Museum shows off its dance moves



TREMONT — The arts group behind the tongue-in-cheek Gott’s Store commercial is at it again, this time with a dance video produced for the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

The Barn Arts Collective, formerly the Mohawk Arts Collective, worked with museum staff to make a three-and-a-half-minute video that the Tremont institution has entered in a Museum Dance-Off Contest. The contest is sponsored by the blog When You Work at a Museum.

The aim of the contest is simply for museums to have a bit of fun, said Hope Rowan, the museum’s digital media and communications specialist.

“Museums have the reputation of being stodgy institutions,” she explained. The contest attempts to erase that reputation. The auto museum’s glitz and glamour-filled video set in the Roaring 20s is one of about 30 entries in the contest. Although there is no prize for the most popular video, the winner does get “bragging rights,” Rowan said.

Competition and voting started this week on the When You Work for a Museum website.

The Barn Arts Collective worked with the museum during a speakeasy themed fundraiser held in February, teaching dances of the period to the costume-clad attendees. The theme fit perfectly with the museum’s extensive collection of cars from the early 20th century. It was logical extension of that theme in the video, Rowan said.

Brittany Parker of the Barn Arts Collective “spearheaded” the efforts, choreographing dance steps, directing the actors and editing the video, which was shot by Peter Logue at the museum. The project so inspired Parker that she sent the final edit to museum staff the next morning.

“I was so excited I got to work on it right away,” Parker said. “I stayed up all night.”

Parker and Barn Arts member Andrew Simon have starring roles in the video. They are joined by another collective member, Brendan O’Keefe; Virginia and Eli Mellen from Southwest Harbor; and Rowan and Raney Bench, the museum’s executive director.

“Everybody caught on really quickly,” Parker said.

Win or lose, the video is a success, Rowan said.

“It was fun to get the video out there and share some information about the museum,” she said.

However, for the cast, the reward was in the making of the video.

“It was a blast,” Rowan said.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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