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Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Descriptions


The Maine International Conference on the Arts boasts an incredible array of workshops and discussion sessions designed for everyone in the cultural community. The professional development workshops will be led by experts who will structure their time to include advice and training that is readily implementable by all. The discussion sessions will allow attendees to learn, share creative ideas, network and build long-lasting collaborations.

For a PDF workshop schedule, please click here


Visual Art in a Hyper-visual Culture

Some of the best contemporary curators from Maine and New Brunswick will discuss critical issues affecting artists and the industry. This is an opportunity for artists to ask questions and get the answers they need in order to be successful. This is also a perfect session for members of organizations who are developing visual arts projects and programs in the near future.

Presenter: Amanda Christie, George Kinghorn and Peter Precourt

Performing in and out of Rural Venues

Industry leaders in the performing arts will discuss the issues facing their sector and offer essential information to any performing artist interested in getting hired and growing their audience. Artists interested in working in Maine or further afield will learn how to become connected and how to capitalize on the opportunities that are currently available to them.

Presenters: Jean Surette, Lauren Wayne and Tim Yerxa

Building Events: From First Fridays to Folk Festivals

Sometimes it seems like everyone wants a signature arts event for their community, but there is a lot involved in building a successful event. For this session, successful festival operators and community organizers will discuss ways events can be undertaken, and the things a community needs before they get invested. This session is perfect for artists, community organizations and municipal developers.

Presenters: Paul Benjamin, Paul Henderson, and Kara Larson

Making Public Art Work

Whether you are an artist looking for a public commission or a municipality looking for ways to improve public spaces, this session will offer information about what makes successful public art, how it can be funded and what it takes to generate positive and sustained community buy-in.

Presenters: Greg Charlton, Jesse Salisbury and Angela Watson


Strategic Thinking for Sustainable Success

You don’t need a formal strategy for your business or creative practice, but you do need one if you want to be successful. Having a strategy allows for better realized opportunities and stronger recognition of effective practices. This workshop will provide proven methods of organizing your time and efforts so you can get the most out of what you do.

Presenters: Linda Nelson and Matt Murphy


Figures and Finance

This session will show artists and organization leaders how to effectively understand financial statements and navigate the exciting world of taxes, micro loans, contracts, grant awards and other official documents. It may sound dry, but the ability to understand these things is essential for any artist or organization.

Presenter: Adam Hobson


It’s Not Bragging If It’s True: Portfolio Development

There is sometimes a great difference between great artwork and a great portfolio. This session will explore the best ways of representing your work through a variety of methods. This session is not just for artists; organizations will also be able to learn how to properly represent all the good work that they do.

Presenter: Frank Copsidas and Peter Precourt


Intellectual Property Protection

The U.S. constitution empowers Congress to “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” This has many interpretations and this session will cover ways you can protect your work and still develop a healthy public presence.

Presenter: Rook Thomas Hine


Arts Funding in Maine

This double session will focus on a variety of funding sources. It will provide information that will allow you to seek the support you need. Information for both artists and organizations will be covered. You will get a better understanding of philanthropic organizations and grant writing. You will also learn how to build supportive partnerships and how to navigate multiple types of foundation, corporate and government support.

Presenters: Yellow Light Breen, Barbara Edmond, Cathy Melio, Jane Preston and Megan Shore


Art and Journalism: The Inside Scoop

This double session brings together household names in Maine’s media to help explain how the work of artists, organizations and communities could be given more exposure in various news outlets. You will gain first-hand knowledge of ways that can help reporters cover your story. Learn how to improve your press releases, media advisories and what else to provide to various media sources in order to improve your chances of success. There will be ample time provided for audience questions.

Presenters: Katy England, Bob Keyes, Tom Porter and Kathleen Shannon


Fabrication Lab as a Creative Tool

Many new kinds of technology tools are available to artists, such as 3D printing and computing navigated cutting. Fabrication labs have become a means of accessing these tools and serve as creative incubators and prototyping centers. This session will provide an overview the kinds of technology these centers have available. Visual artists, performers, arts organizations and community groups will better understand how these facilities are transforming the way people think about ‘production’ and how such facilities can be used for their individual endeavors.

Presenters: Sean George and Owen Smith


Video, Film and Audio Recording

This session will explore the best ways of capturing moving images and audio. It will be relevant for a wide variety of project budgets and useful for people of beginner to intermediate skill sets wishing to develop a stronger understanding of video editing, film equipment, audio editing, workflow with the RED camera and other tools and philosophies of working with moving images.

Presenters: Aaron Boothroyd and Neil Shelley


Documenting and Archiving your Projects

Technology is transforming the way artists and organizations share information, but are you capturing and saving media assets for future use? This session will show you the best ways to document the process of a project and archive the final product. You will learn effective ways to use new tools to make this happen quickly and easily.

