Programs for Community and Youth


Club Hip HopInternational Heritage Music Series: Based on the idea that music is inherent to strengthening community in cultures around the world, the series will celebrate regional music and dance traditions. Performances will showcase leading artists in Afro-Carribean percussion and song, Bulgarian women’s vocal music, and Manouche Gypsy Jazz.

Neighborhood and Crime Watch Meetings: Mayo Street Arts initiated a Crime Watch three years ago, in response to ongoing problems with vandalism, trespassing, substance abuse, and new citizens being intimidated by gangs.  East Crime Watch meetings are attended by neighbors and Portland Police officers, and offer neighbors and new citizens ways they can help each other by cooperating and communicating with police and city officials on issues like crime reporting and lighting. The East Bayside Neighborhood Organization also meets at MSA on a monthly basis, so that neighbors, homeowners, and business owners can discuss issues and initiatives, meet with city officials, and voice concerns.


Club Hip Hop is a drop-in hip hop dance class for boys and girls ages seven to fourteen, taught by professional dancers. The class is free for neighborhood youths who are respectful and show a commitment to the program, and is offered twice a week during the summer and weekly during the school year. The class encourages physical fitness, builds self-esteem, forges friendships, and is extremely popular with the youths.  Portland Police officers visit the class, to get to know youths in an informal setting. Those who do not wish to dance may can learn to sew and make costumes with our sewing instructor.

afterschool pics 151 (1)

Community Arts Mentorships: This Fall, art education students pursuing their masters from Maine College of Art will provide one-on-one artist mentorships to youths from the East Bayside neighborhood. Youths who attend the Portland Housing Authority study center will team up with MECA educators at Mayo Street Arts once a week for six weeks.  The MECA students are studying Presence and Voice in the classroom, Literacy and the Arts, Socio Political Art and Social Justice in the Classroom, and Contemplative Education.  This will be expressed in hands-on art making such as sculpture, painting, jewelry making, or other projects. As teams, groups will choose a theme and create artwork to be presented in a community exhibit at Mayo Street Arts in December.

afterschool pics 216 (1)


widget pic aftershcool

Children’s Puppet Workshop: This program allows schools and area youths to attend original puppet shows at Mayo Street Arts, as a field trip or special activity. Children from Head Start and other similar programs come for a unique and fun learning experience. MSA’s puppeteer in residence performs a puppet theater show, and a presentation on how puppets are made and operated, then the students make and take their own puppet home. The puppeteer in residence will also travel to area schools to make similar presentations throughout the year.

Puppetry Performance Series: Puppet theater shows for families, performed  by professional puppet theater troupes of local and international reknown are open to the public, and are offered at a low admission cost of $4 for kids, $8 for adults; and free or sliding scale admission to neighborhood youths. The eight-performances will take place from September through April Sunday afternoons.

National Night Out is an annual celebration that brings together many different neighborhood entities and partnerships for a night of neighborhood solidarity and fun. For one night, neighbors are asked to turn off their televisions, lock their doors, and come out for a parade and celebration in nearby Peppermint Park. This year, a musical ensemble of drummer from Burundi will perform in addition to the MSA Club Hip Hop dancers. Police, Fire, and city officials attend this popular event.

 Posted by at 7:57 pm