PORTLAND, Maine (January 31, 2017)— Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) announced that Biddeford will become the second Art All Around community, joining Westbrook for 2017 in an initiative that brings large-scale collaborative art making into the streets of cities and towns around Maine.
Art All Around is MCC’s signature program, which was revived and reimagined in 2016 as a collaborative public art initiative designed to help channel artistic and community energy to bring people together, spark economic development and draw attention and visitors back to downtowns statewide.
“After seeing the result in Westbrook and talking with some of the partners, we knew this was going to be an important effort and wanted to make sure Biddeford was part of it,” commented Tammy Ackerman, Executive Director of Engine, the leading non-profit arts organization in Biddeford. “Everything we heard from Westbrook told us that Art All Around was transformative and fits perfectly with Biddeford’s growing art scene and Engine’s role in promoting it.”
Conceived by MCC as a progressive, sustainable initiative, Art All Around will add new communities each year, building on participation throughout the state to create recurring art installations that fill public spaces with art made by the community.
“We’ve seen the success stories of towns reinventing themselves through art and creativity,” commented MCC Executive Director Craig Collins. “MCC saw an opportunity to facilitate creative, transformative experiences that connect diverse groups in our communities, make art accessible to everyone, and spark real, sustainable economic development.”
MCC announced this year’s partner communities in a special event hosted at Kingspoke in Portland, where artifacts of the 2016 Westbrook installation and a new interactive component are on exhibit through early February.
“Last year’s project created so much buzz and really brightened our downtown,” said Colleen Hilton, former Mayor of Westbrook. “People immediately started asking when we’d start on next year’s project as we were still taking the installation down. This has been a wonderful gift to the city of Westbrook.”