about

With American democracy under assault from powerful forces, Maine Challenge Productions has an important role to play in shaping the discussion and perceptions on a broad range of issues. 

Sought out by activists and policymakers as a resource for messaging, we are constantly digging deeper to add other people to the conversation, as well as multiple means of participating: call-in or write-in Q&A, youth correspondents, homemade video clips. We are investing in the simple art of listening, talking, and learning close to home. We believe that engaging our neighbors will make a difference.          

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

In spring of 2020, during the early days of the pandemic when public meetings became impossible, a group of volunteers from Lincoln County Indivisible launched Maine Challenge as a half-hour program on Lincoln County’s public access television. In late 2020, Betsy Sweet joined as the regular host, bringing her vast knowledge of Maine government, huge network of friends and acquaintances, and her warm and friendly interviewing style. Realizing the potential of the format and the need for a stable long-term progressive media vehicle with greater range and higher production values, a few of the original volunteers wrote by-laws and established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, Maine Challenge Productions, in February of 2021.

In its beginning, Maine Challenge was only available on Lincoln County public access TV. Since April, we have begun “premiering” each week’s video on our Facebook page, as well as on our YouTube channel and on Portland Media’s Channel 5. We are reaching out to public access television stations across the state. Maine Challenge now airs in Freeport, Portland, Lewiston/Auburn, Lincoln County (Newcastle & Damariscotta), Saco, Madison, Skowhegan, Anson, and So. Portland, as well as on WERU radio. We are aiming for statewide coverage.

PARTNERSHIPS

Maine Challenge has already partnered with numerous progressive organizations in Maine, including: Campaign to End Qualified Immunity; Community Water Justice; Defend Our Health; Democracy Maine; Maine ACLU; Maine Center for Economic Policy; Maine Coalition for Gun Safety; Maine Democratic Party; Maine Inside/Out; Maine League of Women Voters; Unified Asian Communities; and the Wabanaki Alliance. These partnerships help Maine Challenge gain the attention of diverse audiences, extending the reach of our programs.   

Production Team
  • Betsy Sweet, Host
  • Brian Leonard, Direction and Video Editing
  • Henry Barkey-Bircann, Motion Graphics and Ass’t Producer
  • Courtney Allen, Social Media Director
Board
  • Nigel Calder, President
  • Mike Herz, VP & Treasurer
  • Hallie Arno
  • Barbara Burt
  • Pam Cunningham
  • Bill Creighton
  • Jamie Dalgleish
Advisors
  • Canyon Woodward
  • Carla Dickstein
  • Edward Erikson
  • John Iltis
  • Katie Huntington
  • Marie Louise Follayttar
  • Taylor Moore
  • Cara Scozzafava
  • Kate Josephs