Presenters: John Bell, Richard Corey and Sheridan Kelly


Mainstreaming Engagement

This is a hands-on workshop with keynote Doug Borwick. This workshop will consider what community engagement is (including how it differs from traditional marketing and audience engagement), how organizational functions can be re-imagined with a community engagement perspective, and present examples of deep engagement in the work of arts organizations. The most significant element of the session will be a dialogue among attendees about how an engagement focus might be implemented in each division of their organization.

Presenter: Doug Borwick


The Miracle of High Standards in Art and Education

All educators want their students to have rigorous and life-enhancing learning experiences. This workshop will explore two different and complementary ways to get there through the arts. Karen Montanaro and Argy Nestor will explore alternative approaches to assessment that will empower students to achieve above and beyond all expectations while allowing educators to follow the dictates of their own inspiration.

Presenter: Argy Nestor and Karen Montanaro


International Block Booking

Being able to share ideas, scheduling information, and details of emerging artists helps venue operators, festival managers and arts presenters give performers more opportunities; it also reduces touring costs. Through a partnership with the Atlantic Presenters Association, New England venues can access an online block booking system which will connect them with venues in Atlantic Canada, as well as allowing better communication with each other. This session will introduce this block booking system.

Presenter: Randal Fippinger and Tim Yerxa


Marketing the Best Thing in the World

Marketing can be a challenge when you get too close to your organization and become frustrated when people are not as enthusiastic and responsive to your art offerings as you are. This session helps you to step back and develop your marketing communications from your audience’s perspective. Topics that will be covered include setting realistic objectives, budgeting, acquisition and retention strategies, research and analysis, and tactical applications including direct mail, e-marketing, social media, and guerilla marketing techniques, among others. At the end of this session, you will have an understanding of how to develop your organization’s marketing plan and a toolkit of practical marketing methods and techniques.

Presenter: Stephen Belth


The Cultural Tourist in your Town

Developing arts programming to drive tourist dollars into a region is gaining traction across the country. This session will explore successful strategies for cultural tourism initiatives and the different elements that are essential for building an attractive cultural destination.

Presenters: Tracy Michaud Stutzman, Scott Watson and Knox White


Creative Placemaking

Creative placemaking drives community vibrancy through cooperative partnerships among municipalities, artists, entrepreneurs and property owners. This session will look at successful models of creative placemaking, and offer strategies for projects both large and small.

Presenter: Margaret Bodell and Rod Frantz


Arts Education and Community Partnerships

Arnold Aprill, Founder of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), will present a set of field-tested guidelines for creating effective arts education partnerships, and will discuss successful strategies for sustaining those partnerships, including the establishment of manageable and meaningful documentation methods and the development of motivating inquiry approaches to teaching and learning in and through the arts.

Presenter: Arnold Aprill


Civic Engagement and the Arts

This session will look at programs that focus on how arts can transform lives in non-traditional settings. Arts projects that focus on engagement and collaboration outside the arts sector are sometimes the most successful, but are often the most difficult to complete successfully. This session will offer examples of successful collaboration s between arts and non-arts groups.

Presenter: Marty Pottenger

Let’s Hear it for the Board

A strong board enhances opportunities for an organization and a weak one can limit success. When a board functions well it constructs informed strategy, ensures continuity-of-vision and provides stability. This session focuses on selecting the correct board members and how to maintain their active participation. This session is for board members and organization leaders alike.

Presenters: Kathleen Grammer and Larry Rubinstein


Artist Health Insurance

Maine Community Health Options is a Lewiston-based organization that is the first nonprofit, consumer operated and oriented health plan that will provide health insurance to Maine people and businesses under the Affordable Care Act. Representatives will be offering services starting in October, and will talk about what this means for Maine’s creative sector (individuals and organizations).

Presenter: Michael Gendreau

Creative Transformations

The character of the contemporary gallery is evolving. This session will have professional gallery operators talking about how galleries are adapting to remain relevant and vibrant within their communities.

Presenters: Leah Fox, George Kinghorn, and Suzette McAvoy

Creative Aging

Research has shown that older adults who engage actively in the arts and creative expression live healthier lives. As baby boomers approach retirement, developing creative aging programs could offer arts organizations new programming opportunities. This workshop will provide an overview of creative aging initiatives around the country and offer strategies for organizations wishing to engage this population.

Presenters: Judith Metcalf and Susan Perlstein


Arts Advocacy is Good for Business

This session will show you ways to actively engage with elected officials to ensure ongoing support for the arts.

Presenters: Donna Collins and Jeffrey Rich


Art and Sustainability

Where do the arts fit with things like local food initiatives, green energy, sustainable building practices, land conservation and other environmental movements? This session will explore ways the arts have intersected with these kinds of projects and explore the outcomes of the partnerships involved.

Presenters: Martha Piscuskas, Michael Shaughnessy and John Zavodny



24, 25 & 26