STOCKTON SPRINGS — The Open Mic Plus series continues Wednesday, August 21, at 7 p.m., at the Sandy Point Community Hall, 684 US-1. The events run on the third Wednesday of every month, May through October.
The Open Mic hour, at 7 p.m., is open to all ages and levels of talent. Storytellers, poets, actors, comedians, readers, and musicians of all kinds are welcome. After a 15-minute break for refreshments, the feature performance hour begins about 8:15 p.m.
The featured August performer is Hawk Henries, performer and composer of indigenous and original flute music. A member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck, a people indigenous to what is now southern New England, he has been composing original flute music and making flutes using only hand tools and fire for more than 25 years.
A former mental health counselor and supervisor, Hawk is committed to music both as a traditional art form and as a vehicle for building bridges of understanding and mutual respect.
His performances often engage his audiences with stories as he explains the significance of each piece and asks them to reflect on relevant themes. His participatory approach has led to invitations both as a musician and as a speaker from many diverse organizations and events.
These include indigenous and international art festivals, museums, concert venues, and powwows, as well as educational institutions such as Harvard Divinity School, the Abbe Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Museum.
As one of a relatively small number of Native flute makers who continue in the tradition of using only hand tools and fire, Hawk’s work embodies his commitment to the revitalization and preservation of these skills. His flutes are now part of museum collections and have been a part of an exhibit which traveled the country. He recently applied for and was awarded a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts to share his flute making skills in Native communities in New England.
Admission is a sliding scale donation of $3 to $10, free for children younger than 18. For more information, call 567-4044. The historic Sandy Point Community Hall overlooks the mouth of the Penobscot River, just 3.5 miles south of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.