Left to Right: "Mainer Project" by Pigeon at 325 St. John Steet, "Glacial Retreat" by Justin Levesque at 88 Bedford Street,
and "Hope & Friendship" by Ebenezer Akakpo at 519 Congress Street, Portland, Maine.
These images represent our Creative Bus Shelter Initiative, designed by local Maine artists
and supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
As the City’s arts agency, Creative Portland’s purpose is to nurture and support the creative economy through the arts
and to promote the local arts ecosystem as a world class arts destination.
HERE’S WHAT WE DO (DURING THE PANDEMIC):
Without public-facing events like First Friday Art Walk, we engage the community with a virtual events calendar. We also manage an artist relief fund, by hiring artists for local projects like the creative bus shelter initiative and the recent public health campaign to reinforce healthy safety practices during the pandemic. Always a priority, we convene community members, including a branding work group tasked with promoting Portland as a world class arts destination. Our overarching guide is “A Living Action Plan of 2018,” published as a result of a two-year cultural planning process. Our volunteer committees and curatorial teams, as well as our Board of Directors, help us to raise funds to create programs that address our strategic priorities.
We have a full-time staff of two and a Board of Directors, and our volunteer committees and curatorial teams help us raise funds to implement programs for the greater good.
Listed below are some of the initiatives and programs that support workforce recruitment and retention.The power of the arts in building communities is especially relevant in troubled times like the pandemic. In a City with diverse populations, we rely on the arts as an economic engine and to preserve cultures, educate and spread awareness of our cultural differences.
Any amount helps! We couldn't do it without you!
Pat Corrigan's MEOW mural for public health, located at Coals Bayside
As part of the City’s Stay the Course public health campaign, Creative Portland hired artists to reinforce healthy and safe practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 with creative reminders to wear a mask, wash hands frequently, avoid crowds, and keep physical distance.
An emergency fund created by community stakeholders was established to help local artists in the gig economy make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of November 1, 2020 the artist relief fund has benefited 72 artists with stipend awards of $500 each. The fund will remain open and available on a rolling basis to eligible career artists who reside in the Greater Portland area.
Three installed shelters by Pigeon, Justin Levesque, and Ebenezer Akakpo
Public Art on the canvas of bus shelters strengthens communities and provides local artists with an opportunity to create public art in their own hometown. Three artist projects are already installed, thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Creative Portland and project partners Greater Portland Metro and Greater Portland Council of Governments hope to extend the initiative to ten more shelters, with the help of private investors and community partners, and hopefully, another Our Town grant from the NEA.
Creative Portland convenes the creative community and welcomes artists and art organizations to send listings, ideas, and inquiries. We help to forge new partnerships and to assist
community members who are trying to implement programs to generate new revenue.
First stage "mock ups" of the cultural app in development with Yarn Corporation
The development of an innovative marketing tool that provides self-guided tours and 24/7 access to the arts in Portland.
An image from "Re-past: Remembering Malaga," a previous sponsee of Creative Portland
An annual community discussion targeted to the creative community, featuring best practice presenters, elected officials, cultural leaders,
private investors, city staff, and artists who address cultural plan implementation and share ideas and updates.
Whether digital or in-person public events, Creative Portland curates listings in Greater Portland in one place.
We offer community spotlights on social media and in our newsletters.
Public facing programs such as First Friday Art Walk, Hear Here, and Monday Morning Drop By are on hold during the pandemic.
Our mission is to support the creative economy through the arts by providing essential resources, by fostering partnerships, and by promoting Portland's artistic talents and cultural assets. As the official nonprofit arts agency, we support economic development efforts by strengthening and stimulating our workforce, creative industries, and enterprises.