsburgh Opera is now mounting a fully-staged  "The Summer King"  to premiere as the culminating event on their 2016-17 season. 


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Cultural Nonprofit

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Executive Director
Mailing Address: 
PORTLAND, ME 04101-4039
Physical Address: 
50 Monument Square Floor 2
Portland, ME 04101
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Cultural Nonprofit
Primary Discipline: 
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - General
Dance - Ballet
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Hip Hop
Dance - Jazz
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Dance - Tap / Percussive
Dance - Traditional
Literary Arts - Poetry
Literary Arts - Spoken Word
Music - General
Music - Chamber
Music - Children's
Music - Choral
Music - Country
Music - Ethnic / World
Music - Jazz
Music - New
Music - Opera
Music - Orchestral
Music - Pop / Rock
Music - Rap / Hip-Hop
Music - Solo / Recital
Music - Traditional
Theater - General
Theater - Children's
Theater - Circus
Theater - Musical
Theater - Puppet
Theater - Solo / One-Person Show
Theater - Storytelling
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
Immigrant Populations
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Languages Available: 
American Sign Language
Institution/Business Type: 
Cultural Series Organizations
Activities and Services: 
Performance / Concert / Reading
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Multi-County Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP); Arts Presenters of Northern New England (APNNE); New England Presenters (NEP)
Member of APNNE or NEP presenter consortium
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

Access accommodations for people who use a wheelchair and have limited mobility
Access accommodations for people who are blind, partially sighted, and have low vision
Access accommodations for people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing