MECA, Indigo Arts form mentorship program for artists of color

August 1, 2019

Marcia and Daniel Minter, co-founders of Indigo Arts Alliance, in front of a colorful mural outside their Deering home. Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald

Maine College of Art and the Indigo Arts Alliance have begun a partnership to support artists of color.

The partnership between the two Portland arts organizations is funded partially by a three-year, $75,000 challenge grant from the Crewe Foundation. The partnership will create a platform for mentor and mentee relationships among artists of color. Each year, MECA will identify three students, alumni or faculty who will work with visiting artists of color hosted by Indigo Arts Alliance in the fields of visual and performing arts.

“As committed advocates for racial equity and social justice, we are looking forward to engaging with MECA as it seeks to create an environment that inspires and affirms all artists,” Marcia Minter, co-director of Indigo, said in a news release. “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.”

Laura Freid, MECA president, said the Crewe Foundation grant will allow MECA to provide paid internships for students of color “that will give them the opportunity to learn from professional artists who are residents of the new IAA studio space. Promoting a culture of racial equity and social justice is one of the five core goals that are being addressed during MECA’s strategic planning process this summer.”

In addition, mentors from Indigo Arts Alliance will work as visiting faculty in the master of fine arts program at MECA during the summer. Undergraduate students will have paid internships working with Indigo’s board, staff and artists. The grant will also fund a post for a diversity coordinator at MECA, according to the release.