Resilience Week at MECA
Monday, February 22 -- Friday, February 26, 2021

Brought to you by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Students of Color Coalition, the Diversity Committee, and campus partners Resilience Week is dedicated to our mission of racial, sexual, and gender inclusivity here at MECA. By bringing together a variety of programming, we provide a network of support for those committed to fostering change here at MECA. Generating conversation and awareness of topics surrounding identity, race, representation, and justice we are carving a space where our students of color don’t just survive. They thrive.

Most events are free and open to the public. Check the calendar of events for details. Unfortunately, any in-person events are for MECA community members only due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols we have in our campus buildings. However, many opportunities are online for all to access! For updates follow MECA on Instagram - @mecaart and @mecastudentlife - tag your posts #resilienceweek!

2021 Workshops + Events

Developing A Culture

Presenters: Margaret Brownlee, Shiva Darbandi, Charles Melcher, Julie Poitras Santos, and Chris Stiegler 

Monday, February 22nd at 12pm -- Free and Open to the Public.

Resilience Week 2021
Developing a culture of social change, racial justice, and inclusion is part of the strategic plan for Maine College of Art. The MECA community strives to provide an environment where everyone is welcome and we are excited to offer our community an opportunity to start this process -- to learn together, create a common knowledge base, a common vocabulary, and create a collective experience within our community -- by participating in a shared read with faculty and staff. The book we have chosen, How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, is a New York Times best seller.

Register by clicking here.

Daughters of the Dust (A film by Julie Dash / Preview)

Presenters: Liz Rhaney MFA '20

Tuesday, February 23rd at 12pm (Preview) -- Free and Open to the Public

Resilience Week 2021
Join us for a conversation about Julie Dash’s 1991 classic Daughters of the Dust, a film set in the Sea Islands of the Southeast coast that is about generations of women in the Peazant family as they walk between the traditions of the past and hope of the future.

Daughters of the Dust (A film by Julie Dash / Film Screening)

Presenters: Liz Rhaney MFA'20

Tuesday, February 23rd at 6pm -- Free and Open to the Public

Resilience Week 2021
DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST is a portrait of the women in the Peazant family, who belong to the creole Gullah culture -- former slaves living in the Sea Islands who have been able to preserve much of their African cultural heritage. It is a post-slavery narrative about cultural memory, notions of home and belonging, and conflicts of Black female identity. Watch the trailer online here.

Resilience Week Critique -- CRUNCH

Presenters: Aminata Conteh '21 and Special Guests

Wednesday, February 24th at 10:30am to 1:00pm -- Private MECA Campus Event

In an effort to combat the room of silence that students often encounter when presenting work for critique that deals with issues of diversity, race, and identity, the Resilience Week Committee, Diversity Committee, and Students of Color Coalition are hosting a BIPOC-centered critique environment. MECA students can sign up using this Google Form for a 25-minute slot where their artwork will be discussed in a safe and generative environment. This is an opportunity to expand the conversation on your work where the attention is focused on an exploration of content and not an explanation of content. Fore more information, email Aminata Conteh 21 at

What Is Resilience?

Presenters: Evelyn Wong MFA '19, Dulce Garcia MFA '21, and Ashley Page '20

Wednesday, February 24th at 12pm -- Free and Open to the Public

What is resilience? Resilience brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni, Trustees, and community members to broaden the narrative of artists of color. Join us for a conversation with: Chinese-American artist Evelyn Wong MFA '19, a survivor of multigenerational abuse and developmental trauma; Ashley Page '20, Studio and Program Coordinator at Indigo Arts Alliance; and Dulce Garcia MFA '21.

A People's Virtual Guided Walking Tour of Portland's Old Port

Presenters: Seth Goldstein & Dr. Meadow Dibble

Thursday, February 25th at 9:15am -- Free and Open to the Public

Historian Seth Goldstein will take you on a virtual walking tour of Portland's Old Port Neighborhood. Topics discussed will include the Indigenous People of the region and their early conflicts with European colonists, the relationship between Indigenous and African slavery, Portland's historic black community, and both the Underground Railroad and Abolition Movement in Portland.

View A recording of the event here!

Embodied Equity Consulting

Presenter: René Goddess Johnson

Thursday, February 25th at 12:00pm- free and open to the public

René Goddess Johnson is a dance artist who has extensive experience in performance, teaching, choreographing, and academia. She brings a multitude of skills into any project. In this workshop, students, faculty, staff, alumni, Trustees, and community members will explore how factors such as race, religion, state, the country you live in,  and love in, and family do shape a person’s personal identity. We reflect on this question through experiential art -- exploring improvisation, movement, discussion, instinct, writing, meditation, reading, music, and dance. This is a fully embodied experience of personal transformation through physical pleasure and personal challenges.

Visiting Artist Talk with Cristóbal Martinez

Presented in conjunction with the Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

Presenters: Cristobal Martinez & Kyle Patnaude

Thursday, February 25th at 5:30pm- free and open to the public.

Resilience Week 2021
Cristóbal Martinez is a Chicano artist, publishing scholar, and Chair of the Art and Technology Program at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2003 he co-founded the artist-hacker performance ensemble Radio Healer; together the participants create indigenous electronic tools from hacking, recycling, and adaptive reuse to perform indigenous ceremonies based on their imagination. In 2009, he began working in the interdisciplinary and internationally acclaimed artist collective Postcommodity. In collaboration, he and his fellow artists position generative metaphors to aestheticize and mediate complexity at locations of dromological, spatial, social, cultural, political, ecological, and economic anxiety. Cristóbal has exhibited work in prominent national and international museums, exhibitions, and festivals, including the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Modern Art, and many others.

Resilience Radio: from Marvin Gaye to Public Enemy

Presenters: Seth Goldstein, Liz Rhaney MFA '20, Steve Drown, and Benjamin Spaulding MFA '17

Friday, February 26th at 12pm -- Free and Open to the Public

Music is a necessary facet of resilience. Rhythm, melody, lyrics are transformative. Music can conjure a spark of memory, the ability to stay focused, allow us to move our bodies and release emotion. Think about it as Resilience Radio, where we ask members of the MECA community to supply songs and sounds that are part of their story, music that has aided in their own feelings of expression, empowerment and groundedness during a strange cultural moment. These songs will be combined in a larger mix, available for the entire MECA community to enjoy. Listen to songs of protest, love, and power as we span decades, borders, and genres. These songs will inspire, rejuvenate, and re-imagine your future to resist. Join us for an hour of protest music.

2021 Resilience Week Feedback

Thank you for participating in Resilience Week 2021! There were many students, faculty, staff and alumni who supported these workshops and events. As part of our process for continuous growth, we would like to solicit your feedback on each event as well as the overall mission, vision, and outcome. Please fill out the 2021 Resilience Week Feedback Form here. If you have personal questions or comments, email Margaret Brownlee, DEI Officer & LSC at MECA at

Resilience Week Planning Group

MECA would like to acknowledge the time and energy of the Resilience Week Planning Group, whose leadership and vision has helped shape programming and ongoing dialogues.

Margaret Brownlee
Liz Rhaney MFA '20
Aminata Conteh '21
Shiva Darbandi
Jenna Crowder '09
Jennifer Doebler
Steve Drown
Julio Rivera '23

Eddie Dechaine '21
Ling-Wen Tsai
Seth Goldstein
Nikki Rayburn '11
Kyle Patnaude
Julie Poitras Santos
London Dupere '08
John Portlock