Governor John E. Baldacci served two terms as the Governor of the State of Maine from 2003-2011.  Prior public service included serving as U.S. Representative for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from 1995-2003.

Governor Baldacci joined Pierce Atwood in 2012, following an appointment as the Director of the Department of Defense’s Military Health Care Reform Initiative, working for the former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Clifford L. Stanley, where he was tasked with a full-scale review and evaluation of military health care and wellness.

What Maine Craft Means to Me

by John E. Baldacci, Former Governor of Maine

Arts and crafts in Maine

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to reflect on the importance of Maine artists and craftsman. Artists tell us who we are as a people, they reflect our spirit, and define our soul. Maine is very unique, we are not like anywhere else. As Governor, I identified and supported our “Creative Economy”, which linked this talent to our economic engine. Maine has world renowned writers, photographers, painters, poets, builders, basket makers and many, many more. We have a storied history, present day amazing craft artists, and an unfolding future of people coming to Maine to create.

Personally, we try to seek out and support our Maine artists. We celebrate holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and sometimes simply support what inspires us.

Our family holiday card comes to mind. The holidays has always been a time for us to share a family photo, taken by professional Maine photographers to connect with family and friends. It was a way to follow us, especially Jack, as he grew up throughout the years.

In our Blaine House years, in addition to the annual photo, we added an original holiday commemoratives made by Mainers, to celebrate the season. These included many different designs, creations, artwork and  unique gifts. We showcased Maine artists and craftsmen at our two Inaugurals, many trade missions, meetings, retreats, and Maine Day at The Big E Agricultural Fair.

I encourage everyone to “shop locally”. Invest in Maine artists and craftsmen.

What Maine Craft Means to Me Essay Series invites you to explore the many intersections and layers of craft, people and time in Maine through the words of those with deep connections to our state and our field.

The Maine Crafts Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization supporting craft artists by providing educational, marketing and retail opportunities. Our ability to accomplish our mission and help artists thrive is reliant on individual contributions.