Artemis's Attic Owners Awarded CDRC's Golden Broom

Photo: Pictured l-r Sherry Doten and Amy Dicenzo of Artemis's Attic, David and Lisa Seavey. (Photo by Jarod Farn-Guillette).



By Jarod Farn-Guillette

The 2017 recipients of Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition's (CDRC) “Golden Broom” are recognized for their efforts that go above and beyond in helping to create vitality and culture on Main Street. Passing the broom to Sherry Doten and Amy Dicenzo of Artemis's Attic are David and Lisa Seavey, the building owners for the now-closed Gallery 207. The award ceremony, organized in secrecy, so as not to alert the winner early, was held on the 15th at Artemis's Attic. Several main street business owners were present, along with members of the CDRC, to witness the passing of the broom. Britani Hallowell of the Urban Moose and Carole Heinlein of The Calais Bookshop were among those in attendance, along with the owners of Timeless Reflections, Larry and Marlys Guillette. This award adds to a successful year of strong civic commitment to the downtown corridor by Artemis's Attic's two proprietors, and is a recognition of their dedication to improving the town's long under-performing yet scenic and historic Main Street.  

According to Britani, also a member of CDRC, it was a unanimous vote to choose the pair for this award in recognition for their “helping to make downtown visually better.” Among their activities and acts of good for the downtown include, their adoption of seven garden plots in the parking lot across the street, an act duly noted by former Mayor Moore, the stone displays in the fountain garden along with the lighting installation they put in, plus their active participation in CDRC events and programs such as the light-pole scarecrow decorating of the past Halloween, and the Christmas parade night-shopping event. 


Artemis's Attic is an eclectic mix of various vendors that offer products ranging from up-cycled furniture to antiques, fine-art, designer bags, hand-made clothes and accessories to collectables and tchotchke. The store provides a chance for more than just Amy and Lisa to engage in commerce. With booths and store space divided amongst several different small retailers, it is more a collection of micro-businesses, each contributing to the larger economy as a collective. From whimsical to seasonally themed, the ever changing window displays, evocative of a great department store of yesteryear, are an added improvement to the often lifeless downtown streetscape in Calais, especially in winter. At a time when downtown Calais is struggling with vacant and decaying buildings, empty storefronts and the herculean task of revitalizing the downtown often seems futile at best, the extra effort by the two, is a much appreciated gesture, not only towards the downtown, but Calais in general. With Main Street USA in many small towns across the country struggling to repurpose themselves due to changing economic conditions and consumer habits compounded by a demographic shift towards larger urban centers, small business owner's extra efforts beyond the daily running of their shops, plays an essential role in achieving this goal. The drama that is many small towns' downtown plays on due to efforts like this and organizations such as CDRC. Let's hope there is a second act.