Creative Edge: Overlook Park

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Objective: Develop a public Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium granite sculpture in the heart of downtown Eastport.

In 2011, the City of Eastport through its Downtown Committee, and with plans approved by its Historic Review Committee, developed a new Sutherland Overlook Park & Amphitheater along the water side of Eastport’s historic downtown. A 360 degree spherical panorama of the park and amphitheater can be viewed here: Sutherland Overlook Park and Amphitheater. The park and amphitheater were named in honor of Donald Sutherland, a long time advocate for the revitalization of Eastport’s downtown and the development of an amphitheater.

The new park was funded by a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The park replaced an earlier Overlook Park created during the early 1980s and which, in turn, had replaced the Wilbur Theater that had stood on the site for many years. The new Sutherland Overlook Park includes a small granite amphitheater facing the water along the seawall walkway. The Sutherland Overlook Park amphitheater is only the second amphitheater to be located right on the water’s edge of the coast of Maine. The other, the Bok Amphitheatre, is located in Camden, next to the Camdem Public Library, and was constructed in 1931.

The park also includes a public sculpture that was be created as part of the 2011 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium. Jim Boyd, a scultptor from Hampton, New Brunswick was chosen during the winter of 2011 to create a granite sculpture for Eastport at the Sutherland Overlook Park site. The sculpture was created during the summer and early fall of 2011 when the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium took place at the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine. The Cultural Council raised $10,000 in matching funds in support of the costs of the sculpture. The sculpture, “Nature’s Grace,” was installed at its Sutherland Overlook Park site in early December, 2011.

The Tides Institute & Museum of Art (TIMA) has worked to establish a summer music series at the Amphitheater. Three performances took place during the summer of 2011 and five or more performances have been held each summer ever since. Beginning with the summer of 2015, a series of weekly movies has also been held at the Amphitheater.

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