Parents & Families

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Welcome to the MECA community.  Whether you are a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend of a MECA student, you play a vital role in the success and experience that your student can achieve at this institution.

Our goal is to offer some of the necessary resources to help ensure your student has a smooth transition and exceptional college experience.  Your encouragement, guidance, and support are crucial in helping your student develop the necessary skills to emerge into adulthood and develop as a professional.

At MECA, we are focused on our core values of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.  Here, students are challenged to become well-rounded and well-grounded individuals who strive toward reaching their greatest potential.

Family Weekend Info

General Info for Parents & Families     MECA Hotel Discounts

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We hope you will find what you are looking for on this page or via the tabs above; however if not, please give us a call or send an email and we will answer your questions. For general questions, contact Anna Schwartz at 207.699.5034; otherwise, see below for specific staff members. We also love feedback, so tell us what you do and do not like about our web resources so we can provide the most helpful information possible.

Stay in Touch

If you want to keep up on what’s happening at Maine College of Art, sign up to receive our monthly email. The signup form is on the homepage. This monthly email communication is full of information about visiting artists, special events, great art projects and breaking news about the College.

If you want more, see our Publications page for links to our MECA Newsletters, Annual Reports and archived monthly emails.

Contact us

Adrea Jaehnig Director of Student Affairs. Adrea can be contacted at

Maileny Guillen Residence Director. You can reach Maileny at

Sheila Geant, Counseling Coordinator. A licensed clinical professional counselor, Sheila is one of two counselors on campus who provide free and confidential clinical counseling, crisis intervention and outreach to students.  Shelia can be contacted at  

Leeanna Morris, Coordinator of Student Involvement  is responsible for developing college-wide activities and events, Orientations & Family weekends. She works with our student clubs and organizations and identifies areas within the Portland community for our students to get involved. Leeanna can be contacted at

Jessica Tomlinson, Director of Artists at Work.  Jessica helps our students prepare for life after MECA by connecting them to employers, internship providers, and more.  Check out our MECA Online Job Opportunities (MOJO) to see how or contact Jessica at





The 2015 Commencement Ceremony for the BFA, MFA and MAT programs will be:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Any additional announcements for families and guests will be posted on this page.

Questions may be directed to

2015 Commencement Invitation


How can I see my student's work?

The BFA Thesis Exhibition is open, free of charge to the public, starting on First Friday, May 1st.


What is MECAmorphosis?

MECAmorphosis is a celebration of MECA’s BFA, MFA and MAT graduates.  Full details, including ticket sales & schedule, are available at

Discounted Lodging 

Discounted accommodations are available on a first come first served basis and must be booked by the date indicated. Bookings must be made directly to the hotel at the number listed below.

When contacting the hotel, tell them  you would like to book under the "Maine College of Art Commencement" discount:

Holiday Inn by the Bay


$119 + tax nights of May 8 +May 9, 2015

Must be reserved by April 8, 2015


Clarion Hotel Portland


$89 + tax nights of May 8 +May 9, 2015

Must be reserved by April 3, 2015 


Other Lodging Options

Hotels in Portland and Surrounding Area 

Bed & Breakfasts in Portland and Surrounding Area


Directions to Maine College of Art, Porteous Building:

Portland Map

From the North
Take Interstate 295 to Exit 7, Franklin Street

From the South
Take the Maine Turnpike northbound to Exit 44, Interstate 295. Follow Interstate 295 to
Exit 7, Franklin Street

Directions to the Porteous Building at 522 Congress Street:

Stay on Franklin Street until you hit the top of the hill and take a right onto Congress Street.
You will pass City Hall on your right; continue on Congress several more blocks, past
Monument Square. Porteous is the large building on the left with a brown awning.


There is a public parking garage at 45 Spring Street, on the right just past the Cumberland County Civic Center. To go to the Porteous Building from the parking garage, leave the parking garage through its rear exit, onto Free Street; the Porteous Building will be immediately across the street from you.

On-street 2-hour parking is available on Congress, Casco (directly across from the Porteous Building entrance) and surrounding streets.

