The Maine International Conference on the Arts supports artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, community developers, and the artist in us all in furthering the arts and in so doing strengthening our communities.


Introducing our Keynotes and Featured Speakers

We are excited to announce the two keynote speakers for MICA 2016: Lewiston/Auburn. Our keynotes will join other key presenters—including Arts Education keynote speaker, teacher and writer Cheryl Hulteen (, many Maine artists and presenters, plus national presenters Matt Lehrman of Audiences Everywhere (, and Crista Cloutier of The Working Artist ( – to make your 30 hours in Lewiston/Auburnthe most exciting cultural convening of the year.



Crystal Williams

A poet and essayist, Crystal Williams is Professor of English at Bates College where she is also Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. Williams began her career in the arts as an actress, working in Washington, D.C. before moving to New York City. Once in New York, she transitioned from theatre to performance and poetry, becoming a regular at the Nuyorican Poets Café in the mid-90s where she earned a spot on the 1995 Nuyorican Slam Team which competed in the National Slam. Her highly anthologized performance poem, “In Search of Aunt Jemima,” was the only poem of that competition to receive a perfect score and it continues to be regularly performed by new generations of young women more than twenty years later. Williams has published four collections of poems, most recently Detroit as Barn, finalist for the National Poetry Series, Cleveland State Open Book Prize, and the Maine Book Award. Her work has regularly appeared in the nation’s leading journals and magazines, including: American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, PEN: America, The Indiana Review, The Sun, Tin House, Ms. Magazine, Ploughshares, and Callaloo. In 2011, Williams was appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission and in her role as a state-wide arts commissioner and advocate worked to broaden access in the arts and help arts and philanthropic organizations operationalize their goals to become more diverse and inclusive. She was on faculty at Reed College in Portland, Oregon for thirteen years before moving in Fall 2013 to Bates College where she is a Professor of English and a senior administrator.


Pam Breaux

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana with a M.A. in English and folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, PAM BREAUX brings an intimate understanding of the celebration and sustenance of Franco culture in the U.S. to her position as CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). As CEO she works in collaboration with the NASAA board of directors to advance NASAA's federal policy agenda. She has previously held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. Before working in state government, Pam managed southwest Louisiana's Decentralized Arts Funding Program and was executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. She has served on the boards of NASAA, South Arts, the Louisiana Board of International Commerce and the U.S. Travel Association. She most recently was assistant secretary of the Office of Cultural Development at the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (CRT). She was also executive director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts. During her time at CRT, Pam led Louisiana's cultural economy initiative and spearheaded the state's attainment of UNESCO recognition of Poverty Point as a World Heritage site.


Crista Cloutier 

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier works internationally as an artist and writer. She is the founder of The Working Artist.

Crista understands the art world inside and out. Recently honored as an "Influencer in the Contemporary Art World" by LinkedIn, she has sold artwork to galleries, museums, and collectors throughout the world including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Chicago Art Institute.

Crista is certified as a fine arts appraiser, has worked as a licensor, arts writer, gallerist, award-winning documentary filmmaker, fine-art publisher, and she has curated dozens of exhibitions, receiving reviews in Art in America, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and Flash Art.


Cheryl Hulteen

ARTS EDUCATION PRE-CONFERENCE speaker and facilitator. Author of "YES YES GOOD, The HeART of Teaching”, Master Teaching Artist CHERYL HULTEEN has spent over 20 years providing consulting services for school districts, teachers, administrators, parents and students to foster greater learning and insight through building Creative Classroom Cultures. “YES YES GOOD” works with stakeholders across the educational landscape to build exciting, innovative and positive environments for teaching, learning, and arts integrated curriculum development through motivational workshops, professional development and one-on-one coaching. In addition to founding YES YES GOOD, Cheryl also serves as teaching faculty for Connecticut Higher Order Thinking Schools, an initiative of the Connecticut Office of the Arts, managed in partnership with Wesleyan University's Green Street Arts Center.  "However we may speak, it is through the voices of our children we will most clearly be heard."  Registration for this session is in addition to conference registration: please click here to register for both.


Matt Lehrman

Matt Lehrman is an Audience & Customer Experience (ACX) expert whose practice, Audience Avenue LLC, focuses on the loyalty and customer engagement imperative of arts and cultural organizations, charitable organizations, municipalities and companies in a variety of service and product sectors.

Lehrman uniquely reveals options and opportunities from the audience/customer side of a company’s mission and business model by combining the insights and experience of a 30-year career that spans the nonprofit arts and cultural sector, as well as the real estate finance and commercial banking industry.

A graduate of Oberlin College, Lehrman began his career in Washington, DC, as a staff lobbyist on finance and banking for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and subsequently, the National Association of Realtors.


Sherry Wagner-Henry 

 SHERRY WAGNER-HENRY is the director for the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin Business School, one of the oldest and most respected programs in the U.S. She came to the position, bringing extensive experience in arts administration and higher education, from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis/St. Paul, where she was director of graduate programs for the College of Continuing Education and faculty director of their Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL). She created the Arts and Cultural Leadership masters and, within the college, substantially grew the number of masters degrees and certificates. Through her efforts, enrollment, scholarship support, and general revenue all increased. Previously, at the University of Minnesota, she was managing director, University Theatre and Dance, and executive director, Minnesota Centennial Showboat.
For more information please call 207-287-2724 or moc.straeniam@ofni