AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission will launch its 2018 Arts Iditarod on Jan. 10, a long and undoubtedly snowy regional tour from Kennebunk to Houlton and Lewiston to Ellsworth, according to a news release from the commission.

The four regional meetings will provide professional development workshops, information and discussion of opportunities to the state’s far-flung, diverse arts and cultural organizations, as well as artists, arts educators and community policy makers and members interested in development in and through the arts.

“We’re the most rural state in the nation, and people often have to travel long distances to get services,” said Julie Richard, the arts commission’s executive director, according to the release.

The tour will kick off at the Houlton Higher Education Center, in cooperation with the Tri-County Regional Creative Council, on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Event registration, also available online, will open at 12:30 p.m., with sessions running from 1 to 4 p.m.

Each of the four gatherings will include three workshops, on cultural tourism, strategic planning for both arts organizations and artists, and how to be and build a better board. In addition, information and updates will be provided on several arts commission initiatives, including the commission’s new nonprofit advocacy and support organization ArtsEngageME, local and state economic impact data for the arts, and grants.

Arts Iditarod schedule and locations

• Jan. 10, 1-4 p.m., Houlton Higher Education Center in Houlton;

• Jan. 29, 1-4 p.m., The Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk;

• Feb. 6, 1-4 p.m., to be announced, Ellsworth;

• Feb. 14, 1-4 p.m., The Gendron, Franco Center in Lewiston.

All of the Maine Arts Iditarod events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

To register, visit

For more information, visit

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