Cultural Alliance of Maine Pilot Project

The Cultural Alliance of Maine (CAM) was born at the front end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which starkly illuminated that Maine lacks structures for its important cultural sector to foster learning, organizing, acting and advocating as a unified statewide community.

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. 

Mollie Cashwell, CAM Director

Contact + Get Involved

After a pilot year of research and exploration, the Cultural Alliance of Maine has hired Mollie Cashwell as its first full-time Director. Read the press release here.

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

Background

With generous support from The Onion Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Virginia Hodgkins Somers Foundation, and Libra Foundation, in March 2021 CAM hired a Pilot Project Director to lead the work of convening stakeholders, assessing needs and identifying gaps, researching comparable sector-wide alliances, building bridges with state government and other sectors, and determining next steps following the pilot project period. [See New Group Creates Unified Voice for Maine Arts and Culture, Portland Press Herald, 3/31/21.] In the summer of 2022, CAM hired a full-time Director to lead the alliance forward.

MANP is a proud host and partner of the Cultural Alliance of Maine, which helps Maine’s broad and diverse cultural communities connect, learn, advocate, innovate, and co-create. The 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.

Steering Committee

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