ACAF has always been committed to bringing together people from a broad range of Freeport’s arts and cultural stakeholders, so that all disciplines are well-represented in discussions and activities to promote and support this vital part of our community. The ACAF Board of Directors is a critical part of that effort, and we are pleased to introduce our current Board members. Their collective connections with Freeport’s schools, businesses, arts groups, and cultural organizations, along with their passion for arts, history and heritage, will help ACAF lead the community in achieving the goals under the Freeport Cultural Plan. They are joined by Coordinating Director Hannah Gathman, who coordinates and supports the efforts of the ACAF board and committees and makes connections within the community to propel the implementation of the Freeport Cultural Plan.
John Albright (Vice President)
Music has always been important to John Albright, who paradoxically narrowly avoided earning a Music Education degree and instead earned a B.S. in Wildlife Science (Purdue University) and an M.S. in Wildlife Management (U. Maine). All this brought him (and his guitar, fiddle, banjo, and trumpet) to Brunswick and work with the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. It also brought him to the Bowdoinham Contradance where he met his wife Meg. After settling in Freeport in 1986, his three children eventually drew him deeper into the local arts and music communities via a variety of their musical and theatrical endeavors. Which led to John’s serving on the Board of the Freeport Players, including serving as Vice President and President. He also directed, co-wrote, and arranged music for the Players’ WFCP Home Time Radio Hour extravaganza for 8 successive years. John now plays music in group and solo settings and writes songs as the Muses allow. His greatest satisfaction is bringing music and arts events to the Tri-town area. John has also served on the Boards of The Forest Society of Maine and the Freeport Conservation Trust.
Jane Bradley, President
Jane Bradley is a retired Judge of the Maine District Court. She is a member of the local band, Not 2 Sharp, in which she plays keyboard and sings backup vocals. She enjoys song writing and music arranging and has been a member of the music direction team and pit band for the Freeport Players’ annual production of The WFCP Home Time Radio Hour. She served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Freeport Players and currently serves on the Preble Street Board of Directors. Jane and her husband, Ed, have lived in Freeport for over 40 years. They have three daughters, all products of the Freeport School system, and have seven grandchildren, three of whom also live in Freeport and attend Freeport schools.
Jim Cram is a 40-year veteran of the construction business, typically in the role of project manager interfacing among the design team, client, and contractor. Eighteen years were dedicated to international projects, completing houses, condos and small commercial projects in 10 countries including Japan, England, Albania, Germany, Israel, Argentina, Uruguay, and Russia. Throughout his career Jim has engaged in community activities emphasizing historic and architectural preservation. He served as Chairman of the Freeport Architectural Review Board (ARB) in the early 1980’s, chaired the Hollis, NH ARB and was President of Greater Portland Landmarks. A lifetime of observing the design of new and historic architecture has instilled an appreciation for how culture, architecture, art and the built environment shape our lives. The joy of working with those architects and artisans inspires Jim to join teams that make enduring art. Jim was President of the Freeport Historical Society in 1982 and having returned to Freeport has been the Executive Director of the Society since Dec. 2015.
Ellen Ebert is a founding member of ACAF and has been involved with the organization for a number of years. She is a biologist who recently retired after 35 years as an environmental consultant, working on projects throughout the U.S, in Europe and in Southeast Asia. During her career she worked with multidisciplinary teams to evaluate the effects and risks of hazardous wastes on human and ecological health and developed approaches for removing or mitigating those risks. She was also involved in developing realistic and appropriate environmental policy and regulations at both state and federal levels. Ms. Ebert is a musician and woodworker who is focused on raising the profile of the creative resources available in Freeport in an effort to help Freeport emerge as an artistic and cultural destination. She has lived in Freeport with her husband for 35 years and volunteers with a number of other non-profit organizations, including Freeport Players, Freeport Community Services, Coastal Humane Society, and Merrill Auditorium.
Elizabeth Guffey (Secretary)
Elizabeth Guffey is a founding member of ACAF. She has been a musician, singer, actor, and playwright since she was a child. In Freeport she is best known for her work with Freeport Players, with which she has been active since 1997 as a performer, designer, producer, writer, Board member (1999-2007, VP ’03-‘04, President ’05-’06), and most recently Managing/Artistic Director (2010-2018). Under the auspices of Freeport Players, Guffey founded the Freeport FebFest of Arts and Culture in 2015, bringing artists from all disciplines into a month-long celebration of Freeport’s creative offerings. As a singer and instrumentalist she has performed with Tom Acousti, Pound of Tea, the Yale College a capella group Mixed Company and others. Her plays have been performed at several theaters in Maine, including Opera House Arts (Stonington), Freeport Players, and the Maine Playwrights Festival. Guffey currently serves ACAF as Secretary of the Board, webmaster, and chair of the Cultural Assets committee.
Scott Miller (Treasurer)
Scott Miller has more than 25 years of experience with performing arts organizations starting in 1994 with Freeport Players. Having both acted and sung for many shows he has now focused on company operations. He serves as President of Freeport Players, Treasurer of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, President of Una Voce Chamber Choir, and is past President of the Greater Freeport Community Chorus, and of A Company of Girls in Portland Maine. A resident of Freeport Scott has worked at Acadia Insurance Company of Westbrook, Maine for 25 years and holds several insurance designations. The rest of the time he can be found outside.
