Cultivating Diverse Creativity

Daniel and Marcia Minter help to create opportunity and community for artists of color

Since Daniel and Marcia Minter moved to Maine from Chicago 15 years ago, they have watched the state’s art scene change significantly. A scene that was once saturated with white males artists with a penchant for painting landscapes is now increasingly varied; Portland is becoming more racially diverse, and contemporary art forms are continuously gaining popularity. The last five to eight years have been especially transformative for Maine’s arts scene: “What we’ve seen is more art institutions and galleries showcasing contemporary art, and people are desiring to see more, to see variety,” says Marcia. Maine’s fundamental relationship with art is changing, and the Indigo Arts Alliance is aiming to lead the way.

The Minters founded the Indigo Arts Alliance in 2018 to serve professional and emerging artists of African decent and other underserved artists of color with an open door to creative exploration. This April the nonprofit is planning to open a studio in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood to provide space that inspires artistic practice. Maine has historically been a haven for artists. But, as the Minters have seen, many artists who come to Maine share the same feelings of isolation that they felt on their arrival. Through the alliance, the Minters are seeking not only to create a community for artists of color but also to help increase the artists’ exposure and support their growth within an incubator space that offers mentorship opportunities and public programs.

The ultimate goal of the organization is to support professional development for these artists so that they have access to increased exposure, recognition, and respect within the broadening arts. “We are addressing global issues of representation in the arts,” says Marcia. “We’re based [in Portland], and we have concerns about our local community, but we’re focused on making sure we’re participating actively in moving the needle for representation of black and brown artists nationally and internationally.”