May 20, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Lewiston to add youth artist and musician ‘in residence’

2 min read

Ryleigh Emmert, Lewiston’s youth poet laureate, reads New Day’s Lyric by Amanda Gorman at the city’s inauguration of elected officials at the Gendron Franco Center. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — In an effort to draw further attention to the arts, Mayor Carl Sheline this week announced plans to expand Lewiston’s youth arts program to include artist, writer and musician “in residence” positions.

In a news release Wednesday, Sheline said the honorary positions will be filled by Lewiston High School students, with applications now available on the city’s website.

Sheline previewed the idea during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where he said city staff had recently asked him whether he wanted to continue the youth poet laureate position, which was established in 2019.

“My response was that poetry is needed now more than ever,” he said, adding that he thought of expanding the program to include an artist, writer and musician. He said the new positions will coincide with the opening of the new arts and music wing at Lewiston High School.

Sheline said an official resolution will go before the council this month.

“Arts in a community is what makes it great,” he told the council Tuesday.

According to the news release, the “writer in residence” will be occasionally asked to compose written pieces for city events, activities and holidays, as well as at times requested to recite his or her work. The “musician or vocalist in residence” will be asked to perform music at various city functions and events, while the “artist in residence” will be asked to periodically create original pieces of art for the city.

“A thriving arts scene is vital to the success of Lewiston,” Sheline said in the release. “I’m excited about the city’s public art initiative and our high school’s new performing arts wing. These arts in residence positions enable the city of Lewiston to send a clear message about the value of creativity and art for our future.”

Lewiston created the youth poet laureate position in 2019 after Joao Victor won the state’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud competition and was among nine national finalists. Ryleigh Emmert has served in the role since 2020, recently performing at Lewiston’s inaugural ceremony in January.

LHS students interested in applying for an honorary position of Writer in Residence, Musician or Vocalist in Residence, or Artist in Residence may do so at

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