Connectivity: Arts-Based Fisheries Dialogues 2016

In Kinship in 2016 focused on migratory fish restoration in the Penobscot River. A series of workshops were designed in collaboration with fisheries biologists to complement their existing public outreach. These interdisciplinary public events combined community dialogue, collaboration between artists and biologists, and physical interaction with both fish and the river. Each workshop was created and facilitated by a team of partners including a biologist, an artist, and a community organization. 


a writing tour of the penobscot estuary

In September 2016, biologists Karen Wilson and Molly Payne Wynne guided participants through several sites on the estuary to learn about this unique habitat and its use by migratory fish; simultaneously, writer Cory Tamler led a community dialogue and creative writing process that unfolded over the course of the day.


Molly Payne Wynne, The Nature Conservancy

Karen Wilson, Ph.D, University of Southern Maine

Cory Tamler & Jennie Hahn, Open Waters



songwriting, archaeology, and restoration site visit

Over three meetings from August through October of 2016, biologist Dan McCaw collaborated with songwriter Eric Green and youth leader John Neptune to lead a fisheries and songwriting workshop for Penobscot youth. Beginning with a visit to an active construction site at the outlet of South Branch Lake, one of several fisheries restoration projects underway on Penobscot Nation land, the group learned about barriers to fish passage and efforts to re-establish healthy fish populations in Tribal waterways. Archaeologist Bonnie Newsom discussed historical connections between migratory fish and Penobscot people. Eric Green then led a group songwriting process resulting in a raw recording.


Dan McCaw, Penobscot Nation Natural Resources

John Neptune, Penobscot Nation Youth Program

Eric Green, Songwriter

Bonnie Newsom, Archaeologist

Jennie Hahn, Open Waters


installation art on pushaw stream

Designed for children with their families, this event took place in September of 2016.  Biologist Rory Saunders with Sarah Bailey and Gudrun Keszoecze, guided a two-hour paddle on Pushaw Stream to the dam at Pushaw Lake. Families learned about migratory fishes present in the Penobscot watershed and their needs for survival. After lunch, visual artist Kris Sader led environmental art and dialogue activities resulting in an outdoor installation at Hirundo. 


Rory Saunders and Sarah Bailey, NOAA Fisheries

Gudrun Keszoecze, Hirundo Wildlife Refuge

Kris Sader, artist

Joanne Alex, Stillwater Montessori School

Jennie Hahn, Open Waters

Support for In Kinship is provided by Space Gallery through The Kindling Fund, and by the Center for Performance and Civic Practice