MACPAGE LLC, an accounting and consulting firm with offices in South Portland, Augusta and Marlborough, MA, has a 27-year history of supporting MECA&D. Managing Director Tom O’Donnell feels strongly that MECA&D enriches Portland’s downtown, anchoring the arts community, and serving as an economic driver for the region. His wife Judy is an artist who has taken many courses through MECA&D’s Continuing Studies program. “Maine College of Art & Design popularizes the arts,” Tom notes.
“For many people there is a notion that the arts are inaccessible. MECA&D has helped to make the arts more mainstream.”
Marketing Manager Bethany Mitchell, who graduated from the University of Southern Maine with her BFA in Studio Arts, has been overseeing Macpage’s art exhibitions for the past two years. The art shows started as the result of a conversation between Tom and his wife Judy as they reflected on the firm’s stock artwork and typical office decor. Now into their fifth exhibition, the shows have freshened up the walls and brought many new faces through their doors. “We’ve enjoyed the transformation of watching a bunch of accountants develop an appreciation for the arts,” says Chief Operating Officer Ralph Hendrix. “And the artists themselves have brought a lot of diversity to the office.”
“Conversations” is the theme of their current exhibition, which was curated by a committee including MECA&D Continuing Studies faculty member Diane Dahlke, who is a featured artist in the exhibition. Several employees at Macpage have purchased work from the exhibitions, and Macpage itself has acquired a number of pieces, some of which are retained in-house as the start of a permanent art collection, and some of which they purchase to donate to other nonprofits to be used in their fundraising efforts.
In addition to supporting MECA&D’s annual fund each year, Macpage also serves as a sponsor for fundraising events. This year, Macpage sponsored MECA&Dmorphosis, the College’s spring gala. The event raised critical scholarship dollars to support current undergraduate students. “It’s nice to be able to help out,” Ralph explains modestly. “MECA&D is a big part of what makes Portland such a nice city.”