Donna McNeil

In 1999, Donna McNeil sold her gallery and home in Massachusetts, and moved her life and livelihood to Maine. Just four years later, she started working with the Maine Arts Commission, and in 2009, she was named the director of the organization. During her time there, McNeil initiated the Good Idea Grant, seed money that helped fund artist-led projects across the state. Under McNeil’s leadership, the Maine Arts Commission helped to establish Maine as the state that boasted the highest individual award for artists, $13,000 in five genres, given annually. She oversaw the creation of Creative Communities Equal Economic Development, which provides funding for communities to foster their creative industry and work collectively with government, business, and the arts. After retiring from her post at the commission in 2013, McNeil has continued to support the arts in Maine, serving on the board of directors at Friends of the Blaine House, on the grant committee at Maine Women’s Fund, and on the Insight Committee at Space Gallery.