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There is no more shoe making in Maine…Not true, as evidenced in Museum L-A's next installment of its "Voices" lecture series on April 14 at 7 p.m. "Stepping into the Future: Shoes for Today and Tomorrow" features representatives from two of Maine's best known companies - L.L.Bean and New Balance - sharing their insights about innovation, design and manufacturing of footwear. The program is being held in conjunction with the Museum's current special exhibit: Portraits & Voices: Shoemaking Skills of Generations.

"In preparing the shoe exhibit, it was heartening to see that there are still skill sets needed to do hand sewing of high-end shoes as well as specialized boot-making and the art of creating sport shoes," said Museum L-A Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers. "Companies are facing the challenge of convincing the younger generation that the shoe industry is alive and well as they search for engineers and skilled people to help them keep up in their new technologies and product development."

The "Voices" panel will be comprised of Jack Samson, Senior Manager of L.L. Bean's manufacturing facilities in Lewiston and Brunswick, and Raye Wentworth, New Balance's plant manager in Norridgewock. They will talk about the history of their companies, how their products have evolved and how their companies are meeting today's challenges.

"Museum L-A is not just about the past," Desgrosseilliers continued. "We are all about connecting - connecting generations but also connecting the past with the present and future as well as communities with the great inspiration and innovation still found in existing, highly-recognized manufacturing firms. This program will show that quality shoe making is not only central Maine's legacy but is still a vibrant and important industry today."

All are invited to come and learn the future of shoemaking in an awakening of skill sets highly prized in the past that could open the door to great possibilities for the future.