Portland Parking Garages and Lots

One City Center Parking Garage, Monument Square, 773.2761
Midtown Parking Lot, 44 Fore St.
Top of the Old Port Parking Lot, 119 Pearl & Congress Sts., 828.1212
Temple Street Parking Garage, 11 Temple St., 772.5762
Cumberland County Parking Garage, Newbury St., 871.8275
Custom House Sq. Parking Garage, Pearl & Fore Sts.
Fore Street Parking Garage, 439 Fore St., 772.7738
Casco Bay Parking Garage, Commercial St. at Maine State Pier, 774.8653
Cotton & Center Parking Lot, 57 Center St., 879.8983
Public Market Parking Garage, 315 Cumberland Ave, 774.2829
Spring St. Parking Garage, 45 Spring St., 874.2842
Gateway Parking Garage, 181 High St., 761.1568
Harbor Plaza Parking Garage, Union St., 775.3788
Monument Square Parking Garage, Cumberland and Brown Sts.

MECA’s Academic Calendar has our vacations, deadlines and key institutional events.

Here are some favorites to check out:

MECA Family Weekend October 10-11, 2014

All events take place in the Porteous Building at 522 Congress Street, unless otherwise noted.

Register by clicking here


Discounted Room Rates for the nights of

Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11

1230 Congress Street
Portland, Maine
$169 plus tax, per night
Reservations must be made by September 5th.
Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly and mention the MECA family weekend.
88 Spring Street
Portland, Maine
$225 plus tax, per night
Reservations must be made by September 10th.
Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly and mention the MECA family weekend.


Hotels in Portland and Surrounding Area

Bed & Breakfasts in Portland and Surrounding Area


The MECA Family Weekend brings alumni, students, parents, staff and faculty together to celebrate their ties to the MECA community in a festive atmosphere.  

Guiding Principles

  • The MECA Family includes: all current students (BFA, MFA, CS, ArtEd); all alumni (grad and non-grad); all parents of students and alumni; all current and former staff and faculty; all donors; community members with ties to MECA.
  • The MECA Family Weekend event is targeted to include all current BFA, MFA and ArtEd students; all parents of current students;  all degree-holding alumni; all current staff and faculty.
  • The MECA Family Weekend aims to create an inclusive atmosphere for all participants to celebrate and strengthen their relationships to MECA.
MECA Family Weekend offered with support from:

Where is information about Orientation and things new MECA students should know?

Take a look at the New Student page for dates, resources and more!

How do you educate students about staying safe while living in a city?
As part of Orientation, first-year students attend a session on personal safety where an officer from the Portland Police Department speaks with them about ways of protecting themselves when walking around the city. The Portland Police Department has some safety tips on their website that we encourage all students to read over.  

How can I get a meal plan?
You can visit the Cafe FAQ to learn more about your meal plan options.

When is the Cafe open?
The Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday-Friday and for brunch on Saturday and Sundays.  

Where do we buy books & supplies?

Faculty provide book and supply lists. Most supplies are available at Art Mart, across the street from the Porteous Building. Many books are pre-ordered and available at Longfellow Books down the street or can be ordered on-line.  

Is there someone my child can speak to about personal issues?
Everyone from faculty members to the counseling staff to the Resident Assistants in the residence halls to the Student Affairs staff members are all here and willing to help out whenever we can. If your son/daughter would rather talk with someone off-campus, our counseling staff will assist him/her on finding an off-campus resource to talk to.

Where do I find out about tuition and fees?
Click here: Tuition & Fees

What is FY-In?
All first year students participate in FY-In, our innovative first-year seminar. This seminar involves studio work, academic research, and involvement with a community partner. Its intent is to fully immerse students in art and design, to involve them in the MECA and Portland communities, and to place their creative efforts in a real-world context. FY-In teaches the critical importance of combining research and practice, and serves as an introduction to collaborating with one another and with a community partner. Students read, write, research, make art, discuss and critique while working on specific projects in their section.  

Do you have a career services office?
Yes! Go to Career Services and learn about MOJO, internships, on- and off-campus jobs, Artists at Work and more.

Are students allowed to have a microwave or other appliances in the residence halls?
Students living in Oak and Shepley are allowed to bring with them appliances such as microwaves, George Forman grills and coffee pots. Toasters and toaster-ovens, or similar appliances that have an exposed heating coil are not permitted in the residence halls.