Portland Named Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers
TravelNerd is kicking off Pride Month by highlighting underrated cities for gay travelers looking for fun. Instead of focusing on popular cities like New York City and San Francisco, we looked at underrated cities with thriving gay communities that boast great events and cultural sights.
Maine, one of the 5 states that have legalized gay marriage, has embraced the community. In fact, demographer Gary Gates at the Williams Institute named Portland, ME the third gayest city in the U.S., after heavyweights San Francisco and Petaluma, CA. On June 15, the entire city will celebrate the Southern Maine Pride Parade and Festival, complete with a mass marriage ceremony.
Be sure to participate in the town’s thriving arts scene with the sale from Maine College of Art’s Summer Art Sale on June 6 – 9 to purchase original art from MECA students, alumni and faculty. Then take a trip to the popular gay resort town of Ogunquit just 45 minutes away.
Columbus may surprise you by being on this list, but the city is actually very gay-friendly, with a full 1.0% of households that have same-sex partners. Head to the Gay Pride Parade, Columbus Pride, on June 21 and 22, and participate in the Run for Pride 5k. Leading up to the pride parade, celebrate with various events like a screening on the film “You Are Not Alone” with the filmmaker.
Join the locals at the fun restaurant Level, a gay-popular lounge with Broadway Sundays. Be sure to stop at the local LGBT community center Stonewall Columbus for events like Ballroom Dance classes and other games. Stop in the Short North neighborhood for galleries like 83Gallery and PM Gallery, which have ties with the queer community.
With a rating of 91 on the Equality Index and a gay household percentage of 2.3%, it’s no wonder that city is great for gay travelers. The Twin Cities’ Pride celebrations go on for a full week, starting June 19 to June 30. On June 29, check out the Pride Festival for drag shows, music and dancing, and on June 30, be sure to participate in the Pride Parade.
Stop in the North Loop neighborhood to find trendy boutiques and bars to mingle with the locals. Then head over the Loring Park for a day in the sun, and eat at the nearby Café Lurcat.
Milwaukee is coming into its own as a travel destination with the largest pride festival in the nation, Pridefest, happening this year on June 7 – 9. Be sure to stop by to dance and see acts like the Indigo Girls. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee hosts an annual LGBT Film/Video Festival, usually in September or October.
For fine arts and performance theater, head to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. Art exhibitions switch every 6 weeks, and hours vary, so call ahead to make an appointment. Walker’s Point is the main gay residential areas and hosts many hot nightlife spots.
New England has been a bastion of liberalism, and the city of Providence is no different, with a gay former mayor, David Cicilline, currently serving in Congress. Rhode Island’s PrideFest is coming up on June 15, complete with a parade. In downtown, AS220, a multi-use space with food, galleries and a printshop, also hosts a popular gay bar, The Stable.
Best of all, Providence is a short trip away from popular gay travel destinations like Boston and Provincetown.
Miami is known for its hopping nightlife and gorgeous beaches, and it’s working hard to draw in the gay contingent. Stop by the LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach to find the latest events in town. The world-famous White Party Week, November 27 to December 2 this year, is the most fun fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.
We know why you’re going to Miami: the beaches. 12th Street Beach is the most famous – and most popular – gay-friendly beach, but for those looking for a little more quiet, head 20 minutes north to the Haulover Beach Park. Warning: there is a clothing-optional section, for those a little shyer.
Atlantic City, NJ
While Atlantic City may be known for gambling and conventions, it’s currently resurging as a top travel destination on the Jersey shore. Since New Jersey legalized gay marriage in 2007, Atlantic City has been focusing on drawing in LGBT travelers.
The first gay nightclub opened in 2011, the Prohibition Bar at Resorts Casino Hotel right near the Boardwalk. The Risque Atlantic City Pride Parade kicks off on the Fourth of July and lasts all weekend, and includes boating, shows and dancing.
Eugene, the second-largest city in Oregon after Portland, is a hotbed of counterculture, including a thriving gay community. Eugene’s PRIDE Annual Celebration is held on August 10 this year at Alton Baker Park on the Willamette River. Show to for a raffle, entertainment and lots of excellent food.
Mother Kali’s Bookstore provides a great arts culture with poetry slams, drumming circles and political organizing, and the Sorumundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. The Soromundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. Check out Queer Eugene to find more events.
While Lansing doesn’t have the liberal cred of Ann Arbor, which is home to the University of Michigan, Lansing is the center of Michigan’s LGBT community. Michigan Pride is hosting the largest White Party in the state on June 7 – be sure to go for the outdoor foam party.
The Pride Festival is held in August, in Old Town, and provides vendors, food stations and even a beverage tent.
Las Vegas, NV
Sin City, the party-lover’s paradise. While Vegas is the ultimate getaway for all travelers, some attractions are now specifically catering to the LGBT crowd. The Wynn and the Encore provide “pride concierges”, and the Luxor has LGBT pool parties during the summer. Come June 15, Krave Massive, the world’s largest gay club will be opening with a massive bash.
