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Sailing Through Stories: A Journey with Charlie Maguire

HomeNewsSailing Through Stories: A Journey with Charlie Maguire

COMPAS teaching artists are constantly innovating to capture and inspire audiences in exciting ways. Recently, content creator Ashley Lauren had the opportunity to sit down with Teaching Artist Charlie Maguire to delve into his latest project. We’re thrilled to give you an exclusive peek into Charlie’s newest work.

Introducing “Bartalina: True Stories and Songs of Commercial Sailing on The Great Lakes”

This captivating program is presented by none other than Acoustic Journalist,  Songwriter and Performer Charlie Maguire

And here’s the exciting news: this special program is the perfect way to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the EDMUND FITZGERALD and the 120th Anniversary of the “Mataffa Storm” for your audiences in 2025!

Have you ever watched a big ship enter a harbor or spotted one on the horizon and wondered what life is like onboard? If so, then “Bartalina” is the program for you. Through Charlie’s songs and stories, you’ll experience the reality of life at sea—the wind in your face, the camaraderie of the crew, and the rhythm of the deck beneath your feet.

Charlie’s experience as an Acoustic-Journalist mirrors the duties of a Third Mate on vessels like the M.V. Nordic Trader and M.V. William Clay Ford, as well as his time as an enlisted U.S. Coast Guard deckhand. This unique perspective allowed him to capture the essence of modern-day commercial sailing in his music and storytelling.

Embedded in the daily life of sailors aboard commercial and U.S. Government vessels, Charlie collected authentic songs and remarkable personal stories that offer a glimpse into a world few have the opportunity to explore. From sailing through all the Great Lakes to traversing the Saint Lawrence Seaway to Montreal, Charlie’s adventures aboard ships like the M.V. Nordic Trader with an all-Filipino crew and the M.V. William Clay Ford hauling iron ore from Duluth to Detroit paint a vivid picture of life at sea.

“Bartalina” isn’t just a program—it’s an immersive experience. The term “Bartalina,” meaning “a job you can’t get out of,” encapsulates the commitment and dedication required of sailors. Charlie Maguire learned this firsthand during his time aboard various vessels, including the United States Coast Guard Icebreaker/Buoy Tender SUNDEW-WLB-404, stationed off Isle Royale and Houghton, Michigan.

Presented by COMPAS, “Bartalina” offers a 60-75 minute journey into the world of commercial sailing, followed by a Q&A session. All you need is one 8-foot table and sound equipment to host this unforgettable program. And if you’re looking to enhance the experience, consider adding Charlie’s “Sailor Knot Workshop,” perfect for all ages.

So, whether you’re a library, school, business, or organization, don’t miss the opportunity to bring “Bartalina” to your audience. Contact us today to book this incredible program and embark on a voyage of discovery through the songs and stories of the Great Lakes.

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.