An inspiring story about working with the world.

Public Engagement Minor History
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In 1986, Maine College of Art was one of the first art schools in the country to launch a course that integrated art, real world problems, and community partners into its teaching curriculum. Now, 25 years later, we are still at it.

The Public Engagement Program at MECA has an extensive track record of solving problems and creating collaborative community partnerships. Under skilled and thoughtful leadership, the initiative has successfully implemented service-learning as a pedagogical tool. We utilize best practice partnership principles, reciprocity and guided project planning. Our faculty and staff are practitioners and leaders in the field, and have received numerous awards for their work. At MECA, we do Public Engagement well, take it seriously, and have an incredible lineage to boot.

Leadership Highlights

  • 1986–2001: Regina Kelly (Khenmo Drolma) created and led Art in Service
  • 2001–2007: Jennifer Christian created and led Creative Community Partnerships
  • 2001—2015: The Public Engagement Program recieves numerous grants and awards including recognition from: Maine Humanities Council, Maine Arts Commission, Maine Community Foundation, the Helen and George Ladd Foundation, and the Maine Campus Compact President’s Leadership Award among many others.
  • 2007–2012: Christina Bechstein, Elizabeth Jabar, Maryli Tieman, Erin Hutton, Kate Hassett, Jess Sheldon, Jennifer Livingston created and led Public Engagement Program
  • 2011: Public Engagement Minor launch
  • 2010-2012: Christina Bechstein, Public Engagement Director
  • 2013–2018: Elizabeth Jabar, Public Engagement Director