Sheila Nappi is co-owner of Bow Street Market in Freeport and Bow Street Beverage in Portland. Sheila is a firm believer in the power of education and the positive impact that the arts can have within a community. She was a founding member of the Education Foundation of Freeport and has previously served on the boards of Freeport Community Education and the Freeport Community Library. She currently serves on the board of the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association and is active in community outreach and support through several charitable giving programs established through her businesses. Sheila’s diverse background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Merrimack College, and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University. Her unique skill set and leadership will help connect the community with artists and live performance events that will engage and inspire.
Betsy Roper is a long-time supporter of the arts. She enjoys both performing in and attending theater. Betsy and her husband, Gar, were owner-directors of OMNI Camp, a residential international summer camp for children and teens in Poland Spring, Maine from 1989-2007 were performing and visual arts were strong features of the program. Betsy served on the Maine Tourism Commission from 2005-2010. She has been an active member of Freeport Players for several years and served on its Board of Directors from 2011-2017. She has been on the ACAF Board of Directors from its beginning. Betsy and Gar have lived in Freeport for 16 years. Betsy earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Western Connecticut State University and taught elementary school in Connecticut for several year before having two children.
Tom Saliba is a retired business executive who was trained as an Energy Economist and has had a home in Freeport since 1974. He has enjoyed collecting art from all over the world for more than 50 years. Tom is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of Maine College of Art, member of the Board of Governors of the Colby College Museum of Art, and member of the Board of Directors of The Cy Twombly Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the Portland Museum of Art and the Board of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Freeport.
Nancy Salmon, a founding member of ACAF, advocates for all the arts and arts education. She retired from Bates College in 2013 where she was Assistant Director for the Bates Dance Festival and Adjunct Faculty in the Theater and Dance Department. While directing the Arts in Education Program at the Maine Arts Commission (1987-2002), Nancy redesigned a major grant program so that all Maine school districts could access grant funds to bring professional artists into the school community. She helped develop the MDOE Visual and Performing Arts Learning Standards and is an author of the Maine Dance Curriculum Guide. Nancy directed the Dance Program at the University of Southern Maine (1981-1996) where she initiated an annual concert of student work. She free-lances as a performer, choreographer and teacher. She has served on the Freeport Players Board and on regional and national grant panels. Nancy earned her BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts and her MFA from the Tisch School of New York University. She enjoys gardening and writing and cruising on their sail boat with her husband, Captain David Webster.
Maddy Vertenten joined ACAF in 2018 and chairs the School & Youth Committee. Maddy has served on the RSU5 School Board since 2017. Before running for elected office, she was the communications coordinator for the Tri-Town Track & Field Project group who successfully fundraised the Joan Benoit Samuelson Track & Field athletic facility, completed in May 2018. Moving home to Maine after 18 years away, she became President of the Freeport Running Boosters as a way to engage with her new community and with one of her children’s interests. Recently she joined the Performing Arts Boosters to do the same! Maddy was an avid violinist while growing up in Orono, Maine. She played with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and performed and recorded with singer/songwriter Darien Brahms, in addition to multiple wedding, Nutcracker, and high school musical pit orchestra gigs. She earned a BA in Music (violin performance), and a Master’s in Human Resources Management. Her background in corporate leadership development, professional coaching, and running a wellness products business have fostered in her a passion for helping people grow and thrive. She enjoys teaching a local movement class for women and is picking up the violin again to see what creative possibilities lie ahead.
David Webster is a founding board member of ACAF and a vocal advocate for fostering community growth and vitality through creative economy efforts. He believes arts and cultural engagement enhance the quality of life for individuals. He co-owned and directed a for-profit theater company, performed professionally, toured and conducted myriad school-based artist residencies throughout New England. David continues to perform through community theater. David was executive director of a state-wide non-profit affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and has consulted on organizational development and presented at national conferences. Trained as a crisis intervention and therapeutic counselor, David co-founded and directed a 24-hour crisis intervention hot-line and clinic in Albany, NY, using theater games as an intervention tool. David served Freeport and part of Pownal for eight years in the Maine State House of Representatives on the Appropriations Committee and the Health and Human Services Committees. David is passionate about sailing and boats. He holds a Masters (Captains) License from the United States Coast Guard and earned a MEd in Organizational Development from Antioch University.
Hannah Gathman (Coordinating Director)
Hannah Gathman relocated to Maine in 2018. She lived and worked in Boston for 13 years prior to moving north, and before that, grew up in Pocahontas, Missouri. Hannah holds a BA in Art History and an MS in Arts Administration, both from Boston University. While pursuing her master’s degree, Hannah worked in the Development and Alumni Relations branch of BU, organizing social, networking, and educational events to bring alumni back to campus. She then spent six years at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, most recently as the Director of Events and Social Programs, and was responsible for achieving engagement, attendance, fundraising, and earned revenue goals for the museum. She joined ACAF in August 2018 as its first staff member. Hannah has a background in classical piano and oboe, traditional Irish music, and Irish step dancing. She is enjoying discovering the Irish music scene in Southern Maine, and you can often find her at weekly Irish music sessions in various Portland pubs. She lives in Portland’s West End with her husband and spends most of her free time cooking and crafting.