Laura Retherford appointed Associate Vice President of Development at Maine College of Art & Design

Retherford will play a pivotal role in expanding the College’s impact throughout Portland and beyond

PORTLAND, ME November 7, 2022Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced Laura Retherford (she/her), effective Monday, November 7, 2022. Retherford will be in charge of leading the College’s development team while supporting annual and strategic fundraising goals defined in Maine College of Art & Design Strategic Plan: Envisioning Our Future 2027.

Retherford brings to the College more than two decades of experience in development and non-profit management. For the past four years, Retherford served as the Director of Leadership Giving for the ACLU of Maine. She also served as Annual Fund Manager at the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Co-Executive Director of a Girls Inc. affiliate based in Indiana.

"We are so fortunate to have Laura Retherford joining our efforts to advance our actionable—now pandemic-tested—strategic plan,” said Laura Freid, President of Maine College of Art & Design. “Everyone already fortunate enough to know Laura and the great work she does remarks on her sincerity and the confidence she instills in those around her. We look forward to her engagement with our community of supporters and leadership here at the College.”

With Retherford’s development leadership, Maine College of Art & Design is well positioned to secure the funds needed to move each of the five goals underscored in its strategic plan: 

  1. Cultivating academic excellence with the highest standards in art and design education; 
  2. Developing a culture of social change, racial justice, and equity; 
  3. Broadening its reach through online and distance learning; 
  4. Creating a “Living and Learning Center” that will expand MECA&D’s Portland footprint and serve as a cultural hub for community engagement; and, 
  5. Ensuring financial sustainability for the long-term success of the College.

The College aims to make significant progress towards each of these goals by the year 2027.

“This is a really exciting time to be joining the purpose-driven team at the College,” said Retherford. “So much work has already gone into setting the stage for Maine College of Art & Design to expand upon how it empowers the artists and designers who will create profound global impact. I’m thrilled to play a role in helping make its goals a reality within the city of Portland.”

In her new position, Retherford will draw from her deep knowledge of the Maine philanthropic community and seek to engage new members of the arts community to support the College’s mission.

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) 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. The College 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