As we approach the round one nomination deadline for the New Commons Project, we’re launching a new initiative called the New Commons Workplace Challenge. The idea is to get everyone in an office or other workspace to take a few minutes out of their day to make nominations and talk to each other about what they’re nominating and why. I​t’s​
 a great way to foster conversations at work about the kinds of cultural works people love and want to share, and we want nominations from YOUR OFFICE! Are you and your officemates up for the challenge? It’s super easy​, and ​it ​takes 5 minutes. Use your webcam or your phone to shoot a quick and casual video, and then head over to our submissions page to upload it. Choose something you love and want to share with others in your community, and tell us why. And don’t over think it! 

And when you’re done, pass this challenge on to another office! ​Maybe even issue the challenge on Facebook, ice-bucket style!




Commons [noun, sing.]: land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community.

A commons is something that belongs to all of us, a communally held resource from which no one can be excluded and for which we are all responsible. At the New Commons Project, we believe that art, literature, and ideas are a commons.

The goal of the New Commons Project is to build a cultural commons for our community at University of Maine at Farmington and for the state of Maine: a collection of 24 cultural works* chosen by our community, for our community. Once the works are selected, we’ll come together in a variety of ways, on-line and in-person, to study, discuss, and create around these works.

Here’s how it works: submit a short video nominating a work for inclusion. Give us the title and the author, as well as your name, and tell us why we need this work now. Your video can be as simple or as artful as you want, and if making a video seems daunting, we can help!

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

* We’re interpreting “cultural works” broadly: novels, plays, poems, graphic novels, essays, paintings, songs, symphonies, albums, films, videos, performances, philosophical treatises, scientific works, manifestos…you get the idea!


The New Commons Project is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Maine at Farmington, and the Maine Humanities Council


The deadline for submissions for round one of the New Commons Project (the first twelve commons works) is March 1, 2018. Submissions not chosen for the first round will be carried over to round two in 2019.

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