The Maine Crafts Association and Shop Maine Craft Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Whitney Gill as new Executive Director. The eighth Director in the organizations’ forty year history, Whitney first joined the Maine Crafts Association as an artist and retail gallery staff member in 2013. Working across MCA & SMC programming and the greater artist community of Maine for a decade, Whitney guides our mission and vision with a deep understanding of the organizations’ history, initiatives and core values. In this critical year, Whitney will continue building capacity with the MCA’s motivated Board of Directors, generous members and dedicated staff to complete Maine Crafts Association and Shop Maine Craft’s next strategic plans.
Navigating Changes & Challenges: Longtime Executive Director, Sadie Bliss, left her post in July 2022, handing the organization over to a new director who left the role in April 2023. During that time period, three other full time staff left the organization; Maria Wolff (Maine Craft Portland Manager), Jaime Wing (Maine Craft Portland Assistant Manager), Suzzanne Doiron (Center for Maine Craft Assistant Manager & MCA Membership Coordinator). This is certainly a transitional time for our organizations and we have been sad to say goodbye to beloved and important team members. However, we continue, as always, to support and be supported by a strong core group of dedicated employees and board members who are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and continuity in our programming. We have successfully filled vacant positions and hired additional full and part time staff members to build upon and support our team, and together we will operate a full calendar of programs and events as planned in 2023 and beyond!
Meet the Staff
Our employees represent both Shop Maine Craft and Maine Crafts Association and work as a team across our two organizations to operate our galleries, programs and events. We are pleased to introduce two new retail gallery managers:
Edythe (Edy) joined our team in 2019 as a part time sales associate at the Center for Maine Craft and quickly moved up the ranks from inventory manager to assistant manager, and now leads our West Gardiner gallery as Center for Maine Craft Manager. Edy has 10+ years of retail experience and is an artist herself, making her a natural fit for the role in many ways. Edy has found that working in such an inspiring environment has pushed her own art endeavors and given her goals to work towards. When Edy isn’t connecting with our members and customers, or submerged in an inventory spreadsheet, she loves to be focused on self-care and things that bring her joy. You may see her and her daughter somewhere in Maine, out on their next adventure exploring Monhegan Island or laying in the warm sands of Popham Beach.
Mia Del Bene
Mia Del Bene joins us as the new Retail Gallery Manager of Maine Craft Portland. A graduate of MECA&D and a passionate advocate for the intersection of systems and communities, their practice is focused on researching and designing for better lived experiences through service and environmental design. As an abundantly curious interdisciplinary human-centered designer, driven by the invisible power of people through community, Mia is eager to dive in and get to work.
Program Managers & Administrative Staff
Fine Craft Show Director & Program Manager
Simonne Feeney received her B.F.A. in Fine Art with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She returned to Maine to practice her craft and create art jewelry that focuses on the blend of traditional metalworking techniques with modern unconventional materials. Simonne has worked for several years in gallery management, arts administration and joined the MCA team in early 2021.
Fine Craft Show Director & Program Manager
Guild Fine Craft Shows
Seconds & Supplies Sale: Ellsworth & Portland
Craft Apprentice Program
STITCH: Maine Designers on the Runway
Pollinators Mentorship Program
Maine Craft Content Project
Lizz Brown received her BFA in Crafts with a Textiles concentration at Kutztown University, and was the recipient of the J. Allen Pawling Award the year of her graduation. In addition to her roles with MCA & SMC, Lizz owns and operates her own company, The Wild Textile, producing hand-woven wearables, wall hangings and table linens made of natural materials. She is self-taught in the art of natural dyeing, which perfectly suits her two deepest passions: color and the outdoors. Like all of our core staff, Lizz joined our team as a part-time gallery sales associate (2018) and swiftly assumed a larger management role.
Nire grew up in Calais, Maine. She studied abroad in Indonesia, mastering traditional and contemporary batik, later earning her Bachelor of Arts in Batik and Photography from Hampshire College. Nire has been instrumental in MCA’s growth and development over the past fourteen years, serving vital roles in gallery management, program development and operation, and bookkeeping. Nire now holds the title of MCA & SMC Business Manager and is based in our main hub, the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.
Join Our Team!
We are currently seeking a full-time Retail Gallery Assistant Manager at the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner. Learn More!
Visit the retail galleries, attend our programs and events, meet our wonderful staff and join the fun! We look forward to connecting with you all in the coming months and welcome you to take part in any and all of our upcoming events.
If you are interested in getting more involved in our programming, consider volunteering, becoming an event sponsor, or joining our growing Board of Directors! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.