The Las Vegas Pride Parade is later that the others, hosted on September 6and 7 this year. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Stop by June 22 for the SNAPI Saturday for dancing, Jell-O shots and a drag show, or July 3 for a family BINGO night.
MECA Commencement Speaker Writes about Creativity, Courage and Following your inner compass
John Coleman, founder of local advertising and marketing company the VIA Agency, spoke at MECA's Commencement Ceremony on May 11. Coleman started the agency without ever setting foot in an advertising firm. It's now an award-winning and highly innovative leader in the advertising industry.
He spoke about his logic-defying decisions and the importance of unplugging from the world to find creative inspiration and how to plug into yourself to find motivation and guidance. He shared his inspiring speech with Fast Company.
Maine College of Art (event hub) and other surrounding locations in Portland, Maine
Join New England leaders to exchange innovative ideas, strengthen our network, and offer practical advice on building our creative communities. We will explore the creative assets of New England and learn how - through connections, influence, vision, leadership, and patience - the creative sector continues to breathe life and opportunity into the region.
Workshops will highlight “creative place-making” initiatives from cities and towns of ALL sizes throughout New England. Topics will include:
Physical and organizational infrastructure to attract and retain cultural assets (cultural plans, zoning, real estate development). Collaborations within the creative sector (cultural nonprofits, creative businesses, artists, entrepreneurs working together). Leadership from within or from outside the creative sector (cultural plan implementation, program development). Creative partnerships across sectors (“creative bedfellows” developing language to bridge gaps in understanding between arts, creative, government, etc.) Creative community in context (outcomes and effects of a thriving creative community)
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Creative sector leader? Engage in creative place-making? Research or support the creative economy?
Participants are creative and cultural community leaders who work on creative economy initiatives in various sectors and types of organizations including cultural nonprofits, creative businesses, economic development, city planning, funders, researchers, and government.
This CCX will immerse participants in Portland's vibrant Arts District, a downtown area that has experienced a remarkable story of revitalization through a focus on the arts, culture, education, and creative inspiration. Locations include: Maine College of Art (Event hub), Community Television Network, Portland Stage, Space Gallery, and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
2013 Pace House Programming Announced
In 2007, artist Stephen Pace and his wife Palmina donated their Stonington home to Maine College of Art to use as an educational facility for the arts. This summer, the College will continue its programming of the space as an artist residency and as a gallery. The artist residency provides MECA alumni, faculty and staff with time and space to make their work. The schedule of artists this season includes Jude Valentine ’78 from June 3-28, faculty member Scott Peterman from July 1-15, Anne Ireland ’94 from July 21-27, Anthony Bragg ’07 from August 1-28 and Andrew Haviland ’12 and Emma Sampson ’11 from August 29 through September 4.
In addition to using the facility for the residency, the College opens parts of the home and gallery for the public to view selected works by Stephen Pace. Located at 90 Indian Point Road in Stonington, the gallery will be open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 5:00-7:00pm and on Saturdays from 10am-2pm while artists are in residence. The Stephen Pace Gallery is open from July through September for the 2013 season.
About Stephen Pace
Stephen was born in 1918 in Missouri and studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He settled in New York and became an acclaimed artist known for his Abstract Expressionist work. In later years he devoted himself to more representational paintings and drawings. Stephen and his wife, Palmina, bought the Stonington house, a turn-of-the-century sea captain’s residence set on a ledge overlooking the Penobscot Bay, in 1943. They summered there for sixty-four years, until their relocation to Indiana.
Professor Scott Nash's "Blue Jay the Pirate" reviewed in the Guardian
Scott Nash, Assistant Professor and Illustration Program Chair, recently released his book the High Skies of Adventure by Blue Jay thePirate. The illustrated book was met with accolades from critics and young readers.The most recent review was published in the Guardian last week, in which the reviewer wrote:
"The plot is very well thought-through, with each chapter finishing at a vital moment! The characters are very amusing with lots of depth."
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick SELECTED FOR 2013 MONHEGAN RESIDENCY
Photo by Gabriella Sturchio '12
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick from Portland and Daniel Anselmi from Belfast have been named the 2013 Monhegan Island artists-in-residence by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation. Thanks to a new initiative supported by the Maine Arts Commission, Melinda Campbell from Old Orchard Beach will take the first-ever art teacher residency offered by the program. Fitzpatrick, a recent graduate of the Maine College of Art printmaking department, will be on Monhegan June 1-July 5; Anselmi, an abstract painter, August 31-October 4; and Campbell, a teacher in the Auburn School Department, July 6-20.
This year’s fellows will lodge in two new studio spaces, Elva’s Old P.O. and the Shumaker Cottage, both of which feature outdoor working spaces overlooking the island’s distinctive landscape.
Now in its 23rd year, the Monhegan Artist’s Residency program is supported by individual donations and grants from the Quimby Family Foundation, the Lida P. Underhill Trust, and the Maine Arts Commission.
For information, visit www.monheganartistsresidency.org.
