Charles Stanhope, Chair (Southwest Harbor)
Charles retired from his public service career at the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress. He served the library as assistant chief operating officer, working alongside Librarian James H. Billington on executive matters of congressional, legal, and public affairs, as well as private sector fund-raising and donor cultivation. These responsibilities supported the library's well-regarded exhibit, literary and poetry program, including the activities of the U.S. Poet Laureate. He is especially proud to have served on the library team that designed and established the National Book Festival, which annually draws over 150,000 lovers of books and reading to the National Mall. A new resident of Southwest Harbor, Charles graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor's degree in French and from the Catholic University of America with a master's degree in library science. At UMaine, he has established an endowment to support travel for research purposes for honors college undergraduates. His upbringing and education have instilled in him a love and value for the arts - fine art, performing arts, literary arts - and he has long supported and attended musical and theatrical endeavors in Washington, D.C. He serves on the board of the Maine Historical Society and the Southwest Harbor Public Library.
Owen Smith, Vice-Chair (Bangor)
Dr. Owen F. Smith is an Art Historian, Curator, Artist, Writer and Teacher whose interest lies in the exploration of the cultural gap between art and life. He is Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll Chair in New Media and the current Director of the Intermedia MFA Program at the University of Maine. Owen received his BA in Art History, MA in Museology, and PhD in Art History, from the University of Washington in Seattle. Owen has authored some 50 books, book chapters and articles, key among these being his book, Fluxus, a History of an Attitude. Currently he is editing several publications, including Events and Event Structures, which will be published by the Danish Academy of Art and was an outcome of an conference he co-organized there in 2007. Owen is an active artist, preferring digital art and new media forms. His work has been exhibited nationally, as well as internationally in over 80 exhibitions in twelve different countries. In the state of Maine, Owen has exhibited his work in Maine at the Carnegie Art Museum at the University of Maine, the University of Southern Maine and Whitney Artworks in Portland and at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. This last December his work was included in an international Media Arts Festival in Slovenia and Italy.
Paul E. Benjamin (Rockland)
Paul began promoting blues shows as a hobby in 1978 and has been fortunate enough to turn that passion into a full time occupation. He is the cofounder of the award winning North Atlantic Blues Festival, which is now in its 18th year. Paul is the owner of Benjamin Productions and North Atlantic Blues Records. He currently produces blues music shows throughout Maine, offers consulting services to festivals nationwide, and manages national touring blues artist Kenny Neal. Paul has been recognized many times for his exceptional work and dedication to the music industry: he was awarded Mississippi Trail Marker for his 32 years of work showcasing Mississippi born artists in Maine; he is one of eight such markers located outside of Mississippi. He was the first person elected president of the board of directors of the Blues Foundation that did not reside in Memphis, TN. He was music director of the 25th and 26th Blues Music Awards show in Memphis and was awarded Chamber Person of the year in 2003 by the Rockland/Thomaston Area Chamber Of Commerce. He has also been a guest speaker at a number of music conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Mark H.C. Bessire (Portland)
is the director of the Portland Museum of Art. Previously, he was director of the Bates College Museum of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art.
Bessire holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. in art history from Hunter College and a B.A. from New York University. He was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art and a Fulbright Fellow in Tanzania. He has published widely, organized traveling exhibitions, and is active in local, community, and national public art programs. Bessire is also a founding board member of the nonprofit Africa Schoolhouse, which builds schools in rural Africa.
Joshua Bodwell (Biddeford)
Joshua Bodwell is the executive director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. He is the co-founder of the Biddeford arts organization Engine. As a journalist, Joshua’s work has garnered awards from the Maine and New England press associations. Joshua served as the associate editor on the founding staff of Maine Home + Design magazine, and today is a regular contributor to Poets & Writers magazine and a contributing editor of the online journal Fiction Writers Review. Joshua’s fiction and poetry has appeared in magazines and quarterlies across the United States, England, and Europe.
Sharon Corwin (Waterville)
Sharon Corwin is an art historian and museum professional. She currently serves as the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator at the Colby College Museum of Art, where she has worked since 2003. At the Colby Museum, Sharon established the yearly exhibition program, Currents, which showcases work by emerging artists who have ties to the state of Maine. She also oversees the museum’s exhibitions, acquisitions, and public programs. Sharon received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and has published numerous articles and books on modern and contemporary American art.
Alan Crichton (Belfast)
is a sculptor, draftsman and writer living in Liberty. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Goddard College and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, he has taught at Unity College, Colby College, the MFA program at Vermont College and the Farnsworth Museum and has exhibited throughout Maine and New England for over 30 years. He is the co-founder of Waterfall Arts, a center in Montville and Belfast, which for 11 years has brought together artists from Maine and around the world to celebrate creativity and promote sustainability through education, artists’ residencies, exhibits and events.
