PORTLAND, Maine – Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) and Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) are pleased to announce a partnership between the two organizations funded in part by a three-year grant from the Crewe Foundation. The Challenge Grant of $75,000 will be used to support the collaboration between the College and the IAA, Portland’s new platform for professional and emerging artists of color.

“Indigo Arts Alliance is honored to receive this grant from the Crewe Foundation. As committed advocates for racial equity and social justice, we are looking forward to engaging with MECA&D as it seeks to create an environment that inspires and affirms all artists,” said Co-Director of IAA, Marcia Minter. “This partnership supports our belief that the creative community encompasses a full spectrum of makers. It is critical that the cultural significance and artistic productions of people of color are valued and nurtured.”

“The generous support from the Crewe Foundation allows MECA&D to provide paid internships for our students of color that will give them the opportunity to learn from professional artists who are residents of the new IAA studio space,” said Maine College of Art & Design President, Laura Freid.

Laura Freid, MECA&D President; Portland philanthropist Madeleine G. Corson; Marcia and Daniel Minter, Creative Director of Indigo Arts Alliance and arts advocate. Photographer: Kyle Dubay ’18

“Promoting a culture of racial equity and social justice is one of the five core goals that are being addressed during MECA&D’s strategic planning process this summer. We are looking forward to working with IAA Co-Director and MECA&D Faculty Member Daniel Minter as well as IAA Co-Director Marcia Minter to help us achieve our highest aspirations.”

The partnership between MECA&D and IAA provides both organizations with needed resources and access to support for communities of color through a mentor and mentee relationship. MECA&D will identify three mentees to work with visiting artist mentors at IAA each year. These mentees will be students, alumni, or faculty of color at MECA&D, and will have the opportunity to learn from professional artists of color working in the fields of visual and performing arts.

Studio Visit with Indigo Arts Alliance Artist-in-Residence Eneida Sanches with MECA&D MFA Candidates

In addition, IAA mentors will be employed as visiting faculty in the Master of Fine Arts program at MECA&D during the summer semester, delivering public lectures and conducting studio visits with graduate students.

Undergraduate students will have paid internships working with the IAA board, staff, and artists, learning about the administration and programming functions of a non-profit organization.

The grant will also fund a post for a diversity coordinator at MECA&D who will identify consultants with expertise in higher education diversity and inclusion training, with a focus on faculty and curriculum.

Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) is an arts incubator in Portland, Maine, founded and created to amplify the creative voices, vision and practice of artists of African descent. An integral aspect of the Indigo vision is to provide Maine based artists of color access to a broader range of practicing Black artists and artists of color from around the world. Follow along on Instagram.

The principal aim of The Crewe Foundation is to increase access to and visibility of the arts. Recognizing the art’s undeniable power as a source of inspiration and invigoration, The Crewe Foundation is directed to support various organizations which nurture and support young people by funding fellowships, scholarships, training and mentoring programs in the areas of fine arts and music.

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  • Left: Studio Visit with Indigo Arts Alliance Artist-in-Residence Eneida Sanches with MECA&D MFA Candidates
  • Right: Ashley Page ’20 (Instagram) and Athena Lynch ’20 (Instagram); Summer 2019 Indigo Arts Alliance Interns

Contact: Leah Igo Brooks, Director of Marketing & Communications; 207.699.5010, ligo@meca.edu