April 29, 2015

Matching Gift of Land and Property Valued at Over $1M

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2015 | Rockport, Maine

Contact: Meg Weston | president@mainemedia.edu | 207-236-8581 x350

Maine Media Workshops + College announced a major gift that will serve as the cornerstone of a bold plan for future growth, and reflects a trend of growing, positive momentum for this midcoast Maine educational center for visual storytelling.

Through a generous matching gift from HomeFed Corporation, Maine Media now owns an additional 14 acres of land adjacent to the current campus and connecting the campus directly to Route 1, the nearby major thoroughfare. The donation portion of the property transfer to the college is valued at over $1 million. HomeFed’s largest shareholder is Leucadia National Corporation which has a long history of providing financial support toward Maine Media’s mission.

“This is a major milestone in the continuing growth of Maine Media Workshops + College as a nonprofit institution,” said MMW+C President Meg Weston. “It is further evidence of broad community support that is making a difference to the students that come here from all over the world.”

The receipt of this land is integral to fulfilling Maine Media’s campus master plan that was completed in 2014 at the direction of the Board of Directors in alignment with the school’s strategic plan for growth. The campus plan was developed with input from faculty, staff, the board, and with assistance and support from Elliott & Elliott Architects of Blue Hill, Maine. The plan’s goal is to upgrade existing infrastructure and seamlessly integrate new facilities. This plan is flexible, will accommodate changing needs or objectives, and will be implemented over time as resources allow.

The plan calls for those resources to go toward what will ultimately be a new home for Maine Media’s young artist programs, new housing for those students, a media arts and technology center, a handicapped-accessible student welcome center, among other things. It is an ambitious vision that will be made possible, in part, by the acquisition of these 14 valuable acres.

Some of this growth has already begun. As a result of generous support from donors last year, Maine Media renovated the ground floor of its Ernst Haas Building and created the new Book Arts Studio and Alternative Process Darkroom, paired with an inviting outdoor teaching space.

Maine Media sees that new studio — and this new gift of land — as emblematic of a series of positive trends that showcase Maine Media’s renewed growth. Maine Media has enjoyed increasing enrollment for the last three years. The number of donors to the school nearly doubled since 2013. And thanks to some of those generous donors, Maine Media was able to grant more scholarships last year than ever before: 42 individuals received more than $60,000 in scholarships.

This latest gift of 14 valuable acres will be a linchpin for further growth, as this world-renowned visual storytelling center turns the page into a new chapter dedicated to serving talented students from Maine, across the country and around the world in new and exciting ways.

Founded in 1973 as Maine Photographic Workshops, Maine Media Workshops + College has evolved into a creative center for visual storytellers across many disciplines. Offering immersive photography, filmmaking, and multimedia courses in weekend and weeklong workshops, multi-week intensives, one- year professional certificate programs, and a three-year MFA degree program, Maine Media attracts more than 1,600 students each year from all over the world.