March 19, 2020

Dear MECA&D Community Members,

I am writing to you today with a heavy heart knowing that we are all facing a life-altering global crisis that will affect all of us in ways we can’t even calculate at the moment. This is an incredibly difficult personal moment for each and every one of us. It is my sincere hope that you are all staying well during these precarious times.

Due to COVID-19, the community health situation in Maine is becoming increasingly compromised, with more cases and impending medical supply shortages announced daily. At MECA&D, we are adjusting our lives and plans to do what we can to safeguard the health and wellbeing of every member of our community.

Today we announced the very difficult decision to cease all on-campus, in-person classes, and all MECA&D buildings will remain closed to the public during this time. Starting Monday, March 30, 2020, all MECA&D students will continue with their academics remotely/online.

I am well aware that this is a seminal moment in the lives of our students, their families, and the entire MECA&D community. I also feel a great responsibility to do our part to help reduce the risk of spreading this virus. While it was not an easy decision, we are postponing our 2020 Commencement and planning to have a celebration of our graduates and their work at the beginning of the Fall semester. We are also currently exploring options to postpone, reschedule, or develop online alternatives for our public programs, including the annual Fashion Show and COLLECT Art Sale.

You are important members of our community. Please stay tuned to our communication channels through our website (, Facebook (, and Instagram (@mecaart), where we will continue to share information, artwork, stories, updates, and other robust content developed not only to address this crisis, but to bring art, culture, inspiration, and hope to all of us. A virtual tour of our current exhibition at the Institute of Art (ICA) at MECA&D is just one example of the ways in which we plan to keep art alive in our community. In addition, we will be sharing ways in which you can continue to support this vital institution.

I know that each and every one of you is deeply concerned about the future and very uncertain about what comes next. I share those feelings -- in just a few weeks our whole world has changed, our plans disrupted. But I also know that together we can get through this. We are a creative community and we have the talent and the determination to work, learn, and create, despite the challenges we are facing.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement as we navigate these turbulent times. Please stay well, and thank you for all you do to advance the arts and make our world a better place.

All the best,
Laura Freid