Portland, Maine

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Dela Murphy

I'm a Portlander for life, dedicated to strengthening community in our city.

Job Executive Director / Friends of Congress Square Park

Lives In India Street Neighborhood

As director of the Friends of Congress Square Park, I'm up to cultivating a generous, beautiful space for neighbors to gather. It's a place where anybody and everybody in town can access the arts and come together in meaningful ways. As "mom" of Portland Intown Contra Dance, I host weekly+ community social dances that are joyful, boisterous and welcoming to all. As a board member for Mayo Street Arts and the DownEast Friends of the Folk Arts, I'm focused on strengthening unique forms of creativity and expression - and ensuring that we can enjoy them for decades to come. As a coach and facilitator, I work with unique people and organizations to strengthen their capacity to lead, to be themselves, and to bring their work to life in compelling ways. As an artist and dancer, I'm up to spreading joy.

Why did you choose Portland? So many reasons! Every time I visit other cities, I'm reminded of why I choose Portland.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? I admire Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. and Herb Adams. Their love for this city is palpable and they are dedicated to preserving it's history for our future.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? My husband likes taking them to Strange Maine. I like taking them to Gelato Fiasco. We both take them to Portland Intown Contra Dance.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? How many things there are to do. It's a vibrant place with an itty-bitty number of people.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The clock from Union Station, which sits in Congress Square Park.

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