MECA&D’s strategic plan builds on our historic positioning in Portland’s arts district, a shared strategic vision, and proven ability to embrace change. The full plan is now available for view here.


Maine College of Art & Design:

  • Educates artists and designers for life.
  • Emboldens a diverse group of creative thinkers to ask questions and to solve problems.
  • Activates students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change.
  • Vision

    We envision a world enriched by artists and designers who are empowered to create with profound and practical impact.

    Core Values

    We are EXPERTS. Every day we hone our grasp of method, material, process, and technique, immersing ourselves in learning our craft with rigor from the ground up. We respect the educational process and how it informs both practice and creativity, and commit to sharing, cherishing and challenging the methods and concepts used by artists and makers before us.

    We are AGILE. We adapt to the world around us and we experiment with verve. Now more than ever, ideas with elasticity are imperative to the dynamic artist. We educate to create sustainably, scalably, differently, in communities large and small. From this springboard, our potential to influence the world becomes possible.

    We are INCLUSIVE. We are committed to all artists and designers—no matter who they are, where they come from, or what their goals are. We believe placing this value at the forefront of our work cultivates artists who are true agents of change and connects our community to the world in meaningful ways.

    We are SUPPORTIVE. Through individualized education, thoughtful discourse with our faculty, integrated career preparation and professional services, and an ethos of celebration over competition, we enable a culture of shared accountability, visibility and collaborative success.

    We are ANCHORED. As Portland’s creative heartbeat, we draw upon the ebbs and flows of our city and state for both influence and opportunity. To honor our relationship with our urban hub and natural surroundings, we as cultural workers strive to make our community’s goals ours, invite it to inspire everything we do, and return impact at every possible turn.

    We are TRANSFORMATIONAL. We draw from our unparalleled setting and the diversity of our creativity to grow through every pursuit—by taking risks, by following through, by willing bravery and by seizing every opportunity to make our mark. We embrace our evolution, propelled by the knowledge that creative growth through art, within ourselves and our culture, can ultimately provide fulfillment.

    Strategic Goals

    1. Academic Excellence
    Charge: MECA&D will cultivate the highest standards in teaching and learning in art, design, and media, and will be recognized for its students’ cultural contributions. The College will be known as an educational leader in the programs it offers, creating and continually improving a relevant, culturally inclusive, and distinctive curriculum which enables students to reach their potential in an ever changing world.

    2. Develop a Culture of Social Change, Racial Justice, and Equity
    Charge: MECA&D’s commitment to Social Change, Racial Justice, and Inclusion will inform all aspects of the College. We believe placing these values at the forefront of our work cultivates artists who are true agents of change and connects our community to the world in meaningful ways.

    3. Broaden Our Reach: Online and Distance Learning
    Charge: MECA&D will develop a strategy to effectively enter the online and distance learning marketplace in order to expand our audience of learners and generate additional revenue streams.

    We have formed a new committee to move this work forward. This committee will establish specific metrics for success, chart a thorough timeline, devise and implement a detailed business plan, identify the resources necessary, and establish communication plans for all stakeholders to share their results and encourage buy-in.

    4. Create a Living and Learning Center
    Charge: Maine College Art & Design (MECA&D) will develop a new Living and Learning Center that reflects the College’s mission to provide students with the resources and support necessary to pursue their education successfully. Building on our historic role as the creative anchor of Portland, the new Center will expand the College's footprint and identity within Portland and will provide a destination and hub for community activity and engagement.

    5. Financial Sustainability
    Charge: An essential principle of our Strategic Plan is to ensure MECA&D’s long-term financial sustainability. As informed by data and other qualitative metrics, we will identify a financial framework and a series of revenue-focused strategic priorities in support of sustainable results and MECA&D’s overall fiscal plan.

    Committee Structure

    We are grateful for the time and contributions of each participant in our strategic planning process. Representatives from every constituent level, MECA&D Board, Faculty, Staff, BFA and Graduate Students, and Alumni, participated in the following committees:

    Steering Committee (15 Members)
    Full Strategic Planning Committee (23 Members)
    Strategic Goal Working Groups
    1. Broaden Our Reach: Online and Distance Learning (8 Members)
    2. Develop a Culture of Social Change, Racial Justice, and Equity (8 Members)
    3. Academic Excellence (11 Members)
    4. Create a Living and Learning Center (10 Members)
    5. Financial Sustainability (8 Members)
    Student, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Focus Groups