Archive for February, 2022

MECA&D Announces the Third Annual Resilience Week

Posted on: February 24th, 2022 by Jacqui Walpole

Maine College of Art & Design Announces the Third Annual
Resilience Week

Led by the Students of Color Coalition, this series of events explores and celebrates diversity, intersectionality, identity, and social change

On Thursday, March 17, 2022, maestro Alejandro Graciano will introduce MECA&D students to Capoeira, a martial art brought from Angola to Brazil that combines dance, acrobatics, and fighting.

PORTLAND, ME February 24, 2022Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced event details for its third annual Resilience Week, which will take place at the College March 11-18, 2022.

Hosted by MECA&D’s Students of Color Coalition (SCC) and coordinator Athena Lynch (attended) '20, Resilience Week offers a variety of events aimed at building a network of support for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) artists and others committed to fostering change with the MECA&D community. 

“We are so grateful for the work students, faculty, and staff have put into bringing Resilience Week to life at the College,” said President Laura Freid. “This is a unique opportunity for our community to celebrate and explore important conversations about diversity, intersectionality, identity, and social change.”  


Each year, the event schedule for Resilience Week expands to include deeper opportunities for reflection, discussion, and activity around the issues of identity, race, representation, and justice while helping to carve a space where students of color thrive. 

This year, planned student activities include: 

  • Writing Workshop
    A private event run by Signature Soul to work on writing with the SCC.
    (Saturday, March 12 / 10:30am-12:00pm /
    Mechanics’ Hall)
  • Free Flow Vibes
    Musical engagement facilitated by Signature Soul with guest DJs Liz Rhaney MFA '20 and Ben Spalding.
    (Saturday, March 12 / 7:00-10:30pm /
    Mechanics’ Hall)

  • Crit Crunch
    Students of color have an opportunity to sign up for 25-minute slots and present work for critique by participating MECA&D staff and faculty in a safe and generative environment.
    (Sunday, March 13 / 11:00am-2:00pm / Room 007)

  • ‘Sick n tired of the ism schisms’ a BIPOC Community Discussion
    An important, expert-led dialog centered around gender, race, and in the BIPOC community hosted by speakers Roland Mendiola, Debi Rogers, and Maya Williams.
    (Monday, March 14 / 3:00-6:00pm /
    Virtual and open to public)

  • Artist Panel
    MFA alumni Veronica Perez MFA '16, Evelyn Wong MFA '19, and Golaleh Yazdani MFA '18 will focus on personal journeys as BIPOC beginning to mid-career artists tackling subjects such as identity, trauma, and visibility.
    (Tuesday, March 15 / 6:00-8:00pm /
    Virtual and open to public)

  • Time to chillax…
    Meditative workshop to encourage students to stop, breathe and be still in today’s challenging environments.
    (Wednesday, March 16 / 3:00-4:30pm / Room 007)

  • Vamos Jogar! (Let’s Play!)
    Maestro Alejandro Graciano will introduce students to Capoeira, a martial arts form brought over from Angola to Brazil that combines dance, acrobatics and fighting.
    (Thursday, March 17 / 4:00-6:00pm / Mechanics’ Hall)

  • Closing Reception / Reflections
    Closing reception, featuring music local group The Replicants, will wrap up Resilience Week events with a feedback discussion on lessons from the week.
    (Friday, March 18 / 5:00-7:30pm / Joanne Waxman Library)

Resilience Week organizers will also partner with the MECA&D Cafe to offer students a Multicultural Lunch on Thursday, March 10, that will feature family recipes from SCC members and advisors to help feed the body, the mind, and the soul of the community. 

In addition to these events, Resilience Week coordinators curated an exhibition titled "...we sustain ourselves... by building communities..." featuring work from artists across the College’s BIPOC community inspired by a quote from the late bell hooks about sustaining ourselves through community. The exhibition, which will remain on view on the first and second floors of the Porteous Building March 5-19, will also be available online for the public to explore. A private reception for the MECA&D community will be held at the Joanne Waxman Library on Friday, March 4 at 5:00pm.

Event organizers will also work with Love Lab Studio to create children’s art kits that will be available for sale at the Resilience Week pop-up shop—open Tuesday, March 1 through Thursday, March 17 in the College’s Zand Head Gallery—and donated to the Portland Boys & Girls Club and families served by the General Assistance office downtown Portland. 

Resilience Week is sponsored in part by support from Admire Wear, the Hanover Insurance Group, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and USI Insurance Services.

To see up-to-date information about the 2022 Resilience Week events, view recaps, and access the virtual tour of this year’s corresponding exhibition, visit  


# # #



Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D, pronounced "Maine College of Art and Design”) has been activating students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change since its founding as Portland School of Art in 1882. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making MECA&D the right-sized school in the right-sized city for every student who wants to make their mark and be seen. MECA&D offers BFA Majors and Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.


Jacqui Walpole, Director of External Relations