Shannon Haines (Waterville)
served as the director of the Maine International Film Festival from 2002 until October of 2012 when she became the first executive director of the film festival's parent organization, Maine Film Center, whose mission is to enrich, educate, and entertain the community through film and art. Shannon also served as the executive director of Waterville Main Street from March of 2003 through October of 2012, during which tiem she oversaw $1 million in downtown revitalization grant programs, the creation of Barrels Community Market, and numerous community events, including the Maine Open Juried Art Show and the Waterville Intown Arts Fest.
Shannon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Japanese from Middlebury College. In 2008, she was named in Maine Biz’s “Next List” of top 10 individuals shaping the Maine economy and was presented with the Ken Curtis Leadership Award from the Maine Development Foundation. She was presented with the Downtown Visionary award by the Maine Downtown Center in 2012.
Monica Kelly (Camden)
Monica earned a B.A. in Visual Arts from Bowdoin College and continued her graduate studies in painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After studying in France she moved back to Maine in 1989, settling in the Midcoast. Monica is a practicing visual artist and has exhibited her paintings in galleries throughout New England. She showed regularly at Greenhut Galleries in Portland from 2002-12 and her most recent show was at Ten High Street in Camden in 2012. In 1996 she joined the Board of Trustees of Bay Chamber Concerts and was active with their education programming. In 2000 Monica founded the Odeon Youth Orchestra, a community string orchestra which eventually merged with Bay Chamber in 2006. At that time, she joined the staff of Bay Chamber as director of education. In 2010 she was promoted to executive director and has overseen the founding of Bay Chamber’s Music School based in Rockport Village. She serves as chair of Midcoast Community Partnerships, a group of area nonprofits and businesses interested in opportunities for collaboration and joint marketing that was founded in 2010. She served as an adjunct reader of applications as part of Bowdoin College’s admissions program from 1996-2012 and currently volunteers for the Alumni Relations department. Monica resides in Camden and is the proud mother of three sons, Noah, Angus and Conor.
Felicia Knight (Scarborough)
Felicia is president of Knight Vision International, LLC, a strategic media and policy consulting firm.
She is a 20-year veteran of Maine broadcasting and spent 10 years in public service in Washington, DC. Felicia began her career at WABI radio in Bangor, Maine. From there, she moved to WABI-TV where she served as anchor and Managing Editor of Channel 5 News. In 1988, she moved to WGME-TV in Portland where she anchored the station’s number one rated First News at 5:30 and Noon Report. She also served as Channel 13’s political reporter, analyst, and debate moderator. In addition to her anchoring and political coverage, she carved out a niche in arts reportage. Over the course of her broadcasting career, she won numerous state and national awards for writing, anchoring, producing, and reporting.
In 1998, she left broadcasting to become Director of Communications for United States Senator Susan Collins in Washington, DC. In 2003, she became Communications Director for the National Endowment for the Arts under Chairman Dana Gioia. The NEA is an independent agency in the federal government and the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts. After five years of directing that agency’s media strategy, Felicia returned home to Maine.
Tim Lo (Bangor)
Tim is a cofounder and executive director for the KahBang music | art | film Festival. Established in 2009, the festival showcases independent musicians, artists, and filmmakers and is now the largest indie festival in New England. Building upon the festival’s success, Tim has steered the organization to include expansions such as a nonprofit division focused on the exposure and funding of art initiatives, a concert series on the Maine State Pier in Portland, and an online media magazine for news and original content called KahBang TV. Tim graduated Northeastern University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and served two years consulting entrepreneurial business ventures prior to his role at the Festival. Tim applies his business knowledge and creative entrepreneurial skillset to help make art happen.
Daniel Minter (Portland)
Daniel Minter is a painter, illustrator, art educator. Minter's paintings and sculptures have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at galleries and museums including the Seattle Art Museum, Northwest African American Art Museum and the Meridian International Center. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Travel Grant, Partners of the Americas Artist Exchange and the James Washington Jr. Sculptor residency program.
Minter has illustrated nine children's books, including, Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, winner of a Best Book Award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, and The Riches of Oseola McCarty, named an Honor Book by the Carter G. Woodson Awards. Minter is the founding director and vice-president of Maine Freedom Trails, Inc. He created the markers for the Portland Freedom Trail, which identify significant sites related to the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad in Portland, Maine. He was commissioned in both 2004 and 2011 to create the Kwanzaa stamp for the U.S. Postal Service.
Minter lives in Portland, Maine with his wife, Marcia, and son Azari Ayindé.
Rowan Morse (Falmouth)
Information will be posted as it becomes available.
Cynthia Murray-Beliveau (Hallowell)
Cynthia has worked on developmental, educational, artistic and political endeavors for many years. Her artistic background includes experience as a production assistant for "Music From Maine," a program aired on National Public Radio, as a public school music teacher, as a member of the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and as the Chair of FORUM-A, an arts consortium between the University of Maine and local communities. She has worked in schools, K-12, both teaching and counseling, and /or sat on the boards of small liberal arts colleges and Maine’s University System. She has been an advocate for many causes for women and children, at the legislature, in public forums and as a volunteer in places like Haiti, S. Africa, Honduras, and most recently last summer in Kaoma, Zambia where she worked to support the needs of local residents in housing, food and health care distribution systems.
