Public reception for Finding Our Voices window exhibit in Rockport planned for Oct. 20

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    ROCKPORT — The Rockport community is linking hands and hearts during October’s Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, with a public reception Friday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at Barnswallow Books, for the Finding Our Voices exhibit taking place across the street at the Rockport Public Library. 
    The Finding Our Voices exhibit is papering the library’s lower bank of windows on Russell Avenue through October, for outside viewing while the library is closed for repairs. It features Patrisha McLean’s photo portraits of 15 Maine survivors of domestic abuse, paired with documentation of some of the abuse the women transcended. McLean is the president and founder of Finding Our Voices, the Camden-based grassroots and survivor-powered nonprofit breaking the silence and cycle of domestic abuse across the state. 
    This event is part of the Finding Our Voices statewide, Fall “Let’s Talk About It” library tour.
    Many of the 12 local survivors featured in the library exhibit will be in attendance at the reception in the barn section of the “small bookstore with a big heart" at 166 Russell Avenue. The barn is home to literary and musical events throughout the year.
    The Lesher Family Foundation is donating the reception space to Finding Our Voices, with Linda Lesher personally donating the food and drink.

    "We at Barnswallow Books wholeheartedly support the goals of Finding Our Voices and are happy to make our barn available in support of their Fall library tour,” said Linda Lesher, in a Finding Our Voices news release. “We applaud the organizers on their unique approach to bringing the often overlooked problem of domestic violence and abuse to a wider public.” 

    Midcoast survivors with photo portraits and stories featured in the exhibit include Courtney Davis (formerly Billings), Mia Mantello, Mel Daigle, Sarah McLean, Jess Bowen, Christine Buckley, Meg Barclay, Lindsay O’Brien, Kate Chapman, Bekah Martinez, Rhonda Bickford, Ashley Vissers, and Jackie McLean, daughter of Patrisha McLean. Patrisha is also part of the exhibit, with a self-portrait and her statement for a restraining order. 
    The exhibit features Patrisha McLean’s photo portraits paired with documentation of the abuse the women transcended, in the form of customized and illustrated Power and Control Wheels. The Power and Control Wheel was developed in the 1980s by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs in Duluth Minnesota to show the tactics that abusers use to get and maintain control of their intimate partners. The Finding Our Voices exhibit includes documentation of abuse by a mother as well as by a father, pointing out the similar dynamic. 
    Business sponsors of the library exhibit are Graffam Bros. Seafood, Ralston Gallery, Birch Point Wealth Management, Seasons Downeast Designs, Plants Unlimited, Rockport Automotive, Frantz Furniture, and Midcoast Vision Care. 
    The Rockport Public Library and Barnswallow Books collaboration is part of the Finding Our Voices Fall “Let’s Talk About It” tour that is bringing survivor faces and voices to eight libraries from Millinocket to York, including Skidompha Library in Damariscotta on November 7. The tour wraps up November 27 at the Camden Public Library with something different for Finding Our Voices: Men talking about domestic violence they experienced as boys, from their fathers. 
    Another book-related Finding Our Voices activity this month is the Finding Our Voices online book club discussion of After the Eclipse, with the author Sarah Perry joining in on the discussion of her memoir about the murder of her mother in Bridgton Maine. This online discussion is free and open to the public. 
    The Rockport Public Library exhibit is part of the ground-breaking Finding Our Voices domestic abuse awareness, statewide poster campaign featuring the faces and voices of now-45 Maine survivors and including Governor Janet T. Mills. The posters launched with the onset of COVID in April 2020 and have papered business windows in more than 90 towns. In addition, more than 40,000 Finding Our Voices bookmarks which are scaled down versions of the posters have been distributed by police, food pantries, libraries, bookstores, faith-based institutions, and business owners across the state. The 2023 sponsor of the bookmarks is First National Bank.  
    Finding Our Voices also runs a myriad of sister-support programs including a Get Out Stay Out fund paying shelter, car, legal, and food costs to empower women to safety and to get the children safe as well and the pro bono dental program Finding Our Smiles with six Midcoast dental offices participating. 
    For more information about Finding Our Voices events and programs visit or contact Patrisha directly at 

    Event Date: 

    Fri, 10/20/2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

    Event Location: 

    Barnswallow Books


    166 Russell Avenue
    Rockport, ME 04856
    United States