Networks and Peer Groups

Cultural Alliance of Maine Pilot Project

The Cultural Alliance of Maine (CAM) pilot project was born during the COVID-19 pandemic, which starkly illuminated that Maine lacks structures to enable the cultural sector to learn, organize, and act as a unified statewide community.

Press for CAM!

New Group Creates Unified Voice for Maine Arts and Culture (PPH, 3/31/21)

Leaders from across the state, representing diverse nonprofit cultural organizations, came together to establish this alliance to:

  • explore models to address infrastructure gaps long-term
  • advocate for solutions to the unique challenges facing the sector now, and
  • create pathways for ongoing peer-to-peer learning and information exchange. 

With generous support from The Onion Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Virginia  Hodgkins Somers Foundation, and Libra Foundation, CAM hired Carla Pugliese as the Pilot Project Director to lead the work of convening stakeholders, assessing needs, researching comparable sector-wide alliances, building bridges with state government and other sectors, and determining next steps following the pilot project period.

MANP is a proud host and partner of the Cultural Alliance of Maine, which will help Maine’s broad and diverse cultural communities connect, learn, advocate, innovate, and co-create. The pilot project advances MANP’s strategic priorities to support deeper, richer connections within our nonprofit community, to encourage collaboration and innovation across organizations and sectors, and to champion the role of nonprofits in advancing solutions to our state’s challenges alongside colleagues in business, government and philanthropy.

Read the press release about the initiative here. 

Get Involved

Everyone involved in Maine’s arts and culture communities is invited to engage in this pilot initiative–nonprofits and for-profits, organizations and individual artists, makers and storytellers. Cultural Alliance of Maine is committed to working across the spectrum and across the state.

About the Pilot Project Director

CAM’s Steering Committee selected Carla Pugliese to lead the pilot project. Carla’s professional history weaves together humanities, education, research, and facilitation, and she identifies as a creative, a cross-pollinator, and a coalition-builder. Carla began her professional life working for the National Archives in Yellowstone National Park, brought her passion for history and writing into the classroom as a humanities teacher, and more recently has worked as a consultant in the educational community with a focus on community access, engagement and intersectional equity. Carla is a researcher, community builder, and social-emotional specialist committed to building a world that fosters self-efficacy, belonging, and joy. Her work is informed by her experience as a middle and high school teacher, middle school administrator, and social-emotional learning specialist, as well as extensive research and practice in public history, collective memory, and storytelling. Carla is a proud alumna of Stanford University and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Steering Committee

  • Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
  • Steve Bromage, Maine Historical Society
  • Shoni Currier, Bates Dance Festival
  • Ben Fowlie, Points North Institute & Camden International Film Festival
  • Hugh French, Tides Institute
  • David Greenham, Maine Arts Commission
  • Sarah Hansen, Greater Portland Landmarks
  • Sheila Jans, CultureWorth
  • Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine State Poet Laureate & Monson Arts
  • Monica Kelly,  Bay Chamber Concerts
  • Nat May, Onion Foundation
  • Daniel Minter, Indigo Arts Alliance
  • Linda Nelson, Portland Ovations
  • Chris Newell, Abbe Museum
  • James Ritter, Maine State Library
  • Jen Shepard, Penobscot Theatre Company
  • Abbe Levin, Maine Office of Tourism – Contractor
  • Molly O’Connell, Maine Association of Nonprofits – Liaison