Hayden Anderson, PhD
Maine Humanities Council
Executive Director, Friends of Congress Square Park, Facilitator/Coach
Faculty, Cultural Studies/African American Studies, Bates College
Rich Entel, MD
Physician, Visual Artist
Poet, Theater Writer, Writing Instructor, University of New England, Southern Maine Community College
Founder and Director, Mayo Street Arts
Co-Founder and Director, The Children’s Initiative
Visual Artist; Faculty, University of Southern Maine
Attorney, Miniature Theater Designer
Auto Europe, Board Member: Theater Ensemble of Color
Director, Brooks Family Foundation
Hayden Anderson, Chair is Executive Director of the Maine Humanities Council, the State of Maine affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress Center for the Book. Prior to starting with the Council, he worked at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, a Portland-based immigration law nonprofit. He lives in Portland with his wife, Meredith, and their son, Gus.
Betsy Whitman, Vice Chair has held a diversity of community activism jobs and positions in Portland, the last as a shelter staff person at Preble Street Resource Center. She has a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Southern Maine and studied mask work at Naropa Institute. She received an MA in Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing her master’s thesis on the intersection of trauma, self-narrative, creative expression and healing. She was a member of Shoestring Puppet Theater for many years and although retired from stilting, she continues to help with the Old Port Parade. She is also a Maine Cooperative Extension master gardener and has planted hundreds of spring bulbs with schoolchildren. She loves compost. She shares the responsibility of the Soccer Barn with her husband and daughter and is passionate about community based, community empowering arts and activism.
Dela Murphy, Secretary, works to strengthen communities through art and enhancing leadership. As director of the Friends of Congress Square Park, she cultivates a generous, beautiful space for neighbors to gather. It’s a place where anybody and everybody in town can access the arts for free and come together in meaningful ways. As “mom” of Portland Intown Contra Dance, she hosts 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, she’s 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, she works 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, she’s up to spreading joy. She and her husband, Dugan, are Portlanders for life.
Brian Arlet, Treasurer, is a visual artist, musician and music educator. He along with his wife MSA director Blainor McGough, founded Mayo Street Arts in 2009 with the intentions of providing a vibrant, inspirational and supportive venue for the arts and education in Portland. He is a graduate of USM school of music with a bachelor in music education, a certified Music Together instructor, an independent contractor and a member of local rock band ‘the last sip’. He loves having adventures with his family, riding motorcycles with his wife and playing music with his friends.
Megan Grumbling is a poet, educator, and critic. Her poetry collection Booker’s Point was awarded the Vassar Miller Prize, and is forthcoming in 2016. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, and other journals; was awarded a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation; and received a Robert Frost Foundation Award for Poetry. She writes about theater for the Portland Phoenix and film for Dispatch, and is reviews editor of the poetry and arts journal The Café Review. Co-founder of the modern opera company Hinge/Works, she has written and staged performance works as part of the Sacred and Profane, the Belfast Poetry Festival, and the PortFringe Festival; and her short film Carrying Place, a Sisters Grumbling production, screened in Maine and New York in 2013. She teaches writing at SMCC and UNE, and has read and facilitated workshops across the state, including with police officers, inmates at the Maine State Correctional Facility, and high school students engaged in the poetry recitation program Poetry Out Loud.
Myron Beasley is a professor at Bates College in Lewiston, where he teaches American Cultural Studies, African American Studies, and Women and Gender studies. His research includes exploring the intersection of art and social change, as he believes in the power of artists and recognize them as cultural workers. His writing appears in such journals as Text and Performance Quarterly, The Journal of Poverty, Performance Research, and The Journal of Curatorial Studies. He has been awarded fellowships and grants by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Ruth Landes Foundation for his writing about art and cultural engagement.
Larry Hayden is a visual artist whose drawings, paintings and photographs are included in Maine’s major art museums as well as in private and institutional collections throughout the Northeast. Author of PULLUM, the world’s only known book of photographs of chickens accompanied by text entirely in the Latin language, his photographs were selected to illustrate the deluxe centennial edition of Robert Frost’s North of Boston, published in 2015 by the Ascensius Press. Recently retired from an undistinguished foray into vintage motorcycle racing, which yielded one victory in eight years of effort, he is now an avid street rider of 1960’s era Triumph motorbikes. Larry’s ongoing photographic work centers on his home environment, and the daily lives of his small flock of chickens. He shares a nineteenth century Portland farm house with spouse Allice; their family dog, Ruby; several hundred thousand honey bees, in four hives; and, of course, the celebrated hens.
Jan Piribeck is a Professor of Art at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to her arrival at USM she was an Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at the University of Maine at Farmington and was Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois. She has a long standing interest in public art and community-based art programs that is reflected in her work as an artist and arts advocate.
Executive Director, Mayo Street Arts
Blainor is an artist, puppeteer, and founder of Mayo Street Arts.
Prior to work at MSA, Blainor worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Portland, Southern Maine Community College Library, WMPG radio, the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine, and the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation district. Blainor has also worked in the fishing and boating industries in Maine, Alaska, and Florida. Blainor’s focus over the past seven years has been growing Mayo Street Arts and creating programs for community and youth that reflect her love of the arts, particularly international music and puppet theater, while addressing the needs and creating opportunities for the multicultural youth and families of East Bayside. Blainor lives in Gorham Maine with her husband Brian, two sons ages four and eight, a dog Marscilla, and three chickens.