Commencement Hosted at the State Theater on May 11 at 10am
John Coleman of Portland’s VIA Agency to Address Newest Crop of MECA Grads: Honorary Degrees Granted to Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Portland, Maine - John Coleman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the The VIA Agency in Portland, Maine, which was named Ad Age’s 2011 Small Agency of the Year delivered the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Maine College of Art’s 102nd Commencement, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the State Theatre at 609 Congress Street.
John Coleman founded The VIA Agency in 1993 and has since led the Portland, Maine-based agency to its current stature as one of the two best small agencies in America. He’s worked with organizations ranging from nonprofits to political movements as well as marketing giants like Samsung, Unilever, Disney, HBO, Discover, Welch’s, DuPont and others. John is a world traveler and yet a proud native of Maine, who holds both an M.B.A. and a B.S. in mechanical engineering. John has served on MECA’s board of trustees since 2001.
The college also confered honorary degrees on Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Betsy Evans Hunt served on MECA’s board for 17 years and successfully led the recently concluded capital campaign to finish the consolidation of all academic and administrative services within Porteous. Betsy received her undergraduate degree in art history from Colorado College and went on to serve as Director of the Simon Lowinsky Gallery in San Francisco and as Manager of the Robert Mapplethorpe Studio in New York. She has worked as a sailmaker, cataloguer, curator, and interior designer. She holds a certificate from Sotheby’s American Art Program. She is the Executive Director and Owner of The Evans Gallery in Portland, which maintains and supports the photographic archives of Todd Webb.
Christopher M. Hunt, MD serves on the Board of Directors of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed graduate research at the University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Environmental Medicine and his Internship and Residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has continued his study of promoting health with Postgraduate Studies in Alternative Medicine, Yoga, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Meditation, Stress Management, Death and Dying, Philosophy of Change, and Jungian Psychology.
Donald Tuski, Ph.D, president of MECA, will confer the honorary degrees. “It is a profound honor to recognize the accomplishments of these three distinguished individuals and welcome them to our alumni ranks,” said Tuski.
Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, MECA offers a BFA degree in 10 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, a PostBaccalaureate in Art Education and continuing studies for youths and adults. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and the Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public. For more information, see www.meca.edu or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Jamie Hogan Announces Release of "Here Come the Humpbacks!"
As the humpback whales head towards the Gulf of Maine, professor and Maine illustrator Jamie Hogan will be celebrating the big arrival of her new children's book with a free family event on June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in the Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
Ever wonder how big these marvelous mammals are? Young readers will get a chance to stand beside (and inside) a life-sized humpback as part of an outreach program of the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine. Educators from the museum will talk about the daily routine of Istar the Whale, including what she eats, the places she travels, and who she spends her time with. MECA Illustration Professor Jamie Hogan will present her illustrations for the new picture book Here Come the Humpbacks!
"I have always known that humpbacks were astounding creatures, but researching the illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks! left me in awe of these mammals," said illustrator Jamie Hogan, "Now when I'm crossing Casco Bay, I imagine the families of whales swimming out in the deep. They are fascinating, intelligent, and utterly worth caring about."
The community is invited to attend the book launch and celebration: Saturday, June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART UNVEILS NEW INSTITUTIONAL LOGO
An innovative collaboration between internationally-known design experts, graphic design majors,and faculty yields a bold new visual identity.
The Maine College of Art unveiled a new institutional logo at a press conference hosted on campus (522 Congress Street, 2nd Floor Osher Hall) at 11am on Friday, May 3, 2013. An innovative collaboration between internationally known professional graphic designers, and a select group of MECA design faculty and majors has resulted in a new visual identity for an historic institution that has been a pillar of the New England arts scene since 1882. MECA’s new mark reflects the institution’s strongest assets: an extraordinary community of artistically-gifted individuals and a mission dedicated to promoting academic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.
The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette* hosted on campus in early February, 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of internationally known designer, Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram (the world’s largest interdisciplinary design firm) and MECA graphic design faculty led by professors Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate. According to Eddie Opara, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”
Professor Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that, to the best of our knowledge, has never before been attempted in North America. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than through creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”
Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland Maine, the new visual identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.
Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, believes that the introduction of a new visual identity is a historic moment for MECA. She said, “The purpose of developing a new mark that more effectively communicates the vibrant pulse of our community is not only to cultivate unity and a sense of pride, but to reaffirm the common thread that holds us all together as a greater sense of whole.”
“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness of what makes this such a special place.” said MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: the five-pronged ‘E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement —studio, agency, place, community, and ethics; the five floors of the historic Porteous building; and the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, Continuing Studies, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”
Graphic design major Sarah Mohammadi ‘13, was honored and proud to have been involved in such an important project. “Having the opportunity to work with professional designers and faculty members on a project that had never been done before was truly amazing. As a student, being part of the collaboration that rebranded the school we represent was an experience that is irreplaceable. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget and we all will be proud of for years to come.”
*What is a charrette? Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette refers to an intensely collaborative period of design activity where a group of design professionals work towards drafting a solution to a design problem.