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A Town For The Artists

IMG_20160506_203532158[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the mid 80’s Portland awoke to its true identity as a town of artists, innovators and the imaginative. From having the best arts college in the state, to having multiple small concert venues accessible to local artists. Portland, by design, is for the artists and innovators alike.

In 2008 the Creative Portland Corporation was established. It’s a non profit organization and according to their website, their mission is, “To enhance the creative economy, employment opportunities and artist district development.”

This program offers so much to the community through events like First Friday Art Walk, Portland Arts Challenge and Beyond the Basics for Creatives.

On the first friday of the month, Portland’s artists, musicians and entrepreneurs flood Congress Street for the First Friday Art Walk. From live bands performing in CongreIMG_20160506_203546330ss Square Park, to guitarists playing with an open guitar case on the street. Museums and galleries open their doors and the Art College MECA uses First Friday to display their recent work, and do performances of all kinds.

Senior Meg Yudaken lives in Saco but feels like Portland is part of her home. Yudaken said, “Everyone in Portland is really diverse and open minded so people feel free to be themselves. At the art walk it’s not just about the money. It’s way more important to appreciate what the artists are creating, that matters more to them.”

The town doesn’t require permits or fees for vendors to sell their art. There have been break dancers, entire orchestras, protesters, truck galleries, photography and even street painters. Many towns who have similar events charge some fee, making it harder for local artists to thrive.

The Portland Arts Challenge is a program designed to expose the amazing and unique art that surrounds the community. According to Live Work Portland website, the Creative Portland program manager, Jess Lauren Lipton said, “The Portland Arts Challenge is about building relationships with your neighbors, discovering Portland’s varied arts scene, and having fun as winter comes to a close. The team that attends the most events will be crowned ‘Portland Arts Champions’ and win some great prizes.”

This event happened in March but there are still many more art events happening this summer. June through August, there will be a Contracts for Creatives Class Series, which focuses on managing sales and honoring service agreements like commission. Below is a list of some of the cool art events happening this summer.






June 3rd : First Friday Art Walk

-On Congress street around 5:30 pm.

June 12th : Contracts for Creatives

-Understanding and managing sales and service agreements including commission, consignment and licensing. At MECA at 6pm.

July 8th : First Friday Art Walk

-On Congress street around 5:30 pm.

July 10th : Feeding Your Studio Practice

-Evaluating technical and professional opportunities including residencies, studio environment, and education. At MECA at 6pm.

August 5th : First Friday Art Walk

-On Congress street around 5:30 pm.

August 14th : Going Big

-The implications of growing as an artist and art based business including fabrication, production, sourcing, and staffing. At MECA at 6pm.

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  1. Kelly Gallant Kelly Gallant May 18, 2016


  2. Steven Guy Steven Guy May 18, 2016

    You opened my mind (along with Forest) to Portland in the beginning of its hipster-y change. Such a cute city, with alot of raw talent.

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