* On May 15th, 2013, Mayo Street Arts received a transformational gift, allowing Mayo Street Arts to purchase our beloved building in full. Our great thanks to Cherie Wendelken, Jeb Brooks, and the Brooks Family Foundation. These generous donors have made an incredible impact on our activities, longevity, and community.
In addition, we would like to thank these significant contributors to the Building Purchase efforts:
Daniel O’Leary and Kathy Bouchard
Roxanne Quimby and the Quimby Family Foundation
* BUILDING FUND CAMPAIGN
This is special. Please consider contributing to the Building Fund Campaign.
We have been challenged to raise matching funds, to match the generous donation we received for the building purchase, so that Mayo Street Arts will have a Building Fund for repairs and maintenance. The reserve will also serve to bolster our programming, so that we can continue to bring top-notch music and performing arts to our unique and intimate venue.
The Building Fund is a limited time campaign. We hope that you will join us at this exciting moment in Mayo Street Arts’ history, and become part of the circle that makes Mayo Street Arts possible for so many in the Portland community.
I wish to make an additional contribution to the Building Fund. Contributors of $100 or more will be invited to a Special MSA Building Fund Reception at a private residence this winter.
MSA’s current home was built in 1890 by the Danish Lutheran community. The St. Ansgar’s Church, as it was known, was a community hub for this group, who lived in the East Bayside neighborhood, and worked mostly at ceramics and tile foundries on Back Bay.
The building has since served in many capacities as a community resource. The downstairs floor is now used as art and studio space Portland artists and MSA’s programs, while upstairs the main hall is used a beautiful performance, exhibit, and meeting space for dance, theater, music, visual arts, and community gatherings.
Since opening our doors in 2009, Mayo Street Arts grown to become many things – a music and performance venue, an art gallery, a studio and rehearsal space, and a community center where artists, neighbors, and community members can gather to learn and celebrate the arts. We are proud to be a place where neighborhood immigrant communities, especially youths, participate in the arts and their community without barriers.
As one supporter put it:
“Mayo Street Arts is a unique place. Portland has a nationally recognized art museum, a fine symphony orchestra, institutions of higher learning and research, all elements of high culture that make a great city. But the cultural life of great cities also includes things that are finer grained, that are experimental or extremely meaningful and important to a small audience. The roster of activities and performances at Mayo Street is a collage of the cultures of Portland. It serves as a beloved local community center, but it also brings artists and musicians of international reputation to town.” – Cherie Wendelken, Superfan
* What is Mayo Street Arts? Why should I give?
Mayo Street Arts is:
A 21-st century art space housed in an historic church.
A place where hundreds of immigrant youths each year engage in dance, art, and music, with gifted arts educators.
A cultural hub for East Bayside – the most densely populated and ethnically diverse square mile in Maine.
A hopping music and theater venue, presenting world class performances and hundreds of events each year.
A place for neighbors to hold meetings and gatherings, including a neighborhood Crimewatch.
A fun, safe, and educational place for neighborhood youths to be after school.
YOUTH: This year we served over 250 immigrant youths, providing positive afterschool activities including puppetry workshops, the Club Hip Hop dance program, and Club M.I.S. (My International Sisters). Presently, over 30 boys and girls from the neighborhood are participating in a Community Arts Mentorship program in partnership with Maine College of Art, creating sculpture, ceramics, and textiles for a gallery exhibit that will be part of the December Artwalk.
PERFORMANCE: This year MSA presented hundreds of music, theater, and dance performances, including the International Music Heritage Series, featuring world-class musicians and dance leaders from around the world. We also host an eclectic mix of rock, jazz, and acoustic concerts, community dances, and World Class puppet theater performances – all at very affordable ticket prices.
THE BIG NEWS: It has been a very exciting year at Mayo Street Arts. This summer we received a transformational gift from the Brooks Family Foundation, that allowed MSA to purchase our beloved historic building at 10 Mayo Street. Thanks to these generous supporters, Mayo Street Arts will continue to be a place where artists, neighborhood youths, and immigrant communities participate in the arts and their community without barriers.
We are thrilled at this opportunity, and we know that it came in large part from the hard work, creativity, and community spirit that our board, staff, and supporters like you bring to Mayo Street Arts every week. Building ownership does not give Mayo Street Arts a free ride. Our historic church building is in good shape, and we want to make sure we keep it that way. Maintenance, upkeep, and repair is costly! Since the building purchase, we have raised funds for a much-needed new roof, and we are now making plans for improving accessibility, seating, theatrical lighting, and sound.
We hope you will join us at this exciting time of transformation.
If you have questions, thoughts, or would like to make a contribution to the Building Fund Campaign, please contact:
Blainor McGough, Executive Director