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2nd Annual MECA Film Festival

Posted: 2014-04-16

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On Friday, April 25 Maine College of Art will host the 2nd Annual MECA Film Festival. The festival will show 26 films made by 20 students from the college. There are three categories of awards: Documentary, Narrative and Experimental or Animated. The judges are film makers Dean Merrill, Allen Baldwin and Kate Kaminski. The festival will take place in Osher Hall at the Maine College of Art. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:30pm and awards will be granted at 9:30pm. 

>>For more information on the festival 

The First Annual Maine College of Art Spring Music Festival

Posted: 2014-04-10

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The First Annual Maine College of Art Spring Music Festival


Friday, April 18, 2014

5:30 Doors, Show starts at 6:00 PM

In the ICA @ MECA


Portland, ME - Over the years, the Maine College of Art (MECA) has not only produced renowned visual artists, but also many talented musicians. Current senior BFA student Savanna Pettengill, (also visual artist of the AV project Waco Sparkler,) started thinking about this last fall. She had a dream: to bring as many of these musicians together as possible for a night of performances somewhere in the Porteous building, not only for her fellow students, but also for the public. She wanted to showcase the varied creativity the art college produces. In the end, 7 acts affiliated with the school were curated into one evening to put on a show in the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). These acts each have members that  are alumni, current students, or members staff . While there are countless more music acts affiliated with the school, (Metal Sideburns, Phantom Buffalo, The Reverie Machine, Big Blood, Theodore Treehouse, Brzowski and more,) the idea was to showcase acts that seek to activate multiple senses for their audience. Some of the performance groups do this through not only music, but also video projections, light manipulation, set design, dance, and even the inclusion of audience participation. The show will take place starting at 6 PM. Each act will have a half hour, and will take part in transforming the empty gallery of the ICA for their performance.


The lineup is as follows:

  • B. Thighs and Friends (High heeled gentleman sings/dances to contemporary pop classics)

  • Bumbling Woohas (Acoustic Rock & Roll with Blues & Punk undertones)

  • Machete (Progressive experimental desert metal)*

  • Waco Sparkler (A digilogue audio & visual meditative stimulus package.)

  • Born Under a Bad Sign (hardcore/thrash)


* with visual sets created by Niki Taylor of Fond Clair (


Suggested donations for the evening are $10.


For more information please see:

- end of release -

MECA Faculty Members Awarded Arts Visibility Grant

Posted: 2014-02-18

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Raffi Der Simonian

Director of Marketing


MECA Faculty Members Awarded Arts and Visibility Grant for Future Mothers Project

Portland, ME ~ The Maine College of Art proudly announces that two of its faculty members, Elizabeth Jabar and Colleen Kinsella, have been awarded the Arts Visibility Grant from the Maine Arts Commission for their project Future Mothers.

Future Mothers' primary work focuses on creating contemplative space and vehicles for reflection, challenging dialog and community engagement through use of a collective vision/structure /practice that takes the form of prints, installation, books, and interactive performance. Using printmaking as a platform Future Mothers work from a shared lexicon of imagery and construct densely layered objects, structures, and environments for communicating timeless narratives and responding to contemporary social-political events.

Elizabeth Jabar is a print-based artist and associate professor and Colleen Kinsella is an adjunct instructor and printmaking studio technician at MECA.

FROM THE INSIDE: MECA Staff Show on view through January 23

Posted: 2014-01-09

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Library to Host Book Sale

Posted: 2013-10-16

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The Joanne Waxman Library is hosting a huge book sale during the annual MECA Holiday Sale and December 1st First Friday Art Walk on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 9pm and on Saturday, December 7 from 10:00am to 5pm.

Over 2,000 books are available, priced between 50 cents and $10+. Titles include brand new and used books from recent donations, as well as former Joanne Waxman Library books. All proceeds go to purchase new books for the Library in support of the academic programs at Maine College of Art.

Groundbreaking Bluestocking Film Series Brings Award-Winners to MECA

Posted: 2013-10-02

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Astronauts? Check. Zombies and lesbians? Check. WWII resistance fighters? Check. Teenage girls on the prowl, a grandmother with an unconventional diet, and a businesswoman on an obstacle course to work? Yes. The Fall 2013 Bluestocking Film Series has that.

Returning to MECA's Osher Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., the biannual film event has a whole new lineup of award-winning Bechdel-tested short films by talented women directors for Portland’s cinema lovers.

With the help of an international judging panel, the six films were carefully curated by founder-organizer Kate Kaminski, chosen specifically to prove that films about women can tackle difficult subject matter and be powerful and cutting-edge. 
This fall will also mark a first in Bluestocking’s 2-year history: audience members will vote their favorite film in two categories and two lucky filmmakers will walk away with cash prizes. Kyna Morgan of Her Film Project (a global project to support women filmmakers) will sponsor the bigger of the two prizes. The Bluestocking also awards a $100 gift each season to a female New Media student at MECA. “Our goal is to support in any way we can those women who choose to compete in such a male-dominated field.”

The screening event will take place in Osher Hall at MECA at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) on Saturday, October 19. All tickets are $5 if purchased in advance via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $7 if purchased at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A.

For more information, contact Kate Kaminski, founder/organizer. Watch trailers for past and upcoming events:


On the web
Bluestocking Film Series
Vimeo Channel

Contact: Kate Kaminski, Organizer | |  207.772.1326

MECA Family Weekend

Posted: 2013-06-27

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MECA parents, families, friends and Alumni are invited to join us on campus for MECA Family Weekend October 11-13, 2013.

Registration and schedule information will be posted in the early fall.

Please contact Anna Schwartz, Director of Student Engagement, with any questions:207.699.5034 or


Portland Named Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers

Posted: 2013-06-03

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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.

Portland, ME

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, OH

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.


Minneapolis, MN

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, WI

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.


Providence, RI

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, FL

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, OR

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.


Lansing, MI

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.

Photo credit:Twin Cities Pride Parade

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