More funding for CMCA arts education

Jan 31, 2019

Rockland — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 21 Winter St., has announced additional funding for ArtLab, its community-based arts education program, for the 2019-20 season.

ArtLab was founded on the core principle of accessibility to quality arts education for all, said Suzette McAvoy, CMCA's executive director.

“The generous support we have received from foundations and private donors this year means we can expand the program to new audiences and demographics, allowing everyone to participate regardless of financial background," McAvoy said.

CMCA received recent funding for the program from the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Margaret E. Burnham Trust, Bob Crewe Foundation, Cricket Foundation, Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Nellie Lehman Taft Foundation and individual donors.

Sam Vail, director of development and marketing, noted the success of Alexis Iammarino, CMCA's lead educator, in building collaborative relationships with other community groups including RSU 13 Adult and Community Education and the Rockland Harbor YMCA.

"The time, energy and support given by Alexis, our volunteers, donors and partner organizations to develop CMCA's arts education program have been fundamental in securing these awards,” he said. “The result is a flexible and resilient program that is responsive to expressed community needs."

CMCA's ArtLab was created in 2011 through an initial grant from the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation. Since that time, the program's free-of-charge offerings have grown through steady support. Programs receiving funding in 2019 include ArtLab for All Ages, an ongoing series of monthly hands-on workshops for children and adults; Vacation ArtCamp, offered on a drop-in basis during February and April school vacation weeks; Look Inside, group tours for schools statewide; Arts@Work, a partner program with RSU 13 Adult and Community Education's Rockland After School Alliance; and ArtExplorers, a program for elementary school-age students offered in collaboration with Rockland Harbor YMCA's Flanagan Community Center.

CMCA's education programs now serve more than 1,250 students and adults on an annual basis.

"We believe access to the arts can transform lives. Our goal is to provide more opportunities and greater access," said McAvoy. "That's what matters most."

The ArtLab room was spared during the water main break that flooded CMCA’s galleries Jan. 19, so the monthly first Friday event is a go for Feb. 2. For more information about CMCA's education programs, visit cmcanow.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com

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