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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

Click here to read full article on NerdWallet.

MECA Commencement Speaker Writes about Creativity, Courage and Following your inner compass

Posted: 2013-05-31

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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. 

> Read the article here

MECA to Host CREATIVE COMMUNITIES EXCHANGE 2013

Posted: 2013-05-30

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WHEN


June 6 10:30 AM - 6.7.13, 6:00 PM


WHERE

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.

Commencement Hosted at the State Theater on May 11 at 10am

Posted: 2013-05-10

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Founder of Portland Based Via Agency Encourages MECA Graduates to "Quiet Your Mind and Embrace Logic-Defying Decisions"

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 rdersimonian@meca.edu. 

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Student Affairs Leadership Awards

Posted: 2013-04-26

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Student Affairs would like to congratulate the recipients of the first annual Student Affairs Leadership Awards.

The Leadership Awards were created by Student Affairs as a way of thanking, appreciating and acknowledging some of our students, student clubs and organizations and faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions to the MECA community over the course of the 2012-2013 academic year. Nominations for all the awards were collected from the MECA community.

Please join us in congratulating the 2012-2013 recipients:

* Outstanding Student Group or Organization: MECA C.A.R.E. (Celebrating all Realms of Ethnicity)

*Outstanding Event or Program of the Year: Rob Doane for The Peninsula School

*Outstanding Faculty or Staff Involvement: Jeff Waites for his commitment to the Free Radicals Futbol Club

*Outstanding Contribution to Diversity: MECA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People to Equality)

*Outstanding Student Employee: Andi Croak

*Outstanding Student Leader: Chloe Beaven

* Outstanding Contribution to Community Service: Carlin Soos

* Outstanding Contribution to MECA Life: Kyle DiMare & Jerrica Demers

We also want to send a shout out to everyone for doing your part in helping us all have a wonderfully successful year at Maine College of Art!

Maine's Only Women's Film Event to be held at MECA

Posted: 2013-04-21

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Bluestocking Film Series
Osher Hall, Maine College of Art
522 Congress Street, Portland, ME
www.bluestockingfilms.com

Screening: May 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $9/general | $6/student
FREE Women in Film Symposium: May 19, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

BLUESTOCKING FILM SERIES BRINGS 2 DAYS OF WOMEN IN FILM

The Bluestocking Film Series has found a new venue at Osher Hall at Maine College of Art, Maine’s only women’s film event is expanding to two days, celebrating the accomplishments of women in film with an international roster of provocative, award-winning short films on Sat., May 18 and a free-to-the-public symposium on Sun., May 19 titled “Why We Need The Bechdel Test Now.”

The Bluestocking will once again showcase woman-directed short films from the US and around the globe. “This is our biggest, boldest screening yet,” Kaminski says, “with stories that run the gamut from the darkest of dark comedies to thoughtful dramas and more.” There will also be a raffle fundraiser with fun prizes.

"To go alongside such a strong roster of films, it seems the right time to bring about some public discussion of the importance and value of gender equality not just behind the camera but to what’s on-screen as well.” Which is why Kaminski organized “Why We Need the Bechdel Test Now,” the May 19 symposium the day after the Bluestocking screening event. Helping to lead that conversation will be Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch, a magazine devoted to an “engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture” (bitchmagazine.org) and Kyna Morgan, founder of Her Film Project, a “global project to support women filmmakers and build audiences for their films” (herfilmproject.com/).

Use of the Bechdel Test can be a catalyst for shifts in how women’s on-screen characters are perceived by viewers and filmmakers alike. “The more this idea percolates into the public consciousness, the more likely it is that real change will be seen on the screen,” Kaminski says. “It’s become clear that television is now the primary medium where well-rounded, flawed, and complex women characters flourish –– we want to see the same thing happen on the big screen.”

The Bluestocking films will screen in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Tickets are $9/general and $6/student and are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets - brownpapertickets.com/event/371184 - or at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A. The symposium will take place in Osher Hall on Sunday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

 

 

Fundraising Dinner Hosted on April 14 to Support Chef Michael Crowley

Posted: 2013-04-10

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WHO:  The entire MECA community, Michael Crowley's firefighting and faith communities.

WHAT:  Italian Dinner Fundraiser for MECA Cafe' employee and Saco Volunteer Firefighter Michael Crowley ("Chef Michael")

Suggested Donations
$20 per person
$50 for a family of 3 or more
$10-$20 for students (sliding scale )
 
There will also be a raffle of donated MECA student, staff and faculty artwork.
 
Donations may also be sent directly to "Michael Crowley Cancer" Fund at Saco Valley Credit Union

WHY: MECA Cafe' employee and Saco Volunteer Fire Fighter Michael Crowley ("Chef Michael") has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Michael is currently undergoing chemo and radiation therapy and is unable to work. Please join the MECA community in our efforts to raise funds for Michael and his family during this difficult time.

WHEN:  Sunday, April 14 from 4pm-6pm

WHERE: Cafe' at Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland Maine


MECA Social Media Summit

Posted: 2013-04-04

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MECA will be making some big changes online! We’re striving to streamline, organize and expand our social media presence. But before we make these changes, we want to hear from YOU. We want to tailor our online presence to best serve our students, faculty, and broader community.

WHO:  The entire MECA community

WHAT:  Opening up dialogue about MECA’s social media presence

WHERE:
 Osher Hall

WHY:
 To discuss and determine the most effective, productive, and engaging ways that MECA can use social media. To identify specific faculty roles and create an information workflow and posting protocol.

WHEN:
  Wednesday, April 17 at noon

MECA Student & Faculty Member Honored with Maine Campus Compact Awards

Posted: 2013-04-04

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MECA student Chloe Beaven will receive Maine Campus Compact’s 2013 Heart and Soul Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments of six Maine students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership both on campus and within their community.

 In addition, MECA faculty member Paul Gebhardt will receive Maine Campus Compact’s 2013 Donald Harward Award for Service Learning Excellence. This award recognizes the accomplishments of faculty members in making public service an integral part of their teaching, in forging strong reciprocal partnerships, and in advocating for service learning.

MECA student Carly Soos was also nominated for the Heart and Soul Award. Students not chosen for this award will be receiving a Maine Campus Compact PILLARS award, which will be sent to your civic engagement office.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 30th at the State House Hall of Flags in Augusta. We will share a press release with your public relations office in the week leading up to the ceremony.  The ceremony, which includes hors d'oeuvres, will run from 2:30 to 4:00pm. We would be delighted if you would join us. 

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