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 a mission of racial, sexual, and gender inclusivity here at MECA. By bringing together a variety of programming, the event aims to 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, the goal is to carve a space where students of color don’t just survive. They thrive.

Read about 2021's Resilience Week events below.


2021 Workshops + Events

Developing A Culture

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

Monday, February 22, 2021.

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 offered 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 chosen was How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, a New York Times best seller.



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

Presenters: Liz Rhaney MFA '20

Film Discussion. Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Resilience Week 2021
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

Film Screening. Tuesday, February 23rd at 6pm.

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 24, 2021 (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 hosted a BIPOC-centered critique environment. MECA students could sign up for a 25-minute slot wherein their artwork would be discussed in a safe and generative environment. The event was an opportunity to expand the conversation on student work where the attention is focused on an exploration of content and not an explanation of content.



What Is Resilience?

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

What is resilience? Resilience Week brought together students, faculty, staff, alumni, Trustees, and community members to broaden the narrative of artists of color. This panel discussion included 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.

View a recording of the event here:


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

Presenters: Seth Goldstein & Dr. Meadow Dibble

Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Historian Seth Goldstein took participants on a virtual walking tour of Portland's Old Port Neighborhood. Topics discussed included 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 25, 2021.

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 explored how factors such as race, religion, state, the country you live in,  and love in, and family shape a person’s personal identity. Participants reflected on this question through experiential art -- exploring improvisation, movement, discussion, instinct, writing, meditation, reading, music, and dance. The event was a fully embodied experience of personal transformation through physical pleasure and personal challenges.

View a recording of the event here:



Visiting Artist Talk with Cristóbal Martinez

Presented in conjunction with the Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

Presenters: Cristobal Martinez & Kyle Patnaude

Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Resilience Week 2021
Virtual artist talk with Cristóbal Martinez, 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. cristobalmartinez.net



Resilience Radio: from Marvin Gaye to Public Enemy

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

Friday, February 26, 2021.

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. During the Resilience Radio event, members of the MECA community were asked 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 were then combined in a larger mix, available for the entire MECA community to enjoy.

View a recording of the event here:

And listen to the full playlist here.


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 mbrownlee@meca.edu.


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