Jennifer Oxman Ryan (Portland)
has been conducting research at Harvard University’s, Project Zero for the past five years. She is currently working on the GoodPlay project, exploring the ethical dimensions of young people's online activities. Past projects have included Qualities of Quality: Excellence in Arts Education and How to Achieve It, and Trust and Trustworthiness. Jennifer conducts professional development workshops and is also an arts education consultant. Research interests include arts education and assessment, professional development, student/teacher/community engagement, and moral/ethical thinking.
Prior to joining the staff at Harvard, Jennifer was a teaching fellow in the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previous experience also includes, directing the education programs at L/A Arts in Lewiston, museum educator for students and teachers at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, and advocacy for arts education policy and practice at local and state levels. She has been active with the Maine Arts Commission since 1999 and is currently chair of the Education Committee. Jennifer served on the Kennedy Center taskforce for Arts Afterschool, which resulted in The Arts Beyond the School Day: Extending the Power (2001) In 2007, Jennifer received the Outstanding Advocate for Arts Education award from the Maine Alliance for Arts Education. She earned a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College and an Ed.M in Arts in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Theresa Secord (Waterville)
Theresa has been the founding executive director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA) since 1993. She helped create this organization to sustain the art of basket-making in all four Maine tribal communities (Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet and Micmac). She is a master artist whose prize-winning work has been purchased by collectors throughout the U.S. and has appeared in several exhibitions at venues such as the National Museum of the American Indian. She has published articles on Maine Indian basketry in various magazines and has received many prestigious awards, including becoming the first U.S. citizen to receive the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life, by the Women’s World Summit Foundation at the United Nations. She served four years on the board of the New England Foundation for the Arts, where she helped to build one of the nation’s first Native American arts funding programs. Most recently, she was named as the 2011 Traditional Arts Fellow for Maine, by the Maine Arts Commission.
Heather Sincavage (Presque Isle)
Heather Sincavage is a mixed media artist residing in Presque Isle, Maine. A transplant to Aroostook County from Pennsylvania, Heather joined University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty in 2011. She is an Assistant Professor of Fine Art and in January 2012, she also became the Director of the Walter Reed Fine Art Gallery and University Collections. She is a dedicated community activist, looking for opportunities where art connects with community identity, unity, and change.
Her artwork has also been nationally and internationally received. Notably, she was awarded a full fellowship for a summer residency in Zaragoza, Spain in 2009 where her work continues to be exhibited under management with Artix Creativo Espacio. She has been awarded numerous Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants; been grant funded to attend the Vermont Studio Center; and was a Spring 2010 Artist in Residence at Lehigh University. In May 2011, she was awarded the “Outstanding Contributions to Visual Art” Award by the Allentown Arts Commission, City of Allentown.
She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and her MFA from the School of Art, University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
Tracy S. Michaud-Stutzman (Scarborough)
Tracy S. Michaud Stutzman, Ph.D. resides in Scarborough with her husband and two girls. For over a decade Tracy has worked doing community economic development in Maine focusing on the arts. Tracy was the original staff person for the Center Theatre in downtown Dover-Foxcroft and co-chair of the capital campaign that purchased and renovated the theatre. Working with local economic development corporations, Tracy founded and ran The Maine Highlands Guild which merged in 2008 with the Maine Crafts Association, a non-profit organization that promotes Maine Craft Artists. As Executive Director of The Guild she received State and National recognition as the winner of the 2003 National Social Venture Competition sponsored by Columbia University, Hass Business School at Berkeley, and the Goldman Sachs Foundation. Tracy sat on the Maine Governor’s Council for the Creative Economy and the Governor’s Council on Quality of Place. She was a leader in the Realize!Maine Youth Initiative. She recently served on the board of the Maine Association of Non-Profits, the national Craft Organization Development Association, and the World Crafts Council. She is currently on the Executive Committee of the Maine Arts Commission and a Trustee of Foxcroft Academy. In 2005 she was chosen for Maine Biz magazine’s “NEXT” list and in 2007 won the Governor’s Award for CDBG Administrator of the Year and the Warren “Pete” Myrick Community Service Award. During her tenure as Executive Director of the Maine Crafts Association, the Center for Maine Craft was created as well as an Associate’s Degree in Traditional and Contemporary Craft at Eastern Maine Community College. Tracy is now a professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern Maine focusing her teaching in the Tourism and Hospitality Degree program. In her spare time Tracy sings and performs regularly with various regional theaters.
Donald Tuski (South Portland)
Donald Tuski joined Maine College of Art as President in July 2010. Tuski received his undergraduate degree at Olivet and then earned both his master's degree and a doctorate in anthropology from Michigan State University. He built his academic career at Olivet, starting as a faculty member and assuming a variety of posts before serving as president for his last nine years at the college. He and his wife Louise live in Portland. They have two children attending colleges for the performing arts.