Good News & Thanks All Round

Lots of good news to share, made possible by lots of our friends & neighbors. Nathan Cummings Foundation is at the top of our list for continuing their support for a 7th year.

NEA Our Town’s right after for selecting Art At Work’s Meeting Place/Portland Works projects to feature as one of their 5 e-books on Creative Placemaking.

Third to mention is NEFA’s June bi-annual CCX included a reprise of our original Portland police officers’ performance ‘Radio Calls’ hosted by Police Chief Mike Sauschuck and myself. Full house in City Hall’s Council Chambers, thanks to the officers, two of whom pulled an ‘all-nighter’ to come and perform.

xo Marty

ps thanks for hanging in there with us and if you’re feeling like ‘liking’ Art At Work on facebook, we’d sure like that.


Marty on Arts Blog

My article, Creating Social Change Through Community Connections & Shared Arts Experiences, was published on Arts Blog!


Press Conference at Hope, Try, Do, Work Dream Mural in Kennedy Park, July 12, 2011
Meeting Place artists Daniel Minter (visual art), Shamou (percussion), Marty Pottenger, Mayor Nick Mavodones, and Tonee Harbert

Meeting Place project, by Art At Work Initiative, is among 51 grants nationwide selected to support placemaking. Portland, ME – Today Art At Work announced that it will receive an Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), one of only 51 awarded nationwide. Art At Work will receive support on the project Meeting Place, a citizen and neighborhood organization yearlong partnership.

Our Town is the NEA’s new leadership initiative focused on creative placemaking projects. In creative placemaking, partners from both public and private sectors come together to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city or region around arts and cultural activities.  Created by Art At Work, Meeting Place is a multidisplinary arts project to help five of Portland’s neighborhoods develop and deepen their networks of connection by tapping into the transformative power of the arts with dynamic yearlong partnership with local artists.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Landesman said, “Communities across our country are using smart design and leveraging the arts to enhance the quality of life and promote their distinctive identities. In this time of great economic upheaval, Our Town provides communities an opportunity to reignite their economies.”

Belinda Ray, Meeting Place’s project coordinator, with Bayside Neighborhood Association members Patrick, Colette and Steve, as Marty takes the picture.

Sydney Williams helps hang artwork for Art At Work’s upcoming exhibit Necessary Work…opening September 29th.

Yum…East Bayside’s International Dinner

Not only was the free international food incredible, but so was the community energy at the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization’s International Dinner & Community Conversation on Tuesday night.

The conversation following the dinner was focused on creating a sustainable vision for East Bayside in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT). The AIA selected Portland as one of seven sites nationwide for its volunteer SDAT services. The dinner and conversation were designed as an additional opportunity for the community to voice their opinions about the SDAT’s projects.

Portland Police Chief James Craig welcomes audience and gives AAW’s Thin Blue Lines project, “Radio Calls,” a shout out.

AAW Project Coordinator, Lauren Pongan,  Alan Holt from USM Muskie and City Councilor Kevin Donoghue at E. Bayside’s AIA Community Dinner.

Pottenger Presents at St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Conference

On March 25-27, AAW Director Marty Pottenger presented her work at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission’s conference, “At the Crossroads: A Community Arts & Development Convening.”  The meeting included, “150 practitioners and their partners in arts based community development programs and collaborations” who have convened “for hands-on workshops, panels, presentations and provocative thinking.”

Pottenger individually led the workshop, “Art at Work and The Police Poetry Project: Artist Driven Solutions for Community Change”, on Saturday. She and RMC Research evaluator Chris Dwyer also co-led a 5 hour workshop called, “What Difference Are We Making? Assessing Social Impact of Arts for Community Change.”

In it, they presented their progress in applying an evaluative framework (developed by Dwyer) to systematically define outcomes and measurable indicators of change for AAW’s Police Poetry Project, which sought to improve low department morale and relations between police and the public.

Over time, this framework enables individual arts organizations to make the case for the role of the arts in catalyzing social change in your community. Animating Democracy co-directors, Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza also introduced resources and other findings from the Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative.

Take the Survey!

We hope that you’re enjoying the 2010 Police Poetry Calendar, and that you’re willing to provide us with some helpful feedback! If you’ve purchased the calendar and you have 3 minutes (literally, that’s all it will take) please take our survey!

Your comments and feedback are very valuable to us at AAW.

Art At Work update

PPD’s Senior Lead Officer Gayle Petty gives a 2009 and 2010 Police Poetry Calendar, City Writers Group Chapbook and a Warrior Poets button to radio host Garrison Keillor of Praire Home Companion and Writers Almanac fame, plus a Warrior Poet button from our civic dialogue last year with partners Portland Public Library and the Community Television Network.

Thanks to Portland Ovations, Art At Work sold their 2010 Police Poetry Calendar (link to Amazon here?)  last night at Merrill Auditorium show, with Officer Gayle Petty as backup. 2010 Calendar proceeds will benefit the family of late Sergeant Rick Betters. Here is our newest volunteer Mary Maescher and Warrior Poet/Officer Gayle Petty making it happen.

AAW in Portland

Pictured above are Creative Portland Corporation (CPC) Board members during TMI’s Director Marty Pottenger’s report re: the NEA’s Mayors Initiative for Urban Design grant. Pottenger and urban planner Laura Burden are taking the lead in hopes for a successful application on behalf of the City, CPC and the local arts council PACA.  Pottenger is volunteering her time on behalf of PACA, where she is a board member.

Terra Moto welcome our new project coordinator, Lauren Pongan. A recent Colby College graduate, Lauren brings a writer’s sensibility as well as lessons learned from her past work with Portland’s Cultivating Community, Portland Buy Local and the Richard Hugo Writers House in Seattle WA. Here she  prepares 2010 Police Poetry Calendars for mailing to Police Chiefs, PBA union presidents and Police Associations around the country, along with a letter from Police Chief Craig inviting them to consider initiating an Art At Work project in their departments.


Welcome to the AEI Blog

Hello, and welcome to the AEI blog. This blog will deal specifically with the police poetry project, directed by Marty Pottenger. This is a place for the participants in the project to post about their feelings on the work ahead of them: those things they are afraid of, or excited about, or looking forward to. Please feel free to share whatever you may think about the role of the police/the role of poetry/the places where these two seemingly disparate things can intersect. Best wishes, and onward!


Use the side menu bar the navigate through each project.