Maine College of Art & Design to Receive $357,000 in Federal Funding

PORTLAND, ME — March 16, 2022 — Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced it will receive $357,000 to expand online educational tools from the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.

The bipartisan funding package that will help support this effort was advanced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King from Maine. The bill passed both the House and the Senate before being signed into by President Biden on March 15, 2022.

"We are grateful for the work of our civic leaders to secure funding for educational institutions to support future generations of creative thinkers," said MECA&D President Laura Freid. "The dedication and encouragement represented in this bipartisan effort reaffirms the importance of education accessibility and cultural pursuits in our society. Together, we are making it possible for Maine College of Art & Design to significantly broaden our reach and benefit communities near and far.”

“Cultural institutions enrich people’s lives and strengthen our communities,” said Senator Collins. “For a century and a half, the Maine College of Art & Design has been a center for education in the arts, helping people to develop their skills and hone their techniques.  By expanding the Maine College of Art & Design’s online course offerings, this funding will significantly increase access for students of all ages and backgrounds to receive world-class art instruction, from painting and sculpting to animation and graphic design.” 

“For generations, the Maine College of Art & Design has spurred creativity across our state, fostered the talent of young artists, and expanded the reach of Maine’s extraordinary art around the world,” said Senator King. “These funds will enable the college to develop new online art programs, expand on their excellent work and reach new communities with their world-class education. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the incredible importance of accessible digital resources, and these programs are exactly the kind of 21st century investments we need to strengthen our humanities.”

This funding will support MECA&D’s E-Learning project by further developing, marketing, and delivering online education for learners of all ages and modalities.  The first phase of this project was supported by two separate awards from the Davis Educational Foundation in Yarmouth, Maine, totaling $128,500 for implementation, instructional design, and initial faculty training. This new funding will allow the College to hire additional staff, boost the infrastructure needs, and fully integrate the project with the campus.

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Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D, pronounced "Maine College of Art and Design”) 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. MECA&D 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